Lincoln Public Schools: Highlights of 4/25 Lincoln Board of Education work session, meeting

Lincoln Public Schools:

Highlights of 4/25 Lincoln Board of Education work session, meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a work session on Strategic Planning and a regular meeting on Tuesday, April 25 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next meeting Tuesday, May 9 at 6 p.m. 

Lincoln Board of Education meeting/Proposed 2018-19 school calendar

Each year a joint Lincoln Public Schools/Lincoln Education Association committee – composed of parents, Lincoln Board of Education members, education association leaders, teachers and administrators – recommends a student calendar for the Board’s consideration. It has been the practice of the Board to adopt calendars more than a full calendar year before it is in place.  

The general features of the proposed calendar for 2018-19 include the following:

    • First Day: Monday, August 13
    • Quarter Break: Monday and Tuesday, October 15-16
    • Second Quarter begins: Wednesday, October 17
    • Thanksgiving: Wednesday- Friday, November 21-23
    • Winter Break: Friday, December 21 - Friday, January 4
    • Third Quarter begins: Monday, January 7
    • MLK: Monday, Monday, January 21
    • Quarter Break: Monday-Friday, March 11-15
    • Fourth Quarter begins: March 18
    • Spring Break: Friday, April 19
    • Last Day: Thursday, May 23

The Calendar Committee received input from the Community Curriculum Council, a school district parent group with a representative from each school, and from the District PTO leadership group.

As in previous years, the Calendar Committee has followed Board approved student calendar primary and secondary variables to design and recommend a student calendar that meets the Calendar Committee’s purpose statement: “The school calendar demonstrates the school district’s commitment to learning.  It is based on sound instructional considerations and priorities ensuring the continuity, efficiency, and effectiveness of teaching and learning.” 

 Primary variables:

* Semester and quarter breaks typically will be the same for elementary and secondary schools.

* The four quarters typically will include at least the minimum number of days necessary for students to reasonably learn the curriculum (42 days).

* Student vacation days typically will not interrupt instruction just prior to major LPS, state or national assessments.

Additional variables

* Each student week typically will be at least three days long.

* Non-student days typically will be scheduled between quarters.

* The last day of school typically will fall after the completion of NSAA and similarly sanctioned local and state competitions.

* Whenever possible, non-student days typically will occur on common holidays, including days such as federal and state recognized holidays.

The Board will vote final approval May 9.

New elementary math curriculum materials approved

The Board approved purchase of new Math Expression curriculum materials – a blend of printed and digital resources – to be used at all elementary locations beginning the 2017-18 school year. The program is strongly aligned with Nebraska state math standards and is well-aligned to best practices in mathematics education and the school district's instructional framework.

Newly annexed property

The Board of Education assigns school attendance areas to property newly annexed or newly platted in the city of Lincoln.  This action establishes school attendance areas prior to the sale of residential lots, allowing purchasers to know what schools their children will attend. 

Lincoln has annexed three parcels of land, which automatically brings these properties into LPS.  These properties need to be assigned attendance centers so that potential purchasers of homes in these areas will know which schools they will be attending.

  • Rogge Square, Annexation Ordinance #20453, for 2016-17 school year:  Norwood Park Elementary School, Dawes Middle School and Lincoln Northeast High School.
  • Legends Addition, Annexation Ordinance #20459, for 2016-17 school year:  Kooser Elementary School, Schoo Middle School and North Star.
  • White Horse, Annexation Ordinance #20472, for 2016-17 school year:  Pyrtle Elementary School, Lux Middle School and Lincoln East High School. 

The Board will vote final approval May 9.

Student celebration

The Lincoln Board of Education celebrated a new initiative this school year: LPS has entered a partnership with the American Heart Association to provide all LPS middle schools with CPR mannequins, which created the opportunity for eighth graders to learn and practice the proper form and technique for CPR. 

Matt Avey, curriculum specialist for Health and Physical Education at LPS, and Dan Claridge, health and physical education teacher at Scott Middle School, introduced the presentation – and Scott Middle School students demonstrated what they have learned about CPR.

Scott eighth grade students presenting were:

  • Rose Curtis
  • Adam Dahlman
  • Izzy Weber

Lincoln Board of Education work session/Strategic Planning  

Five themes for a new Lincoln Public Schools Strategic Plan were unveiled for the Lincoln Board of Education at a work session Tuesday – themes that would potentially provide focus for the school district over the next five years:

  • Academic Success
  • Future Ready Global Citizens
  • Support for Students
  • Support for Educators
  • Family and Community Partnerships 

The themes were developed as a result of intense community participation and support in an initiative that began earlier this past school year – an initiative that included 49 community sessions and 3,800 responses from community citizens.  Data collected from the community engagement was passed onto a Community Study Team – made up of community members and LPS staff – that further examined and analyzed the information and helped develop the five proposed themes.

Looking ahead, the Board will spend time discussing and evaluating the themes, hold a work session this summer and work toward approving a final Strategic Plan in August.

Board of Education President Don Mayhew noted one of his mentors had described advanced civilizations as those that planned for the future: “What better way to plan for the future…than planning for the education and welfare for our children.”

The vision of the Strategic Planning process has been:  

LPS is seeking to engage citizens throughout the community to help refresh and develop a strategic plan to chart the course for the school district over the next five years. The strategic planning process involves gathering community voices through civic, school and community meetings, as well as through social media and online surveys – encouraging our citizens to dream big, imagine new ideas, help identify creative, innovative goals – necessary to write the story of our future. Our mission is to ensure LPS students experience a world-class education in preparation for college, career and life.

Here is a more extensive explanation of each theme:

Theme 1: Academic Success

LPS students find academic success through authentic learning opportunities, rigorous standards and individualized learning. Graduation alone is not the goal, but rather a graduate who attains core competencies, monitors their own progress and maintains a love for learning. During LPS students’ academic careers, they experience • a wide variety of rigorous courses available at all schools. • off-campus opportunities to learn real world applications. • the process of monitoring their own progress toward academic success in high school and beyond. • the use of technology as a tool to support learning. • the opportunity to request inclusion in any LPS school and program, including a variety of expanded opportunities such as focus programs, internships, and interest-based pathways.

Theme 2: Future Ready Global Citizens

LPS supports students as they explore innovative ideas, evaluate societal issues and demonstrate leadership potential. Students have opportunities to evaluate multiple answers to important questions and are empowered to examine new ways of thinking. LPS graduates are ready for what the future has to offer. As a result of completing their academic careers in LPS, students will experience learning that builds • innovation, leadership, creativity, and divergent thinking skills. • critical evaluation of issues from multiple perspectives and sources. • abilities to form and defend their opinions using evidence in a civil and thoughtful manner. • awareness of their own strengths and passions to guide decisions about personal growth, postsecondary learning and career development. • plans to address the financial requirement necessary to meet their short and long-term goals. • appreciation for the responsibilities of an engaged and educated citizen. • skills for an independent life. • cultural proficiency and language skills to communicate with others across cultures and around the world.

Theme 3: Support for Students

In LPS “All Means All.” LPS will provide resources and services that help all students become the best versions of themselves in a safe, non-threatening environment. LPS will meet all students where they are to support their learning. LPS provides students with • a basic level of social, mental/emotional and physical health care. • strong staff-student relationships essential to teaching and learning. • student assistance processes and expanded learning opportunities that provide supports that meet the unique needs of students and impact academic success.

Theme 4: Support for Educators

LPS is dedicated to hiring and supporting qualified, passionate and diverse staff. Through the hiring process, teacher induction, mentoring, staff resources and enhanced professional development, all students will continue to learn with the support of master teachers. The Lincoln Public Schools human resources and professional development systems ensure that • educators have resources and professional development necessary to support student learning, which includes time to collaborate about their learning with colleagues. • hiring processes strive to recruit a qualified, diverse and passionate staff. • new teachers and administrators grow their expertise and skills through mentoring and orientation programs. • staff learn about culture and examine biases as part of their cultural proficiency journey during professional learning opportunities. • staff model civil discourse in discussions with others who hold differing opinions. 

Theme 5: Family & Community Partnerships

Lincoln is a community that supports young people and public education. LPS partners with community businesses, organizations, non-profits and post-secondary institutions to extend learning beyond the classroom walls. Family and community engagement is essential for student success and growth. In LPS, we are committed to listening to and working with parents and community partners. LPS encourages and maintains opportunities for • developing schools that fully embrace family and community engagement, which includes open, two-way communication between staff and families with expanded opportunities for parent education. • linking students to Early Childhood programs to ensure that all students are prepared for kindergarten. • expanding CLC programing to full service community schools and extending systematic after school programming to all schools. • increasing business and post-secondary partnerships to expose students to changing employment options and directly connecting students to career learning opportunities in the community.


Published: April 25, 2017, Updated: April 26, 2017