Activities and Clubs

Every student in WV Studies/Civics 8 has the opportunity to participate in meaningful, academically challenging activities that support their learning as well as provide interesting cross-curricular experiences. Some are in-class opportunities, while others require a commitment outside of school. Interested students may apply in class during the enrollment period (varies by activity, but all begin and end in August-September). Selected and participating students may be exempted from certain Choice Board and/or concurrent project requirements. See each description below for more detailed guidelines. NOTE: exemptions are at the instructor's sole discretion and may change as need be.

Student Educational Assistant Leaders (SEALs)SEALs

(Student Educational Assistant Leaders) help their peers, teachers, and substitutes by performing both mundane tasks such as collecting and passing out papers, to working one-on-one with other students who need support or additional explanations. Since these students assume leadership roles, and must assist others, SEALs are selected based both upon their demonstrated academic strengths as well as their personalities. Typically one to three slots are available per class period.

2020 History Bowl   History Bowl

Students wishing to show off their learning of WV History in a competitive and fast paced activity should consider History Bowl. Essentially a version of team Jeopardy, History Bowl provides students from competing middle schools to demonstrate mastery of WV historical and geographic know-how. SMS "Bowl Warriors" have participated in History Bowl the past two years, besting all other Jefferson County middle schools in both county-wide and regional competitions. We look forward to another great outing this go around. History Bowl students attend intensive practice sessions wherein they get a sneak peak at all of the upcoming material covered in WV Studies this year, as well as huge dose of state-specific learning not possible to cover in class. Meetings last one hour from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm one a night chosen to best accommodate the majority of sport and band participants who sign up. Typically meetings will be held on alternating Mondays or Thursdays running from mid September to late February or March, depending on the date chosen for the regional competition. History Bowl meetings are on days opposite of Editors' Board to permit participants in either to attend both activities. History Bowl participants receive full credit for all in-class activities on days they are away from school for competitions. Transportation is provided both to and from Jefferson County for regional or/state events, but parents will need to arrange transportation to/from the pickup point before and after school on that day (usually 6:00 am and 4:00 pm at Charles Town Middle).

2019-20 Editors' BoardEditors' Board

All eighth grade students will write at least eight 500 to 1500 word essays on selected West Virginia topics. Topics range from folklore and local mythology, to historical biographies, to current events, and are all selected, developed, and directed by fellow student editors. Led by an elected Editor-in-Chief, the SMS Editors' Board collects and edits the student essays, refining each and providing peer guidance to their writing staffs as they work to compile a selection of publish-worthy efforts. The final selections are sent to publication and are made available for sale to the SMS community and the public at large via, an online publisher. Books are hardcover, handsome and truly a reflection of the talent and hard work our students are capable of producing when given the opportunity. Those wishing to become Editors should be good writers, have a good grasp of grammar, punctuation, spelling and be willing to work with a variety of students. Editors learn to cite sources like real historians using the preferred method, Chicago/Turabian style (CMS). They also gain insights into the world of self-publishing and ecommerce.  During the final weeks of the project (usually March-April), editors are required to meet after school to prepare the project for publication. Typically, this is a commitment of 6-8 once-a-week sessions of 1 or 1.5 hours duration. 

National Geography Bee    Geography Bee

Each year, selected students are offered to compete in the National Geographic Geography Bee. Students do not need to stay after school to participate in the school-level competition. They just need to love learning about our little blue marble and enjoy a healthy dose of competition. Geography Bee participants receive full daily credit for all social studies classroom activities on the day of the school competition, regardless of how they perform, so long as they try their best. Students winning the school level bee, move on to county rounds and beyond, and are again earn full credit for social studies those days. There is no down side for students wanting to show off their stuff at Geography Bee; so sign up.

SSF   Social Studies Fair

Students wishing to participate in the annual Social Studies Fair (October this year) will be permitted to work on their fair projects some during select class periods in lieu of other social studies requirements. This way Fair participants are not overtaxed and can produce high-quality fair entries. Fair projects will be graded in accordance with projects that are exempted, so the value of the project removed will equate to the fair participation grade.

Golden HorseshoeGolden Horseshoe

All eighth grade students in West Virginia take the Golden Horseshoe test in the middle of the year, with the best performer from each county being honored with the prestigious Golden Horseshoe Award. Over the past three years, SMS has put forth five Golden Horseshoe winners, and Kaelynn Back and Layla Parker (2019), Collin Guedel and Jessica Wolfe (2018), and Quinn Arzt (2017) out of a total of 16 total Jefferson County winners over the same period. Students earn the Golden Horseshoe by answering questions drawn from the state-approved 8th grade social studies curriculum and placing among the top 221 out of roughly 22,000 testing students. Winners are invited to the state capital for a banquet in their honor and a "knighting" ceremony complete with the laying of a sword on each winner's shoulder.

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