Culler Middle School
Culler Middle School is a professional learning community with a tradition of service, a culture of collaboration, and a commitment to student learning.

The Cougar Connection

November 2020

Letter from our Principal

Culler Community,

This year, Lincoln Public Schools has made diversity, inclusion and equity one of its goals. We pride ourselves at Culler Middle School for having a rich and diverse culture.

There are many perspectives and strong emotions in the current events taking place not only in our community, but our nation and world. We understand that these events can have an impact on our students and how they navigate the world around them.

At Culler, relationships and trust-building are essential to learning. One of the ways we do this is to have Community Circles at least once/week. In a Circle, students and staff discuss a specific topic provided by a facilitator. The facilitator is a Culler staff member who may use questions, sentence starters, or a quote to begin the conversation and everyone shares one at a time. The structure of these circles allows for all voices to be heard, helps develop empathy with others, and allow multiple perspectives to be validated.

Last year, we set a goal to have students experience at least one circle/week and achieved that goal!! This year, we are reaching even higher and have set our goal for students to experience a circle once/day. We just surveyed our teachers and students to check on our progress. We are making some progress based on our student survey data:

Students need a safe place to be heard and to express their concerns. We are here to help. Please know you or your student can reach out to us. Let us know how we can support you during this time. You can contact us through the green “Safe to Say” button found on our website, or call us at 402-436-1210 or email me personally at mhahn@lps.org

Parent-Community Engagement

We would LOVE to continue to get parent feedback and have set up quarterly Parent-Community engagement meetings again this year.  They will be occurring through Zoom on the following dates and times.

 
  • November 17th @ 5pm
  • January 19th @ 5pm
  • March 23rd @ 5pm
  • May 18th @ 5pm
Michaela Hahn
Michaela Hahn

Principal
mhahn@lps.org

Upcoming Dates

November 2 & 3
No School

November 4
Arts & Humanities Virtual Open House

November 10
Early Release Day 1:40pm dismissal

November 17
Parent-Community Engagement Virtual Meeting @5pm

November 23-27 
No School

December 15
PLC Day 1:40pm Release

December 23 – January 4
Winter Break – No School

MTSS-B

At the beginning of the year we shared with students our expectations regarding a variety of topics.  As the year progresses, we notice that we need to revisit those expectations so our community continues to be safe, respectful, and responsible.  See the video reminders for this quarter.  One area of focus is correct wearing of face coverings!

Every Monday we have two students from each grade level recognized for their safe, respectful, and responsible behavior.  Students are nominated by their teachers and then randomly chosen.  Students receive one of the following items from our Virtual Cougar Store upon receiving the award.

The benefits of implementing MTSS-B include

  • fewer behavior issues
  • more instructional time
  • increased attendance for student success

The Culler school-wide expectations continue to be

  • Be Safe
  • Be Respectful
  • Be Responsible

Some ways teachers are supporting students through MTSS-B

  • Expecting students to be on time to class
  • Teachers teach routines and procedures within their classrooms
  • Using a 4:1 ratio of positive to negative interactions

Students of the Month

A Student of the Month is a role model and leader to their classmates as well as works hard every single day to demonstrate Safe —where they are supposed to be at all times — Responsible — Honest and give 100% effort in all classes — and Respectful — Doing what the teacher asks right away in a respectful manner behaviors in their classes.

The below students consistently demonstrate these behaviors and were nominated by their teachers to be recognized last month.

September 8th Grade Students of the Day

Silvia Ahmed: Everyday Silvia is Safe, Respectful, and Responsible. She is always looking for ways to be helpful in the classroom. Her assignments are done on time and to the highest quality.

Gay Wah: Gay Wah always has a poistive and helpful attitiude. He does high quality work and is an active participant in US History class. Way to be awesome!

Presley Hall: Presley does a great job in science class everyday. He does high quality work, asks great questions, and is always willing to help his peers. Keep up the great work Presley and GO PACK GO!

Flor Rico Sevilla: Flor is amazing in Science! She always gives 200% effort and that shows in the quality of her school work. Flor is kind, respectful and always willing to help others. Thank You Flor!

Wisal Khurmish: Wishal does a wonderful job in math class by participating, always asking questions to understand, and helping others. Wisal is a role model for other students by showing them how to be safe, responsible and respectful.

Stephanie Rodriguez: Stephanie is a role model for other students by showing them how to be safe, responsible and respectful. Stephanie participates and engages in the lesson and is willing to help her fellow classmates.

Elijah Harris: Elijah is an excellent student in both P.E. and Health. He gives 110% effort and brings a positive energy to class everyday. Elijah is a natural leader and very respectful!

Susan Morton: Susan has demonstrated that she is a responsible student by turning in all her assignments and coming to class ready to learn. She is also respectful to other students and teachers in class.

Nazar Hlyniuk: He is always interested in what we are doing. He is very positive and works well with other students.

Ava Rowley: She is always upbeat and ready to work. She is always safe and follows procedures.

Camilla Ortiz Ramirez: Camilla always works hard in PE and has been rocking the warm ups.

Camden McWilliams: He is a good student and deserves this award. He comes to class ready to learn and shows an interest in the concepts of Skilled and Technical Sciences. He is a true maker at heart and his contribution to the class is appreciated.

Alex Mendez Amador: Alex always completes high quality work, asks questions, and participates in class. He is also very respectful to the teacher and his peers.

Melissa Phan: Melissa has been really engaged in our novel in Spanish class. She works hard individually and with a partner.

Mikhale Ford: I can count on Mikhale to do the right thing. I appreciate his positive nature and humane outlook on life.

Noah Aguallo: Noah is dependable, he works hard and is also very positive and fun to have in class.

Crystal Aguilar

September 7th Grade Students of the Month

  • Mohammad Mahmud
  • Maley Taylor
  • Ethan Phan
  • Kimberly Romano

September 6th grade Students of the Month

  • Jason Do
  • Maliya Schmid
  • Knoasia Moore
  • Mycah Squires
  • Lundyn Williams
  • Daceson Morgan
  • Angie Sanchez-Ramirez
  • Avin Matto
  • Kendrick Dao
  • Akram Abdulsahib
  • Amnah Ishaq
  • Sophia Rudolph
  • Andrea Alvarez
  • Boh Boe Wah

Cougar Den // Malone Center Events

Hello Cougar Families!

I would first like to announce that The Malone is doing a Thanksgiving Food Basket giveaway on Sunday, November 22nd! We have attached a flyer at the bottom of this section with more info.

Our 2nd quarter clubs are underway and we are really excited about them! As a reminder, there is no waiting list to enroll your student and that our program is FREE!

If you would like to enroll your student(s), please fill out the following forms!

 

If you need help or have any questions/concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out! My email is zain.saleh@lps.org

More information is available on the Malone Center’s Website.

7th & 8th Grade Intramurals

Hello Cougar Families!

After second quarter activities opened up, 7th/8th grade girls basketball will now be able to take place! The first game will take place November 7th. Please have your athlete listen for updated information on location and times. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 there will not be any spectators allowed at each game. Athletes should be dropped off for each game, and then picked up after the game is over. Each athlete will be required to wear a mask upon arrival for each game. More information regarding the game schedule will be coming shortly. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a shout.

Go Cougars!!!

The Culler Library

Empower learners to be curious, critical, and creative thinkers; enthusiastic readers; skillful researchers; and conscientious digital citizens.

Culler Library Mission

Diverse Books for All!

Are you looking for books with diverse characters and themes? The MOSAIC is an annual collection of high interest diverse books for preschool through high school students reviewed by LPS librarians.

  • Look for the MOSAIC Multicultural Book Display link on your school library website.
  • Browse the collection and download the ebooks or audiobooks.
  • Want a print copy of a book? Ask your school librarian!

Digital Citizenship Tips

Would you like to have a conversation with your student about staying safe online? Here are some questions to get the conversation started:

  • What information should we share with others online and what information should we avoid sharing online (address, phone number, passwords, and other personal information)?
  • What websites should we use when we go online?
  • How can you protect your digital reputation?

Library Staff

Ms. Haack

ahaack@lps.org

Mr. Saddler

tsaddle@lps.org

ELL Information

Culler ELL Teachers

Mrs. Grace

rbrust@lps.org

Mrs. Jurgens-Woitzel

ajurgen@lps.org

Mr. Pabst

epabst@lps.org

Ms. Petersen

kpeters7@lps.org

Mrs. Rodell

arodell@lps.org

Mr. Shanahan

sshanah@lps.org

RAZ Kids for ELL Students

Many parents ask what their child can work on at home to improve their reading. RAZ Kids is a reading program that all students in ELL levels newcomer-2 have access to. Students are able to log on, listen, read, and take quizzes on stories at their reading level. The program automatically moves students up reading levels as they complete stories. Encourage your child to use RAZ Kids at home, even for just 10-20 minutes a night.

Late Bus for ELL Students!

ELL students, who ALREADY receive bussing to and from school because they live outside of the Culler attendance area, have the option to take a late bus that departs at 4:45 in order to stay after school for the Cougar Den after school program, clubs, academic support, and/or intramurals. Students may sign up anytime, but we ask that if your child signs up, they commit to taking it consistently (more than once a week) to keep their name on the list. If interested in the late bus, students should ask their teacher for a permission slip to have you sign and return to school.

ELPA21

All students who qualify for ELL services will take the ELPA21 in February. The ELPA21 is a statewide assessment that all English language learners in the state of Nebraska take. The online assessment is made up of four parts: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Results usually become available in May. Students who score proficient (all 4s and 5s) meet the criteria to exit the ELL program will no longer receive ELL services the following school year.

Liaisons

Arabic

Aqeel Fadhil
(402) 436-1715

Arabic

Sudanese Dialect

Hager Mohamed
(402) 436-1958

Spanish

Marta Boucher
(402) 436-1763

Kurdish

Khudhur Ali
(402) 436-1994

Karen

Kmwe Paw
(402) 436-1434

Vietnamese

Toan Tran
(402) 436-1955

Nuer

Tosh Jock
(402) 436-1892

Russian / Ukrainian

Ellie Kasab
(402) 436-1942

Family Literacy

Family Literacy is a FREE English class for parents. Our class is from 1:00-2:45 PM Monday-Friday. Childcare is provided for children under age 5. Any language is welcome!

If you want to join the Family Literacy program, please contact your bilingual liaison or the Culler school office.

Culler Counseling

Providing hope for the future, giving students the strength and courage to persevere.

From Your Counseling Center

Welcome to November! It’s that time of year when the weather turns cold. Students will need to remember to wear a winter coat to school everyday even if they think you won’t need it. The weather can change quickly in Nebraska and sometimes by the time we get to recess or dismissal a sunny morning can turn into a cold and blustery afternoon.

If students don’t have access to a warm winter coat the counselors can get one for them for free!! We have asked students to send their counselor an RAR3 and put the word COAT in the “I want my counselor to know” line. We will call them down to ask about size and color. Don’t wait, we will be sending the order in soon.

Class of 2027

In October 6th grade students watched a video presentation sponsored by Bryan Health addressing the dangers of social media. Collin Kartchner, a youth advocate, social media activist, TedX speaker and dad, shared his mission to save kids from social media’s negative effect on their mental and emotional health and the importance of connecting in real life with real people. In 2017, Collin started a popular parody account on Instagram to poke fun at social media and the toxic culture of perfectionism it creates. Instead of taking advantage of his platform to gain a large following and earn sponsor dollars, he used it to help. He went on to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and children fighting cancer. Mr. Kartchner was a very entertaining presenter and kept the students’ attention while teaching about a very important and timely topic.

Coming up in November I will be addressing academic study skills and strategies as we approach the end of 1st semester. Lessons will address screen time, the importance of sleep and healthy eating habits, exercise as well as time management to allow for activities and free time as well as school work. As always if you have questions or concerns don’t hesitate to call or send me an email.

Margaret Pass
Margaret Pass

Class of 2026

Hello 7th grade parents. I just wanted to let you know that your 7th graders are continuing to do an amazing job with our new way of schooling this semester. Our students that are Zooming in every period and working their tails off are especially impressive because it can be difficult to do that on a daily basis. Please continue to reach out if your student needs assistance with remote learning.

I will be in classes 2nd quarter to discuss college and careers with 7th graders. I will be in communication with homes as well, as this is an extremely important topic and something that should be brought up now, not later. Look out for more information from me in regards to college and career readiness. Thanks, and take care.

Logan Waite
Logan Waite

Class of 2025

November is the month I begin to visit classrooms about important dates. Each student now has either a Google calendar or a paper calendar (whichever they requested) on which they are recording important dates. I have told them they are to be responsible for keeping these dates close at hand so they can access them for themselves AND for you. HERE is the organization lesson. Upcoming Important dates so far this year:

11/2 6pm – 7pm: Science Focus Program (Zoo School) Virtual Open House

November 4 from 5:30pm – 6:30pm: Arts & Humanities Virtual Open House

November 21 9:00 am – 11:00 a.m.: Virtual International Baccalaureate (IB) Day. If you are interested in the IB Program at all, you may want to go on this visit and take your parent or guardian. 

January 20: soft due date for International Baccalaureate application. This only applies to you if your home high school is NOT Lincoln High AND you only want to go to Lincoln High for the IB program. There is some wiggle room with this date.

January 29: hard deadline for high school choice form and for IB application.February 17 @ 8 am: high school counselors will be at Culler to register 8th graders for 9th grade. Please be sure your 8th grader is present and on time with a charged Chromebook.

Sherri Robinson
Sherri Robinson

Technology for Learning

Computing Services has created TONS of resources to support students and parents with technology during this pandemic.  Please click on this LINK to find short video tutorials over the following:

  • Student Portal
  • Gmail
  • ZOOM
  • Google Classroom

 

The more that parents/guardians know about these resources, the better you can support your students!!

Spirit Week

We celebrated Spirit Week at Culler the week of 10/26-10/30. Here are some of the highlights from our theme days: 

  • Monday: Retro Day
  • Tuesday: Twin Day
  • Wednesday: Equity Day
  • Thursday: Culler Apparel Day
  • Friday Character Day