Parent Notes

This site provides the most current information of interest to parents: services, resources, data and news from around the School District.

For information specific to the school your children attend, please review the school's newsletter and Web site.   Links to all LPS schools can be accessed from www.lps.org.

If you have children in elementary and middle level schools, please watch for your monthly issue of "Community News" and "FreeTimes."  It includes information about Lincoln Public Schools and activities sponsored by Lincoln organizations.

If you have comments or questions about ParentNotes, please contact Mary Kay Roth, Communications Coordinator, at 436-1609 or mkroth@lps.org.

The gift of books

Hartley Elementary first grader Samara looked up at Rita Bennet, LEA president, holding her brand new book and asked, "You mean I get to keep this forever?"

"That's right," Bennet answered crouched beside her on the media center floor.

"And every first grader gets one to keep forever?"


Samara, and 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. Over 6,500 books in total will be distributed during the 2015 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.


Posted on November 24, 2015

LPS celebrates Family Learning and Literacy

Parents from Everett Elementary School Thursday thanked the Family Learning and Literacy programs at Lincoln Public Schools for helping them help their children be successful in school.

“Family learning and literacy have helped us learn English, so we can help our children learn, too,” said Everett parent Almas Alhainto, whose family came to Nebraska from Iraq in 2012.

Parents, families, students, teachers, staff and administrators all came together at Everett to celebrate the Learning and Literacy programs at LPS, funded through the Toyota Family Learning grant.

“One of the most important things we do at West Lincoln and Lincoln Public Schools is family learning and literacy,” said Scott Schwartz, principal at West Lincoln Elementary School. “We welcome students from all over the world…and we give parents the tools they need to help their children be successful in school…Family learning and literacy are about building trust between teachers in the classroom and our families.”

LPS was among the first recipients of the prestigious Toyota Family Learning grant, awarded by the National Center for Families Learning and Toyota for innovation in engaging families in learning. The three-year, $175,000 funding grant is a part of Toyota Family Learning’s pioneering movement to bridge the gap between the classroom and home to lead to family success and lifelong learning.

Everett parents appreciate the program:

  • Karla Martinez: “We feel connected with our school, more confident with our English skills, and able to help my son, Angel, in school. Thank you.”
  • Alicia Vasquez: “Thank you for your encouragement and for making this program possible.”

Michelle Suarez, principal at Everett, said that Family Learning includes components such as family mentoring and service learning – but that the foundation is something called PACT: Parent and Child Together Time.

Everett teachers, families and students Thursday demonstrated PACT time with three stations:

  • Reading strategies to use with your children.
  • Making visual representations in math problem solving.
  • Computers: Using questioning to promote curiosity.


Posted on November 19, 2015

Irving construction project midway toward completion

Irving Middle School is currently midway through a comprehensive, 18-month-long, $20 million renovation project that is totally overhauling the facility – while 800-plus students continue to attend classes at their school.


Members of the Lincoln Board of Education’s Planning Committee took a tour of the school Tuesday to get a glimpse of construction progress that began in the spring of 2015 and will be finished in the fall of 2016.


“This is a complex project that we’re doing in phases,” said Scott Wieskamp, director of Facilities and Maintenance for Lincoln Public Schools. He explained that during various phases of the project, eight classrooms of students are moved to temporary portable spaces created at Irving for about four weeks each. Then construction moves to the next set of classrooms and spaces.


The comprehensive project includes: Conversion to a more efficient geothermal heating and cooling system; overhaul of all Irving classrooms; renovation of the library media area, music rooms, computer labs, office and other school spaces; addition of new windows; addition of new secure entrance; making the school technology-ready; adding new lighting and new roof.


An Irving teacher, showing off her new classroom space on Tuesday, noted:  “I love this classroom….And I really believe this makes a difference in the way the kids feel when they are learning.”


“The leadership and staff at Irving have been fantastic,” said Tim Loseke, assistant maintenance supervisor at LPS and project manager for Irving. “The staff here are doing a great job making sure everything is running smoothly.”


Irving Principal Susette Taylor agreed: “We are keeping our eye on the end and what our school will look like.”


Irving was built in 1927 and has undergone two major additions over the years in 1977 and 1994. The current renovation was funded through the 2014 LPS bond issue. The school is currently about 185,000 square feet – not including the attached City Recreation Center.


Posted on November 17, 2015

Scott Middle School spreads 'Kindness in Chalk'

When Scott Middle School Counselor, Abi Beatty, stumbled upon the national Kindness in Chalk program, she knew it would be a great project for her eighth grade students. What she didn't expect was the impact it would have on the students creating the messages, as well as, the students (and staff) receiving the messages.


Posted on November 13, 2015

LPS Musical / Theater Schedule

Below are various musical performances hosted by high schools in Lincoln Public Schools. If LPS staff have more events to be listed, contact zbaehr@lps.org.
Day School Event
 November 2015
November 5-7 EHS Musical, 'My Fair Lady,' auditorium, 7 p.m.
November 6-8 LNE 'Wizard of Oz', 7 p.m. on Nov. 6-7, 3 p.m. on Nov. 8
November 7 LNS Doane Honor Festival
November 14 EHS Night at the Acroplolis VIII, south gym, 7 p.m.
November 19,20,21 LNS Allstate Band,Choir,Orchestra at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln
November 24 LHS Lincoln High Play Festival
 December 2015
December 3 LNS One Act Play 7 p.m.
December 3 LHS Play Production: Spirit Shall Fly at 7 p.m.
December 3-4 EHS One-Act Play, 7 p.m.
December 4 LSE One-Act Play Performance 7:30 p.m. at Jennifer L. Dorsey-Howley Performing Arts Center
December 5 LNE District Play Production Contest - 'Rumpelstillskin'
December 5 LSE District Play Production Contest
December 5 LHS District Play Production Contest
December 7 LSE Symphonic Band & Pound 8th Grade Band 7pm (Pound)
December 8 LHS Choir and Orchestra Concert, 7 p.m.
December 8 EHS Winter Choral Concert, auditorium, 7 p.m.
December 10-12 LSW A Christmas Story, at 7 p.m., tickets on sale Nov. 10
December 10-12 EHS State One-Act Plays, Kearney, 8 a.m.
December 10 LSE Orchestra w/Pound 7/8 Orchestra, 7 p.m. Pound Middle School
December 11 LSE State Play Production Contest at Johnny Carson Theatre, Norfolk
December 14 LSE Madrigal Dinner & Winter Choral Concert (Sheridan Lutheran)
December 14 EHS Winter Band Concert, auditorium, 7 p.m.
December 14 LSW Band, Orchestra and Choir Concert, 6:30 p.m.
December 15 LNS Choral Concert 7 p.m.
December 15 EHS Show Choir Showcase, auditorium, 7 p.m.
December 16 LSE Orchestra & Concert Band, 7 p.m. (JLDH)
December 17 LSW Jazz Band Concert
December 17 LNS Instrumental Concert 7 p.m.
December 18 EHS Instrumental Solo and Ensemble Day, 12:30 p.m.
December 21 LNS Class Plays 7 p.m.
December 21 EHS East vocal solo & Ensemble Day, 12:30 p.m.
 January 2016
January 7 LSE Jazz Band I, II, III Concert 7 p.m. at Jennifer L. Dorsey-Howley Performing Arts Center
January 8,9 LSE State Thespian Festival at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln
January 8,9   State Thespians Convention
January 13 LSW Show Choir Concert
January 28,29,30 LSE Nite of Knights 7 p.m. Admission at Jennifer L. Dorsey-Howley Performing Arts Center
January 30 EHS Show Choir Contest, at EHS with multiple schools, all day
 February 2016
February 4 LSE Orchestra w/Irving 8th Grade Orchestra, 7 p.m. at Irving Middle School
February 6 LSW Lincoln Southwest Show Choir Showdown, multiple schools, all day
February 8 EHS Bands Concert, auditorium, 7 p.m.
February 11,12,13 LNS Nebraska Wesleyan Honor Choir/Band/Orch At NWU
February 15 LSE Jazz Band I, II, III Concert 7 p.m. at Jennifer L. Dorsey-Howley Performing Arts Center
February 16 LSE Wind Ensemble & Irving 8th Grade Band, 7 pm at Irving Middle School
February 20 LNS LPS Solo / Small Ens. Contest At North Star 8 a.m.
February 22 LSE Orchestra & Wind Ensemble Concert 7pm at Jennifer L. Dorsey-Howley Performing Arts Center
February 22 LSW Band and Orchestra Concert, 7 p.m.
February 23 LSW Jazz Band Concert
February 25,26,27 LHS Musical: Bye, Bye Birdie, Feb. 25-26 at 7 p.m., Feb. 27 at 2 p.m.
 March 2016
March 1 EHS Orchestra Finale Concert, auditorium, 7 p.m.
March 1-4 LNE Spring Play: "String Theory', 7:30 p.m.
March 2 LSE Singing Knights, Knight Sounds, Excalibur Concert 7 p.m.
March 3 LHS Jazz and Orchestra Concert, 7 p.m.
March 3,4,5 LNS Musical, Th-Sat: 7 p.m.; Sat: 2:30 p.m.
March 17 LSE Orchestra & 6th Gr. All-City Instrumental Fest. 7 p.m. at Prasch
March 21 LSE Choir Concert, 7 p.m.
March 29 LNS Instrumental Concert 7 p.m.
 April 2016
April 2 EHS UNL Spring Strings
April 5 LNS Choral Concert, 7 p.m.
April 7-9 EHS Spring Play, auditorium, 7 p.m.
April 7,8,9,14,15,16 LSW The Spring Musical: Singin' In The Rain, April 7, 8, 9 and 14,15,16 at 7 p.m., tickets on sale
April 11 EHS Bands & Orchestras Concert, auditorium, 7 p.m.
April 13 LSE Court Choir, Queens Court Concert 7 p.m. in LSE Commons Area
April 14 EHS Spring Choir Concert, auditorium, 7 p.m.
April 18 LHS LINKS Orchestra Contest
April 18 LNS NSAA District Music Contest
April 21-22 LNE Night of One Act Plays, 7:30 p.m.
April 21,22,23 LHS Show: Rosencrantz And Guidenstern Are Dead, April 21-22 at 7 p.m., April 23 at 2 p.m.
April 25 EHS Jazz Concert Cafe, commons area, 7 p.m.
April 28,29 LNS Electrophonic, 7 p.m.
April 28,29 LHS Class Act Productions and IB Student Directed Productions, Times TBA
April 28,29,30 LSE Musical 7:30 p.m., at Jennifer L. Dorsey-Howley Performing Arts Center
May 2016 
May 1 LSE Musical, 2 p.m. Sunday Matinee, Admission charge. at Jennifer L. Dorsey-Howley Performing Arts Center
May 5 LHS Joy Night performance including LHS musicians
May 5 LSE Jazz Band I, II & III Concert 7pm at Jennifer L. Dorsey-Howley Performing Arts Center
May 6 LSW Jazz Band 'Swing Night'
May 6-7 EHS Expressions, 7 p.m.
May 6 LHS Joy Night performance including LHS musicians
May 9 LSW Band and Orchestra Concert, 7 p.m.,
May 9 LHS Jazz, Concert band, Wind Ensemble, Chamber, and Rock Orchestra Concert - 6:30 p.m.
May 9 LSE Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ens. Concert 7 p.m. at Jennifer L. Dorsey-Howley Performing Arts Center
May 10 EHS Bands Concert, auditorium, 6 p.m.
May 10 LSE “A Little Knight Music” Spring Choral Concert 7 p.m.. Kimball
May 10 LNS Choral Concert 7 p.m.
May 11 LSW Choir and Show Choir Concert, 6:30 p.m.
May 11 LSE Orchestra Concert 7 p.m. at Jennifer L. Dorsey-Howley Performing Arts Center
May 12 LNS Instrumental Concert 7 p.m.
May 14 LSE Spring Swing (Knight Sounds, Countesses & Noblemen) (TBA)
May 16,17 LSW LSW Faculty Production: Laughing Stock, May 16, 17 at 7 p.m., tickets on sale April 16
 June 2016
June 20-25 LSE International Thespian Festival at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Posted on November 05, 2015

About Those Chromebooks, with Arts & Humanities Focus Program students

Our November Community News focused on technology in our curriculum, with a lot of feedback on the new student devices. Currently, the students that have the devices are all sixth graders, seventh and eighth graders at pilot schools, and high school students at The Career Academy, the Arts & Humanities Focus Program, the International Baccalaureate program at Lincoln High School, and the Science Focus Program (Zoo School). See the online page-by-page edition.


Senior | Lincoln High School

I think they are really helpful because we are able to work on assignments in class with our teachers. I think it’s easier because we have a reminder online of the assignments that we need to complete.

In my literature class, we have used it to edit the document together, so all the students in the classroom are able to add information to the document at the same time.

It’s nice to have all of our assignments online where we can access them, and also when something needs to be changed, the teacher can go in and change it, or revise what they had planned.

In social studies, we take a lot of surveys and talk about what we are already know about and what we don’t know yet about the topic.

Lauren Williams

Junior | Lincoln High School

I like them. I think they are really useful for doing homework at home, and you can get a lot of the educational books online. So it helps unload backpacks. It’s also easier when you are in class to look up educational books to further your knowledge.

Right now in AP (Advanced Placement) Literature, we are doing an unabridged version of a Shakespeare play. We are in groups, and we have to edit each group, so it’s a lot easier to doing it in Google Docs. It’s like a group edit, you basically copy and paste as you are writing, and then there is a share button, and you share with the people you want to share it with, and when you are in LPS you can’t share it with anyone outside, so that is helpful.

I think my school work has been a lot better than it has been in the past. It has benefitted me greatly.


Junior | Lincoln High School

I feel like they are for the most part pretty helpful. For example, we do quite a bit of school work, and it’s really easy to see what I have done and haven’t done, so I can go back if i get behind, or if I miss a day home sick. I can look at what my teacher is doing that same day. I feel like it is a pretty big help. Last year I didn’t have a lot of access to a computer except while I am at school.

There have been quite a few papers that I could get a much better outline more easily on the Chromebook. It’s more easily accessible as to what needs to be done, and there is better communication between other students and teachers, because you can post on a document, and you can see what others are saying.

Posted on October 30, 2015

Apply2College gets hundreds over the hump in application process

"Just apply to college. Just go home and log on. It’s easy. It’s right there on the college’s website. You young kids can figure it out, I’m sure."

And that ‘just’ isn’t correct. There are questions, there are differences between applications, and there is the rarity: you don’t apply for college that often in your life.

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of seniors in Lincoln Public Schools took time away from class to do just that: apply for college. Here are some of the responses from students, parents, school staff and admissions counselors about the Apply2College initiative, a statewide campaign sponsored by EducationQuest.

*    *    *    *    *
Dawson Eveland, senior, Lincoln Southwest High School

I applied to one university so far, Abilene Christian University down in Texas. Today made the applying a lot easier. I could have probably done it at home, but it would have taken longer and be a little more confusing. I would have gotten lazy at home and not finished it, this helped me keep focused.

*    *    *    *    *
Corey Beer, senior, Lincoln Northeast High School

It would have been confusing for me without the help today. I didn’t know how to put stuff in, what classes go to what credits. He (LNE counselor Ralph Schnell) knows where stuff goes that I would not have otherwise known. It’s scary and a little bit relieving to get it done with.

*    *    *    *    *
Alexa Philbrick, senior, Northeast

The counselors are with us so we can ask questions and have support with us as we do it.

I think with your friends around it makes it easier and less scary, but after you hit submit, it kind of hits you that you’re applying to college and it’s all kind of happening.

*    *    *    *    *
Ralph Schnell - Counselor, Northeast

We’ve invited the actual college admission reps, and the schools that we targeted are the top five colleges historically our graduates go to. That’s why we are going to help any students with any application to any college, but at least those top five are already covered. Some of these kids have already applied on their own, but it was another opportunity to meet with an admissions rep if they had any questions or needed to follow up with a transcript.

*    *    *    *    *
Jason Rose - Admissions Representative from University of Nebraska - Omaha

This provides an opportunity for any prospective students to apply to different colleges with the representatives from the colleges there. It gives them access to people to answer any questions they may have about the application process, about the university, and just have resources about the whole process.

I think in general, the application process can be daunting. I think just getting the ball rolling, just starting is the big first step, which is why today is really, really important because it kick starts it. I think there is a perception that applying to college is difficult, that it’s going to take a lot of time, which it can be an investment, but it’s a worthwhile investment. It’s nice they set aside these times for students to be able to do that.

*    *    *    *    *
Jayne Beer, parent of Northeast senior Corey Beer

We figured out that we are pretty late in getting started in applying for colleges, and we appreciate the help because we couldn’t get through this at home without the help here.

We have gotten help with getting our ACT scores and entering in the credits that he has in each class, and now we are getting help with the website and why it’s kicking us out. We appreciate this, at home we wouldn’t be able to get through this.

*    *    *    *    *
Steffany Lien, senior, Southwest

Applying for college is kind of a complicated process at times, so it’s been great to be able to ask questions of the people who have come to help us. I think for the most part, applying is pretty straight forward. I think it’s that academic background piece the gets a little tricky. I think we are figuring it out. It helps a lot to have people here.

*    *    *    *    *
Judy Vo, senior, Southwest

Honestly, if I was to do this at home, I’d be very confused. With the representatives here, I get to ask them questions and they are really helpful. I attempted to apply at home, but it was too difficult, so I decided to wait and do it at today’s event. I recommend for other students to participate in the Apply2College event. I didn’t think it would be that helpful, but it has been very helpful to me.

*    *    *    *    *
John Gibbs, admissions representative from University of Nebraska - Kearney

I think this event takes away the fear factor of applying. It’s a huge step as a high school senior just to take that first step and apply to a college. When I was a senior in high school I thought “I don’t think I want to go through the application process because then I’m going to get hounded by all these schools.’ But, it’s nice to have representatives here to put those fears to rest and really encourage students to apply. We are all here for the same purpose, we want students to pursue a higher education, no matter where that may be. I’m excited to see students pursue higher education. It’s nice to see them filling out the applications.

A lot of students are like “wow, that wasn’t that bad”. It goes back to that fear factor, they are like “wow, I could have done this at home in ten minutes.” It’s nice to have people here to answer their questions and ease their fears.

Posted on October 30, 2015

LSE and Rousseau students making new BFF

Ms. Steph’s Rousseau Early Childhood scholars of the class of 2029 and 2030 got some new BFF’s (Best Friends Forever) - members of the Lincoln Southeast High School Athletic Club (LSEAC).

Scholar athletes welcomed wide-eyed students as they entered the room for breakfast of cereal, toast, juice, milk and applesauce followed by circle time.  During circle time members joined their new friend singing ‘5 Little Monkies,’ Wheels on the Bus and Sammy, an interactive song that had them flying, crawling, and hopping around the room.

Then it was time to go to the Rousseau pumpkin patch and pick one to decorate with their new friend. Creativity was endless with some decorating their pumpkin with Polka-Dots, simile faces and others taking a turn tasting the paint. While letting their masterpieces dry, LSEAC members read books and taught their friends a LSE spirit cheer. Then it was time to go outside for free time and pose for a group picture before saying goodbye with waves, hi-fives and hugs.

“Meeting their Southeast friends is something they have been looking forward to all year. Each year it gets better and the relationships they form is definitely one of the highlights of the year," said Stephanie Emry, Rousseau morning early childhood teacher.

“This is a awesome. It's hard to tell which kids have bigger smiles,” said Erik Witt, LSE associate principal.

The collaboration in its third year represents a unique collaboration between LSEAC, the LPS Youth Development Team and Stephanie Emry’s Rousseau morning Early Childhood class. This engagement was one of many to occur between LSE and Emry’s Early Childhood class at Rousseau throughout the 2015-2016 school year with an objective is of empowering these young scholars on their Educational Journey.


Posted on October 29, 2015

About Those Chromebooks, with LPS staff

Our November Community News focused on technology in our curriculum, with a lot of feedback on the new student devices. Currently, the students that have the devices are all sixth graders, seventh and eighth graders at pilot schools, and high school students at The Career Academy, the Arts & Humanities Focus Program, the International Baccalaureate program at Lincoln High School, and the Science Focus Program (Zoo School). See the online page-by-page edition.


English teacher | Arts & Humanities Focus Program

The Chromebooks are an excellent way for students to communicate, research, and create projects in a way that is meaningful to them. The adjustment to the Chromebooks has not been seamless and a lot of trial and error learning was involved, but I think overall Chromebooks are a positive resource that provides me more options and tools to better cater to students’ individual needs. I like the integration with Google Classroom to organize assignments, improve communication, and promote student collaboration.Our November Community News focused on technology in our curriculum, with a lot of feedback on the new student devices. Currently, the students that have the devices are all sixth graders, seventh and eighth graders at pilot schools, and high school students at The Career Academy, the Arts & Humanities Focus Program, the International Baccalaureate program at Lincoln High School, and the Science Focus Program (Zoo School). See the online page-by-page edition - http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=10304.

Students recently completed a StoryCorps project where they chose someone to interview and then created a presentation to share with peers. Chromebooks gave students a way to access the StoryCorps website to generate questions and see examples of interviews. Chromebooks also allowed them to create a variety of presentation styles from Google Slides to iMovie to Prezi that made each presentation personal to the student’s style and creativity.  

Chromebooks are making a difference in my classroom. I appreciate that I can quickly post assignments to Google Classroom with immediate student access. I can also share links to online resources, such as videos, articles, and websites that enhance student learning. When students are absent they can retrieve Google Classroom from home to see what they missed. Chromebooks are flexible and adaptable to differentiated learning. They provide a great support tool when used alongside varied teaching tools and practices that match the task at hand.


Technology Coach | Business/Computer Teacher | Schoo Middle School

Google Classroom offers a great environment for teachers to share web resources, assignments, assessments and feedback with students electronically.  Google Classroom is linked directly to the students Google Drive and Gmail, making it easy for students to work on their assignments from Google Classroom at home, communicate with their teachers and collaborate with their classmates.  Google Classroom is not only a great way to share resources, etc. with students; it is also a great way for students to turn in their assignments, allowing teachers to provide feedback and final results for students.

At Schoo teachers are using it to share assignments and assessments with students.   Our English and Language Arts teachers are using it to collect writing assignments from students, which allows the teacher to make comments and edit the students work directly on the completed assignment.  Our Reading teachers have used it to share PDF files and links to various websites for students to read during class or at home.    Our STS teacher uses it to link to his assessments on a website.  The Art teachers have used it to share web links and create an environment that allows students to provide feedback and suggestions to each others using the questioning feature of Google Classroom.  

Many of the teacher use Google Classroom for entrance and exit assessments - allowing them a chance to see what skills or concepts may need to be retaught.  Using Google Classroom’s announcements feature, teacher can post a question related to the learning in the classroom; student can then use the comment feature to provide and answer or share their thoughts and ideas on the subject matter.

Any type of file can be shared and turned in, but only Google Drive files can be edited within the Google Classroom.  My 8th grade computer class is able to turn in jpeg, mov, png, pdf and mp3 files.

As a staff we have created Classrooms for our grade level teams, team leaders, technology committee and a the whole staff.  I currently have a classroom set up for the entire staff that is used to share instructional strategies, how to videos for technology tools, great websites, etc.  Every teacher has the abilities to share on the staff classroom.  Team use it to share team minutes, great articles, tardy data, and instructional strategies.

Teachers and students can set up their classroom so they receive emails each time something new has been posted to the classroom in which they belong.  I learned from a parent that they are using the Google Classroom mobile app, had his/her student login via the app, and now they receive notifications every time a new assignment is posted.  By doing this they know when their child has homework or not.

CATHY Wittstruck

Sixth-Grade Teacher | Scott Middle School

I have been so pleased with the Chromebooks!  Having each student with a computer has allowed us to taking learning to a new level.  Before we had individual computers, it was difficult to take the entire class to the lab. Labs filled up fast, and testing took first priority.  Now, we have the opportunity to use them daily.  Our class is using Google Classroom, which has been a great way for students to hand in papers, and me to get handouts to them.  Work is never lost and the amount of copies has significantly decreased.  Students now have time to do free writing on their Chromebooks, and they are loving it.  Students work in teams to make projects, and then share with the class.  Their free writing projects have included poetry, newspapers, animal facts, and trivia games.  The more students share, the more ideas for projects the other students have. 

We are able to practice vocabulary and spelling daily, and this has helped students weekly testing grades. Now that the students have their own computers, they have come to realize all the Wonders site has available for them.  Having access to vocabulary and spelling games, along with daily grammar lesson has been extremely helpful.

The students have had their Chromebooks for one quarter now, and they are still excited!  It is fun to watch their enthusiasm and joy of learning.  It has also been a great chance for teamwork in the classroom.  When someone figures out something new, they are quick to share.  When someone experiences a problem, others are quick to come to their aid.  Together, they are able to solve many problems.  What a great community of learners!

AMY Allerheiligen

Creative Expressions Teacher | Calvert Elementary School

I try to separate the two areas (art and computer science), but there is some overlapping. Sometimes I will take something that the classroom teachers are doing and do a project with that in the computer room. With second graders, they draw butterflies when learning about the lif cycle, and first graders, kids draw animals they are researching in that habitat.

I notice a lot of students that when we are in the art room or computer lab they are almost completely different students. In the art room they might really excel and the computer lab they might have some difficulties, or vice versa.

When I first started, now 12 years at Calvert, I had students coming in as kindergarteners that had never used a computer. So it was teaching them how to hold a mouse, how to click a mouse, that kind of thing. Now they have used trackpads and iPads, but they too have never used a computer. Some kindergarteners put their fingers on the screen thinking it might make them move.

We are adding the coding this year in the computer curriculum. Some of the fifth graders are way beyond my knowledge of coding, so it’s kind of fun for me to learn from the kids.

BETH Briney

English & Oral Communications Teacher | Science Focus Program

I don’t think it’s made a difference in how I teach; it’s made a difference in how I communicate. It was emphasized for us that this was a tool just like any other teaching tool, so you use it like any other tool based on best practices.

Particularly because we have fiber optic that we didn’t have before and it makes everything faster. We do a lot of research, that’s one of our prime objectives, so I am doing a junior research class and one of the first things we did was have everyone look online at the same time for articles that are peer reviewed through the LPS media center. Then we could talk about how to find things, and read the full text articles.

One of the things that I do a lot of in my own life is use OverDrive through the public library, and I was checking to see and it is available through LPS, and because we don’t have a media center here and students choose their own books, I can help them find books online that they can read online, so if they don’t see something in my library, or don’t have access to their school media center that’s sometimes difficult when they are moving back and forth (between their home high school and the Science Focus Program). 

I am learning how to put on the assignments directly on (Google Classroom), so they can write directly on the assignment sheets. I like that a lot; it just reduces the paper load, and immediately I know when they had it, and I have a record of what is done and not done.

I think one of the things I would do, and we are able to do it for parents at parent-teacher conferences, when we can show them how they can know what the student is working on.

I’ve always asked students to do second copies and final copies on a computer because that’s easier for editing. However I have students that don’t like first drafts on computers, and that’s fine; I would like them to use the computers because it’s so much easier, you don’t have to rewrite, you can put things in, and you can re-arrange, and I’ve always asked them to do that. If students really want to write things for me, I do that, I make that accommodation.

CAITLIN Leuenberger

Instructional Technology Facilitator | Lincoln Public Schools

Here are three ways that technology is being used in elementary buildings. 

Right now the laptops are primarily used for assessments, which will still be the case for second semester when the Chromebooks arrive. 

Chromebooks are another instructional tool for the classroom, but students aren’t on them all day; they still write with pencils and read from physical books.

In elementary we are often fusing the two together. If we read something online, we often take notes with pencils. If we are reading from a physical textbook we might be creating a graphic organizer or project with that information on a device. 

Students are accessing the digital component McGraw Hill Reading Wonders, the literacy curriculum for all students Kindergarten through sixth grade in Lincoln Public Schools. In addition to using the traditional textbook and worksheets, students can read the same text online, where they are able to highlight and take notes on the text, something they can’t do with the traditional textbook. Teachers can also manage and assign books, activities, discussion questions, and digital worksheets to differentiate instruction for students . The students then complete the work on their computer and turn it into the teacher. The teacher can then see and grade student work on their laptop.

Through Google Classroom, teachers can assign and grade work along with facilitate conversation and collaboration amongst students. Teachers are having students publish their writing on Google Docs. With Google Docs students can collaborate with peers, use the embedded research tools, and teachers can provide feedback to the student while they are working on the assignment, before they turn it in. Google Draw is being used to create graphic organizers and infographics for projects. Students are also using Google Slides to create presentations, plan their writing, and create digital notecards to study from. All of these projects can be assigned and turned in through Google Classroom and allow for opportunities for students to collaborate and for teachers to provide feedback.

Library Media Services provides many digital databases for students to use throughout the day. Students are able to check out and read eBooks online. Classroom teachers and librarians have also been using the digital articles and research tools with students to support research and inquiry projects.

Posted on October 29, 2015

About Those Chromebooks, with Science Focus Program students

Our November Community News focused on technology in our curriculum, with a lot of feedback on the new student devices. Currently, the students that have the devices are all sixth graders, seventh and eighth graders at pilot schools, and high school students at The Career Academy, the Arts & Humanities Focus Program, the International Baccalaureate program at Lincoln High School, and the Science Focus Program (Zoo School). See the online page-by-page edition - http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=10304.

TREYSON Fankhauser

Freshman | Lincoln Northeast High School

It helps when I’m working at home and other places, I don’t have to carry around just my backpack, I can carry around just my chromebook. It also allows me to see what we have to do more clearly so I don’t have to be taking notes constantly.

In Intro to Research, we had to do lab reports, and one thing we have to do is graphs and tables, and having the Chromebook is easy because it allows us to use Google Docs to make actual tables faster, and not have to send a couple people into a (computer) lab to do it.

ANNIKA Novotny

Lincoln High School

They work really well for assignments that we do, and for getting work turned in, and having more time to work on the assignment. I don’t really like to carry my books around, but we can get the books on our Chromebooks, so it’s more easily accessible for when we are working on our assignments.

In U.S. History, we do essay tests, and they go a lot quicker when you can type them. I don’t get so overwhelmed because sometimes when I am handwriting things, it gets super long, and I get distracted.

Mainly, I don’t have to carry around so many books, and if I’m working on an assignment, I can turn it in on the computer. So you don’t have to turn it into a classroom, you can turn it in on at night or on the weekends.


Senior | Lincoln East High School

They are useful. The teachers could have used more training beforehand because there are lots of questions about how things work. It was just a learning process for everyone, but I think it’s been beneficial in terms of accessibility to resources, being able to access your work. 

We do a lot of essay work in English and Social Studies, so being able to take the Chromebook home, and not worry about a flash drive to put your information on, and being able to access Google Drive on your home computer. Just having that Chromebook there to do research is really helpful, and we are working on learning Google Sheets, but that will be helpful as we do more research.

It’s easier to stay organized, compared to all these loose papers and binders and folders. The one inconvenience is not being able to print from the Chromebook. Sometimes they are slow and temperamental, but most everything is turned in digitally anyway.

Posted on October 29, 2015

About Those Chromebooks, with Scott Middle School students

Our November Community News focused on technology in our curriculum, with a lot of feedback on the new student devices. Currently, the students that have the devices are all sixth graders, seventh and eighth graders at pilot schools, and high school students at The Career Academy, the Arts & Humanities Focus Program, the International Baccalaureate program at Lincoln High School, and the Science Focus Program (Zoo School). See the online page-by-page edition - http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=10304.


Sixth Grade

In social studies we use it for test taking, using Google Classroom, she puts on assignments, we do them, and she makes it so we can type or not type, and send emails to the teachers. It’s easier to connect with the teachers more.

We barely use Chromebooks in math. It’s mostly paper pencil except for NeSA (Nebraska state assessments).

(On using Chromebooks properly) The teachers have websites that they can look at what you are doing on your Chromebook, and they can shut you down, or lock you out of that website or link, and there has been some of that, It’s fun to have a computer and having your own, kind of. I think my mom thinks I’m going to lose it but i haven’t yet, but it does teach you responsibility. I think my mom likes it because I show her responsibility. I might get more privileges or get to babysit more.

ELLI Peterson

Sixth grade

They are helpful but sometimes with the connecting difficulties they are not so good. With all the testing for reading it helps. Last year we had these big computer carts and they were really loud, and now that we have our own they are there we can look up for homework, and when we need help we can go on the Internet.

Usually in math, we have ‘personal math trainer,’ for reading we use them for comprehension tests and vocabulary. I think they are really similar. Sometimes it feels cooler to be on the computer than it does to be on pencil-paper.

Certain classes use the computers more than others. In reading we use both the computers and the books, but for Social Studies and Science, you wouldn’t use the chromebooks very much.

EMILEE Haggadone

Sixth Grade

I like them, they make work a lot easier, it’s kind of easier when you are doing a project. You can go straight to researching it, and then go back and type it in. In math we have a book that we start on there, and (the Chromebook) has quizzes for us to study on there, and then we can do our homework. If we get it wrong it’s able to explain to us so that we know how to solve it.

We are able to load documents on there, and we can plan a time to all get online and write down our ideas (outside of school).

I feel I’m a better student because it has the Quia site and we can go on there and are able to take tests that teachers send us, check our grades, and email them about what we need to work.

Posted on October 29, 2015

About Those Chromebooks, with Culler Middle School students

Our November Community News focused on technology in our curriculum, with a lot of feedback on the new student devices. Currently, the students that have the devices are all sixth graders, seventh and eighth graders at pilot schools, and high school students at The Career Academy, the Arts & Humanities Focus Program, the International Baccalaureate program at Lincoln High School, and the Science Focus Program (Zoo School). See the online page-by-page edition - http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=10304.

SARAH Petelle

Sixth Grade

We use Chromebooks for warm-ups, and we have this personal math trainer for if you are really confused. It’s an online thing that gives you tips and stuff to do. You can go online to our math textbook. It has step-by-step in practice problems that you can do.

We use our Chromebooks in all our classes. We use them for Spelling City, we can graph, and go on websites to help us learn. In P.E., we take quizzes to see what are our favorite activities are. In Science, there are all these websites she puts on there that we can practice at home. They are games and science related, so it’s really cool.

The Chromebooks make it a lot easier to learn, it’s more fun than staring at a textbook, and they are lighter. I think my parents really like them because I’m not carrying six books in my backpack.

We use Google Classroom everyday, you have so many classrooms. It makes it so much more organized and easier. Easier to do stuff, and spell, they have cool learning games and stuff.


Sixth Grade

We use the Chromebooks to do testing and to basically help us do our homework and look up stuff during class. Sometimes we get to do activities on them like if we do good on a test.

Best thing is getting to use them at home instead of paper and pencil. It’s made homework easier. On our math app, it allows us to use it even if we don’t have internet connection at home.

We use our Chromebooks for every class.

For all our classes, we use our Chromebooks for a warm-up at the beginning. It basically starts us off for the day. It gives us a taste of what we are going to do for the day, and it gives us a chance to focus.

In vocal music class, they show pictures and we have to write down the names of the notes or musical elements. The teacher puts the pictures on our Chromebook, or we go to a website or Google Classroom and we can see the pictures there.

A.J. Richerson

Sixth Grade

In math, if we need help at home, we can go to a program and look at the lessons.

We use the Chromebooks a lot in school for everything. We can type up stories for writing. We can go to Google Docs and do stuff for math. Every morning we do warm-ups to get ready for math.  In warm-ups we go over the lesson to see what we know.

It’s easier because I’m not very organized. I use to lose all my papers, but now all my homework is in one place.

In social studies, we did a thing for hominids. We did some research on the Library for Culler and typed up a report in Google Docs.

It’s all great! It’s easy.

My mom thinks it’s great.

Posted on October 29, 2015

About Those Chromebooks, with Career Academy students

Our November Community News focused on technology in our curriculum, with a lot of feedback on the new student devices. Currently, the students that have the devices are all sixth graders, seventh and eighth graders at pilot schools, and high school students at The Career Academy, the Arts & Humanities Focus Program, the International Baccalaureate program at Lincoln High School, and the Science Focus Program (Zoo School). See the online page-by-page edition - http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=10304.


Junior | Lincoln East High School | Engineering Pathway

The Chromebooks have done quite a bit for me, more than I expected to be honest. They are very handy, you can easily import and export files from it. They are really useful for keeping track of class schedules and basically they are just an essential. I couldn’t imagine this class without it.

Research papers, having the Chromebooks there is really handy. So when I don’t have a computer, a desktop or laptop, I have my Chromebook with me. I also like the little cases.

I work on revisions on papers, double check my assignments, keep track of grades, do everything.


Senior | Lincoln East High School | K-12 Education Pathway

I enjoy the Chromebooks. We use them a lot for presentations like Nearpod, and we use different web applications. In my Senior English class we use NoRedInk, we use a lot of technology in our classrooms. It really aids in the development of information between our small groups like when we write up information for presentations and we give them to other groups to share what we’ve learned. It’s been really helpful.

In interpersonal relations, we do lesson plans. We take a chapter we are learning about and she breaks it down into 4 sections, then we research the topic and we incorporate the book text and Ted talks and other things we can find, then we have 45 minutes to teach our group.

In comparison to my home high school, I use to bring my laptop sometimes and when I had some free time in my classes I’d be typing some of my papers on my own laptop, but now I have it with me all the time, so and it’s like, I can always use it when we need it in class. I always have it with me. It’s like my partner in crime.

A'RAHE Green

Senior | Lincoln Southeast High School | Precision Machining Pathway

Here at TCA we log-in to our Google classroom, and the teacher has already posted the assignments. So then we just go in and do that and do whatever reading is necessary. Then when we go home and we have homework, we just log-in to our Google classroom and our homework is already posted for us, so we just open it and do the homework.

It’s allowed me to get way more organized, because usually my backpack would be full of papers, but now I can just log in and do my homework online, it makes everything easier.

Posted on October 29, 2015

Students prepare for culinary competition

Students at The Career Academy in the Culinary Pathway are preparing for a competition that will determine which Lincoln Public School students will compete in the ProStart competition in February.

Follow one team as they create a culinary masterpiece.


Posted on October 28, 2015

About college, from those currently in one

See our online version of our Community News College Edition

Here's a list of stories from graduates of Lincoln Public Schools who are in or just finished college. They share their experiences with the hopes that you will learn what to look for in a college, and what to ask.

Tanner Pfeiffer - "... began to feel like a community"

 Aly Johnson - Who’s to say, “you can’t”?

Sinan Sayood - “... don’t forget to explore other interests”

Will Folsom - “... inspired me to want to make a difference.”

How to find scholarships, i.e., pay for college

Imani Wilson - “GPA, ACT, rank ‘do not define you’”

What to consider when choosing a college

Counselor encourages college-bound students to forego any assumptions

 Finding the cash for college

 No Degree in Excuses for this Spartan grad



Posted on October 23, 2015