EdNotes Express

Lincoln Public Schools Communication Services continues to look for the most effective way to provide you with information.  EdNotes is written and published specifically for the faculty and staff of Lincoln Public Schools.

If you have information you would like to include, please email Mary Kay Roth at

LPS’s Bubba’s Closet Nov. 14: New place, new coats < New

Bubba’s Closet – the annual Lincoln Public Schools coat giveaway for our community’s children – is scheduled for 8-10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at Lincoln High School, 2229 J St. The school district is asking that adults bring their children to the event this year.

This event is sponsored by LPS elementary principals and this year the Foundation for LPS was awarded a $36,000 grant from Walmart to purchase brand new coats. These new coats will be distributed to children who attend the event with an adult.

Bubba’s Closet will continue to accept used and new donations of winter coats, but is also hoping for more donations of other winter wear: Warm jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts, hats and mittens/gloves. If you have children’s new or gently used warm winter clothes to donate for this event – elementary aged – please bring them to any Hanger’s Cleaners from now through Nov. 5.

At the Nov. 14 event, families may choose appropriate items of clothing to adopt and use – for free. There are no income requirements. The only requirement is that children attend to receive a new coat. If children are unable to attend, the donated used items are available for families to select.

Please drop off your donated winter clothes at Hanger’s Cleaners located at: 2525 Pine Lake Road, 2655 S. 70th St., 1550 Coddington, or 2101 G St. All clothes will be cleaned by Hanger’s at no charge, and sorted by LPS elementary principals.

Bubba’s Closet is one of the many American Education Week activities planned in LPS.

Posted on October 09, 2015

LPS, Board of Education bestowed prestigious national honor

Lincoln Public Schools and the Lincoln Board of Education have been honored with the prestigious 2015 Award for Urban School Board Excellence, bestowed by the Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) to only three “exemplary” school districts in the nation.

LPS was citied specifically for success in increasing the high school graduation rate – and in addition, for increasing the graduation rate for all groups of students.

“The Board is humbled and proud of this recognition by our peers,” said Kathy Danek, president of the Lincoln Board of Education.

“This honor is really a culmination of the collective efforts of every single administrator, staff member, volunteer, student and parent.  It is a testament to our community.  Our strategic process over the past years brought together more than 1,000 voices.  Our Board, our superintendent and our LPS administrators come together annually to align our work as we strive to help every single child graduate with the skills to be college and career ready.  It's hard work, but it is really exciting to share in the success of our students.”

Each year CUBE recognizes exemplary school boards for their excellence in school board governance, ability to build civic capacity, success in closing the achievement gap and working for equity in education, and demonstrated success of academic excellence.

At CUBE’s annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona last weekend, the winning districts had the opportunity to share their success stories and best practices, highlighting the crucial connection between effective school board governance and student achievement. The other winners are: Ohio’s Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Indiana’s Fort Wayne Community Schools.

“Lincoln Public Schools has had a positive impact throughout the entire community and it is a direct result from a dedicated Board and administration,” said John Spatz, executive director, Nebraska Association of School Boards. “Being recognized as one of three Urban School Board Excellence award winners is a tremendous accomplishment for not only Lincoln, but all of Nebraska.” 

“These school districts have made notable progress in raising student achievement and engaging the community while confronting some of the most challenging conditions in public education,” said Van Henri White, CUBE Steering Committee Chair, and Board President, Rochester City Schools, New York.

Thomas J. Gentzel, executive director of the National School Boards Association noted:

“NSBA is happy to honor Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Fort Wayne Community Schools, and Lincoln Public Schools for their accomplishments and ongoing work to improve student learning in their districts.”

In addition to each winning district receiving a $2,500 award check, they are all featured in the October issue of American School Board Journal, and will be highlighted throughout the year in CUBE programming.  

# # #

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is the leading advocate for public education and supports equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. NSBA represents state school board associations and their more than 90,000 local school board members throughout the U.S. Learn more at:

Posted on October 06, 2015

LPS National Merit Semifinalists

The mission of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is to recognize and honor the academically talented students of the United States. NMSC accomplishes its mission by conducting nationwide academic scholarship programs. The enduring goals of NMSC's scholarship programs are:

  • To promote a wider and deeper respect for learning in general and for exceptionally talented inpiduals in particular
  • To shine a spotlight on brilliant students and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence at all levels of education
  • To stimulate increased support from organizations that wish to sponsor scholarships for outstanding scholastic talent

Here are the semifinalists for this award from Lincoln Public Schools:

Lincoln East High School
  • Augustin Burchell
  • Mikayla Dorff
  • Sadie Fisher
  • Sam Kiewra
  • Alan Lee
  • Madison Weber
Lincoln High School
  • Charlie Gallentine
  • Camille Harrah
  • Hanna Hoffman
  • Lauren Lesiak
  • Caleb Martin
  • James Rehwaldt Alexander
  • Annemarie Schubert
  • Elizabeth Yost
Lincoln North Star High School
  • Brooke Lampe
Lincoln Northeast High School
  • Rachel Jarvis

Posted on October 06, 2015

October Athletics Schedule

Oct. 5 Tennis: Dual, East vs. Lincoln High at Woods Tennis Courts 4 pm
Oct. 6 Tennis: Dual, Southeast vs. Pius X at Woods Tennis Center 4 pm
Oct. 6 Tennis: Dual, Southwest vs. Northeast at Woods Tennis Courts 4 pm
Oct. 6 Volleyball: Northeast vs. North Star 6:30 pm
Oct. 6 Volleyball: Southeast vs. Westside 6:30 pm
Oct. 6 Volleyball: Southwest vs. Millard West 6:30 pm
Oct. 7 Tennis: Dual, Lincoln High, Southwest at Woods Tennis Courts 4 pm
Oct. 8 Cross Country: HAC Championships - Southwest, Fremont, Grand Island Senior High, East, Lincoln High, North Star, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest at Pioneers Park 4 pm
Oct. 8 Tennis: Dual, Southeast vs. Southwest at Woods Tennis Courts 4 pm
Oct. 8 Volleyball: East vs. North Star 6:30 pm
Oct. 8 Volleyball: Lincoln High vs. Omaha Benson 6 pm
Oct. 8 Volleyball: Southeast vs. Columbus 6:30 pm
Oct. 9 Football: North Star vs. Papillion-La Vista at Beechner Field 7 pm
Oct. 9 Football: Southeast vs. East, Seacrest Field 8 pm
Oct. 9 Football: Southwest vs. Lincoln High, Seacrest Field 4:30 pm
Oct. 10 Volleyball: Double Dual - Northeast, Southeast, Kearney, North Platte noon
Oct. 14 Volleyball: Southeast vs. Lincoln High 6:30 pm
Oct. 15 Football: Northeast vs. Grand Island, Seacrest Field 7 pm
Oct. 15 Volleyball: Northeast vs. Norfolk 5:30 pm
Oct. 16 Football: East, Southwest, Seacrest Field 8 pm
Oct. 16 Football: Lincoln High vs. North Star, Seacrest Field 4:30 pm
Oct. 17 Volleyball: Triangular - Northeast, North Star, Millard West 9:30 am
Oct. 19 Volleyball: East vs. Lincoln High 6:30 pm
Oct. 20 Volleyball: Southeast vs. Norfolk 6:30 pm
Oct. 20 Volleyball: Triangular: East, Fremont, Elkhorn 5 pm
Oct. 22 Football: East vs. Bryan, Seacrest Field 7 pm
Oct. 22 Volleyball: Lincoln High vs. Southwest 6:30 pm
Oct. 22 Volleyball: North Star vs. Southeast 6:30 pm
Oct. 22 Volleyball: Northeast vs. East 6:30 pm
Oct. 23 Football: Lincoln High vs. Omaha Northwest at Beechner Athletic Complex 7 pm
Oct. 23 Football: North Star vs. Southwest, Seacrest Field 7 pm
Oct. 27 Volleyball: HAC Tournament - Fremont, Grand Island Senior High, East, Lincoln High, North Star, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest 5 pm
Oct. 29 Volleyball: HAC Tournament, East, Fremont, Grand Island Senior High, Lincoln High, North Star, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest 5 pm

Posted on October 05, 2015

Zimmer on LPS history of diversity of teachers, educators

By following the legacy of teachers in Lincoln Public Schools’ history, one can deduce various movements and trends of cultural history in Lincoln and beyond.

Ed Zimmer presented “Race, gender and role models: A brief history of diversity among LPS educators,” Tuesday at the first LPS Learning Lunch of the school year. Zimmer, Lincoln’s historic preservation planner and former member of the Lincoln Board of Education, presented his findings based on board meeting minutes and historical photos.

Here are some of his interesting findings:

  • In 1887, there were 7 men and 50 women teachers, and men made $780 a year while the female educators made $443 per year.
  • Elliott Elementary School was the first school named for a local educator or a person. Phoebe Elliott, a former teacher, served on the Lincoln Board of Education from 1887-1890 and 1892-1894.
  • In 1908-09, it was deemed that if a Lincoln teacher were to be married, it would also serve as her resignation.
  • Exact records aren’t or weren’t available, but Ollie Wayman Ferguson is perhaps the first known African-American teacher at LPS, as noted in the 1920 Census and a 1930 Lincoln directory.
  • JoAnn Maxey, the namesake of Maxey Elementary School, was the only African-American woman who has been elected and served on the LPS Board of Education, according to known records.
  • Col. Paul Adams, namesake of Adams Elementary School, was in the Air Force before becoming a teacher at Lincoln High School.

Zimmer suggested that we all ask people about their stories, and then listen as we seek to expand the representation of all.

“We will never have the exact representation of our community, but we don’t employ only teachers, we employ educators of all different roles and jobs in the district,” Zimmer said. “And we will always have that change in demographics, with new students seeing new role models who look like them.”

This is an annual series – “The Untold Stories of LPS” – that feature bring-your-own-lunch presentations open to the community.  Doors to the Board Room will open at noon, the program will begin at 12:15 p.m., questions-and-answers will happen at 12:45 p.m. in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St.

The rest of this year’s lineup, scheduled on the last Tuesday of the month:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 27. Homeless Students and Families: Building Stability, Bryan Seck, homeless outreach specialist, Lincoln Public Schools.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 24. Makerspaces and Other Wonders of LPS Libraries, Mary Reiman and Chris Haeffner of Library Media Services for LPS.
  • Tuesday, Jan 26. Dogs, a school’s best friend, stories about the value of canine companions in our schools (with appearances from two-legged and four-legged critters).
  • Tuesday, Feb. 23. One in Five: Students Facing Mental Health Challenges, Brenda Leggiadro, coordinator for LPS Counselors and School Social Workers.
  • Tuesday, March 29: A Guide to Mathematics Education Today, Matt Larson, curriculum specialist for Mathematics at LPS.
  • Tuesday, April 26. The Rhythm of Music in our Schools, LPS student musicians and Lance Nielsen, supervisor of Music for LPS.

Posted on October 05, 2015

Foundation for LPS unveils new mission, messaging, branding

"Inspiring possibilities" - that's the essential message behind the new look and branding for the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools, unveiled at a gathering of Foundation and LPS employees Wednesday.

"This Foundation is a bright light of sunshine for LPS," LPS Superintendent Steve Joel said at the Foundation event. "This is a group deeply committed to and always shedding a positive light on LPS."

Wendy Van, president of the Foundation, talked about how the Foundation is honored to be the place where the community meets its schools in partnership. "We have been thinking about how to engage more effectively with our LPS partners, and by defining what we stand for and what our donors value - we are able to commit our resources most effectively."

As part of the new look, the Foundation has identified four pillars that guide the work they do:

  • Beyond the Classroom
  • Next-Level Learning
  • College and Career
  • Strong and Stable Families

"We also created a new mission statement that speaks more clearly to the work we do," Van said.

The mission: "We believe all students should have what they need to reach their full potential. We engage our community to inspire students and educators, and create educational opportunities that enhance person and academic success."

Go to the Foundation website for a look at the new branding - a website which will have a new look on Thursday:

Posted on September 30, 2015

Information Sessions on Master of Education Programs

Starting October 5, Concordia University will be hosting information sessions in Lincoln for their Master’s of Education Programs.

The first session will be  Monday, October 5th at their Fallbrook Campus.  There will be two sessions, the first starting at 3:45 p.m., and the second starting at 4:15 p.m..  These are casual, come as you are, when you can, events.  Teachers can RSVP directly to  Teachers who attend these meetings will get their $50 application fee waived.

Concordia is now offering hybrid programs.  This means that students will take their core classes in Fallbrook in the traditional face-to-face setting, then they will take their program specific classes online.  This enables them to get the program done in as little as 18 months.  Textbooks and an iPad mini are still included in tuition, as well as all of their fees. 

Posted on September 30, 2015

December Athletics Schedule

Home Varsity Athletic Events
Dec. 1 LNS Boys Basketball Jamboree vs. Elkhorn 7:30 pm
Dec. 1 LNS Girls Basketball Jamboree vs. Elkhorn 5:45 pm
Dec. 3 LHS Boys Basketball Tournament vs. Elkhorn South 7:30 pm
Dec. 3 LHS Girls Basketball Tournament vs. Elkhorn South 5:45 pm
Dec. 3 LHS Swimming & Diving: Meet vs. Millard South 4:30 pm
Dec. 3 LNE Boys Basketball Tournament vs. Millard West 7:15 pm
Dec. 3 LNE Girls Basketball Tournament vs. Millard West 5:30 pm
Dec. 3 LNE Swimming & Diving: Dual vs. Beatrice 4:30 pm
Dec. 3 LNS Swimming & Diving: Meet vs. Omaha Northwest 5:30 pm
Dec. 3 LSW Swimming & Diving: Meet vs. Lincoln East 5:30 pm
Dec. 4 LNS Boys Basketball Early Bird Tournament vs. Bellevue West 7:15 pm
Dec. 4 LNS Girls Basketball Early Bird Tournament vs. Bellevue West 5:30 pm
Dec. 5 LSE Girls Basketball Early Bird Tournament vs. PLV South, Westside, Fremont 1 pm
Dec. 8 LNS Swimming & Diving: Triangular vs. Grand Island, Southeast 5:30 pm
Dec. 8 LSE Boys Basketball vs. Omaha Northwest 7:30 pm
Dec. 8 LSE Girls Basketball vs. Omaha Northwest 5:45 pm
Dec. 10 EHS Swimming & Diving: Meet vs. North Star 5:30 pm
Dec. 11 LHS Boys Basketball vs. Westside 7:30 pm
Dec. 11 LHS Girls Basketball vs. Westside 5:45 pm
Dec. 11 LNS Boys Basketball vs. Fremont 7:30 pm
Dec. 11 LNS Girls Basketball vs. Fremont 5:45 pm
Dec. 12 EHS Girls Basketball vs. Marian TBD
Dec. 12 LNE Boys Basketball vs. Bellevue West 4:30 pm
Dec. 12 LNE Girls Basketball vs. Bellevue West 3 pm
Dec. 12 EHS Boys Basketball vs. Creighton Prep 7 pm
Dec. 14 LHS Swimming & Diving: Double Dual vs. Northeast, Southwest 5:30 pm
Dec. 14 LSE Swimming & Diving: Meet vs. Lincoln East 5:30 pm
Dec. 15 LHS Girls Basketball vs. Fremont 7:30 pm
Dec. 15 LNE Wrestling: Dual vs. Lincoln Southwest 7 pm
Dec. 15 LSE Boys Basketball vs. North Star 7:30 pm
Dec. 15 LSE Girls Basketball vs. North Star 5:45 pm
Dec. 18 LHS Boys Basketball vs. Fremont 7:30 pm
Dec. 18 LSE Swimming & Diving: Lincoln Southeast Invitational 1:30 pm
Dec. 19 EHS Boys Basketball vs. Grand Island 7 pm
Dec. 19 EHS Girls Basketball vs. Grand Island 5:15 pm
Dec. 19 LNE Girls Basketball vs. Lincoln Southeast 5:15 pm
Dec. 19 LNS Boys Basketball vs. Lincoln High 7:30 pm
Dec. 19 LNS Girls Basketball vs. Lincoln High 5:15 pm
Dec. 19 LSE Swimming & Diving: Lincoln Southeast Invitational 10 am
Dec. 22 LNE Boys Basketball vs. Lincoln Southeast 7 pm
Dec. 29 EHS Swimming & Diving: Meet vs. Burke 4:30 pm

Posted on September 29, 2015

Bryan Community Culture Night

The Bryan Community Focus Program will be hosting its second annual Culture Night on Thursday, October 1, from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

The event will feature performances starting at 6:00 p.m. by Southeast Step Chain, Ground Zero, Poi Art, LDT Productions, and the Hoodlums. Classroom cultural projects will be on display, along with samples of foods from many different cultures.

For more information, contact (402)436-1308.

Posted on September 28, 2015

LPSAOP Fine Arts and Craft Fair Oct. 17

The Lincoln Public Schools Association of Office Professionals (LPSAOP) will be hosting their second annual Fine Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday, October 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Lincoln North Star High School. Admission is $1.

The event will include crafts from many local vendors, concesson sales to benefit the North Star Dazzlers, and baked goods from LPSAOP's best chefs.

LPSAOP is a professional organization which promotes the advancement of members through professional development and networking. The organization’s Fine Arts and Crafts Fair annual event allows the LPSAOP to support the Dianne Grieser Memorial Scholarship Fund, which is offered to any LPS graduate majoring in business.

For more information, contact

Posted on September 28, 2015

Harvest of Books

Lincoln Education Association's 19th Annual Harvest of Books drive kicks off October 1, and wraps up on the 16.

To participate, you can purchase books at a 25% discount at participating books stores, or mail a donation to Harvest of Books, c/o LEA, 4920 Normal Blvd., Lincoln, NE 68506.

Local book stores participating in the event include Barnes & Noble (both Lincoln locations), Indigo Bridge Books, Gloria Deo, University Bookstore, and Usborne Books at Home.

Since its inception in 1997, Harvest of Books, Inc. has distributed over 156,000 brand-new books to Lincoln's first and second grade students in public, private and parochial schools—a book of their very own to keep.  For many children, this ends up being their first “real” book that they get to choose, own forever, take home, and read with their families. 

The books will be distributed to first and second graders the week of November 23, and this year they anticipate distributing around 10,000 books.


Posted on September 28, 2015

October 2015 Community News - College Edition


Posted on September 28, 2015

October 2015 Community News Online Edition



Posted on September 28, 2015

Art show to feature photos of LSW students

Lincoln Southwest High School photo students (level 3 photo) will be having a "First Friday Gallery Opening" on October 2nd at the Canopy Street Public Market. The show will be on display from 5 to 9 p.m. This show has been arranged and set up by the five senior students that will be showing their work (with some small assistance from their teacher, Chad Petska).

Posted on September 25, 2015

East anglers catch a few before weather cancellation

What started out as a perfect morning for fishing, quickly changed for the National Fishing in Schools Program (NFSP) F.I.S.H tournament. Students from Lincoln East High School were able to fish for 30 minutes before the entire tournament was cancelled due to inclement weather.

The basic purpose of the event was to provide a fun, competitive-light fishing tournament for high school students who have completed the NFSP course in their school.

Students were paired in teams of two, used catch-and-release, no live bait, and fished from shore.

Posted on September 24, 2015

Highlights of 9/22 Lincoln Board of Education meeting: Chromebooks for Grades 3-5

Lincoln Public Schools:  Highlights of 9/22 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, September 22 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next regular meeting on Tuesday, October 13, 2015.

Chromebooks for Grades 3-5

By mid school year, each Lincoln Public Schools third-, fourth- and fifth-grader will likely be assigned a Chromebook for their use – accelerating the original schedule about six months from the school district’s three-year instructional technology plan (CLASS).

The Lincoln Board of Education Tuesday discussed a recommendation about the details of making that happen – and will finalize the decision at the Oct. 13 Board meeting.

The original plan called for providing Chromebooks to students grades 3-5 this coming summer for next school year.

Board of Education member Don Mayhew said there were compelling reasons to schedule this earlier:

  • Elementary teachers and administrators have indicated they feel like they need better access to computers.
  • These computers can be used during the spring assessment season when there is significantly increased demand for use.
  • This time frame allows students more time with devices – more time to adjust and be comfortable with them.
  • The Chromebooks are already included in this year’s General Fund Budget, and the Instructional Technology Plan is agile enough to constantly identify opportunities to better facilitate the rollout.

Kirk Langer, chief technology officer for LPS, cited a pilot program conducted at Sheridan Elementary School introducing Chromebooks during the school year. “And there was no interruption in classroom activity…the teachers loved it.”

Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS, agreed. “When testing season rolls around this will eradicate the strain we have seen…preserving significant instruction time…When we mentioned this possibility we got an audible cheer from principals.”

The recommendation calls for the purchase of 9,300 11-inch Chromebooks – from Sterling Computers – at a cost of about $2.4 million (plus an additional $36,300 for support such as licensing, three-year maintenance, etc.).

Out of 26 bids, the Dell Chromebook was the lowest cost model that featured a standard three-year warranty. In addition, the Dell model scored highest in the evaluation of features and performance, achieving a value quotient twenty percent higher than the nearest alternative.


  • 2015: Devices for all sixth graders; high school students at the new Career Academy and High School Focus Programs (and now devices for third, fourth and fifth graders)
  • 2016: Devices for seventh graders and students at two high schools (Southeast and Northeast)
  • 2017: Devices for eighth graders, and for students at four remaining high schools; tablets in K-2 classrooms
  • 2018: Begin a rotation of refreshing devices every three years

Superintendent Update

Superintendent Steve Joel talked about his involvement in the community initiative called, Prosper Lincoln: “It’s been an amazing experience for me. We’ll be identifying working groups soon, and I think we expect an action plan to be released at the end of October.”

Using the findings in Lincoln Vital Signs as a starting point, Prosper Lincoln is a community-wide discussion aimed to help set priorities and establish a shared agenda for positive change. Representatives from all sectors of the city – businesses, non-profit organizations, neighborhoods, government, faith communities, philanthropies and individuals – are involved in the venture.

Joel said that through the ongoing discussion, “education has been represented very, very well…by folks who are thinking about how you approach big community issues…understanding education can be a tremendous vehicle for providing solutions…It’s been fascinating to listen to the conversation….Lincoln has a lot of needs, and we are able to come at these issues from a place of strength.”

Celebration of Success

The Board of Education recognized:

  • Molly Leisinger, an art teacher at Lincoln North Star High School, honored as the Novice Art Educator of the Year by the Nebraska Art Teachers Association.
  • Shelley Speidell, an art teacher at Goodrich Middle School, honored as the Middle Level Art Educator of the Year by the Nebraska Art Teachers Association.



Posted on September 22, 2015

First LPS Learning Lunch for 2015-16: Tuesday, Sept. 29

The first Lincoln Public Schools Learning Lunch of the school year is called Race, gender and role models: A brief history of diversity among LPS educators,” set for 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29 in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St.


The first Learning Lunch will be presented by Ed Zimmer, Lincoln’s historic preservation planner and former member of the Lincoln Board of Education.


This is an annual series – “The Untold Stories of LPS” – that feature bring-your-own-lunch presentations open to the community.  Doors to the Board Room will open at noon, the program will begin at 12:15 p.m., questions-and-answers will happen at 12:45 p.m.


The rest of this year’s lineup, scheduled on the last Tuesday of the month:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 27. Homeless Students and Families: Building Stability, Bryan Seck, homeless outreach specialist, Lincoln Public Schools.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 24. Makerspaces and Other Wonders of LPS Libraries, Mary Reiman and Chris Haeffner of Library Media Services for LPS.
  • Tuesday, Jan 26. Dogs, a school’s best friend, stories about the value of canine companions in our schools (with appearances from two-legged and four-legged critters).
  • Tuesday, Feb. 23. One in Five: Students Facing Mental Health Challenges, Brenda Leggiadro, coordinator for LPS Counselors and School Social Workers.
  • Tuesday, March 29: A Guide to Mathematics Education Today, Matt Larson, curriculum specialist for Mathematics at LPS.
  • Tuesday, April 26. The Rhythm of Music in our Schools, LPS student musicians and Lance Nielsen, supervisor of Music for LPS.


Posted on September 22, 2015

Scott Middle School wins 2015 TEAMS award

Scott Middle School was awarded the 2015 Gale/Library Media Connection Magazine's TEAMS Award for their “Make a Difference with Social Action Research” project.

To teach students about the research process and how to write a research paper, school librarian Jean Hellwege worked with middle school teachers to ignite passion in students through social action research - helping them identify and research a social issue that resonated with them and answered the question “What can I do to help?” Using library resources to explore different social issues, the project culminated with the Make A Difference Fair where students presented their research to the community and raised money for their causes. View the project video here.

“We know incorporating library resources directly into classroom learning benefits student achievement and these projects bring to life creative ways to bridge the gap from the library to the classroom,” said Paul Gazzolo, senior vice president and general manager for Gale, a part of Cengage Learning.

“Collaboration is just the beginning, and our TEAMS Award highlights how such teamwork between librarians and teachers can lead to the highest level of student learning and achievement,” said Marlene Woo-Lun, publisher of Library Media Connection.

Gale, a global provider of library resources, and Library Media Connection created the TEAMS Award to recognize the critical collaboration between teachers and media specialists in promoting learning and increasing student achievement. Each winning school receives a cash prize and products from Gale and Library Media Connection. Details on the winning entries are provided below.

Posted on September 21, 2015

Lincoln Public Schools: Highlights of 8/25 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

Lincoln Public Schools:

Highlights of 8/25 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, August 25 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next regular meeting on Tuesday, September 8, 2015.


Budget adoption

The Lincoln Board of Education officially adopted the 2015-16 Lincoln Public School budget Tuesday, a budget that will include funding for appropriate staffing, services, supplies and resources to address significant growth in LPS student enrollment – as well as retain a flat tax levy with no increase over last year.


The vote was 6 to 1 with Board member Matt Schulte voting against adoption.


Only two Board of Education members commented on the budget on Tuesday:

  • Board President Kathy Danek began discussion by expressing appreciation to Lincoln citizens: “I say thank you to our community for the long-standing support they have given us over the years.”
  • Matt Schulte: “I am going to vote no on this budget, based on two of my values…First, I believe in keeping the maximum tax dollars in the hands of those who earn it…And my second value…I am director of a non-profit in town…and we spend wisely and cut back on the programs that don’t work.”

Highlights of 2015-16 Budget

The LPS budget is set through a process of open meetings and public conversations throughout the summer months.


The 2015-16 proposed budget for LPS addresses a variety of factors:

  • Providing appropriate staffing, services, supplies and resources to address significant growth in LPS student enrollment. LPS estimates an increase of 800-plus more students for 2015-16 – following the past year’s increase of 1,200 students – growth that means LPS would teach almost 40,000 students in 2015-16.
  • Addressing the growing complexity and needs of LPS students.
  • The changing landscape of how we provide quality education.
  • The 2015-16 proposed budget for Lincoln Public Schools totals $385.5 million – a 6 percent increase over the previous year.   The budget proposal includes a flat tax levy with no increase over last year. Any tax increase to property owners would be the result of increases in property value.
A few highlights of possible additional funding provided under the proposed budget:
  • Additional support in classrooms and schools with: added teachers and staffing for regular education, special education, early childhood, English Language Learners (refugees and immigrants); added school social workers, treatment nurses, health technicians and computer support positions.
  • Resources allocated to opening The Career Academy, and early start-up costs for the new Sally G. Wysong Elementary School and the Bill Nuernberger Education Center.
  • Continuation of the technology plan.
  • Phasing in the audio enhancement systems to all schools over the next three years.
  • Funding to accommodate increases related to more schools and more students – for instance, increases in utilities, facilities and maintenance, custodial services and more.
According to the most recent statistics, LPS ranked 234th out of 249 school districts in Nebraska in per pupil spending – LPS spent $10,297 per pupil compared to the state average of $11,365.
The 2015-16 proposed budget predicts a revenue of about $396 million – of which about $10 million would be placed in cash flow to fund budget growth over the next two school years. Lancaster County revalues property once every three years. This is a revaluation year when valuations generally increase more than usual – and that means LPS will not see similar property valuation increases in the next two years. As a growing school district, LPS wisely projects multiple years ahead to foresee funds available to staff student growth, open new schools and accommodate increases in salaries and benefits. The overarching goal is to provide stability for students and staff in a variable funding climate.
High quality public schools at a reasonable price bring tremendous value to the Lincoln community.
Information on the LPS budget is available online at

Revised LPS policies

The following policies have been revised or added to the online LPS policies and regulations.  They will be available on the LPS Board agenda ( for immediate review and on the Policy online omnibus ( by August 27, 2015.

  • Policy 1370-Community Relations - Allows third party photographers be approved for photography services for extracurricular activities.
  • Policy 3640-Privacy-Related Terms of Service - Provides the authority to set guidelines for protecting the private information of staff, students, and families when contracting with a third-party.
  • Policies 3961, 4210, 4300, 4770, 4880 - Employment Protection - As a result of recent legislation, adds protection from employment discrimination for pregnancy, childbirth or related conditions.
  • Policy 5508-Return to Learn - Established protocols to assist students who are returning to school after pediatric cancer treatment.
  • Policy 6700-Extracurricular Activities - Updates the list of extracurricular activities for high school students
  • Policy 7000-Special Education - Adds a statement outlining a step that should be taken if parents refuse services for their child.
  • Policy 8443-Board Operating Procedures - Provides the options to archive minutes in electronic form.

Posted on September 16, 2015

Highlights of 9/8 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

Lincoln Public Schools:

Highlights of 9/8 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next regular meeting on Tuesday, September 22, 2015.

Superintendent update

Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent Steve Joel took a moment at the Lincoln Board of Education meeting Tuesday to express appreciation for the incredible community involvement in our public schools. “We are very fortunate to have the level of community partnership we have for our school district.”

As recent examples, he noted two specific partnerships:

  • Last week, more than 2,800 LPS fifth graders attended a Saltdogs baseball game – and Joel said he asked the Saltdog staff why they agreed to what is undoubtedly a major endeavor: “They told me, ‘We know that this is the first and only time a lot of these kids will ever get to a professional baseball game. And that’s the satisfaction we get.’
  • Joel also referenced attending a recent special gathering of local business folks to celebrate Launch, a group that facilitates leadership development for middle and high school students throughout the state. “This is a group outside of our district, using their own resources to help our kids learn leadership skills. How fortunate we are to live in Lincoln.”

Setting LPS Property Tax Request

The Board took the first step in officially setting the district’s 2015-16 property tax request, a standard step to finalize the LPS budget process. The Board will take the final vote on the tax request at the Sept. 22 meeting.



Posted on September 16, 2015

Project Homeless Connection

Project Homeless Connect Lincoln is a one-day, one-stop event where individuals and families who are homeless are able to receive a wide variety of immediate, on-site services and support for unmet needs.

Medical and behavioral health professionals are available to provide medical, dental, mental health, and substance abuse services. Other organizations provide assistance with needs such as housing and social services applications, legal issues, and personal care. Additional service providers have staff available to provide information and assist guests in accessing off-site services such as education, crisis intervention, and basic needs.

This year's event will take place Tuesday, September 29, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Pinnacle Bank Arena. For more information, go to

Posted on September 16, 2015

Flu shots for staff and families

Lincoln Public Schools has again partnered with the Visiting Nurse Association to provide immunizations for school employees, their spouses and dependents. VNA will again offer the Quadrivalent flu vaccine again this year that covers four strains of influenza.

The types of immunizations offered include:

  • Flu Shot -Approved for ages 6 months and older.
  • FluMist - Approved for ages 2-49 years who do not have a history of asthma, reactive airway disease and who are not pregnant. 
    Note: Shipment of FluMist has been delayed nationwide and may not be available for the first few clinics at LPS.
  • Tdap - Approved for age 10 years and older. (Whooping cough vaccine)
  • Hepatitis B - Approved for age 20 years and older.
  • Hepatitis A - Approved for age 19 years and older.

More information about each vaccine is located on the registration page.

Clinic Information

September 29, from 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Lincoln Southwest High School Theater Hallway

Registration deadline - September 24

September 30, from 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Lincoln East High School Cafeteria

Registration deadline - September 24

October 5, from 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Lincoln North Star High School Bayou
Registration deadline - September 30

October 8, from 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Lincoln High School Cafeteria
Registration deadline - October 2

October 14, from 7:30 - 9:00 a.m.
Facilities & Maintenance Building, Room 26B
Registration deadline - October 9

October 14, from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Transportation Services Building
Registration deadline - October 9

October 22, from 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Lincoln Northeast High School Commons
Registration deadline - October 16

November 4, from 2:30 - 5:30 p.m.
LPS District Office
Registration deadline - October 30

Insurance Information
Lincoln Public Schools carries the Educators Health Network (EHN/EHA) / Blue Cross & Blue Shield (BCBS) insurance. This insurance covers 100% of the cost for these immunizations, meaning no deductible or co-pay is required. There is also no maximum limit per calendar year for these immunizations. This benefit also covers insured family members.

Other insurances accepted are:

  1. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska - (please note if you have a different BCBS plan other than EHN/EHA it is your responsibility to know what your plan covers. You may be subject to a co-pay, co-insurance or deductible amount. Please check your plan details.)
  2. Coventry / Aetna – for flu shot and FluMist only, unable to accept Aetna Better Health
  3. Traditional Medicare Part B – flu shot only

Who can participate?
1. All Lincoln Public Schools BCBS EHN covered employees and family members.
2. If you or a family member are not covered by insurance you may still be immunized for a cash fee established for each immunization. VNA accepts cash, personal check or credit card. Fees are:

  • Flu Shot - $32 (Quadrivalent shot)
  • FluMist - $32 (Quadrivalent)
  • Tdap - $70
  • Hepatitis A - $90
  • Hepatitis B - $80

If you have a question regarding these immunizations, registration or the clinics, please contact the school nurse in your building.

Posted on September 16, 2015

Operation Warm - more than a coat

Lincoln Firefighters Local #644 is once again conducting Operation Warm, with this year's choosen school being Clinton Elementary. Clinton has an enrollment of approximately 550 students, of which approximately 485 (88%) receive free or reduced cost meals.

Last year the Firefighters raised enough money to fit every Elliott Elementary student with a new American-made coat.

To donate, please go to and click on the 'Donate' button.

Operation Warm is a nationally recognized 501(c)3 charity that was founded in 2002 to counter one of the most unfathomable hardships of childhood poverty; the lack of adequate winter clothing. Operation Warm provides new, American made, Union made coats to children in need and is proud that $0.96 of every dollar go towards the coats. Each coat is $34 and every donation is tax deductible.

Posted on September 16, 2015

Q&A: Mollie Leisinger named state's novice art educator of the year

Mollie Leisinger has been honored by the Nebraska Art Teachers Association as the Novice Art Educator of the Year.

First, how long have you been teaching, and how long at Lincoln North Star?

I student taught at North Star High and Humann Elementary in the Spring of 2013 and began my position as an Art Specialist at North Star in the Fall of 2013 and will be going into my third year of teaching.

Where did you attend elementary, middle and high school, and college?

I moved around a lot as a child so attended many elementary schools including: Twombly Elementary (Fort Lupton, CO), Gates Elementary (Grand Island, NE), Seedling Mile Elementary (Grand Island, NE), North Loup Elementary (North Loup, NE).  I attended 6th, 7th and 8th grade at Barr Middle School (Grand Island, NE) and then traveled on to Northwest High School in Grand Island for my 9th through 12th grade years.  As for my college experience, I graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) in 2009 with a Bachelor's degree in Fine Art.  After that I worked as an AmeriCorps member for the Lincoln Arts Council for three years and then re-enrolled at UNL as a Graduate student, receiving my K-12 Art Education Certification in 2013.

When did you realize (either as a K-12 student or later) that high school art was a great spot for you as a teacher?

I remember having a conversation with my mom when I was in high school about being a teacher but the realization that I really wanted to teach didn't come to me until I was working for the Lincoln Arts Council after I graduated from college.  I absolutely love being an artist and working in all mediums with my favorite aspect of being an artist being to learn new technical skills.  While working for the Lincoln Arts Council I wrote several grants for local working artists, through the Nebraska Art Council's (NAC) Artists in Schools and Communities program (AiSC) to do special art projects in Lincoln Public Schools. When these artists worked in classrooms, I worked alongside them and the teachers to help to teach students new art techniques and this is what made me realize that I wanted to be an art teacher.  It was my student teaching experience that made me realize that I wanted to teach high school art.  I student taught at North Star High, which is now where I teach, with Lynette Fast.  It was because of her mentorship, my experiences with the students and all of the staff of North Star that I figured out that not only did I want to teach this age group, but that I wanted to teach at North Star.

What is it about the high school age group that piques your interest as a teacher?

Seeing my students grow intellectually is what piques my interest as a teacher.  In my first two years, I have taught Level 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 pottery classes and would say that what is most rewarding is ability to observe students build a strong technical foundation and understanding of the materials we use in class and then transforming their ideas into reality.

There is a lot of talk about using more technology appropriately within a curriculum. How does, or how do see, that technology impacting your classroom?

The new Nebraska Visual Arts Standards were adopted by the Nebraska State Board of Education last year (2014).  In the art department across the LPS district, art teachers K-12 have been working to be sure our unit and lesson plans are in line with these standards.  The four core ideas in the new visual arts standards are: Create, Present, Connect, and Respond.  

Reflection is such an important part of being a teacher and over this summer I spent a lot of time reflecting on my curriculum and how it falls under the new state standards.  Not only was I reflecting on this, but with the district moving to all students eventually having their own electronic devices I decided this summer that I wanted to start this year with technology being a part of my curriculum.  This semester, my classes will be using Google Classroom to do writing and reflection in connection with the standards of Respond, Connect and Present.  Students will submit assignments in our Google Classroom through Google Docs that demonstrate understanding of how art conveys meaning and how they are able to relate their own artistic ideas to the work of others.  Students will also Present their work using their Google accounts through building online portfolios.

Posted on September 16, 2015

Free film screening Thursday

Nebraska Loves Public Schools is hosting a free screening of their latest one-hour documentary “Consider the Alternative,” a conversation about charter schools, public schools and closing the achievement gap.

The screening is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, at The Ross Theater, 313 N. 13th St.

A panel discussion will follow the screening – with panelists that include Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent Steve Joel and Lincoln Education Association President Rita Bennett.

Posted on September 15, 2015

MOSAIC on display at district office

Over 24 years ago, a new rule from the Nebraska Department of Education insisted schools include current and unbiased information about different cultures in their libraries. Lincoln Public Schools stepped up to the challenge by creating a Multicultural Committee to review materials and make recommendations to schools about appropriate content.

“Our media specialists are doing an amazing job opening the world to students through books,” said district media coordinator Chris Haeffner. “With all the time they spend in the classroom with kids, they don’t have the time required to research and review all the new materials that fit within Rule 16.”

Haeffner said the MOSAIC committee helps with that. The committee consists of current and retired media specialists and volunteers. Each member reviews between 10 to 20 books each year depending on the reading levels. Even though this year’s books have just been announced, these reviewers have already begun selecting and reviewing titles for the 2016-17 school year.

“We have a rigorous evaluation process with a set of guidelines for each grade level, and only the books that receive a very good or higher rating make the cut for our display.”

By having the MOSAIC committee making recommendations, media specialists in the schools can preview the books through the traveling display and see which books are popular with their students. Then librarians can order those titles to house in their school’s library.

“We know that it is critical for kids to find themselves reflected in books,” added Haeffner. “Not only can these books help them relate to things they are feeling and doing, it can open their minds to our global society and also take them to places a world away to learn about new cultures.”

This year’s MOSAIC display includes over 278 titles, and will be at the District Office until September 16. Then the display will be split into smaller groups to travel to different schools around the district.

For more information about MOSAIC, log-on to the Library Media Services webpage.

Posted on September 11, 2015

Students surprise United Way Breakfast with performance

Students from the Lincoln Southeast High School chorus surprised those attending the United Way breakfast with a performance. Even though the microphones didn't work right away, the students perservered and performed wonderfully.

Then students from Sheridan Elementary joined the LSE choir members for a song to end the breakfast.

Posted on September 10, 2015

‘You are a brand’

What is a brand, have you ever thought about it? That was a question posed by Cliff Carlson, technical recruiter for Hudl - speaking to about 110 Lincoln Public Schools high school students attending the school district’s new Career Academy.

“Do you ever think about the fact that you have a brand? Who’s given that any thought? That at 16, 17 or 18 you have a brand, and everything you do positively and negatively impacts your brand. There is no neutral. You’re either going backwards or you’re going forward. You are either positively or negatively impacting how you are perceived,” Carlson said.

During the 45-minute presentation, Carlson informed students they were building their brand in three ways — first impressions, you’re not what you say, and you are surrounded — and that can impact their futures.



Carlson asked students to think about a time in their lives when they had made a negative first impression. That time when they had an embarrassed feeling, and couldn’t believe what they had just done. He encouraged them to take that moment and learn from it.

“If you let that be a thing that stops you in life, that's too bad, because guess what, you're going to fail a lot. We fail forward with our firsts. Because to fail and learn nothing is truly failing, but if you can pick that up and learn from it and not repeat it, that's a great failed first.”


Carlson also impressed upon students they can say whatever they want about who they are, but ultimately what they do defines who they are.

“You can say whatever you want to me during an interview, I don't care, because I'm going to find out what you do. More to it, employers, friends, family, they aren't going to care what you say, they are going to care what you do habitually. You show me your habits, and I'll show you who you really are. So remember that.” He added, “That's part of your impression, that's part of your brand.”

Carlson encouraged students to be known for their grit, their work ethic and for being able to take critical criticism and do something with it. He told students that critical feedback starts in school and continues for the rest of their lives.

“You get into the workplace and basically all you get is critical feedback. The majority, 98 percent of the feedback I get from my boss and from other people at Hudl is constructive criticism. And then you go take that critical feedback and you go do something with it. That's the workplace folks. If you can't collaborate off of critical feedback, you are not going to work in America's workforce anymore.”


Through a story about a family dinner conversation when he was in high school, Carlson reminded students that no matter who they say they are and what they do, it’s who they surround themselves with — both in public and online — that also defines their brand.

“My father was telling me who I surrounded myself with, who I put next to me in the team photo, who I aspire to be more like was dragging me back. And it doesn't matter what I thought of myself, what mattered was what I was putting out to the public. My brand was getting hit hard because I ran with the wrong people. You need to think about who you surround yourself with. I'm not saying you've got to cut people out of your life, but you've got to ask yourself, is this person making me better? Because if they're not, you’ve got to really wonder why you've got them in your life.”

He also reminded students that what they put online is not private.

“Those messages you send, those groups you're a part of, those things you do online, yes they are virtual but they are not private. And you can configure your settings on your Snapchat, or on your Facebook any way you want, it's not private. I'm not telling you to stop, I'm telling you to be thoughtful about who you surround yourself with. Both in your life, and in your virtual life.”

Carlson then shared a saying at Hudl to remind students what to strive for when selecting the people they surround themselves with:  "A players hire A players, B players hire C players. People with higher standards hire people with higher standards. People better than them.”


Throughout the presentation, Carlson told students they were lucky. They’d been given an opportunity to participate in a unique program like the Career Academy.  He encouraged them to never stop learning, a skill that would take them far.

“Whether you go to a community college, whether you go to Wesleyan, whether you go to UNL, or the University of Iowa, it doesn't matter. I would encourage you to prepare yourself by learning how to learn, by learning how to read and write and speak critically. Really push yourself, no matter what vocational path you get on. This degree does not equal this job. They say your generation will change vocations at least five times in your lifetime. Be open to learning. Learning how to learn. Learning how to listen. Learning how to take diligent notes. Being a really thoughtful writer. And all the jobs are open to you, because you'll be a really talented person.”

Posted on September 09, 2015

Cultural Proficiency Leadership Workshop

A two-day Cultural Proficiency Leadership Workshop for certified and classified administrative teams will be held September 24-25, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sheridan Lutheran Church. To participate, the building principal and at least one other member of their leadership team must participate in the entire 2-day workshop. The workshop will focus on applying the lens of cultural proficiency to all the work we do in the district.


Workshop objectives include:

  1. Strengthen our culturally proficient practices (skills and techniques).
  2. Examine our states of mind (thinking habits) and evaluate their usefulness to move us along the Cultural Proficiency Continuum.
  3. Develop individual and building-wide strategies for coping with resistance to change (in self and others) arising from diversity-related issues.
  4. Evaluate practices in our workplace that impact cross-cultural relationships and engagement (with students, community, colleagues).
  5. Practice the use of the Cultural Proficiency lens in all our work.

You can review and register by going to the Staff Development websites:

Please be reminded that if you are a certified or classified leader (Administrators, Coordinators and Supervisors) and have not taken the Cultural Proficiency Leadership Workshop, you can register for any of the sessions below.

  • September 24 and 25
  • February 4 and 5
  • June 1 and 2
  • June 14 and 15
For questions, please contact Thomas Christie at 1604 or or Lameakia Collier at 1605 or

Posted on September 03, 2015

Annual LPS/Saltdogs game creates lessons in character, sportsmanship

Piling off school buses in the bright September sunshine, almost 3,000 Lincoln Public Schools fifth graders arrived at Haymarket Park Wednesday with sunglasses, sunscreen and baseball mitts – ready for the annual LPS-Saltdogs field trip of early fall. 

It is an annual ritual of lessons in character, sportsmanship and good fun 

Buses began arriving at the Park at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday; first pitch was at 11.

“But preparation for this event begins way before the game starts,” said Matt Avey, LPS curriculum specialist for Health and Physical Fitness – and the guy who threw the game’s first pitch. “We talk about good character and good behavior that should be displayed at a baseball game.”

These are behaviors that will also serve our students well in life, he said. 

“And you should have seen them today, getting off those buses – all the smiles,” Avey said.

He pointed out that the very first group of fifth graders who attended a Saltdog game event are now LPS seniors. “And if you ask them to think back on all their years at LPS, this is one of the highlights they remember.”

Posted on September 02, 2015

International Dance Fest

The Nebraska Folklife Network’s autumn festival, International Dance Fest is on Saturday, September 19th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at Auld Pavilion in Lincoln’s Antelope Park (1650 Memorial Dr.) The event features performances by four Nebraska ethnic dance groups and opportunities for those in attendance to learn some of the traditional dance movements from each culture. International Dance Fest is free of charge, family-friendly and open to the public. For more information, go to their website:

Schedule of Performances:

  • At 12:00 noon, the Lincoln Irish Dancers will present a spirited 30 minute dance performance, followed by a fifteen minute interactive session for anyone who would like to learn some Irish steps.
  • At 1:00 pm, the Karen Dancers will display colorful and hauntingly beautiful dancing and singing accompanied by traditional instruments of Myanmar (Burma).
  • At 2:00 pm, Auld will be filled with the sound of a powwow as the Omaha Society Dancers from Macy, Nebraska introduce and perform tribal dances to the heartbeat of a traditional drum group.
  • At 3:00 pm, the African Culture Connection will showcase the beauty of African cultures through both traditional drumming and dance. In addition, craft activities for kids, displays of cultural objects, and food from vendors will be available throughout the event.

Posted on September 02, 2015

LSW music collecting electronics for fundraiser

The Lincoln Southwest Music Department's bi-annual Electronics Recycling Fundraising Drive is Saturday, Sept. 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Anything that uses (or once used) electricity can be recycled. The company used is called Secure Recyclers. Residents can bring their old computers or laptops without worrying about their files or electronic information. Bring the items to the Southwest parking lot.

Some examples of things to save:

  • Desktop computers 
  • medical equipment 
  • refrigerators* 
  • laptop computers 
  • keyboards 
  • washers* 
  • bar coders 
  • modems 
  • dryers* 
  • circuit boards 
  • printers 
  • microwaves* 
  • hand held devices 
  • routers 
  • servers
  • small appliances 
  • telephones 
  • monitors*
  • cd/dvd drives 
  • scanners 
  • batteries
  • dvd/vcr players 
  • fax machines 
  • copiers 
  • ink jet cartridges 
  • old christmas lights
  • flat screen monitors-free

* Because this is a “recycle” event, & the goal is to keep toxic items out of the landfills, there is a fee for all televisions, monitors & appliances.

$10.00 for screens 19” or less,
$20.00 for screens 20-30”,
$35.00 for screens larger than 30” &
$10.00 for large appliances & microwaves.

For more information, contact Alyssa Wilhelm, director of Bands at Southwest, at (402) 436-1306 x66507.

Posted on September 02, 2015

Toalson recognized with Ron Joekel Leadership Award

Lincoln Southeast Principal Brent Toalson received the Ron Joekel Leadership Award Sunday night at Launch Leadership’s Fire and Fuzzies banquet. The award recognizes an educator who is a champion of youth leadership development in the classroom and community.

Toalson was nominated and selected to receive the award based on his long-time dedication to promoting youth leadership during his 15-year tenure as the student council sponsor at Lincoln Southeast and as an administrator at Lincoln High and Southeast. During his time teaching at LSE, Toalson developed leadership curriculum that allowed students to take a leadership class. He’s helped shape the lives of countless students and gave them the opportunity to unlock their leadership skills and use their talents to make their schools and communities a better place.

“When I became a teacher at LSE about 25 years ago, I knew that I wanted to ‘pay it forward’ and help students develop their leadership talents, just like others had helped me when I was a student,” Toalson said during his acceptance speech. “I have great respect for Dr. Joekel and his vision for youth leadership development. I also have great respect for the work Launch does to help our youth develop into confident, positive and reflective leaders.”

The award is named for Ron Joekel, a long-time educator who taught at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for more than 40 years and was instrumental in the development and growth of Launch’s Summer Leadership Workshop. He served as the director of the Nebraska Association of Student Council for 20 years, the national president of Phi Delta Kappa and on the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Council of School Administrators.

Launch Leadership originated as a volunteer organization back in 1976. It promotes and develops youth leadership through an annual five-day summer workshop in Wayne, Neb., and dozens of year-round services all over Nebraska. Launch is based in Lincoln with more than 200 members across the United States.

Posted on September 02, 2015

September 2015 Community News Online Edition


Posted on August 26, 2015

LPS Teacher Bulletin Boards

Some teachers love the well-designed and user-friendly bulletin board. Here are a few submitted from teachers around Lincoln Public Schools. Want to share yours? Email 

Posted on August 26, 2015

Students travel 440 miles in a matter of minutes for field trip

How can you take 570 Lincoln elementary students on a field trip to a paleontology dig 440 miles across the state of Nebraska for free?  With a virtual field trip set up between Lincoln Public Schools and other organizations across the state, the hassle and costs of these learning experiences are minimal.

"National parks and other places in our state offer these opportunities to our students free or at little cost, without needing to get parent permissions slips signed, buses scheduled, lunches packed. It's a great opportunity for our students to get out of the classroom and experience the world around them," commented LPS distance learning coordinator, Linda Dickeson.

The virtual field trips are done using a two-way interactive videoconferencing system set up between the schools and the host organization. The most recent of these virtual field trips was conducted with Agate Fossil Beds in the Panhandle of Nebraska and Prescott Elementary. Park rangers gave tours of their facility, showcased fossils and displayed artists' renderings of prehistoric animals found at the national park.

"I'm going to tell you about some animals we have," said Park Ranger Ann to the 102 kindergartners sitting around the projector screen. "Right behind me is the beardog. Looking at his head, what can we tell about what he eats?"

The experience was set up as part of Prescott's Expressive Arts Day.  Prescott principal Ruth Ann Wylie challenged the school’s specialists to find creative and engaging ways to make the most of shortened PLC days.

“They did a great job developing what we call Expressive Arts Day. They plan physical activities, arts events and other things that relate to what we are doing and expand what students are learning in the classroom,” Wylie said. “Today our students can make the connection to our newly created fossil dig out back in our outdoor classroom.”

The tour of Agate Fossil Beds is just one of the 37 field trips offered to Nebraska educators through the Nebraska Virtual Instruction Source. Schools interested in setting up a virtual field trip can go to at the Field Trip link to choose a location and topic that fits into their lessons. Topics and organizations range from NASA to national parks, art museums, and how food gets from the farm to our tables.

For more information about distance learning opportunities, contact Lincoln Public Schools distance learning coordinator Linda Dickeson at

Posted on August 26, 2015

Morley adds life to outdoor classroom

Morley Elementary School planted several trees and plans in its outdoor classroom as part of its Student Serve project.All students and several parent volunteers were involved in various activities throughout the day.

StudentServe is an annual project of students in Lincoln Public Schools, and consists of various volunteer projects in schools and around the community. Schools can complete tasks at any time, and the official week is September 14-19. For more information, visit

Posted on August 26, 2015

LPS sees solid improvement in state assessment scores

Lincoln Public Schools continues to generally see solid, significant improvement in achievement – scores above state averages in most grades and subject areas – based on release Tuesday of the 2014-15 Nebraska State Accountability (NeSA) scores, the piece of the achievement picture based on state standards.

“Our school district scores are staying strong with some of the highest numbers ever at some of our schools,” according to Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS. “We have established the foundation and are ready to move ahead as we continue to use these scores to dig deep and examine why we’re getting good results – and develop strategies when we do not see the results we expect.”

Stavem particularly pointed to noteworthy LPS reading scores: “Some of these scores are quite remarkable – 86 percent of our third graders are reading at or above grade level, an increase from 76 percent just five years ago.”

In addition: 84 percent of LPS fourth graders are reading at or above grade level; 85 percent of fifth graders; 84 percent of sixth graders; 85 percent of seventh graders (up from 74 percent in 2010) – and 82 percent of eighth graders.

“There are solid indicators that we are seeing good scores as a result of some of the changes we’ve employed: strong procedures and rigorous expectations,” Stavem said, specifically pointing to recent implementation of the new “McGraw-Hill Reading Wonders” curriculum.

Lisa Oltman, curriculum specialist for K-6 Reading and Language Arts, agreed, pointing to a deeper comprehension emerging from the new and stronger curriculum – with kids learning at higher levels as teachers continue to further fine-tune instruction.

Stavem said this year’s results include some all-time high scores, while there are also schools where they have already identified areas of improvement. “Our principals are studying these results, and are setting strategies where they would like to see improvement.”

The new NeSA scores also indicated LPS math holding steady with scores meeting or exceeding the state average in every grade but 11, and science scores continue to climb: 72 percent of fifth graders are at or above proficient in science – compared to 57 percent just three years ago.

Matt Larson, curriculum specialist for mathematics, said there has been significant impact from something the LPS Curriculum Department developed called “math lesson treatments,” aimed at: Helping students master skills; helping students understand why skills and concepts work the way they do; and helping students draw upon skills and understanding to solve problems they have never seen before.

Summary of highlights

Reading grades 3-6

  • In all grades, the percent of LPS students proficient in reading exceeds the state average.
  • In grades 3, 5 and 6, the percent of students proficient was at an all-time high in 2015.
  • The percent of students proficient in grades 3, 4, 5 and 6 remains stable.
  • Grade 6 has shown an upward trend over the last four years.
  • Continued use and refinement of rigorous instruction in McGraw-Hill Wonders curriculum has led to increases in reading scores.

Reading grades 7, 8 and 11

  • In all grades tested, the percent of LPS students proficient in reading meets or exceeds the state average.
  • The percent of LPS students proficient in reading in grades 7, 8 and 11 remained relatively stable.
  • In grade 8, the percent of students proficient remained steady at all-time high.

Writing, grade 4

  • The percent of LPS fourth grade students proficient in writing exceeds the state average.
  • The percent of LPS fourth grade students proficient in writing is the highest score in three years.

Writing, grades 8 and 11

  • In grade 8, the percent of LPS students proficient in writing was at an all-time high in 2015.
  • In grade 8, the percent of LPS students proficient is 5 percentage points higher than the state average.
  • In grades 8 and 11, the percent of students proficient in writing has shown increases in each of the last three years.


  • Elementary curriculum enhancements showed evidence of effectiveness in grade 5 during the 2014-15 school year, achieving the all-time highest score for elementary science.
  • In grades 8 and 11, the percent of LPS students proficient in science rose steadily from 2012 to 2014 and then become relatively stable in 2014-2015.


  • In all grades except grade 11, the percent of LPS students proficient in math exceeds the state average.
  • In grades 5 and 7 the percent of LPS students proficient in math was at an all-time high in 2015.
  • The percent of LPS students proficient in math in grades 3, 4, 6, 8 and 11 is relatively stable.
  • Elementary curriculum enhancements continued to show evidence of effectiveness in grade 5 during the 2014-15 school year.
  • High school proficiency among eleventh grade students enrolled in advanced algebra, or a course beyond advanced algebra, was 82 percent.

The scores are based on assessments administered in Nebraska public schools last spring to all students in grades 3 through 8, and grade 11. This is the sixth year Nebraska students have taken the NeSA reading exam, the fifth year they have take math, and the fourth year for science.   

Posted on August 25, 2015

TCA students gain valuable experience

High school students participating in the first Career Academy health services pathway received hands-on experience in working with needles.

During class time, instructor Amy Holst, along with two EMT volunteers from Kawasaki, worked with students on drawing blood, giving injections and starting IVs.

“This should take a little edge off of being nervous, as far as working with needles,” said Holst. “At least they get introduced to it and learn how to use them, hold them correctly.”

Students of the class see the experience as a way to get a jumpstart on their future.

“I think it's going to help me because I'm learning right now, practicing, so when I get into the real future, I'll know what to do. It’s really exciting,” commented Khadiya Mengelkamp.

Another student Carolyn Hopkins added, “It's made me more confident in things I'm going to be doing in my career in the future. Even though I'm just starting, I know I can do it.”

Holst said thanks to community support, this experience was possible for students. “For Kawasaki to send these EMT's out, there is no way I could watch 25 students with needles and run four different lab stations. It's huge that Kawasaki and the community itself, lends a hand and comes out to help us.”

Posted on August 25, 2015

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