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Nathan Hale Newsletter 3Q 20/21: Home

Greetings From Principal Cano

Happy Fourth Quarter!

I hope this message finds everyone doing well, staying safe and healthy.  As we head into our final quarter of the school year, I want to encourage our parents and guardians to continue to talk to your students about staying on top of their schoolwork.  As the weather changes from gray and gloomy skies to warm and bright sunshine, it is easy to neglect homework in exchange for spending time outside with friends.  Let us work together to ensure that your student has a successful end to the school year.

As we prepare for the summer, I also would like to encourage families to sign up their student for Next Level Learning (NLL).  The NLL program will replace our summer school this year and is open to all students.  We will have NLL sessions running the months of June and July, and students can attend for half day or full day.  Transportation is available for students that qualify; however, we need to know of your intent to send your student to NLL by April 9th.  If you would like to sign your student up, please respond to the survey that is sent out each week.  The survey is being sent to families every Monday.  If you do not receive a survey, please call the main office.  

Thank you for your support, and I hope you have a wonderful spring.


Mr. Ruben Cano

Interim Principal

Important Dates

Monday, March 15th --  Start of Fourth Quarter

Monday, March 15th -- Start of In-house Student Registration

Tuesday, March 23rd -- Start of NSCAS Testing

Monday, March 29th -- Start of Elementary to Middle School Registration

Thursday, April 1st -- Virtual Title 1 S.T.E.M Night

Friday, April 2nd -- No School -- Professional Development Day

Friday, April 9th -- Last Day to Register for Next Level Learning

Wednesday, April 14th -- Start of Spring MAP Testing

Wednesday, May 26th -- Last Student Day


Greetings From Assistant Principal 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. 

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 Nathan Hale student(s), and the email address you would like associated with the account.  I will then email your activation key and instructions for setting up your account.  This is an important tool that can help increase student attendance and achievement, as well as 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.

Also, it is important we have current email addresses and phone numbers for families so you can receive updated information from the school and district.  If you have recently changed your email address or phone number(s), please call the school at (531) 299-7032 to update that important information.  

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

Thank you.

Be well and safe,

Mr. Anton Schmidt

Assistant Principal/Data Processor


From The Desk of Mr. Samson

Hello Patriots, 

Fourth quarter is an important time for assessments.  Please encourage your student(s) to get plenty of rest, to come to school with a charged iPad, and to be prepared to do their very best.

ELL students finished the bulk of ELPA testing during third quarter.  Hats off to Ms. Darling and Ms. Mancuso for their hard work in organizing and getting this testing done!  

NSCAS testing will be from March 22nd - May 7th.  Sixth-grade students and seventh-grade students will be taking the Math and Reading tests while the eighth-grade students will complete the Science Field test, as well. 

Spring MAP testing will occur during fourth quarter, as well, after the NSCAS is done.


Mr. Andrew Samson

Instructional Facilitator

Counselor's Corner

The year is quickly coming to an end.  It's been an interesting year for sure with many changes, ups and downs.  As we try to get back to a regular routine, it's important to keep in mind that through all the changes this year, there are some things that have remained the same.  Eighth-grade students are excited about moving to high school.  Seventh-grade students and sixth-grade students are excited about progressing to the next level, too.  Elementary students are excited to move up to middle school though they are probably feeling a little anxious. 

There are several ways in which you can assist your child with transitioning to a new school next fall.  Here are some suggestions.

1. Have a conversation about what things concern him/her about changing schools.

2. Reassure your student that it is normal to be feeling a little anxious about the change.

3. Let them know that every other student is feeling very much the same way.

4. Point out these 10 positive things about moving to middle school.

* Making new friends

* Making a fresh start

* Learning interesting new things

* Becoming more responsible

* Having new opportunities for after-school activities including sports and clubs

* Finding out their interests, skills, and career goals

* Preparing for high school

* Meeting new teachers, counselors, and administrators

* Developing talents and abilities

* Becoming a young teen

Here are some Important ways in which you can keep your child academically strong over the summer.

* Make sure your student has a daily, leisure reading plan of 30 minutes a day.

* Expose your student to new experiences.

* Ask your child questions about everyday experiences.

* Give you student plenty of exercise and fresh air.

* Make family plans for a picnic, ballgame, concert, or other summer activities.

* Plan some day trips to the riverfront, zoo, museums, and other venues.

* Spend quality time with each of your children separately.

* Share your values with your student.

* Discuss your expectations for attendance, grades, and behavior about school.

* Have your student work on basic math facts and show your child how math is used in the everyday world.

* Assign regular chores to your child expecting them to be done in a timely manner.

* Teach good time management6 skills -- practice scheduling after-school hours in preparation for homework in the fall.  Have your child use an alarm clock.

* Teach your child the value of helping others.

Have a safe and wonderful summer.  Take the time to relax, refresh, and rejuvenate.

Mrs. Poskochil

Ms. Redinbaugh

Mr. Simmons


Student Handbook

Nathan Hale students and families can access the 20 - 21 Nathan Hale Student Handbook using the link below.  It contains important information about Nathan Hale including academics, attendance, MTSS-B, Title I, and our school-wide expectations.  Please use this as an important resource throughout the school year.  

Next Level Learning Summer 2021

Summer is right around the corner, and it is time to think about your student's next level of learning in 2021.  The Omaha Public Schools and Nathan Hale Magnet Middle School are excited to offer our Welcome Camp and Next Level Learning 2021 summer programming during the months of June and July.  

See the Nathan Hale website (link below) for more information regarding...

1. the Welcome Camp Session (June 2nd - June 4th)

2. the Next Level Learning June Session (June 7th - July 1st) 

3. the Next Level Learning July Session (July 6th - July 23rd) 


4. the AM and PM session offerings.

Current eighth-grade students will attend Next Level Learning at the high school they will be attending in 2021 - 22.

Please use the link below to complete the registration form via Microsoft Forms before the end of the day on Friday, April 9th.  You may also use this QR code.

Thank you for your support of the Omaha Public Schools and Nathan Hale Magnet Middle School.  Be well and be safe.

Welcome To Our Newest Patriot!

Ms. Michelle Hughes -- Security.  Ms. Hughes was born in Texas, but she grew up all over the country since she was an army brat.  Her favorite middle school memory is joining different clubs and finding new interests.  Her hobbies include hanging out with her kids, playing Skipbo, and crocheting.  In the summer, Ms. Hughes and her family really enjoy camping and going to the lake to spend the day on the beach.  She is glad she has joined the Nathan Hale team.  

Team Pride News -- Sixth Grade

 Science --  Third quarter saw Ms. Jiang and Ms. Grunke's science classes hatching chicks to learn about the structure and function of living things.  They talked about how cells are the building blocks of all living things.  Be sure to ask your student(s) about some of the organelles in plant or animal cells!  Many students had seen and interacted with chicken eggs from the grocery store before, but throughout this unit, these scientists also explored the role of cells in the growth and development of living organisms.  Questions they investigated included: How do eggs become chickens?  How do the chickens' development and cells compare to other living things? What structures can be found inside the chicken egg and the developing embryo? Where do all these cells come from and what do they do?  During fourth quarter, these inquisitive scholars will dig deeper into what makes our bodies work.  They will go over all the different body systems and how these systems are designed to be efficient.  These scientists also will learn about genetic information and variation.  Using chickens as a starting point, they will analyze variations between parents and offspring from sexual and asexual reproduction.  Next, they will investigate interactions between pollinators and plant species.  Finally, this group will explain the role of environmental factors in the variations of living organisms.  

English/Language Arts Whew! During third quarter Ms. Worthy and her students read the short story "What Do Fish Have to Do Withy Anything," investigated argumentative writing, analyzed and wrote poetry, and finished the first half of the novel Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. During fourth quarter, they will explore the structure of nonfiction texts, including biographies and autobiographies.  They will finish Bud, Not Buddy, study themes in literature, and analyze various versions of the short story "The Prince and the Pauper."  Third quarter found Ms. Ruppe and Ms. Patton and their scholars analyzing Coming-of-Age stories using different reading strategies.  They tracked character development and plot, and they found themes.  They continued to practice the RACE strategy when justifying their thoughts and opinions about a text.  During fourth quarter, their unit in the Collections textbook is called "Decisions that Matter." Students will explore how and why people make certain choices in their lives, including their own.  By the end of the quarter, students will write a personal narrative about a key decision they had to make, and they will compose an argument in which they give their views on how people's decisions shape their lives.  

Social Studies -- Ms. Grunke and her social studies students traveled to Ancient Greece during third quarter.  They learned about how the Ancient Greeks created different government types, how city-states could be very different from one another, and how Ancient Greek inventions are still used today. They will pack their bags and travel to Ancient Rome, MesoAmerica, and Western Africa during fourth quarter.  Third quarter started with Ms. Johnson and her scholars visiting the Ancient Roman Empire.  During fourth quarter, they will complete their travels in Rome and venture into the Middle Ages and wrap up the school year in West Africa.  

Math -- During third quarter, Ms. Ross and her mathletes worked on multiplying and dividing fractions along with ordering and comparing rational numbers.  During fourth quarter, their attention will turn to graphing, surface area, volume, and finding the area of rectangles. Ms. Quedensley and her Advanced Math students spent third quarter multiplying and dividing factions, expressions, and equations.  They will work with equations, functions, inequalities, area, volume, surface area, geometric figures, probability, and stats during fourth quarter.  During third quarter, Ms. Quedensley's Math 6 students studied integers and the coordinate plane and expressions.  Fourth quarter will find them working with equations, functions, inequalities, area, volume, surface area, and stats.  Mr. Ohira and his scholars spent third quarter multiplying and dividing fractions, working with integers, and studying the coordinate plane.  Their attention will turn to algebraic expressions and equations, as well as, to functions during fourth quarter.  Ms. Johnson and her math scholars worked on integers and the coordinate plane during third quarter.  They will start their Algebra unit during fourth quarter.  Good luck finding x!

Team Truth News -- Seventh Grade

Science -- The students in Mr. Clerc's and Mr. Samson's science classes learned how matter and energy cycle through ecosystems during third quarter.  During fourth quarter, these scholars will learn about the physical systems of the Earth!  Third quarter was all about ecosystems for Ms. Johnson and her science students, as well.  During fourth quarter, they will investigate the systems of the human body and geology.  Rock on!

English/Language Arts --  During third quarter, Mrs. Foley and Ms. Bridgeford and their ELA students tackled their next Collections' unit and read about "Nature at Work." They also learned about connotation and denotation of words, mood, and tone.  During fourth quarter, they will read the novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  These readers and writers will continue reviewing connotation/denotation, which will lead to analysis.  The students in Mrs. Foley's Honors/Gifted and Talented classes reviewed expressive/reflective writing with an emphasis on connotation/denotation, mood, and tone.  They will read The Outsiders, analyze texts, and write a literary analysis.  Ms. Galles and her scholars worked on memoirs from their Collections textbook in the united called "Nature at Work."  They focused on the reading strategies of context clues, looking at the connotation of words and phrases, and determining the tone and mood of different pieces of text.  For fourth quarter, they will focus on the Collections' unit called "Guided by a Cause."  They will examine the causes that arose from tragic events, such as the Triangle Factory fire and on the leaders that came out of injustice, like John Lewis.  This group will conclude the quarter by reading the classic novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  During third quarter, Ms. Flynn and her students kept their minds and pencils sharp as they worked on reading and writing skills, culminating in a personal narrative about an encounter with nature.  During fourth quarter, they will delve into the unit called "Guided by a Cause," where the students will be reading and writing about different causes throughout history, as well as, today.  

Social Studies -- Ms. Siert and her students learned about the history of Africa during third quarter.  During fourth quarter, they will learn about South and East Asia.  In this unit, these world travelers will learn about the history, culture, and physical geography of the area.  They will study important figures like Mahatma Ghandi and will learn about the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism.  

Math --  During third quarter, the students in Ms. Quedensley's Honors Pre-Algebra class worked with triangles and the Pythagorean Theorem, transformations, data, and scatter plots.  They will study congruency and similarity, volume and surface area during fourth quarter.  Mr. Stark and his Math 7 students worked with rational numbers and expressions during third quarter.  During fourth quarter, their attention will focus on equations, probability, and statistics.  Mr. Stark's Pre-Algebra classes studied triangles, the Pythagorean Theorem, and transformations during third quarter.  Things were adding up for Ms. Murray and her mathletes during third quarter as they worked on expressions and equations.  During fourth quarter, they will continue to work with equations, study geometry, and prepare for state testing.  

Team Freedom News -- Eighth Grade

Science -- Things were heating up in Physical Science with Mr. Clerc during third quarter as his students learned about the ways thermal energy can transfer with help from studying the interior of the Earth.  During fourth quarter, these scientists will learn about waves and how they relate to Earth processes.  

English/Language Arts -- The third-quarter unit for Ms. Carlson'sMs. Kissinger's and Ms. Lee's students was "Approaching Adulthood."  The stories and articles students read carried a common theme of transitioning from adolescence to adult opportunities and responsibilities.  Students continued to hone their reading skills and strategies as they analyzed the author's use of characterization, theme, plot development, imagery, and conflict within their stories.  Students also were given an opportunity to choose a novel for their Independent Novel Study and essay.  They worked their way through the writing process of prewrite strategies, rough draft, revising, and editing.  The fourth-quarter unit is "The Legacy of Anne Frank," which will provide opportunities for students to explore historical and informational text.  During third quarter, Ms. Ridgley and her Honors ELA students discussed what it means to come of age and read stories that explored that theme.  Students selected and read a novel where the protagonist struggles with coming of age.  They discussed how each of their novels explored that theme differently and completed a project to demonstrate their understanding of how overcoming conflict creates change.  During fourth quarter, these readers and writers will tackle their unit on the Holocaust.  In Honors Special Projects with Ms. Ridgley, students began their research project on the Harlem Renaissance during third quarter.  They chose an artist, activist, musician, or writer from that time period to research and write about.  During fourth quarter, the HSP students will begin their Secret Kindness Agents service-learning projects and a self-chosen Genius Hour project.  

Social Studies --  During third quarter, Ms. Benson and her social studies students looked at the history of our country with the units titled Finance Foundations and Slavery and Sectionalism.  They focused on these topics from financial, psychological, sociological, political, and legal perspectives. During fourth quarter, they will cover the units about the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Industrial Revolution.  Hold on to your checkbooks!  During third quarter, Mr. Bedore introduced financial literacy to his students.  They learned how to budget, spend, and operate a checking account.  They also studied sectionalism and learned how the institution of slavery and other differences between the North and the South led to the Civil War. During fourth quarter, this ambitious group will be fighting the Civil War and reconstructing the United States following the Civil War.

Math --  Whew!  Ms. Billings and her Pre-Algebra students were busy during third quarter.  They studied data analysis, triangle angles and sides, and transformations.  During fourth quarter, they will investigate congruence and similarity between shapes, circles, and volume and surface area. Mr. Matthews had his Pre-Algebra students begin third quarter with a unit on geometry.  They experimented with triangles and transformations on a coordinate plane.   During fourth quarter, these scholars will continue to work with geometry, and they will work on Khan Academy to prepare for NSCAS testing.  Mr. Matthews had his Algebra students work on inequalities, systems of equations, and exponents during third quarter.  According to Mr. Matthews, this is a lot of content for only one quarter, but the Patriots stepped up and showed tremendous effort and quality work.  During fourth quarter, they will study polynomials, quadratics, and graphing functions.  

Team Liberty News -- Cooperative Arts

Leadership --  Third quarter found Ms. Benson and her seventh-grade students learning about the foundations of self-leadership.  They created businesses and wrote a book about leadership.  During fourth quarter, a new group of students will delve into the concept of leadership with Ms. Benson.

General Music/Music Exploration --  Mr. Moore and his third-quarter students learned about the elements of music.  They listened to cool music and covered elements such as beat, rhythm, melody, and harmony!  A new group of students will join Mr. Moore for fourth quarter as the investigation of music and the beat go on!  

Service Learning --  Ms. Benson and her sixth-grade students considered the foundations of service and service learning during third quarter.  They created businesses and a book about service learning.

ESL -- During third quarter, Ms. Darling and her ESL students worked hard to prepare for their ELPA21 test.  All of the students put forth their best effort and did great!  They also worked on writing emails and informative essays.  During fourth quarter, these scholars will read a novel called Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga and will give speeches about their cultures.  They will continue to work hard on reading.

Vocal Music --  Ms. Bomberger and her students were pitch perfect during third quarter as they worked hard on vocabulary and music notation concepts.  During fourth quarter, they will be selecting repertoire and exploring vocal health.  

Physical Education --  During third quarter, Mr. Hansen and his students focused on creating routines, learning about wellness, setting fitness goals, developing teamwork, and defining sportsmanship.  During fourth quarter, they will participate in the PACER test, in agility and fitness circuits, and team sports.  Ms. Zarybnicky and her athletes spent third quarter running the PACER test for the first time, participating in a variety of fitness activities, and learning the rules and skills of kickball, volleyball, and badminton.  For fourth quarter, these Patriots will run the PACER test for the second time, do a variety of fitness activities inside and outside once the weather warms up, and learn the rules and skills of handball.  They also will review the rules and skills of volleyball, kickball, and badminton throughout the quarter.

Careers -- During third quarter, the students in Ms. King's classes demonstrated their acting abilities by creating commercials on Flipgrid.  The students completed a research project exploring a career of their choice.  Once the research was complete, the student were asked to create a commercial to attract others to that career field.  Ms. King wants to commend the students for doing an excellent job.  Go Patriots!

Computer Applications -- Ms. Voss and her third-quarter students covered a variety of applications.  They mastered their daily typing, while enhancing skills in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

After School Program


Virtual tutoring (called Patriot Progress) has arrived at Nathan Hale.

Patriot Progress is available to all students Tuesday - Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Students will go home after school and enter Patriot Progress remotely.

Students can enter the Patriot Progress Team through a code and receive assistance in Language Arts, Social Studies, Math, and Science. If students do not have the code for Patriot Progress, they can ask any teacher at Nathan Hale for the code.

We hope this is a valuable resource that students can use throughout the rest of the year.

From the Athletic/Activities Director's Desk

Hello Patriot Parents,

This time last year, students were learning from home.  What a difference a year makes.  I am glad that I get to see your students every day.  With all the changes that have occurred, I can't believe we are going into the last nine weeks of the school year.  Our students have continued to show why they are "Tomorrow's Leaders."


In an effort to keep students safe and socially distant, we provided conditioning and skill advancement in boys' basketball and girls' basketball for seventh-grade students and eighth-grade students during third quarter.  It was a great way to keep the students active and increase their athletic acumen.

Monday, March 22, 2021 will be the start of our season four athletics, and we are going to continue to provide athletic opportunities to students, while adhering to safety protocols.  Seventh-grade and eighth-grade boys and girls will be given the opportunity to participate in soccer and track and field.  They will be allowed to compete with other schools in games and meets, but the schedule will be shortened to maintain COVID safety protocols. 

Physicals and athletic contracts are required before a student can participate.


Some of our clubs and activities will be starting during fourth quarter.  Chess club and Thrive will meet in person while maintaining social distancing standards.  National Junior Honor Society will be inducting its new members for the 20 - 21 school year on March 18, 2021.  We are very proud of all our students.

Announcements will be made to students about which activities will be starting and the start date. Please tell your students to listen for the bulletins.  

Although times are still unique, our goal is to make sure students have a great time and make new friends, while developing their skills to become tomorrow's leaders.  I look forward to continuing to work with your students as we build their capacity of knowledge, character, and drive.

Ms. Ayesha Station

Assistant Principal/Athletic/Activities Director

Greetings From Ms. McNeil


Greetings to our amazing Patriot family!  I am so delighted to move into fourth quarter with such amazing progress!  Our students have been exceeding my behavioral expectations, and I am so proud to say, "It is great to be a Patriot!"  Keep up the superb work! 

Here is something to look forward to --  STEM Family Night in April!

Let's finish the year stronger than ever!

Thank you,

Ms. Nisha McNeil

Dean of Students

News From Nurse Cunningham

Updated Health Office Summer Checklist for Sixth-Grade thru Ninth-Grade Students

Incoming Sixth-Grade Students

* Physical NOT needed.

* Dental exam is highly recommended.

* Vision exam is highly recommended.

* Asthma, Anaphylaxis Allergies, Diabetic, Seizure Disorders will need Action Plans filled out by a physician.

* Permission forms are needed for medications to be taken at school from physicians and parents.

Incoming Seventh-Grade Students

* Seventh-grade immunizations: Must have 1 dose of Tdap (must contain Pertussis booster).

* Physicals dated after 3/1/21.

* Dental exam is highly recommended.

* Vision exam is highly recommended.

* Asthma, Anaphylaxis Allergies, Diabetic, Seizure Disorders will need Action Plans filled out by a physician.

* Permission forms are needed for medications to be taken at school from physicians and parents.

Incoming Eighth-Grade Students

* Catch up immunizations.

* Physical (only if participating in a sport) dated after 5/1/21.

* Dental exam is highly recommended.

* Vision exam is high recommended.

* Asthma, Anaphylaxis Allergies, Diabetic, Seizure Disorders will need Action Plans filled out by a physician.

* Permission forms are needed for medications to be taken at school from physicians and parents.

Incoming Ninth-Grade Students

* Catch up immunizations.

* Physical (only if participating in a sport) dated after 5/1/21.

* Dental exam is highly recommended.

* Vision exam is highly recommended.

* Asthma, Anaphylaxis Allergies, Diabetic, Seizure Disorders will need Action Plans filled out by a physician.

* Permission forms are needed for medications to be taken at school from physicians and parents.


Telephone Numbers

Main Office

(531) 229 - 2360


(531) 229 - 7027


(531) 229 - 7025

Follow Us

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



Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenships 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.

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 (531-299-9822).

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 (531-299-9822).