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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

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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

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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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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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Section B

Section C

Section D

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.

Section A

Section B

Section C

Section D

 

Contact

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

P.O. Box 82889
Lincoln, Nebraska 68501

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