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EdNotes Express

Lincoln Public Schools Communication Services continues to look for the most effective way to provide you with information.  EdNotes is written and published specifically for the faculty and staff of Lincoln Public Schools.

If you have information you would like to include, please email Mary Kay Roth at mkroth@lps.org.

Highlights of 5/23 Lincoln Board of Education meeting < New

Lincoln Public Schools:

Highlights of 5/23 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, May 9 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next meeting Tuesday, June 133 at 6 p.m.

Refunding 2009 bond series

LPS issued $100 million in general obligation school bonds in 2009, the second series issued for funding a comprehensive ten-year facilities improvement plan.  Bond principal and interest are scheduled to be repaid through January, 2039.   The current bond market may allow for an advanced refunding at a reduced interest rate, resulting in a reduction of debt service payable. 

The Board voted for LPS staff to work with the school district’s financial advisor (Ameritas Investment Corp.), bond counsel (Gilmore & Bell) and general counsel (Perry, Guthery, Haase & Gessford) to finalize refunding if and when the school district decides to proceed. 

“We have done this several times before, relying upon the good advice from the people we work with to make these decisions to the benefit of our taxpayers,” said Don Mayhew, vice president of the Board.  “This is a decision point designed to still take care of our needs, but to reduce the burden of taxpayers…I’m glad this is something we do.” 

Approval will be finalized at the June 13 Board meeting.  

Plan approved for increased help for struggling students

The Board approved an action plan for providing more support to struggling students – a plan that emerged from a comprehensive review and recommendations from the District Management Council (DMGroup).

The collaborative action plan will serve as the working document to guide the future work of the school district related to struggling students with a focus on:

  • Clarify the role of regular education to take primary responsibility for the delivery of core instruction and provide extra time on task for struggling students within the school day.
  • Ensure extra instructional time is provided by a teacher with strong subject-specific training and background.
  • Refine the site-based approach to supporting struggling students by establishing some guarantees for all students and developing a model plan that schools may choose to adopt.
  • Clearly define the approach for providing social-emotional d behavioral supports for students.
  • Refine the role of school based special education coordinators 

Preventing childhood obesity: a step forward

LPS will expand a pilot project now in four middle schools using fitness monitoring watches in physical education classes – to accommodate four additional middle schools. The Board approved application for $25,000 in grant funds from Children’s Hospital in Omaha to purchase additional fitness monitoring watches – allowing LPS to move closer to its goal of a more rigorous and consistent program for all middle school students.

The fitness watches allow students to track their heart rate and level of exertion during PE classes. The students can personalize their learning through activity goal setting, fitness levels and rate of perceived exertion.   In addition to purchasing sets for four schools, the grant will provide resources for professional development for middle school PE staff as well.

Indian Education program  

The Lincoln Public Schools Indian Education program will provide support to Native American students in grades PK-12 in the 2017-18 school year, students enrolled in all schools across LPS representing about 60 tribes. The funding from federal grants specifically for Native American students is $138,292, and decisions regarding the use of these funds are made in consultation with the Native American Advisory Committee. The school district has received federal funds for services for Native American students since the mid-1980’s. 

The U.S. Department of Education provides funds to fulfill the federal government’s responsibility for providing programs that serve Indian children of the highest quality and provide for the unique educational and culturally related academic needs of these children. The purpose of this program is to support American Indian and Alaska Native students in meeting the same challenging state student academic achievement standards as all other students.

Approval will be finalized at the June 13 Board meeting.  

Community Learning Center agreements   

The Board considered approval of partnering organizations for the Community Learning Center sites in schools throughout LPS:  Boys and Girls Club of Lincoln/Lancaster County, Cedars Youth Services, Family Service Association, Lincoln Housing Authority, Lincoln Parks & Recreation, Malone Community Center, Nebraskans for Civic Reform, North Pointe Community Church, Northeast Family Center, Willard Community Center, and YMCA of Lincoln. These organizations provide services to CLCs at a total expenditure of $1,045,992. 

Approval will be finalized at the June 13 Board meeting.   

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 a parcel of land, which automatically brings this property into the district of Lincoln Public Schools.  Grandview Estates 1st Addition, Annexation Ordinance #20483, proposed attendance areas for 2017-18 school year: Wysong Elementary School, Pound Middle School and Lincoln Southeast High School.

Approval will be finalized at the June 13 Board meeting.  

LPS policy

The Board approved policy changes for student fees, and small changes to the 2000 series.

Food purchases

The Board Tuesday considered several major food purchases for the coming school year:

  • Purchase of $950,000 in fresh fruits and vegetables from Greenberg Fruit Co.
  • Purchase of almost $3 million in shelf-stable, refrigerated and frozen food from various vendors.

Approval will be finalized at the June 13 Board meeting.  

Lincoln High and the Lighthouse  

The Board approved an agreement for the 2017-18 school year between LPS and the Lighthouse After School Program – for the Lighthouse to administer an Out of School Suspension (OSS) program available to all Lincoln High School students who are suspended out of school.  The program will include the following services (at no cost to LPS): Students of parents who choose to allow their students to serve their OSS program at the Lighthouse will do all assignments, get a lunch and participate in restorative justice principles.

Superintendent Update

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel Tuesday took a moment to recognize Mary Reiman, director of Library Media Services at LPS, who is retiring this summer. 

“Mary Reiman is a tremendous talent who has dedicated her professional career to Lincoln Public Schools and who has left a tremendous legacy of excellence.  She is decorated nationally, but also, if you walk into any of our media centers you will see the touch she has administered over the years, they are all welcoming places of collaboration and innovation.”   

Student Celebration

The Lincoln Board of Education recognized Lincoln North Star High School senior Kyler Johnson, who has served on LPS Superintendent Steve Joel’s“Weather Team” as an official weather forecaster and storm hunter.

  

Posted on May 23, 2017


Down memory lane...

It's the last week of school and as we countdown to graduation we asked school administrators and Lincoln Public School Board Members to share their senior pictures with us. We hope you enjoy walking down memory lane with us...

Posted on May 21, 2017


Prescott Teacher surprised at school assembly

Congratulations Lindsey Licht and Marcel Jones!

Posted on May 19, 2017


Dates, times and tips for Graduation 2017

The Lincoln Public Schools class of 2017 will celebrate graduation ceremonies on Sunday, May 28 – for all six high schools.

LPS high school graduation ceremonies for 2017 are scheduled as follows:

  • Lincoln Southwest High School, noon, Pinnacle Bank Arena
  • Lincoln Northeast High School, 1:30 p.m., Bob Devaney Sports Center
  • Lincoln North Star High School, 3:00 p.m. Pinnacle
  • Lincoln East High School, 4:30 p.m., Devaney
  • Lincoln High School, 6:00 p.m., Pinnacle
  • Lincoln Southeast High School, 7:30 p.m., Devaney

The Bryan Community Focus Program will hold graduation ceremonies at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, May 25, in the Lincoln East High School auditorium.

Graduation 2017: Details and Tips

For those attending, here are some tips to help ensure you fully enjoy the event: 

  • Be patient. This works with the actual graduation ceremony and all the activities surrounding it:  Friends and family who want those extra pictures, drivers who want in your lane, students who take too long to get ready, and so forth.
  • Traffic could be busy and slow in the downtown areas. Give yourself plenty of time to get to, park and walk to the venue. Doors open one hour prior to the ceremony
  • Identify the best parking places and directions to them (especially those one-way streets).
  • Likewise, arriving too soon could create additional slowdowns as traffic leaving the venue might not have left suitable parking spots. So find the right balance. 
  • Consider not holding a family-and-friends celebration party immediately before or after the graduation ceremony, as it may cause extra stress in trying to get to or leave the venues. 
  • Get creative. Ask other families to consider joint celebrations. Hold your celebration a week ahead of time - or a week after. 
  • Enjoy! This is a once-in-a-lifetime event for our graduating seniors. 

Posted on May 19, 2017


Other Important Benefits Reminders

PayFlex:  If you are enrolled in the flexible spending account (PayFlex), and you are completing the school year, you have until August 31, 2017 to spend your flexible spending account.  You can logon to the PayFlex website, payflex.com and submit claims, check account balance, etc.  The money that you do not use is forfeited!  Don't forget! 
 
Vision Service Plan:  If you have our vision insurance, it is NOT through Blue Cross and Blue Shield....it is Vision Service Plan (VSP).  More information is on the Benefits website.  You will not receive a VSP ID card.  You can locate in-network providers by going to vsp.com.  
 
Changing Benefits:  If you have a Qualifying Event during the school year, make sure to notify Benefits within 30 days.
 
Name Change:  After you have changed your name with the Social Security office, please bring your Social Security card with your new name to Payroll (3rd floor, LPSDO).
 
Address Change:  If you are moving this summer, please update your address in ICE.

 

Posted on May 17, 2017


Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska

If you are a member of the EHA Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plan, check out the Telehealth Services available through BCBS.  Telehealth Services are provided in most states, and you have access to board certified doctors 24/7, 365 days per year for minor health conditions.  To register, you can download the Amwell app from the Apple App Store or Google Play, visit nebraskablue.com/telehealth or call toll free 844-733-3627.  Also, if you are traveling abroad and you have the EHA BCBS Health Plan, you may want to contact GeoBlue which gives members access to elite healthcare providers around the world.  Go to mynebraskablue.com for more information.
 
Summer is a great time to register or revisit Mynebraskablue.com.  The site's "Tools and Resources" includes information about Telehealth, how to find the closest in-network doctor or dentist, shows estimated costs of procedures and services, and includes information on pharmacy benefits; "Who's Covered" shows individual members covered under your plan and dates of service; "My Claims" shows member's deductibles and coinsurance as well as total costs.  You can also download extra ID cards from the site.  You will use your EHN member number from your BCBS ID card to register.
 
If you or your child need braces, summer is a good time to get an estimate with an orthodontist!  If you add Option 4 Dental during the annual enrollment period in August, the effective date is September 1.  Go to the LPS website, type in 'benefits' in keyword search for the Dental Summary of benefits and monthly premiums.

Posted on May 17, 2017


Annual Enrollment Tips

If you are benefit eligible, save these dates!  The annual enrollment is Monday, August 14 to Thursday, August 24, 2017.  Watch your e-mails later this summer for more information and instructions.  Mark your calendar now!

If you need enrollment assistance during the annual enrollment, please attend one of four Benefit Enrollment Help Sessions at LPSDO Lab A, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 16, 2017; Thursday, August 17, 2017; Monday, August 21, 2017; and Tuesday, August 22, 2017.

 

Posted on May 17, 2017


If You Are Retiring This Month -- CONGRATULATIONS!

If you are retiring, are 55 and above, and you have pay for leave (sick leave and/or vacation), you'll want to attend Union Bank's "Upcoming Retirees:  LPS Nonelective 403(b) Plan Orientation" on Monday, June 12 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.  RSVP to Kellee Krick at kellee.krick@ubt.com or call 402-323-1467.  The session will be at Union Bank, 27th and Pine Lake, Lower Level.
 
If you are retiring and have completed your change of status form but have not contacted NPERS (Nebraska Public Employee Retirement System), you need to do so!  Their phone number is 402-471-2053.
 
If you're nearing retirement, summer might be a good time to make an appointment with NPERS, phone 402-471-2053.  You can go to their website, npers.ne.gov and calculate your own retirement benefit estimate.

Posted on May 17, 2017


Highlights of 5/15 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

Lincoln Public Schools:

Highlights of 5/15 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held its annual organizational meeting on Monday May 15 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St.  The Board will hold its next regular meeting on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

 

Highlights of Board Meeting

New officers for LPS

Lanny Boswell will be the new president of the Lincoln Board of Education serving from May 2017 until May 2018, elected at the annual organizational meeting of the Board held Monday.  Don Mayhew was elected as vice president.

 

New officers for ESU No. 18

Annie Mumgaard will be the new president of Educational Service Unit (ESU) No. 18, and Connie Duncan will be vice president.

 

 

Posted on May 15, 2017


'Ragtime' features several LPS students, staff

Various students and staff members of Llincoln Public Schools are performing in 'Ragtime' at the Lincoln Community Playhouse. Learn more on their website.

Students and staff members include: Taylor Sharpe, Myeisha Essex, Abi Shelbourn, Riley Beranek, Sal Diaz-DeBose, Brian Foley, Rebecca Nelson, Lisa Taylor, Abel Ue-Bari, Marie Barrett, Kristen Works, Ashley Peterson, Melissa Casper-Walburn, Kaedyn Campbell, Kent Steen.

Posted on May 15, 2017


May LPS Learning Lunch: World Drumming  

Just listen for the drum beat – to find the May Lincoln Public Schools Learning Lunch, set for Tuesday, May 16, in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St. 

This is the first year for a World Drumming class at Lincoln High School, so we will feature the learning outcomes from both the teacher and student perspective – as well as experience the joy of a drum circle.  You’ll hear from Lance Nielsen, supervisor of Music for LPS, music teachers Jill Oetken and Mark Irvin, and student performances from Irving Middle School and Lincoln High.  

Doors to the Board Room open at noon, the program begins at 12:15 p.m., questions-and-answers happen at 12:45 p.m. Please bring your own lunch – we’ll provide dessert – participants will be invited to play in a drum circle.  Learning Lunches offer “Untold Stories” of our schools, open to LPS staff and the Lincoln community.

Don't miss the beat, as this is the last LPS Learning Lunch of the school year.  Please watch for details of our upcoming Learning Lunch schedule to be announced this summer.

 

 

Posted on May 15, 2017


New principal announced for Belmont Elementary School

Kim Rosenthal, currently the assistant principal at Belmont Elementary School, will serve as the new principal at Belmont, according to an announcement Wednesday.

"We are excited to have Kim transition to the principalship at Belmont Elementary School," said Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at Lincoln Public Schools. "Kim has a strong background in instructional leadership, including special education."

Rosenthal has been the assistant principal at Belmont since 2015, and prior to that was special education coordinator at Belmont, coordinator at Brownell Elementary School, special education coordinator and teacher at Humann Elementary School.

She has earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Doane College.

Posted on May 10, 2017


LPS honored by United Way

Lincoln Public Schools was honored Wednesday by the United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County for having the largest increase in the category of: Giving at the "Leadership" level ($500 or more) during the 2016 campaign - for organizations with more than 250 employees. LPS tied with Duncan Aviation for the honor. 

 

 

Posted on May 10, 2017


Lincoln Public Schools: Highlights of 5/9 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

Lincoln Public Schools:  Highlights of 5/9 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, May 9 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next meeting Tuesday, May 23 at 6 p.m.

Plans for increased help for struggling students

More help for Lincoln Public Schools struggling students is planned and was further discussed at the Tuesday Lincoln Board of Education meeting – a proposed action plan coming out of a comprehensive review and recommendations from the District Management Council (DMGroup).

“We’ve had many opportunities to review this and now we are ready to go to work,” said Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS.  The Board will vote final approval at the May 23 meeting.

The proposed collaborative action plan would serve as the working document to guide the future work of the school district related to struggling students with a focus on:

  • Clarify the role of regular education to take primary responsibility for the delivery of core instruction and provide extra time on task for struggling students within the school day.
  • Ensure extra instructional time is provided by a teacher with strong subject-specific training and background.
  • Refine the site-based approach to supporting struggling students by establishing some guarantees for all students and developing a model plan that schools may choose to adopt.
  • Clearly define the approach for providing social-emotional d behavioral supports for students.
  • Refine the role of school based special education coordinators

Some suggested parts of the action plan would include: 

  • Begin developing foundation courses specific to core areas of instruction that will expand to K-12 staff members to support struggling students at all levels – and identify pilot sites at each level to implement new foundation level courses.
  • Investigate current LPS practices for extended learning time and collaborative planning practices. Begin developing models to allow for extended learning time and collaborative planning practices.
  • Focus group will review best practices and current practices within LPS to identify academic needs for students. Focus group will determine common assessment methods for identifying students in need of additional learning time in grades K-12
  • Assess current level of fidelity and effectiveness of PBIS using outcome data, self-assessment survey and benchmarking goals.
  • Review research on best practices related to optimum ratios for mental health services.
  • Develop plans that include designated and embedded time for teaching multi-tiered curriculum to address social/emotional learning and supports.
  • Provide specialized, research-based professional learning opportunities to support interventions that address specific areas of need (i.e. trauma, anxiety, substance abuse).
  • Analyze current capacity for accessing usable data to determine areas of need.
  • Develop a network of support by level that allows for peer observation, transition planning and ongoing resources and collaboration.
  • Identify potential sites that might serve as hosts for ED/Life Skills clustered programming.
  • Analyze and align current building administrative / coordinator roles and establish criteria for equitable level of support and compensation.
Grant to help prevent childhood obesity

LPS would like to expand a pilot project it has been conducting in four middle schools this year using fitness monitoring watches in physical education classes. By using $25,000 in grant funds from Children’s Hospital in Omaha – to purchase additional fitness monitoring watches that will accommodate four more middle schools – LPS will be able to move closer to its goal of a more rigorous and consistent program for all middle school students. 

The fitness monitor watches allow students to track their heart rate and level of exertion during PE classes. The students can personalize their learning through activity goal setting, fitness levels and rate of perceived exertion.   In addition to purchasing sets for four schools, the grant will provide resources for professional development around the use and implementation for middle school PE staff as well.

Three years ago Children's created Preventing Childhood Obesity Community Grants to harness the strength of community partners and touch as many young lives as possible. In 2016, Children’s opened the Center for the Child and Community in Lincoln, which opened up this grant competition to Lincoln organizations.  This year, Children’s will award grants to non-profit partners in Omaha and Lincoln, equipping them to improve the health and lives of children.

The Board will vote final approval at the May 23 meeting.

Approval of 2018-19 school calendar

The Board approved the calendar for the 2018-19 school year which includes the following highlights:

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

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.  The Board Tuesday 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. 

LPS policy

The Board considered policy changes for student fees, and small changes to the 2000 series. They will vote final approval at the May 23 meeting.

Community Health Endowment of Lincoln  

Lori Seibel, president and CEO of the Community Health Endowment of Lincoln, presented a series of maps that analyze some demographic trends in Lincoln – starting with a map of life expectancy throughout the community. 

“Life expectancy can vary by 20 years according to where you live,” Seibel said, showing a map of Lincoln that illustrated how life expectancy varies from neighborhood to neighborhood in the community.  “If you drive south on O street you see life expectancy get higher and higher.”

She spoke to related issues to life expectancy that can be mapped, such as:  

  • Poverty, “the driving force of so many things that happen,” Seibel said, noting that “poverty is not just happening in one place in Lincoln.”
  • Childhood obesity: Seibel said they have achieved decreasing childhood obesity in Lincoln, however, there is uneven success across Lincoln.
  • Mental health (police calls related to a mental health crisis) is also related to where you live.
  • Access to health care, cancer deaths, asthma – all health issues that are related to poverty and geographic locations.

“I look upon this as another tool our school district can use as we look toward the future,” said Board member Annie Mumgaard.

Staff celebration

The Lincoln Board of Education recognized:

  • Camelle Kinney, Lincoln North Star High School Family and Consumer Science Teacher, named Family and Consumer Science Teacher of the Year by the Nebraska Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.
  • The tenth annual BackPack Extra Mile program, that raised more than $188,000 this year for the BackPack program – a record number. Top fundraising schools, in three categories, were: Lincoln East High School, Lux Middle School and Maxey Elementary School.  A special Board honor was presented to Shari Styskal, director of Budget at LPS – and the woman who has coordinated the fund-raiser for all ten years.

 

 

Posted on May 09, 2017


US Navy Band to perform at LSW May 4

America's Navy is coming to Lincoln, Nebraska, one of 18 cities in eight states to host a performance by the United States Navy Band during its 2017 tour -- one of the signature outreach programs of the U.S. Navy. The United States Navy Band Sea Chanters performance is scheduled for May 4, 2017, at 7 p.m. at Lincoln Southwest High School. 
 
The U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters is the official chorus of America’s Navy. The ensemble performs a variety of music ranging from traditional choral music, including sea chanteys and patriotic fare, to opera, Broadway, and contemporary music.
 
The Sea Chanters chorus is frequently found at the center of high-profile national events. At home in Washington, the group performs for the president, vice president, and numerous congressional, military and foreign dignitaries. One of the U.S. Navy Band’s primary responsibilities involves touring the country. All of the band’s primary performing units embark each year on concert tours throughout specified regions of the country, allowing the band to reach out to audiences in areas of the country that do not have opportunities to see the Navy's premier musical ensembles on a regular basis.
 
The concerts are family-friendly events, meant to be entertaining to veterans, families, individuals and those interested in joining the Navy.
All Navy Band performances are FREE and open to the public.
 
If you or someone you know is interested in getting FREE tickets to the concert, please contact the Theatre Box Office at 402-436-1335 and you can leave a voicemail as well.
 

Posted on May 03, 2017


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.

 



Posted on April 26, 2017


New principals announced

Congratulations to two Lincoln Public Schools administrators who have new positions as principals of elementary schools:

  • Polly Bowhay will be the new principal at Kloefkorn Elementary School.
  • Amy Clark will be the new principal at Adams Elementary School. 

Jane Stavem associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS: “We are fortunate to have strong leaders who are ready to assume these new positions for the 2017-18 school year.  Both Polly and Amy understand what great instruction looks like, and care deeply about students and families, and we know our schools and school district will continue to thrive under their leadership.”  

Eric Weber, associate superintendent for Human Resources at LPS:

  • “Amy has established herself as a well-respected and passionate leader as assistant principal at Adams. It will be a distinct advantage to have her stepping into the role of principal with her strong understanding of the Adams students, staff, parents and community.”

  • “Polly is an excellent veteran Lincoln Public Schools principal with a wealth of experiences as an administrator. Her passion for helping each student reach his or her maximum potential and her high expectations drive the work she does on a daily basis.” 

Polly Bowhay

Polly Bowhay is currently principal at Belmont Elementary School, and was previously assistant principal at both Adams and Hawthorne elementary schools, and coordinator and teacher at Fredstrom Elementary School.  She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her Master’s Degree from Doane College.

Amy Clark

Amy Clark is currently the assistant principal at Adams Elementary School, and was previously coordinator, team leader and teacher at Sheridan Elementary School   She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and is working toward her Education Specialist Degree from Doane College.

 

Posted on April 21, 2017


LPSAOP helps at the FoodBank

The members of the Lincoln Public Schools Association of Office Professionals served at The Food Bank of Lincoln. 13 volunteers bagged 5,600-pounds of apples and oranges for area distribution. It was a fun night of serving and fellowship, thank you to all who made this a great success.

Posted on April 12, 2017


Lincoln Public Schools:Highlights of 4/11 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, April 11 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next meeting Tuesday, April 25 at 6 p.m.

Board approves pilot partnership program with Indian Center Inc.

The Lincoln Board of Education Tuesday approved a three-year pilot program and partnership with the Indian Center Inc. – to provide academic support and incentive for Native American students to graduate from high school. 

This program aligns with several basic Lincoln Public Schools goals:

  • Increase the high school graduation rate.
  • Partner with community groups to provide academic support for our students.

The Indian Center Inc. will offer the following opportunities for LPS Native American students:

  • Reinforce homework.
  • Goal setting.
  • Rewarding academic success. 

Students who meet the following criteria are eligible to wear eagle feathers on their graduation caps as a reward incentive:

  • They will graduate from high school.
  • They are self-identified as Native American.
  • They have partnered with the Indian Center Inc. and fulfilled the appropriate requirements.

Barb Baier, a member of the Lincoln Board of Education, explained that Native American students are the group that struggle the most in graduating on time – and this is true nationally as well.  “I’m very appreciative to our Board and staff for doing this important work…honoring a very important cultural tradition and linking it to our students’ academic success.”

Board President Don Mayhew praised Baier for all her work on this program: “This is a super neat idea.” 

This program provides an academic incentive – related to additional recognition on graduation attire – much like LPS currently offers other students through programs such as Thespians and the National Honors Society.

LPS will monitor this program over three years and review.

Superintendent evaluation changed

The Lincoln Board of Education Tuesday approved changes in the evaluation of the LPS superintendent, an evaluation prepared annually by the Board.  The modifications were made to ensure the annual evaluation procedures better facilitate the process and conform to current practice.

Name confirmed for Professional Learning Facility/Nutrition Services Facility

The renovated LPS facility at 710 Hill St. – with two separate sections – now has two official names: The Don Clifton Professional Learning Center (for the south main entrance and the staff development section); and the Nutrition Services Distribution Center (for the east side for the section that will house LPS food storage). 

The Board voted approval of the two names Tuesday, following a recommendation from a community naming committee.

The renovated facility will have two major uses:

  • For Professional Learning: LPS is committed to high-quality professional learning opportunities for all staff.  The facility will house a large professional learning space, smaller classrooms and conference room settings to meet the various needs of staff.
  • For Nutrition Services:  The facility will house the freezer, cooler, dry storage and support offices that facilitate distribution of food to school sites district-wide. On any given day, the LPS Nutrition Services program serves 7,200 breakfasts, 26,400 lunches, 3,200 snacks and 150 dinners. In total over seven million dollars of food will be distributed through this facility each year.

The Board thanked the people who served on the community naming committee: the seven community members Nick Dean, Brendan Evans, Susan Musick, Tom Rempel, Becki Wise, Cindy Ryman Yost and Kelly Zoz; and the three Board members Kathy Danek, chair; Don Mayhew and Matt Schulte.

New elementary math curriculum materials considered

The Board considered purchase of new Math Expression curriculum materials – a blend of printed and digital resources – for LPS elementary school students. 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. 

The Board heard a recommendation of purchasing $4.1 million of materials from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Math Expressions curriculum materials to be used at all elementary locations beginning the 2017-18 school year.  This purchase includes a digital subscription and a workbook subscription that will replace the yearly purchase of workbooks for K-2 for the next seven years.

The Board will vote final approval April 25.

Belmont construction work

The Board approved the selection of Sampson Construction Company for the $7.6 million project to fulfill the Belmont Elementary School Indoor Air Quality construction project.  The project will consist of Indoor Air Quality Improvements and be multiple phased.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on April 11, 2017



April LPS Learning Lunch: All That Shines Isn’t Chrome

All That Shines Isn’t Chrome – is the focus of the April Lincoln Public Schools Learning Lunch, set for Tuesday, April 25, in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St.

The presentation will feature Kirk Langer, chief technology officer at LPS, inviting you to come learn about why LPS decided to purchase Chromebooks for students – and how the Chromebooks are being used as a tool for learning.

Doors to the Board Room open at noon, the program begins at 12:15 p.m., questions-and-answers happen at 12:45 p.m. Please bring your own lunch – we’ll provide dessert. 

Learning Lunches are generally held on the last Tuesday of the month, offering “Untold Stories” of our schools. They are open to LPS staff and the Lincoln community.

Remaining in the 2016-17 season:

  • Tuesday, May 16. World Drumming, a Cultural Experience, Lance Nielsen, supervisor of Music for LPS, notes this is the first year for a World Drumming class at Lincoln High School.  Come hear the learning outcomes from both the teacher and student perspective and experience the joy of a drum circle.

Posted on April 11, 2017


Thinking about a career as a school librarian?

The University of Nebraska Omaha has funds from the Nebraska Department of Education's 2017-2018 Enhancing Excellence in Teaching (EETP) award to support your journey towards a school library endorsement in its nationally recognized graduate school library endorsement program.  The award would pay for classes during Fall 2017/Spring 2018/Summer 2018 academic year.
 
If you love teaching with books, literature and technology tools to engage your students in reading, research and inquiry, consider this endorsement.
 
UNO courses are offered in a family-friendly and work-friendly format that combines online experiences with on-campus sessions which allows students from all over Nebraska and the Midwest to join this wonderful profession.
 
Questions?   Contact Dr. Becky Pasco at rpasco@unomaha.edu or at 402-580-5480.

Posted on April 03, 2017


LPS announces new director of Curriculum and Instruction

Takako Olson, currently associate principal at Lincoln Southeast High School, has been named the new director of Curriculum and Instruction for Lincoln Public Schools.

"We are pleased to welcome Takako to this position," said Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS. "We believe her skills and experience are a great fit for this new role."

Olson has served in her current position since 2010, and prior to that was Instructional Coordinator at Southeast, and English Language Learner Program Team Leader and ELL teacher at Elliott Elementary School. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Concordia College, and her Master’s Degree from Doane University.  She is also enrolled in the Education Specialist Degree Program at Doane. 

Jadi Miller, currently curriculum director at LPS, is leaving the school district for a district position at Elkhorn Public Schools.

Posted on March 31, 2017


Lincoln Public School: Highlights of 3/28 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, March 28 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next meeting Tuesday, April 10 at 6 p.m.

Changes in superintendent evaluation

Annually, an evaluation of the Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent is prepared by the Lincoln Board of Education – along with leadership goals/job targets – and Tuesday the Board considered some modifications in the annual evaluation procedures to better facilitate the process and to conform to current practice.

Don Mayhew, president of the Board of Education, called the newly proposed evaluation instrument more meaningful and streamlined. “The point of having an evaluation is having a conversation with the superintendent, where all Board members get a chance to be heard…and where we provide meaningful feedback to the superintendent.”

He said the proposed changes also allow Board members to give specific examples of how the superintendent excels or can improve, “and a leader cannot improve unless they fully understand.”

Mayhew stressed that the changes have nothing to do with the current or previous superintendents, “but we are trying to answer the question: What is the best evaluation tool?”

There were also policy updates suggested that are related to proposed changes in the evaluation tool

Board member Barb Baier opposed removing a section related to personal traits: “I think we need to remember that this evaluation must work for when we have a great superintendent, like Dr. Joel, as well as when we may not have a great superintendent.”

The Board will vote final approval at the April 10 meeting.

Naming Professional Learning Facility and Nutrition Services Facility

The renovated Lincoln Public Schools facility at 710 Hill St. – which has two separate sections – will likely carry two names: The Don Clifton Professional Learning Center (for the south main entrance and the staff development section); and the Nutrition Services Distribution Center (for the east side for the section that will house LPS food storage). 

A community committee – made up of seven community members and three Board of Education members – passed on that recommendation to the full Board Tuesday evening. The school district solicited suggestions from the community, and the Community Committee reviewed those ideas and more.

The renovated facility will have two major uses:

  • For Professional Learning: LPS is committed to high-quality professional learning opportunities for all staff.  The facility will house a large professional learning space, smaller classrooms and conference room settings to meet the various needs of staff.
  • For Nutrition Services:  The facility will house the freezer, cooler, dry storage and support offices that facilitate distribution of food to school sites district-wide. On any given day, the LPS Nutrition Services program serves 7,200 breakfasts, 26,400 lunches, 3,200 snacks and 150 dinners. In total over seven million dollars of food will be distributed through this facility each year.

Kathy Danek, the Board of Education member who chaired the Naming Committee, noted that Don Clifton exhibited a passion for professional learning and development of individual strengths.  He was an authentic leader who valued people and inspired success.  The Clifton philosophy aligns well with the learning mission of LPS and this innovative space for all of our staff. 

The seven community members on the committee are: Nick Dean, Brendan Evans, Susan Musick, Tom Rempel, Becki Wise, Cindy Ryman Yost and Kelly Zoz.  The three Board members are: Kathy Danek, chair; Don Mayhew and Matt Schulte.

The Board will vote final approval at the April 10 meeting.

Belmont construction work

The Board heard a recommendation that Sampson Construction Company be chosen for the $7.6 million project to fulfill the Belmont Elementary School Indoor Air Quality construction project.  The project will consist of Indoor Air Quality Improvements and be multiple phased. 

Policy changes: Community Relations/Advertising

The Board approved minor changes to Community Relations/Advertising Board Policy 1112 which sets guidelines for advertising and promotional items in schools.

Update from Prosper Lincoln/Early Childhood

The Board Tuesday heard an update from Prosper Lincoln representatives focusing on the goal of Early Childhood – one of the three pillars chosen as the major objectives of the group.

The presentation included LPS Superintendent Steve Joel, as well as Michelle Suarez and Marjorie Kostelnik, two community members who are working on strategies to achieve the goal of: All children are kindergarten ready. 

Kostelnik commended LPS for their support for high quality early education: “Children are born learning…They are hardwired to learn from the moment they appear…But some children have more opportunities, more experiences than other children, to make the most of that potential…Early childhood education is one thing that contributes to children getting the most out of those early years.”

By the time children arrive in kindergarten, Kostelnik continued, “some children already have grown up with fewer of those early opportunities that contribute to brain development. Some children are in more sterile environments, some in more chaotic environments…and those children often have less early brain development.”

Early childhood experiences in children’s lives make a difference, she said.  “ The actions of this School Board speak to the fact that you get early childhood…We are here to say thank you for recognizing the value of early children…and to tell you that we are eager to partner with you…to expand the opportunities children have for early experiences.”  

Background:  Prosper Lincoln is bringing together people from across our community to make our city even better. Using the findings from Lincoln Vital Signs as a starting point, community-wide discussions were held
to help set priorities and establish a community agenda for positive change.

Michelle Suarez thanked the superintendent and school district leaders for all their support and commitment to early childhood – and offered an update on the strategies related to the pillar of Early Childhood:

Educate • Educate the general public through a media campaign about what healthy early childhood development is and why high quality early childhood programs are important.  (Vision: All Lincoln residents know the critical importance of the first years of life.)

Educate • Promote high quality early childhood programs as a community asset.  (Vision: We see our investment in early childhood as an investment in the future health and prosperity of our community.)

Educate • Support and Promote Read Aloud 15 Minutes campaign educating the general public about the importance of reading to young children from birth. (Vision: More children are read aloud to every day to ensure literacy for all. Nationally, less than half of children are read aloud to every day.)

Advocate • Create an Early Childhood Business Roundtable to build awareness and advocacy of the importance of high quality programs that support healthy child development and learning. (Vision: Business leaders become champions of early childhood to serve the current workforce as they invest in the future workforce.)

Advocate • Identify and connect groups to create a comprehensive Early Childhood Network to promote coordination and advocacy that focuses on the whole child. (Vision: We are planting the seeds of collective impact-common agenda, shared measures, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication and backbone support.

Transform • Expand access and availability of high quality early childhood programs for children birth to age 8 and ensure affordability to families. (Vision: We are expanding capacity so that all children have access to affordable and healthy childhood development and learning opportunities.)

Transform • Support families in providing children with high quality early learning opportunities and experiences in healthy environments.  (Vision: Families have what they need to ensure their children have what they need to thrive.)

Transform • Create community expectation that all environments become geared to children and offer opportunities for learning. (Vision: We design events and places so that children have stimulating learning experiences at all venues.) 

Staff Celebration

The Board honored and recognized:

  • Lance Nielsen, supervisor of music curriculum, for his induction into the Nebraska Music Educators Hall of Fame.
  • Denise Cotton, chair of the music department at Lincoln Southwest High School, named the Outstanding Music Educator for the year 2016-17 by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Student Celebration

The month of March is officially Music in Our Schools Month and in honor of that celebration the Lincoln Board of Education invited the Lincoln North Star High School String Nonet. North Star music teacher and Nonet director is Rob Salistean.

North Star students performing in the group are:

  • Violin: Kasey Dunaski, Brittany Pfoltner, Sean Lebita and Maia Bryan.
  • Viola: Hannah Ross and Samantha Lamborn.
  • Cello: Eli Bryan and Cassidy Warta.
  • Bass: Madison Miller.

 

 

Posted on March 28, 2017


Help welcome home Vietnam Veterans on May 1

The Nebraska Vietnam Veterans Flight on May 1, will take 650 Vietnam veterans on four planes to D.C. to visit the Vietnam Wall and other sites. Largest group of Vietnam veterans from one state to ever visit the Wall.
 
The planes will return to the Lincoln Airport between 8-9 pm, and you are invited to be part of the Homecoming crowd welcoming the Vietnam veterans home.

Posted on March 24, 2017



Jon Gordon, the best-selling author of “The Energy Bus” at Devaney

On Saturday, April 29th the Cornhusker Council is hosting Jon Gordon, the best-selling author of “The Energy Bus”, for a free special event open to all those that work with, teach, coach and mentor our community’s youth. The only cost of admission is the suggested donation of one non-perishable food item for the Big Idea’s community-wide food drive benefitting the Food Bank of Lincoln.

Seating is limited, so reserve your free ticket today by following this link:  Jon Gordon Event 

Jon Gordon’s books and talks have inspired readers and audiences around the world. His principles have been put to the test by numerous NFL, NBA and MLB coaches and teams, Fortune 500 Companies, school districts, hospitals and nonprofits. Jon has actually worked with coaches and student athletes at the University of Nebraska for the past several years.

This FREE event is on Saturday, April 29th at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. It starts at 5pm, and the doors of the Bob Devaney Sports Center will open at 3:30pm.

While this event is free, the only payment we ask is the suggested donation of an item for our food drive, that will benefit the Food Bank of Lincoln.

Reserve Your Spot Today!

Please contact Jason Anderson at 402-413-9244 or Jason.Anderson@Scouting.org with any questions

Posted on March 22, 2017


10-year plan advances the conversation about current and future schools

The Lincoln Board of Education held a work session on Monday, March 20, at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St., focusing on the 10-year Facilities and Infrastructure Plan.

In light of significant growth at Lincoln Public Schools – especially over the past decade – the Lincoln Board of Education Monday continued the conversation aboutupdating what is called the 10-year Facilities and Infrastructure Plan – looking ahead to the facility needs of the school district in the coming years.

“This document is about many things, but mostly it is about dramatic growth in our community and our school district – and making sure there is broad community understanding,” said Scott Wieskamp, director of Operations at LPS.  “Our challenge is trying not to over-build, but to position ourselves well for growth. I believe we have done an excellent job of that in the past.”

The presentation and discussion are only the beginning of a long and intensive community-wide discussion – beginning with the clear and consistent message of growth, said Liz Standish, associate superintendent for Business Affairs. The 10-year plan is an important document, as it identifies priorities for facilities and infrastructure, guiding the development of schools, additions, renovations, infrastructure and more.

“This plan is not just about tomorrow,” Wieskamp told the Board.  “This is about years down the road – perhaps what is happening in our community in 30, 40, 50 years…This kind of long-range planning is really critical…and that is where your vision is so important.”

To prepare the document, school officials analyze enrollment trends, student demographics, growth – and, of course, they coordinate their plans with the city’s comprehensive plan, according to David Cary, the city Planning director, who also addressed the Board 

“We are one community, one school district,” Cary stressed.  “We believe we all have better decision making when it comes to a long-term vision in our community – when the city and school district work together.” 

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel asked Cary: Where is the growth coming from? 

Cary said the answer is a combination of many factors:

  • Historically Lincoln has been attracting more former residents from rural areas.
  • Demographics indicate that people in Lincoln feel good about having families and babies.
  • There is a positive net migration from out of state and out of country.
  • Lincoln is the flagship university campus and the state capitol.
  • The community has a robust economy with technology – with the momentum of the silicon prairie.

With that growth, the city and school district are particularly looking at what are called the hot spot development areas of Lincoln – and growth and capacity at schools in those areas.  Currently LPS is utilizing 85 percent of capacity at elementary schools, 97 percent of middle school space and 106 percent of high school space – but, of course, inevitably the populations of students are not evenly distributed among schools.   

Particularly pointing to the high school issue, Board member Matt Schulte said he believed this would be “a significant conversation…There is no one place on that map we can build one school and solve the issues…We really need to dive into this – sooner than later.”

Board member Kathy Danek urged the city and school district to make sure they track where kids are moving and not just developments and houses. 

Board member Barb Baier suggested the school district look beyond the question of location – but consider “a multi-faceted approach that meets the unique needs of student in high schools…accommodating unique family structures…And by that I mean our students should have more opportunity for e-learning, and a lot more variety of when classes are occurring, including evenings…We need to meet the educational needs of students.”   

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel noted: “The beauty of this process is that we have some time to think about this…This is the invitation that Boards regard highly…to think about things differently…But at the end of the day this is about community satisfaction.”

Board President Don Mayhew said he believes the key word for LPS over the next few words will be innovation.  “All options will be on the table….I think we will be seriously thinking about what it means to deliver curriculum at Lincoln Public Schools.  I find that very exciting.  We are right on the edge of coming up with something new.” 

Connie Duncan, vice president of the Board, said she believes that “now is the time we all need to listen to our constituents and make sure we are doing what our community wants…Now is the time that we can be the leaders in something innovative and out of the box.”

Board member Lanny Boswell explained that “ultimately we’ll need another community group to consider all these suggestions.”

In an early draft of updating the 10-year plan, LPS staff members are suggesting four new elementary schools, two new middle schools and possible new high school space – as part of the next decade at Lincoln Public Schools. In fact, the 10-year document draft identifies more than $486 million in facility and infrastructure unfunded needs in the school district, including:

  • Four elementary schools added to almost every quadrant of the city: south, southeast, northeast and northwest Lincoln (at a cost of about $20 million per elementary school).
  • Two middle schools added to: south and northeast Lincoln (at a cost of about $42 million per school).
  • Adding high school space in some form (such as a traditional high school, which costs about $79 million, and/or high school focus programs, e-learning, other high school concepts and programs).
  • Renovations to accommodate changing curriculum at existing middle and high schools.
  • Extensive renovations and additions of geothermal heating/cooling at Everett Elementary School and Park Middle School.
  • Potential accommodation for early childhood additions at LPS.

Other “tiers” of needs include:

  • Significant updates and renovations at Campbell, Cavett, Maxey and Roper elementary schools, as well as Lux and Scott middle schools.
  • Various renovations at Lincoln High, Lincoln East, Lincoln Northeast and Lincoln Southeast high schools.
  • A variety of additions and renovations to 10 elementary schools and six middle schools.
  • Adding an eight-lane swimming pool to Lincoln East High (the only LPS high school without an eight-lane competitive pool).
  • A weight room addition to Lincoln Southeast.
  • An indoor/outdoor activities/athletics fieldhouse facility for practice (not a competitive arena) serving LPS staff and students.
  • Completing a data center/generator at LPS District Office.
  • Replacing the Yankee Hill facility, which houses high school students with behavior needs.

The Plan also includes a potential $38 million in infrastructure costs that includes items such as roof replacement, windows, flooring, basics in playground equipment, parking lot paving, etc.

 

 

Posted on March 21, 2017


TCA culinary teams take top three spots

The Career Academy culinary competition teams placed first, second and third at the State ProStart competition held March 4. The senior team of Katelyn Elliott, Hunter Johnson, Billy Le and Scott Meyer placed first, earning their team the opportunity to compete during the National ProStart Invitational in Charleston, South Carolina on April 28-30.  

Second place team members included Krystal Donahoo, Tessa Mariscal, Gary Silva Mendoza and Sagan Smith. Third place team members included Corbin Reinhardt, Morgan Rief, Francisco Chavira and Raquel Balderas.

Posted on March 20, 2017


March LPS Learning Lunch: Enriching the human experience with visual art

Visual Art: Enriching the Human Experience – is the focus of the March Lincoln Public Schools Learning Lunch, set for Tuesday, March 28, in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St.

The presentation will feature Lorinda Rice, curriculum specialist for Visual Arts for LPS, inviting you to learn how high-quality art education can prepare students for learning in a visual age and into the future.

Doors to the Board Room open at noon, the program begins at 12:15 p.m., questions-and-answers happen at 12:45 p.m. Please bring your own lunch – we’ll provide dessert. 

Learning Lunches are generally held on the last Tuesday of the month, offering “Untold Stories” of our schools. They are open to LPS staff and the Lincoln community. 

Remaining in the 2016-17 season:

  • Tuesday, April 25. All That Shines Isn’t Chrome, Kirk Langer, chief technology officer at LPS, invites you to come learn about why LPS decided to purchase Chromebooks for students – and how the Chromebooks are being used as a tool for learning.
  • Tuesday, May 16. World Drumming, a Cultural Experience, Lance Nielsen, supervisor of Music for LPS, notes this is the first year for a World Drumming class at Lincoln High School.  Come hear the learning outcomes from both the teacher and student perspective and experience the joy of a drum circle.

Posted on March 17, 2017


Heminger honored as World Language Outstanding Teacher of the Year

Cara Heminger - a French teacher at Lincoln North Star High School - has been named World Language Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the Nebraska Foreign Language Teachers Association.

Heminger was recognized in Chicago at the Central States Conference on Teaching Foreign Languages. 

Posted on March 16, 2017


LYS invites alumni for special concert

The Lincoln Youth Symphony invites all former LYS members to join them for the 60th Anniversary Concert at 3 p.m., Sunday, April 9, at Lincoln East High School. The alumni are welcome to bring an instrument and join on stage for a performance of “Les Toreadors” from Bizet’s Carmen Suite No. 1. There will be a brief rehearsal at 2:15 p.m.m that day on stage.  Also on the program are 

Also on the program are Prelude to Die Meistersinger by Wagner, the final movement of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5 (“Reformation”), the Lancaster Overture by Paul Whear, a piece commissioned by LYS in 1964, and performances by two Senior Soloists, trumpeter Jonah Kelly and violinist Grace Pugh. The concert is free, and will be followed by a reception.

Posted on March 13, 2017


LPS names new principals for the 2017-18 school year

Lincoln Public Schools is pleased to announce five new elementary principals for the school district for the 2017-18 school year.

Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS said, “In Lincoln Public Schools we are fortunate to have committed leaders who care about student achievement and providing a quality education in every school. We are excited to welcome these new administrators and look forward to the energy and ideas they will bring to their schools.”

“We are thrilled about the new group of Lincoln Public Schools elementary principals,” added Eric Weber, associate superintendent for Human Resources at LPS. “Each of them brings a wealth of knowledge and experience within LPS as well as energy and excitement to lead in a new setting. We know they will build upon the legacy already established in each building and continue the pursuit of excellence for their students.”

The new principals are:

Arnold Elementary School: Jodi Frager

Jodi Frager is currently the associate principal at Dawes Middle School, and has served in that position since 2011. Frager started at LPS in 2009 as part of the Goodrich at Dawes Middle School team. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Nebraska. Frager obtained her Administrative Certificate from the University of Nebraska, her Masters of Arts in School Counseling from Central Missouri State University, and her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Nebraska.
 

Brownell Elementary School: Kelly Apel

Kelly Apel has served as the associate principal at Goodrich Middle School since 2011. She has also worked at Clinton Elementary as associate principal, and Park Middle School as instructional coordinator and teacher. Apel obtained her Masters of Education from Doane College, her Bachelor of Science in Education from Peru State College, and a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa.
 

Eastridge Elementary School: Traci Boothe

Traci Boothe has been the coordinator at Eastridge Elementary School since 2013. Boothe has worked in Special Education from 2009 - 2013, and taught at Clinton Elementary from 1993 - 2009. She has obtained her Masters of Education in Educational Leadership and in Curriculum and Instruction from Doane College, and her Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.
 

Pershing Elementary School: Jamie Cook

Jamie Cook has served as the Coordinator at Sheridan Elementary School since 2015. Prior to that, she was the Instructional Coach at Elliott Elementary from 2013-15, and taught with LPS since 2006 serving Elliott and Belmont Elementary Schools. Cook obtained her Master of Education in Educational Leadership in 2014, and her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 2006.
 

Saratoga Elementary School: Annette Bushaw

Annette Bushaw is currently the coordinator at Randolph Elementary School and has been since 2011. Prior to her position at Randolph, she served as a resource teacher at Clinton Elementary School from 2001-2011. Bushaw obtained her Master of Educational Leadership from Doane College, her Master of Elementary Special Education from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, and her Bachelor of Science at Peru State College.

 

Everyone will begin their new duties on July 1, 2017. Congratulations to our new principals!

Posted on March 10, 2017


Women in Science Panel Discussion

Thursday, March 9 | 6:00-7:30pm

Women in Science Panel Discussion at Morrill Hall

6:00-6:30pm - social time with light refreshments

6:30-7:30pm - panel discussion

The Nebraska Section of the American Chemical Society presents a panel discussion on the challenges and rewards of being a woman scientist. Five women discuss their story and path becoming scientists and specifically, chemists.

Panelists:

Kiyomi Deards, Associate Professor, UNL Libraries

Moriah Locklear, Chemistry Graduate Student and Past President of PLU

Teresa Urlacher, Scientist, LiCor Biosciences

Moderator: Martha Morton, Director of Research Instrumentation

Posted on March 09, 2017


Tourette Syndrome Workshop

Posted on March 09, 2017


Make Retirement Savings a priority in 2017

It is important to get all the information you possibly can before taking such a major step in your life and to make good decisions in your early years.  So whether you're close to retiring or are 10, 15 or 20 years away, this "Retirement 101" seminar is for you! 
 
Nebraska Public Employees Retirement System (NPERS) will present an overview of the school's retirement plan. 
 
There will also be information on Social Security, an overview of the LPS 403(b) Retirement Plans, a presentation on estate planning, and more!

Saturday, April 1, LPSDO Board Room:   9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

The workshop is sponsored by Union Bank & Trust and is exclusively for Lincoln Public Schools employees and spouses.

Please register by calling or emailing Kellee Krick: 402-323-1467, Kellee.krick@ubt.com.  Don't delay - this seminar will fill up fast!

Posted on March 09, 2017


Students helping students register to vote

Students in an Advanced Placement Government and Politics class at Lincoln North Star High School took extra measures to help their classmates perform their civic duty. They trained with the Lancaster County chief deputy election commissioner to become fully deputized registrars, allowing them to officially register voters in the state of Nebraska.

“They are official registrars for the state. They will be able to register people across the state forever,” said Jace Alhberg, North Star social studies teacher.

After becoming official registrars, they held a one-day event to try to get as many new voters registered as possible.

“Today I’ve help a Government and Politics class during fourth period, so about 25 people in that class. And so far five here,” commented Camryn, a senior.

Fellow senior Elizabeth said the training was helpful. “We had to read through some documents about what it meant to help people register and also what it meant about the parties and what it meant when you go vote.”

North Star students heard from their classmates the importance of letting their voices be heard through the election process, and if students met the requirements it was their choice as to whether or not to register to vote.

“It’s very easy, especially when I can do it with people I know. It being my friends makes it easy to talk to someone, especially asking questions about something you’ve never done before,” added Brooke, another North Star senior.

“If you establish the habit of voting, people will continue to do it,” said Alhberg.

Posted on March 09, 2017


School Breakfast Week recognized at the capitol

National School Breakfast week is March 6 - 10 and a couple of Rousseau Elementary School students and staff members were at the state capitol building for a special proclamation signed by Lt. Governor Mike Foley.

“It is a proven fact that school meals improve learning environments,” read Rebecca Coatney, food service manager at Rousseau. “Research has shown that when students eat breakfast they are more engaged, less disruptive and better learners.”

Lincoln Public Schools serves breakfast at all schools, serving over 7,500 breakfast meals a day. The breakfast offered also includes grab-and-go, allowing students to eat in the classroom if they arrive late to school.

Coatney added, “We serve breakfast so students are prepared to learn. Once again, thank you for taking time out of your schedule to recognize the importance of school breakfast.”

Posted on March 08, 2017


Thank You Teacher winners announced for 2017

The surprise announcements


Samuel Segrist

Lincoln Southeast High School sophomore Aaron Bolton said that Southeast English teacher/debate coach Sam Segrist is a teacher who “goes above and beyond for teaching, and clearly cares about the impact, influence and learning that he gives to any student…Being a debate coach and teacher, he allows us all to our own opinions, encourages us in a way that seems to actually inspire…and wants us to develop ourselves rather than be influenced into something we’re not.”


Jeff Williams

Lincoln High School student Kaleb Miller says of his former health and physical education teacher, Jeff Williams at Culler Middle School: “How I live right now is affected by him more than he probably knows…Every time someone does try to use peer pressure on me, I always think of what he said and how disappointed he would be if he knew I did something that could hurt my future.” 


Vickie Neilly

Riley Elementary School teacher Vickie Neilly “was always there for me and loved me no matter what I did,” according to Jackson Okereke – now a student at Lincoln High.  “They say that people will forget what you did, but never how you made them feel and in this case that’s true.”


Kristy Kennedy and Kate Manstedt

And Kloefkorn Elementary School teachers Kristy Kennedy and Kate Manstedt have supported and helped Alexis Verzal – a Kloefkorn student – overcome a variety of challenges to become a successful student and wonderful reader. Parents Brandon and Tiffany Verzal wrote: “This year Alexis hit the jackpot of teachers…We would like to thank these great teachers for seeing the potential in her and never giving up…Thank you for giving us hope again.”


These students were selected to honor this year’s winning teachers – all featured in the annual Lincoln Public Schools Thank You Teacher breakfast ceremony held Tuesday in honor of Nebraska Teacher Recognition Day.  There were more than 500 entries this year.

The event is sponsored by Lincoln Public Schools and KFOR/KFRX radio.

Full Event Video

(16:55 is Vickie Neilly, 22:15 is Kristy Kennedy and Kate Manstedt, 33:20 is Jeff Williams, 39:30 is Samuel Segrist)
 

Posted on March 07, 2017


New elementary administrator changes announced

Lincoln Public Schools announces two administrator changes for next year.

Chris Schefdore will be the next principal at Pyrtle Elementary. Chris has spent the last ten years as principal at Brownell Elementary. Pyrtle principal Paula Baker is retiring this year.

JJ Wilkins is returning to where he began teaching as he will be the next principal at Prescott Elementary. JJ has been the principal at Arnold Elementary since 2011. Prescott principal Ruth Ann Wylie is retiring this year.

Congratulations to both Chris and JJ!

Posted on March 07, 2017


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