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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 mkroth@lps.org.

Middle school students to present research at free Morrill Hall event < Updated

Students at Community Learning Centers at three middle schools in Lincoln Public Schools are hosting a 'Sunday with a Junior Scientist' in Morrill Hall. The Museum is offering free admission that day, Dec. 11 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Park, Culler and Dawes CLC program students are the host scientists sharing their research information that they have been hard at work on the past few months.

The activities will focus on topics of animal behavior including migration, reptile feeding patterns, mimicry, mutualism, plus more.  Mentored by University of Nebraska-Lincoln undergraduate and graduate students, the LPS students have been hard at work during the fall semester researching and developing activities as part of a year-long initiative led by Dr. Eileen Hebets, biological sciences professor at UNL.

This partnership provides a multigenerational approach to educational outreach in the content area of natural sciences. UNL students receive formal instruction by Dr. Hebets and invited colleagues from across campus on how to construct and deliver effective informal science activities. The structure pairs trained UNL students, as after school science club leaders, with middle school students in the CLCs. These middle school students and CLC staff, in turn, connect with elementary students in additional joint elementary/middle

These middle school students and CLC staff, in turn, connect with elementary students in additional joint elementary/middle after-school science clubs. This vertically integrated peer instruction design leads to a richer learning experience for all students, and ultimately a broader awareness of the natural sciences.

Posted on December 02, 2016


Southwest wrestling bringing back 'Takedowns for the Troops'

The wrestling team at Lincoln Southwest High School will host Lincoln Northeast High School for its third annual Takedowns for the Troops. The event, scheduled for 6 p.m., December 14 at Southwest High School, 7001 S. 14th St., will raise money for the Disabled American Veterans group. Other groups involved in the event include the Lincoln Public Schools Junior ROTC, Dwight American Legion Post 110, LSW Choir and Band, and Emeralds Dance Team.

In 2013, Lincoln Southwest Wrestling initiated a community involvement project called “Takedowns for the Troops.”  Our team celebrates this event in conjunction with Senior Night and Alumni Recognition Night.  LSW Wrestling is proud to be the first team in Lincoln to undertake a community involvement event of this magnitude.  Last year, LSW Wrestling was able to raise over $4,500 for the Disabled American Veterans.

The event will continue to accept donations in the form of acknowledgements and memorials. Names will be displayed as part of our pre-match ceremony. If you would like to acknowledge or memorialize an active, retired, or deceased member of the armed forces, please send name, military branch, and any applicable overseas service with cash or check (made to LSW Boosters) to:

Aaron Finley

T4T Acknowledgements/Memorials

7001 S. 14th St.

Lincoln, NE 68512

Questions?  Contact coach Finley at 402-436-1306 or via email at afinley@lps.org

Posted on November 30, 2016


Lincoln Public Schools: Highlights of 11/22 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

Lincoln Public Schools: Highlights of 11/22 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

LPS: Highlights of 11/22 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, November 22 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next meeting Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 6 p.m.

BOARD MEETING Highlights

Several significant grants proposed

The Board of Education heard discussion of three proposed grant applications:

  • LPS proposed submission to the Nebraska Department of Education to support implementation of key innovative strategies meant to redesign middle schools. The grant application request will include approximately $2 million over a three-year period.

LPS would like to propose a project called Planting the Seeds of Innovation in Middle School, which seeks to increase engagement and achievement among middle school students through a three-pronged strategy: (1) a schoolwide shift to design-based learning and an innovation mindset, (2) a transformation in design and function of learning environments, and (3) schoolwide professional development with innovative industry leaders in STEM and education fields.

If awarded, the project will initially target Goodrich and Moore middle schools—among the oldest and newest of LPS middle schools—to pilot these strategies. This will be followed by a phasing in of the remaining 10 middle schools over the three-year period, being mindful of the need for equitable distribution of resources throughout the district.

“We have seeds sewn all across our district with innovation,” said Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS. “We have deployed Chromebooks, given people initial tools…and there are more ideas that people are coming up with…We are looking at: How do we provide some engaging opportunities for students that go beyond what we’ve ever done?”

  • LPS proposed submission to Woods Charitable Fund to support districtwide implementation of a University of Nebraska-Lincoln-developed bullying intervention program. The grant application request will include an average of $380,000 per year for five years, totaling approximately $1.9 million. LPS would like to expand its partnership with UNL’s Department of Educational Psychology to increase utilization of a successful bullying intervention program across the district.

Implemented on a very small scale since 2005 – limited due to lack of funding and trained personnel to carry out the intervention – UNL’s Targeted Bullying Intervention Program has changed behaviors and decreased office referrals among approximately 200 students. This proposal would allow LPS to increase the use of the program across the district over five years, by training additional UNL graduate students to work with identified students, concentrating first on middle schools and then expanding to elementary and high schools

National data suggests that middle school students are at greatest risk for involvement in bullying, and that perpetrators and victims actually share many risk factors, including depression, anxiety and poor self-concept.

  • LPS proposed submission of a federally-funded grant application to the Nebraska Department of Education.  The total grant amount over a five-year period is projected to be $352,176. In years four and five, grant funds will step down (year four to 80 percent, year five to 60 percent of initial grant funding).  Community partnerships will contribute resources to meet the difference.

This 21st Century Community Learning Center grant application is a new funding grant for Campbell Elementary School.  This grant in partnership with United Way of Lincoln, will bring necessary resources and support to establish Campbell as a CLC school.  It is projected that approximately 100 students will be impacted by programs at this CLC school.

The following program goals will guide the program design and delivery: Goal 1: Improve student learning performance in one or more core academic areas; Goal 2: Increase social benefits and improve behavior; and Goal 3: Increase family and community involvement in schools.

The Board will vote approval for these grant applications at the Dec. 13 meeting.

Policy changes approved
The Board approved proposals for several changes in policy governing Board operating procedures: Meetings, and time and place of meetings.

Kitchen equipment for new Moore Middle School

The Board approved the purchase of $563,000 worth of kitchen equipment for the new Marilyn Moore Middle School (opening in the fall of 2017). The low bidder was Hockenbergs from Omaha.

Bond issue series

The community approved a bond issue in February, 2014 – and as a result in April of 2014, $120 million of bonds were issued.  The spend-down schedule indicates the majority of these funds will be expended in December 2016.  The Board of Education’s Finance Committee has recommended the remaining $33.3 million of the original authorization be issued for the second issuance of bonds – for the remaining LPS construction projects – no later than Feb. 15, 2017. The date of final maturity of the bonds shall not be later than January 31, 2022. The Board Tuesday voted approval of this issuance.

Strategic Plan update

Everyone is encouraged to participate in the ongoing strategic planning process – by taking the online survey at: http://www.lps.org/strategicplan/

Staff and Student Celebrations

A Student Celebration at the Board of Education meeting recognized the role of students who participate in the school district’s award-winning sustainability program. Presenting were: Brittney Albin, sustainability coordinator at LPS; and members of the Sheridan Elementary School Green Team: Annika Srivastav, third grade; Grover Korn, fourth; Gibby Chapman, fifth; and Leighton Schmit, fifth.

The Board also recognized LPS employees who have achieved the goal of 25-years of professional service to the youth of Lincoln and Lincoln Public Schools:

  1. Ardella Anderson
  2. Sylvia Bailey
  3. James Baker
  4. Sharon Barnes
  5. Diana Bauer
  6. Ruth Beechley
  7. Rita Bennett
  8. Chad Blatchford
  9. Michelle Bohac
  10. Diane Brodd
  11. Gaylene Butterfield
  12. Ralph Calafiore
  13. Nancy Clare
  14. Kelly Dodd
  15. Susan Dougherty
  16. Scott Fischer
  17. Barbara (Barb) Fitzgerald
  18. Jennifer Fosler
  19. Keri Gasseling
  20. Ronald Gormley
  21. Whitney Haberlan
  22. Sheridan Harrington
  23. Darla Haugerud
  24. Rustin Hitz
  25. Kent Hoffart
  26. Kyla Jensby
  27. Nancy Jervey
  28. Melinda Johnson
  29. Brian Kabourek
  30. Elizabeth L. Kagan
  31. Sondra Kahler
  32. Mike Kapeller
  33. Jodon (Dondi) Kilgore
  34. Melissa Kingery
  35. Kathleen Kloefkorn
  36. Dave Knudsen
  37. Devon Kosmicki
  38. Mark Lago
  39. H. Kirk Langer
  40. Susan Larson
  41. Jay Lawson
  42. Peter John Lenz
  43. Deborah Lyon
  44. Catherine Martin
  45. Carol Mathias
  46. Michael McCuistion
  47. Shaunna Meyer
  48. Kim Miller
  49. Susan Monroe
  50. Kelly Morehouse
  51. Nancy Myers
  52. Stephanie Nantkes
  53. Darwin Nelson
  54. Jill Oestmann
  55. Diana Pasco
  56. Mark Patton
  57. Kay Paulsen
  58. Roxanne Petersen
  59. Deanna Priefert
  60. Russell Raatz
  61. Lorrilyn Rennings
  62. Allan Rezac
  63. Kelli-Anne Roeber Schoening
  64. Katharine A. Runge-Wobig
  65. Jacqueline Rush
  66. Shirley Sabin
  67. Diane Schneider
  68. Rolanda Scurlock
  69. Diane Slaby
  70. Kathryn Slattery
  71. Angela Smail
  72. Jane Stedronsky
  73. Michal P. Sterns
  74. Diane Swartzlander
  75. Marge Theel
  76. Brent Toalson
  77. Russ Uhing
  78. William (Bill) Wendling
  79. Cheryl Wilkins
  80. Dawn Wright

 

 

 

Posted on November 22, 2016


Giving a book, getting a smile

Every first and second grader in Lincoln Public Schools and those in parochial schools will receive their very own book thanks to the efforts of the Lincoln Education Association, KFOR, and Raising Canes. Close to 7,000 books in total will be distributed during the 2016 Harvest of Books campaign.

Founded in 1997 by Dan Studer, former Lincoln Education Association President, the Harvest of Books Inc., is a program developed to help promote a life-long love of reading for children. There have been close to 170,000 books distributed through the 20 year program.

Posted on November 22, 2016


LPS Board of Education Chinese Bridge Delegation

Don Mayhew and Connie Duncan - president and vice president of the Lincoln Board of Education - are visiting China for nine days to build relationships and to learn about the Chinese system of education.   They will be sending us updates about their trip periodically. Here is their blog. 

 Friday, Nov. 18, 2016

"Today we are on our final day on our trip..."


Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016

"Today, Lincoln North Star and Yangzi High School in Nanjing City became sister schools as part of a ceremonial, non-binding agreement. Tonight, we head back to Beijing to wrap up our trip." 


Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016

We visited an elementary school in Nanjing City.  We were struck by the fact that the school of over 1,500 students didn’t have a single child with any kind of physical disability.  There were also no children with learning disabilities or behavioral disorders, and every single student was a native Chinese speaker.  Children with different needs go to different schools.

We also learned that some Chinese students aren’t allowed to pursue academics beyond the ninth grade.  During the ninth year, students take exams in order to establish academic ability.  Students who don’t pass those tests either drop out of school or are diverted into non-academic, vocational training and then enter the work force with limited income potential.

In talking with educators who have worked or lived in other countries, we’re told it’s not unusual for students to be required to pass tests in order to continue pursuing an education. 

Only 5 to 7 percent of Chinese students go on to college, compared with about 50 percent of U.S. students.  Five percent of 1.3 billion people is a lot of college students, but that means about 95 percent of the citizens of China do not have access to higher education.

I believe this is a defining difference in educational philosophy between our countries.  In American public schools, our doors are open to every single student who comes to us regardless of what special needs they may have or how they score on a test. Our schools are truly a melting pot of races, cultures, backgrounds, financial situations and educational needs.

I think that U.S. public schools are trying to answer a different question.  We’re not trying to figure out how to build one school that can outperform its neighbors.  We’re also not interested in excluding students.  Our goal is to figure out how to improve educational outcomes for every single child who comes through our doors.  It’s a complex challenge, but we’re very invested in solving it.


Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016


Friday, Nov. 11, 2016

Today we had several orientation sessions that described Chinese educational philosophies, practices and curriculum - and the history of how they were developed.  In 2003, Chinese educators began instituting reforms in an effort to improve educational outcomes for students.  The process is slow and ongoing, but progress is being made.

Some of the thinking behind the changes were summed up on a slide from the morning session (see below). I would say that many of these ideas are similar to values we hold in American schools. I’ve heard from many parents who would like less testing, less homework, and more time for creative learning and social development.

Especially interesting to me as a policy maker (and a nerd) is the idea of using technology to create educational experiences that are even more centered on the needs and abilities of each child. 

For example, right now if we don’t have enough students sign up for a foreign language class (like Japanese), we may not be able to offer that class.  We may not be able to pay an educator to teach a class with only three students in it. But with tools like distance learning and smart phone apps, the foreign language classes of the near future may have students sitting side-by-side in the same classroom while learning different languages than their classmates.

Chinese students begin learning foreign languages by the third grade.  Forty years ago, the most popular foreign language was Russian.  But now, over 90 percent of Chinese students are learning English.  As you might imagine, there is a lot of interest in encouraging American students to learn Chinese.

Besides learning about education in Chinese schools on this journey, we are also being exposed to Chinese culture and the history of the country.  Tomorrow we are visiting the Great Wall of China and then my group will travel by train to Nanjing City in the Jiangsu province. I’m guessing the days will be very full but I’ll do my best to continue sharing thoughts and observations for the next several days.

Posted on November 18, 2016


Scottish Rite teacher recognized

Susan Prabulos, a computer science teacher at Meadow Lane Elementary School – and now forever known as Scottish Rite 2016 Distinguished Teacher of the Year – described the honor Tuesday as “finding joy in the journey.” 

Speaking to friends, family and colleagues at the annual Scottish Rite Teacher recognition ceremony, Prabulos thanked everyone who was part of the journey of joy.  “You have helped me grow as a teacher, you have provided wonderful guidance, you have pushed me to be a better teacher…And I’m thinking of all my students today…hundreds, thousands of kids who I’ve taught over the years: Each one has had a part in my journey.”   

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel congratulated Prabulos “for this honor going to one of the great teachers in Lincoln Public Schools.” 

“I thank the Scottish Rite for presenting an award of this magnitude, representing all that’s right with schools and teachers and public education.

Susan, congratulations, you’re a tremendous representative of Lincoln Public Schools.” 

The prestigious Scottish Rite Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award is presented annually and comes with a cash prize of $3,000. 

Bruce Wood, General Secretary for the local chapter of the Scottish Rite, underlined that Scottish Rite “has always been and will continue to be a strong supporter of public education.”

Video of the full recognition ceremony:

Past Scottish Rite honorees

Posted on November 16, 2016


Students honor veterans throughout classrooms

Students in Lincoln Public Schools are taking time to learn about and honor veterans. Here are just some of the activities taking place around town.

Each Veterans Day a group marches past Lincoln High School to the Antelope Park memorials. The LHS band greeted and saluted them as they walked past this morning.

To honor Veterans Day students and staff at Humann Elementary dressed in red, white, and blue.

Pound Middle School students wrote special personal letters to veterans and active duty. Students also watched some additional informational video clips to learn more about the meaning and observance of the day.

Kindergarten students at Kooser Elementary were honored to hear a local veteran read them book.

Mrs. Mueller and Ms. Taege's eighth grade social studies classes at Mickle Middle School learned about Veterans Day.  Students wrote letters to veterans they know personally or to veterans in our community.

Students in Mr. Powell's U.S. History class at the Bill Nuernberger Education Center answered writing prompts at the beginning of class.

Calvert Elementary students thank Principal Jeff Brehm for his service to our country.

Irving Middle School held a special assembly honoring veterans in their newly remodled auditorium. 

Students at Huntington Elementary invited family members who served and other veterans from the community to join them for a special lunch.

Posted on November 14, 2016


Author shares experience with students

Children's author Lois Brandt told Lincoln Public Schools elementary students that a real-life experience when she was a child – led to the creation of her award-winning book, Maddi’s Fridge, about a young girl who discovers that her best friend’s refrigerator is bare. 

“When I was in about the fifth grade, I was playing at my best friend’s house after school when I got hungry,” Brandt told Huntington third graders Thursday. “So I ran into Liz’s kitchen, opened the refrigerator door and discovered that her refrigerator was almost completely empty….Ketchup, hot sauce, and a small carton of milk she had brought home from school for her little brother.”

Brandt said that story “stuck in my head” – through elementary, middle and high school, through college and her early career years – “until one day I wrote down the story…That’s the reason I write...because stories get stuck in my head and at some point it feels like my head is going to explode unless I write stuff out.”

The author told students that after writing her book the first time – it took her ten years of revisions and 50 rejections – before getting it published two years ago.

 Brandt’s book, Maddi's Fridge, was featured last year as Lincoln Public Schools introduced the Backpack Walk to staff and students.  You can find out more about Brandt and her books here: http://www.loisbrandt.com/

Posted on November 11, 2016


Lincoln Public Schools: Highlights of 11/8 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

Lincoln Public Schools:

Highlights of 11/8 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, November 8 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next meeting Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 6 p.m.

 

BOARD MEETING Highlights

Naming support LPS facility

Lincoln Public Schools is extending the deadline to submit names for a new school facility that supports both school district Professional Learning and the LPS Nutrition Service Program – the Lincoln Board of Education was informed Tuesday evening.

 

Community members can submit names through Tuesday, Nov. 22 by going to: http://lps.org/nameit/2016-10/

 

“I would ask our community members to go to our website and send us suggestions for this important facility,” said Kathy Danek, who is chairing a special committee made up of Lincoln Board of Education and community members who will give their name recommendation to the Board of Education.

 

The support facility is located at 710 Hill St. and will be renovated for two major uses:

  • For Professional Learning: LPS is committed to high-quality professional learning opportunities for all staff.  The facility will house a large professional learning space, smaller classrooms and conference room settings to meet the various needs of staff.
  • For Nutrition Services:  The facility will house the freezer, cooler, dry storage and support offices that facilitate distribution of food to school sites district-wide.  On any given day, the LPS Nutrition Services program serves 7,200 breakfasts, 26,400 lunches, 3,200 snacks and 150 dinners. In total over seven million dollars of food will be distributed through this facility each year.

The Board of Education will make the final decision.

 

Policy changes
The Board heard proposals for several changes in policy governing Board operating procedures: Meetings, and time and place of meetings. The Board will vote approval at the Nov. 22 meeting.

 

Kitchen equipment for new Moore Middle School

The Board heard a proposal to purchase $563,000 worth of kitchen equipment for the new Marilyn Moore Middle School (opening in the fall of 2017). The low bidder was Hockenbergs from Omaha. The Board will vote approval at the Nov. 22 meeting.

 

Bond issue series

The community approved a bond issue in February, 2014 – and as a result in April of 2014, $120 million of bonds were issued.  The spend-down schedule indicates the majority of these funds will be expended in December 2016.  The Board of Education’s Finance Committee Tuesday recommended the remaining $33.3 million of the original authorization be issued for the second issuance of bonds – for the remaining LPS construction projects – no later than Feb. 15, 2017. The date of final maturity of the bonds shall not be later than January 31, 2022. The Board will vote approval at the Nov. 22 meeting.

 

Community Learning Centers

The Board heard a presentation from the LPS Community Learning Centers about a new grant-funded program to provide leadership opportunities to students at three CLC sites.   The CLCs are partnering with Launch to provide structured leadership skills to students who normally might not be engaged. Launch Leadership facilitates leadership development for middle school and high school students with challenging, hands-on activities to build better leaders, more effective groups and stronger communities.


Strategic Plan update

Lanny Boswell – who leads the Board’s Strategic Planning Committee – reported that if anyone wants to participate with the ongoing strategic planning process – and do not have time to attend a session – they have plenty of time to take the online survey at: http://www.lps.org/strategicplan/

 

There are two remaining open strategic planning sessions for the community:

  • Nov. 10, 6 p.m. at Lux Middle School
  • Nov. 15, 12:30 p.m. at Mount Zion Baptist Church

Staff Celebrations

The Board of Education recognized the following employees for outstanding honors:

  • Colleen Finkhouse, a counselor at Lincoln Southwest High School, has been honored with a 2016 Yale Educator Award and was nominated by former student Ashley Pales.
  • Jason Thomsen, a science teacher and department chair at Lincoln Southwest High School, has been honored with a 2016 Yale Educator

Posted on November 08, 2016


Lux hosts local veterans for special program

Lux Middle School hosted a special celebration honoring Veterans ahead of Veteran's Day on November 11.  

Active and retired members from the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard and Navy, 43 in all, participated in the event. There was also one World War II Veteran who served in the Pacific in attendance.  

Senator Ben Sasse was the keynote speaker for the assembly.  After the assembly, students rotated through breakout sessions, where the Veterans told students their stories. 

Posted on November 04, 2016


Student Vote 2016 - Results!

View the 2016 Student Vote Results Here!

 Results read live on KFOR

Fourth through twelfth grade students from across Lincoln cast their votes today during Student Vote. Students were able to weigh in on Presidential candidates, state school board candidates and first district congressional candidates. High school students were also able to vote on Referendum 426, which asks voters if they wish to retain or repeal the ban on the death penalty in Nebraska.

“Civic learning and civic engagement are vital pieces of social studies curriculum in Lincoln Public Schools,” said social studies curriculum specialist Jaci Kellison.  “We know that students who have the opportunity to learn about and participate in this democratic process from a young age will not only have increased interest in their communities, but are also more likely to become life-long voters and active citizens in adulthood.”

Each school had student election commissioners that helped run the election process. Students logged on to the special Student Vote website using their student ID to cast their ballot.

The schools determined different ways to let students cast their ballot. Some let the students vote on their own with their devices, some set a time that the whole classroom would vote using their Chromebooks, and some of the elementary schools set up voting booths where students waited in line to cast their vote.

Here is what some of the students who participated in Student Vote had to say.

  • Parker, fourth grader at Kooser Elementary: “I want to see what everyone thinks of the candidates and all the other people we can vote for. Maybe you don’t like a rule now, and maybe the new president will change a rule to a different thing so you like it.”

  • Mabast, fifth grader at Lakeview Elementary: “My job is to get students from their classrooms and bring them to the polls to vote.”

  • Megan, fifth grader at Lakeview Elementary: “The Student Vote kickoff was very fun. I learned a lot about the presidential election and the importance of voting.”

  • Kailyn, fifth grader at West Lincoln Elementary: “We get the opportunity to help pick the President.”

  • Sara, fifth grader at West Lincoln Elementary: “Kids have their own opinions and parents might not listen, so they get to share their thoughts.”

  • Chloe, fifth grader at West Lincoln Elementary: “It’s giving kids a chance to vote even though they can’t vote.  We can see who we want to be president and help build the country.”

  • Isabel, Lincoln Southwest High School: “I think it’s important for people to vote, no matter what. Even if the person they are voting for isn’t entirely what they believe in, it can maybe lead to the direction they are hoping for.”

  • Luis, Lincoln North Star High School: “Even though the students aren’t able to legally vote, they are still affected by the election and what they do to change our government.”

  • Tori, Lincoln North Star High School: “Students should care because when they are finally able to vote, they need to know the history. So it’s important to build your opinions young so you can expand on it in the future.”

  • Eli, Lux Middle School: “Students should get excited about this so they know in the future the importance of voting.”

  • Max, Lincoln North Star High School: “My first election I paid attention to was Obama’s first election and I didn’t really think it affected me, but it’s important to realize what they did, and it will affect you later in life. So realizing how important it can be growing up means you’ll be a stronger better voter as you get older and your knowledge will be increasing.”

  • Leigh, Lincoln Southwest High School: “Just learning about your right to vote encourages voting as an older individual who has that legal right.”

  • Alex, Lincoln Southeast High School: “Kids care about the election because who becomes our president, it determines what our future will be like and how our schools will teach.”

  • Harlie, Lincoln North Star High School: “I think this year’s election is very excited and I wanted to be a part of it in some way.”

Posted on November 03, 2016


Volunteers needed to ring bells

Phil Wolfe, retired Lincoln Public Schools teacher, organizes the LPS team for ringing Salvation Army bells.  Active teachers and retired teachers as well are encouraged to help out.

  • You are asked to commit for two hours at the  location of your choice.
  • Your children can be with you while bell ringing.
  • If you have been a bell ringer in the past or would like to become a bell ringer, here's all you need to do: 

Go to www.ringbells.org. On the registration form indicate “LPS Teachers" as your organization. 

Any questions please contact Phil at cubwolfe@gmail.com

Posted on November 02, 2016


Student Vote is November 2!

Wednesday is Student Vote! Students in 4-12 grades will have the chance to cast their ballot electronically in a mock election. We will reveal the results on www.lps.org after 4:15 p.m. or LIVE on our media partner KFOR radio and on the LPS Facebook page at approximately 4:10 p.m. on Wednesday.

Student Vote was created to teach kids the importance of being educated voters and to enjoy the process. Students involved are more likely to be active citizens and life-long voters.

Posted on October 31, 2016


Lincoln Public Schools: Highlights of 10/25 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

Lincoln Public Schools:

Highlights of 10/25 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, October 25 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next meeting Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m.

BOARD MEETING Highlights

Plan for struggling students

The Lincoln Board of Education heard a presentation Tuesday outlining the plan and timeline to move ahead after results of an external audit – conducted by District Management Council (DMC), an outside consultant – providing a comprehensive review of programs and practices that Lincoln Public Schools implements for “struggling students.”

The plan is called Planning, Monitoring and Implementing Strategies to Support the Effectiveness and Equity of Services for Struggling Students, and describes a multi-step process ahead

“People are eager to get started on the work,” said Jane Stavem, associate superintendent of Instruction.

Board member Lanny Boswell reminded everyone that the “goal is to improve the outcomes of students…by aligning with our best practices….and finding opportunities for us to improve.

Steps in the plan are:

1. Conduct and share diagnostic – a step accomplished through the audit.

2. Align on key focus areas, which will include: Building a shared understanding of opportunities; assembling a Guiding Coalitions; prioritizing opportunities, narrowing to 1-2 key areas of focus; and developing a shared vision of success and identifying key support strategies. The goals of the Guiding Coalitions are: helping guide the work in creation of a vision for change; communicating to stakeholders; championing the effort; and providing diverse perspectives, expertise and experience.

3. Plan for implementation, which will include: Creating a detailed action plan for implementation; creating a communications plan for sharing and gathering feedback; providing coaching support for the special education leadership team; and creating systems and processes to measure progress.

4. Implementation of priorities, which will include: Piloting a new vision for success and expanding; monitoring and refining the plan,

Purchasing buses
The Board gave final approval to bids for seven wheelchair buses and five 84-passenger buses to replace part of the fleet and add to it as well. The vote approves purchasing wheelchair buses from Cornhusker International for $744,570.00, and 84-passenger busses from Nebraska Central Equipment for $646,295.00.

Fruits and veggies

The Board approved selection of vendors for purchase of more than $500,000 worth of canned fruits and vegetables, and frozen potato products, for use by LPS Nutrition Services at all locations. 

Strategic Plan update

Boswell reported that if anyone wants to participate with the ongoing strategic planning process – and do not have time to attend a session – they can take a survey online at: http://www.lps.org/strategicplan/

There are also four opportunities for community members to attend open strategic planning sessions:

  • Nov. 1, 6 p.m. at Scott Middle School
  • Nov. 7, 6 p.m. at Goodrich Middle School
  • Nov. 19, 6 p.m. at Lux Middle School
  • Nov. 15, 12:30 p.m. at Mount Zion Baptist Church

Staff Celebrations

The Board of Education recognized the following employees for outstanding honors:

  • Jamie Mapp, school psychologist at McPhee Elementary School, honored as the Psychologist of the Year by the Nebraska School Psychologists Association (NSPA).
  • Ursula Vernon-Hansen, School Social Worker who serves Scott Middle School and Hill and Adams Elementary Schools, awarded the Service to Children Award from the Nebraska School Psychology Association (NSPA).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on October 25, 2016


LPS names first principal for new Marilyn Moore Middle School

Gary Czapla, currently principal of Culler Middle School, will serve as the first principal of the new Marilyn Moore Middle School, which opens next fall for the 2017-18 school year. 

Steve Joel, superintendent of Lincoln Pubic Schools, made the announcement Monday:  “We are excited to have Dr. Czapla as principal of our newest middle school. He is a proven leader of innovation as it relates to improving teaching and learning for all students. As a pilot school for the district technology plan, Culler was instrumental in helping determine the ‘do's and don’ts’ of a large-scale rollout. His belief that students need to be inspired to learn through creative engagement will serve as the backbone for a 21st century school that will emphasize creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration.”  

Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS, said: "Dr. Czapla is a great fit for Marilyn Moore Middle School and brings both the experience needed to open a new school, and the energy for creating new opportunities in our newest learning spaces.”  

Czapla has been principal at Culler for seven years – and previously served as principal at the Bryan Community High School Program, associate principal at Lincoln Southeast High School, and instructional coordinator and team leader at Bryan. 

In a message to Culler parents today, Czapla wrote: “Culler has been my family in many ways over the past 7 years and I have the greatest admiration for all of you. You have all treated me with the utmost kindness and caring and I will always be grateful for what each of you has given me. However the chance to open a brand new middle school is an opportunity that only comes around once in a great while and I felt I needed to take advantage of this opportunity.” 

Czapla earned his Bachelor’s, Master of Education and Doctorate of Education degrees all at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Posted on October 24, 2016


Lincoln Public School Office Professionals annual fundraiser Oct. 29

LPSAOP, is holding their annual Craft Fair this coming SaturdayOctober 29, at Lincoln North Star High School. Proceeds from this event will support professional development opportunities for LPS Office Professionals and towards the $1300 Diane Greiser annual scholarship given to an LPS student choosing to further their education at a Nebraska college or university. See flyer below for details.

Posted on October 24, 2016


LPS invites community members to share vision of schools

Take the survey: http://www.lps.org/strategicplan/

This year the Lincoln Board of Education and Lincoln Public Schools have launched a new strategic planning initiative, seeking to engage citizens throughout the community to help refresh and develop a strategic plan to chart the course for the school district over the next five years.

 

Called “Voices for the Future,” the strategic planning process involves gathering community voices through civic, school and community meetings, as well as through social media and online surveys – encouraging our citizens to dream big, imagine new ideas, help identify creative, innovative goals necessary to write the story of the school district’s future. The mission is to ensure LPS students experience a world-class education in preparation for college, career and life.

 

LPS facilitators are meeting with civic and school groups throughout Lincoln to gather ideas and feedback.

 

In addition, four community forums have been scheduled that are open to all Lincoln citizens:

  • Nov. 1, 6-7 p.m.: Scott Middle School, 2200 Pine Lake Road
  • Nov. 7, 6-7 p.m.: Goodrich Middle School, 4600 Lewis Ave.
  • Nov. 10, 6-7 p.m.: Lux Middle School, 7800 High St.
  • Nov. 15, 12:30-2 p.m.: Mr. Zion Baptist Church, 3301 N. 56th St.

Citizens can also participate in the strategic planning process by going online and taking a survey: http://www.lps.org/strategicplan/

 

Gathering community feedback and data is the first step in the strategic planning process, followed by meeting with smaller groups, analyzing the major themes, and working with the Board of Education to identify and finalize new strategic goals.

 

Posted on October 21, 2016


Music fills the fall air

The photos in our gallery were submitted to LPS Communications. If you have photos from this event or other school-related activities, email them to zbaehr@lps.org.

The weather was perfect for the 17 area high school bands that participated in the annual Lincoln Public Schools Marching Band Invitational Contest at Seacrest Field on Saturday, October 15.

Bands were judged individually and as an ensemble for music and visual performance, music and visual effect, colorguards and percussion. Each school was then given a rating of I for 'Superior', II for 'Excellent' or III for 'Good'.

Below are the results for the Lincoln High Schools that participated:

North Star High School - Excellent
under the direction of Rob Salistean and Kirk Brown

Southwest High School - Excellent
under the direction of Alyssa Wilhelm and Jason Lenz

Northeast High School - Excellent
under the direction of Brian Vuu and Eric Snyder

Lincoln High School - Excellent 
under the direction of Chris Watson and Jill Oetken    

East High School - Superior
under the direction of Tom Thorpe, Paul Kenney and Lisabeth Wissink

Southeast High School - Superior
under the direction of R.J. Metteer, Gary Shuda, Sam Rickert and Zach Brown  

The Lincoln Southwest High School ninth grade marching band also performed, but was not rated.

Posted on October 20, 2016


Invitation to name new LPS support facility

Lincoln Public Schools is asking for suggestions from our community to name a new school facility that supports both the LPS Nutrition Service Program and school district Professional Learning.

Please submit ideas before Oct. 26, by going to:  http://lps.org/nameit/2016-10/

The facility will have two major uses:

  • For Nutrition Services:  The facility will house the freezer, cooler, dry storage and support offices that facilitate distribution of food to school sites district-wide.  On any given day, the LPS Nutrition Services program serves 7,200 breakfasts, 26,400 lunches, 3,200 snacks and 150 dinners. In total over seven million dollars of food will be distributed through this facility each year.
  • For Professional Learning: LPS is committed to high-quality professional learning opportunities for all staff.  The facility will house a large professional learning space, smaller classrooms and conference room settings to meet the various needs of staff.

All suggested names will be forwarded to a special committee made up of Lincoln Board of Education and community members who will give their recommendation to the Board of Education. The Board of Education will make the final decision.

Posted on October 18, 2016


October LPS Learning Lunch: Choice alive and well

October LPS Learning Lunch: Choice alive and well

 

The October Lincoln Public Schools Learning Lunch will provide a wonderful sense of the many alternative high school choices for LPS students: set for noon Tuesday, Oct. 25.

 

The presentation – School choice alive and well at LPS – will feature: Pat Hunter-Pirtle describing the Science Focus Program (Zoo School) and Arts and Humanities Focus Program; J.P. Caruso, talking about the International Baccalaureate Program housed at Lincoln High School; Dan Hohensee, talking about The Career Academy, and MSgt (Ret.) Trent Woodruff, explaining the Junior ROTC Program housed at Lincoln Northeast High School.

 

The Learning Lunch will be held in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St. Doors to the Board Room open at noon, the program begins at 12:15 p.m., questions-and-answers happen at 12:45 p.m. Please bring your own lunch – we’ll provide dessert.

 

Learning Lunches are generally held on the last Tuesday of the month, offering “Untold Stories” of our schools. They are open to LPS staff and the Lincoln community.

 

The remaining 2016-17 season:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 29. The FIRST and LAST Class of the Day: Bill McCoy, director of LPS Transportation and Custodial Services, shares a wonderful primer on school buses and student transportation at Lincoln Public Schools.
  • Monday, Dec. 5. Computer Science for All, Kent Steen, curriculum specialist for Computer Science, encourages everyone to come learn about what is happening at LPS in K-12 computer science. You can also try out some coding as part of Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week.
  • Tuesday, Jan 31. Building a Sports Performance Program, Jake Fincham and Matt Bertsch, LPS sports performance, describe the process of establishing a model sports performance program and how the program can help prepare kids for success in sports and life.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 21. A Guide for Science Education Today, James Blake, curriculum specialist for Science at LPS, will discuss the focus of science education today and how LPS is developing teacher and curriculum support to prepare the next generation of science students.
  • Tuesday, March 28: Visual Art: Enriching the Human Experience, Lorinda Rice, curriculum specialist for Visual Arts for LPS, invites you to learn how high-quality art education can prepare students for learning in a visual age and into the future.
  • Tuesday, April 25. All That Shines Isn’t Chrome, Kirk Langer, chief technology officer at LPS, invites you to come learn about why LPS decided to purchase Chromebooks for students – and how the Chromebooks are being used as a tool for learning.
  • Tuesday, May 16. World Drumming, a Cultural Experience, Lance Nielsen, supervisor of Music for LPS, notes this is the first year for a World Drumming class at Lincoln High School.  Come hear the learning outcomes from both the teacher and student perspective and experience the joy of a drum circle.

Posted on October 18, 2016


Kahoa PE teacher completes IRONMAN challenge

Eric Vacek, a PE teacher at Kahoa Elementary School, completed the IRONMAN Triathlon in Louisville, Ken. over the weekend and finished in 12 hours, 24 minutes.

The IRONMAN consists of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride, and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run, raced in that order and without a break.

"It is extremely difficult to balance all the things in life in order train for something like Ironman," Vacek said. "But it's been on my and a friend's bucket list for awhile now. At the ages of 40 and 44 we decided it wasn't going to get any easier by waiting longer. So the last 10 months - and really 10-20 years - have been preparation for Ironman. It was such as neat experience having all of that come together in perfect fashion so that we both could have such great races! The emotion definitely pours out of you at the finish."

In order to be considered an IRONMAN, you need to complete the race in 17 hours. 

The race is regarded one of the most difficult single-day sporting events on the planet.

Posted on October 12, 2016


LPS Update: Highlights of the 10/11 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, October 11, at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O Street. The Board will holds its next meeting Tuesday, October 25, at 6 p.m.

BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

Presentation by Community Learning Centers Lights On Afterschool...
In October, cities from across the nation will be celebrating the Lights On Afterschool initiative and in Lincoln the celebration will be held October 20, at 5:30 p.m. at Goodrich Middle School.

The Board heard from Suzi Stout the CLC coordinator at Park Middle School, Belmont Elementary student Fernanda Islas, Goodrich Middle School student Princess Hayden and her parent Bernice Hayden.

Princess Hayden said that the CLC program is one of the best opportunities for her: “The clubs are amazing and I’m so glad CLC is here because without it I wouldn’t know what to do after school.”

Her mother Bernice said, “My daughter is capable of being by herself, but I don’t want her watching tv or playing on her cell phone. I want her doing things that will enrich her learning and the CLCs provide that.”

Teammate presentation...
Tom Osborne, founder of the Teammates program, and the director of the Lincoln program Walter Powell presented to the board about the importance of the mentor/mentee relationship for the success of students.

There are approximately 1,200 students in Lincoln matched with mentors through the Teammates program with another 700 on the waiting list.

Osborne said, “Obviously we need more mentors, but this is also an indication that Teammates is well received and well respected.

Powell reported to the board the success found when students have a mentor: “We see students who are more motivated, students who are performing better academically. When we see meetings happening consistently we see students’ academic performance improve, their attendance improves and often times we see a reduction in discipline referrals.”

Board member Kathy Danek reiterated by saying: “I’ve listened to a lot of stories of how mentorship has changed a lot of lives, but it doesn’t just change the lives of the mentees. It changes the life of the mentors. My challenge is we need 700 mentors to fill the needs for LPS. I’m challenging my colleagues and everyone in the district - it’s one hour a week. Change a life, become a mentor.”

President Don Mayhew said: “This is something that is very important to us. We talk about our graduation rate as being important to us. I think the Teammates program is an important part of that.”

If someone is interested in becoming a mentor, they can go to www.teammates.org and complete an application online. The matching process takes about 4-6 weeks to get someone matched and out to the schools.

First reading, action at next meeting

Purchasing buses...
The Board accepted bids for seven wheelchair buses and five 84-passenger buses to replace part of the fleet and add to it as well. The recommendation was to approve purchasing wheelchair buses from Cornhusker International for $744,570.00, and 84-passenger busses from Nebraska Central Equipment for $646,295.00. This action will be voted on at the next board meeting.

Second reading, recommended for action

Legislative Guidelines...
Throughout the 2016-17 calendar year, various governmental bodies will consider legislative and administrative action that will have an impact on Lincoln Public Schools. To effectively communicate the positions of the Board of Education, the Board annually approves Legislative Guidelines to provide guidance to district staff and representatives communicating with governmental bodies when it is not possible to survey the Governmental Relations Subcommittee of the Board for specific guidance on a particular piece of legislation or policy. The Board approved the guidelines that supports the mission of Lincoln Public Schools.

Board Policy updates…
The board also approved policy updates that dealt with setting up the fiscal year, the superintendent’s evaluation, Board operating procedures, and citizen participation at Board of Education meetings.

 

Summer School update…
Pam Robinson, Jadi Miller, and Linda Hix provided the Board with an update on the 2016 Summer School Programs offered at Lincoln Public Schools.

Highlights include:

  • Record number of enrollment with 1699 students enrolled, 1,411 students completing summer school.
  • All the high schools in Lincoln were represented, as well as, non-LPS schools and one student from as far away as Scottsbluff, Nebraska.
  • 279 English Language Learners participated in the summer program.
  • There were 55 different courses offered in 98 sections.
  • 318 students participated in the eLearning courses offered.
  • 93 percent of seniors enrolled in summer school finished their course work and received their diploma at the conclusion of summer school.
  • 37 schools offered summer school for elementary students serving over 857 students.
  • For ELL, 247 elementary students,105 middle school students and 50 high school students attended summer programs.
  • Eighth grade ELL students were able to complete high school credits during the summer while meeting high school teachers and learning about the schools they were going to attend.

Board Committee Reports

Strategic Plan update...
Board member Lanny Boswell reported the first presentation for the Strategic Plan was given to the Citizen’s Academy group. The first staff presentations was done by Boswell and Board member Connie Duncan at Lincoln Southeast High School, and those will continue throughout the district. There will be four opportunities for the community to attend strategic planning sessions:

  • Nov. 1, 6pm at Scott Middle School
  • Nov. 7, 6pm at Goodrich Middle School
  • Nov. 19, 6pm at Lux Middle School
  • Nov. 15, 12:30pm at Mount Zion Baptist Church

The Career Academy…
Boswell updated the Board on current enrollment at TCA. Enrollment is up with 394 students enrolled (247 juniors and 138 seniors). This is a 37 percent increase from last year’s enrollment.

 

Posted on October 11, 2016


High School Information Night for Eighth Grade Families

Podcast: What to know when picking your high school

At Lincoln Public Schools, students have an option to choose which high school they would like to attend.  All the high schools provide a high quality educational experience for all their students, but each school also offers different opportunities and programs.

Lincoln Public Schools is offering two information nights for parents and students who want to know more about what options are available in high school. Both sessions are the same and open to the families of ALL students, no matter which high school they plan to attend.

Families may attend either:

Monday, October 3, 2016 Southwest High School auditorium 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016 Lincoln High School auditorium 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Speakers will give information about the process of selecting a high school, LPS Focus Programs (Science, Arts & Humanities, and Bryan), the International Baccalaureate Program at Lincoln High, Air Force Junior ROTC program at Northeast, The Career Academy, Learn to Dream Scholarship Program, and EducationQuest.

Anyone with questions about these special programs or transitioning to high school in general  are encouraged to call the Counseling Center at their planned high school.

Each high school will still be offering open houses for eighth grade families to tour and ask questions before the enrollment deadline. Those dates are in January.

High School Open Houses:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 North Star High School  6:30 p.m
Wednesday, January 11, 2017 East High School 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 12, 2017 Southwest High School 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017  Southeast High School 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017 Northeast High School 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017 Lincoln High School 6:30 p.m.

These focus programs will be offering open houses as well for families to get more information:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 The Career Academy 7 - 8 p.m.
Thursday, October 27, 2016 The Career Academy 7 - 8 p.m.
Thursday, November 3, 2016 Arts & Humanities 6 - 7 p.m.
Monday, November 7, 2016 Zoo School (at the Zoo) 6:00 - 6:45 p.m.
Monday, November 7, 2016 Zoo School (at the Zoo) 7:00 - 7:45 p.m.
Saturday, November 5, 2016 IB Academy at LHS (for 6-8 grade) 8 - 11:30 a.m.

Posted on October 11, 2016


Carrying Nuernberger's legacy on to the moon and back

(A full video of the dedication ceremony is coming soon.)

 

Donning their new black and gold Nighthawks shirts with the saying “To the moon and back”, students and staff celebrated the dedication of the Nuernberger Education Center with his family and the community on Sunday, October 9.

“When thinking about speaking on this day, the one word that kept coming into my head was legacy,” said principal Jaime Bodeker. “The very existence of this building is the continuation of the legacy inherent in Lincoln Public Schools, in the community in which we live, and I believe it's part of the legacy, if he were alive right now, Judge Nuernberger would be proud of today.”

Judge Bill Nuernberger was the first judge to serve on a separate Juvenile Court in Lancaster County. In that role, Nuernberger advocated that young people need a separate court and worked tirelessly, both in his professional and personal life, to better the lives of all children in the community.

The 2016-2017 school year is the inaugural year for the Nuernberger Education Center which houses two programs - a student support program and a program that serves students sixth through eighth grades who have been referred from other middle schools within LPS.

Other speakers during the program highlighted the dedication Nuernberger had to the support of today’s youth:

  • Steve Joel, superintendent: “The Nuernberger school is aligned with the Nuernberger philosophy. It’s that philosophy that we never give up on young people. We never give up on those students that maybe historically were predestined for failure, because we know that with appropriate supports and passions, commitment and dedication and love, that they can turn around. Just like they did when they left his court, they could go through one or two or three ways. I have to believe that gave him the greatest sense of pride, and we are taking that same amount of pride in this building today.”

  • Kathy Danek, school board member: “To the family of Judge Nuernberger, this facility stands as an outward sign of the life-long commitment to the success of children. It's about picking them up when they fall down. Helping them see that their actions can really help them be successful. It’s about ensuring that no child is ever discarded, but rather that they are nurtured and educated while giving the tools of control and self respect for themselves and others.”

  • Marian Nuernberger, wife: “We’re so glad we have this opportunity to thank those of you who never gave up honoring Bill with his name on an education center. As we have said before, we feel it is a perfect match and Bill would be so please and proud.”

  • De Ann Currin, daughter and principal at Sheridan Elementary School: “Dad would want the students to know that everyone has setbacks and loss and hardship in their lives. If you focus on what’s possible and what’s positive, you can set goals for yourself. The adults are here to support you as you learn what you need to rise fresh each morning, ready for hard work and to keep trying... Dad believed in the gift of each individual and he believed in never giving up. We love all of you to the moon and back. Thank you, Nighthawks.”

  • Robert Polfus, eighth grade student: “Personally, I never had the chance to meet Mr. Nuernberger, but from what I’ve learned, he was a pretty great guy... Mr. Nuernberger worked with any student no matter the challenge or the struggle. He would help kids persevere through hard times to achieve greatness...It is a wonderful feeling being one of the first students in this building dedicated to the memory of Mr. Nuernberger...I’m one of those students Mr. Nuernberger would have believed in and helped overcome my challenges.”

  • Jenny Fundus, director of special education: "It is quite an honor to share Bill's legacy with the Nuernberger family. I heard that he has cared so much about the community and the young people here at Lincoln Public Schools... To the students, you are truly one of the best groups of students that I get to know and work with at Lincoln Public Schools. You come to school every single day with the attitude that you are going to maximize your learning, and I am so excited to watch you grow as young adults in our community."

Students from the sixth grade choir sang the “Star-Spangled Banner”, “Don’t Worry Be Happy”, and “Knowledge is Power.”

Posted on October 10, 2016


LSW team is triMATHlon champions

Lincoln Southwest High School took home the Division I trophy at the Doane University triMATHlon.

The math contest has three stages designed for 9th -12th grade students.  The contest includes material typically taught prior to trigonometry and calculus in Nebraska  public high schools.

There is three parts to the math competition:

The first part was an outdoor activity where teams of three went around Doane's campus to answer math-related questions.  Teams are scored on the accuracy of their answer as well as explanations as to how they arrived at their answers.

The second part is an individual contest of 30 multiple choice questions that must be completed in 45 minutes.  LSW junior Jae Hyun Lim finished first over all the participants.  LSW freshman Tuong Phung finished second in division I schools and third overall.  LSW freshman Evan Fulton finished seventh in division I schools.

The third part of the contest is a math bowl where a team of three students from two schools matchup in a head-to-head competition of seven questions.  The questions are shown on an overhead screen and the first team to buzz in and answer correctly receives points for the question.  The questions increase in difficulty from 1 point for questions 1 -3, 2 points for questions 4 - 6 and 3 points for question 7.  There were three rounds to the math bowl competition with Southwest winning round one 10 - 0, round two 9 - 0 and the championship round 6 - 0.

"This event is one of the early math competitions and is a good way to get students excited about math competitions in general," said coach Jeff DeVries. "This contest is unique because it is the only contest that has an outdoor activity that the students really enjoy participating in."

This is the first year that Southwest has won the Doane Tri-Math-alon competition.

Posted on October 05, 2016


Nuernberger Education Center to host Sunday dedication

The new Lincoln Public Schools Bill Nuernberger Education Center will host a community dedication ceremony at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, at the new facility, 1801 S. 40th St.

 

The dedication will include a 2 p.m. program with LPS officials, music and Nuernberger students, followed by tours and refreshments.

 

The Education Center serves LPS middle school students who need support in behavior skills.  The center was named after Judge Bill Nuernberger, who was the first judge to serve on a separate Juvenile Court in Lancaster County.  Members of the Nuernberger family will also be at the dedication.

 

Posted on October 04, 2016


Student growth at LPS continues to soar

 

Student enrollment at Lincoln Public Schools again soared to historic, record highs this school year with almost 41,000 students attending the school district – a total of exactly 40,935 – a growth of 987 students over last year.

That’s a 2.5 percent increase compared to one year ago, a 12 percent increase compared to five years ago, and a whopping 24 percent increase in the last decade: Increases that are happening throughout the community, north, south, east and west – in the older neighborhoods and the newer neighborhoods.

Lincoln Public Schools officials announced the new numbers at an outdoor assembly Friday at West Lincoln Elementary with teachers, staff and administrators cheering on the new totals.

** The official student enrollment count for LPS is recorded each year on the final Friday of September when numbers are reported to the State Department of Education.

“We continue to be impressed, and somewhat surprised, at the rapid growth in enrollment in Lincoln Public Schools,” said LPS Superintendent Steve Joel. “We attribute much of this to a vibrant economy that continues to create jobs, a community where the quality of life is second to none – and public schools that continue to produce excellent achievement results while maintaining a sound focus on the needs of ALL students.”

What do those new totals look like for our school district?

  •  LPS has a kindergarten class this year of 3,134 children – that’s the class of 2029.
  •  Three LPS high schools now have enrollments over 2,000: The largest high school is Lincoln North Star at 2,191, followed by Lincoln Southeast High School at 2,060 – and now Lincoln High has passed the 2,000-mark with 2,036 students.
  •  Two middle schools have enrollments over 1,000: The largest middle school is Scott Middle School at 1,124, followed by Lux Middle School at 1,053.
  •  The largest elementary school is Roper Elementary with 855 kids. Beyond Roper Elementary, Adams Elementary also has more than 800 students with a total of 825. Elementary schools with more than 700 kids: Kooser with 777, Arnold Elementary with 769 and Belmont with 763.

Posted on September 30, 2016


Learning Lunch: The tale of two African American waiters

The tale of two African American waiters – who had the benefit of a college education and went on to find success in Lincoln’s early years – were featured in the first Lincoln Public Schools Learning Lunch of the season Tuesday at LPS District Office.

“These were remarkable, well-educated individuals whose success springs from their efforts, and from their education,” Zimmer said – lifting up their stories in a presentation called, The Power of Education: Tales of Two Waiters.

Zimmer – Lincoln’s historic preservation planner and former member of the Lincoln Board of Education – told the stories of two long-forgotten but remarkable individuals: Llewelyn L. ("Bud") Lindsey and Arthur B. Moss, men who started amazing careers as Lincoln waiters.

Lafayette started out as a restaurant and saloon owner of an establishment at 11th and O streets – and eventually led a life filled with a wide variety of jobs from street commissioner to political and civic leader to something called “Surveyor of the Port of Lincoln.”  He was also “custodian” of the Federal Building in Lincoln – which in earlier times translated into the person in charge of the building (“superintendent of the building…or principal”).  Finally, he ran and managed a wonderful hotel called “The Savoy” – which in later years became the Sam Lawrence Hotel.

Author Moss was a waiter at a place in Lincoln called the Lindell Hotel, then left for Chicago to go to medical school – and returned as a physician to operate a successful medical practice in Lincoln.  In his practice he did health care that ranged from ministering to accident victims – to dealing with unusual cases such as sleeping sickness – to operating baby clinics.  One highlight of his career was leading a delegation to visit the Nebraska governor in 1929 to advocate on behalf of African American victims of race riots in North Platte.

Zimmer stressed that both men had great success in their lives – at least partially attributed to a college education.

Learning Lunches are generally held on the last Tuesday of the month, offering “Untold Stories” of our schools.  They are open to LPS staff and the Lincoln community.   The remaining 2016-17 season:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 25. School choice alive and well at LPS: Pat Hunter-Pirtle describes the Science Focus Program (Zoo School) and Arts and Humanities Focus Program; J.P. Caruso, the International Baccalaureate Program housed at Lincoln High School; Dan Hohensee, The Career Academy, and MSgt (Ret.) Trent Woodruff, the Junior ROTC Program housed at Lincoln Northeast High School.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 29. The FIRST and LAST Class of the Day: Bill McCoy, director of LPS Transportation and Custodial Services, shares a wonderful primer on school buses and student transportation at Lincoln Public Schools. 
  • Monday, Dec. 5.  Computer Science for All, Kent Steen, curriculum specialist for Computer Science, encourages everyone to come learn about what is happening at LPS in K-12 computer science. You can also try out some coding as part of Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week.
  • Tuesday, Jan 31.  Building a Sports Performance Program, Jake Fincham and Matt Bertsch, LPS sports performance, describe the process of establishing a model sports performance program and how the program can help prepare kids for success in sports and life.
  • Tuesday, Feb.  21. A Guide for Science Education Today, James Blake, curriculum specialist for Science at LPS, will discuss the focus of science education today and how LPS is developing teacher and curriculum support to prepare the next generation of science students. 
  • Tuesday, March 28: Visual Art: Enriching the Human Experience, Lorinda Rice, curriculum specialist for Visual Arts for LPS, invites you to learn how high-quality art education can prepare students for learning in a visual age and into the future.
  • Tuesday, April 25. All That Shines Isn’t Chrome, Kirk Langer, chief technology officer at LPS, invites you to come learn about why LPS decided to purchase Chromebooks for students – and how the Chromebooks are being used as a tool for learning.
  • Tuesday, May 16. World Drumming, a Cultural Experience, Lance Nielsen, supervisor of Music for LPS, notes this is the first year for a World Drumming class at Lincoln High School.  Come hear the learning outcomes from both the teacher and student perspective and experience the joy of a drum circle.

Posted on September 28, 2016


Highlights of 9/27 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

Lincoln Public Schools:

Highlights of 9/27 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, September 27 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next meeting Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m.

 

BOARD MEETING Highlights

Suicide Prevention Coalition Report

An update from the Community Suicide Prevention Coalition – formed more than a year ago to develop suicide prevention measures for youth – was presented to the Lincoln Board of Education by two members of the community group: Rose Hood Buss and John Gessert.

 

Hood Buss said one of the main goals of the group is to answer the question: “How do we get the message out to break down the stigma of suicide?”

 

Their successes have been many.

 

Hood Buss noted the Coalition’s work to make the Signs of Suicide available to public and parochial schools ensuring those lessons are included in the health curriculum – as well as to familiarize schools with four key questions that help adults get a sense of a student’s feelings about potential suicide (now being piloted at four high schools).

 

Gessert pointed out the Coalition’s success in making sure suicide prevention signage has gone up in all the city parking garages – while continuing to work on signage at all parking garages in the community. He pointed to suicide prevention materials now available at shooting ranges, as well as lockboxes available at low cost. In addition, more than 2,000 individuals in Lincoln have taken training in what is called, “Question, Persuade and Refer…Ask a question, save a life.”

 

Don Mayhew, president of the Board of Education, said he remembered when the group was first created: “I remember when this Coalition was coming together…and I am proud of Dr. Joel’s leadership…and the stand that LPS took.”

 

Policy change proposals

The Board considered changes to policies about: the LPS business fiscal year; transportation/option enrollment students; superintendent’s evaluation; the Board’s public comment agenda; and the Board’s order of business.

 

The Board will vote final approval at the Oct. 10 meeting.

 

Legislative guidelines

Throughout the 2016-17 calendar year, various governmental bodies will consider legislative and administrative action that will have an impact on Lincoln Public Schools. To effectively communicate the positions of the Board of Education, the Board annually approves Legislative Guidelines to provide guidance to district staff and representatives communicating with governmental bodies when it is not possible to survey the Board’s Governmental Relations Subcommittee for specific guidance on a particular piece of legislation or policy.

 

The Board will vote final approval of this year’s Legislative guidelines at the Oct. 10 meeting.

 

Property tax request

Board members voted to finalize an official property tax request to provide revenue for the budget adopted by the Board of Education, a necessary step in the process.

 

Board of Education member Lanny Boswell offered some historic perspective in pointing out that the tax levy rate has gradually decreased for many years now. “Instead of a flashy, one-time cut, what this Board has done is slow and steady tax relief…We have the lowest levy in 49 years….and probably further, but that’s as far back as the records go.”

 

Theater needs

The Board approved submission of a grant application by Lincoln Southwest High School for $10,000 in lighting equipment and bulbs for its auditorium.  No matching funds are required by LPS. The grant is offered by Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc., headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin, which awards philanthropic equipment grants each year.

 

Board Reports

Under business for the Board’s Learning Committee, LPS administrators gave a presentation on student achievement results that have been announced over the last few months. Perception data was also presented that came from a survey asking parents how they feel about their school and district. More than 1,000 surveys were completed from 25 schools.

 

Highlights of the latest perception data:

 

Percent of parents who gave either an A or B to their child’s school:

  • LPS, 88 percent
  • Nationally, 67 percent
Percent of parents who gave either an A or B to their child’s school district:
  • LPS, 77 percent
  • Nationally, 48 percent

The Board’s Strategic Planning Committee offered an update on the new community-wide strategic planning initiative that will gather community input – through civic, school and community meetings, as well as through social media and online surveys – to refresh the school district’s major goals for the coming five years.

 

First phase October through December: Community members will have a chance to voice their opinions through a survey on the website, or through more than 200 sessions that range from community-wide forums to school presentations to presentations at specific community groups.

 

Second phase January through February: A consolidated group of community members will analyze and compile the information.

 

Third phase February through March: A smaller writing group will format the information into a finalized presentation.

 

Fourth phase: A final presentation will be made to the Board of Education, likely in March.

 

Student Celebration

The Board of Education recognized several Beattie Elementary School students who shared remarks at the meeting in honor of National Deaf Awareness Week:

  • Journie Lott, kindergarten
  • Jaxson Finke, second grade

Last year, LPS transitioned the school district’s elementary school hearing-impaired program to Beattie. Mindy Roberts, supervisor of Special Education, told the Board that Beattie had given new staff and students “a warm welcome.”

Posted on September 27, 2016


Time to fill Bubba's Closet to warm area children

PODCAST: Principals talk about the importance of Bubba's Closet

Donations are being accepted for warmer winter wear for Lincoln children.

Bubba's Closet is set for Saturday, Nov. 12 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at McPhee Elementary School, 820 Goodhue Boulevard (820 S. 15th Street).

Bubba’s Closet will continue to accept used and new donations of winter coats, but is hoping for more donations of other winter wear: Warm jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts, hats and mittens/gloves.

Donors can drop them off at any of the following Hanger’s Cleaners locations where they will be cleaned at no charge between October 1st and 31st:

  • 2525 Pine Lake Rd.
  • 2655 S. 70th
  • 1550 S. Coddington
  • 2101 G St.

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

Posted on September 26, 2016


LPS Learning Lunches for 2016-17, More Untold Stories…

The 2016-17 lineup for the annual Lincoln Public Schools Learning Lunches series offers more “Untold Stories” of our schools with Learning Lunches open to LPS staff and the Lincoln community – beginning with a program on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

For all lunches: Lunches are generally held on the last Tuesday of the month in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St. Doors to the Board Room open at noon, the program begins at 12:15 p.m., questions-and-answers happen at 12:45 p.m. Please bring your own lunch – we’ll provide dessert.


This year’s schedule:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 27. The Power of Education: Tales of two waiters: Ed Zimmer will tell the stories of two long-forgotten but remarkable individuals he has encountered in his research on Lincoln's past, Llewelyn L. ("Bud") Lindsey and Arthur B. Moss. Zimmer is Lincoln’s historic preservation planner and former member of the Lincoln Board of Education.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 25. School choice alive and well at LPS: Pat Hunter-Pirtle describes the Science Focus Program (Zoo School) and Arts and Humanities Focus Program; J.P. Caruso, the International Baccalaureate Program housed at Lincoln High School; Dan Hohensee, The Career Academy, and MSgt (Ret.) Trent Woodruff, the Junior ROTC Program housed at Lincoln Northeast High School.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 29. The FIRST and LAST Class of the Day: Bill McCoy, director of LPS Transportation and Custodial Services, shares a wonderful primer on school buses and student transportation at Lincoln Public Schools
  • Monday, Dec. 5. Computer Science for All, Kent Steen, curriculum specialist for Computer Science, encourages everyone to come learn about what is happening at LPS in K-12 computer science. You can also try out some coding as part of Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week.
  • Tuesday, Jan 31. Building a Sports Performance Program, Jake Fincham and Matt Bertsch, LPS sports performance, describe the process of establishing a model sports performance program and how the program can help prepare kids for success in sports and life.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 21. A Guide for Science Education Today, James Blake, curriculum specialist for Science at LPS, will discuss the focus of science education today and how LPS is developing teacher and curriculum support to prepare the next generation of science students.
  • Tuesday, March 28: Visual Art: Enriching the Human Experience, Lorinda Rice, curriculum specialist for Visual Arts for LPS, invites you to learn how high-quality art education can prepare students for learning in a visual age and into the future.
  • Tuesday, April 25. All That Shines Isn’t Chrome, Kirk Langer, chief technology officer at LPS, invites you to come learn about why LPS decided to purchase Chromebooks for students – and how the Chromebooks are being used as a tool for learning.
  • Tuesday, May 16. World Drumming, a Cultural Experience, Lance Nielsen, supervisor of Music for LPS, notes this is the first year for a World Drumming class at Lincoln High School.  Come hear the learning outcomes from both the teacher and student perspective and experience the joy of a drum circle.

Posted on September 26, 2016


Vernon-Hansen wins NSPA Service to Children Award

Ursula Vernon-Hansen, School Social Worker who serves Scott Middle School and Hill and Adams Elementary Schools, was awarded the Service to Children Award from the Nebraska School Psychology Association (NSPA).

Each year the NSPA recognizes one individual outside of the profession of school psychology with the Service to Children Award.  This individual is recognized for their efforts and activities that have made a substantial contribution to the lives of children.

Nomination letter by Jill Timmons: 

This candidate is a social worker for Lincoln Public Schools. As such she advocates for and supports students and families through out our community. 

One school psychologist wrote: Ursula creates an environment for children that is based on mutual respect and makes school a safe learning community so that students can concentrate on their individual strengths. Ursula strives to form positive relationships with her students by making it clear that she has her students’ best interests at heart. 

Another school psychologist described Ursula in this way: Ursula strives to give students and their families the best. She is open to trying any intervention to support students and teach them the missing skills. Plus, she does it all with a sense of humor. She is wonderful to collaborate with! She does not silo herself in the Social Work world but collaborates with school psychologists in her work. Her dedication (even after school hours) to students is something to strive for! She is so deserving of this award. 

The coordinator for school social workers wrote: Ursula is a dedicated school social worker who goes the extra mile to connect students and families to resources that will help them be successful. Though her primary responsibility has been to students who are in elementary and middle school she has also worked with high school students at the summer school program. Ursula is the ideal school social worker - competent, ethical, responsible, approachable, trustworthy, conscientious - who seeks opportunities to learn and lead others.

The director of student services wrote: Ursula builds great relationships with students and families. She is an excellent problem solver, caring and patient. Ursula knows the resources available for families and students and goes out of her way to connect the two. Ursula is highly professional and non-judgmental. 

From the first day I meant Ursula in 2002, she welcomed me to my new position and was willing to teach me, collaborate and partner with me as we served our students. Although I no longer get to work by her side, I get to hear about her good work for students from my colleagues who share the same opinion that I do which is this: We are so lucky to get to work with her because she truly has a heart for children. Ursula is not only an amazing social worker, she is an incredible friend! When my son and I experienced personal loss, she came running to our side and fought for and with us like a true warrior. She was there to battle with me, cry with me and laugh with me. She is a true blessing in my life but also to the students she serves. There is no one I can think of who is more deserving of this award than my dear friend and dear colleague.

Posted on September 21, 2016


High School Fall Plays

East High School
The Adding Machine
Tickets cost $7
Thu, Sept. 22 at 7:00 p.m.
Fri,  Sept. 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Sat, Sept. 24 at 7:00 p.m.

Southwest High School
Steel Magnolias - http://lsw.lps.org/detail.html?id=10728
Tickets cost $8 for students, $10 for adults
Thu, Sep. 29 7:00 p.m.
Fri, Sep. 30 7:00 p.m.
Sun, Oct. 2 2:00 p.m.

North Star High School
Leaving Iowa
Tickets cost $5 for kids, $8 for adults
Thu, Oct. 6 at 7:00 p.m.
Fri,   Oct. 7 at 7:00 p.m.
Sat, Oct. 8 at 7:00 p.m.

Lincoln High School
The Mouse That Roared
Tickets cost $5
Thu, Oct. 6 at 7:00 p.m.
Fri,   Oct. 7 at 7:00 p.m.
Sat, Oct. 8 at 2:00 p.m.

Censored on Final Approach (One-Act Play)
Tickets cost $5
Thu, Dec. 1 at 7:00 pm

Northeast High School
Young April
Tickets cost $5
Tue, Oct. 11 at 7:30 pm
Wed, Oct. 12 at 7:30 pm
Thu, Oct. 13 at 7:30 pm

Southeast High School
Diary of Anne Frank 
Tickets cost $8 for students and seniors, $10 for adults
Fri, Oct. 14 at 7:30 pm
Sat, Oct. 15 at 7:30 pm
Sun, Oct. 16 at 2:00 pm

Posted on September 21, 2016


Finkhouse, Thomsen receive 2016 Yale Educator Award

Colleen Finkhouse and Jason Thomsen of Lincoln Southwest High School have been recognized by the Yale Office of Undergraduate Admissions as recipients of the 2016 YaleEducator Award. They were nominated by 2016 LSW graduate Ashley Pales.

The Yale Educator Recognition Program recognizes outstanding educators from around the world who support and inspire their students to perform at high levels and to achieve excellence. Of this year’s 326 nominees, who represent 33 states and 24 countries, 55 teachers and 28 counselors were selected to receive the award. Matriculating students are invited to nominate high school educators, and a committee of Yale admissions officers reviews each nomination individually and designates recipients. In September, the winners were sent engraved desk sets and congratulatory letters, and administrators of the high schools were notified of their achievement.

Here is Pales' nomination letter:

Mr. Thomsen was my teacher for AP Biology. He first stood out as a great educator to me when he let me transfer into his class, even though it was already full. I had sent Mr. Thomsen an email explaining how I really, really wanted to take AP Bio and how it would be much appreciated if he could open up a spot for me, and he did.

From that moment on, I loved AP Bio. I’m certain that I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much if I’d had a different teacher. Mr. Thomsen did an excellent job at making sure we knew all the material before the AP Exam---a difficult feat, considering our school operated on block scheduling and that the test was in May, before our semester would finish. Our labs and experiments were always fun and extremely beneficial to understanding the material. We had frequent, challenging tests and quizzes, but I never felt ill-prepared for them.

Mr. Thomsen always emphasized the fact that taking AP Bio under his instruction would help us prepare for higher education. Now that I have finished the class, I believe him more than ever.  AP Bio was the most challenging class that I’ve ever taken, but during the course I learned valuable skills in time management and group efficiency.

The countless students who know Mr. Thomsen from one or more of his positions in the science department can attest that he is a wonderful teacher and person. Taking his class and getting the opportunity to know him was one of the most valuable experiences of my high school career, and I’m proud to say that my school has such a profound educator making a difference in many students’ lives every day. 

When I transferred high schools at the beginning of my junior year, Mrs. Finkhouse was the first staff member of my new school that I met. She made a great impression on me, and I knew that she was going to be valuable over the next two years.

I come from a school where most seniors attend in-state colleges, and not many people consider competitive, out-of-state institutions. So, as a Yale applicant, I ended up spending a lot of time in Mrs. Finkhouse’s office, and I got to know her very well. She was always excited to see me and always wanted to hear about what was going on in my life.

When I became frustrated with a difficult class (AP Physics), she encouraged me to stick with it, reminding me that the hard work I put into it would pay off later. She was always willing to help me out with anything---class schedules, letters of recommendation, financial aid, scholarships, and whatnot.

After talking with other students counseled by Mrs. Finkhouse, I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt like she really cared about our futures. Her devotion to our educational success could be seen in the way she went above and beyond to help students with whatever they needed; she made us feel like our education goals were important.

Mrs. Finkhouse was with me through every step of my Yale application, and I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to share it with her. I know that future students will love working with her and that she’ll continue to bring out success in everyone.

Posted on September 21, 2016


Mapp receives NSPA Outstanding School Psychologist Award

Jamie Mapp, Psychologist at McPhee Elementary, was awarded the Nebraska School Psychologists Association's (NSPA) Psychologist of the Year.
 
Each year the NSPA awards one member School Psychologist of the Year.  This person demonstrates or has demonstrated contributions to the profession that are of exemplary status.
 
Mapp was nominated by 3 people.  Here are their nominations:
 
Nomination #1 by Hillary Veerhusen

This candidate is outstanding at her tasks given and goes above and beyond expectations when working with students, staff and parents to achieve success and superior amounts of advocacy for her school community and her profession.

Nomination #2 by Ariel Christensen

This candidate is an outstanding school psychologist because she goes above and beyond for her students. She is constantly advocating for her students at home, as well as school and in turn creating a better environment for them to thrive. She is an advocate for the field of school psychology by being a leader and role model for her peers and new psychologists who are still developing their skills. She never hesitates to help or guide her colleagues through tough and tricky situations. As an intern in the field, her guidance has meant a great deal to me. Her knowledge and skills are admirable; she is an exceptional school psychologist and sets a standard all school psychologists should strive to meet.

Nomination # 3 by Jill Timmons

This candidate is currently a co-team leader for Lincoln Public Schools and a full time school psychologist at McPhee Elementary School. As a team leader, she supervises interns each year and does an amazing job supporting and growing their skill set. She has also supervised practicum students. Her interns for the last 2 years contribute their growth and success to her mentorship. At a district level, she provides training each year for administrators, teachers, school psychologists, bus drivers and paras. She co-facilitates monthly professional development meetings for school psychologists. She is a member of our district crisis response team and supports our team by being part of the school psychologist interviews each year. 

At a building level, she is considered part of the leadership team. She is the building leader for SAT, RTI, PBIS, mental health and advocates for students on a daily basis through her work in contacting community services, creating systems level change, individual student plans, monitoring school wide data and direct work with students. In my conversations with her building administrators, they have described her as “critical to their building work.”

I would add that she is “critical” to our district work. Her positive attitude, constant focus on ‘what is best for kids’ and a desire to support, grow and lead others makes her the perfect candidate for School Psychologist of the Year.

 

Posted on September 21, 2016


Kelley named Geography Teacher Fellow

The American Geographical Society (AGS) has named Ms. Kelley of Lincoln Southwest High School as a 2016 AGS Geography Teacher Fellow. Ms. Kelley is one of fifty teachers selected from across the United States to participate in this first year of the program. The AGS Geography Teacher Program has been made possible by a generous gift to AGS by the Boundless Corporation.

Kelley teaches Advanced Placement (AP) Human Geography at Lincoln Southwest High School. As part of the award for being selected as a Teacher Fellow, Kelley will attend the AGS Fall Symposium on November 17 and 18, 2016 at Columbia University in New York City. The Symposium will enable the Teacher Fellows to gain valuable cutting edge content knowledge and awareness of the real-world geographic workplace skills demanded by today’s geospatial companies. The Teacher Fellows will have a unique opportunity to interact with, and become one of, the nation’s thoughtleaders who are involved in the multi-year dialog about the future of geography.

“We are very pleased to be able to have Alison among 50 of the best teachers in the country join us in New York City in November,” said Dr. John Konarski, CEO of the American Geographical Society. “Geography and geospatial science have an effect on just about every aspect of our daily lives. The collective experience and expertise of these Geography Teacher Fellows will help guide the Society as we lead the discussion about the future of geography. In addition, the teachers will be able to bring back to their classrooms, practical and cutting edge information about the latest advancements in the geospatial world. We are so privileged to have these amazing teachers leading the future of geography with us,” added Dr. Konarski.

Posted on September 21, 2016


Maxey kindergarten teacher wins Award for Teaching Excellence

Linda Freye, kindergarten teacher at Maxey Elementary School, was recently named one of 43 public school educators who received the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence – one of the nation’s most prestigious honors for public educators.

The educators will be honored at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala to be held in Washington, DC on February 10, 2017.

The California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence are unique: in addition to being recognized for excellence in instructional and professional practice, awardees are nominated by their peers – their National Education Association state affiliate – for their dedication to the profession, community engagement, professional development, attention to diversity, and advocacy for fellow educators.

 “Teachers have to believe in their students and believe that they can learn. I use whatever strategy I need to use to reach a child,” Ms. Freye said. 

Because the NEA Foundation values both professional development and diversity, awardees are invited to participate in its Global Learning Fellowship. Fellows learn how to prepare their students for a connected and multicultural world in this comprehensive, year-long professional development program, which includes an international field study next June.

 “These outstanding educators are innovators, challengers, and global thinkers,” said Harriet Sanford, NEA Foundation President and CEO. “We are delighted that California Casualty joins us once again in expressing our shared admiration and thanks for their work.”

“The California Casualty awardees are the architects of our nation’s future,” said Beau Brown, California Casualty CEO. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to honor them with the California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence.”

The Nebraska State Education Association nominated Ms. Freye for the honor. Her school will also receive an award of $650.

 

Posted on September 21, 2016


Preparations for first Unified Bowling underway

This is the first year for Unified Bowling and several Lincoln teams are getting ready for the first season which begins October 17.  Lincoln Southwest High School describes what's been happening as the team prepares.

With little over a month before practice and competition begin, the Lincoln Southwest Unified Bowling team is getting ready for the inaugural season. Participants met recently for shirt and ball fittings to begin to prepare for the NSAA's newest sanctioned sport.

"It's an incredible opportunity for our school, the district, and the entire state," said head coach Brandi Benson. "I think that this could really be something that brings the school together and starts to create a more socially inclusive culture within the building."

Unified Bowling combines equal teams of students with intellectual disabilities and individuals without intellectual disabilities. Team members are referred to as athletes and partners and bowl using what is known as the Baker format.

"I am so excited to have an opportunity to work with students from my school," said LSW partner Arabelle Jackson. "I look forward to making relationships with my bowling partners and competing with them."

Currently, there are over 40 teams throughout the state that have committed to the first year for the sport. Practices and competitions begin in mid-October and continue to the State Tournament at the beginning of December. A date for State is still being decided.

"What's exciting is that I get to be on a team," said LSW athlete Clint Adams. "I get to make friends and go Hawks!"

 

 Unified Bowling partner Hunter Paxson gets fitted for a bowling ball by Jason Johnson of Let's Talk Bowling Pro Shop.

Posted on September 21, 2016


LPS hosting six ‘Digital Citizenship’ events this fall

Lincoln Public Schools will host six community events this fall centered around safety in technology and social media. LPS has partnered with Ryan Sothan of the Consumer Protection Division the State Attorney General's office, a state leader in best practices for the use of technology for families and students.

Each presentation is the same, and all are free and open to all ages. Attend the presentation that fits your family's schedule best:

Mickle Middle School - Sept. 22, 6:30 p.m.

Culler Middle School - Sept. 27, 6 p.m.

Scott Middle School - Oct. 3, 6:30 p.m.

Pound Middle School - Oct. 24, 7 p.m.

Park Middle School Nov. 14, 7 p.m.

Schoo Middle School, Nov. 17, 6:45 p.m.

About Sothan’s presentation: Think of “Digital Citizenship: Rules of the Road for Safely Navigating the Information Superhighway” as Driver’s Ed, a primer designed to raise awareness and prepare families and students to drive and interface with today’s information technology—including social media and smartphones—in a safe, responsible, and respectful manner.

About Sothan: As Outreach Coordinator within the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, Ryan has statewide responsibility for developing and implementing community-based initiatives for educating Nebraskans in the areas of consumer fraud, predatory and illegal business practices, and Internet safety.

After each presentation, LPS will have staff available for parents to ask questions regarding technology in schools, including Chromebooks, a student device being rolled out to more students at various levels over the next two years.

Posted on September 21, 2016


Congratulations Jane Stavem!

The L Magazine, a product of Lincoln Journal Star, is featuring women in Lincoln who are in a leadership role. These articles will highlight the kinds of business women who are recognized by the Lincoln Journal Star’s annual Inspire – Celebrating Women’s Leadership program, which culminates with an awards program in September.

Lincoln Public Schools Associate Superintendent for Instruction Jane Stavem was recently featured in the publication. Here is the link to the article in the Lincoln Journal Star: http://journalstar.com/niche/l-magazine/profiles/q-a-with-an-inspiring-woman-dr-jane-stavem/article_e1af1933-89c2-548d-b6fd-2860e8ec9f32.html

Posted on September 20, 2016


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