Redbird Roundup, Vol. 5

Friday, September 7, 2018

Principal's Greeting

Happy Friday Norris Staff!


Four day weeks always seem to fly, I hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day weekend! Our fall sports are kicking off, and we started with volleyball on Wednesday. There are lots of events next week, so take a look at the listing below and get out and support our teams!


We do have a busy week next week, with our Faculty Workshop on Monday, PD on Tuesday, leading up to our Curriculum Day on Friday. Our Curriculum Day schedule is below. AM is in buildings (athleisure wear ok) and PM is at assigned district locations (dress professionally). Things will lighten up soon.


Have a great weekend!


Dr. Carr

September 10-14 Events and Happenings

Monday, September 10: (Dual Language Team PD from 9:50-10:30); Faculty Workshop from 3:30-4:30 in library

Tuesday, September 11: Make-up Faculty Workshop for Activity Sponsors and Coaches (7:00 in room 129), Team PD during Team Time (Learning Goals); Scheduling Committee and MTSS-B Vision Team meets after school; Volleyball home vs. Bryan Middle

Wednesday, September 12: Discussion of Lesson Design and Implementation of Learning Goals during team time; Norris Cross Country Meet

Thursday, September 13: Grading window opens; Football at Beveridge, VB home vs Hale

Friday, September 14: Curriculum Day:

7:30-8:30: Redbird Pride Breakfast

8:30-9:00: Appraisal Notification

9:00-9:30-Wellness Station 1

9:30-10:00-Wellness Station 2

12:00-Report to PM District Content Locations (locations coming soon)

Staff Introductions

This week we will get to know Kim Ferris and Sandy Kincaid.

Kim Ferris

Name: Kim Ferris

How many years have you been teaching? This is my 4th year…all at Norris

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? My favorite things about Norris are the students…because even though they make things difficult they are still some great kids. Also, the staff is pretty amazing as well. I am glad that I get to work with such an amazing staff and of course #7Bethebestteam!!

What is one of your favorite quotes? “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”

― Maya Angelou

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? Bowling..of course!

What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Folding laundry!!

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time? Just relaxing…maybe close my eyes for about 30 minutes or just enjoy the silence.

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Pay off my bills along with my family…then take a long relaxing vacation.

If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning medal for? Duh….bowling!!

What TV show would you binge watch if you had the time? Right now probably Wynonna Earp….such a guilty pleasure right now.

What could you give a 40 minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation? Lewt me think….Bowling!!

Big picture

Sandy Kincaid

Name: Sandy Kincaid

How many years have you been teaching? Started in 1983. Last 19 at Norris. Includes rural, suburban, urban and alternative schools and pretty much every grade level and curriculum at one time or the other.

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? Our perseverance. We should be the Energizer “Bunny” Redbirds.


What is one of your favorite quotes? “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” My mom gave me these words to live by.

If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be? I don’t really think about things like this as forever, so I choose the age of life as it is now. It’s what it is and I’m good with that.

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time? Time is never free, always something in life to do or be. Even if it’s being a slug, time well-spent.

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Not tell my husband..........joking!!! Hire a lawyer and plan how I would make lots of people happy.

What is something you learned in the last week? That my 7th grade great nephew from St. Louis thinks “I’m a very likable person and I’m really funny. He likes me a lot.”

What could you give a 40 minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation? How the weather can impact the CWS. This year negatively.

Powerful Practices

Chunking/Notetaking

Ms. Ferris uses a jigsaw activity for students to learn new content. They read a specific article, fill out their graphic organizer on their part, and then are able to share with their classmates. Great way to also incorporate reciprocal teaching.

Class Pancakes!

Mrs. McDonnell's Tech and Living students are getting right into their new spaces. On Wednesday they cooked up some pancakes during 1/2 block! Mrs. McDonnell's classes are very hands-on, and students have an easy time staying engaged.

Affective Skills Class

Ms. Westbrook teaches an Affective Skills class to students on her caseload. On Wednesday, students were learning about their IEP's. They were using cloze notes to understand what an IEP means, and additional resources they have in school. Ms. Hodges was assisting students in the class as they filled out their notemaking guide. Great job!

Norris Staff and Students Seen and Heard

College Gear Day and Tailgate

We capped off Spirit Week with our annual Tailgate Potluck. The wings were in abundant supply and everyone brought goodies to go around. We were able to raffle off five gift cards as well! Thank you to Ms. Wakefield for hosting us in the library! We hope to do another event in December featuring our Crockpot Creations.


Note: I promised Ms. Parks I would wear a Husker jersey only temporarily because it was her birthday. It burned...

Gender Sexualities Alliance Student Group

Ms. Carver, Ms., Ferris, and Ms. Hansen are co-sponsoring our Gender Sexualities Alliance Group. They had a well-attended informational meeting on Wednesday. This group has many activities planned for the year, and coming soon will be "Mix it Up at Lunch" Day. Look for more info coming soon!

Redbird Football Ready for Action!

Our Redbird Football Team is practicing hard and getting ready for their first game next week vs. Beveridge. They are coached by Mr. Bernard, Mr. Cobelens, Mr. Knutson, and Mr. Plank. Come support our Redbirds!

Final Thought

"Optimism is the foundation of all good teaching. Optimism in the face of daunting reality is downright heroic-and that, in fact, is what good teachers practice all day long while others denigrate their contribution to society." Rafe Esquith, 2014


Strong words, powerful and impactful. We are reminded daily that our job is big, and every move we make, from our words to our actions (or inaction) has great power. I was personally reminded this week to be intentionally optimistic and positive, even when it's hard. I was also reminded that sometimes our kids don't have that ability to be optimistic or hopeful, and we have to do it for them. We exist for them. Everything we do should be promoting opportunities for them and giving them hope for their future. What is one action you could do in the coming days to help instill hope in a kid? That is my challenge to you for next week.