Weekly News

December 4, 2020

Calendar Items

Monday, December 7 - Mathcounts via Zoom (see below)

Monday, December 7 - Girls basketball games

Wednesday, December 9 - Deadline to sign up for the spelling bee (see below)

Thursday, December 10 - Girls basketball games

Thank you to all the families who have communicated with me about illness, COVID positives and exposures that have led to quarantines. It is important that we keep track of these even if your student is in virtual mode and not in person at ABMS. We still need an accurate count on community transmission for our school, the district, and health department. Thank you for all your cooperation and efforts to keep our students healthy during this difficult time. You may email me at bglass@bluevalleyk12.org or call at 624.2313.

7th Grade Parents: Please send in your student's updated immunization records. The Tdap and MCV4 is a requirement for all 7th graders. I will be emailing individuals very soon if your student does not have them. They do need to be turned in by the beginning of next semester. Thanks for your help!


If your child is interested in participating in the Spelling Bee please Sign-Up using the link below. This Sign-Up is available to both Virtual & In-Person students. Registration for the ABMS Spelling Bee will close Wednesday, December 9th @ 3:00 PM. Once signed up, you will receive further communication and details beginning Monday, December 7th.

Click HERE to sign-up for the ABMS Spelling Bee!

Questions? Feel free to reach out to Jon Holsapple @ jholsapple03@bluevalleyk12.org

Community Service Award

In the past, the district has focused on the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) as our recognition method for students who complete community service. However, the district has found an increasing number of problems with this national program over the past few years. The challenges have included, but are not limited to, the inability to contact customer service to troubleshoot problems, the delay in receiving certificates/awards from the organization (some schools are still waiting on awards earned last school year), and the increasing cost of the awards. Also, please note that the national program no longer recognizes the lifetime service award.

As a result, the district has changed the name of the program to the Blue Valley Volunteer Service Award. We will utilize the same basic standards as outlined by the President’s Volunteer Service Award, however, the certificates will come from the Blue Valley School District/ABMS.

Please click the links below to access an overview of the Blue Valley Volunteer Service Award, suggested volunteer activities, and the Volunteer Service Log.


Math Counts will meet on Monday, December 7 from 3:00-3:30 pm. Use the following information to log in:


Meeting ID: 980 9023 5797


Community Service Project

We have some wonderful Aubry Bend Families that are experiencing some really hard times right now. Job layoffs and furloughs, changes in marital status, changes in living situations, medical bills, and the uncertainty of these times are putting huge strains on many in our community.

We want to help! We are trying to help 3 of our ABMS families prepare for the winter and upcoming holidays. Attached below is a spreadsheet of needs by family. If you are able, please sign up by adding your name next to any of the items on this wishlist. Giftcards at the bottom will be split between all 3 families.

All UNWRAPPED donations can be brought to Aubry Bend and left in a plastic tub outside of our main entrance (no entering the school building). This tub will be put out around 7:30am and put inside around 4pm. It will not be left out overnight.

You may also shop online and ship items to Aubry Bend. If you choose this option, please address it to:

Aubry Bend Middle School

c/o: Kim Vail

12501 W 175 Street

Overland Park, KS 66221

**Please include gift receipts when possible, in case something doesn't fit and must be returned.

**Please label items as "teen girl #1" to make sorting and wrapping easier.

Deadline for drop offs or shipping is December 16th.

Please contact Kim Vail at KSVail@bluevalleyk12.org with any questions! THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT!


BVEF Surprise Squad Awards Aubry Bend Middle School!

As we are well aware, so many traditions have been hard to uphold this year, but BVEF’s Surprise Squad found a way to make this event happen… with a twist!

Instead of visiting each school in person to hand out teacher and building grants, on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, the Blue Valley Educational Foundation invited representatives from Aubry Bend Middle School to celebrate at Hilltop Conference Center and our administration received a check for $2,000!

This year, BVEF is funding $178,000 on building and program grants, suicide prevention programs for middle and high schools and supporting a Career Tech Ed partnership for our students with JCCC. They have funded more than $6.2 million over the last 30 years.

Our building grant will be used to fund Rolling White Boards, and the idea behind this grant is to enhance our flexible learning spaces in the pods to provide students more collaborative learning experiences.

“This is one of the best days to be an educator in the Blue Valley district,” says Diana Tate “We couldn’t continue to be on the forefront of education without support from BVEF and I’m so grateful that they found a way to continue to support our Aubry Bend Middle School students and teachers even though they couldn’t visit our school.”

In addition to our grant funding, Aubry Bend Middle School also received a beautiful, matted print of a painting by BV alum, and world-renowned artist, Jeff Hanson, which we will proudly display for everyone in the building to enjoy!

To see all the special moments captured on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, visit #BVEFGrants and the BVEF website at www.Fundbv.org.

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Community Resources

Johnson County Christmas Bureau will host their 2020 Holiday Shop with changes due to COVID-19. Apply Online Here

Harvesters Food Assistance


United Way 211

If you need help in the 23-county area covered by United Way of Greater Kansas City, you can get it from United Way 2-1-1. This free service provides access to thousands of resources. Call 2-1-1 and you will reach a trained, caring professional seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Or click the link below. SEARCH UNITED WAY 2-1-1

Mission Community Food Pantry

Thursday, December 10 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church (5601 West 62nd Street, Mission, KS). More info...

YMCA of Greater Kansas City through CARES Act Funds will offer discounted childcare and virtual learning support for those who qualify. You can view eligibility and apply online here.

Johnson County Community College can help you get Training free, if your job has been affected by COIVD-19 cuts. More info... Flyer

Mercy and Truth Medical Missions is offering Free Flu Shots & Medical Visits through December 31 at Mercy and Truth Medical Mission KCK location. More info...

The Johnson County CARES Act Housing Assistance Fund an eviction prevention fund to assist Johnson County residents at risk of losing their housing during the COVID-19 crisis is now accepting applicants. The fund provides rent, mortgage and utility assistance to eligible households, with the goal of preventing the loss of housing and the resulting risk of increased spread of COVID-19. Click here to learn more and apply online.

Mental Health Resources

Accessing services at Johnson County Mental Health Center


Mental Health and COVID-19 Information and Resources

The mental health effects of COVID-19 are as essential to address, as are the physical health effects. https://mhanational.org/covid19

Johnson County COVID Relief Funds for Mental and Behavioral Health

Johnson County Mental Health Center is working to reduce barriers for individuals in need of mental health services. Any Johnson County resident who is a member of a group that is disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 such as uninsured, underinsured, LGBTQ+, BIPOC, elderly, disabled or involved in the criminal justice system is eligible.


· Invest in ABMS/PTO membership - Make your year-end tax donation! Any and all support is very much appreciated!! Log into ParentVue to donate.

· AMAZON SMILE - Did you know you can support ABMS by shopping through Amazon Smile? It's an easy way to help, but you must shop through our link.

· "BE IN THE KNOW WITH ABMS PTO"- Be sure to follow us on FB (@AubryBendMSPTO) and twitter (@AbmsPto).

· SCHOOL DIRECTORY - Directories are ready for pick up! If yours does not come home with your kiddo, be sure to stop by the office to grab it. Thank you!

· HOLIDAY BAGS - THANK YOU to everyone who has signed up to fill a bag! Please have them returned no later than December 14. Bags are still able to be dropped off at school during our remote learning period. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f44a9a723a4f58-abms

· PIE DROP - In lieu of our annual holiday cookie exchange this year, the PTO will be hosting a Pie Drop for the ABMS staff. Please consider signing up to donate a pie for our staff. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090c44abac23aafc1-abms3

ABMS Library Webpage

This is just a reminder that our Library Webpage contains a wealth of information and resources for all ABMS students. It’s updated regularly with new resources, book recommendations via First Chapter Fridays and/or Book Trailers, and monthly Choice Boards. There’s also links to our social media pages. Pay attention to the TABS that lead to our online databases and other educational resources. If you haven’t been on lately, take a look!

ABMS Library Webpage

Curbside Checkout Continues!

As we enter back into Distance Learning we will continue to offer curbside checkout service from the ABMS library. Our library web page provides information and a short video on how to place a hold for Curbside checkout. Axis 360 eBooks are also available to all ABMS students. Axis 360 eBooks

Library Notices

Overdue notices were emailed to students before the break. Many of the overdues are from last school year. 6th grade students

that have books from their previous school may return to the ABMS Library. We’ll send them on to the appropriate school. We’d LOVE to clear student accounts before the Winter Break! There’s a cart for Book Returns in the main vestibule of the ABMS school entrance.


Students are Journalists this week! ELA started a group “Newspaper Writing” Project. Each member in the group picked a topic they are passionate about and began researching an event that happened in 2020 to report on for the newspaper. They are using the 5 -W’s method to research their topic and take notes (Who, What, Where, When, Why). Ask your student what story they are researching.


Math wrapped up a quick unit on inequalities and will be moving forward with coordinate planes next week.


Science classes are digging into Earth in the next couple of weeks and learning more about Earth’s layers and how the movement in the layers below us affect things on the outside of Earth.

Social Studies

Social Studies is continuing our study of ancient India and the innovations they invented or discovered. Next week, we will start ancient China!


Students are wrapping up the reading of A Christmas Carol. They have paid special attention to Scrooge's transformation as a character. They will write about his developments and discuss if he has achieved Self Actualization in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

Social Studies

We began our Physical Geography unit this week. The students will use their knowledge of geography to create their own country! Next week they will be working on the final copy of their map. We can’t wait to see them!


Students assessed over the cell processes of diffusion, osmosis, photosynthesis, and cellular respiration. Next week, we will begin to explore our human body systems and how they interact!

VirtualED Math

We explored one-step equations this week, and will assess next week over them while starting two-step equations.

Distance Math

Students assessed over the distributive property and combining like terms this week! Next week we will start to explore equations!


ABMS 8th grade teachers would like to commend the 8th graders for their hard work and patience as we have transitioned back into this remote learning model. It is great to see students whole faces again (even if its on a zoom screen), and they have shown incredible resiliency through this process. One of the difficulties with the remote learning model is that students are obviously not here to physically turn things in to us. And as might be expected, we as an 8th grade team have seen an increase in missing work. We would like to just send out a general message and/or request to check in with students about possible missing work or how classes are going in general, so things do not pile up for them. We will be using the built in flex & intervention periods to have some of these types of check-ins as well. All of the teachers on the 8th grade team are here to help and advise in any way. If the adults at home or students have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us, as we will be doing the same with you.

Social Studies

Continuing with our exploration of Westward Expansion. Students will be creating a claim to the question “Was American growth and change in the West justified?” We have been looking at factors, technologies and conflicts that resulted from expansion; students will use that information to construct their argument.


Algebra 1: Solving Multi-step, compound, and absolute value inequality equations.

Math 8: Intersection of Functions


Begin the study of the Periodic Table.


This week we are analyzing language, images, details, diction, and syntax in literary and non-fiction texts.

Happy December! I hope you and your families had a wonderful Thanksgiving break! We had the smallest Thanksgiving celebration I can remember in my whole life. I come from a large family, so holidays have always been large, joyous, LOUD occasions. Although it was a quiet day, we enjoyed being together and focusing on gratefulness.

Speaking of gratefulness, I’m so pleased with the transition from hybrid to distance learning. Don’t get me wrong; I miss the kids! Nothing was as sweet as the day they got to come back to the building for in-person learning, but I want to acknowledge how proud and grateful I am that the kids were able to make a smooth transition to yet another learning mode. The kids I have talked with this week have all shared that it’s not their preferred learning mode, but it’s much easier than their experiences in September.

Remember September? It seems like September was years ago, but I do remember the difficulties we overcame during our first stint in distance learning. I credit the smooth transition to knowledge, experience and planning. We know what didn’t work back then, and we’re bound and determined to not make those mistakes again. We know the value of clear, concise and timely communication. We know the value of consistency and follow-through.

I’m a former high school English teacher, and one of my favorite authors is Maya Angelou. She shaped my reading, writing and thinking in ways few other authors ever would. One of my favorite quotes from her is, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” This has been my battle cry for the last nine months. I’ve used it during phone calls, meetings, newsletters, and conversations, and I’m going to use it again today.

Mr. Colburn and I were talking about our to-do lists and the January calendar this morning. The conversation was littered with comments like, “If we’re able to, When we can, and Once they decide.” It was quite comical once I sat back and reflected upon it because it’s become the routine of our jobs. Little was accomplished in our calendar meeting except to know what we don’t know and what we don’t control.

Several times in this column I’ve acknowledged and empathized with the frustrations that our community has shared with me over everything from too much Zoom time to too little Zoom time, too few assignments to too many assignments, and too much communication to too little communication. We’re working hard to do better as we know better.

Mr. Colburn said something in our meeting that struck me like a lightning bolt. In reference to how quickly we should get information about January events even though we may not have all the information, he said, “I don’t have to be first. I want to be accurate.” If you’ve been with me for long, you know how much I loathe sending out inaccurate information, so he was singing my song when he said that.

When kids are racing through their classwork, we always tell them that we want accuracy more than we want speed. Why race through it and get a bunch of answers wrong only to have to redo the assignment? Why not take your time and get it right the first time? You usually spend the same or less time doing it well the first time.

So, I tell you all of that to tell you this: we may not have all the answers about January and February as fast as we would like to have them, but when we do share, we’re confident that it will be accurate.

Thank you for understanding our practice. Thank you for seeing all sides of our situation. Thank you for supporting our decisions. Thank you for knowing we are doing our best. We love our community and want you to know that you can count on us.


Diana Tate, Principal