Lincoln Northwest families register happy moments at Readiness Days

Lincoln Northwest High School students and parents created successful flight patterns Aug. 1-2 as they began to pilot their way through a new school year.
Current and incoming families came to the campus at 4901 West Holdrege St. for a full slate of Readiness Days activities. They visited with guidance counselors about class schedules, picked up their school Chromebooks and paid student fees for the upcoming year. Students also bought parking permits, took tours of the school building, visited with booster clubs and had their photos taken for their LNW identification cards.
Lincoln Northwest Principal Cedric Cooper said there was a great deal of enthusiasm about the upcoming school year. He felt Readiness Days would offer a positive launching pad for everyone in the Falcon community.
“We’re excited to be here in this space for Readiness Days,” Cooper said. “Last year we had it at Arnold Elementary, so it’s nice to have it here at the high school this year. It’s a great way for the kids to see the building and know where everything is. It makes a big difference.”
James Petersen agreed with those thoughts as families began filing into the building Aug. 1. The LNW library secretary said it was a good feeling to help them with the back-to-school process.
“It is so exciting,” Petersen said. “I’m working with brand-new freshmen at this table, so it’s really exciting to see all of their faces. We’re going to have almost double the number of kids from last year, so it’s going to be a good year.”
Conner was one of the students who received a bright smile from Petersen. Conner and his mother Stacey said they were interested in the wide variety of programs that will be available at the school. He will be in ninth grade this year and is transferring to Lincoln Northwest from a Lincoln private school.
“The block scheduling is what drew us over here,” Stacey said. “I think it will be a really good thing.”
Lily and Audrey came to Readiness Days with more high school experience on their resumes. Both will be juniors this year and were part of Lincoln Northwest’s first group of students in 2022-23. Lily will be involved in softball and wrestling and Audrey will take part in softball and theater.
Lily and Audrey both said they would be more comfortable in the hallways during their second years as Falcons.
“It will be more organized than last year since we’re more familiar with the building now,” Lily said. “I think this year will be a lot better.”
“It’s been fun today to see all of the improvements that have been made,” Audrey said. “Everything is coming together.”
Lincoln Northwest opened its doors for students in grades 9-11 in August 2022. Approximately 275 families took part in Readiness Days activities last summer at Arnold Elementary School. There were 520 students on the high school’s first day of classes.
Lincoln Northwest’s enrollment will expand this year to approximately 892 students, adding the first senior class with last year’s juniors advancing a grade. Early August’s enrollment numbers included 151 seniors, 171 juniors, 255 sophomores and 315 freshmen.
Cooper said it could be possible to have more than 900 students on campus on opening day, as LNW is attracting a steady influx of new enrollees. He also said he was happy to have freshmen through seniors represented in the building.
“It’s going to be nice,” Cooper said. “We’re going to have more than 300 new faces from all four grades this year, so there’s going to be a lot of energy. I think it’s going to go well.”
Guidance counselors Kelsey Dady, Margaret Pass and Brooke Sharpe also filled key roles at Readiness Days. Parents could make appointments with them to speak about verifying or changing student schedules.
Cooper and Sharpe both said there were many moving parts in the scheduling process at a school the size of Lincoln Northwest. Having correct schedules affects class sizes and how many course offerings are available each semester. It also ensures students remain on track to graduate from high school.
“Our counselors are extremely important,” Cooper said. “They started working on schedules back in March and April and now they’re helping all of our new students to get everything finalized for the year. They’re going to be busy over these next few weeks to make sure all of our students are set up with their classes, especially since we’ll have a lot more kids here.”

“In short, there are more considerations when creating both the master schedule and individual student schedules than most could even imagine,” Sharpe said. “Our students see so many different paths for their futures - from focusing on graduating high school to preparing for the Ivy League college admissions process - and this means our schedule has to be as diverse as those needs.

“This can be a challenge to manage for a small school like Northwest. We really have to stretch our resources and our thinking to come up with creative solutions that ensure we can deliver what’s best for all of our students. Not to mention the fact that our enrollment numbers continue to increase nearly daily. But these are all good problems to have!”
Cooper said Readiness Days events were a good starting point for Lincoln Northwest students. He felt all of the Falcons were ready to soar to successful heights throughout the 2023-24 school year.
“Everybody’s definitely looking forward to the year,” Cooper said. “Our kids are going to do a lot of really good things.”

Published: August 11, 2023, Updated: August 11, 2023

Lincoln Northwest students and staff members were able to exchange bright smiles Aug. 1-2 at Readiness Days. Students visited with guidance counselors, picked up Chromebooks, paid student fees, took tours of the building and took photos for student identification cards.