LPS students teach lessons to US Secretary of Education

Check out more videos of the tour at the bottom of the page.

Lincoln Public Schools Science Focus Program students offered a few lessons in quality education Thursday to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on her visit to the Zoo School.

DeVos spent about two hours at the school, an LPS focus program located at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo. She visited classrooms and talked with students and teachers, who explained - and showed - the unique ways the school combines classroom learning with hands-on experience at the zoo.

“It’s about impossible for her to come here and not fall in love with our school,” said Kaitlyn, a 12th-grade Zoo School student whose home school is Lincoln High School. “If she listened she knows what a great opportunity this is.”

DeVos’ visit was part of her six-state “Rethink Education” tour. LPS Superintendent Steve Joel kicked off her visit to the Zoo School with an overview of the school district and the many choices offered to LPS students.

Click here to see the press conference with LPS Superintendent Steve Joel on the announcement of the Secretary's visit.

“I think by the time you’re finished with your visit here today you will see that we are rethinking education, within Lincoln and the entire state of Nebraska,” Joel said.

He noted that DeVos’ visit to the Zoo School was a great opportunity to showcase one of the many quality public education options offered in Lincoln and throughout the state.

“Choice is alive and well in Lincoln Public Schools, as well as the state of Nebraska,” he said. “And none of this is possible if we didn’t live in a community and a state where people value public education and they roll up their sleeves to support it.”

DeVos said she appreciated the opportunity to talk to students and hear from them about what makes Zoo School special.  “Schools here in Lincoln are a good example of how they can meet students’ needs and do things differently,” DeVos said.

The 20-year-old Zoo School is one example of the many choices that LPS offers students for them to succeed and achieve - 39 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, six comprehensive high schools and a variety of high school alternative programs.

The Zoo School currently enrolls 105 students from grades nine through 12, both from public and private schools. Students who attend LPS focus programs such as the Zoo School remain students at their home schools, where they can participate in activities, athletics and social events.

Published: September 14, 2017, Updated: September 14, 2017

“It’s about impossible for her to come here and not fall in love with our school,”

Kaitlyn - Senior Zoo School student, LHS