Redbird Roundup, Vol. 12

Friday, November 15, 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 Redbird Nation!

This Redbird Roundup is two week's worth of activities and events. I hope you enjoy it.

Thank you for joining in a great World Kindness Day and Team Leader Appreciation Day on November 13. It was really wonderful to recognize our amazing team leaders. They are one of a kind, and so appreciated for all they do.

Grades are due Monday for mid-quarter progress. Hard to believe the next time we submit grades will be the end of the semester! Time flies! We are well into our second coaching cycle for teachers and are seeing tons of growth around learning goals. Way to go! Our upcoming PD will continue to address our SIP/CSI plan, as well as prepare us for Accreditation, which takes place in February.

I always encourage you to try and get to our student events, including athletics and our musical, which is coming up November 26th. It's amazing to see our students and their talents highlighted!

Enjoy the weekend and the little warm-up of weather!

Dr. Carr

November 18-22

Monday, November 18: Grades due

Tuesday, November 19: VILS PD by team, Boys Bball at Marrs

Wednesday, November 20: CLUBS DAY BELL SCHEDULE! Principal's Roundtable, 7:00 in room 129

Thursday, November 21: Classroom Support-Jacquie here, Fundraiser Dance for 6/7 grade at 2 p.m., Boys Basketball at Monroe

Friday, November 22: Fundraiser Dance for 8th grade at 2 p.m., Girls Swim 7th City Finals

Staff Introductions

This week we get to know Cathy Lodge and Blake Heybrock.

Blake Heybrock

Name: Blake Heybrock

How many years have you been teaching/in education? 7 years, all at Norris.

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? Most definitely the students.

How would your friends describe you?


What is something we would never guess about you?

I do not like to be wet. So most water activities are not a thing for me.

What is the funniest thing you have ever seen a kid do?

It was my first year teaching, first quarter, first block of the day…. Two 6th grade boys up at the front of the class twerking on each other when I was in the back of the room helping a group of students.

What is the best thing that happened to you this week?

Witnessing students being kind to each other and doing something for another student because they wanted to be helpful.

What is the worst food you ever ate?

Thai, just no thanks!

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

I have a sweet tooth so, bye phone.

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

Barcelona, Spain. And I’d move there in a heartbeat!

What would you sing at karaoke night?

Oh, maybe something from Hee Haw or Mac Davis.

Cathy Lodge

Name: Cathy Lodge

How long have you been in education? 22 years teaching with OPS. This is my 9th year at Norris.

Favorite think about Norris- The staff and students

What is he funniest thing I saw a kid do? Twenty one years ago I had a student use a pay phone and call 911 to turn himself in from stealing from me. Eleven years later I taught his daughter in 1st grade and later 6th grade here.

What is the farthest you have been away from home? Australia

What would you binge watch? I just got done binge watching Parenthood this summer as I never saw it the first time. I am planning on watching the Marvelous Mrs Maisel during Christmas break as the new season comes out in December.

My favorite song to sing during karaoke night is Tequila

A hot dog is a sandwich because it is meat and bread.

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: Cody Kotrous, Rebecca McGary, and Margie Zukaitis.

Wellness Word to the Wise

Organize your desk

Declutter your desk to boost your physical and mental feelings of wellness.

Focus on easy and accessible storage solutions and remember, as Marie Kondō says in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, “Clutter is caused by a failure to return things to where they belong. Therefore, storage should reduce the effort needed to put things away, not the effort needed to get them out.”

Powerful Practices

8C Recognizes Students Attending Conferences

8C held a party to reward students who attended conferences with their families in October. This is a great way to encourage attendance for our spring conferences as well! Cool idea!

Stations with Schumacher

Ms. Schumacher set up four stations with her 8th grade Pre-Algebra students to help them prepare for their end of unit assessment. Each station had a separate learning goal, and they included shared, guided, and independent activities. She pre-taught expectations and procedures for the station, and they flowed so smoothly! She and Ms. Kidder were able to give feedback to students so they could do their best on their upcoming assessment. Great job!

Intro to Programming Presentations

Mrs. Burse's Intro to Programming students presented their apps on November 4 and 5. The creation of the app includes a purpose and process, as well as students describing the input and output required. Very cool!

Learning from the Pros

Bill Ritchie, a bassist with the Omaha Symphony, visited our 8th grade Strings class on Friday, November 8. He demonstrated some amazing playing ability, but also taught students about proper technique. Check out this video of their experience!

Student Presentation

One of Ms. Hansen's eager 7th grade students finished her presentation early, so I was the lucky recipient of a personal showing! She did an amazing job, had an awesome hook to engage her audience, and a wealth of information from her sources.

Checks for Understanding

We will be moving on to Checks for Understanding as our focus strategy very soon, and the NLT is already starting to do some coaching visits around this strategy in classes.

Dual Langauge Learning

It has been great to be in Albuquerque at the La Cosecha Dual Language Conference. It reinforces that we are doing so many amazing things at Norris, and also is providing us great strategies to grow and stretch our program.


Mr. Henery's PE classes work their way into their volleyball unit by warming up with Speedball. Speedball helps them understand strategy and teamwork, but is a great activity for everyone whether you're a volleyball player or not. These girls had a ton of fun playing and were moving the whole time!

House Cup Updates

Keep fighting the good fight!

Norris Staff and Students Seen and Heard

6th Grade Intramural Soccer

Mr. Silva coached our 6th grade boys intramural soccer team this fall. He said it was a great group of kids and they loved being able to play!

RASA/No Place for Hate Día de los Muertos Celebration

We hosted an amazing Día de los Muertos celebration on November 1. The evening featured face painting, cookie/cupcake decorating, movies, food, and games. Amazing turnout and one of our highlight events of the year!

NJAHS Trip to UNO for Samuel Bak Exhibition

Ms. Boyer took her National Junior Art Honor Society students to the Samuel Bak exhibition at UNO on November 7. Mr. Bak is a Holocaust survivor and shared 70 of his pieces that reflect his life and journey. What an amazing and impactful experience for our students!

South Omaha Optimist Club Luncheon

Each year the South Omaha Optimist Club recognizes two middle school students from South O for achievement and leadership. Jasmine Fonseca-Torres and Sergio Martinez-Cruz were recognized this year from Norris. They enjoyed a great luncheon with their parents and Mrs. Denning and an opportunity to be recognized for their accomplishments. We are so proud of them!

Norris Robotics Tournament

The Robotics season is just kicking off and Norris hosts one of the initial middle level tournaments. It takes a ton of organization and preparation (Katrina Jacobberger…) to make something like this run, and some amazing staff to help out! What a great event!

Boys Basketball

Our boys basketball teams, coached by Mr. Plank and Mr. Langabee, had a big start to their season facing strong teams from Buffett, Morton, and Davis. They put up quite a fight in their competitions. There are lots of competitions coming up, we can't wait to see them in action!

Girls Swim

Our girls swim team is well into their season this year. Coached by Boyer and Walentine, they are an amazing group of girls that supports one another! They showed their talent at their home meet last Friday against our neighbors from Marrs.

Final Thought

“Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me. ”
Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers)