Redbird Roundup, Vol. 10

Friday, October 25, 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!

I hope you all had a wonderful three day weekend! It was great to catch up on rest and refresh. Second quarter has started in Redbird Nation, and that includes our next round of sports (girls swim and boys bball).

Some things looking ahead: We start our next coaching cycle on Monday. We will continue focusing on learning goals with a few adjustments. We also have our NAC meeting and Learning Walks on Monday.

We are doing a schoolwide/collaborative with RASA Dia de los Muertos celebration on Friday evening, November 1. The event will feature food and activities. We hope you can join us!

We will host a big Robotics tournament on Saturday, November 2. I would encourage you to help if you can, it's a great way to show off our school!

Have a great weekend!

Dr. Carr

October 28-November 2

Monday, October 28- NAC Meeting after school

Tuesday, October 29-Nothing scheduled

Wednesday, October 30-CLUBS DAY SCHEDULE, Principal's Roundtable at 7:00 in room 129, Classroom Support PD all day; Girls Swim vs. Monroe/L and C

Thursday, October 31-Bus Evacuation Drills in the morning

Friday, November 1-Cake served during lunch for OPS' 160th Birthday; RASA Dia de los Muertos Celebration, 6-8

Saturday, November 2-Norris hosts Robotics Tournament

Staff Introductions

This week we get to know Stacie Denning and KC Knutson.

Stacie Denning, Assistant Principal

Name: Stacie Denning

How many years have you been at Norris? 12 years

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? I love so many things about Norris...mainly I love our students. Although they can be a challenge, they are still kids at heart and are so resilient

What is something we would never guess about you? I was a baton twirler for 12 years in my youth. Also I am getting ready to run my first half marathon with two of my older kids in the Lincoln Good life Halfsy next weekend...pretty nervous about it.

What is the worst food you ever ate? one of my college roommate was from Korea and she always had these things she called "pickles" but they smelled and tasted pretty rough #acquiredtastes

What TV show would you binge watch if you had the time? Walking Dead or Grey's Anatomy but currently binge watching Cheers

KC Knutson, 8A Science

Name: K.C. “Crazy-eyes” Knutson

How many years have you been teaching/in education? 12

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

How would your friends describe you? Altruistically Grumpy.

What website/app do you use most often? The Googles. Or the Amazon.

What is the funniest thing you have ever seen a kid do? Me: Where’s your transparency? Student: I lost it. Me (slightly upset): How did you lose your transparency??! Student: …It’s transparent…

Would you rather go 30 days without your phone or an entire lifetime without dessert? Considering I’m not supposed to eat chocolate which already limits my dessert eating desires, couple with the fact that I usually don’t eat dessert, anyway? Phone.

What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home? Metaphorically, in a galaxy far, far away. Realistically, Belize.

What would you sing at karaoke night? Africa by Toto

Is a hot dog a sandwich? Why or why not? Just the hot dog? I mean, it’s just a tube of meat slurry with some flavoring and preservatives mashed in with it. So. No?

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: Heather Blumel, Katrina Jacobberger, and Rebecca McGary.

Wellness Word to the Wise

Rub Your Temples

Tame tension headaches by rubbing peppermint oil, Tiger Balm, or white flower oil into your temples. All three remedies contain menthol, which has analgesic properties.

Powerful Practices

Socratic Seminar

Ms. Jacobberger uses a Socratic Seminar with her 7th grade HSP students to discuss a reading they did. Socratic Seminars are an incredibly powerful student-led discussion tool. They definitely take some front-loading, and Ms. Jacobberger has her students generate questions before the actual discussion. High engagement and student-driven!

Parlez-vous français?

Ms. Kincaid is teaching French this year in addition to her Social Studies classes. Students are learning about colors, as well as how to say who they are and describe themselves. She shared with me she even had a student come up to her at conferences to introduce herself and describe herself in French! Très bien !

Forensic Science Class

Ms. Maddock is teaching a Forensic Science class this year. Students are understanding how fingerprints are analyzed and how investigations in incidents evolve. Super cool!

Norris Collaboration Team

Our Norris Collaboration Team, led by Mrs. Partridge, meets every Friday. This group, made of counselors, admin, social worker, school community counselor etc. meets to discuss students and interventions. Mrs. Partridge keeps a record of each student discussed so there is continuity of care for each kid. The conversations are so powerful and it is amazing to hear the thought and diligence put into each child. A huge shout-out to Partridge too, she does an amazing job facilitating this group.

Highlighting Dual Language

Using Seesaw

Mr. Martin uses Seesaw in his 6th grade SS classes to engage students in understanding of ancient government structures. Students could use their textbook to contribute to a graphic organizer and he could provide immediate feedback. Great job!

Norris Staff and Students Seen and Heard

First Quarter Redbirds on the RISE

Congrats to our First Quarter Redbirds on the RISE, who were recognized on Wednesday for demonstrating respect, integrity, safety and empathy, as well as making progress towards their Strive for 95. We are very proud of this group!

UNO Exploration Day

It is no small feat to take over 500 8th graders to Baxter to have them set foot on a college campus. Our teachers and counselors did an amazing job making this event happen. Our kids were awesome. In addition to hearing about UNO, they also learned about each of OPS' 7 high schools. They were a great audience!

Student-Led Conferences

We had an amazing turnout at our Fall Student-Led Conferences on October 16 and 17. 58% overall attendance, and very positive feedback from families and staff. We have some ideas for improvement for the February conferences and I know you will be discussing with your teams. For now, smile, it was a great conferences!


We have had a lot of efforts to Keep Norris Beautiful this fall! Ms. Jensen and Ms. Damewood take their RBB outside on occasion to pick up trash. Ms. Wright has her classes help with pulling weeds and landscaping. She reinforces working together and working hard, and taking care of something that belongs to us.

Volleyball End of Season

While the record does not show it, the volleyball team made tremendous growth this year both on and off the court. We started the season with 3 girls being able to consistently serve over the net overhand and ended with 15 girls able. We averaged 15 points a set and can now set to positions on the court as well as tell you if they are a back row strength or a front row and what the difference is. Coach Reid and Coach Parks are more than proud of the group of girls we had this year and how far they have come. We also ended with a GPA average of 3.12.

Football End of Season

Varsity football ended the season with a 34-12 victory over Bryan to finish the year 3-3. We had a very competitive season with close losses to Marrs and Buffet. The kids showed a lot of improvement from the beginning of the year to the end and we were proud of how they grew together as a team. Our 8th graders helped build a foundation based on hard work and effort for the team next year to follow. Proud of our kids!

Thank you :)

October is National Principal's Month, and I have been overwhelmed by signs, cards, gift cards, and coffees, not to mention "thank you's" from students in the hall.

I am pretty darn lucky to come to a place that I love every day, to work with staff that I love, value, respect and trust, and serve kids that I love, support, and believe in. Thank you so much for all your thoughtfulness.

Final Thought

You make today better. I appreciate you being here, I appreciate you coming with positivity and energy. I appreciate you digging deep into your toolbox to help our kids, and I appreciate you digging deep into your time and energy to help your colleagues. I appreciate your willingness to laugh and try again. I appreciate your willingness to problem solve and make things better. This little village of 1200 kids and 150 adults is made by you. You make today better.