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

September 2021

Letter from our Principal

Culler Community,

It has been a whirlwind of a start to the 21-22 school year and we have been so happy to welcome all our students back IN PERSON!! I use the word “whirlwind” because we are safely having school amidst a 2nd year of a pandemic and our kids continue to impress us with their resilience and willingness to adapt to the ever changing guidance. A perfect example was the mid-week change for 7th and 8th graders to all wear masks. Our students were INCREDIBLE with this change and I truly did not hear one complaint!

Another exciting highlight to this school year is the addition of AVID to our school at all grades.

Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) is an in-school academic support program for grades seven through twelve. The purpose of the program is to prepare students for college eligibility and success.

We have approximately 150 students enrolled and they are off to a great start! See more details later in this newsletter!

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. Join the meetings through this link!!

  • September 30th @ 7:00 p.m. – Title 1 Parent Mtg also
  • November 3rd @ 6:00 p.m.
  • January 20th @ 7:00 p.m.
  • April 21st @ 6:00 p.m.


Thanks for your continued partnership!!

Michaela Hahn
Michaela Hahn

Principal
mhahn@lps.org

Upcoming Dates

September 8th
Food Market @ 3:05-3:30 p.m.

September 14th
Parent/Teacher Conferences @ 3:30-6:30 p.m.

September 28th
PLC Dismissal @ 1:40 p.m.

MTSS-B Information

Welcome back Culler families! As an MTSS-B team, we have come up with some goals for each of our working groups. We will be surveying students, teachers and families to determine if we are meeting our goals. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Restorative Practices

Students will experience one community circle/community building activity daily.

Equity/Responding to Minor Behaviors

We will decrease our disproportionality in our minor behavior calls from 2.5 times as likely to 2 times as likely. Last year our identified African-American students were 2.5 times more likely to be removed from class for minor behaviors so we would like to decrease this as a community.

Teach/Reteach

All students will experience a monthly mini-lesson over building wide/classroom/or equity topics led and/or developed by teachers and students.

Self Care

We will diversify our staff self care offerings so that all staff participate in one self-care event during the 2021-2022 school year.

As part of our positive behavior system we have developed several different ways to recognize students for following

MICA Award Winner

 This year, our grade level teams are nominating students each week who have shown an improvement in academics or behaviors as our “Most Improved Cougar Award.”

So far this year, the following students have been recognized:

  • Dyana Nichols
  • Keivon Reed
  • Aydin Colberg
  • Ayaka McCall
  • Cadillac Nicholas
  • Nevaeh Hill

Students of the Month or Day

7th Grade

Lily M, Jess T, Vinnie M and Zac E! Congratulations!

Cougar Den // Malone Center Events

Hello Cougar Families!

We are off to another great start to this school year and our CLC program is no different! This is just a reminder that our after-school CLC program is FREE and enrollment is throughout the year! If you have questions or concerns about anything CLC related, please do not hesitate to reach out to Mr. Zain at zain.saleh@lps.org.

If you would like to sign your student(s) up for our CLC program, you will need to first fill out the enrollment form and then complete the first quarter club registration form.

Another reminder that some partnership clubs (community members who come in and facilitate/lead clubs) do take a little while longer to get started than regular clubs at our program.

7th & 8th Grade Intramurals

Hello Cougar Nation!!

Welcome to the 2021-22 Culler athletic season!!  We are off and rolling in our Fall season of sports!  Volleyball and Cross Country have begun and are off to a great start!  If your son or daughter is still interested in joining, they still can.  Have them talk to me and mention their interest, or come down after school.  We’ll get them all set up.  

Our first competition is set for Sept. 11th!!  The schedules for each sport are listed below.  If you have any questions about Culler Athletics, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with me.

Volleyball

  • 9-11  @ IRVING
  • 9-18  vs GOODRICH
  • 9-25  @ DAWES
  • 10-2  vs. MICKLE


Game times

  • A game: 8:30
  • B game: 9:30
  • C game: 10:30

Cross Country

  • 9-11  @ ROPER ELEM.
  • 9-18  @ PIONEERS PARK
  • 9-25  @ PIONEERS PARK
  • 10-2  @ PIONEERS PARK

All coaches will keep the athletes informed on which team they will be playing on and what time to be at the game/race.  We look forward to having a great Fall season of athletics!!

GO COUGARS!!!

 

Jeff Williams
Athletic Director

402-436-1210
jwillia6@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

Keeping Track of Library Books

Would you like to help your student keep track of the books they have checked out from the school library? Here’s how:

  •  Begin at portal.lps.org
    • Enter your student’s ID and password (If you don’t have this information, the school office can provide it for you).
    • Select “Destiny Discover” from the alphabetical listing in the portal.
    • From the upper right hand corner of the screen, select login and select Log in using your account with New LPS Portal.
    • On the top row, hover your mouse over “My Stuff”.
    • Select “Checkouts” from the dropdown menu to see the books that are currently checked out.

Digital Citizenship Tips

At the beginning of the school year all LPS students review Chromebook expectations and the Responsible Use Agreement (RUA) for Chromebook use. Click here to learn more about Chromebook use in LPS and to review the expectations outlined in the RUA. Here are some questions to start a conversation at home about Chromebook expectations:

  • How do you take care of your Chromebook?
  • When can you use your Chromebook?
  • What settings can you change on your Chromebook?

Library Staff

Ms. Haack

ahaack@lps.org

Mr. Saddler

tsaddle@lps.org

ELL Information

Culler ELL Teachers

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

Ms. Westlund

awestlun@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.

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 127. 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.

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

Mooku Taw
(402) 436-1434

Vietnamese

Toan Tran
(402) 436-1955

Nuer

Tosh Jock
(402) 436-1892

Russian / Ukrainian

Ellie Kasab
(402) 436-1942

Celebrations

Florence J. Clark Award for Excellence in Middle School Teaching

Our very own Ashlea Jurgens-Woitzel was awarded the Florence J. Clark Award for Excellence in Middle School Teaching.

This Award annually recognizes two outstanding middle school teachers in the Lincoln Public Schools. Middle school teachers honored by the award demonstrate excellence in middle school teaching and work toward continuous improvement in student achievement and development.

Ashlea was nominated twice for this award. Her nominations described her leadership skills and her commitment to supporting the ELL students at Culler. They go on to explain that she is a model teacher, her students are engaged in learning, her enthusiasm for her job, and that she is constantly learning and growing. Lastly, the selection committee was most wowed by how she has stepped up to be a role model and leader at Culler.

View photos from the award ceremony in this gallery!

Spirit Week

Highlights from Spirit Week! View the gallery here!

Culler Counseling

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

6th Grade

Welcome to Culler! The Class of 2028 is an AMAZING group — so confident and kind! They are off to a terrific start having mastered opening their lockers, locating their classes and navigating the anxiety of starting middle school. I will rotate with your students during their time at Culler, meaning I will be with them as they enter middle school as 6th graders, as they graduate to high school from 8th grade, and everything in between. In September, I will present an organization lesson during which we will set up a calendar and learn how to effectively use our LPS email accounts. If you have any questions or concerns or would like to visit with me, please contact Dr. Robinson at srobins@lps.org or 402-436-1210 option 3 for counseling center. Your partnership helps us to help students. We are so honored to that you trust us with your students every day. Stay tuned here for important dates and other information for your students, and again, welcome to Culler!

Sherri Robinson
Sherri Robinson

7th Grade

Welcome to 7th grade, everyone! I am your students’ counselor again this year, and I’ll go with them through 8th grade as well. This “looping” helps give students and families a sense of continuity through the grade levels and I get to interact with this amazing group for 3 years! I am incredibly proud of the work your students have done in their 6th grade year, and I look forward to a productive and fun 7th grade year. I will be in classrooms at various times throughout the year to deliver counseling curriculum. In September this year, I will be in classrooms to deliver the Welcome to 7th Grade introductory lesson and later in the month we will discuss Moral Courage.

I value our partnership. If you should ever have a question or concern, please feel free to contact Mrs. Pass at mpass@lps.org or 402-406-1210 option 3 for counseling center. Again, welcome to 7th grade!

Margaret Pass
Margaret Pass

8th Grade

Hello all! I am the 8th grade counselor this year. I rotate with the classes as they move up through the grades, and I get to see the progression that your students make over their time in middle school here at Culler. I would just like to start by saying I couldn’t be more proud of Culler’s 8th graders and the steps they’re taking as they progress in their educational careers.

I will continue to help students through this transitional point in their lives by working on social/emotional, academic and career skills. This year, much of what we do will be in direct preparation for high school. I will be in classes throughout the year to discuss high school choice, registration for classes, as well as stressors, anxiety and how to cope with a lot of the things we are seeing in our world today. If you need anything or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. My email is- lwaite@lps.org and my phone number is 402-436-1210 option 3 for the counseling center.

Again, our 8th graders are amazing, so please continue to encourage them to work hard throughout this year. Thanks.

Logan Waite
Logan Waite

Technology for Learning

Chromebook Assurance Program

Have you purchased the Chromebook Assurance Program (CAP) yet??

Only 9% of our community has done so (YIKES!)

If you have not, we HIGHLY recommend that you do.. Middle schoolers are prone to accidents and often those accidents include damage to their chromebook.

The cost for CAP is only $20 or $10 for Free/Reduced Lunch recipients AND covers any damages to the chromebook (up to the cost of a full replacement). The deadline is September 30th.

You can pay for CAP in 2 ways:
Pay through ParentVue (Student Fees)
Send cash or check to the Main Office with your student or stop in!

Fine Arts

The Culler Drama Club kicked off this month with over 40 students! Students meet every Wednesday to learn about theater and acting, and are rehearsing for the Fall Variety Show on October 29. Mark your calendars, it’s going to be a great show! Interested students should see Mrs. Ghormley in room 113 for more information.

AVID Corner

 AVID students have begun their journey towards becoming a highly organized student. The process of becoming an organized person can begin by learning skills and systems for managing materials. Students (and educators) are often frustrated by lost assignments, inability to find materials, and general disorganization. As proficiency with an organizational system for materials increases and begins to eliminate these frustrations, the benefits of organization become apparent. In turn, this can motivate persistent use of these skills and systems and development of long-term organizational routines, which translates to college and career readiness.

Culler Artists

We have great student artists at Culler and have designated a space to display and celebrate their work.  Our first artist to be recognized is Yesenia Puentes!