Redbird Roundup, Vol. 9

Friday, October 11, 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!

Fall is finally here, the weather is changing and we are almost done with first quarter! Next week we look forward to our Student Led Conferences.

We will begin our next coaching cycle on October 21. We will still focus on learning goals, and I'll update you on our progress at our October 28 NAC meeting.

Fall sports are also wrapping up this week and we'll begin girls swimming and boys basketball.

Have a great weekend!

Dr. Carr

October 14-October 18

Monday, October 14: Grades due

Tuesday, October 15: VILS PD with Newman by Teams

Wednesday, October 16: UNO Exploration Day for 8th graders from 9:30-12:30 p.m., Conferences from 4-7:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 17: Report for Duty at 8 a.m., Emergency Response Training for Coaches at 10:00 a.m., Team Leaders Meeting at 10:30 in room 129; Conferences from 12:30-7:30 p.m.

Friday, October 18: Non-duty day

Staff Introductions

This week we get to know Charli Cochran and Jared Good.

Charli Cochran

Name: Charli Cochran

How many years have you been teaching/in education? This is my 4th year

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? The people I work with and the students.

What is the funniest thing you have ever seen a kid do? A sstudent making skinny pig noises to my animal and saying it was okay because he is his father.

What is the best thing that happened to you this week? Harner giving me a candy bar, plus the school giving me pizza. I'm all about free food.

Would you rather go 30 days without your phone or an entire lifetime without dessert? I'd say go without phone. I dont know where it's at half the time anyways.

What TV show would you binge watch if you had the time? The Office, and I make time.

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

What would you sing at karaoke night? No Scrubs or Fresh Prince theme song.

This is my 4th year

Jared Good, 7B Math (and he's getting married this weekend! Congrats!)

Name: Jared Good

How many years have you been teaching? This is year 7

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? I consider the teachers here to be my second family, and many have definitely stepped up in that over the last few years

What is something we would never guess about you? In my college days, I joined the Hawaiian club, participated in their yearly luau, and even ran for treasurer.

What is the best thing that happened to you this week? I get to marry my best friend on a mountain where we first said I love you. I may or may not be married by the time you read this!

What website/app do you use most often? Instagram, gotta do it for the Gram always

What would you sing at karaoke night? A thousand miles by vanessa carlton, always gets the people going.

Is a hotdog a sandwich? Why or why not? Meat between carbs, that is a sandwich all day long in my book.

Big picture

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: Stacie Denning, Teresa Faris, Cody Kotrous, and KC Knutson.

Wellness Word to the Wise

Play that calming music.
The body's internal rhythms entrain to the external rhythms of music, like when you go to the sea and you start breathing slower and your heart rate slows down and starts moving closer to the rhythm and pace of the ocean. It's the same with music, especially reggae, says Frank Lipman, MD.

Powerful Practices

Craig Fuller Wows the Band

Craig Fuller, a very talented tubist and former UNL band member, showed his skills to the band students last week. He not only played some amazing tunes for them, but also talked with them about the importance of practicing, good posture, and playing your heart out. What a cool experience for our students!

Faculty Workshop

Our monthly faculty workshop was full of amazing sessions. Katrina Jacobberger and Tracy Hartman-Bradley presented on disproportionality analysis and institutional racism (don't worry, they'll present again in November!). Our counselors shared some updates on attendance and attendance mentoring. Katie Collington talked teachers through setting MAP growth goals, and teachers worked with colleagues to create mini-lessons and activities to address areas of weakness in MAP. Awesome work!

Using Seesaw

Mr. Kress uses Seesaw for bellwork with his guitar students. With our building license, he can create activities and his students can submit, and he can review each student's work when they submit. Great tool to give descriptive feedback!

Six Step Vocabulary

Mr. Lewis' 8th grade SS classes are learning about amendments, and he engages them in creating a graphic organizer using Six Step Vocabulary to increase their comprehension. When utilizing Six Step, you may not necessarily implement all the steps in one lesson. In this activity, students describe, restate, and draw their vocabulary terms. Great job Mr. Lewis!

Reading Stations

Our Reading classes are able to break their students into stations to do a variety of activities to improve their reading levels. They work on a program on the iPad, do independent reading and comprehension assessments, and receive direct instruction from the teacher. Mr. Cobelens' classes have their eyes on the prize of improving their Lexile levels by 200 points.


Mrs. Newman presented on our VILS PD Pathways and Bingo board to over 110 VILS Cohort participants from around the country on Thursday during our VILS national call! Other schools were totally wowed by her creativity and differentiated plan for PD.

House Cup Updated Scores

Ravenclaw still in the lead!

Norris Staff and Students Seen and Heard

National Junior Art Honor Society Field Trip

Ms. Boyer took her new NJAHS students to the Museo Latino to visit an exhibit featuring Latino art and textiles and to do some activities. The students were so excited to take their love of art outside of Norris! I am so excited to see this group take shape this year!

Veronica Switzer Recognized

Our very own Veronica Switzer was recognized at the Lights On After School Event on Saturday, October 5. She was awarded the After School Champion recognition. This is an incredible honor and we are so proud of her and all she does for Redbird Nation!

Congrats Cross Country!

Our Cross Country teams had a great finish to the season on Monday. Our 8th grade boys took the city championship, with medalists Sergio Martinez Cruz (3rd) and Abdi Aden (1st). Our runners had great finishes and supported and celebrated their teammates. Thanks to our coaches, Tara Rechkemmer and Brittany Rossell, for an amazing season!

NLT Bake-off for United Way

The NLT put their baking skills to work to raise money for United Way. The sweet treats were a great way to raise money and spirits on a rainy Thursday! Thank you to Mr. Schnabel for organizing!

Final Thought

Grit. Resilience. Toughness. Endurance. These are all the things we need right now. We are busy, tired, overwhelmed, stressed, and it's tough to see the other side. Just as we seek to foster grit in our students, we also have to nurture it in ourselves.

I implore you to hold onto two things: Hope and grace. Hope that things will get better, and hope that what you do is so incredibly powerful and impactful. Don't ever forget how big your job is, and how meaningful it is.

I also beg you to hold onto grace. Grace with others, because we don't always have great days, and grace with yourself. You're not expected to be perfect, or on all the time, or involved in everything. Do what is right for you. I personally stepped away from two committees earlier this year because I wasn't going home happy and my heart wasn't there. I can tell you that now, even though I'm not perfect every day, I feel much better.

Last, always go back to your why. Why are you here? Why do you teach? Why do you choose to work with kids? I hope the following long weekend gives you some time to refresh and reflect. You are so incredibly important to our school community, and the work you do is invaluable.