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

October 2021

Letter from our Principal

Culler Community,

We had our first Parent-Community Engagement meeting last week and were so excited to have 2 parents join us! Our next meeting will be on November 30th at 6:00. We will focus on Internet & Social Media Safety, including the safeguards that we put in place for student Chromebooks.

We are also feeling incredibly blessed with the community support of our Fund-a-Needs. The following Fund-a-Needs have been fully funded:

  • Supporting Positive Behavior
  • Supporting our Band Students to have performance polos to wear for concerts
  • Yearbooks – supporting students who can’t afford to purchase one


We have one more Fund-a-Need that is focused on supporting our students who are playing intramurals and ensuring that they have the proper equipment (shoes, socks, knee pads, etc) to play safely and successfully. If you are interested in supporting, please donate on the Foundation’s website!

Thanks for your continued partnership!

Michaela Hahn
Michaela Hahn

Principal
mhahn@lps.org

Upcoming Dates

October 6th
Picture Retakes

October 13th
Food Market- 3:05-3:30 p.m.

October 14th
Vocal Music Concert

October 18th
Fall Break: No school

October 19th
Fall Break: No school

October 26th
PLC Dismissal- 1:40pm

MTSS-B Information

Culler Community:
Acknowledging positive behavior is a strategy we use at Culler to encourage all students to make safe, respectful, and responsible choices. We do this by handing out Cougar bucks, writing Cougar Callouts, and giving shout outs over the morning announcements. Students can use their Cougar Bucks to buy a positive phone call home and many have taken advantage of this opportunity. Students can also use their Cougar Bucks at their grade level Cougar Stores to buy tangible items like Takis and water bottle stickers. The gradel level Cougar stores are every Friday. Ask your child what they got their last Cougar buck for and they should be able to tell you. Every time we hand one out, we specifically praise the child. This means your child knows exactly what they are doing right at the time and encourages them to do it again! Our school goal right now is to implement a 4:1 positive to corrective ratio within our classrooms. Cougar Bucks are a way to remind teachers to look for the positives.

Please let me know if you have questions about the Cougar Store or Cougar Bucks!

Kim Rathe
MTSS-B Liason

Most Improved Cougars (MICA) & Students of the Month

MICA Award Winners

Shaquille Falcon
Jeremiah Field
Kyllion Tomlinson
Kuki Lutu-Topley
Tasneem Alasad
Tan Do
Carlos Garcia Lopez
Ijeoma Ononaji
Kylie Charbonneau
Lani Bishop
Vicky Avila
Abdullah Mesri

Students of the Month

Quaedyn Combs
Sajjad Al-Far’Ani
Ceslie Viana Sanchez
Ceris McHenry

Cougar Den // Malone Center Events

Hello Cougar Families!

Our Cougar Den CLC program is free for any Culler students! We have different clubs going on currently like Skate School, Campus Life, SMART Girls, ETS, Basketball Club, Soccer Club, and much more!

If you are interested in enrolling your student into our program here is the enrollment link and here is the club registration form.

If you have any questions or concerns about our CLC program, please do not hesitate to reach out. My email is zain.saleh@lps.org

7th & 8th Grade Intramurals

Greetings Culler Families!

Happy October and happy Fall!! First off, I would like to thank everyone that was involved in our Fall athletics. Cross country, volleyball and soccer all did a great job and represented Culler well!

Our next athletic season is GIRLS BASKETBALL!! 7th/8th grade is combined and is usually a great experience for all involved. Girls basketball will start on OCT. 13th. We will have a team meeting/shoot around in the East gym at Culler. If you have a student that is interested in playing, please encourage them to go out. We have different levels of teams, so all skills are welcome!! At the October 13th meeting, all info will be shared with the students about what to expect. Schedules of games will also be handed out as well.

If you have any questions about girls basketball, please don’t hesitate to get a hold of me. My contact info is below. Thanks Culler families!!

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

Borrow and read one of thousands of high interest, popular books in Sora.

  • Go to portal.lps.org.
  • Log in with your LPS credentials. Contact your school office if your student does not know his/her username and password.
  • Select Sora from the alphabetical listing in the LPS portal.
  • Browse and check out a book.
  • You can also download the Sora App on your devices.

Digital Citizenship Tips

Our students are learning about digital communication and online etiquette. Here are some prompts to help you continue the conversation at home:

  • What do you like to do online? What are some positive ways you use technology?
  • How do you use good manners online?
  • What is the difference between face-to-face and online conversations? When would it be better to talk to someone in person rather than texting or posting something online?
  • Should you ask permission before posting a photo or video of someone else online?
  • How do you avoid other online distractions (games, browsing other websites, etc.) while doing schoolwork online?

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

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 October 11, 2021. If your child moves up an ELL level, they will receive a letter at school that they should bring home to you. They should also check Synergy for their new quarter four 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.

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

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

Happy October, Class of 2028! 6th graders are well entrenched in middle school and have the routine down! I am incredibly proud of how smooth and fast the transition has been. I am awed daily at how much our 6th graders care about each other and work to help each other.

This month our school social worker Mrs. Crandall and I will be in classrooms to talk with students about ACT: Acknowledge, Care, Tell. We all know that friends are very important to teens and tweens. It is likely that kids will hear from their friends when something is wrong before any adult knows. ACT teaches students what to do if and when their friends are hurting, specifically with dangerous issues like self harm, suicidal ideation, and substance use/abuse. In this lesson, we stress that some things are too big for friends to try to handle alone, and we focus on what concrete actions kids can take when their friends are hurting. As always, we encourage students to let a trusted adult know and that it is okay to ask for help.

Quarter classes (7th or 8th period) will change on October 20. Please ask your student to check their schedules on Synergy for 2nd quarter so they know which class to attend on October 20. The Class of 2028 is amazing, and as their caregivers, I know you are proud of them. If they report something that concerns you, or you have a question you would like answered, please feel free to contact me at 402-436-1210 (option 3 for Counseling Center) or srobins@lps.org. Have a great October!

Sherri Robinson
Sherri Robinson

7th Grade

We are off and running in 7th grade so far this school year! Students are settling into their classes and doing well with adjusting to 7th grade expectations. In 7th grade students change classes every 52 minutes, which is a big change from 6th grade. A few students are having a difficult time managing their passing time and are being counted tardy to class frequently. Being tardy to class results in a last to lunch the following day, after 10 last to lunch days in a month students will serve a lunch detention which is not a fun experience. On a positive note, 7th graders are a great group of students, they are working hard in their academic classes, creating wonderful art and music, participating enthusiastically in PE and learning Spanish. Quarter classes during 1st or 2nd periods will switch on Oct. 20th with the start of 2nd quarter. Keep up the great work 7th grade!

Margaret Pass
Margaret Pass

8th Grade

Hello 8th Grade Parents.

Now that your 8th grade student has settled into this last year before high school, I would like to remind you and your students that this is the last “practice round.” What I mean by that is that middle school is important because it helps prepare students for high school. Responsibility, organization, time management, emotional regulation, and many more skills are taught, practiced and developed throughout middle school. 8th grade is the last year where poor grades and habits don’t have consequences in school- such as having to retake a class or not being able to graduate on time. Please continue to work with your students on doing well in school and practice those skills that will help them be successful in high school. If you don’t have access to ParentVUE to check their grades, feel free to reach out to me at 402-436-1210 or lwaite@lps.org. I will be more than happy to help set up a plan for your student to be successful and ready for high school.

Also, I will continue to be in classes to talk with students about high school, post-secondary education, and careers. Tentatively, we are planning on taking a field trip to The Career Academy and SCC on November 10. This is subject to change due to COVID protocols, but more details will come. Please continue to talk with your students about post-high school plans and their careers. Thank you.

Logan Waite
Logan Waite

Technology for Learning

Looking for Parent Feedback via the LPS CLASS Survey

During the month of October, Culler parents will have the opportunity to participate in a brief LPS CLASS Plan Survey. The data will help LPS evaluate ongoing CLASS Plan implementation, align professional learning efforts, and inform technology purchasing decisions.

To participate, please visit the following link: https://lps.org/go/BQPG

Your responses will remain anonymous to protect you and your students’ privacy. The last day to complete this questionnaire is Friday, October 29th.

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback in this important survey! Questions can be directed to Emmaline Baxter or Michaela Hahn

Instructional Technology Tools (ITTs) in LPS & The LPS Portal

LPS believes that effective instruction can and should include the appropriate use of instructional technology to support learning. To that end, a District Instructional Technology Tool (ITT) Committee works to identify ITTs that are safe for student use, support district learning goals, and encourage innovative teaching and learning. All reviewed ITTs are cataloged in the LPS ITT Matrix [https://www.lps.org/apps/matrix/].

The most frequently used, approved, and supported ITTs are made available to students and staff in the LPS Portal [https://lps.org/go/YXGE]. Students access their LPS Portal by clicking the ‘HOME’ button on their Chromebook.

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.

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!

By Ceslie Viana Sanchez

By Akira Moody

By Akira Moody

AVID Corner

8th grade AVID class Community Service Project: Culler Students went to Riley Elementary School to color Fall pictures with 1st grade students!