Bryan Middle School

2015-2016 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

Dear Parents and Friends of Bryan Middle School:

We are very proud of the year we have had at Bryan Middle School. As I review the pictures of all of the events, activities, and classroom projects, I am amazed at what our students and staff accomplished this year. It makes me proud to serve as Principal of Bryan Middle School.

Our students completed state tests in reading, math, and science this past month and worked hard to make improvements. Our school has seen steady growth in our state testing areas in recent years and we will continue to strive for continuous improvement. We held our NeSA test celebration on May 13 and 16 for all students who showed growth in any of the testing areas as well as meeting or exceeding the state standards. We had over 600 students participate in the celebration! That's what Bear PRIDE is about! A 7th and 8th grade student took home an IPAD mini as one of our celebration drawings.

Registration activities have been taking place and are completed for our 7th graders who will soon be transitioning into 8th grade. In addition, representatives for the various OPS high schools have registered our 8th grade students for high school. We want to thank our 8th grade students for demonstrating "Bear PRIDE" and for the opportunity to teach and work with them over the past two years. We wish them the best of luck as they transition into high school. We know they will be successful.

Throughout the year, Bryan Middle students have been studying the "7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" by Sean Covey. We hope that our students will apply what they have learned as they continue to grow and mature into young adults. Our student ambassadors deserve a special "thank you" for their time, commitment, and leadership they have demonstrated this year.

The Bryan Bear Community (BBC) has been a tremendous supporter of our school this year. We thank the BBC for their fundraising activities and support of our programs. We are always looking for increased parent support and welcome parents to become more involved with our school.

The Bryan Middle School website is updated frequently with important dates and information for the school year. We will continually update this throughout the summer so you can make your summer plans without missing out on important orientation information. The following link will take you to our webpage, which includes a link to our facebook page:

You may also follow Bryan Middle Twitter @OPS_BryanMiddle

We are happy to have over 400 followers on our twitter site. We will use twitter as another way of highlighting the great things that are happening at Bryan Middle School and to communicate important events. Thank you for your support of Bryan Middle School. If you have any questions or would like to get more involved, please feel free to contact the school at 402-557-4100



Darren Rasmussen

School Health

Tips for a safe, fun summer:

As the weather gets warmer it is fun to be outdoors and active. Here are a few safety tips to review with your child to assist in keeping him/her safe.

1) Use sun screen whenever out in the sun.

2) Drink lots of water to prevent dehydration.

3) Rest and seek a cool place if overheated.

4) Wear a helmet and proper elbow/knee padding while skate boarding or rollerblading.

5) Wear a bike helmet when biking, and practice bike safety measures.

6) Be aware of your environment, stay alert, watch for any signs of danger.

7) Never swim alone.

8) All scratches/cuts should be cleaned thoroughly, bandage if necessary.

9) Seek Medical follow up if cuts/injuries are severe, and/or tetanus shot is not up-to-date.

10) Be prepared--know phone numbers for parents/guardians/emergency contacts.

11) Always let your parent or someone know where you are, and what you are doing.

Students entering 8th grade or High School this fall:

If your child is interested in participating in any after school sports activities next school year, a Sports Medical Physical dated after May 1st of this year, will be required. Fall sports activities will begin within a few days after the start of the new school year, so it is very important for students to get their Sports physical over the summer, and provide a copy to the school nurse when school starts in August. Students will not be allowed to try out or practice without a Physical on file with the school nurse.

Clinics fill up quickly, so please contact your own Physician or another Clinic to set up an appointment as soon as possible. Make sure you take the Pre-participation Athletic form with you to the appointment. Forms can be found on the OPS website or picked up at your child’s school. The health history portion of the form must be filled out by a parent/guardian prior to the exam, and taken to the appointment. The clinic staff will review the history form at the time of the physical.

School Based Health Clinics are a great place to get a low cost Physical. If interested call and make an appointment at any of the following school based clinics.

Bryan High School 402-991-3904

Indian Hill Elementary 402-933-4968

Spring Lake Elementary 402-932-7014

Liberty Elementary 402-505-8180

Other clinics that provide Sports Physicals in the Omaha/Bellevue area.

1) Alegent Express Care at 9717 Q St. #537-1700 or 3308 Samson Way #291-3373 (NE Corner of 36th & Hwy 370).

2) UNMC at 5155 S. 36th St. (phone # 595-2794)

3) Charles Drew Health Center (phone # 451-3553)

4) One World Community Health Center (phone # 734-4110).

Should you decide to utilize one of these clinics, please call ahead for more information.

***Please provide completed Physical exam and health history forms to the school nurse on the first day of the new school year.

Have a wonderful summer vacation!!

Mrs. Arnold--School Nurse

Library and Technology News - Mrs. Raszler

Research clearly states that students regress each summer in achievement and create a wider gap each year. By the time a student reaches middle school years, the reading achievement loss can add up to two or more years. Reading just five to six books over the summer is sufficient to prevent the decline in reading achievement! This summer, encourage your students to build the reading habit by visiting our library and selecting from one of these great books!

Great news! Any Bryan Middle student can access eBooks and audiobooks all summer long on a personal eReader, computer, or smart phone! All you need is an internet connection and your login info!

Library Card Number = Student Number
PIN = your birthdate (MMDDYY)

To access the digital library, go to: or visit Mrs. Raszler's Library page at for more info!

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Gifted and Talented Education

This has been a great year for the Gifted and Talented department at Bryan Middle. Three of our competition groups received medals in city-wide competitions: SMP won second place for their project, a re-design of a bed for hospice patients; African American History won third place; and Book Blasters also came in third. In addition, Katherine Roehl won a gold medal for the highest score in the city on the Social Studies portion of the Academic Pentathlon test. We are very proud of the hard work these students put in for these accomplishments.
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Bryan Middle Activities

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!
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AIM Trio Talent Search

AIM TRiO Talent Search after-school programs ended on April 26th with a year-end celebration. It was a fun event for everyone! What a great group of students!

We look forward to working with your students again next year, watch for information mailed to your home in the fall.

Contact information: Ms. Black, 402-345-5025 ext. 241, or email Office located at Bryan Middle School.

This program is 100% funded by the U.S. Department of Education and always free to students.

Bryan Middle Athletics

Boys and Girls Soccer & Track

Congratulations to all the student-athletes involved in track or soccer this season! 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 soccer team were City Champion Runner Up and our girls finished 6th place overall Way to go! It was a great season! Track student-athletes will compete on Thursday and Friday, May 12th and 13th in their City Championship at Burke to conclude their seasons. Good luck!

7th Grade City Finals – Thursday, May 12th Burke High School (1:30pm.)

8th Grade City Finals – Friday, May 13th Burke High School (1:30p.m.)

Please check our school website for more information regarding schedules, cancellations, updates at

Be looking for our new athletics website for 2016-2017 #omahabryanbears.

Physicals at Bryan High School

While school is 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 1st, 2016 will be valid for athletic participation in 2016-2017. Physicals are required to participate in any secondary school sport.

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.

Take Care,

Mr. Taylor


Assistant Principal

Activity & Athletic Director

Counseling Department

As we wrap up this year, we are already getting excited about next year! To help all students prepare for the 2016-2017 school year we offer a Summer Orientation in August. You are invited to come up to the school on August 8th from 4-8pm or August 9th from 10-2 pm to participate in a variety of activities. You will be able to turn in all the important forms for the year, students will take their yearbook pictures, pick up their schedules, be able to find their lockers and classrooms, learn about the clubs and sports offered at Bryan Middle and much more. Look for a packet of information about Summer Orientation in the mail this summer. We hope to see you there!

Enjoy your summer and have a safe and relaxing vacation!

School Recognitions

March Students of the Month

Natalee S., Said R., Eh H., Keilly P., Miriam L., Changkouth K., Jose M., Yaritza P., Alison R., Angel L., Jeniffer M., Angel S., Sustika R., L.J. A., Jacob G., and Angelica A.

April Students of the Month

Camelia B., Matthew G., Jessica F., Brighton E., Bryan G., Bianca G., Oscar A., Lordemi C., Tania C., Mason W., Esperanza S., Ashten S., Michelle V., and Caleb E.

May Students of the Month

Morgan W., Bryan P., Jordan W., Manuel V., Leonel A., Dominique A., Agustin R., Alejandra O., Mario N., Jarlin S., Ana R., Laspiza N., Julian H., Saira G., Desiree H., and Adriaunna M.

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Unified Arts

7th Grade Art with Mrs. Brower: Art classes just finished abstract paintings. They are now working on self-portrait collages. The results were impressive!

7th Grade Chorus with Mrs. Alfieri: What a fantastic concert! We have had a great semester learning now to sing correctly and learning how to sing in harmony. I look forward to working with many of you in 8th Grade Chorus. It has been a fun semester!

8th Grade Chorus with Mrs. Alfieri: What a fantastic concert! This semester we have been working hard on becoming independent singers and singing in harmony. It has been a fun semester!

Careers with Mrs. Ruis: We had a great semester. The last few weeks of class we have developed our career plans. The students have looked forward to what they need to do to be career-ready.

Reading Skills 7A with Ms. Baker: We are finishing up reading The Circuit and choosing our final book projects. It has been a great year and I look forward to seeing you next year!

Reading Skills 8A with Ms. Baker: During fourth quarter we read Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie and completed book projects demonstrating our mastery of theme, mood, summarization, and other literacy skills. I am so proud of all the work they've done this year and wish you luck in high school!

7th and 8th Grade 21st Century Literacy with Mr. Smith: We are reading Catching Fire, the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy. This year we have covered a wide variety of topics to better understand any text that we read.

Band and Orchestra with Mr. Semar: As the year is winding down, our incredible music students are ramping up for our spring concerts on May 9th (7th grade) and May 10th (8th grade). Our talented students in band and orchestra will perform selections covering 300 years; from Mozart and Haydn to "The White Stripes" and "Survivor!"

7th Grade Human Growth and Development with Mrs. Woodworth: Our class just finished up our great book projects. We are finishing up the semester with a review over the semester, and a final exam. Have a great summer!

8th Grade Human Growth and Development with Mr. Clay: We have had an awesome year in Human Growth and Development. We are finishing up our puberty unit. We will also have a summative project in which we connect all of our previous units as a review of the semester.

Spanish and French with Mrs. Harris: Thanks for a wonderful year! Best of luck in high school Spanish and French class! Have a great summer.

8th Grade Technology and Living with Mrs. Woodworth: What a great semester we have had. From the discovery days to the modules and the fun activities! Have a great summer, and keep on cooking!

ESL A with Ms. Negrete: ESL A students have been working very hard on their reading, writing, listening, and speaking this year. Everyone has done so well, and I'm very proud of all of you. Have a great summer!

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Team 7A Panda Bears

Language Arts: We are finishing the quarter with a poetry coffee house. We are moving on to Folk Tales, Myths, and Fables. It has been a great Year.

Science: We are finishing the year with Weather. There will be a final. We will take part in the annual "Junk Wars" activity during the last week of school. I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching all of our students this year. What a wonderful year.

Social Studies: We will finish the year with a Russian Leader project. CBA4 is in the books and most students did well. Overall, the year has been a great experience.

Math: In math, we have just finished learning how to solve equations. We will be working on data analysis and probability until the end of the school year.

P. E.: Girls are finishing up floor hockey and guys are finishing the weight room. The last couple of weeks we will be outside doing a Frisbee golf lesson.

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Team 7B Sun Bears

Language Arts: Ms. Donaldson

Fourth quarter we are finishing up the book So B. It, while we continue to use our summarizing skills. We will be ending the year with a district grammar test, and reviewing our district practice writing scores to search for improvements for next year.

Happy Summer Break!

Math: Mrs. Golka

During math in fourth quarter we have been working with expressions, equations, and inequalities. This will prepare them for Algebra next year. Have a great summer.

Reading: Ms. Hofer

We have finished part one of the Hunger Games. Students are assigned to districts and are battling each other for Panem money. To gain money, students should remain on-task and complete all of their assignments.

Science: Ms. Nelson

Fourth quarter we learned about space and finished off the year with frog dissection and junk wars. It's been a great year in 7B science!

Social Studies: Ms. Fox

This quarter we have been learning about Russia, from Imperial times to present. I can't believe the year is coming to a close. I wish my 7th graders the best of luck in 8th grade. Go Bears!

Special Education: Ms. Richardson

It's been a great fourth quarter at Bryan Middle. I look forward to working with all of the 7B students next year, as I will be moving up to 8th grade with them.

Industrial Technology: Mr. Wiederholt

We are ending the year with Sketch Up, a 3D modeling program. It's been a fun time with the kids this year.

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Team 7C Koala Bears

Mrs. Clark- In Science, we started our semester with heredity and learning about why we look the way we do. Now, we are finishing our unit about weather and storms. After spring break we will learn about astronomy and all of the planets and how the Earth moves. I look forward to finishing a great year!

Mr. Fleming- In Language Arts, we just finished our unit on persuasive writing, along with a short poetry unit. After spring break, we will be completing a research project on important historical inventions. It’s been exciting to see students improving their reading and writing skills every day.

Mrs. McDonald (Special Education Teacher)- Students in 7C need to practice their math facts, especially multiplication facts through 12's. It will make life much easier for them. There is also tutoring on Tuesday and Wednesday after school. Teachers in all areas are there to help your student catch up on work or study for tests in Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Art.

Mr. Petersen- In Human Growth and Development, we are working on our relationships unit which includes peer pressure, how to communicate effectively with others, and bullying. Next units include puberty and then reproduction.

In P.E., quarter tests are Thursday and Friday this week. After spring break, we will be starting new units as well as getting our next set of fitness testing completed. Some new potential games added in after spring break include Takraw, the national sport of Thailand, and Pickleball.

Ms. Triplett (Math)- Spring break finds our math class done with six of the concepts we are studying this year. We only have three units to go, including Equations and Inequalities, Data Analysis and Probability, and Geometry! Students will complete their NeSA Math Test beginning April 12th and have been working diligently reviewing concepts that will be included on the NeSA test.

Mrs. Williams- In Reading, students have finished their magical world of summarizing and will start to embark on a new journey of author's purpose, theme, symbolism, and figurative language.

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Team 8A Nanooks

The 8A Nanook team had a busy 2015 - 16 School Year. All their teachers want to wish them success as they head to high school and to remember the skills they have learned at the middle level. As always, we will end our year with a celebration of classroom success with an Honors Night and our annual AB Bowling Party at Leopard Lanes. At this time we also wanted to take a look back at what 8A students have experienced over the course of the year.

During Science class, students started the year learning how to write up a correct lab report with the use of evidence for their conclusion using data they collected. They now know how to communicate their ideas in oral and written form. They started studying Chemistry and finding change in matter either physical or chemical. They learned about elements, atoms and molecules and how they interact with each other. Then students went onto Physics which involved a bit of rocketry and completing a Rocket Project along the way. Forces were studied, built a rocket to test it. Speed and Acceleration were studied, built a rocket to test it. Newton's laws of Motion were studied and built a rocket to test it. They now can be considered Rocket Scientists. They did well.

Students had a busy year in Pre-Algebra! They started the semester learning about different ways to analyze data and creating our own surveys. After that we went on to learn about angle relationships and we made maps of our very own cities to show what these relationships look like in the real world. Around spring break we took a look at scale factor using an art project where we started with a small picture and dilated it to create a larger version of the same picture! We prepared for NeSA by reviewing properties of 2 Dimensional shapes, and now we are ending the year by considering the 3 Dimensional relationships of surface area and volume. Be sure to congratulate our students on how much they have learned and grown this year in their math education!

During Social Studies this year students were able to become more familiar with the growth of the United States. They are now able to tell the difference between Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson. The Assembly Line activity was also a highlight during the last few weeks of school. As 9th graders, they will understand that electoral votes decide who becomes the next President of the United States.

Language Arts students worked on becoming better descriptive writers this year. They also learned how to use the 5 paragraph essay format. Their reading related activities included identifying theme, reading words in context and making inferences while reading. We finished out the year reading The Shadow Club by Neal Shusterman.

Students in beginning and intermediate ESL have been using a new literacy program called LLI. The program provides daily literacy intervention to small groups of students in reading, writing and word work. The program has been very successful in its first year.

Advanced (Transitions) ESL students have been working all year on English reading and writing proficiency.

Student language proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking was evaluated using a new tool this year named ELPA (English Language Proficiency Assessment). Scores will be released this summer.

In Physical Education Land students worked on their cardiovascular endurance and core strength every day in class. That included running between 3-6 minutes then doing some type of abdominal/oblique workout directly after the running. They played numerous games this year including rip flag, mat ball, speed ball, and battle ball. Sometimes they would mix up their cardio workouts with a Taebo or P90X day. Fitness testing which included the mile run, pacer running test, push-ups and curl-ups were completed four times each semester. Units that we covered during the school year were weight room training, floor hockey, basketball, sepak takraw (Malaysia-soccer over a net), lacrosse, soccer and flag football. Fitness championships were completed at the end of each semester and the winners will have their names placed on the Fitness Championship plaques in the south hallway in the Physical Education area.

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Team 8B Polar Bears

Mrs. Atemnkeng: My name is Mrs. Atemnkeng and I teach Honors Special Projects as well as 21st Century Literacy. I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching your students this year! Some of the highlights from this year have included Making Vision Boards for the school year, field trips to Film Streams, Socratic Seminars, and finishing numerous novels. I have loved seeing the reading enthusiasm and growth of your students. Thank you for letting me assist your student in their future academic successes. Have a great Summer!

Mrs. Mihai: I can't believe another year has come and gone. Who can forget the Scary Science demonstrations where I had a pumpkin breath fire and made elephant toothpaste, or the experiments where we made milk chemically change before our eyes using Mountain Dew. We had a great science fair and one of our students even made it to state with her project on Global Warming. We are ending the year with Science Junk Wars where students are presented with a challenge of building an object with only the materials, "junk", they are given. The students will also be completing a rocket unit where students must build and test rocket designs and take what they learn to build a rocket of their own to launch. The goal is to build a rocket that flies the farthest at the fast speed. I will miss all the students this year and wish them success as they move into their next adventure as high school students. Have a great summer.

Mr. Gass: In Pre-Algebra, we just finished our unit on congruence and similarity. To show knowledge of this we completed a scale factor activity in which students were able to increase the size of an image using a specific scale factor. To finish the year, we just began a unit on Volume and Surface Area of 3-dimensional figures. The last few weeks are going to be comprised of activities using the volume and surface area of these shapes to reinforce the students' learning. I'm looking forward to finishing the school year on a high-note.

Mr. Rothe: 8B Polar Bears - WOW the year has flown by! I'm very proud of all of the students for their hard work and accomplishments this year starting from the Revolutionary War to where we are now with the Civil War and Reconstruction. Students are finishing up their district research projects in the library focusing on whether or not the U.S. successfully integrated African Americans into society after the Civil War. The students are working really hard to complete these, and then we will wrap up the year with each block working together as a group to complete a poster summarizing all the different topics we have discussed throughout the year. I'm proud of our students and their accomplishments this year - GO BEARS!

Mrs. Wiesner: In Mrs. Wiesner’s language arts class students have been reading Anne Frank, and researching Holocaust Heroes. Students have been using Noodle tools to make a Bibliography. We took the State Writing test, and we will be taking a Grammar Summative at the end of the year.

Ms. Tate: Hello! My name is Ms. Monique Tate and I am finishing my first year of teaching here at Bryan Middle School. I have enjoyed working with the students this year and am truly going to miss each and every one of my students. I am excited for the opportunities that awaits them in high school. I am, currently, the resource teacher for team 8B and I co- teach in the classes of Language Arts and Pre- Algebra. Currently, in Language Arts, we have been doing our Holocaust unit. The students have completed reading “The Diary of Anne Frank”. Students are now researching a historic person from the Holocaust era and creating an essay on what they learned. Students are also learning how to properly cite sources for papers using Noodle Tools. In Pre- Algebra, our classes are learning how to calculate volume and surface area. Students have just completed a hands on activity, involving popcorn and cylinders, to see how the height and the radius of a cylinder affects the volume. My students have been working so hard to finish the semester strong and I am excited to continue working with them!

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Team 8C Grizzly Bears

Social Studies: We are rounding out our year in 8C social studies. Students have been learning about industrialism in the United States which covers such topics as the meat packing industry, factory assembly processes and child labor. They will end the year with a summative project about one of these topics. They will be creating either a fictional video game, informational poster, or comic book about one of the topics we talked about. We will end the year with a celebration of our learning and time together. Thanks for a wonderful year and have a great summer!

Language Arts: We are finishing up our Big 6 projects on risk takers in history. Students have been typing a 5 paragraph essay and making a brochure about someone who took a risk and changed society. We will be taking the district CBA grammar test as well as finishing an assessment on editing. On our last two days of school, students will get an ice cream treat from Mr. Rasmussen for their work on the NeSA writing test.

Math with Mrs. Holguin: This has been a great school year. We have accomplished a lot in our school work. Many students really improved upon their scores in state testing due to their hard work. We finished the year studying area, perimeter, and volume. Students are learning how to take their new found knowledge in geometry and apply it to their daily life. It has been a fabulous year; I wish the best to all the 8C students venturing onto high school next year! You will be missed!

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Looking Ahead

Friday, May 20th: Last Student Day

June 1st to 28th: OPS Summer School (7:30 am - 11:30 am)

Monday, August 8th: Summer Orientation from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Tuesday, August 9th: Summer Orientation from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Wednesday, August 17th: First day of school for the 2016-2017 school year