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4th Q Newsletter 2020: Home

Important Telephone Numbers

Main Office 

(531) 299 - 2360

Principal Williams

(531) 299 - 7042

Assistant Principal Schmidt (Schedules/Grades)

(531) 299 - 9018

Assistant Principal Station  (Athletics/Activities)

(531) 299 - 7124

Greetings From Mr. Schmidt

Greetings Nathan Hale Community,

I am grateful to serve the students and families of Nathan Hale as the Assistant Principal/Data Processor.  Do not hesitate to contact me regarding questions related to assessment, grading, and scheduling.  

Parent Portal

One of our goals is to have all our families monitor student progress through the Infinite Campus Parent Portal.  Please email me at to request access.  You will need to provide your full first and last name, the name(s) of your student(s), and the email address you would like associated with your account.  This is an important tool that can help increase student achievement and communication between home and school.

You also can monitor student progress through your student's Infinite Campus account.  The login and password are the same as the login and password for your student's email account and computer login.  Feel free to email me at anytime with questions.

Current Contact Information

Also, it is important we have current email addresses and phone numbers for parents and guardians so our families receive updated information from the school and district.  If you have recently changed your email address or phone number(s), please email our building principal, Mr. Darin Williams, at or call 531-299-7042.  Include your new contact information along with your full first and last name and the name(s) of your student(s) so it can be changed in our system.

Stay Connected

Please visit the OPS website at, the Nathan Hale website, our Twitter page @OPS_NathanHale, and our Nathan Hale Middle School Facebook page for information and updates. 

Thank you.  Be well and be safe.

Mr. Schmidt

Nathan Hale Assistant Principal

From The Athletic/Activities Director's Desk

Hello Patriot Parents,

As we complete the year, I am saddened that I did not get to see our students during fourth quarter.  However, our students are still engaged and participating in distance learning.  They are showing why they are Tomorrow's Leaders.  

Please continue to encourage them to read over the summer.


Unfortunately, we were unable to participate in Season Four which would have included Boys/Girls Soccer and Boys/Girls Track and Field.  Please make sure students are staying physically active in preparation for the next school year.  


Unfortunately, our clubs were unable to continue over these last few months.  However, your teachers are very excited to introduce new, fun activities that will enrich classroom learning.  Please make sure your student participates in an activity during the 20/21 school year.  It is a great way to meet new friends and develop leadership skills.

I look forward to continuing to work with your students as we build their capacity of knowledge, character, and drive.

Ms. Station

Nathan Hale Assistant Principal 

News From Nurse Cunningham

To help prevent the spread of communicable diseases, we would like to remind you of the following guidelines:

Keep your child home if any one of the following occurs:

1. Temperature of 100 degrees or higher within the last 24 hours.  Do not mediate your child with anti-fever medications and send him/her to school.

2. Vomiting or diarrhea within the last 24 hours.

3. Any symptoms of acute illness such as persistent cough or body aches.

4. Have strep throat.  Students with strep throat need to be treated with antibodies for 24 hours before returning to school.  

Your child should look and behave like him/herself 24 hours before returning to school.


1. To protect your child from exposure to other illness before he/she can build resistance.

2. To protect the other student's and staff from communicable disease that your child may transmit.

Important To Remember

Hand washing is the most effective means of preventing the spread of communicable diseases!

Remind your child to wash their hands frequently and cover their nose and mouths when coughing or sneezing.

Please call the health office with any questions or concerns you have regarding your child's health needs.

Kristy Cunningham, RN, BSN

School Nurse

(531) 299 - 7025



Congratulations to these outstanding Patriots!  They were selected by their colleagues for their incredible work and dedication.  

Drumroll, please.....

Staff Member of the Year 

Mrs. Walker-Dombeck

Teacher of the Year 

Mrs. Foley



Follow Us

Stay connected to the Patriot community.  Visit our website at  Follow us on Facebook at @NathanHaleMS, or follow us on Twitter @OPS_NathanHale.  Thanks!


What do you think?  This is the fourth year of Nathan Hale's digital newsletter.  We would like to know your thoughts about the newsletter.  Please email your comments and feedback to Mrs. Tetschner at  Thank you.


Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities, and employment and provides equal access to Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.  The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:  Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131  (531) 299-0220.

Letter From Principal Williams

Dear Patriot Community,  

I hope you and your family are taking care during this time, and I hope this message reaches you and your family safe and healthy.  Although things look different, our efforts continue uninterrupted for our students and the community we serve.  I want to thank you for sharing your students with us this school year.  We are proud of their growth and accomplishments.

To all of the eighth-grade students heading to high school and to all the families moving out of the Nathan Hale attendance area, the staff would wish you all the very best in the future.  To the seventh-grade students and sixth-grade students, we are looking forward to preparing you for high school in the coming years.  In addition, we are excited to welcome our sixth-grade students who will be joining us next year.  During the summer months, we will be sending out information to students for the 2020-2021 academic school year.

I would like to thank the parents, staff, students, and community members who helped us through these unprecedented times.  

To all students, we ask that you give more to the community than you take, and of course, remember that you represent yourself, your family, and this community with your actions.  Most of all, stay safe this summer!

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at 531-299-7042.  

We will get through these times, and I am looking forward to August!


Darin K. Williams

Nathan Hale Principal

News From Team Pride -- Sixth Grade

Math --  During fourth quarter Mrs. Quedensley and her mathematicians in Advanced Math worked on various learning activities dealing with area, volume, and surface area, as well as, higher-level learning tasks.  Learning the ropes of e-learning was a huge step for Ms. Ross and her students.  Thanks to their tenacity they overcame this challenge and spent fourth quarter working on surface area, volume, inequalities, and mean, median, mode, and range.  Ms. Ross hopes that all of her students have a great summer vacation.  The learning activities for Ms. Johnson and her students revolved around area and perimeter.  They also worked with probability and equations.  Ms. Johnson provided her mathematicians with many activities that they could do with their families.  She felt everyone seemed to enjoy these activities the most!

Science -- Ms. Eltouny, Mr. Novotny and their sixth-grade students investigated many science-related questions during fourth quarter.  These questions revolved around animal adaptations and environmental factors (nature) vs. genetic factors (nurture) in the growth of offspring. Dr. Rivers and her sixth-grade students learned about the reproduction of organisms through asexual (with one gender) or sexual (male and female gender) processes.  Students watched videos and analyzed diagrams of how bacteria (asexual) reproduction can impact lives.  During this COVID-19 virus outbreak, these lessons helped students learn and apply how viruses spread and their impact on our planet.  Students used models, diagrams, and simulations to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation.  As a result, sixth-grade students should be able to describe the cause and effect relationship of gene transmission from parent(s) to offspring and resulting genetic variation.

English/Language Arts --  Fourth quarter found Mrs. Worthy's ELA classes focused on decisions that matter.  Students read the poem "A Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost and wrote personal narratives about a time they had to make a decision that mattered.  This ambitious group also read biographies and autobiographies and analyzed media sources by reading about Flight 93 and the Titanic.  Mrs. Ruppe and her ELA classes worked on a multitude of things during fourth quarter from summary writing to using reading strategies such as the RACE strategy.  According Mrs. Ruppe, students did an excellent job adjusting to the changes caused by the pandemic.  Not only did students complete weekly learning activities, but they went above and beyond utilizing resources such as IXL and ReadWorks to enhance their reading and writing skills.  Mrs. Ruppe is very proud of their work.  During fourth quarter, Ms. Workman had her students complete learning activities which focused on independent practice of a variety of reading skills using IXL, eBooks, Quizizz, and other online resources.  

Social Studies -- Mr. Novotny and his students "traveled" to West Africa during fourth quarter.  They learned about what influenced this area of the world.  


News From Team Truth -- Seventh Grade

Math --  During fourth quarter, Mrs. Quedensley and her Honors Pre-Algebra students had things covered.  They worked with various learning activities dealing with area, volume, surface area, as well as, higher level learning tasks.  In Math 7, Ms. Askew and her students focused on units 7, 8, 9 and 10.  This curriculum ranged from inequalities to the circumference of a circle.  The students were provided with "reteach" materials each week along with a new activity.  Ms. Askew also provided each student with an answer key, so if they could not figure out a problem, the students could look at the answer and work backwards.  Mrs. Bridgeford and Ms. Askew also hosted weekly sessions for students to call and talk with them about questions they might have.  Both teachers are proud of their Math 7 students because these scholars tried, attempted, and worked extremely hard during the fourth quarter.  According to Ms. Askew long distance learning taught her a few things, as well.  She learned how to engage students in non-traditional ways.  She learned how important each student is to the classroom, and she learned that no matter the subject, she misses each and every one of her students.  During fourth quarter, Ms. Johnson's students focused on probability and statistics.  What are the chances of that?  They completed some geometry activities that included GeoCities which required knowledge of area and perimeter.  They ended the quarter with circles and how to measure them.  

Science -- Dr. Rivers and her seventh-grade scientists were engaged in gathering data on natural hazards on our planet during fourth quarter.  Students used the data to help them learn how reliable forecasts are made for catastrophic events like volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.  This data helped them to understand how technologies can assist in mitigating (lessening the dangerous or harmful effects) the effects from natural disasters.  They learned that earthquakes do not yet have reliable predictors.  These ambitious scientists also learned about the surface processes on our planet and those specific to Nebraska: droughts/farming and waste/ground water.  They learned about the Ogallala Aquifer (large deposits of underground water) and how it may dry up in 50 years.  Students learned that these factors are related to Nebraska and how droughts impact our main productivity: growing corn.  Mr. Clerc and his seventh-grade students finished up their unit on ecology and the different things that impact it.  Students then turned into geologists, studying natural cycles on Earth.

English/Language Arts --  Collaboration was in full swing during fourth quarter, as Mrs. Foley, Ms. Galles, and Mr. Samson worked together to create learning activities for their students.  During this time, these Patriot teachers focused their activities on engagement.  Their students read the novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  Each week students read two chapters, filled out chapter response forms, and reflected on the themes in the novel.  Some of these themes included stereotyping, gangs, and past/current teen issues.  Next, this group of scholars read the historical text called "The Triangle Factory Fire."  This fire was a catalyst for the implementation of fire safety requirements in all buildings.  Finally, the students paired this text with a fictional story about the impact of Native American boarding schools.  All three teachers encourage their students to keep writing and reading over the summer.  A good goal would be to read a book every two weeks or to read 20 minutes every day.  Ms. Galles would like to remind students that, just like a muscle, writing and reading skills get stronger when they are used often.  

Social Studies -- In seventh-grade social studies, Mrs. Siert and her students learned about Russia during fourth quarter.  They studied Russian Tsars, the Cold War, and Russia today.  Although the Patriots have been away from the school building, Mrs. Siert is very proud of the hard work her seventh-grade scholars continued to put toward their education.  She misses them and cannot wait to greet them next year as the new leaders of our school.  During fourth quarter, Mr. Nelson focused on providing engaging and informative online learning activities for his social studies and social justice students.  One such activity involved trying out some traditional Russian games while learning about and exploring the former Soviet Union and current Russia.  Mr. Nelson felt it was a great year, and he appreciated everyone's hard work online.  He is looking forward to seeing everyone return next year and wishes the best of luck to those students moving on to high school.

News From Team Freedom -- Eighth Grade

Math -- Mr. Matthews and Mrs. Peters kept their math students in Pre-Algebra busy during fourth quarter.  These "mathletes" worked on area and volume -- using formulas to find the volume of circle-based shapes.  Students completed a combination of and worksheets to find the volume of cylinders, cones, and spheres.  Weekly office hours on Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. gave the students time to ask questions.  Mrs. Peters and her Algebra students spent fourth quarter adding, subtracting, multiplying, and factoring polynomials.  Fortunately, class meetings and online manipulatives helped a lot.  Mr. Stark and his Math 8 students started fourth quarter by doing activities that involved similar polygons and indirect measurement. Next, they completed activities with similar triangles, and they determined the area and perimeter of similar figures.  Finally, they finished the quarter with area and circumference of circles and the volume of spheres.

Science -- During fourth quarter, Mr. Elder and his eighth-grade science students learned about forces and motion.  They learned how to describe objects that we see in motion every day.  Mr. Clerc and his students in Physical Science turned their attention to plate tectonics and its impact on living and nonliving things for fourth quarter.  The finished the year focused on the evidence, causes, and effects of climate change.

English/Language Arts -- Fourth quarter is always exciting in eighth grade as it brings the ending of students' middle school years and propels them forward into a plethora of new experiences in high school!  Although the fourth quarter was unique, to say the least,  Ms. Carlson, Mrs. Kissinger, and Ms. Ridgley were impressed with their students doing their best to take ownership of their learning by working through the weekly learning activities.  All three teachers encourage their students to continue reading and suggest students find something interesting to them, whether it is a book, graphic novel, or online article.  These Patriots also are encouraged to make use of to keep their skills sharp and to be ready to approach high school with vigor!  Mrs. Kissinger, Ms. Carlson, and Ms. Ridgley want you to remember that as you approach your continued learning journey please keep these words from Pam Allyn in mind...reading is like breathing in; writing is like breathing out.  So, your ELA teachers want you to remember to breathe every day! They have missed seeing you in class and hope you will keep in touch.

Social Studies -- During the fourth quarter, Mr. Bedore and his students explored, using an online textbook program, Reconstruction and the Progressive Era.  These American history buffs focused on the promises of the Reconstruction and it's ultimate failure.  In the Progressive Era, the students focused on Industrialization, Urbanization, and Immigration.  Ms. Benson and her students also learned about the Reconstruction Era and how it caused the awareness of racial and social issues, of the need for improvements throughout the country, and of how people can learn from the past by creating analogies for practical learning.  For the final part of the quarter, these students learned about immigration during the late 1800s and early 1900s and how the immigrants expanded the ideas of the Ellis Island creed.


News From Team Liberty -- Cooperating Arts

ELL -- During fourth quarter, Mrs. Taylor and Ms. Birkemeier celebrated many students who demonstrated proficiency in the English language through the ELPA-21 summative assessment.  Nathan Hale had eleven sixth-grade students, one seventh-grade student, and two eighth-grade students who demonstrated proficiency.  Mrs. Taylor and Ms. Birkemeier and their industrious groups of Patriots also read the book Refugee by Alan Gratz during fourth quarter in their transitions class.  The teachers monitored comprehension by using Reciprocal Teaching as the students reflected on each chapter.  Reciprocal Teaching is really four strategies:  predicting, clarifying, questioning, and summarizing.  Both teachers hope parents encourage their children to continue to use these skills as they read fiction or nonfiction over the summer -- because becoming a good reader just takes practice and the discipline to go back and reread until the text makes sense.  

Computer Applications -- Fourth quarter found the students in Ms. Voss' computer applications classes using Microsoft Office with a major focus on Word and PowerPoint.  Students were able to create independent projects to express their creativity and understanding of each concept.  Students also took a major focus on coding and improving their code patterns and gaming skills.  

Music --  Hello from Ms. Sewell!  The Nathan Hale choir program took a virtual turn during fourth quarter.  The students worked diligently on their warm-ups through videos and on their critiquing skills of other performances.  They sharpened their song writing skills by composing songs over social justice.  They learned about music genres, famous musicians, careers in music, vocal health, and finished with a little bit of musical theater!  Ms. Sewell wants students to know that even though the choir was not able to make beautiful music together in this quarantine time, our brains were busy and our creativity is rolling.  "When all words fail, still music speaks."  Hello from Ms. Boesch!  During fourth quarter, general music classes explored music in everyday life.  Each student created a playlist of their life, explaining why they chose those songs and what the songs meant to them.  They even created an album cover design to go with their playlist.  Ms. Boesch and her musicians closed out the year by finding musical elements all around them.  

Reading --  Mr. Irvin would like his reading students to know that he appreciated their efforts to be engaged with the curriculum's online programs. His students worked with reading passages and vocabulary comprehension during fourth quarter.

Physical Education --  During fourth quarter, the boys in physical education classes worked on journaling skills -- realizing the importance of writing down the food they consumed and the exercise they did.  Mr. Hansen encouraged his students to also record the time with the food and exercise, as this documentation is a good indicator if people are making good choices or not.  For example, eating late at night can cause weight gain as the food does not have time to digest before bed, and exercising for 60 minutes a day is crucial for not only physical but mental health.  Mr. Hansen says that when people journal to reflect on their choices and behavior, they can see patterns (good or bad) and make adjustments as needed.

Spanish --  Hola from Mrs. Peters!  Fourth quarter had Nathan Hale's students in Spanish learning about family and house vocabulary.  Mrs. Peters apologizes as this means that now students can complain about their chores in at least two languages.

Leadership --  At the beginning of fourth quarter, Ms. Benson's seventh-grade students focused on entrepreneurship and how to build themselves up with their passions and hobbies.  They spent the remainder of the quarter, learning about different presidents in the American lineage and how they influenced the growth of our country in amazing ways! Ms. Benson and eighth-grade students focused on self-ownership of decisions they make in their lives and how leading at home is imperative for the development of a leader.  These students also focused on the year to come -- HIGH SCHOOL -- and how they can create a new normal for themselves that would benefit their academics and social groupings.  They finished the year strong by learning about goal-setting and organization for success.  

Lifetime Fitness and HGD -- Fourth quarter was an unusual time for Mr. Clayburn and his students.  With the world trapped inside due the quarantine, this group focused on adjusting to hygiene and personal health, including staying physically healthy and keeping active, during COVID-19's new normal.



Special Shout Out!

A huge thank you to all the Nathan Hale teachers who went above and beyond to make sure that their students involved in special education were engaged and learning during this time of quarantine.  This transition to distance learning exemplified their dedication to their students.  Thank you Ms. Moore, Mrs. Patton, Ms. Lee, Ms. Gutowski, Mrs. Bridgeford, and Dr. Snell.  We applaud you!

Keep Reading With Sora Overdrive


Greetings From Ms. McNeil

Hello Patriots, 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, spending time with my family and continuing my children's education at home has been of extreme importance for me.  However, I miss working with students and hearing all the joyful noise that comes along with being in a school building.

Students keep working hard from home on the learning activities being provided from teachers.  It is amazing to see how many of you are continuing to stay connected to school!  I miss you!

Nathan Hale's magnet theme is Leadership and Social Justice.  

In such uncertain times, students remember your leadership prevails!  #Social Distancing.  

In Leadership, Nathan Hale students learn about what leadership is and what it looks like within themselves and others.  They do this by learning various techniques on thought processing, by acknowledging patterns of behaviors, and by the application of new concepts for success.

Nathan Hale's Leadership Extra Value Standards include...

* Students will implement and evaluate personal academic and life goals.

* Students will evaluate their personal leadership characteristics.

* Students will engage in authentic, problem-solving activities.

In Social Justice, Nathan Hale students learn about injustices in society and ways to solve the problem.  Students spend time working on case studies and analyzing problems in our community.

Nathan Hale's Social Justice Extra Value Standards include...

* Students will evaluate the importance and effectiveness of civil engagement.

* Students will evaluate multiple perspectives when making a decision about societal issues.

* Students will evaluate media for its accuracy and biases.

Stay safe,

Ms. McNeil

Nathan Hale Dean of Students


Greetings From Ms. Sanuick

Hello Patriot Families,

Thank you for joining us for our Title 1, family night events this year!  We were sorry to not have been able to hold our annual Sports Night in April.  Hopefully, the math flashcards and reading books handed out during our other family nights have been put to use during our school closure.  We are looking forward to seeing you during the 2020 - 2021 school year!  

I hope you are safe and healthy,

Ms. Saniuk

Nathan Hale Dean of Student

Counselor's Corner

Dear Nathan Hale students and families,

What a couple of months it has been!  We hope that this newsletter finds you and your family healthy and safe.

When we left on Spring Break, we never would have thought at that time it would be the last time we would be seeing students in person for the 19/20 school year.  The shift to distance learning activities was definitely something new for all of us.  We want to take this time to say, "THANK YOU!" to our teachers and students who did a great job making this transition.  We know it wasn't easy.

While we have been away from the school building, your counselors have been hard at work getting ready for the 20/21 school year by registering students for classes and making plans to ensure that when we return to the building, we are ready to welcome everyone back.

We have gathered some resources that you may find helpful as we navigate this new world together.  The links are at the bottom of this box.

* Helping Children Cope with Emergencies

* How to Talk to Your Anxious Child or Teen About Coronavirus

We also wanted to remind you that if you or your student is experiencing any difficulties and needs someone to talk to, here are some resources that you can call. 

* OPS SAFE Schools Hotline                      (531) 299 - SAFE (7233)

* Safe 2 Help 

With so much going on, and so much on our minds, we wanted to take a moment to remind you to be kind to yourselves.  We are in uncharted waters, and we know it have been difficult to regain a sense of normalcy.  Be kind to yourself, be there for your families, and let us know how we can help.

We also would like to wish our eighth-grade students good luck next year as you enter the final four years of your high school education.  We are disappointed that we are not able to say good-byes in person.  Please know that we wish you the best of luck as you begin this journey.  It has been a pleasure getting to know you these last few years and watching you grow.  We hope you keep in touch.

If you need to reach a Nathan Hale counselor, please call (531) 299 - 7037.  

Mrs. Poskochil

Ms. Redinbaugh

Mr. Simmons


News From The Gifted and Talented Department

20/21 Book Blaster Titles

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys


Blended by Sharon Draper


Other Words For Home by Jasmine Warga


Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds


Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya


Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson


The Benefits of Being An Octopus by Ann Braden


Pet by Akwaeke Emezi


White Bird by R.J. Palacio



Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).

Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).