LPS educators close the book on summer of learning

LPS educators listen to national education expert Anita Archer during her visit to Lincoln in June.

As teachers with Lincoln Public Schools put the finishing touches on their lesson plans for a new school year, many of them will draw on lessons they learned during the summer.

Thousands of LPS educators registered for more than 50,000 hours of professional development courses and summer learning sessions this summer.

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel said such a time commitment is a far cry from when he was teaching in the 1970s. Joel talked about this change when he addressed more than 700 educators from LPS and across the state at the second annual Supporting Positive Behavior Conference, sponsored by LPS and held June 13 at Lincoln Southwest High School.

“Back in the good old days,” he said jokingly, “we got out of school on a Thursday, we were out of there by Sunday and we didn’t come back until two or three days before the kids arrived.”

But, he went on to say, “The truth is, you’re here because you’re professionals. You’re here because student behavior is very important in the work you do. You’re here because you care.”

Here are just a few examples of the many professional development opportunities offered to LPS teachers and staff this summer:

  • Anita Archer, a national expert on explicit instruction, literacy, engagement and classroom management, visited Lincoln for five days in late June to work with more than 500 LPS staff members. They learned about literacy strategies to increase student reading achievement, as well as strategies for engaging students in the learning process.
  • In June, every school sent their school improvement teams, which consist of administrators and teacher leaders, to the LPS Continuous Improvement Workshop. At this full-day workshop, teams examined their student achievement data and discussed trends, strengths and needs. They also set goals and began to draft action steps for continued growth and student achievement for the 2018-2019 school year.
  • This summer, all principals read "The Culture Code" by Dan Coyle. District leaders then facilitated book chats across the city so principals could collaborate and share ideas about what their schools can do to help create strong school cultures.

Sarah Salem, LPS director of continuous improvement and professional learning, said opportunities such as these highlight more than the district’s commitment to professional growth.

“It really says a lot about how our teachers and staff are dedicated to our students,” Salem said.

Published: August 2, 2018, Updated: August 2, 2018

"It really says a lot about how our teachers and staff are dedicated to our students."

Sarah Salem, LPS director of continuous improvement and professional learning