LPS.ORG

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.

 A reminder for parents and guardians about health requirements

Lincoln Public Schools is notifying and reminding families of the health requirements for the upcoming school year: 

  • Students entering school (preschool, kindergarten and transfers from out of state) need to complete and submit evidence of

o   dental exam,
o   required immunizations,
o   physical exam,
o   vision exam.

  • Seventh-grade students – Need to complete and submit evidence of:

o   TDAP (combination immunization for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Given on or after 10 years of age.
o   Physical exam

Completed records should be turned in to the health office at your child’s school.

Families should first contact their medical provider to schedule an appointment. If a family is without a medical provider, community organizations offer ways to find clinics and physicians. 

To find a physician, call the Lancaster County Medical Society at 402-483-4800.

To find a dentist, call the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department at 402-441-3486.

Immunizations:

Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department (3140 N St.) for children younger than 19 and uninsured, under-insured, covered by Nebraska Medicaid or of American Indian or Alaska Native origin.

The clinics are by appointment only at the Health Department,

  • 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in June, July and August.
  • 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday July 16th

Call 402-441-8065, to speak to a nurse and make an appointment.

Immunizations and Physical Exams are available at:

People’s City Mission Health Clinic  (401 N. 2nd) is providing School entry and Sports physicals on Friday July 1, 2016. 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  Bring immunization records.  Lab fee for Lead testing and Hgb/Hct.

August date pedning.

Call 402-438-6819 for more information.

The People’s Health Center (1021 N. 27th St) is offering physicals daily:

  • July 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • August 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Call 402-476-1455 to schedule an appointment.  Sliding scale available. 

Clinic With a Heart  (1701 S. 17th St.) is providing School Entry Physicals.  (No cost)

  • Saturday, August 13  8:30-11:00
  • Saturday, August 20 8:30-11:00

*Immunizations will be provided by the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department (Bring your child’s current immunization record.)

Call 402-421-2924 for more information.

These will be first come, first serve clinic. There are limited spaces, so come early.

Posted on July 13, 2016


Help is here for you: Suicide prevention information

Lincoln Public Schools is committed to the safety of all students. We are encouraging families, students, staff members and the larger community to talk about the issues related to suicide or other unhealthy actions. Below is information on who to call, or how to have this tough yet important conversation, as well as additional information.



Information from LPS

Local/National Resources

National Suicide Prevention Helpline

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
1-800-273-TALK extension 8255
By calling you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.

National Institute of Mental Health/National Institutes of Health

www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml

Bryan Health

http://www.bryanhealth.com/suicideeducationandprevention

Crisis Line (located in Lincoln - provided by CenterPointe)

http://www.centerpointe.org/crisistalk/crisistalk.html
402-475-6695 - anytime 24/7

Nebraska Family Helpline

1-888-866-8660

Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition

http://www.suicideprevention.nebraska.edu/

National Institute of Mental Health/National Institutes of Health

www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml

Responses from in-class conversations, as given by LPS teachers and staff:

"I felt like it went really well. I think that sometimes as teachers we get caught up in all that we have to do in terms of academics and we forget that even though they are high schoolers...we still teach young people who get their feelings hurt. Some of them even have major issues going on at home.  It think it was a good reminder as to why we're here, to offer support, understanding, and guidance."


"I spoke with my 5th period class yesterday about this issue and we had a very heartfelt conversation about caring for one another and who they can speak to if they need to. As for my 3rd period class today, they listened intently, were very respectful and took the information to heart.

"I think the most telling part about how it went today was immediately after 3rd period ended, I had a student, who is not on my roster for classes but is a cheerleader, come to me and share concerns that they have about another student. Based on the information that she gave me, we immediately went and spoke to someone in the counseling office about it.

"I believe the message is a good one, one that we all needed to be reminded of. I'm incredibly thankful to the district for addressing this issue with our young people. Not only that, but we need to remember our adults as well. I'm glad I work for a district that isn't afraid to tackle the tough issues and puts the well being of all our students first."


Reading the script seemed to get everyone's attention. Kids were attentive and said very little about it, which I took as a sense respect and maturity. In a gym environment, where students are eager to get moving, this was something they appeared to take seriously and respectfully. It didn't take much instructional time. I think it was a good message to send.


I did this with my freshmen. Actually, I read the sheet and then talked to them about treating others with respect. We talked about how everyone has their hidden stories and that they should think before they say things. I shared with them an experience from my childhood and they seemed to connect with that. They were all very responsive and attentive.


"Thanks for the common message that was composed that we shared with students. In talking with some staff members before lunch, they indicated that students listened and took the message to heart.  I even was able to give the message to one student who was waiting in the commons during the 10:30 time.  He expressed his appreciation to me for doing this.  Staff were very supportive at our faculty meeting Wednesday night and we had a few teachers that needed some extra support from us or counselors in delivering the message to their classes but folks really pulled together.  Let's hope we turn some of these very sad situations around---very quickly. Thanks again."


Posted on May 17, 2016


Families can now check on future school attendance areas

Families curious about where their students will attend school now have a new web-based tool to aid their search that can check both current and future attendance areas.  Lincoln Public Schools is pleased to announce the launch of a new home school lookup service.
 
This new service, available to anyone with a web browser, identifies the home elementary, middle and high school corresponding to the address entered in the form.  When you visit the page it defaults to the current school year.  However, there are links that allow you to perform the same search for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years that reflect Board approved boundary changes associated with the additions of Wysong Elementary and Moore Middle. 
 
To access the new page, go to http://www.lps.org/about/boundaries.

 

Posted on March 16, 2016


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
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

PLOT: SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN has all the makings of a Tinseltown tabloid headline - In silent movies, Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are a hot item, but behind the scenes things aren't always as they appear on the big screen! Meanwhile, Lina's squeaky voice might be the end of her career in "talking pictures" without the help of a talented young actress to do the talking and singing for her.
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 March 07, 2016


High school informational nights for eighth-grade students and families, with podcast

Listen to our new podcast, 'What to know when picking your high school'

Eighth-grade students and their families are invited to attend informational meetings held at each high school in Lincoln Public Schools. The meetings are designed for students and families to meet with school counselors and instructional staff, in addition to that school's current students.

The meetings are scheduled to give families opportunities to attend more than one school's information session. Students entering the ninth grade may choose the high school they want to attend.

For more information on the event at each school, contact the school's counseling center, or contact Pat Hunter-Pirtle, director of Secondary Education for LPS, at 402-436-1637 or email him at ppirtle@lps.org.

Lincoln East High School Tuesday, January 12, 2016 6:30 p.m. 402-436-1302
Lincoln Northeast High School Wednesday, January 13, 2016 6:30 p.m. 402-436-1303
Lincoln Southwest High School Thursday, January 14, 2016 6:30 p.m. 402-436-1306
Lincoln Southeast High School Tuesday, January 19, 2016 7 p.m. 402-436-1304
Lincoln High School Wednesday, January 20, 2016 6:30 p.m. 402-436-1301
Lincoln North Star High School Thursday, January 21, 2016 6:30 p.m. 402-436-1305

In February and early March, high school counselors will be visiting the LPS middle schools to meet with students who are planning to enroll at their high school. At that time, high school counselors will discuss graduation requirements, answer questions about the high school curriculum, and register eighth-grade students for ninth-grade courses. Students will be participating in pre-registration activities with their eighth-grade counselors before the high school counselor visits.

Posted on January 11, 2016


Culler creates 'The Crossroads Project'

The Crossroads Project is a collaboration performance piece that involves five classes from Culler Middle School.

Each class took part of the project by either creating a musical piece, lyrics for the song, t-shirts that identify specific roles, visual effect and spoken words. Together they brought each of their ideas to create an original powerful performance.

The students were able to reflect on past and present issues of racism then they thought of ways as of what the future may hold. The performance will allow the audience to make empathic connections with different perspectives.

 

Posted on December 21, 2015


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?"

"Yes."

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


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.

EMILEIGH Maddox

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.

 JACK WESTERFIELD

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.

SALLY Hunt

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.

HEATHER Steiner

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.

KELLY Broad

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