RMS High Ability Learners Page

The HAL Program at RMS involves many teachers. Mrs. Sheets coordinates HAL operations but will not necessarily go on every field trip, be head coach of all HAL Activities, and so forth. HAL at RMS is a team effort. Our model is different than the elementary model. We serve primarily through field trips, extracurricular programs, differentiation, course offerings, and once-a-year afternoon seminars. We do not pull students out of the classroom for HAL services. Any student who was identified HAL at the elementary level is “grandfathered into” the program at RMS.


Each student has a chance to attend one seminar during the year. Each seminar takes place during one afternoon, from 1:04-3:24. Kids only miss three of their classes, one time, in order to attend their seminar for the year. Seminars are created about high-interest topics such as:





*wearable technologies

*resin mold art making

*3D printing and MakerSpaces

Students get an email from Mrs. Sheets at the beginning of the year, which allows students to choose which seminar they’d like to attend. Activity eligibility rules apply to seminars -- any student with one or more Fs may not attend. Mrs. Sheets plans and is present at all seminars.

Field Trips

Periodically throughout the year, there will be opportunities to go on field trips. Mrs. Sheets will alert HAL students about the field trip via an email, meeting, or visit to a classroom (if the field trip ties in with a certain subject area). Most often, field trips take us out to esu3 on 110th and Harrison. Activity eligibility rules apply to field trips -- any student with one or more Fs may not attend. Due to other commitments in the building, Mrs. Sheets rarely attends field trips. This also affords other teachers the opportunity to get out and about with our HAL students. Historically, we have sent students on the following field trips. This list is not necessarily all-inclusive:

*Cybersurgery/Medical Careers Day (8th grade only)

*OPPD Careers in the Trades Day *Metro CC BoxIT

*UNO Techademy+ *Metro CC Prototype Lab

*UNL Engineering Day (8th grade only) *Art Apprentice

*Music Theory (8th grade only) *NE Shakespeare Company Workshop

*Vex Robotics *Expert Cryptologists

*Extreme Math Day (eighth graders help w/ Extreme Math Day for elementaries)

*Performance Poetry (for winners of 7th grade Poetry Slam)



There are so many extracurricular HAL opportunities at RMS that we have something going on each day after school! These are extracurricular activities geared toward HAL students and for which membership preference is given to HAL students. Extracurricular HAL opportunities include, but are not limited to:

Lego League -- Coaches: Mrs. Redemske, Ms. Jonas (Schneider,) Mrs. Sheets

FutureCity -- Coaches: Mrs. Sheets, Ms. Rerucha

National History Day -- Coaches: Mrs. Podraza & Mrs. Behounek

Science QuizBowl (starting 2016-2017) + Science Olympiad (starting 2017- 2018) -- Coach: Ms. Rerucha, Ms. Jonas (Schneider)

Planning of QR Code History of Ralston Walk (starting 2016-2017) -- Coaches: Mrs. Sheets, Mrs. Groesser *most meetings for this will take place during the school day

Math Club  -- Coach: Mrs. Redemske


Miscellaneous Services

Summer Camp

Each year, RMS offers one FREE HAL summer camp to incoming 7th and 8th graders. It is for one week. Typically, this occurs in the afternoons of one week immediately following Bridges to Middle School, from 12:15-2:45.

Duke TIP

Our 7th graders who score at the 95th percentile or above on NeSA, MAP, or another standardized test administered by a non-Ralston elementary in 5th or 6th grade have the opportunity to take the ACT or SAT as a 7th grader. This program is through Duke University. It is a great opportunity to see the ACT or SAT before it counts for college.

Code Crush

Code Crush is available to 8th grade girls only through UNO. It is an intensive 3 and a half day computer science/coding program. It is highly selective (out of 15 RMS girls who have applied this year and last, we have had 1 accepted) and does involve a three-night hotel stay. There is a Fall session and a Spring session.

Spelling Bee

Each November or December,  RMS holds our school-wide Spelling Bee. Of course, this is open to all students at RMS, but it is typically HAL students who place in the top 2. This starts out as a written test given in Language Arts classes. Then, there is a written semi-final, and a verbal final during advisement. RMS gets to send our top 2 winners to the Midwest Spelling Bee in the late Winter/Early Spring.

Geo Bee

Every December, RMS holds our school-wide Geography Bee. Of course, this is open to all students at RMS, but it is typically HAL students who win. This starts out as a written test given in Social Studies classes. The finals take place during an assembly in front of the whole school. We get to send our winner to the State Competition at UNO if they score high enough on an online test given to the winner at each participating school.

Summer Opportunities

It is estimated that students lose 3 months of learning over the summer. In order to help our students keep growing, Mrs. Sheets puts together a list of area opportunities for HAL students and distributes it in the Spring each year.


Pre-AP English/Advanced science

Differentiated math courses (6th grade math class housed @ RMS, Geometry for select 8th graders, and all levels in between)

Electives (enrollment in the following courses is not limited to HAL students only, but these courses may help HAL students explore particular areas of interest). -- Pieces of History, Cultural Journeys, Digital Art, Multimedia.

Closing Thoughts

All of our teachers strive everyday to make sure each student gets what they need in order to continue to stretch and grow.

Make sure your student checks his or her email often. Mrs. Sheets communicates about opportunities primarily through email.


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