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

January 2021

Letter from our Principal

I am SO PROUD of our community of adults, students, and parents for doing their best to follow protocols so that we can safely learn together. Thank You!!

A.M. DROP OFF UPDATE

Over the last week and a half, Mr. Macek and I have joined Mr. Gloe outside to help streamline our drop off procedures. With 10 busses and many parents choosing to use the parking lot, it can create lots of back-ups. Thanks for your patience as we worked on this. We realized after the first few days that we were not on the same page about which cut-outs parents could use. Below is what we agreed upon and taught for the remainder of last week and this week:

  • Drop your student off at their respective door.. .ONLY 6th graders should be dropped off at the main entrance.
  • When you drop off, you should pull over so that traffic can keep moving.
  • In the front of the building, you can use the bus cut-outs if there are no busses in sight or the gravel beyond the cones.
  • MOST IMPORTANT – ALWAYS turn RIGHT out of the parking lot. Waiting to turn left is the biggest cause for traffic back up.


We look forward to serving our In Person and Remote Learners on Tuesday, January 5th!!!

Thanks for your continued partnership!!

Michaela Hahn
Michaela Hahn

Principal
mhahn@lps.org

MTSS-B Information

Positive student relationships are at the core of school success. James Comer said “No significant learning can occur without a significant relationship”. When positive relationships are built, students feel happier and safer in their environments which makes them more receptive to learning new ideas. Establishing these positive relationships is not something that only happens at the beginning of the year. We strive to build and maintain relationships with students. This lasting partnership fosters connectedness, improved self-esteem, motivation and ultimately success at school. We had a great semester building relationships in 2020 and can’t wait to continue them in 2021!

Upcoming Dates

January 5
Students return to school

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

January 12
Early release at 1:40pm

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

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

January 18
No School

January 19
Parent-Community Engagement Meeting @ 5:00pm via Zoom

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

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

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

January 26
Early release at 1:40pm

January 29
Last day for 8th grade to turn in high school choice form in person

January 31
Last day for 8th grade to turn in high school choice form digitally

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.

December 8th Grade Students of the Day

Sonja Hoskovec Charbonneau: Sonja is a curious and enthusiastic student of US History. She asks thoughtful questions, leads class discussions, and turns in quality work.

Flor Rico Sevilla: Flor is a dedicated and hard working student who always brings her best to the classroom. On top of being a great student she is a wonderfully kind human being.

DJ Pratt: DJ does a great job in class everyday. She works hard, asks good questions, and always does high quality work. DJ also has an awesome sense of humor which I truly appreciate.

Tagwa Mohamed: Tagwa is always prepared to learn and do her best everyday. She asks questions, helps others and is a true role model.

Abbas Al-Hasaii: Abbas brings a fun and playful energy to PE and has a good attitude. He gives 100% effort and brings great humor to our class.

Kya Oltman: Kya always uses her English class time to complete her work. She puts forth her best effort every day and is a responsible and respectful student.

Maggie Anderson: Maggie is awesome, she always comes to class prepared and ready to learn. She’s a good role model for other students, and brings a positive attitude and sense of humor to the class.

Jona Duer: Jona does a great job keeping his mask up and getting straight to work. Jona is responsible and respectful to all.

Anastasia Kennedy: She is always excited to see what we are doing in class and works well in the kitchens.

Canaan Beason: Canaan day in and day out demonstrates what it’s like to be a complete student. I am super proud of the respectful leader he is each and every day!

Noah Aguallo: Noah does a great job in all areas of Skilled and Technical Sciences.

Lesli Gurrera-Avalos: Lesli always has a smile on her face and is full of energy no matter what game we are playing in PE.

Hared Miguel-Vasquez: Hared does an excellent job in reading. He’s always engaged in the lesson, does a great job participating and delivers high quality work

Luke Swan: Luke’s engagement and performance has improved immensely in class. Luke completes his daily assignments on time, is engaged in class and in result, his test grades have increased.

Jury Moo: Jury is in the classwork mode 100% of the time. She follows directions the first time and participates with enthusiasm. She has a beautiful voice and a great musical ear.

Nikiya Myles: Nikiya has been working really hard in class and has come up with some excellent ideas for future technology.

Kendall Bourne: Kendall is a hardworking student with a great sense of humor. She is helpful and kind to her classmates. Keep up the good work Kendall!

Presley Hall: for finding loopholes in the system. Game recognize game.

Claudia Licht: Claudia is a remote learner who is an exceptional student! She is focused on her learning and determined to be better every day. Claudia sets high goals for herself, works hard to achieve in the classroom but she is always willing to take the time to help her peers. Thank you Claudia for being so amazing.

December 7th Grade Students of the Month

Juan Rivera: Juan is hard working, participates and has a positive attitude

Victoria Avila: Victoria works hard, is a leader, pays attention and is responsible.

Neriah Rife: Is a hard worker, always has her camera on and participates.

Cougar Den // Malone Center Events

Hello Cougar Families!

It’s crazy to think we have already finished up with the first semester of school!

We will be putting out the 3rd quarter club sign-up once we get back to school. If you would like your student(s) to start CLC (it’s free!) please fill out the enrollment form.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. My email is zain.saleh@lps.org and my school phone number is (402) 436-1347.

Thank you!

 

7th & 8th Grade Intramurals

Hello Cougar Nation!

First off, a special thanks to the 7th/8th grade girls basketball team! Thanks for your efforts this year during the season. It was a strange one, due to the pandemic, but we made it through and finished with a win! Thanks as well for following all the safety guidelines so well!

Next up for Cougar Athletics is 7th/8th grade boys basketball! If your son is interested in playing this year, please have them attend the basketball meeting after school on January 5th! Practices will be from 3:15-4:30 everyday after school except Tuesdays. Games will be Saturday mornings starting at 8:30 a.m. We will have 3 teams for each grade to fill, so there is a team for all talent levels. The boys game schedule will be posted on the Culler Athletics Google Classroom page. The code to this is “mchcqwu”. Have your son please join this for information and updates as the season goes along. If you have any questions regarding boys basketball please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Happy 2021!! 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

Library News

Did you know that LPS students have a robust collection of reference, magazine and newspaper articles available digitally? Gale is a huge database where you can find the answers to almost any question and explore topics of interests. It’s also a great resource for research. To access Gale, click on the link on the LPS Portal and choose the most relevant Gale Database for your needs.

Digital Citizenship Tips

LPS teachers instruct students about digital law when they help students explore how terms of service agreements and privacy policies are important and have real-world implications. Topics for a family discussion might include:

What is a privacy policy? (Tells how an application or service will use your personal information, photos, videos, and may include age requirements for the application or service.)

Why are privacy policies important? (It’s important at a young age to decide how much information you want to share with an application or service and what information you want to keep private).

This Common Sense Media site provides additional information for parents concerning privacy and internet safety.

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

ELL Cougar Support

ELL students can receive extra help with any of their classes through ELL Cougar Support. It is held most days after school from 3:10-4:00 in room 150. If you’re interested in your child attending, contact one of their ELL teachers so they can sign them up and get them a Cougar Support calendar.

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. 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. We will begin testing in early February with practice tests happening the week prior. It is important that students get enough sleep so they can do their best on this assessment. It’s also imperative that students arrive to school with a charged Chromebook as the assessment is done online.

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

December Highlights

Ugly Sweaters!

Culler showed off their Holiday Spirit with Ugly Christmas attire on Fridays!

Kickball

Staff & students participated in a friendly game of kickball!

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!

The following staff members were nominated by their peers to be spotlighted for their hard work and dedication!

Terri Vensky
8th grade Publications/English

Terri is willing to go above and beyond for all of her students. She attends sporting events for the Cougars, is willing to keep score at games, she embodies what it means to be a Culler Cougar. She is knowledgeable, dedicated and an awesome teacher! I appreciate all she does for our school! I also LOVE getting to work with her everyday!

Megan Euler
7th grade Science

Megan is always quick to help when I need to troubleshoot a problem. She cares greatly for her students and often goes above and beyond to make them feel safe and cared for therefore making them better learners.

Miss Euler works harder than anybody I’ve ever met. She always puts her students first and is never afraid to stand up for what is right. Miss Euler is a fierce friend to her coworkers and a devoted educator. Culler Middle School is so very lucky to have her.

Kerry Vrtiska
Attendance Secretary

Kerry is always so welcoming and kind when I enter the office. I appreciate her patience when I forget attendance!

Family Literacy

We have made the difficult decision to discontinue our Family Literacy class at Culler. Since the program began we have served 20 parents that came to school to learn English and learn about their children’s education. While we are sad to see this program end, we look forward to continuing it in the future!

Culler Counseling

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

Class of 2027

Happy New Year Class of 2027! 6th grade students are getting ready for 7th grade! This semester we will be working on study skills, college and advanced education options, career exploration and of course completing assignments and being prepared for tests and assessments. Please encourage regular school attendance and being on time at the beginning of each school day.

Margaret Pass
Margaret Pass

Class of 2026

Hey 7th grade parents/guardians. I just wanted to say welcome back from the break, and I hope everyone had some time to relax and rejuvenate for the upcoming 2nd semester. To all my 7th graders out there, I want to say I’m proud of all of you for continuing to adjust to this crazy year we’ve had. Those of you who are doing in-person learning, I know that a lot of the protocols and restrictions have been rough so thank you for continuing to follow those and do great work at the same time. For my students who are remote-learning, I just want to say that I’m proud of you for continuing to learn on your own and working hard to get your assignments in while Zooming into classes every day. We know that’s very difficult, and we’re very proud that you are sticking with it throughout this year.

This upcoming semester, we will be focusing on the transition to 8th grade and also what that means for high school. I want all my 7th grade students to start thinking about their future right now, and I will be in classes to start talking about some things that involve careers and post-secondary education to gain access to those careers.

Continue to have your students develop those important academic skills that will benefit them greatly as they go into 8th and eventually into high school. This year has been a great example of how to be resilient, and I look forward to watching your students grow in 2021.

Thanks, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything.

Logan Waite
Logan Waite

Class of 2025

High school choice is almost here! In December, you should have received from LPS the 2020 8th grade letter regarding high school. 8th grade families may choose which high school their student attends. Each student is assigned a home high school based on the address we have listed in Synergy for that student. If you are not sure what your 8th grader’s home high school is, go to the LPS webpage to Home School Lookup.

If you want your child to go to their home high school, you need to do nothing. If you want your child to go to a school other than their home high school, you will need to submit the High School Choice form. The form may be filled out online or on paper. If you choose the online version, please submit it by Sunday, January 31. If you decide to fill out the form on paper, please be sure your student turns the completed form in to Mrs. Robinson or Mrs. Folkers in the Counseling Center by 3:00 pm on Friday, January 29. HERE is a list of high schools and focus programs with locations and contact information.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact me at 402-436-1210 or srobins@lps.org.

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 or participating in class 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, even when the Chromebook is at home. You can support teachers’ efforts in managing a consistent learning environment by encouraging your student to use the district issued Chromebook.

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.