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Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: May 15, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on May 15th, 2017

  1. Last day, graduations – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

The countdown is on:  The last day of class for Lincoln Public Schools is Wednesday, May 24.

The LPS class of 2017 will celebrate graduation ceremonies on Sunday, May 28 – for all six high schools:

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

For tips and details about graduation:

https://www.lps.org//post/detail.cfm?id=10921

2. LPS Solar Eclipse Celebration – For more information: James Blake, jblake@lps.org

We are excited to announce that all Lincoln Public Schools students and staff will be invited to participate in a special LPS Solar Eclipse Celebration early in the 2017-18 school year.  On Monday, August 21, students and staff will take part in a solar eclipse experience for this once-in-a-lifetime event: a full solar eclipse visible in the Lincoln and southeast Nebraska area.  Guided by specialists in all curriculum areas, this eclipse day of celebration will be preceded by a full week of rich, hands-on learning opportunities leading up to the grand finale. Special safety glasses will be provided for all LPS students and staff – glasses approved by the LPS Medical Advisory Committee. Alternative activities will be provided for students who choose to stay inside.

3. May Learning Lunch – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Listen for the drum beat – to find the May Lincoln Public Schools Learning Lunch, set for 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, May 16, in the Board Room at LPS District Office. This is the first year for a World Drumming class at Lincoln High School, so we will feature the learning outcomes from both the teacher and student perspective – as well as experience the joy of a drum circle. Learning Lunches run live on channel 80 and are livestreamed on the LPS website.

4. Grant for childhood obesity – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

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

The fitness monitor watches allow students to track their heart rate and level of exertion during PE classes. In addition to purchasing sets for four schools, the grant will provide resources for professional development around the use and implementation for middle school PE staff as well.  The Board will vote final approval at the May 23 meeting.

5. Scottish Rite – For more information: Eric Weber, eweber@lps.org

Jan McKeown, an instructional and technology coach at Lefler Middle School – who says the secret of good teaching is caring enough to bring your A game every day – will now forever be known as the Scottish Rite 2017 Distinguished Teacher of the Year.  She was honored early in May at a surprise assembly at Lefler.

McKeown began her teaching career with Lincoln Public Schools at Clinton Elementary School 32 years ago, and has since taught at Humann and Meadow Lane elementary schools, and now Lefler – where she determined middle school was her true love.  The prestigious Scottish Rite Award is presented annually, and comes with a cash prize of $5,000 from the very generous local chapter of the Scottish Rite.

6. Plan for helping struggling students– For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

More help for Lincoln Public Schools struggling students is planned and was further discussed at a recent Lincoln Board of Education meeting – a proposed action plan coming out of a comprehensive review and recommendations from the District Management Council (DMGroup). The proposed collaborative action plan would serve as the working document to guide the future work of the school district. The Board will vote final approval at the May 23 meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

A question, and response, about student devices

Posted in Your Questions Answered by on May 3rd, 2017

A community member recently contacted LPS with questions about student laptops, the reasoning behind them, and how they will be handled at the end of each school year. Here is the response from Kirk Langer, Chief Technology Officer for Lincoln Public Schools.

LPS is coming to the close of the 2nd year of a 3-year roll out of devices associated with our CLASS technology plan that you can review at this address – http://home.lps.org/class.

As for cost of the plan, you can see from the graphic at this site That is an ‘all-in’ number that includes management software and application software licensing. Given the demands of online testing (state and district) and adoption of digital curriculum that in some cases has no print alternative, LPS sought to embrace the most cost-effective method to provide Lincoln’s learners with device technology to meet these demands in support of learning. We are certainly a long way from the $1,000+ devices that students only occasionally had access to in labs but much has also changed with regard to online curriculum content and access to the rich online learning resources that have supplanted many print resources.

We are working hard to make sure our spend on technology is measured and leveraged to its fullest extent in support of learning. The Chromebook devices in use by 6th -12th graders have a 3-year lifecycle and those in use by 2nd – 5th graders have a 4-year lifecycle. At the end of each year we refurbish and repair over the summer and the devices are checked out again at the start of the next school year. Most especially the batteries, but other components as well, have typically been worn pretty thoroughly over the course of the lifecycle of the device.

The primary difference between the 3-year lifecycle of devices used by secondary students and 4-year devices used by elementary students relates to the extended time that the devices are used by secondary students who take the devices home each day. Given that digital resources have, in some cases, completely supplanted print resources, secondary students take the devices home just as they do textbooks and other learning materials.

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: May 1, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on May 1st, 2017

  1. Strategic Plan themes unveiled – For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

Five themes for a new Lincoln Public Schools Strategic Plan were unveiled for the Lincoln Board of Education at a work session in April – themes that would potentially provide focus for the school district over the next five years:

  • Academic Success
  • Future Ready Global Citizens
  • Support for Students
  • Support for Educators
  • Family and Community Partnerships

The themes were developed as a result of intense community participation and support in an initiative that began earlier this past school year – an initiative that included 49 community sessions and 3,800 responses from community citizens. Data collected from the community engagement was passed onto a Community Study Team – made up of community members and LPS staff – that further examined and analyzed the information and helped develop the five proposed themes.  Looking ahead, the Board will spend time discussing and evaluating the themes, hold a work session this summer and work toward approving a final Strategic Plan in August.

2. Calendar schedule proposed for 2018-19 Calendar – For more information: John Neal, jpneal@lps.org

Each year a joint Lincoln Public Schools/Lincoln Education Association committee – composed of parents, Lincoln Board of Education members, education association leaders, teachers and administrators – recommends a student calendar for the Board’s consideration. It has been the practice of the Board to adopt calendars more than a full calendar year before it is in place.

The general features of the proposed calendar for 2018-19 include the following:

  • First Day: Monday, August 13
  • Quarter Break: Monday and Tuesday, October 15-16
  • Thanksgiving: Wednesday- Friday, November 21-23
  • Quarter Break: Monday-Friday, March 11-15
  • Spring Break: Friday, April 19
  • Last Day: Thursday, May 23

The Calendar Committee’s purpose statement: “The school calendar demonstrates the school district’s commitment to learning.  It is based on sound instructional considerations and priorities ensuring the continuity, efficiency, and effectiveness of teaching and learning.”

3. BackPack Walk – For more information: Shari Styskal, sstyskal@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools employees raised a record $186,000 this year – and still counting – as well as $1.5 million over the past decade to support the community’s children through the annual BackPack Extra Mile Walk, held Saturday at Lincoln East High School. The fundraiser helps support the Food Bank of Lincoln’s generous BackPack initiative, which provides a weekly Friday backpack filled with food for students who need help in having enough to eat over the weekend. 

“I know that my cupboards are full, but I also know we have so many children in our school district who go home to empty cupboards,” said Shari Styskal, the director of Budget at LPS – and the woman who has coordinated the walk for the past 10 years.   “This is our way of helping those children – and one way our employees can support their own community.”

4. Campbell Community Learning Center – For more information: Lea Ann Johnson, ljohns2@lps.org

Campbell Elementary School held a celebration Monday to rejoice in becoming a Community Learning Center this coming fall.

The Lincoln CLC provides a delivery system that uses the local school as the hub of service. These schools provide safe, supervised before and after school programs, weekend and summer enrichment programs, and many other supportive services for citizens of all ages.

5. Zoo/Zoo School groundbreaking – For more information: Pat Hunter-Pirtle, ppirtle@lps.org

This spring, the community celebrated a groundbreaking at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, recognizing a growing zoo as well as new facilities for the LPS Science Focus Program (Zoo School).

Don Mayhew, president of the Lincoln Board of Education: “Today we not only celebrate the expansion of our Zoo, but also the expansion of the Zoo School…I believe we have been pioneers in education in Lincoln. There was no template or algorithm to envision the Zoo School.  But over the years this program has become incredibly popular, a way of doing high school differently, a way of developing a high school experience that goes beyond the four walls of the classroom and the boundaries of the school campus. We have launched hundreds and thousands of students into the world and into an amazing array of careers.  Now – looking ahead – the new Zoo School facility will continue to support our community in educating young people – doubling the number of students who can attend.”

6. Ribbon cutting for Copple Family Y/adjacent to Moore Middle – For more information: Pat Hunter-Pirtle, ppirtle@lps.org

A ribbon cutting late in April celebrated the opening of the new Copple Family YMCA – located adjacent to the new Marilyn Moore Middle school, which opens this fall – as well as celebrating the power of community collaboration.  The Lincoln Public Schools/YMCA partnership is modeled after the first such pilot program: the Fallbrook YMCA located right next to Schoo Middle School.

“I love that image,” LPS Board of Education President Don Mayhew said at the ribbon cutting, “because we now have two cornerstones in northwest and southeast Lincoln – where our schools and YMCA’s  prudently and efficiently share space….Joint facilities – like this one – undoubtedly save money because of shared spaces, and allow for smoother transitions for our families. In fact, the YMCA and Lincoln Public Schools are two organizations that represent a perfect mesh of mission. We both support families, youth development, physical fitness, education and sense of community.”

LPS Track & Field 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on April 28th, 2017

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Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: April 17, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on April 17th, 2017

  1. Indian Center pilot program – For more information: John Neal, jpneal@lps.org

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

This program aligns with several basic Lincoln Public Schools goals: Increase the high school graduation rate, and partner with community groups to provide academic support for our students.

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

  • Reinforce homework.
  • Goal setting.
  • Rewarding academic success. Students who meet the following criteria are eligible to wear eagle feathers on their graduation caps as a reward incentive: They will graduate from high school; are self-identified as Native American; have partnered with the Indian Center Inc. and fulfilled the appropriate requirements.

2. Zoo Reveal offers peek at new facility for Science Focus Program  – For more information: Pat Hunter-Pirtle, ppirtle@lps.org

Giraffes, tigers and spider monkeys are on their way to Lincoln – along with an enhanced and expanded place for them to live at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo – and a full-fledged facility for the Lincoln Public Schools Science Program (Zoo School). In fact, upon completion, the new Zoo School facility could double enrollment from 100 to 200 students.  The announcement came this month in a collaborative event featuring officials from the zoo, city of Lincoln and LPS.

3. Moore Middle School and adjacent YMCA rolling along – For more information: Pat Hunter-Pirtle, ppirtle@lps.org

Community members glimpsed their first peek at the new Marilyn Moore Middle School this month through the eyes of news reporters invited for the facility’s first media tour – opening the doors onto a beautiful, three-story middle school on the edge southeast Lincoln. Moore will be the school district’s 12th middle school, anticipating more than than 350 students this fall for the 2017-18 school year.  The school is designed to handle 850 students, and has a capacity for 1,000.

The $30 million, 175,000 square-foot structure is built with funds from the 2014 school bond, and should ease pressure on other area middle schools. It is the second LPS school to be built in partnership with the local YMCA – with an adjacent Copple YMCA branch right next door. A ribbon cutting for the Copple YMCA is set for 2 p.m. Friday, April 28, and the Y opens its doors on May 1.  For more: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11814

4. Heartland Athletic Conference expanding – For more information: Kathi Wieskamp, kwieska@lps.org

The Heartland Athletic Conference has announced three schools have applied for and accepted invitations to join beginning in the 2018-19 school year:  Kearney High School, Lincoln Pius X High School and Norfolk High School.  The conference’s current members include Fremont High School, Grand Island High School, and all six high schools in Lincoln Public Schools.  The last time the conference expanded came more than a decade ago when two new LPS high schools – North Star (2003) and Southwest (2002) – were opened.. More info at: http://home.lps.org/athletics/2017/04/11/heartland-athletic-conference-announces-expansion-starting-in-2018-19/

5. Learning Lunch For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

All That Shines Isn’t Chrome – is the focus of the April LPS Learning Lunch, set for noon Tuesday, April 25, in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St. The presentation will feature Kirk Langer, chief technology officer at LPS, inviting you to come learn about why LPS decided to purchase Chromebooks for students – and how the Chromebooks are being used as a tool for learning. Learning Lunches are open to LPS staff and the Lincoln community.

6. BackPack Walk April 29– For more information: Shari Styskal, sstyskal@lps.org

The tenth annual LPS BackPack Extra Mile Walk is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, April 29, at Lincoln East High School. In nine years of walking, LPS employees have raised over $1.3 million for the Food Bank of Lincoln’s BackPack program, which provides Friday food-filled backpacks to children who need help with nourishment over the weekends.

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: April 3, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on April 3rd, 2017

  1. Changes in superintendent evaluation – For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

Annually, an evaluation of the Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent is prepared by the Lincoln Board of Education – along with leadership goals/job targets – and the Board is considering modifications in the annual evaluation procedures to better facilitate the process and to conform to current practice. The Board will vote final approval at the April 10 meeting.

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

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

2. Conversation begins on LPS growth and future facilities – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

In light of significant growth at Lincoln Public Schools – especially over the past decade – the Lincoln Board of Education recently held a work session to begin the conversation about updating what is called the 10-year Facilities and Infrastructure Plan, looking ahead to the facility needs of the school district in the coming years.   In an early draft of updating the 10-year plan, LPS staff members are suggesting four new elementary schools, two new middle schools and possible new high school space – as part of the next decade at LPS.

“This document is about many things, but mostly it is about dramatic growth in our community and our school district – and making sure there is broad community understanding,” said Scott Wieskamp, director of Operations at LPS.  “This plan is not just about tomorrow. This is about years down the road – perhaps what is happening in our community in 30, 40, 50 years…This kind of long-range planning is really critical…and that is where your vision is so important.”

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

3. New director of Curriculum and Instruction – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

Takako Olson, currently associate principal at Lincoln Southeast High School, has been named the new director of Curriculum and Instruction for Lincoln Public Schools.  “We are pleased to welcome Takako to this position,” said Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS. “We believe her skills and experience are a great fit for this new role.”

4. Naming Professional Learning Facility and Nutrition Services Facility – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The renovated Lincoln Public Schools facility at 710 Hill St. – which has two separate sections – will likely carry two names: The Don Clifton Professional Learning Center (for the south main entrance and the staff development section); and the Nutrition Services Distribution Center (for the east side for the section that will house LPS food storage).   A community committee – made up of seven community members and three Board of Education members – have passed on that recommendation to the full Board Tuesday evening. The Board will vote final approval at the April 10 meeting.

The renovated facility will have two major uses:

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

5. LPS graduation ceremonies for class of 2017 – For more information: Pat Hunter-Pirtle, ppirtle@lps.org

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

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

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

 

Community News: April 2017

Posted in Community News by on March 28th, 2017

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Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: March 20, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on March 20th, 2017

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: March 20, 2017 

1. Happy spring and fourth quarter

Lincoln Public Schools students and staff members begin their first day of fourth quarter on Monday, March 20. The final day of this school year is May 24.

2. Looking into the future for LPS schools/facilities – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education has started the important and lengthy process of updating what is called the 10-year Facilities and Infrastructure Plan – looking ahead to the facility needs of the school district in the coming years, especially in light of the incredible growth at LPS over the past decade.  The Board is holding a Work Session Monday, March 20, for a presentation and discussion, but the session is only the beginning of a long and intensive community-wide discussion.

3. Learning Lunch highlights visual arts education  – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Visual Art: Enriching the Human Experience – is the focus of the March Lincoln Public Schools Learning Lunch, set for Tuesday, March 28, in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St. The presentation will feature Lorinda Rice, curriculum specialist for Visual Arts for LPS, inviting you to learn how high-quality art education can prepare students for learning in a visual age and into the future. Doors to the Board Room open at noon, the program begins at 12:15 p.m., questions-and-answers happen at 12:45 p.m. Please bring your own lunch – we’ll provide dessert.

4. Weaving dreams and memories – For more information: Zachary Baehr, zbaehr@lps.org

Students are sewing and weaving together their memories and dreams through a wonderful program at Lincoln High School called, The Quilted Conscience, connecting students to their stories through creating quilts – stories that are a crocheted memory bank of pain, loss, love and hope. Go to: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11732

5. Thank you teacher winners – For more information: Mindy Burbach, mburbach@lps.org

Lincoln Southeast High School sophomore Aaron Bolton said that Southeast English teacher/debate coach Sam Segrist is a teacher who “goes above and beyond for teaching, and clearly cares about the impact, influence and learning that he gives to any student.”  Lincoln High School student Kaleb Miller says of his former health and physical education teacher, Jeff Williams at Culler Middle School: “How I live right now is affected by him more than he probably knows.”  Riley Elementary School teacher Vickie Neilly “was always there for me and loved me no matter what I did,” according to Jackson Okereke – now a student at Lincoln High.  And Kloefkorn Elementary School teachers Kristy Kennedy and Kate Manstedt have supported and helped Alexis Verzal – a Kloefkorn student – overcome a variety of challenges to become a successful student and wonderful reader.

The students and teachers selected as winners through the annual LPS Thank You Teacher contest were announced this month. For winners and video, go to: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11709

6. LPS names new principals for 2017-18 school year – For more information – Eric Weber, eweber@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools is pleased to announce five new elementary principals for the 2017-18 school year. Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS said, “In Lincoln Public Schools we are fortunate to have committed leaders who care about student achievement and providing a quality education in every school. We are excited to welcome these new administrators and look forward to the energy and ideas they will bring to their schools.”

The new principals are:

  • Arnold Elementary School: Jodi Frager, currently the associate principal at Dawes Middle School.
  • Brownell Elementary School: Kelly Apel, who has served as the associate principal at Goodrich Middle School since 2011.
    Eastridge Elementary School: Traci Boothe, who has been the coordinator at Eastridge Elementary School since 2013
  • Pershing Elementary School: Jamie Cook, currently the coordinator at Sheridan Elementary School.
  • Saratoga Elementary School: Annette Bushaw, now the coordinator at Randolph Elementary School.

Community News: March 2017

Posted in Community News by on February 21st, 2017

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Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: Feb. 20, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on February 20th, 2017

  1. Science bubbling – For more information: James Blake, jblake@lps.org

The 2017 Zoetis-Lincoln Public Schools-GSK Science Fair – the 22nd annual event – will be held on Thursday, March 2 at the Lancaster County Event Center.  LPS is excited to showcase all the wonderful science experiments and demonstrations from LPS fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders. With more space than ever, we will have different groups also sharing different aspects of science around our community. The public is invited to come and see these terrific, creative experiments and demonstrations – for a night of science.

2. Update on plans for struggling students – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education has scheduled a 4:30 p.m. work session on Tuesday, Feb., 28, for an update on the external audit on struggling students.  The school district hired an outside consulting firm, District Management Council (DMC), to gain a deeper understanding of services, best practices and resources Lincoln Public Schools provides to “struggling students” – students provided additional services and support through Special and General Education

DMC presented a report – and now LPS is making plans to move ahead, examine current processes and look for opportunities to improve. The analysis had concluded the school district does an excellent job providing struggling students with services to offer supports that will help them succeed socially, emotionally and academically – while also recognizing that systems can improve, providing a road map with a series of recommendations to be implemented over the next three to five years.

3. Expanding early childhood  – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education recently approved submission of an Early Childhood Expansion grant application that would expand early childhood offerings in the school district in LPS elementary school buildings.

The programs would ensure that each child enters a formal school setting with the same learning advantages as other children with early childhood staff and partners seeking opportunities to promote the physical, social, emotional, cognitive and language development of very young children and their families.  Research demonstrates that the best approach to serve the families of these young children is through quality preschool services to assist with transitions to kindergarten. These programs would serve three- and four-year-olds who qualify for participation in an inclusive environment.  The $200,000 grant will be submitted to the Nebraska Department of Education.

4. February Learning Lunch focuses on science  – For more information: Zachary Baehr, zbaehr@lps.org

The February Learning Lunch – noon on Tuesday, Feb. 21 – features James Blake, curriculum specialist for Science at LPS, offering a presentation called: A Guide for Science Education Today. The Lunch will focus on science education today and how LPS is developing science teachers and curriculum to support our science students.  Learning Lunches are presented in the Board Room at District Office, run live on channel 80 and are livestreamed on the LPS website. Doors to the Board Room open at noon, the program begins at 12:15 p.m., questions-and-answers happen at 12:45 p.m. Please bring your own lunch – we’ll provide dessert.

5, Celebrating our facilities  – For more information: Mindy Burbach, mburbach@lps.org

Several LPS schools have celebrations planned in the coming weeks to invite our community to sobserve significant renovation and additions that have occurred in the last months and years.  Irving Middle School will celebrate with an open house on the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 26 – and Norwood Park Elementary School holds an open house on the afternoon of Sunday, March 5.  Both events are open to the public.

6. Thank you teacher – For more information: Mindy Burbach, mburbach@lps.org

Thank a teacher!  Tuesday, March 7 – is National Teacher Recognition Day.

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: Feb. 6, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on February 6th, 2017

  1. Thanks to our community – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools has a tradition of thanking the community – for providing support to renovate the school district’s older schools – by holding open houses to celebrate extensive building renovation. Irving Middle School will hold an open house on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 26, to highlight the extensive renovation that has happened at Irving over the last several years. Norwood Park Elementary School will celebrate building renovations on Sunday, March 5.

2. Underlining the importance of early childhood – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education held a first reading late in January and will vote at the Feb. 14 meeting on an Early Childhood Expansion grant application in the amount of $200,000 to expand early childhood education offerings.

Lincoln Public Schools proposes to pilot two full-day, center-based early childhood classrooms in LPS elementary school buildings through this grant. Each classroom will serve 20 children, for a total of 40 children served: three- and four-year-olds who qualify for participation in an inclusive environment. The program is based on research and best practices in the field of early childhood and family systems. By embracing the child and family in a secure, nurturing culturally appropriate environment, the child’s growth and development will flourish. Research demonstrates that the best approach to serve the families of these young children is through quality preschool services to assist with transitions to kindergarten. The program emphasizes the core elements of family involvement through home visitation with an emphasis on family literacy that supports education as a core family value.

3. All means all – For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

In light of recent political events that have impacted our classrooms, LPS Superintendent Steve Joel issued a message to all LPS staff members that emphasized our philosophy of welcoming all children who come to our doors. His video message is here:

http://www.lps.org/video/center.html?title=Video&id=2734

4. Retirement season – For more information: Eric Weber, eweber@lps.org

Several top administrators from Lincoln Public Schools have announced their retirement for the close of the 2016-17 school year.  Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS, noted: “We are so grateful for the legacy of excellence these leaders will leave with Lincoln Public Schools.  They have demonstrated their commitment to our students and families through their dedicated service and the many ways they have made our school district a great place to learn and grow.”

To read about those retiring: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11602

5. Thanks to our Lincoln Board of Education  – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

January was National Board of Education Appreciation month, and we all thanked our committed Board members who dedicate countless hours to advocate for all students. To view a brief video of each Board member: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11597

6. One week left to say thanks to your teachers – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

You have one week left to nominate your favorite teacher for the annual Lincoln Public Schools Thank You Teacher event.  Deadline is Feb. 10. In honor of Nebraska Teacher Recognition Day – Tuesday, March 7 – Lincoln Public Schools and KFOR/KFRX Radio are again collaborating to thank our educators with the annual Thank You Teacher contest. Go to the LPS website for more information.   The event is part of Nebraska Teacher Recognition activities.

Community News: February 2017

Posted in Community News by on January 31st, 2017

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Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: Jan. 16, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on January 16th, 2017

  1. First snow day of season – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools called the first snow day of the season with no classes on Tuesday, Jan. 17.   However, District Office remains open. 

2. Third year of tech plan – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education will pave the way for Lincoln Public Schools to move into the third phase of the Instructional Technology Plan with the consideration of a purchase that will mean all LPS students grades 3-12 will have access to individual Chromebooks – and in the future, potentially the addition of second graders.  The purchase discussed at a recent Board meeting – with final approval set for Jan. 24 – would cover Chromebooks for more than 3,000 sixth graders as well as for more than 8,300 students at the four remaining high schools where students do not have Chromebooks (Lincoln High, Lincoln East, Lincoln North Star and Lincoln Southwest).

The original Instructional Technology Plan called for providing Chromebooks to students grades 3-12, but Board members discussed the possibility of providing the gadgets to second graders as well. Funding for addition of one more grade could be provided by extending the original three-year plan into a four-year plan.

A January 2017 purchase of Chromebooks for distribution to secondary students in fall of 2017 would allow the school district to save $8 per device (a total of $66,904) and ensure all students are using the same device model

For more information: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11562

3. Strategic Plan update – For more information: John Neal, jpneal@lps.org

The Board of Education received an update recently about the progress and next steps involved with “Voices for the Future,” the school district’s strategic planning process.

Over the last few months, LPS has reached out to more than 37,500 people – and collected responses from more than 3,800 citizens. The collected data is now being reviewed and analyzed: categorizing responses, recognizing key themes and identifying representative quotations. Then that data will go to a Community Study Team later this month, a team that will develop and create proposed action steps.

A reminder: Lincoln Public Schools is seeking to engage citizens throughout the community to help refresh and develop a strategic plan to chart the course for the school district over the next five years. The strategic planning process involves gathering community voices through civic, school and community meetings, as well as through social media and online surveys – encouraging our citizens to dream big, imagine new ideas, help identify creative, innovative goals – necessary to write the story of our future. Our mission is to ensure LPS students experience a world-class education in preparation for college, career and life

4. Grant submissions approved – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

The Board of Education has approved submission of two grants:

  •  A proposal to United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County to support the Two Generation Family Literacy Program in the amount of approximately $30,000 for a one-year funding cycle. The evidence-based Family Literacy model followed by LPS includes the following four components: Adult Education Instruction—provided through high quality ESL classes; Children’s Education—teaching literacy through a viable district curriculum; Parent and Child Together Time; and Parenting Classes.
  • A five-year, $352,00 State 21st Century Community Learning Center grant that will bring necessary resources and support to establish Campbell Elementary School as a CLC school.  The federally-funded grant application is submitted to the Nebraska Department of Education.

5. Say thanks to your teachers – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Please take time this month to nominate your favorite teacher for the annual Lincoln Public Schools Thank You Teacher event.  In honor of Nebraska Teacher Recognition Day – Tuesday, March 7 – Lincoln Public Schools and KFOR/KFRX Radio are again collaborating to thank our educators with the annual Thank You Teacher contest. Nominations can be made in five categories and should be postmarked or sent by Friday, Feb. 10 – go to the LPS website for more information.   The event is part of Nebraska Teacher Recognition activities.

 

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: Jan. 3, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on January 3rd, 2017

  1. Second semester – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

The second semester at Lincoln Public Schools begins on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. The last day of class is May 24.

School calendars are at: http://www.lps.org/about/calendar/ 

2. Honor Roll for Advanced Placement – For more information: Jadi Miller, jmiller7@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools has been named to the Honor Roll for Advanced Placement for its work in AP course offerings.  LPS continues to work on access to AP courses so more students have more choices in their education. This year, 433 school districts nationwide were named to the list, and just two from Nebraska: LPS and Elkhorn Public School District.

To earn the distinction, a school district must “simultaneously achieve increases in access to Advanced Placement® courses for a broader number of students and also maintained or improved the rate at which their AP® students earned scores of 3 or higher on an AP Exam. AP District Honor Roll recipients are committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.”

For more information: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11506

3. Say thanks to your teachers – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Please take time this month to nominate your favorite teacher for the annual Lincoln Public Schools Thank You Teacher event.  In honor of Nebraska Teacher Recognition Day – Tuesday, March 7 – Lincoln Public Schools and KFOR/KFRX Radio are again collaborating to thank our educators with the annual Thank You Teacher contest. Nominations can be made in five categories and should be postmarked or sent by Friday, Feb. 10 – go to the LPS website for more information.   The event is part of Nebraska Teacher Recognition activities.

4. Steve Joel looks ahead to 2017 – For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

In his latest blog, LPS Superintendent Steve Joel looks into his crystal ball and wonders about a variety of questions: the future student enrollment in our school district, the essential value of digital resources, strategic goals for the next five years, the number of coming snow days – and more.  For the superintendent’s blogs go to: http://wp.lps.org/sjoel/

5. LPS schools earn national awards for health efforts – For more information: Edith Zumwalt, ezum@lps.org

The Healthier Schools Challenge is a is a voluntary certification initiative recognizing those schools enrolled in the Team Nutrition program by the United State Department of Agriculture that have created healthier school environments through the promotion of nutrition and physical activity.

USDA recognizes that changing the school nutrition environment takes time and celebrates both gradual changes and big successes of schools working diligently to help children eat more healthfully and be more physically active. Schools submitted for either a Bronze, Silver, Gold level award.

Twenty-eight schools within Lincoln Public Schools in partnership with Nutrition Services received recognition for these efforts across the district and are being recognized for their contribution to a healthier school environment. 

For more info: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11508

6. Good deeds Lincoln Public Schools students across the district participated in generous causes and projects over the past few months. A few examples online on the LPS website:

Community News – January 2017: The Library Edition

Posted in Community News by on December 27th, 2016

A Section

B Section

 

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: Dec. 19, 2016

Posted in Just Sharing by on December 19th, 2016

  1. High school graduation rate climbs – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

The high school graduation rate for for the class of 2016 at Lincoln Public Schools saw an increase, thanks to LPS high schools working hard to focus on every individual student and making sure they are successful through creative, proactive programs, according to officials at LPS. 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 85.6 percent of the students in the class of 2016 who started at LPS as ninth graders – and did not move away – graduated on time in four years, compared to 85.2 percent the previous year.  That compares to a graduation rate of 80.1 percent at LPS more than five years ago.   When you look at actual numbers, 47 more students graduated from LPS in 2016 compared to 2015.

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 (88.7 percent for the most recent numbers), and six years (91.9 percent).

Steve Joel, superintendent of LPS, noted: “While the work is getting tougher as we deal with unprecedented growth in overall numbers and in populations that require many additional supports, we have maintained high school graduation as a high priority.  Thanks go as well to Lincoln Board of Education members who have prioritized funds for programs and interventions designed to lift up students who are struggling. We will not rest until all of our students are successful.”   For more information: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11469

2. Looking ahead a decade – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

Imagine four new elementary schools, two new middle schools and new high school space in some form – as part of the next decade at Lincoln Public Schools. Those possibilities, and much more, were introduced at a Lincoln Board of Education work session recently as the beginning of a lengthy conversation about what should be identified as priorities for facilities and infrastructure in the next 10 years for our school district.

In fact, the work session was only the first of what will be a Board and community discussion in updating what is known as the “LPS 10-Year Facilities and Infrastructure Plan” – a document that guides the development of schools, additions, renovations, infrastructure and more. The document draft discussed – which is only an introduction for discussion – identified more than $486 million in facility and infrastructure needs in the school district. The 10-year plan is meant to identify all needs, but these projects are not yet funded. For more information: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11477 

3, Celebrating 50 LPS podcasts – For more information: Zachary Baehr, zbaehr@lps.org

To kick off season #2 of the LPS Podcast, Superintendent Steve Joel joined us for a two-part series. In these podcasts, Joel talks about technology, physical activity, mental health and snow days – as well as leadership strategy, planning for the future of LPS, hiring great talent, and what he has learned from his grandchildren. Go to: http://home.lps.org/podcast/

4. A quiet ceremony – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

In the quiet of a frigid, snowy Saturday morning this December, Lincoln Northeast High School students – who are part of the Air Force Junior ROTC program at Northeast – joined the annual Wreaths Across America ceremony where volunteers decorated more than 1,500 graves in the Soldier’s Circle at Wyuka Cemetery. Go to: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11496

5. Winter break

The first day of winter break for Lincoln Public Schools students is Friday, Dec. 23.  Students return for the first day of second semester on Wednesday, Jan. 4.  LPS calendars at: http://www.lps.org/about/calendar/

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: Dec. 5, 2016

Posted in Just Sharing by on December 5th, 2016

  1. Planting seeds of innovation – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education recently considered a proposed Nebraska Department of Education grant to support implementation of key innovative strategies meant to redesign middle schools. The grant application request would include approximately $2 million over a three-year period.  The grant would fund an LPS project called Planting the Seeds of Innovation in Middle School, which seeks to increase engagement and achievement among middle school students through a three-pronged strategy: (1) a schoolwide shift to design-based learning and an innovation mindset, (2) a transformation in design and function of learning environments, and (3) schoolwide professional development with innovative industry leaders in STEM and education fields.

If awarded, the project will initially target Goodrich and Moore middle schools—among the oldest and newest of LPS middle schools—to pilot these strategies. This will be followed by a phasing in of the remaining 10 middle schools over the three-year period, being mindful of the need for equitable distribution of resources throughout the district.  The Board will vote final approval at the Dec. 13 meeting.

 2. 25-year milestone – For more information: Eric Weber, eweber@lps.org

The Lincoln Public School District recently celebrated the 25-year milestone for more than 80 LPS employees, recognizing their professional service to the youth of Lincoln and the school district. For a list of those who were recognized:  http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11440

3.  School choice at LPS alive and wellFor more information:  Pat Hunter-Pirtle, ppirtle@lps.org

School choice within Lincoln is strong and growing, as Lincoln Public Schools showcased at a recent LPS Learning Lunch.  “One key to making school choice work is to be flexible with students and put the focus on the students,” said Pat Hunter-Pirtle, director of Secondary Education.

LPS offers open enrollment throughout its six high schools, and the Lincoln community also has various parochial schools and homeschool options for others. Bus transportation is provided from the students’ home high schools to the Science Focus Program, Arts & Humanities Focus Program and The Career Academy. The International Baccalaureate program is at Lincoln High School, and the Air Force Junior ROTC has a program at Lincoln Northeast High School. The programs are generally open to all students, unless a student needs additional support that can’t be met at a certain program. For more information: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=114524.

4. Voices for the Future – For more information: John Neal, jpneal@lps.org

Currently Lincoln Public Schools has engaged more than 37,000 community voices through the ongoing strategic planning initiative – with the initial data collecting phase scheduled through November and December.  The goal of the strategic planning process is to engage citizens throughout the community to help refresh and develop a strategic plan to chart the course for the school district over the next five years.  Please consider participating in this initiative by taking the strategic planning survey at: http://www.lps.org/strategicplan/

5. From horse carriages to school buses – For more information: Bill McCoy, bmccoy@lps.org

Since early times when we started delivering children to school, the school bus has served as the first and last classroom of the day. Bill McCoy, director of transportation for Lincoln Public Schools, provided an overview of busing at a recent Lincoln Public Schools Learning Lunch event.

School buses evolved over time, adding yellow as the primary color of the vehicle in the late 1800s. In the early 1900s, buses started to take similar shape to what we would recognize today, but the shape and design took even more changes in the 1960s.  Frank Cyr is considered the ‘father’ of the yellow school bus with black lettering. Cyr is a native of Nebraska, and a former superintendent of schools.

For more about the presentation: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11445

Community News – December 2016: The Arts Edition

Posted in Community News by on December 2nd, 2016

Section A

Section B – The Arts Edition

 

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: Nov. 21, 2016

Posted in Just Sharing by on November 21st, 2016

1. Voices for the Future – For more information: John Neal, jpneal@lps.org

Currently Lincoln Public Schools has engaged more than 7,400 community voices through the ongoing strategic planning initiative – with the initial data collecting phase scheduled through November and December.  The goal of the strategic planning process is to engage citizens throughout the community to help refresh and develop a strategic plan to chart the course for the school district over the next five years. The strategic planning process involves gathering community voices through civic, school and community meetings, as well as through social media and online surveys.

Please consider participating in this initiative by taking the strategic planning survey at: http://www.lps.org/strategicplan/

2. Blogging from China – For more information: Don Mayhew, don.mayhew@lps.org

Don Mayhew and Connie Duncan – president and vice president of the Lincoln Board of Education – visited China for nine days in November as members of the Chinese Bridge Delegation.  The goals of the trip were to build relationships and to learn about the Chinese system of education.   Here are a few of their written and video blogs:  http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11400

3. East High 14th straight Math Day honor– For more information: Josh Males, jamles@lps.org

Lincoln East High School has won its 14th straight University of Nebraska – Lincoln Math Day title.  More than 1,700 students attended the event from 98 schools, and East won the Class I team competition (made up of 16 Class A schools).  The East quiz bowl team was made up of Isaac, Dylan and Lara with Austin, Crystal, and Alix as alternates, and Leona Penner as coach and former EHS math coach.

For more of the story: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11432

4. Celebrating veterans – For more information: Mindy Burbach, mburbach@lps.org

Students in Lincoln Public Schools took time in November to learn about and honor veterans.  You’ll find just a sampling of the activities that took place around the school district here: http://lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11402

5. Bubba – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Hundreds of our community’s children are warmer after the annual Bubba’s Closet event held in mid-November at McPhee Elementary School – sponsored by Lincoln Public Schools elementary principals – providing free coats and winter clothes for young people.  Coats were donated from people throughout the community – and free coats were provided by The Rogers Foundation and Nelnet Business Solutions.

“We serve these children every day, but this is a moment we can really fill their basket,” said Pam Hale, principal of Norwood Park Elementary School and this year’s event organizer.

For photos and words: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11405

6. Scottish Rite teacher of the year – For more information: Eric Weber, eweber@llps.org

For photos and video from this year’s celebration of Scottish Rite Teacher of the Year – Meadow Lane Elementary School computer science teacher Susan Prabulos – go to: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11422

7. Flags flying – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools would like to make it clear:  Students at The Career Academy – and students who attend all schools at Lincoln Public Schools – are allowed to fly the American flag.  High school students are allowed to fly the flag on their vehicles. The school district apologized and cleared up that misunderstanding last week.

For the full statement from LPS Superintendent Steve Joel:

http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11425

 

 

Contact

Mary Kay Roth
Director of Communications
mkroth@lps.org | 402-436-1610

P.O. Box 82889
Lincoln, Nebraska 68501

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