Redbird Roundup, Vol. 6

Friday, September 20, 2019

Our Mission and Vision

Norris Middle School prepares all students for their future by providing a safe, caring, and diverse school environment that maintains high expectations, academic excellence, and respect for all. Success, achievement, respect…It’s a Redbird thing!

La Escuela Secundaria Norris prepara a todos los estudiantes para su futuro ofreciendo un entorno escolar seguro, atento y diverso que mantiene altas expectativas, excelencia académica y respeto para todos. Éxito, logro, respeto…Es una cosa de los Redbirds!

Principal's Greeting

Happy Friday Norris Staff!

It has been a busy week in Redbird Nation. Open House was a great evening with a wonderful turnout. Our fall sports are well into action as well.

A few highlights of next week's schedule: Tuesday, September 24 is our Fundraiser Kick-off. This is a huge event as it raises funds for student and staff activities. Wednesday, September 25 will be our first clubs day bell schedule. I am compiling a list of clubs that are meeting and will send it out Monday.

Two other reminders: Please continue to work with your RBB students to get their iPad paperwork in. We are down to around 140 day users, and I bet we can get that number down even more. Last, you will begin to schedule families for our Student-Led Conferences October 16-17. Our CSI/SIP goal is to hit the 50% attendance mark for conferences. We really need your help in getting families there! Thank you!

Have a great weekend!

Dr. Carr

September 23-27

Monday, September 23: JV Football at Beveridge

Tuesday, September 24: Fundraiser Kickoff Assemblies (info sent by Schnabel); VILS Check-in with Newman (by appt); JV/Var VB at McMillan

Wednesday, September 25: CLUBS SCHEDULE DAY; Principal's Roundtable at 7:00 in room 129; Cross Country at Bryan Middle Invite

Thursday, September 26: JV/Var VB Home vs. Marrs

Friday, September 27: Varsity Football at King; JV Football home vs. King

Staff Introductions

This week we get to know Zach Henery, Meghan Schumacher and Heidi Wallin.

Up Next Week in the Redbird Roundup

I do three staff introductions each week. You'll be getting an email from me with questions. Even if you have done it before, please participate and do it again! Please respond and include a picture by Thursday! I will do the first week.

Up next: Katie Leland, Kris Swanson, and Camille Wakefield

Zach Henery, Physical Education

Name: Zach Henery

How many years have you been teaching/in education?

This is my 7th year teaching.

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School?

How helpful the staff is. When somebody asks for help there is always someone who is willing to jump in.

What website/app do you use most often?


What is something we would never guess about you?

That I enjoy hunting in the fall.

What is the worst food you ever ate?

When I was 12, I was deer hunting with my dad and uncle, they made pancakes for us for breakfast. They somehow either put to much salt in the mix or the mix had too much salt but either was that was by far the worst tasting food I have ever had. We still talk about it ever year I go with them.

What TV show would you binge watch if you had the time?

Probably the office even though I have seen them all it still makes me laugh.

What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?

Munich, Germany when I was 17. It was the summer before my senior year of high school. I went on a 2 week trip with my high school.

Meghan Schumacher, 8C Math

Name: Meghan Schumacher

How many years have you been teaching/in education?

I am a first-year teacher!

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School?

My favorite thing about Norris Middle School is the supportive staff, the amazing students, and the pride that everyone in our school community has about being a Redbird.

What website/app do you use most often?


What is the worst food you ever ate?

I have a serious and unexplainable phobia of cottage cheese.

Would you rather go 30 days without your phone or an entire lifetime without dessert?

I would rather go 30 days without my phone because I love

having late night snacks such as popcorn and ice cream.

What TV show would you binge watch if you had the time?

If I had the time, I would binge watch Game of Thrones.

What would you sing at karaoke night?

“Bye, Bye, Bye” by the Backstreet Boys.

Heidi Wallin, 8C Science

Name: Heidi Wallin

How many years have you been teaching/in education? This is my first year teaching!

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? My favorite thing about Norris Middle School are the awesome staff and students.

What website/app do you use most often? Eat. Sleep. Breathe. Pinterest.

What is the funniest thing you have ever seen a kid do? The funniest thing I have seen my students do is playing Just Dance on the Wii for Wellness Day in Redbird Block (trust me it is hilarious).

What is the best thing that happened to you this week?The best thing to happen to me this week is to hear students say they look forward to my class.

What is the worst food you ever ate? Cotton Candy is high up there on my list, for sure.

What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home? When I was 8, I went to Canada with my family for an hour. Best hour of my life.

Wellness Word to the Wise

Work up to walking 10,000 steps a day. Start with walking the amount that you can do comfortably, such as 5,000 steps a day, then increase your steps until you reach 10,000 steps, putting you in the “active” category.

Powerful Practices


Ms. Matz and Mr. Langabee find lots of different ways to make Math fun and engaging, including turning it into a bowling game! Based on responses to problems programmed to their iPads, students get to take turns trying their hand in bowling. Great collaboration and engagement!

Rotations in PE

Our PE teachers are always excited to get into their rotations after so many activities in the gym at the beginning of the year. Mrs. Bressman takes her students to the pool, Mr. White to the weight room, Mrs. Strouts to the cardio room, and Mr. Henery is doing team sports (football right now). It's a great way to break the kids up into smaller groups and expose them to a variety of different activities.

STEAM Activities

Ms. Boyer and Mrs. Swanson have been collaborating recently to promote STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) activities in their classes They recently incorporated blind contour drawing, which is an exercise to build skills with observation, close looking and hand-eye coordination, a valuable skill in both Art and Science. Amazing collaboration and cross-curricular planning!

VILS Pathways

Mrs. Newman unveiled our VILS PD plan for the year. Each staff member is divided into a house from Harry Potter, and the individuals complete different tasks from a Bingo card to earn points for their team with the chance to earn exciting rewards for both individuals and teams. Teachers are able to select the activities they do, as well as pathways they can complete. This is critical in differentiating our PD to the needs of each staff member.

I'm so excited to see this in action!

Fresh Fruits and Veggies Program

We officially kicked off our participation in the Fresh Fruits and Veggies Program on Tuesday with apples. Our amazing ACP kids took care of the delivery. This is an amazing way to help our students have access to healthy foods, which is a component of our School Improvement Plan. Thank you for your help and participation!

Dual Language Program

We invited our Dual Language families to an on-boarding meeting in order to encourage more involvement from our parents in school. Ms. Real y Vásquez shared a great deal of research on the positive impact of being involved in Dual Language, as well as opportunities for parents to volunteer in the program. Ms. Real y Vásquez rocked a 30 minute presentation in English and Spanish (amazing job) and we are excited about the opportunity for our families to be involved!

Open House

We had an awesome turnout at Open House, with tons of activities for our families. Our Norris Parent Group met at 5:30 with a light meal. Our Redbird Posse sold concessions in outside the cafeteria, and we also sold yearbooks. RASA helped organize a Resource Fair for families in the gym, and of course we had our Dual Language On-Boarding meeting. Finally, families could complete their Accreditation survey on the school to earn a $5 gift card. Thank you to everyone for welcoming our families!

Let's Get Cooking!

Mrs. McDonnell's students participate in a variety of cooking activities in Tech and Living. This particular class has a majority of DL/ESL students, and they absolutely LOVE this experience!

Norris Staff and Students Seen and Heard

Redbird Football Off to a Great Start!

Our Redbird Football teams had a great start last Friday. Our Varsity and JV teams secured victories against McMillan on a beautiful Friday afternoon! Great job teams!

Norris XC Invite

We hosted a six-team cross country invite on Wednesday of this week. It was a warm day for a run, but it was an awesome event that showcased some amazing runners. It takes a ton of staff to make this event work, so a huge thanks to all our staff who helped out, and to Ms. Rechkemmer and Mr. Schnabel for all of their coordination!

Redbird Volleyball

Our Redbird Volleyball Teams have had a busy week as well, with games at Buffett and Marrs, and a home varsity match on Thursday. They are fighting hard until the last serve and doing an amazing job working together as a team!

6th Grade Intramural Soccer

Our very own Mr. Silva is working with our 6th grade boys for intramural soccer. Since they can't go our for our official Norris teams, this is a great way to get them involved! Mr. Heybrock is coaching the girls group.

Please Consider Applying for a Teacher Grant

The Omaha Schools Foundation offers a variety of teacher grants for classroom experiences and opportunities. Please consider applying if you have a special field trip or activity you would like to do!

Final Thought

Like many of you, I was fortunate to go see "Hamilton" with my husband at the Orpheum. It is an incredible Broadway show about Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr (Google it if you don't know...) and features both singing and rapping. The songs stick with you, and I promise you that you can find a way to relate them to any aspect of your life.

The song that always gets me is when Aaron is singing about his daughter in a song called "Dear Theodosia." I always think of what we do for our kids every day, even when it's hard. Even when they face challenges or we face challenges, we still do everything in our power to lay a strong foundation for our kiddos so they can go out into the world and be amazing. Take a listen if you get a chance.

You will come of age with our young nation

We’ll bleed and fight for you, we’ll make it right for you

If we lay a strong enough foundation

We’ll pass it on to you, we’ll give the world to you

And you’ll blow us all away…

Someday, someday

Yeah, you’ll blow us all away