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.

Scott Middle School students create education themed masterpiece < Updated

After months of planning, designing, and creating, the stained glass club at Scott Middle School installed their final project in the middle school.  Led by science teacher, Paul Sisk, the students incorporated the core subjects of education.

Posted on May 20, 2015

Middle school ELL students attend college for a day

More than 200 Lincoln Public School middle school English Language Learner (ELL) students spent the day on the UNL campus for UNL’s first ELL Day. The event celebrated the work ELL students have been doing in their classrooms all semester and gave elementary and secondary English education majors at UNL a chance to gain experience working with an underserved student population.

During the day, ELL students were able to present their digital stories to their peers. These stories were written by the students and put to video using iMovie and Movie Maker. Students were able to choose their own topic and do the research to support their ideas before putting it to video.

ELL Coach Anne Hubbell said there is tremendous value in doing the digital story project. “We wanted to incorporate technology with our writing project for this quarter, which was persuasive. Digital storytelling gives the ELL students the opportunity to work on their writing skills as well as their speaking skills and their technology skills.”

The student videos were divided into four different levels based on English language proficiency, and there were three winners awarded in each category. Winners included:

Level 1
Most persuasive: Thu Le, Park Middle School
Most creative: Tabarek Al Dulaimi, Goodrich Middle School
Best of level: Say Kay Paw, Park Middle School

Level 2
Most persuasive: Naw Eh Bue, Park Middle School
Most creative: Thi Hoang, Park Middle School
Best of level: Aras Ahmed, Culler Middle School

Level 3
Most persuasive: Jonathan Luna, Goodrich Middle School
Most creative: Shuaieb Abdullah, Culler Middle School
Best of level: Fatima Ayal, Culler Middle School

Level 4
Best of level (group story): Loughrist, Immigration Reform, Park Middle School
Best of level (individual story): Mohamed Ehaj, Goodrich Middle School

Students also voted for their favorite videos in each group. Student Choice Award winners are:

Level 1
Student Choice: Mumtaz Blaseeni

Level 2
Student Choice: Audrey Traore

Level 3
Student Choice: Jonathan Luna-Medina

Level 4
Student Choice: Sarah Hussein

The second part of the ELL day included breaking into small groups and creating Flat Herbie scavenger hunt videos with help from the UNL students. The middle school students roamed the campus, following clues, and taking video of Flat Herbie at the answer on campus.

Posted on May 18, 2015

Fredstrom Elementary holds Dance on the Green

When the Master of Ceremonies, Lincoln Food Bank's Scott Young, asked the audience "if you are a Fredstrom parent who performed the maypole dance when you were a student here, please stand…" there were quite a few who rose to their feet among the applause. Fredstrom Elementary has a long tradition of performing maypole dances during their "Dance on the Green."

Every three years, music teacher Judith Bush works with all of the teams to learn music and dance from around the world throughout history. This year, each grade level wore a different color to help their team stand out. It was a giant rainbow of smiles and laughter that filled the park next to Fredstrom Elementary.

Families were asked to bring a can of food during the event for the Lincoln Food Bank.

Posted on May 14, 2015

Red Cross sets up two emergency shelters for families in need

The local American Red Cross has set up two shelters for any families in need who left their homes due to a voluntary evacuation ordered by the city due to flooding.  The city has opened shelters at the F Street Recreation Area, 1225 F St., and the Belmont Recreation Center, 1234 Judson. Those needing help with transportation can call 402-441-5530.

Posted on May 07, 2015

Spotlight Art Open House

Middle school and high school artists across Lincoln Public Schools will be featured in the annual Spotlight Art Open House, Thursday, May 14, from 5-7 p.m. Over 200 pieces of art will be displayed at the district office to honor the outstanding artists from the 2015-16 school year.

The event is free and open to the public. Those unable to attend will be able to view the art throughout the next year as it will be displayed in the district office until March 2016.

Posted on May 07, 2015

Teacher's Perspective: Science with Rochelle Settles

Science supports all subject areas and teaches students how to ask questions. Follow science instructor Rochelle Settles as she integrates Trout in the Classroom for all grade levels at Fredstrom Elementary.

Posted on May 05, 2015

Ed Center namesake – Nuernberger – champion for all children

Full video of the event is below. Watch clips from the groundbreaking at the bottom of this page.

Judge Bill Nuernberger would have been proud to have the new Lincoln Public Schools Nuernberger Education Center bearing his name, according to his wife, Marian, who spoke at the center’s groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning.

“This new center would have true meaning for Bill, it is a great match,” she said, “for this Bill Nuernberger Education Center will serve those children he cared so much about in his courtroom – those children, for whatever reason, were having a difficult time in their life…Our family sees this center as a place where children will have their attitudes and behavior changed, with positive reinforcement…a place where students will develop pride in their accomplishments.”

The new center involves the renovation of a current LPS facility on South 40th Street – and will serve middle school students who need special behavior skills. The building renovation is funded through money from the 2014 LPS bond issue, and the program is expected to open in the fall of 2016.

“On this first day of May we break ground on a brand new Education Center for Lincoln Public Schools, a special program that will go far in helping our middle school students to do better in school – overcome challenges – and transition smoothly as they prepare to move onto their high school years,” said LPS Superintendent Steve Joel.

“Bill Nuernberger was the very first judge to serve on a separate Juvenile Court in Lancaster County, a position that fit him perfectly – a position that makes his name just right for this facility,” Joel continued. “This remarkable man truly cared for all children and encouraged them to be the very best they could be. He believed in second chances, and third chances and fourth chances for our young people.”

Bill Janike, former chief juvenile probation officer for Lancaster County – and a man who worked with the judge for years – said he “was a man who worked tirelessly, a man ahead of his time in his work with juvenile proceedings. He was a champion for children. He was a champion for all children.”

Richard Meginnis, president of the Lincoln Board of Education, listed local and national accolades for Nuernberger, noting: “And now we add one more honor to this list: We name this special Education Center after Judge Nuernberger.”

Because the new Education Center will host a program to offer behavior skills to middle school students, the ceremony also featured several students and family members who have personally experienced the benefits of these kinds of programs in the school district.

“I used to get bad grades, but now I get As and Bs since I came to Sherrill,” said Jonathan, a seventh grader at the LPS Don D. Sherrill Education Center.

Seventh grader Tanner, also a student at Sherrill, agreed: “I’m glad you’re building this new building, because it will help more students who are like me.”

Tanner’s dad, Craig, said these kinds of education centers provide success for students. “The kid you see here today is a different kid since he has been at Sherrill…You have basically given us our son back. It’s working with kids’ lives and families’ lives. I believe Judge Nuernberger would have been happy with this program.”

 Full video of the groundbreaking

Marian Nuernberger, wife of Judge Bill Nuernberger

Bill Janike, former chief juvenile probation officer for Lancaster County

Sherrill students Tanner and Jonathan, and Tanner's father, Craig

Posted on May 05, 2015

Workshop inspires future educators

“If you choose our profession, we want you to be the best. We want you to be people who changes lives every single day, regardless of what challenges you face in your daily personal lives,” Steve Joel, superintendent of Lincoln Public Schools, said Thursday as he addressed 80 high school students at the LPS District Office. “Remember, teaching is the profession that makes all other professions possible.”

The LPS Future Multicultural Teachers Workshop encourages current culturally diverse LPS high school students to pursue teaching as a career, and introduces students to the positive attributes of teaching. The program was also developed to increase the number of culturally diverse teachers in the district.

“We are working hard on growing our own teachers,” Joel said.  “You have an idea of what a good teacher is in your own mind. Those are the teachers that make a difference in the lives of students today.”

The workshop was created approximately 15 years ago by Thomas Christie, Multicultural School/Community Administrator for LPS. Throughout Thursday, students heard from administration, faculty and LPS alums currently studying to become educators; in addition they participated in activities encouraging them to plan, and how what they do now will affect their future.

“Build your resume now,” said Christie. “What you are doing now will follow you for the rest of your life. You are creating a record and that record will follow you for the rest of your life. Start thinking now, what do I want people to say about me?”

Lincoln North Star Principal, Vann Price told the students the right person will come along at the right time to inspire them:  “I remember people like Willie Banks at Clinton Elementary. He was one of my first practicum teachers. It validated the fact that I was in the right profession. There will be people that will see something in you and they will take you under their wings and they will make that journey easier. That is the neat thing about this profession.”

Students who were on the fence about teaching before left at the end of the day with a clearer vision. Korpo Sawo, a sophomore at Lincoln High School said, “I really liked this and I am inspired. Sometimes I thought about it, but now I really want to be a teacher.”

Lincoln High School sophomore Rahma Abuzaho added, “I personally think if someone like me becomes a teacher, I think the kids would be more comfortable and more relatable.”

A North Star student was so inspired by the day, he made a plan to help motivate others. “We want to start a future multicultural teachers club at my high school. There is so much to becoming a teacher, they really do care about their students. I want to help make the next generation better,” commented junior Tommy Casarez.

Price ended the educator panel by telling the students: “With all of the distractions that are happening in our world right now, don’t get defeated by that.  That is why we need you to get into education. We need you, we need your ideas, we need your educated minds to make changes. I hope you realize, ‘wow this is why I need to become an educated member of society’!”

Joel told the students they were the way for LPS to achieve district goals. “You are here for a reason, and the reason is you expressed an interest to learn about the teaching profession. Lincoln is poised for greatness. We are not going to get there unless students have teachers that can relate to them. The work is hard, but it is very, very, very rewarding.”

Posted on May 01, 2015

LPS to celebrate School Lunch Hero Day

Between preparing healthy food, adhering to strict nutrition standards, navigating student food allergies, and offering service with a smile, Lincoln Public Schools nutrition professionals have a lot on their plate.

To celebrate their hard work and commitment, Lincoln Public Schools will celebrate School Lunch Hero Day on May 1. This day, celebrated annually since 2013, was designated by The School Nutrition Association and Jarrett Krosoczka, author of the “Lunch Lady” graphic novel series.

School Lunch Hero Day provides an opportunity for parents, students, school staff and communities to thank those who provide healthy meals to 30 million of America’s students each school day.

School nutrition employees must balance many roles and follow numerous federal, state and local regulations to ensure safe and healthy meals are available in schools. School Lunch Hero Day provides the opportunity for the community to thank these hardworking heroes. Federal nutrition standards ensure that school cafeterias always offer low-fat or fat-free milk, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. School meals also meet limits on calories, sodium and unhealthy fats. The importance and nutritional value of school meals are well documented. For many children, school lunch is the most important and nutrient-rich meal of their day. 

For more information, contact Edith Zumwalt at ezum@lps.org.

Get the details about School Lunch Hero Day at www.schoollunchheroday.com

Posted on April 28, 2015

PANgea rocks LPS District Office

Lincoln Public Schools percussionists had the house rocking at LPS District Office Tuesday—when students from a high school steel drum band performed over the lunch hour—and in between numbers, everyone learned why music isn’t just about entertaining, it’s good for the brain.

Formed a dozen years ago, the steel drum band PANgea features high school percussionists from across the school district and performs throughout the community each spring. Tuesday they stopped by District Office for a short concert.

“OK, now let’s get inside these musician brains here,” said Lance Nielsen, supervisor of Music for LPS—speaking at the April and final LPS Learning Lunch of the school year.

“Do you do your best thinking in the shower in the morning?” he asked the audience and the musicians Tuesday. “There are good reasons for that.” 

Nielsen offered a few highlights of the most current brain research related to playing and singing music:

“Our brains are working as we sleep, serving as a filter and helping us remove material we don’t need… That’s why we do our best thinking in the morning…and when we go to sleep at night, our brains are in a muddle.”

Similar patterns are evident in how students learn music: Students who are learning a piece of music—master their musical skills much better when they take rests in the lessons and practice time, compared to musicians who keep practicing without a break. Instrumental musicians are actually developed further in parts of their brains—“there’s lots going on in a musician’s brain.” 

In fact, a musician has strengthened attention and overall improved cognitive abilities. There are strong connections between music and advanced reading skills, as well as connections between music, and math and spatial relationships.

“The research is a tribute to what music can do for students,” Nielsen said. 

PANgea was started and developed by LPS music teacher John Scofield and is now directed by LPS teachers Megan Manning-Kechely and Gary Shuda.


Posted on April 24, 2015

EHS principal surprised with award

“Sue is a leader who is always searching for ways to improve who she is as a leader, an educator, and in general her efforts to humanity.”

 Sue Cassata, principal at Lincoln East High School, was surprised with the Marie Bourke Leadership Award from the LPS Foundation yesterday during a whole-school assembly in the gym.  With this award, Cassata received $1,000 and acceptance into the Gallup Organization Leadership Program.

“Sue is a great example of servant leadership – she will be the first to head a committee, first to volunteer, first to supervise, first to help a student, family, or staff member in need,” her nomination read.

The Marie Bourke Leadership Award was established by Glenn and Janice Freindt to affirm and recognize the impact of great principals on the lives of students and teachers. Glenn Freindt was at the ceremony to present the award to Cassata, along with Foundation board chair Lisa Smith and board secretary Laurie Boyd Petty.

“Sue implements her vision in every decision that is made, from the school improvement plan to the day to day operation of the school, which in the end shapes a culture of learning and collaboration.

Posted on April 24, 2015

Morley gets moving for money

Morley Elementary students took advantage of the beautiful spring day by getting outside during specials for their Walk-a-thon to raise funds for new classroom equipment. Each class participated in the walk-a-thon and took a break every two laps to dance, stretch, and have a snack.  Teachers, parents, and even Mrs. Bates got their blood pumping with the students during their fundraiser.

Students could collect a flat pledge amount from their families and friends, and everyone got to participate during the event. Special T-shirts designed by Abbie Everett were also sold to help raise funds. The whole school raised approximately $3,000 during the event.

Posted on April 22, 2015

NETA announces student contest winners

The Nebraska Educational Technology Association (NETA) will host their annual educational technology conference at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha April 23-24, 2015. Lincoln Public Schools has five students' projects choosen to be honored during the conference.

Congratulations to the following:

NETA Conference Logo Contest
6th-8th Winner: Anthony Pautz, sponsored by Adam Schwaninger, Schoo Middle School
9th-12th Winner & Overall Winner: Danielle Shefke, sponsored by Steve Carr, LPS Information Technology Focus Program

Graphic Imagery Contest
6th-8th: 3rd Place - Kaden Berge, sponsored by Heather Steiner, Schoo Middle School

Open Class Contest
Animation 9th-12th Winner: Jake Mangels, sponsored by Brent Jarosz, LPS Information Technology Focus Program

Infographics Contest
PK-5th Winners: Miguel Pesina, sponsored by Barb Smith, Riley Elementary School

Megan Jorgensen, teacher at Schoo Middle School, will receive a free registration to the NETA conference.  Susan Prabulos at Meadow Lane Elementary will also receive a technology grant for her "Kids, Coding, & Robots, OH MY!" project.

Posted on April 15, 2015

Children's day, Cinco de Mayo Fiesta set for April 25 at LHS

El Centro is hosting a Children's Day and Cinco De Mayo Fiesta 2015 Saturday, April 25 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Lincoln High School, 2229 J St. In case of poor weather, the event will be held in the LHS gymnasium.

Activities include kid games, bounce house, food, booths, music and more. For more information, call 402-474-3950.

Posted on April 14, 2015

Visiting artist inspires Prescott students

Traveling and United States and telling the stories of complete strangers through photographs is Wing Young Huie's passion.  Huie is a professional photographer from Minneapolis, and he is spending the week with Prescott Elementary students teaching them about photography and inspiring them to tell other's stories through pictures.

On Friday, April 10, there will be a presentation from Huie, and a public viewing of the students' project in the Prescott Auditorium starting at 6:30 p.m.

Posted on April 09, 2015