Bryan Middle School

2017-2018 Bear Bytes March/April/May Newsletter

Mission Statement and School Motto

Our mission at Bryan Middle School is to create high school readiness through a rigorous and respectful learning environment.

Our motto at Bryan Middle School is BEAR P.R.I.D.E. Peers Respecting Individuality, Diversity, and Excellence.

Principal's Message

On behalf of the faculty and staff of Bryan Middle School, we thank you for a wonderful school year filled with accomplishments. This year began with an experience that will last a lifetime as we viewed a solar eclipse. It seems like yesterday that we all gathered at Bryan Stadium to see this historical event. Our students demonstrated leadership throughout the school year by volunteering their time in the community, organizing fundraisers for great causes, and worked hard in the classroom. We excelled in Cross Country and Soccer, winning city championships and continued dominance in those respective sports.

The middle level years go by very quickly as our mission is to create high school readiness through a rigorous and respectful learning environment. Our 8th grade students are ready to embark on that next chapter in their education. We wish them the best and look forward to their accomplishments in high school.

Our 7th grade students will transition into 8th grade and be a part of exciting times for Bryan Middle School and this community. They will watch and learn through a $19 million dollar transformation of our school, which will include increased school safety features, updated classrooms, a modern library media center, and Boys and Girls Club Teen Center. All work is to be completed by August of 2019. We will keep everyone updated through our social media and school website, so please check in frequently to get the latest updates on our progress.

Summer orientation dates for the 2018-2019 school year are set for August 6th and August 7th. Each family will receive a packet in the mail in late July regarding information on the start of the 2018-2019 school year. Have a wonderful, relaxing summer and thank you for a great school year.


Darren Rasmussen


Counseling Department

Please plan to attend one of our Summer Orientation sessions:

Monday, August 6th from 4 to 8 pm and

Tuesday, August 7th from 10-2 pm

Mrs. Suhr, Counselor for Teams 7A and 8A,, (402) 557-4110

Ms. Doohen, Counselor for Teams 7B and 8B,, (402) 557-4111

Mrs. Ryan, Counselor for Teams 7C and 8C,, (402) 557-4112

Library - Mrs. Raszler

It was a great year for the Bryan Middle School library! We added more than 500 new books to our collection! The number of books checked out this year was also up a lot. Thanks to all the teachers who supported reading in their classrooms this year!

Please check cars, closets, and under beds as you clean and organize this summer. Many students do have books that are now marked lost as they were not returned. If your student has fines, they will receive a notice with their report cards. It is NEVER too late to turn in a book! Fines are only for lost books and will be removed for any books turned in, no matter how long they have been checked out!

All students were given the opportunity to choose 3 books to take home for summer reading. Those were distributed in Language Arts class and were a huge hit! Please encourage your students to read these and as much as they can over the summer! Remember, all OPS students are able to get a free Omaha Public Library card. The South Omaha branch is excellent and has lots of great events this summer!

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School Health Information from Ms. Soto

Incoming 7th graders

See your doctor! All 7th graders need a physical and updated vaccinations before starting school. Please turn these in to the school nurse. 7th grade physicals need to be dated after March 1, 2018. To count as a sports physical, it needs to be after May 1, 2018.

Sports Physicals at Bryan High School

While school is not in session, please take advantage of any of the OPS School Based Health Centers (SBHC): to obtain a Sports Physical for next year! Physicals dated after May 15th, 2018 will be valid for athletic participation in 2016-2017. Physicals are required to participate in any secondary school sport.

Medication Reminder

For the safety of all our students, if your child needs medication at school, including all over-the-counter medications, a doctor's note and written parent permission will be required. The medication must be kept in the health office. All controlled substances must be transported to and from school by an adult.

Please call Mrs. Soto, RN at 402-557-4115 if you have questions.

Gifted and Talented Education

GATE activities have come to a close for this year, and we have many great memories. Quiz Bowl participated in the OPS tournament, 8th grade Scholars learned some important social manners in an etiquette class, and 7th grade Scholars went on a tour of Omaha. Layna Blankenship and Emma Cramer represented Bryan at the OPS Poetry Slam, and our BookBlasters team took 2nd place in their competition.

The SMP team came in 4th out of 17 schools in their competition. Their project was to design an outdoor living space for Mater Filius, a maternity home in our community. We also planned renovations to their flower garden, and then raised over $500 to buy plants and walkway materials. On Saturday, May 19, a dozen students and teachers spent the day seeing that part of the project to completion.

Bryan Middle Activities and Athletics

Boys and Girls Soccer & Track

Congratulations to all the student-athletes involved in track or soccer this season! What a great year! Hopefully, you had the opportunity to catch these speedy kids this year! Bears were fast and on the move!

Both our boys and girls soccer teams performed well this season! Our boys team went 7-1 and won the 2017-2018 Middle School Boys Soccer Championship Tournament for the second consecutive season in a row, congratulations! Our girls finished 5th place by defeating the team they lost to during the season! It was a great soccer season for both teams!

Track student-athletes competed on Friday, May 11th in the Omaha Public Schools Middle School Track and Field City Championship at Bryan High School to conclude their season. And performed marvelously! Bryan had several top finishes in many relay and individual events! We had a FAST track team this year with many student-athletes chasing Bryan Middle School track records! Most Notably, Michael Roum, 8th Grade 800m time of 2:14.96 that shattered a 33-year-old record set in 1985 by Brian Shelbourne (2:16.9). Impressive! Overall, all performed well!

Sports at Bryan High School

There are many summer sports camps for all sports going on this summer at the high school for interested students. If you should have any questions please contact Robert Locken Jr. (402.557.3111), Bryan High Athletic Director for any further information or myself.

Talent Show and Spring Concerts

If you didn’t get a chance to see our school’s Talent Show or one of our Spring Concerts, you really missed an outstanding production by our music department and their students! Way to go!

Physicals at Bryan High School

While school is not in session, please take advantage of any of the OPS School Based Health Centers (SBHC): to obtain a Sports Physical for next year! Physicals dated after May 15th, 2018 will be valid for athletic participation in 2016-2017. Physicals are required to participate in any secondary school sport.

Please check our school website for more information regarding schedules, cancellations, updates at Be looking for our new athletics website for 2018-2019 #omahabryanbears.

Mr. Taylor

Assistant Principal

Activity Director


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Unified Arts Team

Mr. Dryden (Tech and Living): The students in Tech and Living learned a lot about how much technology influences life and the decisions they make every day. Decisions from cooking in the microwave to driving a car.

Mrs. Harris (French/Spanish/Flex): The French and Spanish classes had an awesome year! In the last couple of weeks, we have been working on creating a final Power Point that showcases everything that we learned this year. The FLEX class did an amazing job as well creating Power Points about Spanish celebrations. Thank you to all my students for their hard work this year! Best of luck in your French and Spanish classes in high school!

Mr. Izquerido-Ruiz (Spanish/Spanish for Native Speakers): During the 4th. period, we worked on Spanish 2, the "Sports Unit", and additionally, the students made a draft of a small publication about their personal history.

Ms. Gallagher (Physical Education): To end the school year, our P.E. students finished their units with swimming and basketball. We also had out 7th and 8th graders compete for the fastest mile time this semester and the most PACERS and push-up's. I hope everyone has a good summer and gets outside to enjoy the weather.

Mrs. Ruis (Careers): The students completed their Career Plans and created food trucks to learn how to become Entrepreneurs.

Mrs. Ruis (Computer Applications): The students created flyers, tables, and invitations using Word. Additionally, students finished their internet safety units.

Mrs. Fefee (Art 8): In Art Class, students have completed their Andy Warhol Pop Art Drawings, Optical Illusion Blooms Balls, and their 5 Drawing Assignments.
Students were assigned to complete 5 drawing back in January. They were each given a rubric and a due date. The final due date was May 22, 2018.

Ms. Brower (Art 7): Students learned and practiced drawing skills 4th quarter. The students' improvement from the beginning of the drawing unit to the end was impressive.

Mrs. Clements (Reading Skills): Reading Skills classes finished reading Prisoner B-3087 and are working on a PowerPoint project that tells about the main characters experiences in each concentration camp he went through.

Mrs. McDonald (Chorus/Music Tech): Chorus prepared for a phenomenal concert with many solo opportunities in the 8th grade chorus, foreign languages and instruments in the 7th grade chorus, and a fun show choir set of pop music. Music Tech worked on final composition projects and synthesized their technology skills with music and sound effect creation in a video project.

Mrs. Williams (English Language Arts): During fourth quarter student thought about the question: What inspires people to take action to improve the world? We dove into many texts that explored this concept and how people were able to make a difference in our world.

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Team 7A Panda Bears

Team 7B Sun Bears

Ms. Donaldson (English Language Arts): Happy 4th Quarter! Students have just completed literature circles, and are working on their final book project: creating an Amazon Listing for their novel of choice. We are also reviewing and applying the skills of text structures, main idea and supporting details, summarizing, characterization, and point of view. Students are ready for 8th grade! Have a great summer!

Mrs. Friedrichsen (English Language Arts): Students in ELA are working on choice book projects and the Collection's Unit 6 Guided by a Cause. We have focused on the types of poetry and writing poems in class like limericks and blackout poems. The unit will be finished with a Collection's test focusing on skills like primary and secondary resource, author's point of view, and author's style.

Ms. Dhoritey (Math): We are wrapping up the year learning about one and two step equations as well as how to solve and graph inequalities in Math 7. In Pre-Algebra, we are finishing off the year with volume and surface area of 3-D figures. It has been a pleasure working with your student this year.

Ms. Nelson (Science): In science we have been learning about space! We explored moon phases, tides, eclipses, seasons on Earth, and learned about the other seven planets in our solar system. Students will end the year by presenting a project about a planet they created in our solar system. The last week of school we will also complete frog dissections! This is an excellent hands-on way to review ecology and body systems as well as practice good lab techniques.

Ms. Fox (Social Studies): During the beginning of 4th quarter, students worked in the library on a summative project about an African or Southwest Asian country of their choice. We are now focusing on learning about the past leaders and governments of Russia. 7B looks forward to ending the 2017-2018 year on a high note!

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Team 7C Koala Bears

Mr. Fleming (Language Arts): In Language Arts, students have been reading stories about the Civil Rights Movements of the 1950s and 60s. Their last major writing assignment was to research a person who has made a positive difference in the world, and complete a presentation or essay about them. I really enjoyed working with this group of seventh graders this year. Have a great summer!

Ms. Pedersen (Social Studies): Happy Summer! In Social Studies we are finishing strong with Russia, the Cold War, and a final! Keep up the good work, and enjoy 8th grade!

Mrs. Salak (Science): Science students finished their final semester leading about Earth and space systems. We did some fun labs and learned about how we change our world in different ways. We are spending our last week in small groups competing against each other in team competitions. Each day students compete a STEM challenge and a brain game. They receive points for how well they do. So far students have made catapults and contraptions to catch a falling golf ball. Here's to a great end of the year!

Mrs. Triplett (Math): The end is near! Pre-Algebra students on 7C Team are working hard, learning about similarity and congruence. They are building on the concept of transformations and how transformations can be used to create similar figures. They have one final summative assessment to be taken the last week of school. Math 7 students are finishing up their unit on measuring figures. This includes finding the area, volume, circumference, and other measures of two and three-dimensional figures. Their final summative assessment is also the last week of school.

Ms. Tate (Special Education): My name is Ms. Monique Tate and this is my third year here at Bryan Middle School. I am the Special Education teacher for the team, 7C. It has been a pleasure getting to know and work with all the students. In Language Arts, we have wrapped up our "Resume and Interview" unit and ended the year with the students explaining their view of the world, including their life experiences. In Math, we have wrapped up our geometry unit. My students have worked really hard this year and I am excited to see how they progress in the future!

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Team 8A Nanooks

Ms. Lawson (English Language Arts): During quarter four students were able to explore the time during the Holocaust. Students delved into the life of Anne Frank by reading and voice acting "The Diary of Anne Frank" play, and reading her journal. Students also investigated the lives of others who lived through the Holocaust and composed a MLA formatted paper about a topic of their choice relating to the Holocaust.

Mr. Stessman (English Language Arts): Remember the three R’s this summer folks REST, RELAX and READ.

Mr. Gall (Social Studies): To finish the year in 8A Social Studies, we went over the late 1800's and the Progressive Era. We learned about some of the horrible and nasty things people dealt with so we have what we have today. We also did a Map Test over the states and capitals of the United States. Stay safe and have fun this Summer!

Mrs. Alfieri (Chorus and Music Tech): Wow - What a great semester we have had! Our 8th Grade Choir did a fantastic job showing off our hard work at our concert on the 15th, and they sounded amazing!!! We have been working on 2 and 3 part harmony, and developing confidence in our voices. We have several students who perform solos in almost every class, and it's exciting to see their skills and talents strengthen as they develop. Keep calm, and sing on!!!! In Music Tech we have been working on a composition in Rondo form in Sibelius. We finished the semester with a stop-motion animation project which included sound effects in Stykz and Garage Band. They enjoyed this last project and have put together some pretty cool projects. Good luck to you all in high school!!!!

Mr. Exner (Physical Education): Remember to get your sports physical completed this summer so you are ready to participate in either football, cross-country and volleyball when school starts in August. 7th grade physicals do not transfer over to your 8th grade year so you need to go to the doctor over the summer so your sports physical is good for the 2018-2019 school year. Stay active and have fun this summer!!!

Team 8B Polar Bears - Be Exceptional

Ms. Ahl (English Language Arts): This quarter was all about studying the Holocaust, and remembering the legacy of Anne Frank. Students:

  • studied the effect the Holocaust had on people around the world in countries like: Poland, Lithuania, and even Japan
  • got to hear from author, Alan Gratz, when he visited. He writes stories that occurred during WWII like Projekt 1065 and Prisoner B-3087.
  • received FREE BOOKS from Mr. Rasmussen for summer reading material.

Encourage your students to keep reading during the summer so they are successful in high school. Check out some of the wonderful, FREE programs offered at the Omaha Public Libraries during the summer.

Mrs.Abbott ( Special Education): As we finish up the year, Special Education students are working hard on summative projects and assessments. It was a joy to work with all of your students this year. I witnessed so much growth and learning in each student. All of their documentation and Individual Education Programs (IEPs) will follow them to their high schools. The documents are valid for a year to date from the last meeting. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.

Mrs. Atemnkeng (Reading Skills A and English Language Arts): This has been an amazing year for your Bryan Middle School 8th graders! In Reading Skills classes we have seen so much growth and accomplishments through the Achieve 3000 learning system as well as reading techniques. Our current Unit goes along with their ELA unit of “The Thrill of Horror” and Personal Story Selections. They will be bringing home a student selected book nightly for at least 10 days.

In the co-taught ELA classes students are exploring their new Collections textbook and working through the unit called “The Thrill of Horror.” The new collections are full of interactive devices and resources to accelerate the diverse student learner. We have learned that there is so much to the Horror Genre, be sure to ask your student what that means! The students are also finishing up their student selected novels and all of the fun activities that go along with them. Be sure to ask your student what their novel is about or have them read some of it to you!

Mr. Gass (MATH): In 8B Pre-Algebra we just finished our unit on congruent and similar figures. Now we are finishing up some volume activities to close out the year. Have a great summer!!

Ms. Kelli Robinson (Social Studies): 8B Social Studies students have spent the last semester working on the Civil War and Reconstruction. Students did a research project on an important Civil War battle. They worked in small groups and practiced their research skills. Students spent the last few weeks of school working on the Settlement, Immigration and the Progressive Era Unit. Students analyzed two primary source images and answered critical thinking questions about the images. I hope everyone has a wonderful summer!

Mr. Semar ( Music ): Thank you to all of the instrumental students for another year of stellar music. We capped off the semester with amazing concerts and an 8th grade tour to Highland and Gateway elementary schools. I'm very proud of all of our musicians and wish all of our 8th graders good luck as they go on to become leaders in their high school orchestras and bands!

Mr. Rousek ( Science): 8B Science- Fourth quarter we finished up our Physics unit, took our State NSCAS Science test, and recently introduced our final sound and light unit. Students will soon be putting their programming skills to the test using Spheroes Robots to cross student created homemade bridges that were engineered to hold the appropriate amount of mass. It's been an exciting year in Bryan Middle Science class and please continue pushing your children to keep expressing their Scientific Inquiry skills over the summer!

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Team 8C Grizzly Bears

Mr. Collins (Math): Greetings, during 4th Quarter in 8C Math we learned a lot about geometry. We learned about the Pythagorean Theorem, Translations, Reflections, Rotations, and Dilations. We created a class scale factor picture and our own individual picture using a scale factor and dilation.

Mrs. Stowe (Social Studies): We rounded out the year strong with a brochure about the last unit, industrialism and urbanization. It was a great year full of laughs and learning. I wish your students all the best in high school.

Mrs. Mihai (Science): Well the year has finally come to a close. The students have learned a lot this year from Matter to Forces. Our year ended with a rocket unit in which the students built four separate rockets, shot them off, analyzed the data and decided whether to change the design or keep the design for the summative rocket lab. The students really seemed to enjoy this hands-on experience. It is sad to see my students head off to high school, but a new set of students will be moving in this fall. Have a good summer, and enjoy your freshman year.

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Important Dates for 2018-2019

July 23-27 - Look for School Information Packet in mail
August 6 -Summer Orientation 4:00 - 8:00 p.m.
August 7 - Summer Orientation 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
August 15 - 7th Grade First Day of School
August 16 - All students return for the first day of school

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