Parents and grandparents of students in Lincoln Public Schools can learn about saving for college through the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST), thanks to a new online program offered by the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office.
The program provides basic information about 529 college savings plans including a section on myths vs. facts and a section for users to check their knowledge. Another feature is a calculator that suggests how much parents or grandparents should be saving based on a child’s age. Audio is provided during part of the presentation.
State Treasurer Don Stenberg launched the new online program to provide information about state-sponsored 529 college savings plans in general and NEST in particular. The new program, introduced Oct. 1, 2013, is called Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars for Families.
The easy-to-follow, interactive program was developed by EverFi, an educational technology company in Washington, D.C. The 15-minute tutorial can be accessed through the home page on Treasurer’s website at www.treasurer.org. There is no charge. Visitors can return as often as they like to seek answers to specific questions or to review the content.
The Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars for Families program is supported by the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust. EverFi is continuing to work with local banks, foundations, and corporations to secure additional funding for the program.
As State Treasurer, Stenberg is Trustee of NEST. First National Bank of Omaha is Program Manager. All investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council.
NEST has received national recognition for its fund selection by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Also, two NEST plans were among 32 college savings plans nationwide to receive medals from Morningstar, an independent investment research firm. The two NEST plans moved up from Neutral to Bronze in Morningstar’s 2013 ratings. The same two plans also received the top five-cap rating from the website, savingforcollege.com, in 2012, the latest year for which those ratings are available.
Effective for taxes due in April 2015, Nebraska NEST account owners will enjoy a $10,000 state income tax deduction for couples filing jointly, up from the current $5,000 deduction. The increased income tax deduction was approved by the Legislature in 2013.
NEST has more than $3.4 billion in assets with 214,000 accounts nationwide. More than 61,000 of those accounts are owned by Nebraskans.
For more information about Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars for Families or the NEST college savings program, contact Rachel Biar, director of college savings for the Treasurer’s Office, at 402-471-1088 or at Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on April 01, 2014
The Lincoln Board of Education Tuesday unanimously called for a special election on Feb. 11, 2014 to ask Lincoln citizens to vote on $153 million in bonds to pay for a variety of facility and infrastructure projects for Lincoln Public Schools.
“We are investing dollars to make sure our school district stays top-notch,” said Kathy Danek, vice president of the Board of Education. “We are looking to the future and making sure our students will be taken care of.”
Other School Board members commented:
Katie McLeese Stephenson: “We are in a district with changing needs, we are a district with growth…and the corresponding financial plan is based on community input….I believe we are addressing the most critical needs of the district.”
Barb Baier: “This bond issue is based on the needs of the children of our community. It does go and hit all four quadrants of Lincoln, because all of our kids have needs.”
Don Mayhew, president of the School Board: “If this bond issue passes, we will be able to address student growth, address security and technology needs, build a career academy…and be able to do it without raising taxes.”
Now that the Board has called for a bond issue, the Election Commissioner will determine whether the election would be a traditional polling place election – or the city’s first complete mail-in election.
The Board Tuesday also adopted an updated 10-year facilities and infrastructure plan that will guide how bond issue money is used.
Major information about the proposed 2014 bond issue
The 2014 bond issue will be funded based on the current levy rate with no planned levy increase.
The 2014 bond issue addresses growth in the community and school district: The Lincoln Public Schools enrollment of more than 37,800 grew by 943 new students this school year. The bond issue will increase the capacity of LPS schools by adding 2,200 new seats through the construction of one new elementary, one new middle school, a high school career academy and a variety of additions and renovations across the community.
The 2014 bond issue will provide enhanced security, a new high school career academy and infrastructure necessary to support technology and learning in schools throughout Lincoln.
The 2014 bond issue was a grassroots effort that began with a group of 80 Lincoln stakeholders from the school district and the community – called together by the LPS Superintendent – that identified more than $350 million top facility and infrastructure needs necessary in the changing landscape of education. The Lincoln Board of Education evaluated and analyzed the recommendations to create an updated 10-year facility and infrastructure plan to hone down the list to $150 million of affordable projects. The school district has maintained a 10-year facilities and infrastructure plan since 2005 to systemically and thoughtfully focus planning for LPS projects into the future.
Information presentations set for LPS bond issue
Informational presentations about the Lincoln Public Schools bond issue – set for Feb. 11, 2014 – will be held in January throughout the community. The Lincoln Board of Education is asking Lincoln citizens to consider a $153 million bond issue that will fund projects at schools and classrooms across the community.
The informational presentations are scheduled for 4-5 p.m.:
- Monday, Jan. 6: Lincoln East High School, cafeteria, 1000 S. 70th St.
- Tuesday, Jan. 7: Lincoln North Star High School, media center, 5801 N. 33rd St.
- Wednesday, Jan. 8, Board Room at LPS District Offices, 5905 O St.
- Monday, Jan. 13: Lincoln Northeast High School, commons, 2635 N. 63rd St.
- Tuesday, Jan. 14: Lincoln Southeast High School, commons, 2930 S. 37th St. (Recommended entry: Park on the east side of the building by the tennis courts and enter the building through the commons entrance, door 18.)
- Wednesday, Jan. 15: Lincoln Southwest High School, commons, 7001 S. 14th St.
- Thursday, Jan. 16, Lincoln High School, theater, 2229 J St.
For more information contact LPS Business Affairs at 402-436-1636.
Posted on March 19, 2014
Karen Saunders will receive the Nebraska State Reading Association's Distinguished Educator of Reading Award. Karen was nominated by the Eastern Nebraska Reading Council. The award recognizes people that have made an impact on literacy in their classroom, school, and community. The award was presented at a conference banquet in Kearney. Saunders if the curriculum specialist for Reading for Lincoln Public Schools.
Where did you grow up? Attend college? And how long have you been with LPS?
I grew up in southwest Minnesota. I attended Dordt College, the University of Sioux Falls, and received Reading Specialist degree and an Ed.D. at the University of South Dakota. I taught in Sioux Falls before coming to Lincoln in 1992. In Lincoln I worked as a literacy support teacher, a Kindergarten teacher, a Reading Recovery teacher, a literacy teacher leader, and for the last 14 years as a curriculum specialist.
When you were beginning your career in education, did you foresee your current role with LPS as a possibility?
During my first year of teaching I had a third grade student who was a nonreader. Although we had multiple after-school tutoring sessions, I was unable to help him enough. It was then that I promised to learn everything I could about the process of reading. Although I did not see this specific role, I did know that reading would always be my focus.
What kind of impact can improving reading skills have on a student?
When early readers realize that they are reading, there is a sense of wonder which every teacher of young children has had the joy of sharing.
When struggling readers, who may learn differently, discover how to unlock the code, they not only experience the excitement of accomplishment after much hard work, they also have new positive feelings about school in general, and about themselves as learners. They have a new resilience that, when nurtured, will allow them to keep growing as readers and learners.
All students set reading goals periodically throughout the year and track their progress towards their goal. Reaching a goal is always a celebration.
How has the teaching of reading changed, if at all, since you began your education career?
The teaching of reading has changed considerably over the years. Most recent changes have been in the level of understanding required for students even at very early levels. Students are asked to read and reread to find the deeper meaning of a text, defending their responses with evidence from the text. There is also more emphasis on oral language as students develop their ideas and the ideas of others through thinking conversations. This is a digital age, but reading has never been more important in our literate society.
From a parent perspective, what can one do to help a student read without simply making them read?
Children learn to value reading by seeing it is valued in their home. Families who read and talk about their reading cultivate a literate culture. Reading to children, reading with children, having children read to you, and enjoying books together are powerful incentives.
What books do you enjoy reading today?
I read everything. With our new reading series I have read the rich collection of literature and non-fiction text that our students are reading. I read novels when I have a chunk of time because I like to read them in one sitting. I read essays and short stories. I read the New Yorker regularly. Of course, I read lots of professional books and research journals
Posted on February 26, 2014
Looking for new recipe ideas? Family and Consumer Science teachers in Lincoln Public Schools were invited to share some of their favorite recipes. Some are simple, some require more expertise, all sound really delicious. Bon appetite!
Cheesy Potato Casserole
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
2 lbs frozen hash browns (I use the diced kind)
1/2 cup butter
1 (10½-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup diced onion
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Defrost potatoes, melt butter and mix together all ingredients.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour in a 9x13 baking dish.
Crispy Fan Baked Potatoes
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Scrub clean Russet potatoes, however many you need, do not peel
Mix up dry bread crumbs with added parmesan or cheddar cheese, garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika (for every potato, you will need ¼ cup bread crumbs, ¼ cup cheese, ¼ teaspoon of each seasoning)
Find the flattest side, lengthwise
Cut into 1/4 inch fan cuts without cutting all the way through the potato
Rinse with water again, pat dry thoroughly
Brush on olive oil – on the skin and throughout the cuts
Microwave on high for six minutes with the cut side down
Place on baking sheet and bake in 425 degree oven for 30 minutes or until tender. During the last five minutes of baking, take potatoes out and fill with bread crumb mixture. Finish baking and remove when cheese has melted and topping looks crispy.
*To make this a complete meal, add broccoli flowerets in the bread crumb mixture and cooked bacon, if desired.
Czech-Slovak Dough for Kolaches
2 pkgs yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
½ teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup margarine/butter/shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1¼ teaspoon salt
8 cups flour or less
Dissolve yeast in ½ cup warm water with ½ teaspoon sugar, usually 5 to 10 minutes. Cream sugar and margarine well. Add beaten egg, 2 cups warm water and dissolved yeast.
Add sifted flour so that dough can be well kneaded. When it is elastic to the touch, put the dough in a warm place OR refrigerate overnight.
Knead down again, let rise until double in bulk. Shape and fill with filling such as cherry pie filling, apricot filling, poppy seed, prune or whatever you like.
Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup water
3 cups cranberries
¼ teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Bring water and syrup to a boil. Add cranberries and spices. Simmer till all cranberries have popped and a sauce is created.
Haricots Verts with Roasted Shallots,
Roquefort & Almonds
© Copyright Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts
2 lbs. haricots verts (thin green beans), trimmed
1 lb. shallots, peeled and sliced in half
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 lb. blue cheese (preferably Roquefort), crumbled
3/4 cup almonds (preferably Marcona), toasted and roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss shallots in vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread onto a sheet pan and roast until beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- In a large stockpot, bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil. Boil green beans until al dente. Immediately transfer beans to a bowl of ice water to quickly cool. Drain beans in a colander and set aside to dry.
- Place stockpot over a medium-low heat. Add beans, shallots and enough vegetable oil to coat. Once beans and shallots are warm, add in half the cheese and almonds and toss to combine.
- Remove from heat and transfer beans to desired serving platter. Top with remaining cheese and almonds.
Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes
1 (10.5 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup diced onions
1 Package (30 oz.) shredded hash brown potatoes
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 13x9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together soup, sour cream, salt and pepper. Stir in cheese, onion and hash browns until well mixed. Spoon evenly in to baking dish.
Bake uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
1 (16-ounce) package Oreo cookies, crushed
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (24-ounce) package white chocolate bark
1 (24-ounce) package chocolate bark
- Using a blender or handheld mixer, mix Oreos and cream cheese together.
- Roll into walnut-size balls.
- Chill for an hour.
- Melt approximately 3/4 package of white almond bark.
- Stick a toothpick in an Oreo ball and dip it in the melted white almond bark.
- Allow to harden on wax paper. Takes about 15 minutes.
- While waiting, melt about 1/4 package of chocolate almond bark.
- When Oreo balls are no longer sticky to the touch, decorate with drizzles of chocolate and white almond bark.
- I just use a sandwich bag with a tiny hole cut in one corner to drizzle the almond bark.
Machine Shed Baked Potato Soup
2 1/2 lbs baby red potatoes, quartered
1/2 cup bacon, uncooked finely diced
1 large onion, diced
1/4 bunch celery, diced
2 quarts milk
1 quart water
4 tablespoons chicken base
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup margarine or 3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
1/4 bunch fresh parsley, freshly chopped
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup colby cheese, Shredded
1/4 cup bacon, bits fried
2 green onions, chopped for garnish
In large pot, boil potatoes in water 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. In large heavy pot, sauté bacon, onion and celery over medium-high heat until celery is tender, about 5 minutes.
Remove mixture from pot, drain bacon grease and return mixture to pot. Add milk, water, base, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture is very hot, about 8 minutes, stirring often. Do not let mixture boil.
In small, heavy saucepan melt margarine. Add flour and mix well. Cook over medium-low heat until mixture bubbles, stirring 2 to 3 minutes to make a roux. While constantly stirring soup, add roux slowly until soup is thick and creamy, about 4 minutes.
Stir in parsley, reserved potatoes, and cream. Garnish with cheese, bacon bits, onions or all three.
Angel Crisp Cookies
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup shortening – 1/2 margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon salt
Cream sugars, shortening, eggs and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients. Mix well. Form into small balls (about the size of a walnut). Dip top half in water, then granulated sugar. Press down in center with finger. Place on ungreased baking pan. Bake at 325° until lightly browned (8-10 min). Remove immediately to a cooling rack.
1 cup margarine
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2-8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
5 medium apples, peeled and sliced-any cooking apple
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cream margarine, sugar and vanilla. Blend in flour. Spread into a buttered 9x13 pan. Combine cream cheese and sugar. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Pour into pan over crust. Spread evenly. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Toss in apples and stir to coat. Spoon into 13x9 pan making sure to spread apples evenly. Bake 450° for 8 minutes and then 400° for 25 minutes. Cool. Carefully cut into bars.
1 (16-ounce) package OREO chocolate sandwich cookies, divided
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
24 ounces almond bark, melted
- Crush cookies to fine crumbs in food processor. (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Place in mixing bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls, about 1-inch in diameter.
- Freeze balls on parchment.
- Melt almond bark in microwave in a pie plate. Begin with 60 seconds and then stir. Reheat in 30-second increments.
- Take balls out of freezer a dozen at a time.
- Dip balls in almond bark; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature for another use.)
- Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store truffles, covered, in refrigerator.
Place truffle ball in melted chocolate to coat; roll if necessary. Lift truffle from chocolate using two forks (this will allow excess chocolate to run off) before placing on wax paper.
1 lb. salted cocktail peanuts
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
16 oz. chocolate bark
1/8 to 1/4 paraffin wax
Melt chips, bark and paraffin. Stir in peanuts. Drop onto cookie sheets covered with wax paper. Set in refrigerator. When firm, place in airtight container and keep in refrigerator.
Pecan Balls with Dried Cranberries
Content Copyright © 2011 Cooks.com - All rights reserved.
1 cup soft butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sifted flour
2 cups ground pecans
1 cup cut-up craisins
Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and mix well. Add flour and mix until combined. Blend in pecans and finely chopped craisins. Use cookie scoop and roll dough into balls. Refrigerate 1-2 hours. Bake at 350 degrees on greased cookie sheet for 20 minutes. Roll balls in powdered sugar twice after cookies have cooled completely.
I got this recipe when I was in high school from Nancy Stritt who was my FCS teacher. They were her traditional Christmas gifts at the time and have also been a holiday tradition in my family.
Dissolve 2 Tablespoons yeast in 1/4 cup warm water
In a separate bowl melt: 1/2 cup (1 stick) oleo – I use real butter
Add to it: 1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup sugar
Mix the three ingredients. Add 1 cup cold water. Add dissolved yeast. Add 2 eggs. Measure 6 cups of flour into a bowl. Begin adding flour 1 cup at a time and beat thoroughly after each addition. Add until the dough is thick enough to knead. Knead for 5 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl. Prepare topping for rolls.
2 cups brown sugar
2 sticks oleo (again, use real butter)
1/4 cup milk
Melt, stir together and put into two 9x13 cake pans.
Allow dough to double in size. Roll into a large rectangle. Spread with sour cream, butter, sugar, cinnamon. Roll up dough. Cut into 1½-inch slices and place in pan. Bake at 350° F.
Raspberry Coffee Cake
This was the recipe I found for the quick bread unit in my high school foods class.
Cut one 3 oz. package cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter into 2 cups packaged biscuit mix till crumbly. Blend in 1/3 cup milk. Turn out onto lightly-floured surface and knead 8-10 strokes. On waxed paper, roll dough to 12 x 8 rectangle. Turn onto greased baking sheet; remove waxed paper. Spread 1/2 cup raspberry preserves (apricot is good too, needs to be preserves – not jelly) down center of dough. Make 2½-inch cuts at 1-inch intervals on long sides. Fold strips over filling. Bake at 425° F for 12 to 15 minutes. Drizzle the warm coffee cake with confectioners icing (add almond flavoring). Makes 1 coffee cake.
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
This is the most frequently requested dish at our family gatherings.
1 1/4 cups margarine, melted
2 2/3 cups pretzels, broken
6 oz. strawberry Jello
1 large pkg. frozen strawberries
2 cups pineapple juice or water, boiling
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 cup sugar
8 oz. Cool Whip
Stir together the crushed pretzels and melted margarine in bottom of 9 x13 pan. Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Let cool while preparing other layers. Dissolve gelatin in boiling liquid. Stir in strawberries and allow to thicken almost to jelled point. Cream together the cream cheese and sugar. Fold in the whipped topping. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the pretzel layer. Spread thickened Jello over the cream cheese layer. Refrigerate.
T. Diane Bonesteel
1 cup margarine or butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup oil
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of nutmeg
Blend butters, sugars, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and mix well with creamed ingredients. Make into walnut size balls flatten with a glass that has been dipped in sugar. Bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes.
Swedish Butter Cookies
1 cup butter
2 cups flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon vanilla
Cream butter and add vanilla. Add sugar, flour and baking powder. Form in 2 rolls and chill. Cut in ¼-inch thick or more. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375° until set (10 minutes).
1 package of regular Oreos (not double stuff)
2 8-oz. pkgs cream cheese, softened
melting chocolate or almond bark (optional)
Crush cookies with a rolling pin or food processor. Stir in cream cheese until well blended. Drop by cookie scoop on baking tray. Refrigerate until serving. If desired, each ball can be dipped in melted chocolate and allowed to harden before serving.
Wild Rice Soup
1/2 cup finely diced onion, 1 T butter
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked wild rice, cooked in chicken broth
1 cup diced ham, Black Forest or Virginia
1/2 cup carrots, finely grated
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 cup half n half
Sauté onion in one tablespoon of butter. Set aside. Melt butter, whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add and whisk in chicken broth. Add cooked wild rice, ham and carrots. Simmer until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Add almonds and half and half. Simmer, but do not boil.
Posted on December 04, 2013