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

December 2020

Letter from our Principal

Culler Community,

Well, we have almost completed a full semester of learning within a pandemic and wow, have we ALL learned!  Thank you for trusting your students with us through in person learning and through Zoom.  Thank you for providing grace and patience as we have attempted to quickly determine the best ways to provide meaningful learning in a hybrid environment.  I am unbelievably proud of our staff and students and would not pick a different community with which to experience a pandemic!!

Thanks to the parents who kindly responded to my pleas to attend Parent-Community Engagement on November 17th.  It was affirming to be able to share what we are working on and to gain valuable feedback from them.

We would LOVE for more parents to join us.  The meetings are via Zoom and are approximately 45 minutes.  

Below are the dates of future meetings and the link to my Zoom Room:

Please click on this LINK to join in!!

  • January 19th @ 5pm
  • March 23rd @ 5pm
  • May 18th @ 5pm


Thanks again for your valued partnership!!

Michaela Hahn
Michaela Hahn

Principal
mhahn@lps.org

MTSS-B

Dear Culler Community,

At our most recent MTSS-B (multi-tiered systems of support) we shared the following data:

  • Culler has a 99% on time to class percentage
  • 91% of Culler students have no minor behaviors (This means students and teachers are working really hard to stay in class and nurture positive relationships!)
  • We reduced our previous month’s minor behaviors by 25%
  • We reduced the number of students with repeated minor behaviors from 12 to 4 (this means that we are providing students what they need to stay in class!)
  • Culler’s major behaviors were reduced by half.
  • We have reduced by half the disparity between our White students and our African American students receiving support for minor behaviors (We continue to promote equity in our classrooms by participating in community circles with students and staff).


Did you know that your Culler Equity team works monthly to create community circles for Culler staff so we can continue to improve our relationships with students and truly understand their perspectives?  Here is some of the material we have viewed as well as some of the questions that have been discussed within our staff community circles.  


Please reach out if you have any questions regarding our work in MTSS-B!

Kim Rathe

Upcoming Dates

December 5th
District Wide Picture Retake Day 8:00am- 11:00am & 12:00pm-3:00pm @ Riley Elementary

December 7th & 8th
8:00am-3:30pm 6th grade Chromebook Exchange for Zoomers @ Culler

December 15th 
PLC Day 1:40pm dismissal

December 23rd-January 4th
No School Winter Break

January 5th
Classes resume. 2nd semester starts

January 6th
8th Grade Information Night at East High 6:30pm

January 12th
Early Release at 1:40pm

January 12th 
8th Grade Information Night at Southeast High 6:30pm

January 13th
8th Grade Information Night at Southwest High 6:30pm

January 18th
No School

January 19th
Parent-Community Engagement Meeting 5:00pm

January 19th
8th Grade Information Night at Northeast High 6:30pm

January 20th 
8th Grade Information Night at Northstar High 6:30pm

January 21st
8th Grade Information Night at Lincoln High 6:30pm

January 26th
PLC Day 1:40pm dismissal

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

November 7th Grade Students of the Month

  • Akash Fernando- Hard working, creative and always willing to share or ask questions.
  • Khup Khai- hard working, always participates and helps others.
  • Maab Amon- hard working and goes above and beyond.
  • Rebecca Jud- works hard, responsible and pays attention in class.
  • November 6th grade Students of the Month

    🌟Mya Rowley
    🌟Tryston May
    🌟Aiden Schenk
    🌟Kallie Vance
    🌟Arianna Sandoval
    🌟Ruben Flesner
    🌟Blake Edwards
    🌟Abraham Duffek
    🌟Glory Lackson
    🌟Sara Ochoca
    🌟Addison Bratt
    🌟Miguel Raymundo Pascal
    🌟Lili Byrd

    Cougar Den // Malone Center Events

    Hello Cougar Families! 

    We are continuing with our CLC program! As a reminder, our programming is always free. Please just make sure to sign up your student(s)! If you need help with our sign up process, do not hesitate to reach out! 

    You can access our forms below: 


    If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out! 

    Zain Saleh
    School Community Coordinator
    zain.saleh@lps.org

    7th & 8th Grade Intramurals

    Hello Cougars!

    Just a quick update that ALL athletics/intramurals have been put on hold until further notice due to the current directed health measure. This will be through Dec. 7th, and an update will come out around this time. Girls basketball was off and running and the girls were doing an outstanding job of competing and following the rules. We are hopeful that we will be able to resume and continue the work we were building. Stay tuned for future updates regarding Cougar Athletics! If you have any questions, please let me know. I will be more than happy to help you out!!

    GO COUGARS!!

    Jeff Williams
    Culler Athletic Director
    jwilila6@lps.org

    The Culler Library

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

    Culler Library Mission

    Library News

    Do you remember the print edition of the World Book Encyclopedia that you may have consulted when you were in school? Your student still has access to this resource today – just in a different online format. World Book Web is bigger and better than ever and has components that serve preschool through adults. Your student can access this from their LPS portal.

    • World Book Student for middle school learners
    • World Advanced for high school through adult learners


    Have your student go to this database to see these resources and more!

    Digital Citizenship Tips

    LPS teachers instruct students about their digital identity and help them learn how the use of digital tools can have both positive and negative effects on personal well being. You may want to work together to create a plan that balances time spent online and offline. Talk with your remote learners about the importance of taking digital breaks when not in Zoom classes.

    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

    Level Movement

    Moving up an ELL level is based upon many different factors. Ultimately, a student must be proficient in several areas at their current level to move up a level. We will be making level changes during the week of December 14, 2020. If your child moves up an ELL level, they will receive a letter at school that they should bring home to you the following week. They should also check Synergy for their new quarter 3/semester 2 schedule. If you have any questions regarding your child’s current ELL level, please contact one of their ELL teachers.

    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.

    ELPA21

    All students who qualify for ELL services will take the ELPA21 in February. Students have already been preparing for this assessment in their ELL classes.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.

    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.

    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

    Staff Member Spotlight

    Culler has so many amazing staff members that show up each day, exemplify a positive attitude and go above & beyond for other staff members and the students we serve! This month the staff members who are being spotlighted were nominated by their peers and prove that the work done in our building goes far beyond the classroom!

    Angelica Olivas, Health Tech

    “Angelica is my right hand person. She takes on any assignment I give her and never complains- even crazy ideas for bulletin boards and follows through. She is bilingual in Spanish, which is something I cannot say enough about. She has a great relationship with our Hispanic population and is able to problem solve at a minutes notice. She is pleasant to work with and always makes the Health Office a fun atmosphere to be in. She knows our students and they know her which allows us the consistency we need to deal with a Middle School population and their families every day. She is always willing to take on new ideas and remain consistent with the routines established in the Health Office. She is a dedicated parent to 3 boys while juggling her work schedule. I am proud to nominate Angelica for the Staff Member Spotlight for all her hard work and dedication.”

    “Angelica has so much patience with all the students during this time of Covid. She makes sure that parents are helped with questions as well. Angelica keeps a smile on her face and is calm during the storm!”

    Teri Folkers, Registrar

    “Teri does a wonderful job in her role as a Registrar. She is always positive and goes above and beyond her assigned duties. She is willing to help anyone, no matter what the problem is. She does anything from getting report cards ready, helping students find their lockers, as well as making sure everyone gets their mail. These are just a few of the many tasks she completes everyday. She is a great friend and coworker and I believe she deserves to be recognized!”

    “Teri is extremely efficient at what she does. She’s always one step ahead and never complains even when she is probably buried in work- you would never know! I appreciate her dry sense of humor and easy going nature. She is a valued member of Culler and we are lucky to have her!”

    TJ Saddler, Media Secretary

    “TJ does whatever is needed to help students and staff succeed. He is kind and patient, meeting students where they are and helping them to get to where they need to be through chess, books, technology — whatever the student needs at the moment. TJ builds lasting and sustainable relationships and holds us all accountable in a gentle and clear way. TJ is a fine addition to the Culler community. I would like him to know how valuable he is to us all.”

    “TJ cares about students and does all he can to help them with their success. He also models what it means to be a READER!!!!”

    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.

    2020 Holiday Programs Lincoln, NE

    Catholic Social Services 
    2241 O St. / 402.474.1600 Thanksgiving baskets requests will only be by phone. They will have an application for you to complete if you haven’t worked with them before. Baskets will be available Nov. 20th if accepted. Operation Santa Clause registration: Mon. Oct 26 – Wed. Nov 18, M & W 2 pm-4 pm. Christmas requests will only be by phone. Baskets will be available Dec 18th if accepted.

    City Impact
    Gifts of Love 1035 N. 33rd St. / 402.477.8080 Registration will be online at cityimpact.org and will open October 28th at 9 am. Registration will run until November 6th or until all registration spots are full. You will need a current photo ID, social security card for each child (or Medicaid card, 2019 tax return, passport, government issued ID), and one of the following: LPS letter stating free or reduced lunch, Medicaid card, HHS letter stating SNAP case number, or most recent pay stub of each adult in household.

    KFOR Operation Santa Claus
    Duplicate registration checked. You can register at Catholic Social Services, El Centro de Las Americas, Lancaster Veterans Service Center, Child Guidance center, Lancaster City Health Dept, Malone Center, Ponca Tribe of NE, Region V Systems, and Voices of Hope. Check with individual agency for registration times and dates but only sign up once.

    Malone Center
    2032 U St. / 402.474.1110 Operation Santa Claus through KROF– Call or pick up & submit applications at Malone Center.

    Matt Talbot
    2121 N. 27th St. / 402.477.4116 Thanksgiving evening meal 5:30- 6:30 pm. Christmas Eve lunch 11:30 am- 12:30 pm & dinner 5:30 – 6:30 pm & Christmas day lunch 11:30 am- 12:30 pm & dinner 5:30 – 6:30 pm.

    Peoples City Mission
    110 Q St. / 402.475.1303 Thanksgiving baskets give away Nov. 21st from 10 am-2 pm. You will need to bring photo ID. If you haven’t shopped there before you will need to know income and family info and SS#’s for. Baskets have turkeys and trimmings while supplies last. Christmas Santa’s Workshop offers food and presents on Dec. 19th from 10 am-2 pm. You will need your photo ID. If you haven’t shopped there before you will need to know income and family info and SS#’s for application.

    Salvation Army
    2625 Potter St. / 402.474.6263 Thanksgiving program applications will be taken on Nov 2-18 from 10 am-12 pm and 1-4 pm. You will need a current photo ID and proof of residence. Christmas gift assistance applications will be taken on Nov 19-20, Nov 30, and Dec 1-18th from 10 am-12 pm, 1-4 pm. You will need a current photo ID and proof of residence.

    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

    Margaret Pass
    Margaret Pass

    Class of 2026

    Logan Waite
    Logan Waite

    Class of 2025

    Sherri Robinson
    Sherri Robinson

    Technology for Learning

    Personal Computing Devices

    This time of year often brings questions about whether students are allowed to use personal computing devices instead of the district issued Chromebook. Where completing school work is concerned, the answer to this question is “no.” There are a number of reasons for this, but you should be aware that the LPS Chromebook comes with limits on the web sites that can be visited and the applications that can be accessed. You can support teachers’ efforts in managing a consistent learning environment by encouraging your student to use the district issued Chromebook.

    Instructional Technology Tools (ITTs) in LPS

    LPS believes that high-quality curriculum and instruction can be enhanced with effective use of Instructional Technology Tools (ITTs). To that end, a district committee continually works to identify ITTs that are safe for student use, support district learning goals, and encourage innovative teaching and learning. The most frequently used, approved ITTs are made available to students and staff in the LPS Portal. Learn more about the LPS Portal here: https://home.lps.org/cs/2016/08/08/the-lps-portal/. Need a conversation starter with your student? Ask them for a tour of their LPS Portal and which ITTs they’re currently using in class.

    Support for Students Learning Remotely

    Remote Learning Supports
    Stop by the LPS website and enter the word “remote” into the Search, Keyword field in the top-right.

    The “Student Support” page on the Remote Learning site has links to valuable resources to support your student while learning from home. Make sure your students are familiar with the information about how to successfully connect with their teachers using StudentVue.

    The “Parent and Guardian Support” page is filled with valuable information designed to help you help your student. Familiarize yourself with the “10 Remote Learning Things to Know.”

    LPS Help Desk is available
    Is your student having trouble connecting to their classes? The LPS Help Desk is available to help! Call 402-436-1735 between 7:00am-4:30pm Mon-Fri.