Since You Asked: Medford schools track grads for five years

So last night right at dinner time the phone rings. I look at caller ID and see something called 1-800-REUNION. Intrigued I answered it.

It turns out this is a company that has been hired by the Medford School District to track down alumni of, in this case, South Medford High School. They wanted to do a survey with my son who is away at school. I took their information and told them I would have him contact them if he was interested. I questioned the caller, and she said they had been hired by the district to do outreach to former students.

As I hung up the phone I began to wonder, where did they get the money to do this? I mean they do have access to things like addresses and e-mails. Is it really that hard to do outreach to former students that they have to hire a company from Washington state to do it for them?

What about having the students at the schools do it they way we used to? I can remember during my senior year stuffing envelopes and making phone calls to former students. What happened to that?

— "UncleTedRocks," forum member

We are relieved to report that 1-800-REUNION is not a scam aimed at stealing your identity.

The service is an extension of Life Track Services Inc., a Clarkston, Wash.-based company that surveys alumni to provide schools with data about how their graduates fare after high school.

They also operate the reunion information service as a sideline.

The Medford School District has contracted with the company to survey each graduate from North Medford and South Medford high schools annually for five years.

Total cost to the district to survey each graduate is $12.50. Last year, 663 pupils graduated from both schools.

"We get to see how we could have prepared them better for college or the work force and what classes interested them," said curriculum director Todd Bloomquist. "It helps us do our job better."

The contract began in spring 2005.

Using school staff or students to track several hundred graduates each year for five years would be labor intensive, and district officials believe the professional surveys will yield a more accurate result.

The surveys of all graduates are not required by state law. However, starting in the fall, districts will be required to track special education students for at least one year after graduation.

The idea is the same to ensure that schools are preparing students for life after high school.

To learn more about the alumni tracking service, visit

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to

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