News

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.

LPS announces new Director of Accounting and Payroll

Lincoln Public Schools announced this week that Kelli Ackerman will be the new Director of Accounting and Payroll for LPS.  Ackerman is currently the Business Manager for Holdrege Public Schools and Treasurer of the Holdrege Public Schools Board of Education.

Ackerman has both private and public professional experience.  Previously she worked at Tagge Engineering Consultants as well as Allmand Bros. Inc., both in Holdrege, and, prior to that – served as Business Manager for Arapahoe Public Schools. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at Kearney State College. 

“Kelli brings 25 years of experience leading school district finances to LPS – and will be a tremendous addition to our school district,” said Liz Standish, associate superintendent of Business Affairs for LPS. “She is known throughout the state for her strong expertise and wealth of knowledge.  In addition, Kelli is recognized as a service-orientated leader.  She received the Nebraska Council of School Administrators Distinguished Service Award in 2017.  Kelli served as President of the Nebraska Association of School Business Officials in 2013-2014 and currently serves on the Public Employee Retirement Board and Board of Directors for Nebraska Public School Advantage.” 

Ackerman will follow Jill Pauley, who is retiring from LPS at the end of 2018.

Posted on October 02, 2018


LPS Staff: VNA immunization clinics for staff

The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) will return and will be offering immunizations for employees and their families.
 
Please click Here Registration Information and details regarding cost, dates, times and locations.
 
Note: Flu mist will be available this flu season.  See the LPS staff letter provided in link above for more details.
 
If you experience difficulty registering from the LPS staff letter accessed above, please go directly to the VNA site by clicking Here.

Posted on August 24, 2018


LPS Staff: Annual Benefit Enrollment dates and instructions

Greetings Lincoln Public Schools Staff,
 
Below is a quick reminder of benefit information that is important for you and your family.  Please read through!

 

All new and current Lincoln Public Schools employees must enroll online for benefits during the period of Monday, August 13, 2018 (first day of school) to Thursday, August 23, 2018.  (This does not pertain to substitute employees or hourly employees such as mentors.)

 

Annual Enrollment Dates/Instructions:
 
  • August 13-23:  The enrollment period for all new hires and benefit eligible employees will begin on Monday, August 13 and will end at midnight on Thursday August 23.  YOU WILL NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE ENROLLMENT SITE BEFORE AUGUST 13TH.
  • Instructions:  To access the online enrollment system 1) go to www.lps.org  2) click on the STAFF tab 3) on the STAFF CENTER PAGE, you will scroll down to the bottom of the page next to the weather and click on Benefits Enrollment.  Instructions on how to enroll are located there as well.
  • Be prepared with names, dates of birth, social numbers and address for dependents( spouse, children under age 26) as well as beneficiaries (for death benefit as well as any life insurance you elect).  This will simplify the process.  
  • This an open enrollment for health and dental insurance for employees, spouses and dependents.  Employees may also enroll within 30 days of a qualifying event under HIPAA which includes marriage, divorce, birth/adoption, or losing coverage through a spouse changing jobs, retiring, etc.  Health Care Reform eliminated the pre-existing condition requirements.
  • Details on the various benefit plans can be found on the LPS home page.  Type in Benefits in Keyword Search (upper right-hand corner of the screen).
  • Good news...no rate changes!!
  • If you are newly benefit eligible, you will have the opportunity to enroll in disability as well as life insurance.  Please read carefully! 
  • If you are no longer newly benefit eligible and you want to enroll in disability and/ or life, you will have to complete an Evidence of Insurability (EOI) Form and return to Madison National by September 1.  This form is located in the enrollment system as well as on the benefits website.   The coverage will start if/when the application is approved by Madison National.  
  • Pay attention to what coverage(s) you select.  If you are adding or declining the coverage, you will need to select the appropriate button. 
  • Review, Print and/or save your confirmation so you remember what you elected!
Effective Dates of Coverage: 
  • Any benefits added during this period will begin September 1.  (New employees may have a different effective date - addressed in your Benefit Orientation session.)  Premiums are deducted from your September 30th paycheck for September coverage. 
  • If you choose to drop coverage that you had, that benefit will end on August 31, 2018. 
Online Help Sessions Are Available :
  • Location:  District Office, 5905 "O"Street, Lower Level, Lab A
  • Time:  3:30 pm to 5:30 pm
  • When: Wednesday, August 15Thursday, August 16Monday, August 20, and Tuesday, August 21
  • Come and go as you please!
OR
  • Location:  Transportation Department
  • Time:  9:00 - 11:00 A.M.
  • When: Wednesday, August 15Thursday, August 16Monday, August 20, and Tuesday, August 21
  • Come and go as you please!
A cancer/accident representative will be available should you have any questions regarding these voluntary coverages. You are welcome to schedule an appointment if you wish via the attached link.  
 
Want to learn more about your health and dental insurance?
 
Greg Long, Educator's Health Alliance Representative,  will be at the District Office, Board Room 100, Thursday, August 16 from 4:30 - 5:30 P.M. You are welcome to attend and bring a spouse as well!
 
 
Flexible Spending Account Information:
 
  • If you are currently participating in the flexible spending account FSA ( healthcare or dependent care) it is time to spend down.  The plan year ends August 31, 2018.  Employees have 90 days or until November 30th to turn in receipts for reimbursement and processing.  (Don't wait until the last minute due to the Thanksgiving Holiday!)
  • If you have not have been on the Payflex website to view your account or set up your direct deposit, please make sure to do so.  You can do this via your smart phone or computer.  The instructions are on the LPS website, just type in keyword "benefits" or copy and paste -  https://home.lps.org/hr/benefits-for-certified-and-classified-staff/
  • The Payflex website is www.payflex.com 
  • If you are planning to elect a health flex plan this year, the max is $2,650 and dependent care is $5,000 in a household.
  • This a a full service FSA and can not be matched with an HSA.
  • For Maintenance employees and Administrators considering the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and an HSA starting on January 1 :  You are not able to enroll in an HSA if enrolled in our FSA. 
 
This email message does not pertain to substitute employees or hourly employees such as mentors.
 
If you are participating in NPERS, your statement should be 
arriving soon.  Please view. 
Your benefits team:
 
Laurie Oxley
Employee Benefits Specialist
Phone:402-436-1593
 
Julie McAndrew
Employee Benefits Specialist
Phone:402-436-1595
 
Nancy Harter
Benefits Secretary
Phone:402-436-1578

 

Posted on August 10, 2018


Annual Staff Training for Suicide Awareness/Prevention

Online training is now available for all Lincoln Public Schools employee groups required to take the annual suicide awareness/prevention training as required by school personnel law approved by the Nebraska State Legislature in 2014.

PLEASE NOTE:  A new software program has been chosen by the Nebraska Department of Education as a training tool that will cover this requirement for all school districts in Nebraska. This is not the same software that has been used in previous years. The new training program is called “Building a Suicide-Safe School Community” and is provided by the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center.

As in the past, employees will take this training individually online. Those required to take the online training include: nurses, teachers, counselors, school psychologists, administrators, social workers, health technicians, treatment nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, sign language interpreters, service coordinators, SLPs, Bilingual Liaisons, Youth Development Team members, Campus Security, Early Childhood Student Parent Advocates, and paraeducators (including SEMs).

If you are a classified employee, you must complete the training during your normal work hours when classes are not in session. If you are not a classified employee, you can complete the training when you choose.

Three online training modules addressing prevention and postvention are available through this program. Nebraska educators must complete 2 of the 3 modules to satisfy their annual suicide prevention training requirement.

  • Module 1 – Includes a brief summary of what to look for and how to respond to a student who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide. (30 minutes) All staff listed above will take this module.

  • Module 2 – Includes information about how to integrate a student back to the classroom or school activity environment after a suicide attempt; and what you need to know and do in the classroom or school activity after a death by suicide. (30 minutes)  All teachers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, sign language interpreters, service coordinators, SLPs, Bilingual Liaisons, Youth Development Team members, Campus Security, Early Childhood Student Parent Advocates, and paraeducators (including SEMs) will take this module.

  • Module 3 – Includes information about how to plan for and manage reintegration of students who have attempted suicide; and how to plan for and manage learning environments after a death by suicide. (30 minutes)  All administrators, counselors, social workers, psychologists, psychotherapists, and health office staff will take this module.

*All groups are expected to have the training completed by end of the day on October 16, 2018.

Any employee (including substitutes) who is not required to take the training can still take it if they choose to do so.

GETTING STARTED

To get started with the training software program, please use this link: http://ppck12training.unl.edu/

You will register for an account at this site. You must have at least a “medium” strength password or you will not be allowed to proceed. Once you’ve registered, you will receive a confirmation email, which will direct you to the program’s page.

District Office staff: When choosing a location the district location is at the end of the list.

Make sure to click on the “Have a voucher?” link and enter the code BSSSC.

Once you’ve registered, you will receive a second email with a link to your personal training dashboard. Please bookmark this page for future reference: https://ppccourses.unl.edu/my-courses/

Click on “Building a Suicide-Safe School Community” to begin your training.

If you receive the following error message - “You must enroll in this course to access course content” - please ignore. It has not had any impact on the ability to complete the course and access certificates. This is a bug that NDE is working on fixing.

As you work through the training it will display a completion percentage. This percentage reflects the percentage completed if you were doing all 3 modules.

COMPLETION

Once you have completed 2 of the 3 modules, remember to save to your computer the certificate of completion after each module. Certificates are available to print or save to your computer after each module is completed (If you have trouble saving, print as a pdf and save to your computer or print a copy and scan it to your email). Please email those certificates as an attachment to the designated person in your building/department.  

If you have issues with login or software:

  • Email ppccourses@unl.edu or call 402-472-5678 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. This is NOT an LPS software solution, so we are not able to assist with any technical issues.

If you have any questions that are not related to the software or logging in, please contact Russ Uhing at ruhing@lps.org or by calling 402-436-1650.

Thank you for your continued work and dedication in making Lincoln Public Schools a safe and welcoming place for the students of our community.

Posted on August 09, 2018


LPS to livestream all six high school graduation ceremonies

Lincoln Public Schools is proud to announce that all six high school graduations on Sunday, May 27, will be livestreamed on the LPS website.

Those interested in viewing the livestream can log on to the district’s website - www.lps.org - and click on the special graduation page. Each high school will have their own stream that will start broadcasting at least ten minutes before the ceremony’s scheduled start time.

“Families most often want to celebrate their student’s achievement in person, but we also recognize there are circumstances that sometimes prevent extended family members from attending the event,” said Pat Hunter-Pirtle, director of secondary education. “We are proud to bring this opportunity for everyone to participate and recognize the hard work and accomplishment of these young people.”

For more about graduation, go to https://home.lps.org/graduation/

Posted on May 14, 2018


City of Lincoln, Lincoln Public Schools: Safe and Successful Kids in our Community

The city of Lincoln and Lincoln Public Schools are coming together with the goal of: Safe and Successful Kids in our Community. To meet this goal they are proposing multifaceted action that covers increased security, mental health resources and proactive measures. 

Here are the facts.   

What this initiative would fund: 

  • Protective measures: Establish additional School Resource Officers to cover LPS middle and elementary schools, and one additional threat assessment officer.
  • Preventive measures: Increase mental health services with one additional LPS social worker and additional student therapist services.
  • Proactive measures: Increase leadership and staff at Community Learning Centers (CLCs) to provide a safe place for students before and after school as well as academic and enrichment opportunities that lead to success for students; and enhanced learning opportunities focused on STEAM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) for CLC clubs and after school activities.

What is a JPA:

  • A new political subdivision created between existing sub-divisions that serves the purpose of supporting and overseeing a unique effort – with a shared mission.
  • In this case, a response to address unique challenges where two sub-divisions have shared and integrated interests.
  • A JPA has a separate operating board made up of elected officials from both sub-divisions (the city and school district).

Funding:

  • This initiative will generate an estimated $2 million in the first year of existence with a 1-cent city property tax levy.

Posted on April 26, 2018


New principals named at three LPS middle schools

Lincoln Public Schools Tuesday proudly announced three new middle school principals.

“We welcome three new principals who will serve at Schoo, Park and Scott middle schools,” said Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at Lincoln Public Schools.  “These leaders know the importance of strong middle schools as part of the transitional years between elementary and high school and are eager to assume their new roles.”

Congratulations to:

Cedric Cooper
Cedric Cooper
Principal, Schoo Middle School

Cooper will serve as the new principal at Schoo Middle School. He is currently principal at Torrington High School in Torrington, WY. Cooper worked previously for Avenue Scholars in Omaha and was a teacher at Omaha Northwest High School. He earned his Bachelor's degree from Montana State University and his Master's degree from Doane University.

Charlotte Everts
Charlotte Everts
Principal, Park Middle School

Everts will serve as the new principal at Park Middle School. She is currently associate principal at Goodrich Middle School, and prior to her role as associate principal she was instructional coordinator at Goodrich and a teacher at Lefler Middle School. Everts earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her Master's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Marco Pedroza
Marco Pedroza
Principal, Scott Middle School

Pedroza will serve as the new principal at Scott Middle School. He is currently associate principal at Lincoln Southwest High School, and has previously served as instructional coach at Schoo and teacher at Southwest.  Pedroza earned his Bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and his Master’s degree from Doane University.

Congratulations to our new principals!

Posted on April 17, 2018


Highlights of 4/16 Lincoln Board of Education Work Session

The Lincoln Board of Education held a Work Session Monday, April 16, at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, focused on the proposed Joint Public Agency.

The Lincoln Board of Education held a Work Session Monday evening at Lincoln Public Schools District Office to specifically discuss the proposed Joint Public Agency for safety, security and success of students.

The proposed JPA represents a collaborative effort between the city and school district presenting multifaceted, comprehensive action that covers increased security, mental health resources and proactive measures (that would include increased funding for Lincoln Community Learning Centers).

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel started the meeting by offering some history about Community Learning Centers, which began in 2000 with CLC sites at four LPS elementary schools funded through the Foundation for LPS.  The Foundation conducted a feasibility study in the following year, which set the groundwork for $2.1 million in federal grants that allowed LPS and community partners to soon expand to nine additional sites and hire two district-wide coordinators.

Joel explained further milestones:  In 2004 LPS and community partners began to look at developing a long-term sustainability plan for CLCs – and by 2010 there were 24 CLC sites at LPS schools, while discussion continued about possible sustainability.  Since 2016 the CLCs have been working on and developed a strategic plan and established “success quality indicators” that will be implemented at all CLC sites next school year – but had still not found sustained funding.

“The Parkland shooting elevated interest in school security and safety once again …and created a different conversation for us,” Joel said.  “We determined at that point, if we could include safety and security…. perhaps all governing bodies could find enough value to approve and move forward … This is a way to strengthen the partnership between the city and LPS and with non-profits … in improving school safety and student academic achievement, packaged in a proactive, preventive and protective approach.” 

LPS officials walked through key elements of the structure, organization, programming and financing of the proposed JPA – then Board members made comments and asked questions. 

Barb Baier specifically praised a proposed memorandum of understanding related to the portion of the JPA that deals with funding additional School Resource Officers - that would underline that the LPS school disciplinary policy will come first and foremost, “so we would not go and encourage a situation where we would have lots of referrals to juvenile justice…. This strengthens what we already do so well at LPS…going and helping some of our community members understand that we are still doing our job with school discipline…I think we are on the right path.”

She also said she likes: Rules of governance that make JPA decisions require agreement from both the city and school district; inclusion and coordination with non-profit organizations; and the ability to fund CLCs into the future.

Connie Duncan also praised the rules of governance, “because they require equal representation” from both the city and school district.

Kathy Danek noted that one significant value of the JPA was that “funds are designated and dedicated” to ensure supports for safe and successful kids – stressing that she is “comfortable with the way this is set up.”

She specifically praised the preventive nature of the proposal quoting the old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 

Annie Mumgaard asked for input from middle school principals about possible SROs – which drew a response from John Neal, currently assistant superintendent for Governmental Relations and Administration, but also a former middle school principal when there were SROs in LPS middle schools.  Neal said the presence of a shared SRO in a middle school provided an element of law enforcement, but much more, the SRO served in the role of mentor for students, as well as an educational role in classrooms and community.  

Lanny Boswell had a long series of questions about the proposed JPA contract, noting he “loves the concept of creating an entity that brings in more than the mayor and superintendent and director of the Community Foundation … bringing in more people from participating nonprofit parties is a fantastic idea.”  He added that he wished the non-profits had more than advisory power.   

Boswell also referred to some debate over the better way to fund these measures, a JPA or an interlocal agreement: “I think that’s what we need to wrestle with over the next three weeks.”

Don Mayhew said he believes there is widespread support for what the JPA would fund, but there is a misunderstanding among some community members that somehow it would cost less to fund additional SROs through an interlocal as opposed to a JPA. “And that is simply not the case…I don’t think it’s realistic to hire more SROs, and not to have it somehow cost more…. A JPA is not more intrinsically expensive.”

He also reiterated the intention of both the city and school district to lower their levies to make the JPA “levy neutral” for the coming year 

Going forward:  First reading for the proposed JPA will be at the regular Board of Education meeting at 6 p.m. on April 24, and second reading is May 9.  The Board also plans a Public Forum on the proposed JPA at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 30, at Lincoln Southwest High School.

To view the complete Work Session meeting, go tohttps://videocenter.lps.org/videos/

For more information about the JPA: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12783

Posted on April 16, 2018


Highlights of 4/16 Super Commons meeting

A Super Commons meeting was held on Monday, April 16, at Lincoln Public Schools District Office. The Super Commons meeting combines three government groups: The Lincoln City Council, Lincoln Board of Education and Lancaster County Board of Commissioners. 

School Safety and Security

“Kids are the most valuable resource in this community,” according to Lincoln City Council member Carl Eskridge, summarizing the theme of the Monday morning meeting of the “Super Commons” – a meeting of three governmental groups: The Lincoln City Council, Lincoln Board of Education and Lancaster County Board of Commissioners. 

The meeting was highlighted by a series of presentations, as well as robust conversation and questions about a wide variety of aspects of safety and security in our community and schools.

To view the complete meeting, go to: https://videocenter.lps.org/videos/video/3366/

Below is a summary of the major presenters at the Monday Super Commons.

School Security Processes at LPS: Joe Wright, LPS Director of Security

Lincoln Public Schools approaches school safety in a comprehensive manner with many components, Wright said, “with our best efforts to make each building as safe as it can be.”

He noted some of those major components:

  • The LPS Operations staff has ensured the design and construction of secure entrances at many LPS schools – and LPS is currently conducting a study to develop a plan to ensure all schools have those entrances.
  • The six traditional high schools have a comprehensive camera system.
  • Schools at LPS are well designed and maintained, and creating that kind of environment contributes to staff and students behaving “in a professional and safe manner.”
  • Cyber security is in place to protect online data and students.
  • Training from Human Resources is provided to support LPS staff members in creating positive relationships, partnerships with parents, student success, and a strong culture of “see something, say something.”   These are all elements that contribute to student success, Wright said, “and student success is about student safety.”
  • Social and emotional supports for students are in place that include programs for anti-bullying and suicide prevention, as well as a skilled Crisis Response Team.
  • Special education programming is at work in every school, as well as programs for students with additional behavior support needs.
  • Guidelines for crisis response across the district are based on the consistent Standard Response Protocol, and each school has developed a crisis response plan.
  • School Resource Officers are assigned to each of the six traditional high schools.
  • The LPS school district and the city of Lincoln have “become a hub of threat assessment knowledge.”

School Resource Officers in Lincoln: Tom Casady, Public Safety Director; Jeff Bliemeister, Lincoln Police Chief

Casady reported that School Resource Officers (SRO) have been at LPS for 30 years – and there are currently six SROs in Lincoln, one at each of the traditional high schools. “If you want to know about the value of these officers, ask your principals – ask your staff – ask your students.” 

He explained that the cost of one SRO runs about $100,000 – currently split with the city covering 65 percent of that cost and LPS, 35 percent.

Bliemeister noted that the number of officers has varied, but the focus remains the same, “an emphasis on relationships, shared experiences in the classroom, another positive influence in the lives of kids.”

He explained that it takes time to recruit, vet and provide the advanced training necessary to prepare new SROs, a process that can take up to six months. If funding for new SROs is approved soon, he said there is the potential of having six new SROs working inside schools by January of 2019 – but likely no more than six in that time frame. 

School Resource Officers in Lancaster County School Districts: Terry Wagner, Lancaster County Sheriff

Wagner said there are four major school districts outside Lincoln in Lancaster County: Raymond Central, Malcolm, Waverly and Norris public schools – and they utilize SROs using the same funding formula as the city and LPS.

Threat Assessment/Threat Management: Bliemeister and Wright

Bliemeister and Wright agreed that threat assessment and threat management are powerful tools in providing preventative measures for student safety and security – though LPD has no full-time police officer specifically assigned to threat assessment. LPS has two security officials who have a wide array of security tasks and are nationally certified in threat assessment.

Joint Training and Exercising with LPS, Lincoln Fire and Rescue, and Lincoln Police: Casady, Bliemeister

Casady explained that over the past six years efforts have significantly increased to improve community preparedness in the event of a critical incident or mass casualty situation – through training and exercising that includes full-scale exercises and smaller more low-key training.

“We are much better prepared today through training and exercising than six years ago.”

Juvenile Diversion Services: Sara Hoyle, Director, Lancaster County Human Services; Chris Turner, Lancaster County Chief Deputy Attorney

Hoyle and Turner said the juvenile justice system in our community has been analyzing system-wide data for the past 20 years – following potential disparities related to detentions and arrests.

They specifically talked about Project Restore, a program to help young people who are charged with assault or disturbing the peace – with supports such as mediation, diversion, etc. – and help keep those youth out of the juvenile court system.

Community Learning Centers’ Role in School Safety: Lynn Johnson, Director, Lincoln Parks and Recreation; Nola Derby-Bennett, Director of Lincoln Community Learning Centers

Community Learning Centers are now located in 26 LPS school sites, serving an estimated 7,000 students and offering “safe, purposeful activities before and after school – and summer months – during times when students might otherwise not be supervised,” Derby-Bennett said. In addition, she noted, students involved in CLCs achieve higher on standardized assessment than students who are not in CLCs.

“CLCs provide that continuum of support that our community has said – loudly and clearly – that we need for the safety and security of our students.”

Johnson summarized what would be offered by the proposed Safe and Successful Kids Joint Public Agency (JPA) – a collaborative effort between the city and school district presenting multifaceted, comprehensive action that covers increased security, mental health resources and proactive measures (that would include increased funding for CLCs).

“Some people are asking why a JPA,” Johnson noted, listing three major reasons:

  • A JPA creates designated, dedicated funding for student supports.
  • A JPA creates a coordinated and focused process for the school district and city to work together.
  • A JPA offers increased transparency and public discussion.

Mental Health Services in our Community: Katie McLeese Stephenson, Executive Director, Child Guidance Center; Dennis Hoffman, Executive Director, Lincoln Family Service

Mental health is one of the most difficult issues in the school setting, making it so beneficial when mental health services can be offered in schools, McLeese Stephenson said.

She said that currently – through community agencies – mental health services are offered to students at 13 elementary schools, seven middle schools and all high schools, but that not all schools are served, and those that are served have waiting lists. “We are only serving a small slice of students who have needs.” 

Hoffman continued: “We really believe that mental health services can prevent crisis from becoming more of an issue.”

 

Posted on April 16, 2018


Highlights of 4/10 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, April 10 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St.

The Board will hold its next regular meeting on April 24 at 6 p.m. 

Chromebook purchases approved

The Lincoln Board of Education Tuesday approved the purchase of Chromebooks in the next annual instructional technology cycle for Lincoln Public Schools students.  

Research has indicated that a slightly costlier version of the touch screen is a good investment for high school students. So for the next cycle of purchases, the Board approved touch Chromebooks for ninth grade students (3,300) who will use them throughout their high school years, and standard Chromebooks for sixth grade students (3,000) who will use them for their middle school years. 

The approval awarded a $1.9 million contract to Dell EMC Inc. 

School meal prices

The Board Tuesday approved a ten-cent increase in new prices for LPS meals next school year:

  • Elementary Student Full-Priced: $2.45                       
  • Middle School Student Full-Priced: $2.65                      
  • High School Student Full-Priced: $2.80   

Southeast, Southwest swimming pools

The Board of Education approved modifications of the swimming pools at Southeast and Southwest high schools – contracting with Cheever Construction Company to make modifications related to filtration and environmental pool conditions.

Annexed Land

The Board of Education assigns school attendance areas to property newly annexed or platted to 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.

The City of Lincoln has annexed two parcels of land for which the Board Tuesday approved attendance areas. 

  • Wandering Creek, Annexation Ordinance #20627, for 2017-18 school year:  Pyrtle Elementary School, Lux and East.
  • Dominion at Stevens Creek, Annexation Ordinance #20630, for 2017-18 school year:  Meadow Lane Elementary School, Culler Middle School and East.

Public Comment

There were community people who came and spoke at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting in the public comment section of the agenda. To watch the full Board meeting go to the following link and scroll down to Board of Education meetings: https://www.lps.org/video/ 

Staff Celebrations

The Lincoln Board of Education Tuesday recognized:

  • James Blake, LPS K-12 Science Curriculum Specialist, elected President of the National Science Education Leadership Association.
  • Adam Bonesteel, LPS Assistant Director of Athletics and Student Activities, named Nebraska State Activities Association Assistant Activities Director of the Year.

Posted on April 10, 2018


New high school principals announced

Lincoln Public Schools on Wednesday proudly shared the new principals at two LPS high schools.

“We're pleased to announce our two newest high school principals,” said Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS.  “They are both experienced leaders in Lincoln Public Schools and are excited to assume these new roles.”

Congratulations to:

Keri Applebee
Northeast High School

Keri Applebee, who will serve as the new principal at Lincoln Northeast High School.  Applebee, currently associate principal at Lincoln Southwest High School, was previously instructional coordinator and guidance counselor at Southwest, and worked at other Nebraska school districts.  She earned her Bachelor degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, her Master’s degrees from UNL and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and an Ed.S in Educational Leadership from Northcentral University.

Ryan Zabawa
North Star High School

Ryan Zabawa, who will serve as the new principal at Lincoln North Star High School.  Zabawa, currently principal at Park Middle School, previously served as associate principal at North Star, curriculum facilitator for Health/Physical Education, and team leader and teacher at Goodrich Middle School.  He earned his Bachelor degree from the University of Nebraska-Kearney, and his Master’s degree from Doane University.

Posted on March 28, 2018


Highlights of 3/27 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

Highlights of 3/27 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, March 27 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next meeting on April 10 at 6 p.m. 

Lessons in Chromebook purchases

Lincoln Public Schools officials Tuesday recommended a slightly costlier Chromebook for purchases in the next annual technology cycle for high school students – finding that the investment pays off long-term in reduced repairs. 

This year all LPS students grades 2-12 have access to an individual Chromebook – and the popularity of these gadgets in education settings continues to grow, leading to innovations in the Chromebook operating system. Most notably is the proliferation of Chromebooks featuring a touch screen and "2-in-1" form factor that allow the device to be used as both a standard laptop and tablet.   

Repair data suggest that a more costly touch screen and greater feature set is a good investment for high school students.  So for the next cycle of purchases, LPS officials recommended to the Lincoln Board of Education – adoption of touch Chromebooks for ninth grade students (3,300) who will use them throughout their high school years and standard Chromebooks for sixth grade students (3,000) who will use them for their middle school years.

“We did a lot of work and research to make the technology plan very deliberate and thoughtful,” said Board Vice President Don Mayhew.  “We’ve also been learning…and as a result staff are making slight modifications…We are getting better at this. 

The recommendation would award a $1.9 million contract to Dell EMC Inc.  The Board will vote final approval April 10.

LPS Safety and Security

The Board Tuesday voted ratification of a memorandum of understanding with the Lincoln Police Department.

The agreement would give the Lincoln Police Department access to LPS camera feeds when it is “necessary to protect the health or safety of students or others.” That means in the event of a crisis at one of the LPS high schools, Lincoln police could use a live feed from cameras in the schools.  

“It would make it possible for Lincoln police to utilize our camera system in the event of a crisis,” said Liz Standish, associate superintendent for Business Affairs at LPS.  “This is a great value add. 

Board member Matt Schulte praised the idea: “I see this as an essential tool in the moment of crisis.”

There were community people who came and spoke at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting about safety and security issues. To watch the full Board meeting go to the following link and scroll down to Board of Education meetings: https://www.lps.org/video/ 

School meal prices

The LPS Nutrition Services Department operates a school meal program that provides breakfast and lunch meals to LPS students. Annually, the Board of Education reviews and approves school breakfast and lunch prices – and Tuesday heard a proposed ten-cent increase for meals next year.  The Board will vote final approval April 10.

Prices suggested for next school year – which all represent a dime increase:

  • Elementary Student Full-Priced: $2.45                       
  • Middle School Student Full-Priced: $2.65                      
  • High School Student Full-Priced: $2.80                      

The issue of equity in school lunch pricing is addressed in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 – mandating that School Food Authorities (SFA) annually review their paid lunch revenue to assure compliance with the paid lunch equity requirement.  The average paid lunch price requirement by USDA is $2.83, compared to the LPS weighted average price for lunch at $2.49.  That means our price is 30 cents lower than USDA standard. Because the district’s price was less than the paid lunch equity requirement, the district is required to adjust and increase its lunch prices for 2018-19.  The required increase for paid lunch meals for the 2018-19 school year is 10 cents.  

Modifications of Southeast, Southwest swimming pools

The Board of Education heard proposals to make mechanical modifications of the swimming pools at Southeast and Southwest high schools.  The recommendation would be to contract with Cheever Construction Company to make modifications related to filtration and environmental pool conditions. The Board will vote final approval April 10.

Annexed Land

The Board of Education assigns school attendance areas to property newly annexed or platted to 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. 

The city of Lincoln has annexed a parcel of land – Himark Estates, Annexation Ordinance #20620 – which automatically brings this property into LPS. Attendance areas approved Tuesday for the 2017-18 school year:  Maxey Elementary School, Lux Middle School and Lincoln East High School.  

The City of Lincoln has also annexed two parcels of land for which the Board considered attendance areas.  Final action for the last two parcels will happen April 10.

  • Wandering Creek, Annexation Ordinance #20627, for 2017-18 school year:  Pyrtle Elementary School, Lux and East.
  • Dominion at Stevens Creek, Annexation Ordinance #20630, for 2017-18 school year:  Meadow Lane Elementary School, Culler Middle School and East.  Final action for the last two parcels will happen April 10.

Staff Celebration

The Lincoln Board of Education Tuesday recognized:

  • Barb Johnson: Named Teacher of the Year by National Council of Exceptional Children's Division of Visual Impairments and Deafblindness.
  • Lincoln High School: Named a School of Opportunity by the National Education Policy Center, represented by Lincoln High Principal Mark Larson.

Posted on March 27, 2018


March LPS Community High School Task Force at Northeast

The Lincoln Public Schools Community High School Task Force held its final monthly meeting on Thursday at Lincoln Northeast High School, wrapping up committee work to study high school enrollment, priorities and facilities – and starting to finalize recommendations.

“As you review recommendation proposals, here’s what I would like you to ask yourself today,” said Liz Standish, associate superintendent for Business Affairs, who is facilitating the Task Force: “Is this a recommendation that makes sense, that I could stand by?  And, is there a recommendation I was expecting to see – but don’t?”

Thursday, committee members circulated among stations to review proposed recommendations from all the committees:

Subcommittee on Focus Programs/Innovative Delivery: “Great conversation, increased understanding of challenges....in order to focus on career ready and college ready…and what tools are needed.”

Subcommittee on Traditional High School/School Size: “We are getting close to our working statements and will be ready to move ahead.”

Subcommittee on City Growth/Capacity Needs.  “We realize the amount of growth we’re seeing in Lincoln…with a lot of facts and figures presented, and we will base our recommendations on those numbers.”

Subcommittee on Community/Student/Diversity: “Our subcommittee plays a unique role in that we impact all the other subcommittees. We will be asking for feedback from all of the other groups.”

“This is important work,” LPS Superintendent Steve Joel told the group Thursday.  “You’ve done a great job thinking about this in a deep and robust way.  This is a critical question that needs to be answered and planned for…I thank you for your commitment and diligence.” 

The Task Force’s recommendations will be presented at the April 24 Lincoln Board of Education meeting.  After that, the Board and superintendent will take those recommendations and opt for a variety of follow-up choices:  Community quadrant meetings for a high school conversation, presentations to community groups, and eventually a new community group that will examine not just the need for high school facilities but for all LPS facilities.

The Task Force – made up of about 70 community citizens and LPS educators – was formed to investigate community options and priorities for serving high school students.  They met monthly throughout the school year at all six public high schools.

Last year, LPS served 11,677 high school students, and by 2021, LPS is expected to have 13,344 high school students.  Last year three high schools had enrollments of more than 2,000 students: Lincoln North Star High School, Lincoln Southeast High School and Lincoln High School – and this year Lincoln East High School joined that list. 

Task Force Co-Chairs:

  •       Gloria Eddins
  •       Bob Rauner

Date

Location

Time

September 28th, 2017

East High School

1000 S. 70th Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

October 26th, 2017

North Star High School

5801 N. 33rd Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

November 30th, 2017

Southeast High School

2930 S. 37th Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

January 25th, 2018

Lincoln High School

2229 J Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

February 22nd, 2018

Southwest High School

7001 S. 14th Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

March 22, 2018

Northeast High School

2635 N. 63rd Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

 

Posted on March 22, 2018


Thinking about a career in School Libraries? Funding for coursework now available at the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO)

Do you love teaching children and/or young adults? Do you engage your students in research and inquiry? Do you love sharing books and literature with your students? Do you love technology and social media?

If so – school libraries could be in your future!

The University of Nebraska Omaha has funds from the NE Dept of Education's 2018-2019 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 part of your tuition for classes during Fall 2018/Spring 2019/Summer 2019 academic year.
UNO courses are offered in a family and work friendly format that combines online experiences with on-campus sessions which allows students from all over Nebraska and the Midwest to join our profession.


Questions? Contact Dr. Becky Pasco at rpasco@unomaha.edu or at 402-580-5480.

Posted on March 21, 2018


March LPS Learning Lunch: Developing Young Men and Women

Learning to become responsible young men and women – are lessons for students at Huntington Elementary School – lessons featured at the March Learning Lunch for Lincoln Public Schools this month: Tuesday, March 27, at LPS District Office, 5905 O St.

Called “Developing Young Men and Women” Huntington Principal Rik Devney will talk about empowering young people on the cusp of their teen years. The program begins at 12:15 p.m. 

LPS Learning Lunches, open to the Lincoln community, are held in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St. 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. You bring your lunch, we provide dessert. 

The rest of the 2017-18 season:

  • Tuesday, April 24: A Great Year of Achievement, highlighting LPS special education programs at Sherrill, Nuernberger and Yankee Hill Education Centers – Jane Stavem, associate superintendent of Instruction at LPS.
  • Tuesday, May 15: Making Music, UKE can do it! Come try your musical talents with ukuleles, Lance Nielsen, curriculum specialist for Music at LPS.

Posted on March 16, 2018


Lincoln Public Schools asks for budget feedback

Lincoln Public Schools invites community members into the development process of the 2018-19 budget in a variety of ways.

The Lincoln Board of Education has scheduled a budget work session for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, at LPS District Office, 5905 O St. 

Two Community Budget Forums are scheduled in June specifically for community questions, comments and feedback:

  • Budget Forum, 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, Board Room, LPS District Office. 
  • Budget Forum, 7 p.m. Thursday, June 14, library media center, Lincoln Northeast High School, 2635 N. 63rd St.

A second Lincoln Board of Education work session is set for 4:30 p.m. June 26, at LPS District Office. 

And a public hearing and budget forum is set 6-6:45 p.m. on August 14 at LPS District Office.  

For more information on the budget: http://home.lps.org/budget/

For more info: 

Mary Kay Roth/Director, Communications/Lincoln Public Schools
mkroth@lps.org
402-436-1609/402-617-0021
www.lps.org

Posted on March 16, 2018


New principals named at five LPS elementary schools

Lincoln Public Schools on Friday proudly announced new principals at five elementary schools.

“These five new principals are great examples of people who have both the skills and the heart for leading our schools and the important work that happens in our classrooms every day,” said Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS. 

Congratulations to:

Chris Boden - McPhee Elementary

Chris Boden

Chris Boden who will be the new principal at McPhee Elementary School. Boden, currently assistant principal at Elliott Elementary School and previously coordinator at Elliott, also taught at Clinton, Cavett and Prescott elementary schools.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her Master’s degrees from Doane College.

Stephanie Drake - Morley Elementary

Stephanie Drake

Stephanie Drake who will be the new principal at Morley Elementary School.  Drake is now assistant principal at Wysong Elementary School and, prior to that at LPS, served as coordinator at Zeman Elementary School and taught at Adams Elementary School. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at Buena Vista University, and her Master’s degrees at Concordia University and Doane College.

Lynn Fuller - Roper Elementary

Lynn Fuller

Lynn Fuller who will be the new principal at Roper Elementary School.  Fuller is currently assistant principal at West Lincoln Elementary School.  She has also served as Intervention Project Manager for the School Improvement grant at Elliott Elementary School, technology coach for LPS, and a teacher at Everett.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Master’s degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville, and her Doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  

Kellie Joy - Lakeview Elementary

Kellie Joy

Kellie Joy who will be the new principal at Lakeview Elementary School.  She is currently instructional coordinator for Lakeview and previously was instructional coach and co-chair of Continuous School Improvement for Clinton Elementary School, taught at Clinton and served as a Family Literacy Grant Facilitator. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at Nebraska Wesleyan University and a Master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Cheryl Richter - Fredstrom Elementary

Cheryl Richter

Cheryl Richter who will be the new principal at Fredstrom Elementary School. Richter is now coordinator at Fredstrom and, prior to that, was a teacher and team leader at Fredstrom. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her Master’s degrees from Doane College.

Posted on March 09, 2018


National School Social Worker Week

March is National Social Worker Month and March 5-9 is National School Social Worker Week.

Meet Susan Baker, social worker at North Star High School. Baker has served as a social worker at Lincoln Public Schools for over 32 years and will be retiring at the end of this school year. We sit down with Baker to hear what a school social worker does and the impact it has on students. (approximately 10 minutes)

Posted on March 08, 2018


‘You’re the best teacher ever’

Highlights from the Thank You Teacher Ceremony

 Five-year-old Julian Romo Gonzalez, his perfectly combed hair peeking out above the podium, leaned into the microphone and said five words - “You’re the best teacher ever” - that set the perfect tone of gratitude for Tuesday’s breakfast ceremony honoring the 2018 Lincoln Public Schools Thank You Teacher award winners.  

Gonzalez was talking to Andrea Woita, his teacher at Kooser Elementary School who won the pre-school to grade two category. The five winning teachers, their students, family members and fellow educators gathered at the Governor’s Mansion for this year’s event, where they heard inspiring stories of the impact that a great teacher can have on a student’s life.

Lauren Cochran, Gonzalez’s mom, read her son’s letter nominating Woita, including the following excerpt: “You can see the passion she has for her job and all her little friends every day by their little smiling faces…It’s a great feeling knowing that when I drop him off at school every day, he is in the care of someone that is patient, kind, loving, goofy, exciting and just happy.”

Woita responded in kind: “I know that teaching kindergarten doesn’t sound fun to all people but I know without a doubt that I have one of the best jobs in the whole world. Every day I am greeted with hugs, high fives and smiles and I also get to watch my students become better readers, writers and mathematicians - but most of all, good citizens who are kind to others and accepting of all who enter our classroom.”

Anycia DuBray-Bivens, now a fourth-grader at Belmont Elementary School, nominated Tim Oehring, her previous teacher at Saratoga Elementary School and the winner of the grades three to five category. Her nomination letter, which she read Tuesday, included the following: “Mr. O is the best teacher ever. He makes kids think that school is fun. He helped me to know that I am smart…He is my hero, he’s my Batman, he’s my super teacher.”

Oehring thanked his colleagues, parents and wife, then turned to DuBray-Bivens and said, “It’s been an absolute joy to watch you grow and I can’t wait to see what you accomplish next.”

Lincoln High English teacher Deborah McGinn won this year’s high school category. Her nominating student, freshman Samantha Roblyer, said McGinn gave her the confidence to “break out of the shell” she had built around herself as a person who stutters - even pushing her to join the school’s slam poetry team. “She has encouraged me to overcome the obstacle put in front of me as a result of my speech, she’s introduced me to new opportunities, and she’s also taught me the importance of caring about the world and those around you.”

McGinn responded, “I want you to know that I respect you as a young woman who is strong...and a young woman who truly knows her heart. You are so honest and it is so easy to work with you.”

This year’s middle school winner, science teacher Molly Hoffman from Irving, was nominated by former student Thea Lahey, now a student at Lincoln High. “I learned to love science in your class, and you gave me the chance to exceed my own expectations of how academically inclined I was,” Lahey said. “You sparked an interest of science in me, and showed me that a strong woman can be passionate about science and succeed.”

Hoffman said she will cherish Lahey’s letter. “It will literally carry me to the end of my career. It will be a constant reminder that my service as an educator goes far beyond this community - it will extend worldwide because of students like you who are kind, good at heart, intelligent and set goals. You will go far and do great things and as a result I get to go with you on your journey.”

Lynn White, a former counselor at Lakeview Elementary School, won this year’s category for retired teachers. The entire staff of Lakeview nominated White and several of her former colleagues were on hand Tuesday morning. Samantha Wessels, a special education resource teacher at Lakeview, talked about the “heart work” done by White. “She had the special ability to make everyone feel like they were the most important person in the room and was eager to help in any way she could.”

White thanked the Lakeview staff and everyone else she worked alongside during her 38-year teaching career. “It’s not too many who can look back...and say they loved every minute - waking up, going to work and being a part of a community. I accept this not only for myself but all of my colleagues that I have had the joy of working with.”

There were more than 550 entries for this year’s awards, which are sponsored by Lincoln Public Schools and KFOR/KFRX radio.

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel told Tuesday’s audience that the winning nominations are a powerful reminder “that teaching is the gateway to everything that happens with young people’s lives.”

“These letters are powerful, powerful examples of what’s happening in our schools every single day.”

Here are the highlights from when the teachers found out they were nominated and won:

Posted on March 07, 2018


Community Awareness Series: Promoting Healthy Behaviors

 Our youth are our future’s greatest asset.  Schools, parents, caregivers and communities all play a role in providing supportive pathways for our youth as they navigate childhood and adolescence.  Lincoln Public Schools is partnering with School Community Intervention and Prevention (SCIP), Bryan Independence Center and the Lancaster Prevention Coalition to put on a series of valuable presentations about how to support the health and well-being of our community’s youth. These events are open to parents, students, school professionals and community members.

The next event in the series will be:
Promoting Healthy Choices
April 26 at 6:30 p.m. 
North Star High School - auditorium

Protecting our youth from at-risk behaviors, such as substance use, takes a community of support.  One of the best ways we can help our kids make healthy choices is to stay informed and be aware of issues that may adversely affect the lives of our youth. 

Amanda Miller, manager of the underage drinking prevention programs for Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD) will share the Power of Parents Presentation.  MADD’s Power of Parents program empowers parents of middle school and high school students to have ongoing, intentional conversations about the dangers and consequences of underage drinking.  Abbe Edgecombe, SCIP Coordinator for Lincoln/Lancaster County will also share information on emerging youth drug trends in an effort to raise awareness of specific substances of abuse, recognition of drug paraphernalia (including products created specifically to help youth disguise or hide substances of abuse) and the role of awareness, education and community supports in youth substance use prevention. 

Posted on February 28, 2018


Highlights of 2/27 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

Highlights of 2/27 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next meeting on March 27 at 6 p.m. 

LPS Safety and Security Update

Student safety continues to be our school district’s top priority, Joe Wright, director of Security at Lincoln Public Schools, told the Lincoln Board of Education Tuesday. Giving a general update about safety and security measures throughout LPS, Wright stressed there are many procedures and systems in place. 

Wright described some of the major LPS safety measures:

  • Regular drills to prepare for a wide range of emergencies, including active threats, gas leaks, fire drills and more.
  • Security cameras at all our major high schools.
  • A solid Threat Assessment/Management Program at LPS, which provides a preventative mindset. For more information: http://home.lps.org/threat/
  • Standard Response Protocol established throughout the district (plain language protocol for emergency situations). For more information: http://iloveuguys.org/srp.html
  • Crisis response plans at each school.
  • Partnering with local law enforcement and safety experts. LPS works closely with the LPS security team and the Lincoln Police Department to continuously evaluate safety protocols and practice with staff and students in the event of an emergency. 

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel said when asked what keeps him awake at nights, he replies: “It’s the safety and security of our students…It is clear this is the biggest and most important work we will do…I’m glad we’re having this conversation now… I have no doubt we will be able to strengthen what we already have.” 

Comments from the Board of Education:

Barb Baier: “We are challenged with balancing the needs of reasonable security measures with the needs of classrooms…and the risk of decreasing the educational values of our schools.”  Baier provided a list of many of the security measures implemented at LPS, but stressed that the commonality among shootings has been “perpetrators who are socially and emotionally isolated.”  She urged building positive relationships with students and a positive school culture, reducing class size so teachers have more time to interact with students, hiring more social workers, counselors and mental health workers. 

Annie Mumgaard noted she had a child in a high school last week who called her with concerns. “I told my child, ‘You are now in the safest place you can be. I know that everything possible is being done to make this the safest place.’”   

Kathy Danek: “The community comments are not falling on deaf ears, we are listening.  I would be happy to talk with any group.”

Matt Schulte said he appreciated the community comments and conversation.  He commended the security team at LPS and investing in mental health of students specifically through the LPS behavioral programs – and made some suggestions for further security measures.  

Don Mayhew: “I know security is not a new topic for LPS…I know that this is something that is very important to the district and has been for a long time.  I also know that when something like Florida happens…it raises so many questions and so many emotions.  I think our parents are rightfully asking…could we doing more?  I appreciate the…constructive dialogue and conversation. I think it is completely appropriate for us to have some broader conversations about best practices that we do.”

Connie Duncan: “I was a teacher…and never once did I ever feel in danger…We want all our teachers and students to feel safe all the time …I feel confident we have the necessary procedures in place...But we may need more conversation.”

Lanny Boswell explained that each of the Board’s standing committees will go forward to review and study the appropriate security issues relevant to those committees: “Security is a multi-faceted issue…We are committed to making schools the safest possible place.”

For more information about general security measures at LPS and frequently asked questions, go to http://home.lps.org/security

For a story about the experienced people in charge of security at LPS: 

https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12646

There were community people who came and spoke at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting about safety and security, firearms, mental health and more. To watch the full Board meeting go to the following link and scroll down to Board of Education meetings: https://www.lps.org/video/ 

One-Year Salary Package Approved for LPS Educators

The Board of Education Tuesday approved an agreement with teachers for a one-year contract for the 2018-19 school year, developed by the Lincoln Education Association (LEA) and Lincoln Public Schools.

This proposal recognizes the valuable contributions our teachers make to the school district to maintain the LPS legacy of excellence in teaching and learning, while also making sure the school district serves as good stewards of taxpayer funds – according to Steve Joel, superintendent of LPS; Rita Bennett, president of the LEA; and Lanny Boswell, president of the Lincoln Board of Education. 

The agreement – voted on and approved by LEA membership – provides a total compensation package increase of 2.68 percent for the 2018-19 school year, which includes salary increases of 3.07 percent, increases in Social Security and retirement costs – and no increase in health insurance premiums. Each full-time employee will receive a $1,675 salary increase. The base salary for a new teacher will increase by $1,175 to $45,156.

“One of the most important tasks we do is hire professional educators,” said Board member Kathy Danek.  “This agreement is a token of my great appreciation for every teacher at LPS.” 

Annexed Land

The Board of Education assigns school attendance areas to property newly annexed or platted to 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. The city of Lincoln has annexed a parcel of land – Himark Estates, Annexation Ordinance #20620 – which automatically brings this property into LPS. Attendance areas proposed for the 2017-18 school year:  Maxey Elementary School, Lux Middle School and Lincoln East High School.  The Board will take final action at the March 27 meeting.

Student Celebration

The Lincoln Board of Education heard a special Student Celebration Tuesday, recognizing the value of science fairs and promoting the 23rd Zoetis-LPS-GSK Science Fair set for March 1. 

Speaking were:

  • Rochelle Settles, elementary science specialist at Fredstrom Elementary School – and director of the Zoetis-LPS-GSK Science Fair
  • Audrey West, 8th grader at Moore Middle School
  • Jack McCarter, 5th grader at Meadow Lane Elementary School
  • Jeter Sanders, 4th grader at Meadow Lane

  

Posted on February 27, 2018


February: LPS Community High School Task Force at Southwest

The Lincoln Public Schools Community High School Task Force held its monthly meeting on Thursday at Lincoln Southwest High School, continued committee work to study high school enrollment, priorities and facilities – and heard an update on school security.  

The Task Force’s final recommendations will be presented at the April 24 Lincoln Board of Education meeting, according to Liz Standish, associate superintendent for Business Affairs, who is facilitating the Task Force. Going forward after that, the Board and superintendent will take those recommendations and could take a variety of steps such as: Community quadrant meetings for a high school conversation, presentations to community groups, and eventually a community group to examine not just the need for high school facilities but for all LPS facilities. 

The Task Force – made up of about 70 community citizens and LPS educators – was formed to investigate community options and priorities for serving high school students.  They are meeting monthly throughout this school year at all six public high schools.

Before the Task Force divided into committee work, they heard an update about LPS safety and security from Joe Wright, director of Security at LPS.

Wright directed them to a wealth of information about LPS security at the website on the LPS site: http://home.lps.org/security – where community members can find information about frequently asked questions and the general LPS safety and security protocol. 

Wright pointed out several of the major LPS security measures:

  • Regular drills to prepare for a wide range of emergencies, including active shooters.
  • A solid Threat Assessment/Management Program at LPS. For more information: http://home.lps.org/threat/ (See something of concern, tell the school district.)
  • Standard Response Protocol established throughout the district (plain language protocol for emergency situations). For more information: http://iloveuguys.org/srp.html
  • Partnering with local law enforcement and safety experts.

On Thursday, the Task Force also continued to work in four subcommittees.

  • ·      Subcommittee on Focus Programs/Innovative Delivery: “Great conversation, increased understanding of challenges....in order to focus on career ready and college ready…and what tools are needed.”
  • ·      Subcommittee on Traditional High School/School Size: “We are getting close to our working statements and will be ready to move ahead.”
  • ·      Subcommittee on City Growth/Capacity Needs.  “We realize the amount of growth we’re seeing in Lincoln…with a lot of facts and figures presented, and we will base our recommendations on those numbers.”
  • ·      Subcommittee on Community/Student/Diversity: “Our subcommittee plays a unique role in that we impact all the other subcommittees. We will be asking for feedback from all of the other groups.” 

Last year, LPS served 11,677 high school students, and by 2021, LPS is expected to have 13,344 high school students.  Last year three high schools had enrollments of more than 2,000 students: Lincoln North Star High School, Lincoln Southeast High School and Lincoln High School – and this year Lincoln East High School joined that list.

Task Force Co-Chairs:

  • ·      Gloria Eddins
  • ·      Bob Rauner

Task Force meetings: 

Date

Location

Time

September 28th, 2017

East High School

1000 S. 70th Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

October 26th, 2017

North Star High School

5801 N. 33rd Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

November 30th, 2017

Southeast High School

2930 S. 37th Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

January 25th, 2018

Lincoln High School

2229 J Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

February 22nd, 2018

Southwest High School

7001 S. 14th Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

March 22, 2018

Northeast High School

2635 N. 63rd Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

 

Posted on February 22, 2018


Highlights of 2/13 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

Highlights of 2/13 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next meeting on Feb. 27 at 6 p.m.

One-year salary package proposed for LPS educators

The Lincoln Education Association (LEA) and Lincoln Public Schools have reached a tentative agreement with teachers for a one-year contract for the 2018-19 school year – in a proposal presented to the Lincoln Board of Education Tuesday.

This proposal represents a balance: Recognizing the valuable contributions our teachers make to this school district and maintaining the LPS legacy of excellence in teaching and learning, while also serving as good stewards of taxpayer funds – according to Steve Joel, superintendent of LPS; Rita Bennett, president of the LEA; and Lanny Boswell, president of the Lincoln Board of Education. 

The tentative agreement – voted on and approved by LEA membership – provides a total compensation package increase of 2.68 percent for the 2018-19 school year, which includes salary increases of 3.07 percent, increases in Social Security and retirement costs – and no increase in health insurance premiums. Each full-time employee would receive a $1,675 salary increase. The base salary for a new teacher would increase by $1,175 to $45,156.

The Lincoln Board of Education conducted the first reading of the contract at the Feb. 13 meeting and will take action on the tentative agreement at the Board meeting set for 6 p.m. Feb. 27 at LPS District Offices, 5905 O St. 

Comments:

Joel: “Our community and more than 41,000 students are indeed fortunate to have such highly qualified and dedicated teachers in our classrooms. The continued investment in staff is a primary reason we are able to recruit, develop and retain the very best professionals.  This contract recognizes the value we place on that expertise but is also mindful of the challenging financial situation that our community and state are facing.” 

Bennett: “We believe this agreement represents a reasonable salary increase.  LPS retains its outstanding reputation because of the excellence of teachers and their dedication to serving all students, every day.  Our community expects and deserves great public schools, and we are fortunate to be in a district that values those who are doing the work that makes excellence possible.”

Boswell: “The Lincoln Board of Education is committed to hiring and supporting the best and brightest teachers, while being fiscally accountable to the community. The Board deeply appreciates the care, consideration, and integrity that both the teachers and administration brought to the negotiations process. The result is a tentative agreement that serves our community's children and reflects our community's values.” 

BACKGROUND: The previous two-year agreement provided a total package increase of 3.18 percent for the 2016-17 school year – and 3.19 percent for the 2017-18 school year. That included an average salary increase of 2.88 percent for the first year of the contract, and 2.89 percent for the second. Lincoln Public Schools is one of the lowest spending school districts in the state for per-pupil costs and has been for decades. (LPS spends less per pupil in the state than 226 school districts – out of 245 districts total – nearly $1,000 less per pupil than the state average.)

Budget calendar published

The Board of Education was presented with a budget development calendar for the 2018-19 school year including these highlighted dates:

March 1: State aid and 2018/19 Budget Authority

April 18: End of Legislative session

April 20: Abstract of assessed valuations from County Assessor

April – June: Executive Committee works with Board Finance Committee

May 22: Budget Work session, 4:30 p.m., District Office

May – July: Community and School District presentations

June 12: Presentation and Budget Forum, District Office, 5 p.m.

June 14: Presentation and Budget Forum, TBD, 7 p.m.

June 26: Second Budget Work Session, 4:30 p.m. at District Office

August 14: Budget approval, first reading, Public Hearing/Budget Forum,

6 p.m., District Office

August 28: Budget approval, second reading, Board of Education meeting, 6 p.m. District Office,

Staff Celebration

The Lincoln Board of Education presented special resolutions to two LPS educators Tuesday, honoring their awards:

Josh Hinrichs, Lincoln Southwest High School Business Instructor, has been named a Gold Star Teacher by the organization Working In Support of Education (W!SE).

Deb Wolken, Lincoln Northeast High School Business Instructor, has been named a Gold Star Teacher by the organization Working In Support of Education (W!SE).

Posted on February 13, 2018


LPS administrators announce retirement, changing roles

 

February is generally a time for major school and district administrators to announce retirement plans, as well as new roles, so we will share these announcements in a timely manner.  

RETIREMENTS

Principals

Molly Bates
Molly Bates
Principal at Morley Elementary School
Bates was first hired by LPS in 1989 and in her time here she has taught at Morley and Maxey and Hill elementary schools, Lux Middle School and the former North Star Middle School. She served as elementary coordinator at Fredstrom Elementary School, principal at Riley Elementary – and has been principal at Morley for six years.

Dave Knudsen
Dave Knudsen
Principal at Scott Middle School
Knudsen has held a variety of administrator and leadership roles during his 27 years with LPS:  psychotherapist/team leader/coordinator with the Elementary and Secondary Behavioral School Programs; coordinator and assistant principal at Cavett Elementary School and principal at Saratoga Elementary School, Dawes Middle School and Scott (since 2009).

Scott Nelson
Scott Nelson
Principal at Lakeview Elementary School
Nelson served in a variety of special education roles at LPS from 1991 through 2004, teaching at Goodrich Middle School and Calvert Elementary School, serving as a home bound teacher and special education coordinator at Elliott Elementary School.  When he returned to LPS as an elementary principal in 2008, he served three years at McPhee Elementary School and since 2011, principals at Lakeview.

Bill Schulenberg
Bill Schulenberg
Principal at Schoo Middle School
Schulenberg came to LPS in 1983 and was an English teacher and team leader at Goodrich Middle School and then Scott Middle School.  He served as associate principal at Schoo Middle School starting in 2009, followed by serving as principal at Schoo.

LPS administrators

Kay Byers
Kay Byers
Supervisor of Elementary Personnel Services in Human Resources
Byers has worked for LPS for more than 40 years, starting as an accompanist at Lincoln Northeast High School, then teaching general music at Arnold Elementary School then Huntington Elementary School, followed by teaching vocal music at Dawes Junior High. She served as the Middle Level Internship Facilitator and moved over to Human Resources as the Supervisor of Elementary Personnel.

Thomas Christie
Thomas Christie
Multicultural School/Community Administrator
Christie has worked for LPS for 43 years in various positions.  He started in the school district as a sociology and history teacher at Lincoln High School, and also head wrestling coach and assistant football coach – followed by serving as a building administrator at Lincoln Northeast High School.  He was then named Multicultural School/Community Administrator for LPS.

Shari Styskal
Shari Styskal
Director of Budget
Styskal has been with the school district for 42 years.  She served as director of Budget since 2010, and prior to that, was coordinator of Budget.  She previously worked for LPS as a Business Technical Assistant in Custodial, Maintenance and Facilities, and also provided clerical support for Lincoln Northeast High School.

Kevin Wibbles
Kevin Wibbels
Recruiter, Human Resources
Wibbels started with LPS as a Social Studies and English teacher, and counselor at Mickle Middle School. He left and returned to LPS as assistant principal at Irving Middle School and principal at Park Middle School. He then served as supervisor of Secondary Personnel and Teacher recruiter for Human Resources, and most recently as part-time administrator/recruiter.

NEW ROLES

Tim Muggy
Tim Muggy
Principal at Roper Elementary School
Muggy will continue working for LPS in a different role, a half-time position as director of Elementary Education.  He has served in a variety of positions at LPS since 1981, starting as team leader at Yankee Hill Elementary School, sixth grade team leader at Lakeview Elementary School and Cavett Elementary School, special education coordinator at Kahoa Elementary School, assistant principal at West Lincoln Elementary, and then principal at Brownell Elementary School and Meadow Lane Elementary School.  He has served as principal at Roper since 2011. 

Posted on February 12, 2018


NARSP Offering Scholarship to Active Educators

The Nebraska Association of Retired School Personnel (NARSP) will be awarding two scholarships of $1000 each for the 2018-2019 academic year.  These scholarships will be awarded to active educators working toward an advanced degree/endorsement in a related field of education. 

This past year Carrie Foster, special education supervisor, was a recipient of one of the scholarships awarded.  Since 2010, other LPS recipients have included Malinda Burk, Kimberly Snyder, and Matt Maw. 

The Lincoln Area Retired School Personnel (LARSP) organization will accept applications for the NARSP scholarships.   After applications are reviewed, the LARSP review committee will select two semi-finalists, and those applications will be sent to NARSP.  Those applications will be reviewed with the other semi-finalists from the fourteen local Units across Nebraska for the awarding of the two scholarships.  Notification of the scholarship recipients would be on or before August 1. 

Deadline for the receipt of completed applications is April 14, 2018.

Applications and additional information may be requested by contacting:

Robert or Billie Bussmann, LARSP Co-Presidents
3750 Normal Boulevard
Lincoln, NE 68506

402.488.3231

RBUSSMANN@neb.rr.com or bbuss@neb.rr.com

 

Posted on January 31, 2018


January: LPS Community High School Task Force at Lincoln High

The Lincoln Public Schools Community High School Task Force held its fourth meeting on Thursday at Lincoln High School and continued committee work to study high school enrollment, priorities and facilities.   

Liz Standish, associate superintendent for Business Affairs, who is facilitating the Task Force, mapped out the plan for the work of the Task Force over the next few months. 

“We are hoping we will begin to draft recommendations in February,” she said.  In March, she said the goal is for the recommendations to start taking shape – and have them ready to present in the spring.  

The Task Force – made up of about 70 community citizens and LPS educators – was formed to investigate community options and priorities for serving high school students.  They will meet monthly throughout this school year at all six public high schools, and will make recommendations to the superintendent by May, 2018.

On Thursday, the Task Force continued to work in four subcommittees.

  • Subcommittee on Focus Programs/Innovative Delivery: “Great conversation, increased understanding of challenges....in order to focus on career ready and college ready…and what tools are needed.
  • Subcommittee on Traditional High School/School Size: “We are getting close to our working statements and will be ready to move ahead.”
  • Subcommittee on City Growth/Capacity Needs.  “We realize the amount of growth we’re seeing in Lincoln…with a lot of facts and figures presented, and we will base our recommendations on those numbers.”
  • Subcommittee on Community/Student/Diversity: “Our subcommittee plays a unique role in that we impact all the other subcommittees. We will be asking for feedback from all of the other groups.”

Last year, LPS served 11,677 high school students, and by 2021, LPS is expected to have 13,344 high school students.  Last year three high schools had enrollments of more than 2,000 students: Lincoln North Star High School, Lincoln Southeast High School and Lincoln High School – and this year Lincoln East High School joined that list. 

Task Force Co-Chairs:

  • Gloria Eddins
  • Bob Rauner 

Task Force meetings:

Date

Location

Time

September 28th, 2017

East High School

1000 S. 70th Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

October 26th, 2017

North Star High School

5801 N. 33rd Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

November 30th, 2017

Southeast High School

2930 S. 37th Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

January 25th, 2018

Lincoln High School

2229 J Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

February 22nd, 2018

Southwest High School

7001 S. 14th Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

March 22, 2018

Northeast High School

2635 N. 63rd Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

 

 

Posted on January 25, 2018


Highlights of 1/23 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

Highlights of 1/23 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next meeting on Feb. 13 at 6 p.m.

LPS is green school district

Lincoln Public Schools has gone green over the past decades. The school district practices energy efficiency in all LPS facilities, composts, recycles in general, and recycles construction waste, helps with school gardens and outdoor education, and more.

Brittney Albin, Sustainability Coordinator for LPS, Tuesday gave the Lincoln Board of Education an update on LPS sustainability efforts.  

A few highlights:

  •        District-wide recycling program since 2002 (all schools):  Recycle 1.3 million pounds annually
  •        Compost Program started in 2014 (currently 41 schools): Diverting over 4,500 of pounds of organic waste daily
  •        Construction Waste Management (2014 Bond Issue): New guidelines for LPS projects – aimed at diverting 75 percent of materials; diverted over 4,000 tons of material from the landfill:  Wood, Metal, Ceiling Tiles, Cardboard, Concrete; generates $60,000 in revenue

Board member Barb Baier commended Albin and the sustainability program, “and the incredible work to engage so many of our schools…I am so proud of your work and the school district being a leader in this area. 

Don Mayhew applauded the program as a good cause, but also the financial impact: “When we are diverting solid waste, when we are recycling…we see a real financial benefit…another way to be good stewards of taxpayer resources.”

The Lincoln Public Schools Sustainability Department promotes green efforts throughout the school district and the community by implementing environmentally responsible practices in LPS facilities – while providing educational opportunities for future environmental stewards.

Albin described one of the newer programs, the Green Schools Recognition Program, that involves giving schools a variety of green activities to complete throughout the year – and based on points earned, they may receive a small amount of funding for a sustainability-related project.

In fact, LPS is a leader in the implementation of sustainable practices. In 2015, LPS received the District Sustainability Award from the US Department of Education.  In addition, several LPS schools are recognized as Green Ribbon Schools (Irving Middle School and Prescott Elementary School).  The district was awarded the 2016 WasteCap NE Member of the Year, and has been recognized through various local award programs.

Grants

The Board approved submission of:

  •       A $67,000 grant to Steelcase Education to support renovation of classroom space at Lefler Middle School that would be redesigned to create a space that is more conducive to problem-based learning. If awarded, Lefler will serve in an experimental capacity, as other middle schools gravitate toward such environments of innovation.
  •       A $519,500 federally-funded 21st Century CLC grant application to the Nebraska Department of Education over a five-year period to help support Community Learning Centers at Everett and Lakeview elementary schools and Mickle Middle School.  Core program activities will include homework/academic support, enrichment activities, recreation and leisure, character education and development, and service learning as well as activities to support nutrition and healthy lifestyles. 
  •       An $8,000 grant from the Andrew Lloyd Weber Initiative to help fund a stage for the Bryan Community Focus Program. Theflexible and movable stage would allow for an appropriate set for theater and musical performances in the 1950’s gymnasium. This equipment also would allow for local, regional and national theatre groups to perform for the students.

More school buses  

The Board approved the purchase of 14 new school buses:

  •       Eight wheelchair school buses through a contract with Cornhusker International for $888,240.
  •       Six 72-passenger school buses through a contract with Truck Center Companies for $800,722.

Attendance approved for newly annexed

The Board approved attendance areas for newly annexed city property that includes:

  •       The area near 93rd and O streets, Annexation Ordinance #20586, for 2017-18 school year:  Pyrtle/Meadow Lane Elementary Schools, Lux Middle School and Lincoln East High School.
  •      The area near LES Southeast Service Center, Annexation Ordinance #20575, for 2017-18 school year:  Wysong Elementary School, Moore Middle School and Lincoln East High School.

The Board of Education assigns school attendance areas to property newly annexed to the city of Lincoln or newly platted. 

Superintendent update

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel thanked Lincoln Board of Education members for their work – in honor of National School Board Appreciation Week. 

“We offer our sincere appreciation for all the work you do as a Board of Education,” he said.  “All great school districts have great school boards…I thank you for your work in policy development that sets the stage for us to make good decisions for kids…Thank you for your support of our work…the encouragement you give us…your engagement in the community…Thank you for being a voice and an advocate for Lincoln Pubic Schools.”

Student Celebration

The Lincoln Board of Education heard a presentation about the Unified Bowling program, now a sanctioned sport through the Nebraska School Activities Association. A division of Special Olympics, the unified sports program pairs students with and without disabilities who compete together.

The presentation featured remarks from:

  •        Brandi Benson, journalism teacher and coach of the Unified Bowling team at Lincoln Southwest High school
  •        Unified Bowling competitor Elissa Fuelberth, a student at Southwest
  •        Rhonda and Dean Fuelberth, Elissa’s parents
  •        Austin Micek, Elissa’s Unified Bowling partner and a student at Southwest

 

 

Posted on January 23, 2018


2018 High School Graduation Ceremony times announced

Graduation for six of the Lincoln Public High Schools will be held on Sunday, May 27. The times and locations are as follows:

Pinnacle Bank Arena
Southeast High School - noon
Northeast High School - 3:00 p.m
East High School - 6:00 p.m.

Bob Devaney Sports Center
Lincoln High School - 1:30 p.m.
Southwest High School - 4:30 p.m.
North Star High School - 7:30 p.m.

Posted on January 21, 2018


We need volunteers for the Science Fair

We are pleased to announce the 23nd Annual Zoetis-LPS-GSK Science Fair on Thursday, March 1, 2018.  The fair will be held at the Lancaster Event Center-Pavilion 1, 4100 No. 84th Street in Lincoln.

Once again, we expect nearly 600 fifth through eighth grade students to descend upon the Event Center eager to share their discoveries with the Lincoln community.  There will be mazes, chemical reactions, paper airplanes, and of course, no science fair would be complete without an erupting volcano or two.  In addition, we have invited over 60 special presenters from the greater Nebraska area who will entertain and educate all who attend through many hands-on activities.

All that is missing is YOU!  We need your help to make this science fair happen.  We need community members to serve as project judges, student assistants, and registration staff.  A description of the various volunteer positions is included with this mailing.

How can you register to help?  Just follow the steps listed below.  Please note… all registrations must be completed on-line by the volunteer.

If you would like to volunteer for the science fair, please follow these steps…

  1. Review the job descriptions for the various volunteer positions.  Descriptions are included in this letter.
  2. Access the volunteer registration form directly HERE or go to www.lps.org  (type in keyword Science) which will bring up the LPS Science homepage.  Scroll down to the bottom where you’ll see Click here to be a volunteer listed under 2018 Zoetis-LPS-GSK Science Fair.   
  3. Complete the registration form and submit it.  Periodically, we will be sending out an email to all registrants indicating that we’ve received your registration.

Please respond by February 16th.   If you have any questions, please contact me at 402-436-1140 or rsettles@lps.org.  Or you may contact James Blake (jblake@lps.org).

Science Fair Volunteer Positions 

Project JudgeOur greatest need!  (5:00pm-until completion)
Review six to eight student projects.  Utilizing a uniform judging form, you will discuss the project with the students to see what they have learned.  (A refresher training session for judges will be held the night of the fair beginning at 4:30 pm at the Lancaster Event Center.)

Judge Registration→  (4:00-6:00 pm)
Greet judges as they arrive at the fair site.  You will also distribute judging forms, clipboards, and supplies to judges.

Information Table & Volunteer Registration→ (3:45-5:45 pm or 5:45-7:45 pm)
Greet all ‘non-judging’ volunteers.  You would also register all students who did not complete their registration through their school.  You will also help answer questions for our participants and visitors.

Student Registration→ (3:45-6:00 pm)
Distribute nametags, project numbers, and table assignments to all student participants.

T-Shirt Distribution→ (3:45- 6:00 pm)
Distribute t-shirts to our student participants.

Table Guide→  A High Need for volunteers! (3:45-6:00 pm)
Assist students in finding their assigned table location on the floor.

Judging Form Review→  (6:15-8:15 pm)
Review each judging form for mathematical accuracy, organize forms and possible data entry.

Posted on January 19, 2018


What are the Lincoln Public Schools Behavior Programs?

Lincoln Public Schools has three behavior programs:

Don D. Sherrill Education Center (DDSEC)
Pre-K through 5th grades
Principal: Cindy Vodicka
Location: 330 N. 56th Street
Has served 79 students throughout 2017-18 school year

Nuernberger Education Center (NEC)
6th through 8th grades
Principal: Jaime Boedeker
Location: 1801 S. 40th Street
Has served 73 students throughout the 2017-18 school year

Yankee Hill (YH)
9th through 12th grades
Principal:  Erik Witt
Location: 865 W. Burnham Street
Has served 80 students throughout the 2017-18 school year

Who does this program target?
Students who have significant behavioral issues that are not able to benefit from and are struggling in their home attendance school’s behavior programming.

How do students get to one these programs?
A process exists where the home attendance school works with the process staff to implement behavior specific strategies then collect data. If behavior doesn't improve the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team meets to determine if a placement at the behavior program will provide more support to the student.

What are the important components of  the settings?
Students walk in protocol (in a line with hands clasped behind their backs) with voices “off” for safety and structure; expectations called “norms” taught and practiced in the classroom, hallway, playground, other settings; students wear dress code; have three short assemblies each day to reset expectations; use seven levels of redirection; behavior is rated consistently and shared with students

What are the leadership opportunities for students?
All students earn ratings through their daily behavior data from concern, neutral, positive, positive observation, pledge, student government, and executive . After earning a leadership status (positive observation or above), students are able to redirect peers in a positive manner, and begin to facilitate the assembly process. Some students who have had significant behavioral issues in the past become strong leaders and assist peers in learning and maintaining positive behaviors.

Why do these programs “work”?
The students have consistent structure and know exactly what to expect. High expectations behaviorally and academically are key as well as learning and practicing appropriate behaviors. Staff are skilled and foster positive relationships with students. Relationship building between students and staff is very powerful in learning and maintaining behavior.

How are the programs funded?
The programs are funded by Lincoln Public Schools special education funds that include federal, state, and local monies.       

Posted on January 19, 2018


January LPS Learning Lunch: Success with our Scholars, featuring LPS Youth Development Team

Lincoln Public Schools students will talk about finding success in school at the January Lincoln Public Schools Learning Lunch scheduled for 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23 – in a presentation called“Success with our Scholars” that features remarks from students and Pete Ferguson, LPS Youth Development Team coordinator.

LPS Learning Lunches, open to the Lincoln community, are held in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St. 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.  You bring your lunch, we provide dessert.

The rest of the 2017-18 season:

  •       Tuesday, Feb. 27: Kids vs. adults in LPS Spelling Bee, LPS Spelling Bee champions compete with LPS employees, Mindy Murphy, curriculum specialist, Secondary English Language Arts.
  •       Tuesday, March 27: Developing Young Men and Women, featuring Huntington Elementary School children and Rik Devney, Huntington principal. 
  •       Tuesday, April 24: Great Year of Achievement, highlighting LPS special education programs at Sherrill, Nuernberger and Yankee Hill Education Centers – Jane Stavem, associate superintendent of Instruction at LPS.
  •       Tuesday, May 15: Making Music, UKE can do it!  Come try your musical talents with ukuleles, Lance Nielsen, curriculum specialist for Music at LPS.

Posted on January 04, 2018


Annual MLK Jr. Breakfast set for Jan. 12

When you attend the Martin Luther King Jr. “Freedom Breakfast” in January, you will help local students achieve their dream of attending college.

The 25th Annual MLK “Freedom Breakfast” will be held Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Lincoln. The breakfast is from 7:30-8:30 a.m., and doors open at 7 a.m. Tickets are $25, and there’s also an option to sponsor an individual or group.

Martha Florence, director of community engagement at NET, will be the keynote speaker. Additional comments will be made by Southeast Community College President Dr. Paul Illich, Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler, Lincoln Public Schools Dr. Liz Standish, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Dr. Ronnie Green.

The event is sponsored by SCC, UNL and LPS. Proceeds from the breakfast will go toward scholarships for students in Lincoln.

“The MLK breakfast typically draws hundreds of participants who represent the rich cultural, ethnic and generational diversity in our community,” said Jose Soto, vice president for Access/Equity/Diversity at SCC and one of the event’s organizers. “It’s a time of reflection and unity in recognition of Dr. King’s contributions to our nation and community.”

You can download the ticket order form here. For more information on this event or to purchase tickets, contact Ed Wimes at ewimes@nebraska.edu or 402-202-3267.

Posted on December 22, 2017


Piano Lessons for Adults

Have you always wanted to play the piano? Or have you forgotten how to play piano since you were a child? Join Lincoln's Community Piano Experience, a group piano class offered with the help of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Glenn Korff School of Music Piano Pedagogy faculty and interns! Offering classes at beginning and intermediate levels! Date, time, location, and cost information can be found on our website https://sites.google.com/site/lincolncommunitypiano/. For additional information email lincoln.cpe@gmail.com or call Travis Worsham at 936-591-2116. Registration deadline: January 17, 2018. 

Posted on December 22, 2017


Highlights of 12/12 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next meeting on Jan. 9 at 6 p.m.

Board looks forward, approves refreshed LPS strategic plan

After a comprehensive community engagement process over the past year, the Lincoln Board of Education Tuesday approved a new and refreshed strategic plan to take the school district through the next five years.

“The community has really reached out and helped us decide how to guide the district in the next five years,” said Board President Lanny Boswell.  “I look forward to taking this plan forward.” 

The Board determined to create an overarching vision for the new strategic plan that states: “To prepare all students to be college, career and civic-life ready with a goal of 90 percent on-time graduation.” 

The new strategic plan then focuses on five major thematic areas: academic success for students, global citizenship for all students, support for educators, family and community partnerships, and growth ready facilities.

The themes and goals are:

Future Ready Global Citizens:

  • Investigate the feasibility of developing additional K-12 focus programs, strengthening existing focus programs, and other programming options.
  • Develop plans to address the need for students to have greater exposure to world languages and cultures.

Support Academic Success for all Students:

  • Expand delivery model opportunities to allow for flexible scheduling.
  • Expand plans to address mental health needs of students.
  • Assess feasibility to expand access to high quality early childhood program access through additional full-day and part-day program options.
  • Increase movement opportunities throughout the school day to support developmental, physical and social needs of students.

Support for Educators:

  • Research and implement strategies to recruit, hire, develop, support and retain the highest quality and diverse staff.
  • Evaluate district assessments to determine the impact on classroom time and student performance.

Family and Community Partnerships:

  • Work toward providing all students access to full-service community schools that provide after school programs.

Growth ready facilities and infrastructure:

  • Research and develop facility plans to address growing high school enrollment.
  • Continue to update the LPS 10-year Facilities and Infrastructure Plan. 

The strategic plan draft is the result of intense community participation and support in an initiative that began early last school year – an initiative that included 49 community sessions and 3,800 responses from community citizens.  Data collected from community engagement was passed onto a Community Study Team – made up of community members and LPS staff – and then reviewed and modified through two Board work sessions.  

Attendance areas for newly annexed property

The Board approved attendance areas for newly annexed city property near Yankee Hill Road and South 40th Street.  Attendance areas will be: Humann Elementary School, Pound Middle School and Lincoln Southeast High School.

LPS Policy

The Board approved revisions in policy series 4000 related to Human Resources, including changes for Equal Employment Opportunity and Recruitment. 

Applications

The Board approved an application for a Woods Charitable Fund Breakthrough Initiative Grant.

The Board considered submission of a grant request to United Way to help continue to support the Two Generations – Family Literacy project.  They will vote final approval at the Jan. 9 Board meeting.

Data Snapshot

Instructional leaders presented a variety of scores and evaluation data – previously released to the public – to give Board members a “Data Snapshot” of the school district.

“I want to stress that we are using this data all year long,” said Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS.  “We have many systems in place for analyzing data at a school level – and we are getting better and better in using this data in more meaningful ways…We are also getting better looking at data, student by student, determining what they need to continue to be successful.” 

Stavem explained that educators from across the school district will come together to identify common threads and common possible strategies.  “We will look at individual stories of our students and ask questions such as: What barriers can we take out of the way? What adjustments do we need to make?”

Update on Refunding Series 2010 Build America Bond issue

The Board was given an update on their previous approval for refunding of the series 2010 Build America Bond Issue.  The purpose of advanced refunding is to take on bonds at a lower interest rate. The refunding resulted in 6.3 percent taxpayer savings – or just over $2.9 million.

Staff Celebration

The Lincoln Board of Education recognized Lincoln Public Schools employees who have given the school district 25 years of professional service: 

  1.   Darcy Ahlman
  2.   Linda Bouwens
  3.   Leslie Brown
  4.   Carrie Burkey
  5.  James Danson
  6.   Kathryn Dean
  7.  Sandra Devlin
  8.   Susan Dinsdale
  9.   Julia Dixon
  10. Robin Douglas-Lundy
  11. Kathleen Drahota
  12. Teresa Drake
  13. Richard Drommond
  14. Lynette Dunse
  15. Deborah Eastman
  16. Julie Eschliman
  17. Patrick Gatzemeyer
  18. Stacey Haney
  19. Sandra Hanson
  20. Stacey Heiser
  21. Richard Herrera
  22. Kathy Hoffart
  23. Anne Hubbell
  24. Kevin Hubbell
  25. Trisha Knoell
  26. Lisa Kramer-Hansen
  27. Karen Krull
  28. Karen Langan
  29. Roman Lys
  30. Robert McEntarffer
  31. Kelly Mitchell
  32. Carol Moravec
  33. Lisa Morehouse
  34. Marsha Munger
  35. Allegra Penington
  36. Nancy Peters
  37. Richard Powers
  38. Darin Raguse
  39. Cynthia Sell
  40. John Snoozy
  41. Joyce Sohl
  42. Pamela Steckelberg
  43. Stacy Steffensmeier
  44. Shari Stock
  45. Donna Straight
  46. Larry Sypho
  47. Scott Vicroy
  48. Sherry West
  49. Sandra Whiston
  50. Judith Wittwer
  51. Cheryl Wood
  52. Gary Zellweger
  53. Mara Zigurs

 

Posted on December 12, 2017


LPS names new Student Services Administrator

Lincoln Public Schools announces that Clay Hollman has accepted the position of Student Services Administrator  and will begin second semester.  He has served as the Special Education Coordinator at Lincoln Southeast High School since the 2012-13 school year, and also served as the Assistant Special Education Coordinator and  Special Education teacher at Southeast.  

Clay has Master’s of Education degrees in Curriculum and Instruction, and Educational Leadership from Doane University and is enrolled in the Doane Educational Specialist Program.

“We are excited about Clay joining our Student Services team,” said Russ Uhing, director of Student Services at LPS. “His knowledge of developing and implementing intervention and support plans for students along with his leadership experience at Southeast will be of great benefit as he supports our students and families district-wide.”

Posted on December 08, 2017


December LPS Learning Lunch: Restoring Calm, How LPS Responds to Crisis

The December Lincoln Public Schools Learning Lunch will happen at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 19 and feature a presentation, “Restoring Calm: LPS Response to Crisis,” byBrenda Leggiadro, LPS supervisor for counselors and social workers, and Ursula Vernon-Hansen, LPS Crisis Response Team facilitator.

 LPS Learning Lunches, open to the Lincoln community, are generally held on the last Tuesday of the month in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St. 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.  You bring your lunch, we provide dessert.

The rest of the 2017-18 season:

  •        Tuesday, Jan. 23: Success with our Scholars, featuring LPS students and Pete Ferguson, coordinator, LPS Youth Development Team.
  •        Tuesday, Feb. 27: Kids vs. adults in LPS Spelling Bee, LPS Spelling Bee champions compete with LPS employees, Mindy Murphy, curriculum specialist, Secondary English Language Arts.
  •        Tuesday, March 27: Developing Young Men and Women, featuring Huntington Elementary School children and Rik Devney, Huntington principal. 
  •        Tuesday, April 24: Great Year of Achievement, highlighting LPS special education programs at Sherrill, Nuernberger and Yankee Hill Education Centers – Jane Stavem, associate superintendent of Instruction at LPS.
  •        Tuesday, May 15: Making Music, UKE can do it!  Come try your musical talents with ukuleles, Lance Nielsen, curriculum specialist for Music at LPS.

Posted on December 06, 2017


LPS scores, graduation rate hold steady through increased rigor

High school graduation rates and state student achievement assessment scores are all holding steady at Lincoln Public Schools – generally scoring above state averages – as the school district increases both rigor and student enrollment numbers.

On Friday the Nebraska Department of Education released graduation rates from school districts across the state, as well as the many documents representing the 2016-17 Nebraska State Accountability (NeSA) scores (assessment based on state standards).

The LPS scores reflect many factors that result in providing quality education for LPS children, according to Steve Joel, superintendent at LPS, factors that include challenging curriculum and robust classroom instruction, quality educators and support for educators, as well as strong school and district leadership.  “We are seeing strong numbers and success stories for our students, while we also have work ahead of us with a rapidly growing student enrollment reflective of our changing demographics.”   

Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS, noted LPS scores have generally stayed solid and consistent – a success when considering the dramatic growth in student enrollment and the school district’s continued focus on raising the bar. “We are graduating a high percentage of students and we are very proud of that fact.  We continue to have a high graduation rate compared to school districts of the same size and demographics.  And we have more graduates than ever before, despite increased graduation requirements and rigor.”

For example:

  •         New LPS graduation requirements beginning with the class of 2015 increased total credits from 230 to 245 – and 182.5 of those credits are in required subjects compared to the previous 152.5.
  •         Along with new state science standards (adopted this fall) LPS Science Curriculum Specialist James Blake has worked diligently to prepare students and teachers.
  • Math Curriculum Specialist Josh Males has worked to deal with significant revision in math curriculum to meet the new state college and career ready standards.
  •         English Language Arts: Since the new state standards implementation in 2014, and aligning ELA state assessments to the standards (spring 2017) – the Nebraska Department of Education is raising the bar for LPS and students across the state.  The 2017 year is the first time students were assessed over the current, more rigorous Nebraska ELA College and Career Ready Standards. ELA Curriculum Specialists Lisa Oltman and Mindy Murphy have worked to revise district curriculum to help students acquire the skills described in the new standards.

Graduation rates

The high school graduation rate for for the LPS class of 2017 decreased slightly, from 85.6 to 85.2 percent, statistically staying flat, Stavem said, adding that LPS actually had more graduates than ever in 2017 – 2,032 compared to 1,955 the year before.  The percent of dropouts has remained constant (6.2 percent), while the percent of students continuing in school to work toward graduation after four years has increased (8.2 percent for 2016, 8.6 percent for 2017).

Stavem also noted that LPS is almost at 90 percent graduation rate when five- and six-year graduates are included.  “We continue to encourage students to stay with us beyond their senior year, if they did not graduate, because they are important to us, and more and more of those kids are graduating.”   

The official graduation rate in Nebraska and across the country is what is called the “on-time” rate – students who graduate in four years – but LPS also closely tracks students who graduate in five years (88.2 percent for the most recent numbers), and six years (89.9 percent).

LPS uses two sets of data for evaluating and assessing the high school graduation rate in the school district – using formulas that are slightly different – both released Friday.  For more than 20 years, LPS has followed the general rule of calculating graduation rates for students who start as ninth graders in the school district and graduate in four years on time. That means 85.2 percent of the students in the class of 2017 who started at LPS as ninth graders – and did not move away – graduated on time in four years.  (That compares to a graduation rate of about 80 percent at LPS more than five years ago.)

Graduation numbers for school districts across the state released Friday by the Nebraska State Department of Education use a slightly different calculation formula. The state includes students who transfer into high school after ninth grade begins: a formula that gives LPS an 82.8 percent, compared to 83.24 the previous year.  The state also released numbers for students who graduated in five years (86.7 percent), and six years (88.0 percent).  LPS officials note the difference in calculations is understandable: Students who arrive and transfer into LPS later in their school experience tend to have a greater number of challenges and therefore may graduate at a lower rate.

Achievement scores

NeSA achievement scores for LPS students released Friday are mostly above state averages – in fact, LPS scores are well above other large school districts in Nebraska.

Some scores are problematic to evaluate and compare this year, Stavem said, explaining the NeSA ELA test was new last school year – intending to measure the new College and Career Ready Nebraska Standards.  Teachers generally use NeSA scores – with other assessment information – to support a student’s ongoing learning, she continued.  “One of our challenges using NeSA scores this year is that they look starkly different from previous years and don’t necessarily line up with our other assessments and indicators.”

What’s more, the Nebraska Department of Education urged viewing the scores with caution with these words: “NDE expected the change in proficiency numbers and have been communicating to schools, districts and the public that the expected results were forthcoming for three years. The change in number of non-proficient students is a result of the increased expectations for students in Nebraska as we move to a focus of all students becoming College and Career Ready. Teachers and students are not suddenly poor performers…We cannot make comparisons between this year’s NeSA-ELA scores and any previous scores. This is a new baseline with high expectations for College and Career Readiness. There is really no comparison.”

ELA and math tests were given to all Nebraska students in grades 3-8, and the science test was given to 5th and 8th grade students. This was the seventh year Nebraska students have taken math, the sixth year for science and the first year they have taken the new NeSA ELA exam. Next year students will take a different assessment in ELA.

Stavem said the school district uses many other tools and assessments that affirm LPS students are continuing to learn and improve.  LPS has long focused on the goal of making sure students are college and career ready, she continued, pointing to the fact that 68 percent of LPS students in the class of 2016 went on to attend college – and92 percent of LPS students who enrolled in a four-year college continued into their sophomore year.  “The students we send to college are ready, our numbers confirm that – and those numbers are well above national averages. We are confident our students are prepared.” 

Summaries of each achievement area

English Language Arts (ELA), grades 3-6

  • In all grades, the percent of LPS students proficient on NeSA-ELA exceeds the state average.
    • 7 points higher in 3rd grade
    • 9 points higher in 4th grade
    • 7 points higher in 5th grade
    • 8 points higher in 6th grade
  • 2017 is the first year the NeSA-ELA assessment has been given. The design of the assessment has changed and scores on the NeSA-ELA should not be compared to scores from previous years on the NeSA-R.  Next year students will take a different assessment, the NSCAS.

ELA grades 7, 8 and 11

  • In grades 7 and 8, the percentage of LPS students proficient on NeSA-ELA exceeded the state average (6 points higher in 7th grade and 7 points higher in 8thgrade)
  • In grade 11, the percentage of LPS students “On Track” or “Meeting” expectations on the ACT exceeded the state average

Science:

  • Elementary curriculum enhancements showed evidence of effectiveness in fifth grade during the 2016-17 school year, coming within one percent of the highest all time score over six years of the test.
    • The high score occurred while all students were using a new science curriculum for the first time in fifth grade only, while the test covers material over three years of instruction.
    • In fifth grade, the percent of LPS students proficient on NeSA-S rose steadily from 2012 to 2014 and then became relatively stable in 2013-14, and have maintained.
  • Middle schools met state average in 8th grade – in fact, were 1 percent higher.
  • 2016-2017 was the first year ACT-S was given in place of NeSA-S for LPS juniors – and they exceeded the state average on the ACT science by two percent proficient.

Math:

  • In grades 3-8, the percent of LPS students proficient on the NeSA-M exceeds the state average in every grade.  
  • Results of first year of using ACT scores for 11th grade achievement indicate the school district is above the state average.

 

 

Posted on December 01, 2017


November: LPS Community High School Task Force at Southeast

The Lincoln Public Schools Community High School Task Force held its third meeting on Thursday at Lincoln Southeast High School and continued committee work to study high school enrollment, priorities and facilities.   

Liz Standish, associate superintendent for Business Affairs, who is facilitating the Task Force, took a moment to describe the role and process for the work of the Task Force. 

“This Task Force represents the very beginning of a community conversation – you are bringing the important issues to the surface – your work is directional,” Standish explained.

This group might answer questions such as:

  •       What are some of the key areas the school district should study?
  •       What are the recommendations that the school district should explore further and vet?
  •       What are some of the guiding principles the school district should keep in mind as we refine a high school recommendation? 

She outlined the probable calendar of events that will follow the Task Force work:  

  •   The Task Force will make recommendations – then the Board of Education and the superintendent will take topics to the broader community, research ideas, conduct surveys and further study.
  •  The past model for LPS includes a Superintendent’s Facility Advisory Committee – with subcommittees – and it is likely that a similar group would form and include a committee on high school.
  •  The Board of Education will evaluate Advisory Committee suggestions matching recommendations to resources available, setting priorities, etc.

The Task Force – made up of about 70 community citizens and LPS educators – was formed to investigate community options and priorities for serving high school students.  They will meet monthly throughout this school year at all six public high schools, and will make recommendations to the superintendent by May, 2018.

On Thursday, the Task Force continued to work in four subcommittees and discuss specific discussion topics. 

  • Subcommittee on Focus Programs/Innovative Delivery:

o   Question: What should be the driving purpose for adding new Focus Program opportunities?

o   Question: What percent of high school students do we believe will leave the traditional high school setting for Focus/Innovative Programs?

o   Question: What types of programs need to be developed?  Where should they be housed?

  • Subcommittee on Traditional High School/School Size

o   Question: What does a class A high school facility include compared to a Class B high school facility?

o   Question: What features should a high school include? 

  • Subcommittee on City Growth/Capacity Needs.

o   Question: How much additional capacity will we need? By Quadrant?

  • Subcommittee on Community/Student/Diversity

o   Question: How will we define equitable?

o   Question: How will we define diversity?

o   Question: Why is this an important discussion in considering a new high school or focus programs?

o   Question: How can a specialized program be equitable?  What features need to be included?

o   Question: How can a specialized program be diverse?  What features need to be included?

Last year, LPS served 11,677 high school students, and by 2021, LPS is expected to have 13,344 high school students.  Last year three high schools had enrollments of more than 2,000 students: Lincoln North Star High School, Lincoln Southeast High School and Lincoln High School – and this year Lincoln East High School joined that list. 

Task Force Co-Chairs:

  •       Gloria Eddins
  •       Bob Rauner

Task Force meetings:

Date

Location

Time

September 28th, 2017

East High School

1000 S. 70th Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

October 26th, 2017

North Star High School

5801 N. 33rd Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

November 30th, 2017

Southeast High School

2930 S. 37th Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

January 25th, 2018

Lincoln High School

2229 J Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

February 22nd, 2018

Southwest High School

7001 S. 14th Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

March 22, 2018

Northeast High School

2635 N. 63rd Street

Meeting 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Optional Tour at 3:30 p.m.

 

Posted on November 30, 2017


Catching the kindness bug at Lefler Middle School

They say kindness is contagious. If that’s the case, no one who works at Lefler Middle School is immune.

During a recent 10-day span, Lefler staff participated in “Kindness Blitz,” which encouraged the recognition of co-workers who perform random acts of kindness.

When someone “caught” a colleague doing anything that made Lefler a better place to be, they gave that person a t-shirt that read, “In a world where you can be anything, be kind - Lefler Middle School, Building a Community of Learners.” They took a photo of the person with the t-shirt and a “kindness card” they also received, which described their good deed. Then that person was required to repeat the same process with another co-worker within 24 hours.

By the end, every staff member at Lefler was sporting a kindness t-shirt. Their photos and kindness cards were displayed in the staff lounge.

The idea came from Jan McKeown, Lefler’s instructional technology coach.

“In a climate like this, I think the most important statement is to take care of each other,” she said. “I don’t know how anyone can argue this.”

Erin Pauley, a speech pathologist at the school, said the kindness campaign was a great way to acknowledge selfless acts that are sometimes taken for granted. “It was anytime we saw someone go the extra mile - not doing something they have to, but they choose to,” she said.

Here are a few examples from the kindness cards:

“You have a natural ability to build relationships with students. Please never stop smiling everywhere you go.”

“I appreciate the patience and kindness you show to our kids and staff. Your calm demeanor is a great example for me.”

“You are a perfect example of a kind person. I always know our students are in great hands when they are working with you. You model kindness in your everyday actions by responding quickly to student needs and coming up with ways to help and support even when it is hard.”

 Sixth-grade math and science teacher Adam Lempka said it wasn’t only Lefler staff who reaped the benefits of the “Kindness Blitz.”

“The kids were wondering and asking what we were doing, so you get to have that conversation, as well,” he said.

 

Posted on November 29, 2017


Highlights of 11/28 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

Highlights of 11/28 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St.

The Board will hold its next meeting – the only meeting in December – at 6 p.m. Dec. 12.

Proposed LPS strategic plan focuses on student academic, global success

With a focus on academic success and global citizenship for all students, support for educators, family and community partnerships, and growth ready facilities – the Lincoln Board of Education Tuesday rolled out the proposed strategic plan for the school district going forward for the next five years. 

“I’m really pleased to present this to you tonight,” said LPS Superintendent Steve Joel.  “This is a living, breathing document; this is a tremendous body of work; this is something we can be very, very proud of. 

Board members were supportive:

Don Mayhew: “Our process for this strategic plan was far-reaching, future thinking, very inclusive, and in the end it was data driven…I do believe this document represents a perfect consensus of the Board.”

Connie Duncan: “It was a long process and we worked hard…It just proved to me again, the schools belong to all of us…they are entire community schools.”

Annie Mumgaard:  “We had to answer the question…how do you take the community’s dreams and aspirations for our future – and then set them into intentions and into goals…I really think these five themes say:  This is what our community believes we can be, wants us to be and expects us to be.”

Matt Schulte: “This was lots of fun, a good opportunity to set strategic plan.”

Barb Baier: “This document gives us direction, but what I like about it – is that it’s flexible, we can go and roll with the punches…I also really like this document because the action steps give us accountability to the community as a whole…This is a document that will allow us to achieve new goals and create new realities for our students.” 

Kathy Danek: “For me, our number one responsibility is to graduate students with a world class education that prepares them to go out into the world… This really is about helping kids graduate...We’re working not to just focus on the past needs or visions, but on the ability of today’s and future graduates…I think this is a great plan.” 

Lanny Boswell was particularly impressed with the “flexibility and agility of the action steps…This was a very inclusive process…future focused….there were so many opportunities to share individual opinions, and to find that consensus…We are united in support for this plan.”

The Board determined to create an overarching vision for the new strategic plan that states: “To prepare all students to be college, career and civic-life ready with a goal of 90 percent on-time graduation.”

Then, the refreshed strategic plan is divided into five themes – all supporting the overarching vision – with goals and action steps included in each thematic area.  The proposed goals in each thematic area follow.

Future Ready Global Citizens:

  • Investigate the feasibility of developing additional K-12 focus programs, strengthening existing focus programs, and other programming options.
  • Develop plans to address the need for students to have greater exposure to world languages and cultures.

Support Academic Success for all Students:

  • Expand delivery model opportunities to allow for flexible scheduling.
  • Expand plans to address mental health needs of students.
  • Assess feasibility to expand access to high quality early childhood program access through additional full-day and part-day program options.
  • Increase movement opportunities throughout the school day to support developmental, physical and social needs of students.

Support for Educators:

  • Research and implement strategies to recruit, hire, develop, support and retain the highest quality and diverse staff.
  • Evaluate district assessments to determine the impact on classroom time and student performance.

Family and Community Partnerships:

  • Work toward providing all students access to full-service community schools that provide after school programs. 

Growth ready facilities and infrastructure:

  • Research and develop facility plans to address growing high school enrollment.
  • Continue to update the LPS 10-year Facilities and Infrastructure Plan.

The strategic plan draft is the result of intense community participation and support in an initiative that began early last school year – an initiative that included 49 community sessions and 3,800 responses from community citizens.  Data collected from community engagement was passed onto a Community Study Team – made up of community members and LPS staff – and then reviewed and modified through two Board work sessions.  

The Board will vote final approval of the new strategic plan on Dec. 12. Once adopted, strategic plan goals will return to the appropriate Board committees to develop further operational plans.

Refunding Series 2010 Build America Bond issue

The Board gave LPS the authority for advanced refunding of the series 2010 Build America Bond Issue that analysis indicates would likely result in 3 percent taxpayer savings – or about $1.5 million – according to Liz Standish, associate superintendent for Business Affairs. The purpose of advanced refunding is to take on bonds at a lower interest rate.

Standish explained that potential impending federal legislation could eliminate the ability to have advanced refunding with tax credit status.

Attendance areas for newly annexed property

The Board heard a proposal to provide attendance areas for newly annexed city property near Yankee Hill Road and South 40th Street.  Proposed attendance areas are: Humann Elementary School, Pound Middle School and Lincoln Southeast High School.  The Board will approve attendance areas on Dec. 12.

LPS Policy

The Board approved policy in the 3400 series related to Business: Sale of Real or Other Property.

They considered revisions in policy series 4000 related to Human Resources, including changes for Equal Employment Opportunity and Recruitment.  They will approve those policy changes Dec. 12. 

Grant applications considered

The Board considered several grants:

  •       The Board approved an application for a Migrant Education grant from the Nebraska Department of Education.
  •       The Board considered an application for a Woods Charitable Fund Breakthrough Initiative Grant.  The Board will vote final approval of this grant applications Dec. 12.

Key Core Networking and IP Telephony Equipment approved

The Board renewed the three-year contract for key core networking and IP Telephony equipment and licensing with the manufacturer for maintenance, software upgrades and technical support.

Student Celebration

The Lincoln Board of Education recognizes the rich curriculum of Lincoln Public Schools, honoring our school district’s ability to offer students a wide variety of courses that nurture individual interests.  One class in the high school Music Curriculum offerings – Music Composition/Technology – presents educators and students with an opportunity to weave together lessons in music, creativity and technology. 

Presenters were:

  •        Paul Kenney, assistant band director and music teacher, Lincoln East High School
  •        Lisabeth Wissink, vocal music teacher, Lincoln East High School
  •        Helen Little, senior, Lincoln East High School

 

Posted on November 28, 2017


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