Education and Earnings

We encourage our students to earn a college degree.
Educational Attainment and Median
Earnings for Population Aged 25 and Older, Nebraska Average 2005-2009.

American Community Survey, S1501.  Educational Attainment, Median Earnings for NE Population over Age 25, 2006-2010.

Recommendations for Students (Click on Title)

Get the Most Out of Middle School

Get to know your school.

  • School calendar
  • Attendance and tardy policies 
  • Courses and daily schedule
  • School rules and class rules
  • School supplies and materials for each class
  • People to go to for help: counselor, teachers, administrator, others


 Be at school on time every day, and in each class on time.
  • Daily morning, after school and evening routines
  • Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner routines
  • Daily after school activities
  • Daily study routine

Know how to get good grades.
  • Use an agenda/planner to manage your time.
  • Be organized.
  • Study smart and don’t cheat.
  • Be successful in the classroom.
  • Take good notes.
  • Learn how to read a textbook.
  • Use test-taking strategies.
  • Use the internet responsibly.
Set goals.
  • Set short-term and long-term goals.
  • Set both school and personal goals.
  • Set goals that are specific, measurable and realistic.

      Not specific – I will do better in Science.
      Specific – I will work hard enough to get a B in Science this semester.
      Not measurable – I will try to become involved in something after school.
      Measurable – I will participate in the after school tutoring program on Tuesdays, and the church youth group on Wednesdays.
      Not realistic – I usually get Cs, but this semester I will get all As on my report card.
      Realistic – Although I usually get Cs on my report card, this time I will get Bs in two classes.
  • Write your goals down.

Get involved.

  • Participate in school activities.
  • Participate in activities outside of school.
  • Participate in volunteer activities.

Make good choices and decisions. 
  • Respect yourself and your family.
  • Be a positive role model.
  • Choose positive friends.
  • Think before you act and before you speak.
  • Don’t let peer pressure take over.
Deal with stress, anger and bullies.
  • Be sure you get enough sleep, eat right, and get plenty of exercise.
  • Talk to your parent(s)/guardian(s), counselor, teacher, and/or trusted friend about why you feel stressed or angry, and ask for their support.
  • Practice relaxation and stress management techniques.
  • Avoid stressful situations.
  • Take action to protect yourself from bullies by telling your parent/guardian, counselor, administrator, or teacher.
  • If you observe bullying, tell a counselor, administrator, or teacher.
  • Be an active bystander by telling the bully that his/her behavior is unacceptable!
Get along with your parents.
  • Be respectful to your parent(s)/guardian(s).
  • Know that your parent(s)/guardian(s) care about you.
  • Keep your parent(s)/guardian(s) informed about what’s happening at school and when you are with friends.
  • Introduce your friends to your parent(s)/guardian(s).
  • Do your class work, homework, projects, other, and earn good grades.
  • Attend parent-teacher-student conferences with your parents.
  • Do your chores at home without complaining.
  • Always tell your parents the truth.
  • Know that you and your parent(s)/guardian(s) will not agree every time.
  • Tell your parent(s)/guardian(s) if there is something you want or need, or if you have a problem of any kind.
Plan and prepare for your future.
  • Think about your abilities (what you are good at), what you like to do (interests), and what you have a natural talent for (aptitudes).
  • Think about what’s important to you (values).
  • Learn about a variety of careers. 
  • Participate in activities that will help you learn more about your career options.
  • Interview your parent(s)/guardian(s), counselor, administrator, teachers, others for their input.
  • See your counselor about high school courses, technology programs, four year colleges, community and technical colleges, career and trade schools, military training, apprenticeships and skilled trades, and job/employment opportunities.

Student Responsibility

RESPONSIBILITY - To respond when appropriate; to be accountable for your own actions, behaviors, and duties.

A responsible student:
  • Uses appropriate behavior and language.
  • Models respect for rules. 
  • Respects self, classmates, adults.
  • Respects his/her own property 
  • Does his/her own work and doesn't cheat.   
  • Completes assignments.
  • Comes to class prepared.
  • Pays full attention in class.
  • Follows directions.
  • Tells the truth.
  • Is reliable and dependable. 

Time Scheduling

    • Use your planner everyday for each class, and then plan your study time using the information in your planner.
    • Write school assignments and activities, test dates, after school activities, community activities, and family activities  in your planner  along with due dates, deadlines, and appointments.
    • Make a list of your study goals everyday, and check off each item as you complete it.
    • Keep regular study hours in a brightly lit room free from distractions.
    • Prioritize your assignments.
    • Be sure to have all study materials (pencils, pens, highlight pens, dictionary, thesaurus, calculator, etc.) in your study area at home and at school.
    • Take short, regular breaks while you study.
    • Reward yourself for meeting deadlines and goals.
    • Divide a project into smaller parts, decide what you will need, and how long it will take to complete each part.
    • Study at the best time for you: right after school when you arrive home, after dinner, or early in the morning after you get ready but before you leave for school.
    • Study with a study partner.
    • Be aware of when you are wasting time.
    • Before leaving home, check your planner everyday to be sure you have your homework with you.


*Focus – Direct your attention to what the teacher is saying.  
*Ask – Ask questions about what the teacher says.  
*Connect – Connect the main ideas to things you already know.  
*Picture – Make mental pictures of important ideas. 
*Listen – Listen for key words and important words that tell you to do something, and words that your teacher repeats.


  1. Set a definite time for how long you plan to work.
  2. Begin by trying to concentrate for short periods of time, and then building up to longer amounts of time.
  3. Concentrate for a longer period of time each time you study.
  4. Remember to take breaks as you need them.
  5. Make a conscious effort to set your distractions aside until after you are finished focusing on your studies.

A Strategy for Reading

SQRW is a 4-step strategy for reading and taking notes from chapters in a textbook. Each letter stands for one step in the strategy. SQRW helps you to understand what you read and to prepare a written record of what you learned. The written record will be valuable when you have to participate in a class discussion and again when you study for a test.

SURVEY what you already know about the topic. 

  • Read the title, introduction, headings, and the summary or conclusion.
  • Examine all visuals such as pictures, tables, maps, and/or graphs, and read the caption that goes with each.

QUESTION as you read. 

  • Form questions by changing each chapter heading into a question.
  • Use the words who, what, when, where, why, or how to form questions.
  • Do not form questions for the Introduction, Summary, or Conclusion.

READ the information that follows each heading to find the answer to your questions.

  • Change a question or turn it into several questions if you need to.
  • Stay focused and flexible as you gather information to answer each question.

WRITE each question and its answer in your notebook.

  • Reread each of your written answers to be sure each answer is legible and contains all the important information needed to answer the question.

Once you complete the Survey step for the entire chapter, complete the Question, Read and Write steps for the first heading.Then complete the Question, Read and Write steps for the second heading, and so on for the remaining headings in the chapter.

Reading Comprehension

REDW Strategy for Finding Main Ideas is a good strategy to use to find the main idea in each paragraph of a reading assignment. Using this strategy will help you comprehend the information contained in your assignment. Each of the letters in REDW stands for a step in the strategy.

  • Read the entire paragraph to get an idea of what the paragraph is about. You may find it helpful to whisper the words as you read or to form a picture in your mind of what you are reading. Once you have a general idea of what the paragraph is about, go on to the next step.
  • Examine each sentence in the paragraph to identify the important words that tell what the sentence is about. Ignore the words that are not needed to tell what the sentence is about. If you are allowed to, draw a line through the words to be ignored. For each sentence, write on a sheet of paper the words that tell what the sentence is about.
  • Decide which sentence contains the words you wrote that best describe the main idea of the paragraph. These words are the main idea of the paragraph. The sentence that contains these words is the topic sentence. The other words you wrote are the supporting details for the main idea.
  • Write the main idea for each paragraph in your notebook. This will provide you with a written record of the most important ideas you learned. This written record will be helpful if you have to take a test that covers the reading assignment.

HINT:  Use REDW to help you understand the information in your reading assignments.

Flexible Reader

Before you begin your next reading assignment, identify your  purpose for reading.  Decide if you are reading for a high level of comprehension, trying to get a general idea about what you are reading, or looking for specific information. Then, use the reading style that is appropriate for your reading purpose.

  • Study Reading is the reading style used by flexible readers when their purpose is to read difficult material at a high level of comprehension.  When using the Study Reading style, you should read at a rate that is slower than your normal reading rate.  Further, as you read you must challenge yourself to understand the material.  Study Reading will often require you to read material more than once to achieve a high level of comprehension.  Sometimes, reading the material aloud will also help you improve your comprehension.
  • Skimming is the reading style used by flexible readers when their purpose is to quickly obtain a general idea about the reading material.  The Skimming style is most useful when you have to read a large amount of material in a short amount of time. When using the Skimming style, you should identify the main ideas in each paragraph and ignore the details in supportive sentences. Because you are only looking for the main idea in each paragraph, a lower level of comprehension is to be expected than when using the Study Reading style.
  • Scanning is the reading style used by flexible readers when the purpose is to quickly locate a specific piece of information within reading material. The piece of information to be located may be contained in a list of names, words, numbers, short statements, and sometimes even in a paragraph.  Move your eyes quickly over the reading material until you locate the specific piece of information you need to find.

Basic Writing Tips


  • Begin early, and follow the given directions for the writing project.
  • Write your draft legibly, using dark blue or black ink, #2 pencil or word processor.
  • Use the designated format according to the directions.
  • Use standard grammar and avoid slang and clichés.
  • Include the necessary information and facts, and avoid information that is not relevant.
  • Be sure your writing is clear, concise, organized and that nothing can be misinterpreted.
  • Use a dictionary and a thesaurus to check your spelling and word choice.
  • Do not use unnecessary words, phrases, and information.
  • Check your punctuation.
  • Use grammar check and spell check on the computer.
  • Follow directions for references or bibliography if one is required.
  • Proofread everything carefully.
  • Ask someone you trust to carefully proofread for you, according to directions, and to make suggestions.
  • Rewrite, or edit, save and print your final copy.
  • Submit your project on time or early.

Taking Notes

  • Use dark blue ink, black ink or #2 pencil to take notes.
  • Write clearly so you can read your notes later.
  • Read your textbook assignment to get an understanding of the material.
  • Focus on understanding the material.
  • Locate the main ideas, as well as other important points.
  • Set the book aside and paraphrase the information to see if you understand.
  • Follow directions when the teacher tells you what to write in your notes/notebook.
  • If the teacher repeats things and writes it on the smartboard or overhead, write it in your notes and highlight it.
  • Ask relevant questions that have to do with the lesson.
  • Be sure you understand the words and vocabulary in context.
  • Write notes on file cards to review and study.
  • Use self-stick notes in your textbooks to make notes.
  • Use self-stick notes on your textbooks to know which ones to take to class or to take home.

Writing Techniques

To be a good writer, you must master each of the following writing techniques.  By using the writing technique that fits your purpose, you will be able to communicate your ideas effectively.

  • Description - A writer helps the reader use the senses of feeling, seeing, hearing, smelling, and tasting to experience what the writer experiences.  Description helps the reader more clearly understand the people, places, and things about which the writer is writing. It is the most common form of writing (newspapers, magazines, books, and most other forms of written communication).
  • Exposition - A writer informs, explains, and clarifies his/her ideas and thoughts.  Exposition helps the reader understand with greater clarity and depth the ideas and thoughts of the writer. Expository writing, like descriptive writing, is commonly found in newspapers, magazines, books, and most other forms of written communication.
  • Narration - A writer tells a story that has characters, a setting, a time, a problem, attempts at solving the problem, and a solution to the problem (bedtime stories, novel, scripts).
  • Persuasion - A writer tries to change a reader's point of view on a topic, subject, or position. The writer presents facts and opinions to get the reader to understand why something is right, wrong, or in between (editorials, letters to the editor in newspapers and magazines, text for a political speech).
  • Comparison and Contrast - A writer points out the similarities and differences about a topic. Comparison is used to show what is alike or in common. Contrast is used to show what is not alike or not in common.  Describing living conditions in 1900 and living conditions today would allow for much comparison and contrast.

Writing a 5-Paragraph Essay

The five-paragraph essay is commonly assigned to students to help them organize and develop their ideas in writing.

  1. Introduction - Starts with a general discussion of the subject, leads to a very specific statement of the main point (thesis) which tells in one or two sentences what the overall point is, and briefly, what the main body paragraphs are about.
  2. Three Main Body Paragraphs - Focuses on one idea, reason, or example that supports the main point (thesis). Each paragraph has a clear topic sentence and as much discussion or explanation as is necessary to explain the point. Use details and examples to make your ideas clear and convincing.
  3. Conclusion - Begins with a restatement of the main point (thesis), but is paraphrased, not just repeated. Then sentences are added that emphasize the importance of the topic and the significance of the view. Think about what idea or feeling you want to leave your reader with. It starts out very specific and becomes a bit more general at the end.
  4. Transitions - Connect your paragraphs to one another. Use the end of one paragraph and/or the beginning of the next to show the relationship between the two ideas.  Between each paragraph and the one that follows, use a transition. It can be built in to the topic sentence of the next paragraph, or the concluding sentence of the first, or a little of both. 
  • To express the relationship between the two paragraphs, think about words and phrases that compare and contrast. 

  • Think about the paragraph topics and brainstorm until you find the most relevant links between them.
  • You need a transition from the last paragraph to the conclusion. 
  • Sum up the third body paragraph with reminders of the other paragraphs.  
  • Refer to a detail, example, or character as a way to pull ideas together and signal that you are ready to conclude. (Then restate the topic fully in the conclusion). 

Six Trait Writing Assessment

The Six Trait Writing Model helps students understand what is working well and what needs to be improved in their writing. It breaks down writing performance into manageable parts.

Individual Traits

Ideas and Content
Does my paper have a clear purpose?
Have I used details and examples that show what is important to the main topic?
Does the order of the information make sense with all details going together?
Will the reader want to keep reading my paper to find out what happens next?
     Does my paper sound original and show my personality?
     Does it clearly show what I think and  feel?
Word Choice
     Did I choose vivid and descriptive vocabulary? 
     Did I use the right words in the right places?
Sentence Fluency
Are my sentences clear, understandable, smooth, and easy to read?  
Do they have different beginnings?
Have I proofread my paper for mistakes with grammar, spelling and punctuation? 
Do my paragraphs begin in the right places, and are they indented? 
5 Strong – Shows control and skill; has many strengths present.
4 Maturing/Competent – On balance; strengths outweigh the weaknesses.
3 Developing – Strengths and weaknesses are about equal; first draft.
2 Emerging – Isolated moments begin to show what the writer intends; shortcomings still dominate.
1 Not Showing – Getting started but the result is unclear, uncertain and struggling; still searching and exploring.

Before the Test

So what should you be doing in the 24 hours before a test?

  • Review all the material the test will cover using your class notes, reading notes, study cards, graphic material, text, or any other information related to the test.
  • Take good notes as your teacher tells you what will be on the test, and highlight it.
  • Review your notes, and look up points that are not clear and/or discuss them with your teacher.
  • Begin reviewing early, as this will help you become more comfortable with the information.
  • Review in several, short study sessions.
  • Review notes immediately after class while they are still fresh in your mind.
  • Break the study information into small parts.
  • Study the most difficult material when you are alert.
  • Remember to study what your teacher said would be on the test.
  • Organize your notes, texts, and assignments according to what will be on the test.
  • Conduct short daily review sessions.
  • Review test information with a study partner.
  • Make a study sheet with key facts, formulas, dates, etc., and review it before the test.
  • Make flash cards.
  • Memorize the information.
  • Create a practice test and then test yourself and your study buddy on the material.
  • Finish your studying the day before the test.

During the Test

  • Dress in layers so that you are able to adjust to the climate of the test room.
  • Get a good night’s sleep, and eat breakfast and lunch on test day.
  • Take the supplies you need to class. 
  • Write legibly (so the teacher can read it) using dark blue or black ink or a #2 pencil.
  • Read directions carefully and listen to the directions of the teacher.
  • Look over the entire test first to see exactly what is included.
  • Budget your time so that you have time to complete the whole test.
  • Remember to answer the questions that are asked.
  • Think before you write, and then check your paper before you turn it in.
  • If you need more time to finish, tell the teacher and make arrangements to finish it.

After the Test

  • When the test is returned to you, pay attention during the review session.
  • If your test results are not good, check with the teacher to see if you can take the test again.

12 Powerful Words

 TitleOwnerCategoryModified DateSize 
12 Powerful Words  10/17/2009UnknownDownload