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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

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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

 

 

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: Nov. 7, 2016

Posted in Just Sharing by on November 7th, 2016

  1. Student Vote – For more information: Mindy Burbach, mburbach@lps.org

Last week, fourth through twelfth grade students from across Lincoln cast their votes during Student Vote, when Lincoln Public Schools students weighed in on Presidential candidates, state school board candidates and first district congressional candidates. High school students were also able to vote on Referendum 426, which asks voters if they wish to retain or repeal the ban on the death penalty in Nebraska.

“Civic learning and civic engagement are vital pieces of social studies curriculum in Lincoln Public Schools,” said social studies curriculum specialist Jaci Kellison.  “We know that students who have the opportunity to learn about and participate in this democratic process from a young age will not only have increased interest in their communities, but are also more likely to become life-long voters and active citizens in adulthood.”

For more info: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11381

2. Digital Citizenship events/translations offered – For more information: Russ Uhing, ruhing@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools has two more community events scheduled in November centered around safety in technology and social media. LPS has partnered with Ryan Sothan of the Consumer Protection Division in the State Attorney General’s office, a state leader in best practices for the use of technology for families and students.

The two remaining presentations are set for:

  • 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, at Park Middle School – **with translations offered in the major languages
  • 6:45 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, Schoo Middle School

3. Honoring veterans – For more information: Duane Dohmen, ddohmen@lps.org

Lux Middle School hosted a special celebration last week honoring Veterans – ahead of the official Veteran’s Day on November 11.  Active and retired members from the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard and Navy, 43 all participated in the event. U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse was the keynote speaker for the assembly.  After the assembly, students rotated through breakout sessions, where the Veterans told students their stories.

Story, photos: http://lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11387

4. ConnectLPS – For more information: John Neal, jpneal@lps.org

ConnectLPS – an online tool also known as Let’s Talk – has now been added to every school webpage on the LPS website, offering an easy way for community members to connect with the school district. Go to the main LPS website, or any school site, and you have the option of choosing categories and interest areas to submit suggestions, questions or comments. LPS staff members will answer in a timely and informative response.

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

This year’s Scottish Rite Teacher of the Year – Meadow Lane Elementary School computer science teacher Susan Prabulos – will be honored at a ceremony set for 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, at LPS District Office, 5905 O St. Scottish Rite is one of the most prestigious awards given to an LPS teacher and comes with a cash prize of $3,000. Prabulos has taught at Sheridan, Brownell and Meadow Lane elementary schools for 20 years. She serves on various school improvement committees, helps with teachers and curriculum across the LPS district, and is recognized as a state and national leader in sharing professional development strategies and classroom instruction.

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

Lincoln Public Schools through November and December continues Strategic Planning 2022 – 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. Take the strategic planning survey at: http://www.lps.org/strategicplan/

There are also community-wide strategic planning sessions set:

  • 7, 6 p.m. at Goodrich Middle School
  • 19, 6 p.m. at Lux Middle School
  • 15, 12:30 p.m. at Mount Zion Baptist Church

7.  Extending opportunity to name new LPS support facility– For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

LPS has extended the deadline to submit suggestions for naming a new LPS support facility: the current Bison facility at 710 Hill St. that will house new professional learning spaces (smaller classrooms and conference rooms), as well as offices and significant storage for nutrition supplies. All suggested names will be forwarded to a special committee made up of Lincoln Board of Education and community members, and the Board will make the final decision. To offer suggestions go to: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11312

Community News: November – Technology theme

Posted in Just Sharing by on October 20th, 2016

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Section B – The Technology section

Why we alerted families about clowns

Posted in Just Sharing by on October 19th, 2016

Occasionally, a potential scenario starts to pique public interest even if there isn’t a direct, local issue. This happened recently in Lincoln Public Schools related to an issue that involved a national conversation about people wearing clown costumes trying to frighten – a conversation fueled by social media – that eventually reached Nebraska.

How did we decide that it was time to send a message to the families of our students?

Here are some key points we considered:

  • We had heard for weeks about this scenario nationally and knew these types of ‘scenarios’ could travel far and wide thanks to social media.
  • We had heard of actual clown incidents – credible or not – starting to reach Nebraska.
  • Our principals and a few parents contacted our communications department after hearing of rumors – specifically asking about student safety.
  • Local safety officials had remarked ( in this case via Twitter ) that it was an issue they were monitoring.

When possible, we strive to limit rumors by providing accurate information first, while not creating an impression that danger is near. Therefore, when we believe there is no actual threat – we will not talk with news reporters on camera but will share with news reporters any messages we have sent to families.

We emailed our message through the schools to families, as opposed to a phone call. (We generally do not make phone calls unless a parent needs to take immediate action on an issue.)

In our message, we were specific in asking parents what to do: report any concerns, try to prevent their students from attempting any clown-related pranks, and do not exacerbate the problem by spreading rumors on social media.

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: Oct. 17, 2016

Posted in Just Sharing by on October 16th, 2016

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

Lincoln Public Schools has launched LPS Strategic Planning 2022 – 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.

In addition to giving presentations to organizations and schools throughout Lincoln, there will be four opportunities to attend community-wide strategic planning sessions:

  • 1, 6 p.m. at Scott Middle School
  • 7, 6 p.m. at Goodrich Middle School
  • 19, 6 p.m. at Lux Middle School
  • 15, 12:30 p.m. at Mount Zion Baptist Church

2. Naming new LPS support facility– For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

We are now asking for suggestions for naming a new LPS support facility: the current Bison facility that will house support offices and significant storage for nutrition supplies; and new professional learning spaces (smaller classrooms and conference rooms). All suggested names will be forwarded to a special committee made up of Lincoln Board of Education and community members, and the committee will make the final decision. Please help spread the word.

To offer suggestions go to: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11312

3. Nebraska Teacher of the Year – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

Amber Vlasnik, a math teacher at Lincoln High School, has been named the 2017 Nebraska Teacher of the Year by the State Department of Education. Vlasnik has taught math at LHS since 2011, and served as the math department chair from 2014 to the end of the 2015-16 school year. Prior to that she taught at Lincoln Southeast High Schol and at a middle school in Houston, Texas. Go to: http://lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11307

4. Dedication of Nuernberger – For more information: Jaime Boedeker, jboedek@lps.org

Donning their new black and gold Nighthawks shirts with the saying “To the moon and back”, students and staff celebrated the dedication of the Nuernberger Education Center with family and community early in October. The 2016-2017 school year is the inaugural year for the Nuernberger Education Center which houses two programs – a student support program and a program that serves students sixth through eighth grades who have been referred from other middle schools within LPS.

“When thinking about speaking on this day, the one word that kept coming into my head was legacy,” said principal Jaime Boedeker. “The very existence of this building is the continuation of the legacy inherent in Lincoln Public Schools, in the community in which we live, and I believe it’s part of the legacy, if he were alive right now, Judge Nuernberger would be proud of today.”

Judge Bill Nuernberger was the first judge to serve on a separate Juvenile Court in Lancaster County. In that role, Nuernberger advocated that young people need a separate court and worked tirelessly, both in his professional and personal life, to better the lives of all children in the community.

Dedication at Nuernberger http://lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11305

5. Summer School Update – For more information: Pam Robinson, probin@lps.org
Highlights from the LPS 2016 Summer School Programs:

  • Record number of enrollment with 1,699 students enrolled, 1,411 students completing summer school.
  • All the high schools in Lincoln were represented, as well as, non-LPS schools and one student from as far away as Scottsbluff, Nebraska.
  • 279 English Language Learners participated in the summer program.
  • There were 55 different courses offered in 98 sections.
  • 318 students participated in the eLearning courses offered.
  • 93 percent of seniors enrolled in summer school finished their course work and received their diploma at the conclusion of summer school.
  • 37 schools offered summer school for elementary students serving over 857 students.

6. Bubba’s Closet – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Donations for an annual event called Bubba’s Closet are now being accepted for warmer winter wear for Lincoln children: Donors can drop off coats and winter clothes at any Hanger’s Cleaners location in Lincoln.  Bubba’s Closet is set for Saturday, Nov. 12 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at McPhee Elementary School, 820 Goodhue Boulevard (820 S. 15th Street) – open to all LPS children. For a podcast on the event: http://home.lps.org/podcast/

 

Community News – October 2016: College Edition

Posted in Just Sharing by on October 3rd, 2016

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Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: Oct. 3, 2016

Posted in Just Sharing by on September 30th, 2016

1. Final Friday – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

Student enrollment at Lincoln Public Schools again soared to historic, record highs this school year with almost 41,000 students attending the school district – a total of exactly 40,935 – growth of 987 students over last year. That’s a 2.5 percent increase compared to one year ago, a 12 percent increase compared to five years ago, and a whopping 24 percent increase in the last decade.

“We continue to be impressed, and somewhat surprised, at the rapid growth in enrollment in Lincoln Public Schools,” said LPS Superintendent Steve Joel. “We attribute much of this to a vibrant economy that continues to create jobs, a community where the quality of life is second to none – and public schools that continue to produce excellent achievement results while maintaining a sound focus on the needs of ALL students.”

** The official student enrollment count for LPS is recorded each year on the final Friday of September when numbers are reported to the State Department of Education.

More info: http://lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11270

2. Bubba’s Closet – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Donations for an annual event called Bubba’s Closet are now being accepted for warmer winter wear for Lincoln children: Donors can drop off coats and winter clothes at any Hanger’s Cleaners location in Lincoln.

Bubba’s Closet is set for Saturday, Nov. 12 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at McPhee Elementary School, 820 Goodhue Boulevard (820 S. 15th Street) – open to all LPS children. For a podcast on the event: http://home.lps.org/podcast/

3. Nuernberger Education Center dedication – For more information: Jenny Fundus, jfundus@lps.org

The community dedication for the new Bill Nuernberger Education Center is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9 – 1801 S. 40th St.

4. LPS families support schools, district – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

“Perception data” for Lincoln Public Schools was presented at the last Lincoln Board of Education meeting – the results of more than 1,000 surveys completed from 25 schools.

Highlights of the latest perception data:

  • Percent of parents who gave either an A or B to their child’s school:
    • LPS, 88 percent
    • Nationally, 67 percent
  • Percent of parents who gave either an A or B to their child’s school district:
    • LPS, 77 percent
    • Nationally, 48 percent

5. Suicide Prevention Coalition report – For more information: Russ Uhing, ruhing@lps.org

An update from the Community Suicide Prevention Coalition – formed more than a year ago to develop suicide prevention measures for youth – was presented to the Lincoln Board of Education by two members of the community group: Rose Hood Buss and John Gessert.

The group’s successes have been many.

Hood Buss noted the Coalition’s work to make the Signs of Suicide available to public and parochial schools ensuring those lessons are included in the health curriculum – as well as to familiarize schools with four key questions that help adults get a sense of a student’s feelings about potential suicide (now being piloted at four high schools).

Gessert pointed out the Coalition’s success in making sure suicide prevention signage has gone up in all the city parking garages – while continuing to work on signage at all parking garages in the community. He pointed to suicide prevention materials now available at shooting ranges, as well as lockboxes available at low cost. In addition, more than 2,000 individuals in Lincoln have taken training in what is called, “Question, Persuade and Refer…Ask a question, save a life.”

Don Mayhew, president of the Board of Education, said he remembered when the group was first created: “I remember when this Coalition was coming together…and I am proud of Dr. Joel’s leadership…and the stand that LPS took.”

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: Sept. 19, 2016

Posted in Just Sharing by on September 19th, 2016

  1. Strategic planning – For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education is moving forward with a new community-wide strategic planning initiative with a plan to engage the community and gather thousands of citizen voices to help refresh Lincoln Public Schools major strategic goals. The plan involves gathering community input – through civic, school and community meetings, as well as through social media and online surveys – to refresh the school district’s major goals for the coming five years.

Lanny Boswell, chair of the Board’s Strategic Planning Committee, explained that the process will have three guiding principles:

  • Inclusion
  • Future focus
  • Unity

The Board has approved a $32,400 contract with Leadership Resources, a local company that will provide support and guidance in the strategic planning process.

2. Wysong dedication – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Sally Wysong Elementary School – the newest building for Lincoln Public Schools that opened this school year in southeast Lincoln –held an official dedication last Sunday in celebration of a new beginning for students, families and staff, a celebration of community, and a celebration of the woman whose name was chosen for the school.

“Today we celebrate community,” said Lanny Boswell, the Board of Education member who represents the area of the city where Wysong is located. “Here we are on the outskirts of Lincoln with more houses appearing each and every day. This is awesome growth. And we are grateful to our community for understanding that investing in schools pays off for students, families, for our community and for our future.”

Boswell also honored Wysong’s legacy, and the many friends and family members who attended the Sunday ceremony – all wearing t-shirts that proclaimed: “Wysong…The Originals.”

3. Pride in continued strength of achievement – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools continues looking at a well-rounded plan for educating children – with excellence in classroom instruction, quality teachers who focus on that great instruction and take time to work with all students, strong school and district leadership, fine curriculum, professional development and continuous improvement – and the result is continued strength in achievement based on release of the 2015-16 Nebraska State Accountability (NeSA) scores, the piece of the achievement picture based on state standards.

“We are really proud that we have so many areas that have the best scores we have ever seen, and that is the result of amazing work happening every day in classrooms across our school district,” said Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS. “We’re seeing some of the highest NeSA proficiency scores we’ve ever had – especially in reading and math – in the history of our school district. There’s a lot to celebrate here…and, of course, always more work to be done.”

There are a total of 17 tests administered to LPS students grades 3-11 through NeSA, and of those: 14 overall scores either went up or stayed the same; and 11 were all-time highs, or tied for all-time highs from the last seven years.

4. LPS Live: Board Preview – For more information: Mindy Burbach, mburbach@lps.org

On September 13, the school district kicked off a new Facebook Live broadcast to preview the Board meeting agenda – hosted by Board President Don Mayhew. Before each Board meeting at approximately 5:40 p.m., Mayhew will sit down with a Board member and they will talk about issues that will be appearing on that night’s agenda. If you are interested in watching the first show, go to the LPS Facebook Page and click on the video, or watch our live broadcasts beginning at 5:40 p.m. before Board meetings. The next show will be on Tuesday, September 27.

5. Digital Citizenship events – For more information: Russ Uhing, ruhing@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools will host six community events this fall centered around safety in technology and social media. LPS has partnered with Ryan Sothan of the Consumer Protection Division in the State Attorney General’s office, a state leader in best practices for the use of technology for families and students. Each presentation is the same, and all are free and open to all ages.  The first program is: 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22, at Mickle Middle School. For the complete schedule go to http://lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11165

6. First Learning Lunch – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@llps.org

Beginning later in September, the 2016-17 lineup for the annual LPS Learning Lunches series offers more “Untold Stories” of our schools with Learning Lunches open to LPS staff and the Lincoln community. Lunches 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. Please bring your own lunch – we’ll provide dessert.

The first Learning Lunch is set for noon on Tuesday, Sept. 27. The Power of Education: Tales of two waiters: Ed Zimmer will tell the stories of two long-forgotten but remarkable individuals he has encountered in his research on Lincoln’s past, Llewelyn L. (“Bud”) Lindsey and Arthur B. Moss. Zimmer is Lincoln’s historic preservation planner and former member of the Lincoln Board of Education.

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: Sept. 5, 2016

Posted in Just Sharing by on September 6th, 2016

  1. LPS Budget approved – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education has approved the 2016-17 budget – a budget that slightly lowers the tax levy and provides the educational needs for significant growth in the school district.

 Highlights:

  • Over the last ten years, from 2005-2006 to 2015-2016, LPS reduced the total tax levy over seven cents – from $1.3142 to $1.2429. For 2016-17 the school district will see an even slightly lower levy of $1.2392 for 2016-2017, the lowest levy in our records dating back to 1967-1968.
  • The 2016-17 budget provides appropriate staffing, services, supplies and resources to address significant growth in LPS student enrollment. LPS estimates an increase of 900 or more students for 2016-17 – following a growth of 7,500 students in the past ten years – growth that means LPS would teach well over 40,000 students in the coming school year.
  • The budget continues to focus on providing continued quality education – recognizing that a quality education system is a long-term investment, not simply an expenditure – and our community, our businesses, our families, our students deserve a great school system.
  • According to the most recent statistics, LPS ranked 227th out of 245 school districts in Nebraska in per pupil spending.

2. ACT scores finish strong and steady – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

ACT scores for Lincoln Public Schools continued strong and steady with results from the fifth year of a pilot program in which all LPS high school juniors now take the college-ready test for free.

“Taking the ACT has become part of the culture in our school district,” according to Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS, noting that these scores mark a record for the most LPS students taking the test. “And we are holding firm in our scores with a population of students that continues to grow and change.”

As LPS student enrollment increases, more high school juniors take the test every year – 2,351 took the test last year – while the composite test score has remained steady with the same composite score over the past three years. In fact, of the states in the top third for participation in the ACT, Nebraska is first in composite scores by almost a full point.

Before the pilot program began, only about 65 percent of LPS graduates took the ACT, but now virtually 100 percent take the test, one of the most common standardized college entrance examinations.

3. Wysong dedication – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

The dedication ceremony for the new Sally G. Wysong Elementary School – a ceremony open to the public – is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18. The school is located at 7901 Blanchard Blvd.

4. MOSAIC new and innovative – For more information: Chris Haeffner, chaeffne@lps.org

MOSAIC will be on display this school year at Lincoln Public Schools District Office – 5905 O St. – from Sept. 6-15, open and free to the public during regular office hours.

MOSAIC is a collection of multicultural literature to help students make connections with the many different cultures from around the world. This year, MOSAIC is modernizing with more hands-on and interactive displays.

More than 280 titles will be part of the interactive displays that will include things like:

  • QR codes on the books and readers so students can watch video clips related to the stories;
  • Augmented reality viewers with virtual tours loaded on them;
  • Building blocks with specialized pieces from different cultures;
  • Cards with QR codes so students can watch popular music videos from around the world;
  • Chinese calligraphy mats and instructions.

5. Go Saltdogs – For more information: Matt Avey, mavey@lps.org

Haymarket Park filled with voices of excitement and laughter, music and cheers as approximately 3,000 Lincoln Public School fifth grade students attended the annual Saltdogs Game field trip early this school year. It is an annual ritual of lessons in character, sportsmanship and good fun.

“The biggest thing is we actually have an opportunity this year to bring every single school to the ballpark,” said Matt Avey, LPS curriculum specialist for Health and Physical Fitness. “We’ve done this for nine years, but it’s nice to finally get every fifth grader on the same page – all 39 schools out here enjoying the day at Haymarket Park.”

Avey: “Obviously we want the kids to have fun, but there’s some teachable moments here. We’re really trying to get the kids to understand not only the importance of physical activity, but how to participate in a positive manner as a spectator. That’s a component of the character education piece we teach our kids.”

Community News: September 2016

Posted in Community News by on August 30th, 2016

Community News is open to advertising from nonprofit organizations promoting nonprofit events. Each issue is sent home with elementary students and mailed to secondary families who do not have an elementary student. 2016/17 is the first year we’ve mailed to high school-only families. Total print production is about 24,000 copies.

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Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: August 15, 2016

Posted in Just Sharing by on August 14th, 2016

  1. First day of 2016-17 school year

Monday, August 15, is the first day of school for students in grades kindergarten through ninth grade – students grades 10-12 begin on Tuesday. On Monday the new Sally G. Wysong Elementary School opens, as well as the new Bill Nuernberger Education Center for middle school kids. This is the second year of the school district’s three-year Instructional Technology Plan – as well as the second year for The Career Academy.

2. LPS launches second year of Citizens Academy to teach ABCs of our schools – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools is inviting Lincoln citizens to participate in the second year of an initiative called the LPS Citizens Education Academy: a series of monthly classes that include hands-on interactive experiences depicting a true, behind-the-scenes sense of LPS. Participants are asked to attend monthly meetings hosted at schools across the school district, featuring a wide variety of information and activities. Participants will have conversations with high school seniors, visit a Family Literacy class, sample an ACT test, spend time in LPS classrooms, tour the new Career Academy and the new Wysong Elementary School, and much more. The deadline to apply for this no-charge public outreach program is Friday, August 26. To find out more: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11071

3. Proposed LPS budget – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education held a public hearing on the proposed 2016-17 Lincoln Public Schools budget at the first Board meeting in August – and a final vote on the budget will happen on August 23.

Highlights:

  • Over the last ten years, from 2005-2006 to 2015-2016, LPS reduced the total tax levy over seven cents – from $1.3142 to $1.2429. LPS proposes an even slightly lower levy of $1.2392 for 2016-2017, the lowest levy in our records dating back to 1967-1968. The average homeowner paid $2,148 in property tax to LPS in 2005-2006 and will pay an estimated $2,026 in the 2016-2017 proposed budget (a difference of $122, based on $163,457 average home).
  • The 2016-17 proposed budget addresses providing appropriate staffing, services, supplies and resources to address significant growth in LPS student enrollment. LPS estimates an increase of 900 or more students for 2016-17 – following a growth of 7,500 students in the past ten years – growth that means LPS would teach well over 40,000 students in the coming school year.
  • The budget continues to focus on providing continued quality education – recognizing that a quality education system is a long-term investment, not simply an expenditure – and our community, our businesses, our families, our students deserve a great school system.
  • According to the most recent statistics, LPS ranked 227th out of 245 school districts in Nebraska in per pupil spending.

4. Learning Lunches – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

The 2016-17 lineup for the annual Lincoln Public Schools Learning Lunches series offers more “Untold Stories” of our schools with Learning Lunches open to LPS staff and the Lincoln community – beginning with a program on Tuesday, Sept. 27. Lunches 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. Please bring your own lunch – we’ll provide dessert. For more info: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11072

5. Board approves goals and priorities – For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education has approved final goals and priorities for the coming school year:

  • By 2019, develop, implement, and sustain district initiatives that result in an increased graduation rate, with a goal of 90 percent of on-time graduates that are career and college ready.
  • By February 1, 2017, develop plans and recommend action steps based on the results of the Special Education review.
  • By March 1, 2017, adopt benchmarks that ensure high-quality, sustainable, full-service community schools and communicate a strong vision for current and future partnerships.
  • By May 1, 2017, complete a community-wide strategic planning process to identify community priorities for the district’s next 5-year strategic plan.

 

Four reasons why some website content is blocked on LPS network

Posted in Tips & Strategies by on August 11th, 2016

Filtering websites and online content in Lincoln Public Schools is not all that different from filtering offline content. This can mean making broad decisions about what students can see and not see while on the internet network in Lincoln Public Schools. By and large, these decisions are the same for all schools to provide consistency and fairness; but they also seek to serve the best interests of each student’s education as well as to prevent potential bandwidth issues.

Following are four general reasons, in no particular order, why online content might be blocked.

#1 – Purpose of device

Our primary goal as a public school district is to meet the educational opportunities of students and provide for the instructional needs of staff. The student devices – in this case, Chromebooks – are provided because they allow more educational opportunities and personalized education.

Therefore the purpose of the device does not change when it leaves a school.

Student devices issued by the school will be routed through the internet connection (whether at a home or a coffee shop or in a classroom) directly to the LPS filter. That means any content you can not access while at school, you will likewise not be able to watch anywhere else while you are using your Chromebook.

#2 – Classroom management and inappropriate content

Most websites and apps do not filter their own content for appropriateness. For example, a music-streaming service doesn’t necessarily filter out songs based on what could be considered crude or foul language. What’s appropriate for an 18-year-old might not be so for a 14-year-old.

In fact, there are federal requirements regarding appropriate online activity for students of certain ages, and nearly all of our student population are minors, and a large number of those are also under the age of 13.

Even content that is typically ok for students (G or PG-rated content) can serve as a hindrance to learning, and create classroom management issues for teachers. Blocking sites that offer inappropriate messaging can also limit the potential for cheating on school work.

#3 – Respecting parental concerns

Parents can choose to set filters on their home internet network. LPS tries to balance parental preference with educational value when possible.

If a mom or dad doesn’t want a child watching explicit videos at home, they wouldn’t be pleased if the student did so during a school lunch break, or worse, in class. So video-streaming services are typically blocked. (Teachers have ability to curate some types of content for class lessons and work, specifically on YouTube, for example.)

#4 – Bandwidth

Streaming music and video can take large amounts bandwidth, especially when factoring in more than 10,000 high school students. With some exceptions, that is the same bandwidth that will be used for homework, group projects, taking notes, downloading class texts, and taking tests and state assessments, for example. Our priority for bandwidth is always to meet those educational needs.

Finally, LPS acknowledges internet filters are not perfect, and that workarounds may be possible. We do not encourage this for this reason: those workarounds might also involve breaking the LPS computer use agreement that students and parents sign, and could therefore subject the student to discipline. New websites and apps are launched daily and the nature of them can change. So, initially, LPS may block or allow a particular website or app, then the app changes slightly (like terms of use, for example) – and it takes time for LPS to discover and research the changes.

Students, teachers and parents with questions or concerns should contact their school principal.

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: August 1, 2016

Posted in Just Sharing by on August 1st, 2016

  1. LPS 2016-17 school year warming up – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Most Lincoln Public Schools teachers begin work on Monday, August 8 – and classes begin for students on Monday, August 15.

2. Superintendent inspires LPS leaders – For more information: Steve Joel@lps.org

Superintendent Steve Joel officially opened the 2016-17 school year at the annual LPS Leadership Day event Monday – speaking to hundreds of LPS leaders – and urging them to remember and proclaim the power of public education in our community. For more of his remarks go to: http://lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11067

3. Independent study examines services for struggling students – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education last week was presented with results of a study – conducted by an outside consulting firm, District Management Council – implemented to gain a deeper understanding of services, best practices and resources LPS provides to “struggling students” (students provided additional services and support through Special and General Education).

Highlights: LPS is proud of this report – an analysis that concludes the school district does an excellent job providing struggling students with services to offer supports that will help them succeed socially, emotionally and academically. The school district’s programs and services for struggling students have many strengths – building from a very strong foundation – with passionate, caring and committed leadership, teachers and staff. The school district is well staffed, and serves and supports a diverse range of student needs within current resources. The report also recognizes that systems can improve, providing a road map with a series of recommendations to be implemented over the next three to five years. The report suggests that LPS could: more tightly manage current staff, make sure all educators have the appropriate skills and training, provide extra time on task for struggling students and more proactively align activities to best practices.

4. Peek inside Nuernberger – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

With classrooms sparkling and ready for students to arrive on the first day of the 2016-17 school year, Lincoln Public Schools opened the doors recently to offer an early peek inside the new Bill Nuernberger Education Center – a facility designed to serve middle school students who are struggling to succeed in their current schools. The 33,455-square-foot facility, located on South 40th Street just north of South Street, is a complete, on-site renovation and overhaul – almost doubling the space of the previous facility. LPS will now have three innovative facilities that specifically deal with at-risk students struggling in their home school environments: Donald D. Sherrill Education Center, for elementary students; Nuernberger for middle school; and the Yankee Hill Program for high school students. For more info: http://lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11044

5. Consider using LPS Speakers Bureau – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

LPS has a Speakers Bureau featuring a wide variety of LPS people who are happy to give presentations for civic groups and all community organizations. Please spread the word. For more information go to: http://www.lps.org/about/speakersbureau/

6. Board considers goals and priorities – For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

Later in August, the Board of Education will approve final goals and priorities for the coming school year. Those proposed goals are:

  • By 2019, develop, implement, and sustain district initiatives that result in an increased graduation rate, with a goal of 90 percent of on-time graduates that are career and college ready.
  • By February 1, 2017, develop plans and recommend action steps based on the results of the Special Education review. (This goal may be revised to require a report update by Feb. 1.)
  • By March 1, 2017, adopt benchmarks that ensure high-quality, sustainable, full-service community schools and communicate a strong vision for current and future partnerships.
  • By May 1, 2017, complete a community-wide strategic planning process to identify community priorities for the district’s next 5-year strategic plan.

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: July 18, 2016

Posted in Just Sharing by on July 18th, 2016

  1. Two new LPS facilities open this fall  – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Dedications set for:

  • Sally G. Wysong Elementary School, dedication 2 p.m. Sept. 18.
  • Bill Nuernberger Education Center (middle school program for students with behavior issues), dedication 2 p.m. October 9.  (A special news media day is also scheduled for Friday, July 22, so reporters can get an early peek at this Center.)

2. LPS Summer School graduation – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

For over 1,300 Lincoln Public School students, summer school provides them an opportunity to get one step closer to their goals. Approximately 95 of those students were able to obtain their high school diploma in July as the six-week summer school program closed.

Lincoln North Star Principal Vann Price told students during the ceremony when she thinks about summer school graduation, the word endurance comes to mind.   “Endurance in this instance might be defined as the ability of an individual to exert him or her self and remain active for a long period of time, as well as their ability to resist, withstand, recover from, and have immunity to fatigue,” said Price.

Video, story, photos from the LPS Summer School graduation ceremony: http://lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11032

3. New Steve Joel Blog – For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

LPS work defined as we look forward to the reality of coming school:

http://wp.lps.org/sjoel/

4. Latest LPS podcast – For more information: Zachary Baehr, zbaehr@lps.org

Math class may be different this coming school year, but how much will you notice? Hear from a teacher, instructional coordinator and principal about the pilot program for math curriculum at eight elementary schools. Go to: http://home.lps.org/podcast/

5. LPS reminds families of health requirements – For more information: Marge Theele, mtheele@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools is notifying and reminding families of the health requirements for the upcoming school year. Students entering school (preschool, kindergarten and transfers from out of state) need to complete and submit evidence of medical examinations and immunizations. Seventh-grade students need to complete an immunization and physical exam. For more info: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11037

6. Highlights of proposed 2016-17 LPS budget – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

  • The proposed Lincoln Public Schools budget provides appropriate staffing, services, supplies and resources to address significant growth in LPS student enrollment. LPS estimates an increase of 950 more students for 2016-17 – following a growth of 7,500 students in the past ten years – growth that means LPS will teach almost 41,000 students in the coming school year.
  • Taking into consideration Lincoln’s taxpayers and the current economics of the community, the school district is estimating a very slight decrease in the total LPS tax levy.
  • The budget continues to focus on providing continued quality education – recognizing that a quality education system is a long-term investment, not simply an expenditure – and our community, our businesses, our families, our students deserve a great school system.
  • The 2016-17 expenditures for LPS will total about $402 million – a 5.95 percent increase over the previous year.
  • According to the most recent statistics, LPS ranked 227th out of 245 school districts in Nebraska in per pupil spending – LPS spent $10,576 per pupil compared to the state average of $11,619.

** Anyone interested in having information about the LPS budget presented to their community group is encouraged to contact LPS by calling (402) 436-1635, or emailing Liz Standish at lstandis@lps.org.

 

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: July 4, 2016

Posted in Just Sharing by on July 1st, 2016

  1. Additional funding for LPS projects – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

As the planning and substantial bidding draws to a close on the 15 priority Lincoln Public Schools construction projects financed through the 2014 LPS bond issue, as well as extensive infrastructure additions throughout the school district, LPS estimates $14.5 million in funding is still available for additional construction projects.

The Lincoln Board of Education is now reviewing a list of the next tier of recommended project:

  • Belmont Elementary School, $10.8 million – extensive indoor air quality renovation project.
  • Lincoln High School and Lincoln Northeast High School, $1 million – repurposing under-utilized high school spaces, such as machine and auto shop, due to the opening of The Career Academy.
  • LPS Science Focus Program (Zoo School), $3 million – permanent facilities at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo to accommodate more Zoo School students (up to a total of 200-250 students).
  • Site acquisitions for potential new elementary, middle and high schools.

2. Changing of the guard at LPS – For more information: Eric Weber, eweber@lps.org

For many employees retiring from Lincoln Public Schools – June 30 was their final day. Most new District Office employees begin July 1.

3. New Sally Wysong Elementary School – For more information: Randy Oltman, roltman@lps.org

The new Sally Wysong Elementary School opens this fall in southeast Lincoln at 7901 Blanchard Boulevard – and Principal Randy Oltman, administrators, teachers and staff will be moving into the building sometime this summer.

4. Summer school 2016 – For more information: Jane Stavem jstavem@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools hosts summer school programs on grade all levels at schools throughout the community and throughout the summer. For six stories of summer school, go to: http://lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11025

The summer high school program is held at Lincoln North Star High School and culminates with a graduation ceremony for graduating seniors who attended Summer School – set for noon on Thursday, July 7, at North Star.

5. Boundary changes confirmed – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education has approved an attendance area change that will move students at Clinton Elementary School from the Lincoln North Star High School to the Lincoln Northeast High School attendance area. This change will also move the majority of Culler Middle School into the Northeast district (except for a portion that would remain in the Lincoln East High School attendance area). Currently North Star student enrollment totals almost 2,200 students, and is expected to continue increasing in coming years.

The change will become effective for the 2017-18 school year. Please note LPS would continue the practice of allowing ninth graders to attend the high school of their choice, provided they fill out the necessary paperwork by the mandatory deadline.

6. Conversation continues about proposed 2016-17 budget – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education has held several work sessions and several community budget forums for the continued conversation on the proposed 2016-17 LPS budget.

A few budget highlights:

  • The proposed budget provides appropriate staffing, services, supplies and resources to address significant growth in LPS student enrollment. LPS estimates an increase of 950 more students for 2016-17 – following a growth of 7,500 students in the past ten years – growth that means LPS will teach almost 41,000 students in the coming school year.
  • Taking into consideration Lincoln’s taxpayers and the current economics of the community, the school district is estimating a very slight decrease in the total LPS tax levy.
  • The budget continues to focus on providing continued quality education – recognizing that a quality education system is a long-term investment, not simply an expenditure – and our community, our businesses, our families, our students deserve a great school system.
  • The 2016-17 expenditures for LPS will total about $402 million – a 5.95 percent increase over the previous year.
  • According to the most recent statistics, LPS ranked 227th out of 245 school districts in Nebraska in per pupil spending – LPS spent $10,576 per pupil compared to the state average of $11,619.

** Anyone interested in having information about the LPS budget presented to their community group is encouraged to contact LPS by calling (402) 436-1635, or emailing Liz Standish at lstandis@lps.org.

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: June 20, 2016

Posted in Just Sharing by on June 21st, 2016

  1. Preliminary 2016-17 budget unveiled – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education has started working through the process of considering and finalizing the 2016-17 preliminary budget for Lincoln Public Schools. The Board will gather feedback and input from the community over the next months, further discuss the budget and plan to approve the final LPS budget in August.

The budget addresses a variety of factors:

  • Providing appropriate staffing, services, supplies and resources to address significant growth in LPS student enrollment. LPS estimates an increase of 950 more students for 2016-17 – following a growth of 7,500 students in the past ten years – growth that means LPS will teach almost 41,000 students in the coming school year.
  • Addressing the growing complexity of the demographics and needs of LPS students.
  • Serving our students in a changing landscape of providing the highest quality education, for instance, planning for specific increases in areas such as regular education, technology and special education.

 Highlights of the preliminary budget include:

  • Taking into consideration Lincoln’s taxpayers and the current economics of the community, the school district estimates a very slight decrease in the total LPS tax levy. That means the estimated property tax rate will remain almost flat – moving half a cent levy from the General Fund to the Building Fund. (Building Fund money can be used for site acquisition and improvements, purchasing existing facilities, and modification and updating of existing facilities.) The 2016-17 budget predicts a revenue of about $397 million and, in addition, LPS will use $5.4 million from cash flow.
  • The budget continues to focus on providing continued quality education – recognizing that a quality education system is a long-term investment, not simply an expenditure – and our community, our businesses, our families, our students deserve a great school system.
  • The preliminary budget would provide help to classrooms with added: teachers and staffing for regular education, special education, early childhood, English Language Learners (refugees and immigrants); counselors and school social workers, healthcare workers and high school security; staffing for middle school math and reading intervention; staff for intervention assistance for after-school hours.
  • Resources would be allocated for opening the new Sally G. Wysong Elementary School and the Bill Nuernberger Education Center, and early start-up costs for Marilyn Moore Middle School (opens fall of 2017); as well as for continuation of phasing in the LPS instructional technology plan.

 2. LPS to host community budget forums – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

LPS invites the public into the discussion about the preliminary 2016-17 budget for the school district. Two Community Budget Forums are scheduled in June, which will both include a budget presentation as well as opportunities for comments and questions:

  • Tuesday, June 28, 5 p.m., Board Room, LPS District Office, 5905 O St.
  • Thursday, June 30, 7 p.m., Media Center, Goodrich Middle School, 4600 Lewis Ave.

3. Career Academy Update – For more information: Dan Hohensee, dhohen@lps.org

The LPS Career Academy boasted 125 seniors graduating from TCA in the first year. There will be 112 students returning in the fall, and close to 315 new students already registered. TCA currently has 130 business partners and more than 200 individuals that are involved as mentors or serving on the advisory committee for internships and curriculum development.

4. Podcast features LPS transportation – For more information: Zachary Baehr, zbaehr@lps.org

The latest LPS podcast features a conversation with Bill McCoy, director of LPS Transportation, talking about: 11 million miles, 130 drivers, 92 para educators, 80-day inspections, new routes, relocated schools, field trips, ball games, activities, and one local and national issue: a shortage of bus drivers. So find a seat and keep your hands inside the window. Go to the LPS website at: http://home.lps.org/podcast/

5. Comments, questions about proposed boundary change – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

LPS is proposing that the attendance area for Clinton Elementary School be moved from the Lincoln North Star High School to the Lincoln Northeast High School attendance area. If community members have comments or questions about the proposed change, please go to the Online Open House: http://www.lps.org/news/attendanceareas-2016/

 

Why schools should be prudent in sending all-parent phone calls

Posted in Tips & Strategies by on June 9th, 2016

Schools should seriously review how often they choose to send an all-parents phone call home through School Messenger.

The only time a phone call should be made to all parents … when the school needs the parent to act immediately. This means only call when:

  • There is a change in the next drop-off or pickup routine or time (severe weather, unsafe activity near the school like a robbery or shooting)
  • School has been cancelled and they need to come pick up their child (would mean the building has been severely damaged in some way)

That’s it. If you boil it down to the true purpose of phone calls, a school will rarely call home during a school year (and that’s a great thing!).

Schools should stop the habit of sending an all-parents phone call for announcements, reminders and other non-emergent information.

A story …

Earlier this year, a parent complained about the amount of phone calls he had received. My first thought: he was exaggerating. But no; we were way beyond our boundaries. He had received seven phone calls in a matter of six school days from two different schools. We can all agree that is way too much. The calls were about:

  • NeSA writing test reminder
  • Parent-teacher conference schedule
  • Principal survey
  • Snow day #1
  • Snow day #2
  • PTO meeting
  • Parent advisory meeting

We apologized, notified the schools, but the practice continues in some of our schools. Looking over the list above, we can see only two of those should have been phone calls (snow days). We need to review our processes, focus on emails with information or links to our websites, and respect our parents’ time.

There are times when it is absolutely critical that we reach parents (see above reasons). If we call weekly or even more frequently, we desensitize them to the phone calls where urgent action is required. They may not answer the phone or check the voicemail, though we desperately need a parent to know that a son or daughter will not be walking home at the normal time (for example).

Some schools make an argument that parents don’t read or check emails, or have consistent access to internet. That is a different issue, and it is important that we not create another problem (desensitization or phone-call overload) in an attempt to fix it.

So we ask schools to review who is sending phone calls home to all parents, and determine how best to move forward.

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: June 6, 2016

Posted in Just Sharing by on June 5th, 2016

  1. Review of proposed attendance changes at LPS – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education periodically reviews attendance areas to make sure Lincoln Public Schools is best utilizing school district facilities, and often to determine if it is prudent to make adjustments that would provide relief to schools that are serving at or over capacity.

LPS is proposing that the attendance area for Clinton Elementary School be moved from the Lincoln North Star High School to the Lincoln Northeast High School attendance area. The change would become effective for the 2017-18 school year. Currently North Star student enrollment totals almost 2,200 students, and is expected to continue increasing in coming years.

The Board is hosting an open house to present detailed information about this proposed change: 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, June 7 at Culler Middle School, 5201 Vine St. Community members can also go to an LPS online webpage – live June 7 and available through June 28 – offering a place to share comments, or ask questions. Go to: http://lps.org/go/boundaries16 or access the webpage by going to the top of the LPS home page (www.lps) – and use “Boundaries 16” as the keyword.

The Board will consider this proposed attendance area change June 15, and will vote on the issue June 28. Please note LPS would continue the practice of allowing ninth graders to attend the high school of their choice, provided they fill out the necessary paperwork by the mandatory deadline.

2. LPS to host community budget forums – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools invites the public into the discussion about the preliminary 2016-17 budget for the school district. Two Community Budget Forums are scheduled in June, which will both include a budget presentation as well as opportunities for comments and questions:

  • Tuesday, June 28, 5 p.m., Board Room, LPS District Office, 5905 O St.
  • Thursday, June 30, 7 p.m., Media Center, Goodrich Middle School, 4600 Lewis Ave.

3. Evaluation contract for superintendent – For more information: Eric Weber, eweber@lps.org

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel received high marks from the Lincoln Board of Education in his annual evaluation and contract presented and proposed recently.

Highlights of the evaluation:

“Board members were pleased with Dr. Joel’s work as a strong leader and public face for the district. Observations included that we have received ‘good comments from the public’ regarding Dr. Joel’s positive image, and acknowledged that he is ‘well respected across the community and has many leadership opportunities within a variety of groups.’ Board members also spoke to Dr. Joel’s ability to build strong relationships with the Board and with his staff…Dr. Joel ‘fosters a team spirit’ and embraces the team philosophy of Board and staff working together as a cohesive unit. This strength helps the district to establish goals, prioritize them, and help them come to fruition…Of particular note is Dr. Joel’s belief in providing ‘an education that allows every child to be successful’ and his embodiment of the idea that “all means all.”

The proposed contract for Joel in the 2016-17 school year calls for a base salary of $313,239, a 1.56 percent increase over the previous year. The Board will take a final vote on the contract June 15.

4. Great story of friendship – For more information: Zachary Baehr, zbaehr@lps.org

Through the kindness of his own heart, Logan Kirk found his way into the heart of senior classmate Kaileb Webber. Logan also discovered a passion, a future career, a friend and a unique ability to communicate with his new friend at Lincoln Northeast High School.

For this sweet story: http://lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=10998

5. LPS Transportation Plan approved – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education will provide free transportation to students attending the LPS Science Focus Program (Zoo School) and the Arts and Humanities Focus Program – from high school to the focus programs and back – in approving the LPS transportation plan for 2016-17.

Board member Annie Mumgaard: “This is about accessibility…I believe it is our responsibility to make sure all our kids have access to all our programs….and this is making these programs accessible for all students.”

Board President Don Mayhew said: “We like these programs, they speak to our graduation rate, they are very valuable, I think the transportation part is something integral to the programs and I think is overdue…As we are looking for relief in our existing high schools…bus routes are much cheaper than portables….This is part of a well thought-out, deliberate budgeting process…It will be money well spent.”

Contact

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

P.O. Box 82889
Lincoln, Nebraska 68501

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