Redbird Roundup, Vol. 14

Friday, December 6, 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!


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break. It's hard to believe there are only two weeks left of the semester!


I want to give a special shout-out to Ms. Eskridge, Mrs. Carver, and Mr. Pignatore for their work on the musical. It was an amazing showing of our talented students, and they should be very proud of their hard work.


There are lots of activities happening these last few weeks. Thanks in advance for keeping everyone in the loop via email. We want to celebrate all the fun things!


Thanks also for your grace with my absence tomorrow. Closing on our home is exciting (and stressful) so I appreciate your patience.


Have a great weekend!



Dr. Carr

December 9-13

Monday, December 9: MTSS-B Vision Team Meeting after school

Tuesday, December 10: Student Support Meetings with Jacquie all day

Wednesday, December 11: 8th Grade Chorus Concert Rehearsal blocks 1 and 2

Thursday, December 12: Nothing scheduled

Friday, December 13: Author Visit-more details to come

Staff Introductions

This week we get to know Sandy Bowzer, Sara Newman, and Brianna Walentine.

Sandy Bowzer

Name: Sandy Bowzer

How many years have you been teaching/in education? 29 ½ years (18 at Norris Middle, 6 ½ in Park City, Utah, and 5 in two High Schools in Kansas.

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? The staff – they are always there to support each other no matter the situation.


How would your friends describe you? Very competitive and organized.

What is the worst food you ever ate? Rocky Mountain Oysters (cow testicles!)

Would you rather go 30 days without your phone or an entire lifetime without dessert? 30 days without my phone – I like sweets too much.

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

What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home? Budapest, Hungary – took a Viking River Grand European cruise 2 years ago with my husband to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.

Is a hot dog a sandwich? Why or why not? Yes because it is meat between 2 slices of bread.

Sara Newman

Name: Sara Newman

How many years have you been teaching/in education? 7 years

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? The staff! Everyone is so supportive and so willing to help each other!


How would your friends describe you? Funny, caring, and a problem solver.

What website/app do you use most often? Pandora

What is something we would never guess about you? I was a wedding photographer.

What is the best thing that happened to you this week? I was nominated for 30 ways to say Yay!

What is the worst food you ever ate? My grandmother used to make this stuffing with oysters in it. It was terrible!

Would you rather go 30 days without your phone or an entire lifetime without dessert? 30 days isn’t that long. A lifetime is forever. I would totally give up my phone for 30 days.

What TV show would you binge watch if you had the time? My daughter and I are currently binge watching The Good Place. I would love to re-watch Parks and Rec!

What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home? Orlando, FL. I will have a new answer after this summer though!

What would you sing at karaoke night? Karaoke?! Who wants to go?! I will sing all the songs! My favorite is Fast Car by Tracy Chapman.

Is a hot dog a sandwich? Why or why not? According to dictionary.com a sandwich is, “two or more slices of bread or the like with a layer of meat, fish, cheese, etc., between each pair.” So, if you follow that definition then yes, a hot dog is a sandwich.

Brianna Walentine

Name: Brianna Walentine

How many years have you been teaching/in education? 13.5

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? My favorite thing about Norris Middle School are the students and their ability to make life interesting and that I am never able to repeat the same day twice. Also, the staff because we are all in this together and it takes a very special person to be able to teach middle schoolers and I believe that the staff at Norris are here for the right reasons.


How would your friends describe you? My friends would describe me as loyal and someone who they can always count on.

What website/app do you use most often? According to my phone, I would say that I use Facebook the most.

What is something we would never guess about you? I have a fear of drowning.

What is the funniest thing you have ever seen a kid do? I had a former student lock themselves in their locker to avoid going to class. Little did he know that some teachers had locker keys to open the lockers. The locker was opened quickly, and he was sent to class.


What is the worst food you ever ate? Collard greens (I know that these can be prepared differently, but they were not my favorite.)

Would you rather go 30 days without your phone or an entire lifetime without dessert? I would go an entire lifetime without dessert. I am not a sweets person.

What TV show would you binge watch if you had the time? I would re-watch Revenge or Criminal Minds.

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

What would you sing at karaoke night? Don’t Stop Believing by Journey or Regulators by Warren G

Is a hot dog a sandwich? Why or why not? A hot dog by itself is not a sandwich, but if it is a hotdog on a bun it is technically a sandwich because it is a piece of “meat” between two pieces of 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: Laura Aguilar, Darris Amburgey and Greg Gruber.

Wellness Word to the Wise

Watch for stress-inducing foods

We often don’t realize it, but a bad diet can cause its own amount of stress within the body. If you consume too many processed foods and sugars, the stress you put on your body will be felt, even if you don’t realize it.

The most important thing you can do here is to strive to get your food as close from the source as possible. Does your local grocer sell organic items? Great. How about locally grown whole foods? Even better. And a farmer’s market? The best of all.

The idea is that you want to be consuming food that doesn’t have any added bad chemicals or substances that can cause additional stress on your body’s digestive and other systems.

Powerful Practices

6th Grade Writing Activity

Students in Ms. Real y Vásquez's ELA classes are using nature to generate writing. They looked at leaves and did their own sketches, and used their drawings as motivation for writing. What a fun way to incorporate nature and shake up the learning environment!

Sensory Fair

Ms. Jacobberger's Service Learning students hosted their final event of the semester, a Sensory Fair at JP Lord. The fair featured activities on touch, smell, art, advocacy, and even included a sensory reading of The Three Little Pigs. It was amazing to see our students interact with the students at JP Lord. You would all be very proud.

Gradual Release

Mr. Degbe smoothly moves through gradual release during his lesson on "Protejamos Nuestra Tierra" in his Spanish for Native Speakers class. Students have the opportunity to discuss cause and effect during the shared portion, then in larger groups discuss solutions to some environmental challenges in the guided portion, and will end the unit with a poster and presentation on their discovery, citing evidence from the text. Great job!

Using Nearpod

Mrs. Moore's 8th grade ELA students are getting ready to write argumentative essays. In addition to choosing their topic, they are also reviewing vocabulary they can use in their essays. Her anticipatory set for Thursday was a review of those words using Nearpod. After the Nearpod matching, students generated sentences with the words and shared with a partner. Awesome job!

DL Reading to Students at Castelar

Ms. Wright takes her DL students to Castelar to read to kindergarten students. They have written children's stories in Spanish. Our elementary friends love having guest readers!

House Cup Updates

I see you Slytherin...

Norris Staff and Students Seen and Heard

City Swim

Our 7th and 8th grade girls swim team wrapped up their season last week with City Swim at Burke. Congrats to our student athletes on a great season and a big thank you to our coaches, Boyer and Walentine, for all their work!

Beauty and the Beast Jr.

Congrats to our talented students and amazing directors on a great showing of Beauty and the Beast. Our fall musical was a great success!

UNO Visit

Our counselors took almost 40 students to UNO for a college visit. This is more detailed than the UNO Baxter Trip, as students actually get to be on campus and see different buildings, and eat in the dining hall (always popular...).

6th Grade DL Trip to Joslyn

Ms. Real y Vásquez and Ms. Vega took their 6th grade DL students to the Joslyn to look at the wide variety of artwork on display there. We are so fortunate to have a gem of an art museum like the Joslyn in our backyard that we can access!

NJHS Day of Service at Food Bank

Ms. Jacobberger and Mrs. Reid took our NJHS students to the Food Bank for the annual Day of Service. Students sorted and put away donated goods, helping this organization during a very busy time of year.

Singers with the Sup!

Ms. Eskridge got her carolers together to help Dr. Logan sing and ring the bell for the Salvation Army at the Hy-Vee on 50th and Center on November 23. Students sang their hearts out for over an hour!

South Sings

Our 8th grade Chorus students attending South Sings, where they get the opportunity to practice their talents with high schoolers. Look at all our Redbirds!

Thanksgiving Feast

Mrs. White's RBB wanted to have a Thanksgiving feast with their classmates the day before break. Students organized and brought items to share with one another!

Boys Basketball

Our boys basketball team is well into their season and getting in a lot of competition before the season ends. Mr. Plank and Mr. Langabee are working with a great group of students and improving skills and teamwork daily. Way to go!

Final Thought

Hang in there, another break is in sight. You are strong and you can do hard things!


What is life, if not the sum of a hundred thousand daily battles and tiny decisions to either gut it out or give it up?

https://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/9444