Annual Report


Lincoln Public Schools

The Power of Public Education,
Inspiring Excellence


Honored with prestigious 2015 Award for Urban School Board Excellence, bestowed on only three “exemplary” school districts in the nation.


Recognized as a District of Distinction, respected national recognition from the District Administration magazine.


BELOW: The four strategic goals of Lincoln Public Schools

Lincoln Public Schools:The Power of Public Education, Inspiring Excellence


Strategic Goal No. 1:

Learning: Increase on-time graduation rate to 90 percent by 2019.

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel: “Our school district believes it is essential for LPS students to leave high school with a meaningful diploma that serves as a gateway to better employment and a successful college career.”

  • Nebraska State Accountability (NeSA): Solid, significant improvement – scores above state averages in most grades and subjects. Noteworthy: 86 percent of third graders read at or above grade level, up from 76 percent five years ago; math holds strong with scores meeting or exceeding the state average in every grade but 11; science scores continue to climb.
  • ACT: Entire class of 2015 took ACT as juniors for free (compared to 65 percent previously), thanks to a pilot program. Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS: “When comparing our school district - where 100 percent of students are tested - with states that have 100 percent participation rates for the ACT, LPS ties with the very highest performers.”
  • AQuESTT: LPS classified as a “3 – great” school district in a new Nebraska Department of Education accountability system called AQuESTT (Accountability for a Quality Education System Today and Tomorrow (four levels, 4 as the highest).

LPS graduation rate increased from 80.1 percent in 2010 to 85.2 percent in 2015.

Strategic Goal No. 2:

Facilities: Provide safe, comfortable and secure learning environment for students and staff.

  • Students in 38 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, six high schools, three high school focus programs and The Career Academy.
  • Community approved a $153 million bond issue for school district in February 2014 with overwhelming approval.

Bond issue projects well underway:

The Career Academy opened fall of 2015 • Renovated Seacrest Field opened fall 2015 • New secure entrance projects in schools completed • Technology improvements underway across the school district • Renovations and additions at many existing facilities • Sally G. Wysong Elementary School to open fall 2016 • Bill Nuernberger Education Center to open fall 2016 • Marilyn Moore Middle School to open fall 2017.

Click here for an update on progress about bond issue projects


Historic highs in student enrollment. Enrollment has risen by 30% in last 20 years and 58% in last 30 years. Our district continues to grow every year.


Strategic Goal No. 3:

Communications and Public Engagement: Engage the public and key stakeholders.

Perception Data: More than 1,600 families from 27 LPS schools were surveyed about their perceptions of various aspects of the school district. Highlights of findings:

  • 89 percent gave their child’s school a grade of A or B, compared to 72 percent nation-wide.
  • 80 percent gave the school district a grade of A or B, compared to 51 percent nation-wide.

Strategic Goal No. 4:

Resources: Make effective and efficient use of the community’s time, treasure and talents.

  • 53 percent of the current LPS teaching staff have a master’s degree.
  • Currently LPS has 16 Nationally Board Certified Teachers.

New teachers hired for 2015-16:

  • From 19 different states including Nebraska.
  • Have teacher preparation degrees from 58 colleges and universities outside of Nebraska - plus 16 colleges and universities in Nebraska.
  • New teachers of diversity hired: 18.
  • New teachers hired with master’s degrees or higher education: 109.
  • New teachers hired who have previous experience: 143.

Parents get involved! We encourage families to take advantage of opportunities available, including:

Students in grades 3-12 will receive individual Chromebooks in a three-year Instructional Technology program that began in 2015

Budget and Stewardship:

2014-15 budget: $363.6 million, 5.20 percent increase – included flat tax levy and addressed:

Significant growth and complexity of LPS students along with a changing landscape of delivering quality education.

  • 2015-16 budget: $379.8 million, 4.5 percent increase.
  • Budget focuses more than 82.5 percent of expenditures on instruction. Funded through local, county, state and federal funds - two largest funding sources are property taxes and state aid.
  • One of the lowest per-pupil-spending school districts in the state — more than $1,000 per student below state average.