Redbird Roundup, Vol. 18

Friday, January 18, 2019

Principal's Greeting

Happy Friday Norris Staff!


If you're reading this, it means we got a snow day! I hope you stay safe and warm this weekend!


A great second full week back. MAP testing is moving along. Teams are doing a great job using their own schedules for testing, and even including fun activities. Both 8A and 6th Grade have used a rotation schedule for testing, and I can't wait to hear more of their feedback!


Winter sports competitions take off next week. Please be sure to check out some of our students in competitions! We'll also be celebrating "I Love Public Schools" Day on Wednesday, and more info on that is below.


Have a great weekend!


Dr. Carr

Snow Day Fun

I hope everyone enjoys their snow day. Tuesday, January 22 will be an "A" day, but don't panic if it is not immediately reflected in IC. Mrs. Denning has to submit a Help Desk Request to rotate the calendar, and it most likely will not get addressed until Tuesday when the IMS staff report.


And here's a little Snow Day humor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZJwgXkTz_c

January 21-25 Calendar

Monday, January 21: No School

Tuesday, January 22: MAP Data PD by appt; Girls Bball home vs. Morton, Wrestling at Morton

Wednesday, January 23: Team Leaders meeting at 7:00 in room 129; I Love Public Schools Day, New Teacher Meeting after school; Boys Swim at Morton

Thursday, January 24: Girls Basketball home vs. Lewis and Clark, Wrestling at Davis

I Love Public Schools Day

"I Love Public Schools" Day will be held on Wednesday, January 23. All staff are encouraged to wear their "I Love Public Schools" t-shirts. If you don't have one, please wear Norris gear. You may wear jeans on this day with a public schools t-shirt or Norris gear.


I am looking for Redbird Blocks to make some "I Love Public Schools" signs and take a picture of their RBB holding the sign. I would encourage you to have your RBB do this on the 23rd to celebrate our amazing public schools.


Finally, Nebraska Loves Public Schools has just released a new movie, "The Mind Inside" which details the mental health issues facing our students, and it will be available January 18. I am hoping to host a screening here at Norris, potentially during one of our faculty workshops. So if you're excited to see it, please just wait a little longer to see it!

Staff Introductions

This week we will get to know Jody Boyer, Duane Jabens, Adriana Piña.

Jody Boyer

Name: Jody Boyer

How many years have you been teaching?

Seventeen years college studio art

Eight years K-12 art

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School?

The kids

What is one of your favorite quotes?

You are what you repeatedly do - Aristotle

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?

Artmaking / Swimming

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?

Go home to Oregon and buy an acreage in Tillamook County.

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

Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown

What could you give a 40 minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?

Copyright law for artists or using plants to make natural dyes

Sweet or salty? And what food is your favorite in that category?

Salty – Chips of any kind.

Duane Jabens

Name: Duane Jabens

How many years have you been teaching? 21

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? The staff and students.


What is one of your favorite quotes? A student from whom is never asked to do things he/she cannot do, never does all they can.” - Unknown

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? Cooking, fishing, going to my sons sporting events.

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time? Relaxing with family and friends.

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Pay off all the bills and then disappear for a while.

What is something you learned in the last week? Sometimes things we are trying to find are right in front of our faces.

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

What could you give a 40 minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation? Tiling

Sweet or salty? And what food is your favorite in that category? Both- sea salt caramel

Adriana Piña

Name: Adriana Piña

How many years have you been teaching? This is my fifth year

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? The Diversity and the friendly staff


What is one of your favorite quotes? “Don’t let for tomorrow what you can do today”

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? Indoor to walk on my treadmill or play games/ outdoor to walk when is not cold

What chore do you absolutely hate doing? To mop the floor

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? To buy houses in several cities

What could you give a 40 minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation? I can give a presentation about the Mexican culture and some costumes

Sweet or salty? And what food is your favorite in that category?

Sweet is dark chocolate, salted is mixed nuts

Powerful Practices

Multiple Representations

Ms. Greco's 7th grade science students are exploring molecules using a variety of strategies. First, they use a website to create the molecule, then they use marshmallows and toothpicks to make a 3D version, and finally they draw a picture. These multiple representations help reinforce their comprehension. All throughout the lesson they are collaborating with their shoulder partners. Great job Ms. Greco!

Formative Assessments

Ms. Newman shared a PD on using devices for assessments with our staff on Wednesday. We explored Teams, Forms, Seesaw, Quizizz, and Quizlet. It was a great chance to talk about what's working and try new things.

More MAP Testing

MAP testing is still going strong. The pictures below are from Mrs. Sorrell's classes. She has created a great testing environment. We are seeing a variety of scores for this Winter MAP assessment. Please continue having goal-setting conversations with your students so we can encourage them for the Spring MAP. Also, remind them of our MAP Growth Assembly in May which will feature tons of prizes for students who show growth, as well as our team competitions!

Visit from NDE

Stephanie Call, who oversees Dual Language at the Nebraska Dept of Ed, visited Norris and several of our dual language classrooms on Wednesday. She was BEYOND impressed. She emphasized how our students were code-switching between English and Spanish all day, and how great this is for not only their language skills, but their thinking. Awesome job everyone!

Norris Staff and Students Seen and Heard

Mayor Jean Stothert visits GSA

Our GSA hosted Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert on Monday. Mayor Stothert held a town hall at Norris in the fall to reach out to the LGBTQ community and make some plans for future resources. She joined our GSA on Monday to answer their questions and share about some upcoming community resources. Our students asked great questions, and really showed their commitment to making Norris, and Omaha, a safe place for all. What a cool opportunity for our students and school!

Science Fair and Science Night

Our Science students really showed their stuff at our Science Fair and Science Night on Thursday. Students who completed projects had their projects judged and rated, and all students were able to participate in some fun experiments and enjoy a snack. This was a new format for our Science Fair, and I would say it was definitely a success! Thanks to Ms. Jacobberger and Mr. Heybrock for all their organization, and to our many staff members who worked this event!

Norris Parent Group

I snuck in a Norris Parent Group Meeting during the Science Fair. I had two attendees who were able to hear updates on our new schedule from Mrs. Denning. We are hoping this group grows, and they gave me great suggestions for reaching other parents!

Students Recognized at CSM Basketball Game

Congrats to Amaya Gish and Evelyn Ornelas, who were our two student athletes recognized at the College of St. Mary's basketball game last weekend. These two demonstrated excellence and leadership in athletics! Way to go!

Final Thought

Golden Rule 2.0.


We talk all the time about how so many of our kids are "relationship" kids. And Rita Pierson tells us that "no significant learning can occur without a significant relationship." As we work through this semester, what things are you still doing to build relationships with your students? 2 X 10's? Positive Pep Talks? Attending their events? Teambuilding?


And beyond that, what are we doing to nurture the relationships we have with one another? The holidays are a great time for fun events and celebrations, but how do we keep that going? "I Love Public Schools" Day is a great chance to show our unity and support for the job we do every day. I hope to continue to provide more opportunities in the future for us to celebrate our time with each other!