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Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: November 20, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on November 19th, 2017

  1. Excellent external audit report for LPS – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education last week heard glowing results of an external audit conducted recently that reviewed the Lincoln Public Schools budget, internal controls, financial statements, compliance with laws and regulation, and more.

Board of Education members were pleased with the audit, performed by HSMC Orizon LLC:

  • Connie Duncan: “This was a clean audit, we were so happy to hear that…There were no adjustments or errors as well…It was a wonderful audit and we’re proud of everyone.”
  • Barb Baier: “I want to thank staff for their due diligence, there is a lot of work that goes into an audit.”
  • Don Mayhew: “The idea that…this is an unmodified opinion…no changes or problems found. When you think about the complexity of this budget – the quality of our staff for that to come out as clean as this – this is incredible work.”

Overall, the auditor issued a positive report, calling it “a clean opinion, the highest and best opinion you can have.”

2. Scottish Rite ceremony celebrates teachers – For more information: Eric Weber, eweber@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools celebrates the 2017 Scottish Rite Teacher of the Year (Jan McKeown, an instructional and technology coach at Lefler Middle School) at a ceremony set for 4:15 p.m. Monday, Nov. 20 in the Board Room at District Office.

3. Bubba keeps our children warm– For more information: Pam Hale, phale@lps.org

More than 300 elementary school students can bundle up and stay a little warmer this winter, thanks to Bubba’s Closet. The annual clothing giveaway program held its culminating event mid-November at McPhee Elementary School, where families stood in line outside starting at 6:30 a.m. – an hour and a half before the doors opened and children could pick out a winter coat, as well as gloves, hats, scarves and other articles of warm clothing.  Lincoln Public Schools elementary principals spearheaded the collection efforts, along with other LPS employees and community members.  For more than 20 years, Bubba’s Closet has collected between 500 and 1,200 donated winter coats annually.

4. November Learning Lunch highlights social emotional learning – For more information: Jane Stavem jstavem@lps.org

The November Lincoln Public Schools Learning Lunch of the 2017-18 season will happen at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 29 and feature a presentation, “Social Emotional Learning: What is it and what does it look like at LPS,” by Carrie Erks, an LPS school social worker.   LPS Learning Lunches, open to the Lincoln community, are held in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St.  (**Please note this month’s Learning Lunch will be held on a Wednesday because of the Thanksgiving holiday.) 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.

5. Big week with Board meeting, High School Task Force gathering

The Lincoln Board of Education will hold a regular meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28, in the Board Room at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St.   For the full agenda go to: https://www.lps.org/about/board/

Meanwhile, the third meeting of the Lincoln Public Schools Community High School Task Force is set for 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, at Lincoln Southeast High School. The group was formed to investigate community options and priorities for serving high school students.   More info: https://home.lps.org/hstaskforce/

6. Good deeds at Pound Middle School  – For more information: Chris Deibler, cdeibler@lps.org

A University of Nebraska student organization will make donations that benefit U.S. military veterans and Puerto Rico hurricane victims as a result of essays researched and written by three 8th-graders at Pound Middle School who entered the contest as part of Pound teacher Carol Patterson’s American Studies class on Constitution Day.

The contest asked for a one-page essay that identifies a community need and an organization working to address that need. Winning student essay excerpts:

  • “Some people may argue not to gift the money to this cause because 100 dollars is minimal considering what Puerto Rico needs, and this is true. The estimated cost to rebuild is well over 2 million dollars. However, we think we should receive this grant based on this underlying importance: every fragment contributes to the whole.”
  • “I believe this organization should receive this grant more than others, because they serve the backbone of America. Their patients risk their lives for us to enjoy the life we currently live and take for granted…With only 144 VA hospitals and 300 VA centers, this organization needs as much money as it can get to help those in need. This institution helps a huge population with a wide range and growing amount of services. From home loans to healthcare, this money will be put to good use.”

November 2017 Community News

Posted in Community News by on November 8th, 2017

Section A

Section B

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: November 6, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on November 5th, 2017

  1. Honoring Veterans Day – For more information: Mindy Burbach, mburbach@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools students, classrooms and educators celebrate and honor Veterans Day throughout the month of November, but notably on Friday, Nov. 10.  Watch for live online conversation and complete coverage of Veterans Day activities Friday on the LPS website and social media.

2. Keeping our children warm – For more information: Pam Hale, phale@lps.org

The annual Bubba’s Closet clothes give-away – sponsored by the elementary principals of LPS – is set for 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at McPhee Elementary School, 820 Goodhue Blvd.  Any elementary student, accompanied by an adult, may choose appropriate items of clothing to adopt and use. 

3. Continued work on High School Task Force – For more information:  Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

Dealing with a growing population of students at Lincoln Public Schools – and particularly a growing population of high school students – the Lincoln Public Schools Community High School Task Force met for the second time late in October (this time at Lincoln North Star High School).  The Task Force – made up of about 70 community citizens and LPS educators – was formed to investigate community options and priorities for serving high school students.  They will meet monthly throughout this school year at all six public high schools, and will make recommendations to the superintendent by May, 2018.

“This is valuable, important work – and the timing of this conversation is perfect,” said Steve Joel, superintendent of Lincoln Public Schools.

More info at: https://home.lps.org/hstaskforce/

4. Bringing our hearts to school  – For more information: Jason Keese, jkeese@lps.org

For Beattie Elementary School, raising enough money to buy one of the “Nebraska by Heart” sculptures required a lot of hard work, creativity – and heart.  “So many students embraced the opportunity,” said Holly Group-Weber, the school’s art teacher and one of the driving forces behind the fundraising effort.

“Nebraska by Heart” is a public art project sponsored by the Lead Up and Sadie Dog Fund organizations. Artists created 6-foot fiberglass hearts that were displayed across Lincoln for several months, then sold at auction. Beattie was one of seven LPS schools to purchase a heart at the auction, along with Lincoln North Star High School, and Morley, Cavett, Roper, McPhee and Adams elementary schools.

5. Strategic plan comes closer to final draft– For more information: sjoel@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education has moved closer to a final draft for a new, refreshed strategic plan for the school district – after an additional meeting late in October when Board members spent three hours reviewing possible goals and priorities for each of the major thematic areas of the future strategic plan.

The school district has spent the last year gathering community voices and developing six themes for a new Lincoln Public Schools Strategic Plan – an initiative that included 49 community sessions and 3,800 responses from community citizens.  The six themes would potentially provide focus for the school district over the next five years:

  • Academic Success
  • Future Ready Global Citizens
  • Support for Students
  • Support for Educators
  • Family and Community Partnerships
  • Facilities and infrastructure – Growth Ready

Next, the Strategic Planning Committee will distill consensus, then turn over those suggestions to the superintendent and staff to create a proposed draft.  The Board will likely vote final approval of a Strategic Plan in December.  More info at https://www.lps.org/strategicplan/

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: October 16, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on October 15th, 2017

  1. School calendars focused on instruction – For more information: John Neal, jpneal@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education last week heard recommendations for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school year calendars – developed by a Calendar Committee made up of educators, parents and community members – a calendar focused on creating the best learning environment.

Bringing two calendar proposals is a milestone allowing Lincoln Public Schools families to plan further ahead – made possible by developing a consistent purpose, development and set of variables.

Main highlights of the proposed 2019-20 calendar:

  • The first day of school would be August 13 – and the last day of school would be May 21.
  • Semester break would be Dec. 20-Jan. 6 – with students returning to school Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Main highlights of the proposed 2020-21 calendar:

  • The first day of school would be August 12 – and the last day of school would be May 20.
  • Semester break would be Dec. 23-Jan. 4 – with students returning to school Tuesday, Jan. 5.

The Board will vote final approval of the school calendars at the Oct. 24 meeting.  For more information: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12273

2. LPS schedules second High School Task Force – For more information:  Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The second meeting of the Community High School Task Force is set for 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26 at Lincoln North Star High School.

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

More info at: https://home.lps.org/hstaskforce/

3. West Lincoln Elementary celebrates renovation – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

West Lincoln Elementary School, 630 W. Dawes Ave., holds a celebration from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, to celebrate the completion of major renovation.  The celebration will feature school tours and refreshments, 

4. Learning Lunch serves up chili, cinnamon rolls  – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org
The third Lincoln Public Schools Learning Lunch of the 2017-18 season will happen at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24 and feature a presentation, “School Meals: So much more than Chili and Cinnamon Rolls,” with LPS Director of Nutritional Services Edith Zumwalt.

This Learning Lunch features a special feature:  We’ll be dishing up chili and cinnamon rolls, served to 75 attendees on a first-come first-served basis.

LPS Learning Lunches, open to the Lincoln community, are generally held on the last Tuesday of the month in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St.  Doors to the Board Room open at noon, the program begins at 12:15 p.m., questions-and-answers happen at 12:45 p.m.

5. Give to Bubba at Roca Berry – For more information: Pam Hale, phale@lps.org

Contributions of warm winter clothing will be accepted for Bubba’s Closet through Oct. 27 at any Hangar’s location.  And please remember, throughout this week (Oct. 16-22) you can donate at Roca Berry Farm – in fact, elementary principals will be at Roca Berry Farm Saturday, Oct. 21, to personally thank you for your donations.

The Bubba’s Closet clothes give-away is set for Saturday, Nov. 11, at McPhee Elementary School, 820 Goodhue Blvd.

 

October 2017 Community News

Posted in Community News by on October 6th, 2017

October Section A

October Section B

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: October 2, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on October 1st, 2017

  1. LPS student numbers continue to soar – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

Student enrollment at Lincoln Public Schools continues to soar with historic new highs this school year: 41,760 students are attending the school district in 2017-18, an increase of 830 over last year.  That is an increase of almost 15 percent over the past five years – growth that is happening throughout the community, north, south, east and west, in the older neighborhoods and the newer neighborhoods.

Four LPS high schools now have enrollments over 2,000. The largest high school is Lincoln High School – in central Lincoln – at 2,187. But this year three other high schools have more than 2,000 students: Lincoln North Star, Lincoln Southeast and Lincoln East.

Scott Middle School – in south Lincoln – has the largest middle school enrollment with 1,144 kids, while the largest elementary school is Roper Elementary in west Lincoln with 894 kids.

For more info: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12239

2. LPS launches High School Task Force – For more information:  Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education adopted a goal this school year to establish a High School Task Force to investigate community options and priorities for serving high school students – and last week Lincoln Public Schools launched the Community High School Task Force to study the school district’s enrollment and educational needs.   The Task Force – made up of about 70 community citizens and LPS educators – will meet monthly throughout this school year at all six public high schools.  They will make recommendations to the superintendent by May, 2018.

“The goal is to create a community conversation around several big issues,” said LPS Superintendent Steve Joel.  “How are we going to address the dramatic growth we are seeing, especially in high schools? What should a new high school look like? And how can we best prepare our high school students for the new world?”

More info at: https://home.lps.org/hstaskforce/

3. A moment of good student deeds – For more information: Jason Keese, jkeese@lps.org

Cross country runners aren’t usually encouraged to take a 45-minute break in the middle of a workout.  But on an early autumn day in September, the coaches for Lincoln Northeast High School made an exception.

The Northeast team was about halfway through that day’s run when a few of them noticed a homeowner along the MoPac Trail near North 40th Street trying to scrub graffiti off the side of her home. They didn’t hesitate. They stopped and started to help. First five of them, then 10, then pretty soon it was 15 runners chipping in.

“I just want to personally thank all the Northeast cross country members for their kind gesture,” said Sara Dolezal, homeowner and a kindergarten teacher at Fredstrom Elementary School. 

4 New CLC director named  – For more information: John Neal, jpneal@lps.org
Nola Derby-Bennett has been selected as the new director of Community Learning Centers (CLC) at Lincoln Public Schools.   She is now the executive director of The Hub, a Central Access Point for Young Adults in the Lincoln community, and has helped develop, grow and lead the non-profit agency.

While the position is held by LPS, the CLC director position is also supported by nearly a dozen lead agencies, many other community partners, the Lincoln Community Foundation and the city of Lincoln.

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel: “We are excited that Nola Derby-Bennett will be joining the Community Learning Center team.  She brings a vast background working effectively with individuals and groups that serve children and families.”

Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler: “This is an exciting time for the CLC initiative, and Ms. Derby-Bennett’s experience, leadership and commitment to the community will help take CLC’s to the next level.”

Jim Blue, executive director of CEDARS: “Community Learning Centers are vital to our community and critically important to thousands of Lincoln’s children and families every day.”

5. Bubba is back – For more information: Pam Hale, phale@lps.org

As cold weather looms, it’s that time of year to donate new and gently used winter wear for Bubba’s Closet, the annual clothes give-away effort facilitated by the elementary principals of Lincoln Public Schools – to keep our community’s children warm.

Donations – accepted now through Oct. 27 at any Hangar’s location in Lincoln – might include coats, sweaters, scarves, hats, sweatshirts, mittens and gloves.  This year you can also donate at Roca Berry Farm, Oct 16-22,  and on Saturday, Oct. 21, LPS elementary principals will be at Roca Berry Farm all day to personally thank you for your donations.

The Bubba’s Closet clothes give-away is set for Saturday, Nov. 11, at McPhee Elementary School, 820 Goodhue Blvd.

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: September 18, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on September 17th, 2017

  1. Secretary of Education visits LPS – For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools Science Focus Program students offered a few lessons in quality education last week to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on her visit to the Zoo School. DeVos spent about two hours at the school, an LPS focus program located at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, visiting classrooms and talking with students and teachers.

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel kicked off her visit to the Zoo School with an overview of the school district and the many choices offered to LPS students. He noted that DeVos’ visit to the Zoo School was a great opportunity to showcase one of the many quality public education options offered in Lincoln and throughout the state. “Choice is alive and well in Lincoln Public Schools, as well as the state of Nebraska,” he said. “And none of this is possible if we didn’t live in a community and a state where people value public education and they roll up their sleeves to support it.”

DeVos said she appreciated the opportunity to talk to students and hear from them about what makes Zoo School special.  “Schools here in Lincoln are a good example of how they can meet students’ needs and do things differently,” DeVos said.

For more information: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12163

2. Moore dedication Sunday, Sept. 24 – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

The dedication for Marilyn Moore Middle School is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24 at Moore, 8700 Yankee Woods Dr.  The dedication includes a 2 p.m. program followed by tours and refreshments.

3. Emergency LPS exercise– For more information: Joe Wright, jwright@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools staged an emergency exercise last week that focused on the process after the evacuation of a school, when parents would need to pick up their children at a safe, alternative site – a mock emergency that involved more than 100 Randolph Elementary School students bused to Lincoln Southwest High School. Southwest, due to its size, design and security features, is where all elementary and middle schools would relocate during a serious emergency.

The exercise was part of the district’s continuous efforts to plan for the unexpected and ensure the safety of its students, said LPS Director of Security Joseph Wright. All LPS schools have evacuation plans in place, but Friday’s exercise took those plans one step further – to the “reunification” phase.. “What we’d like parents to know is that we’re looking closely at this process and that we have a plan in place to handle a serious situation,” said Joe Wright, security director for LPS.

For more info:  https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12167

4. September Learning Lunch  – For more information: Mary Kay Roth mkroth@lps.org

The Lincoln Public Schools September Learning Lunch will feature the video, “Seeds of Hope,” created by Nebraska Loves Public Schools. The Learning Lunch is set for 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26, in the Board Room. Special guest is Oscar Pohirieth, LPS Cultural Specialist and Coordinator for the Bilingual Liaison Program.  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. ACT reflect all LPS juniors taking free test – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

ACT scores for Lincoln Public Schools continued consistent and solid – with results in light of the sixth year in which all LPS high school juniors now take the college-ready test for free. “We are testing so many more kids who are taking the ACT, and we are more inclusive than ever before – so holding steady indicates we are doing well,” said Leslie Eastman, director of Assessment and Evaluation for LPS.

As LPS student enrollment increases, more high school juniors take the test every year – a record 2,409 took the test last year – while the composite test score remaininy steady.  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, Eastman said.

 

 

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: September 5, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on September 4th, 2017

  1. High school football in Memorial Stadium – For more information: Kathi Wieskamp, kwieska@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools has worked closely with the University of Nebraska Athletics Department to bring a pair of high school games to Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 30.  The games were originally scheduled to be played at Seacrest Field on Friday, Sept. 29, the same evening as the Huskers will play the University of Illinois at 7 p.m.

The two games scheduled at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 30 are Lincoln Southwest vs. North Platte (1 p.m.), and Lincoln Northeast vs. Fremont (4:30 p.m.).  Game ticket prices – which include all-season athletic passes and individual game prices – will be the same as at Seacrest Field.   The contests are the first regular-season high school games in recent memory to be played at Memorial Stadium, and are the only regular season games scheduled to be played at the stadium this fall.

2. Fall celebrations – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

  • Humann Elementary School open house:  2-4 p.m. Sept. 10
  • Moore Middle School dedication:  2 p.m. Sept. 24
  • Randolph Elementary School open house: 1-3 p.m. Oct. 8
  • West Lincoln Elementary School open house: 1-3 p.m. Oct. 22

3. New calendar for arts – For more information: Mindy Burbach, mburbach@lps.org

LPS has launched a new calendar featuring high school music and theatre offerings: https://home.lps.org/communitycalendar

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

The Lincoln Board of Education brainstormed a broad range of possible goals as part of the new strategic planning process last week in a four-hour work session to suggest, discuss and start to augment five themes previously developed to help chart the course for the school district over the next five years.  “This is a milestone moment,” Board President Lanny Boswell said, “representing the continuation of so much hard work.”

The long list of goals discussed were then specifically tied to the appropriate of five themes – themes developed as a result of intense community participation in an initiative that began early last school year and included 49 community sessions and 3,800 responses from community citizens.  These proposals will now be turned over to appropriate Board committees for further discussion, development and considerable focus – to solidify goals, action steps and ways to measure and define the success.  The strategic plan is expected to come back to the full Board in December.

5. Budget approval – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education has approved a student-centered budget for 2017-18 that focuses on significant student growth in the Lincoln community as well as increasing complex student needs. The budget provides appropriate staffing, services, supplies and resources to address an estimated increase of 950 more students for 2017-18 – bringing estimated total enrollment to almost 42,000 students.

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel commended the Board of Education for approving this year’s budget: “I thank the Board for your commitment to students, families, staff and community…understanding that this is a place where we are very proud to say, all does mean all…You have done the very best work you can…We have made the right decision today, and I want to thank you on behalf of 41,000 students and a lot of grateful parents.”

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

The Lincoln Board of Education heard an update recently on the LPS collaborative action plan for providing increased support for struggling students – a plan coming out of a comprehensive review and recommendations from the District Management Group.

The multi-step process includes goals for 2017-18:

  • Create Cluster Sites at the elementary and middle school levels for students with behavioral and cognitive challenges.
  • Develop structural models for guaranteeing extended learning and collaborative planning
  • Identify structured time within existing schedules to provide social-emotional and behavioral supports for students
  • Complete implementation of Positive Behavioral Intervention Support (PBiS) Framework to assure 100 percent of buildings are implementing practices with fidelity.

September 2017 Community News

Posted in Community News by on August 28th, 2017

Section A

Section B

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: August 21, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on August 21st, 2017

  1. LPS is in session

Classes began for Lincoln Public Schools on Monday, August 14 – when kindergarten through ninth grade students arrived for the 2017-18 school – while sophomores, juniors and seniors arrived on Tuesday, August 15.  An estimated 950 more students came to LPS this year – but the official student enrollment is not taken until the final Friday in September: Sept. 29.

2. New and renovated schools

The new Marilyn Moore Middle School opened this fall in southeast Lincoln, along with completely renovated Humann, Randolph and West Lincoln elementary schools. With the opening of Moore Middle School, LPS now has 57 schools in the district (not counting separate school programs):

  • 39 elementary
  • 12 middle schools
  • 6 high schools

3. Solar Eclipse – For more information: James Blake, jblake@lps.org

More than 50,000 Lincoln Public Schools students, educators and volunteers are expected to stand in the shadow of the moon Monday, as everyone will gaze toward the skies for a once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse experience.  Lincoln Public Schools will be celebrating the total solar eclipse, bringing all students in grades 1-12 outdoors to appreciate this teachable moment.  For more info: https://lps.org/eclipse/

4. Bat ‘er up– For more information: Matt Avey, mavey@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools will go out to the ball park Wednesday, August 23, an annual LPS tradition that allows all LPS fifth graders to attend a Saltdogs game.  On that day almost 2,900 fifth graders will head for Haymarket Park.

5. Final reading of  2017-18 LPS budget Tuesday (August 22) – For more information: Liz Standish, lstadis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education will take a final vote on Tuesday, August 22, to approve the 2017-18 Lincoln Public Schools budget. The budget provides appropriate staffing, services, supplies and resources to address an estimated increase of 950 more students for 2017-18 –bringing total enrollment to almost 42,000 students. LPS works on a three-year forecast system to ensure sustainable revenue for supporting all students – evening out swings and taking into consideration the interdependence between state aid and property taxes.  LPS officials recommend a slightly lower – essentially flat – tax rate for the coming school year.  According to the most recent statistics, LPS ranked 228 out of 245 school districts in Nebraska in per pupil spending.

6. Learning Lunches start Tuesday (August 29) – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org
The 2017-18 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, August 29: Stories from the LPS Archives, with Ed Zimmer, Historic Preservation Planner, Lincoln Planning Department.  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.   For the full year’s lineup: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12036

7. Carpool karaoke gone viral – For more information: Doug Dickeson, ddickes@lps.org

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel and the rest of the executive team created a special preview of our goals for the new school year in a video Carpool Karaoke – a program that has now gone viral. Check it out: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12045

8. Watch LPS on many channels – For more information: Doug Dickeson, ddickes@lps.org

FYI:  You can now watch LPS programming on a variety of cable channels:

  • Allo, channel 23
  • Charter Spectrum, channel 1303
  • Windstream Kinetic, channel 80

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: August 7, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on August 7th, 2017

  1. First day of school Monday, August 14

Classes begin for Lincoln Public Schools on Monday, August 14 – when kindergarten through ninth grade students arrive for the 2017-18 school year.  Sophomores, juniors and seniors all start on Tuesday, August 15.

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

Lincoln Public Schools will be celebrating the total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, bringing all students in grades 1-12 outdoors to view the once-in-a-lifetime event.  For more info: https://lps.org/eclipse/

3. Take me out to the ballgame – For more information: Matt Avey, mavey@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools heads for the ball park on Wednesday, August 23, an annual LPS tradition that allows all LPS fifth graders to enjoy  the experience of attending a Saltdogs game.  Peanuts, popcorn!

4. Public hearing, first reading for 2017-18 LPS budget – For more information: Liz Standish, lstadis@lps.org

A public hearing on the proposed 2017-18 Lincoln Public Schools budget will be held at the beginning of the Lincoln Board of Education meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, August 8, in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St.  Later in the meeting, the Board will hear first reading of the budget – which is student-centered and focuses on the incredible growth in our school district.  The preliminary budget provides appropriate staffing, services, supplies and resources to address an estimated increase of 950 more students for 2017-18 –bringing total enrollment to almost 42,000 students. LPS served almost 41,000 students this year, an increase of 12 percent or 4,450 students over the last five years.  This will mark the fifth straight year of annual growth greater than 850 students.

LPS works on a three-year forecast system to ensure sustainable revenue for supporting all students – evening out swings and taking into consideration the interdependence between state aid and property taxes.  LPS officials recommend a slightly lower – essentially flat – tax rate for the coming school year. The preliminary budget totals $420.8 million – a 4.6 percent increase over the previous year (compared to a 6 percent increase last year). According to the most recent statistics, LPS ranked 228 out of 245 school districts in Nebraska in per pupil spending.

Budget work session materials: http://www.lps.org/about/budget/

Budget videos: https://home.lps.org/budget/?page_id=212

5. Learning Lunches tell our stories – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

The 2017-18 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 at noon on Tuesday, August 29.   For the full agenda of the monthly presentations go to:  https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12036

6. Fall school/community celebrations

An open house to celebrate the new renovations at Humann Elementary School is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10.  A dedication ceremony for the new Marilyn Moore Middle School is scheduled 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24. And an open house to celebrate the renovated Randolph Elementary School is set for 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8.

7. Learn more about LPS/Citizens Academy – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

The deadline for community members to apply to participate in the Lincoln Public Schools Citizens Academy is August 18.  The Academy is a series of monthly classes that include hands-on interactive experiences depicting a true, behind-the-scenes sense of public schools in Lincoln. For more info: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12018

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: July 3, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on July 3rd, 2017

  1. Community forums gather feedback for preliminary 2017-18 budget – For more information: Liz Standish, lstadis@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools hosted two Community Forums late in June for feedback about the Preliminary Budget for 2017-18 – and community members came to share a variety of comments about the budget.

LPS officials note the preliminary budget is student-centered and focused on the incredible growth in our school district – in student numbers and in student needs – because LPS is not just growing the equivalent of a middle school each year, the school district is growing a diverse middle school each year.  The preliminary budget provides appropriate staffing, services, supplies and resources to address an estimated increase of 950 more students for 2017-18 –bringing total enrollment to almost 42,000 students. LPS served almost 41,000 students this year, an increase of 12 percent or 4,450 students over the last five years.  The 2017-2018 school year will mark the fifth straight year of growth greater than 850 students each year.

LPS works on a three-year forecast system to ensure sustainable revenue for supporting all students – evening out swings and taking into consideration the interdependence between state aid and property taxes.  LPS officials recommend a slightly lower – essentially flat – tax rate for the coming school year. The preliminary budget totals $420.8 million – a 4.6 percent increase over the previous year (compared to a 6 percent increase last year). According to the most recent statistics, LPS ranked 228 out of 245 school districts in Nebraska in per pupil spending.

Budget work session materials located at http://www.lps.org/about/budget/

2. LPS Title 1 Summer School grows rapidly – For more information: Linda Hix, lhix@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools Federal Programs Title I Summer School grew by leaps and bounds this year.  With the theme of “Learning is My Superpower,” all Title I elementary and middle schools invited the students who would benefit most from half-day summer programs.  Programs ranged from four to six weeks.

The program was a collaborate effort with support from Federal Programs, the Curriculum Department and Library Media Services – in designing summer materials for students in the areas of Language Arts, Math, English Language Learning and Maker Spaces.  Schools served breakfast and/or lunch to students and transportation was provided.  Students were engaged in fun learning experiences while building skills.

3. LPS completes re-issuing 2009 bonds – For more information: Liz Standish, lstadis@lps.org

Following previous approval from the Lincoln Board of Education, Lincoln Public Schools had very positive results in June in re-issuing bonds related to the advanced refunding of the general obligation school bonds originally issued in February, 2009.  The school district issued around $80 million of refunding bonds.  Based on very favorable market conditions, the net present value savings (as a percentage of refunded bonds) was 16 percent or about $13.6 million.  The present value savings represent interest cost savings to the taxpayers.

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

Many Lincoln Public Schools employees said good bye to the school district on June 30 – the official end of the school year and the last day of work for many retiring employees. Nine LPS administrators and 79 teachers retired at the end of the 20016-17 school year.

To see how families and staff members said good bye to retiring Eastridge Elementary School Principal Deb Dabbert, go to: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12003

5. PBiS conference draws 600 participants from throughout region – For more information: Sarah Salem, ssalem@lps.org

This summer, Lincoln Public Schools hosted its first ever statewide conference dedicated to Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports — commonly referred to as PBiS — centered around effective practices in schools. The conference drew more than 600 participants from 40 school districts and educational service units (ESUs) across Nebraska, and members of the Nebraska Department of Education, as well as professionals from colleges and universities.  Session presenters included local, state and national experts, covering topics from classroom management to alternatives to suspensions, and from building positive relationships to being proactive with early signs of students struggling in class. For more:  https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=11991

 

Alumni Profiles an open invitation to share stories of success

Posted in Just Sharing by on June 23rd, 2017

We in the Communications Department of Lincoln Public Schools are always seeking stories of alumni in leadership positions in their chosen industry. We will collect responses and publish on a semi-regular basis depending on the submissions received per high school, some may be edited for length and basic proofreading, and we may not be able to use all submissions. We might use your responses on the LPS website, the district and school-specific social media, and in our Community News, a monthly printed newspaper. To participate, just answer the following questions. If you would, please email a photo of you, perhaps in your professional/community setting of choice.

Questions? Email Zachary Baehr at zbaehr@lps.org.

Submissions will be published based on the following factors:
  • Only submissions from official LPS alumni will be considered;
  • The timing of publishing these submissions will be based on the number of submissions per high school, and the quality of responses;
  • We are seeking submissions from those who have impacted change in their organization, company or community;
  • While we understand not all experiences in school were completely positive, we will give preference in publishing submissions where a balance is provided.
    • "While I didn't care for the music classes in school, it helped me find my interested in the theater program" is better than "I really disliked the music program."
  • Submissions will be published based in the entirety or not at all, but LPS Communications will do basic editing for grammar and punctuation;
  • Preference will be given to those who include a photo.

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: June 19, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on June 19th, 2017

  1. Preliminary LPS 2017-18 budget addresses dramatic growth – For more information: Liz Standish, lstadis@lps.org

The 2017-18 preliminary budget for Lincoln Public Schools was first presented last week to the Lincoln Board of Education, a very student-focused proposal addressing 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 2017-18 –bringing total enrollment to almost

  • 42,000 students. LPS served almost 41,000 students this year, an increase of 12 percent or4,450 students over the last five years.  The 2017-2018 school year will mark the fifth straight year of growth greater than 850 students each year – every year.
  • Addressing the growing complexity of the demographics and needs of LPS students: specifically addressing mental health needs, early childhood, special education and more.

Officials recommend a slightly lower – essentially flat – tax rate for the coming school year. The 2017-18 preliminary budget for LPS totals $420.8 million – a 4.6 percent increase over the previous year.  Lincoln is a vibrant growing city with new housing developments in all quadrants of the city. The preliminary budget continues to focus on providing continued quality education, a long-term investment in our community, our businesses, our families, our students.

2. LPS invites community into budget conversation  – For more information: Liz Standish, lstadis@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools invites the public into the discussion about the preliminary 2017-18 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 27, 5-6 p.m., LPS District Office, 5905 O St.
  • Thursday, June 29, 7-8 p.m., Lincoln North Star High School, 5801 N. 33rd

For more information:

3. Staff members report for work at new Marilyn Moore Middle School – For more information:  Jane Stavem jstavem@lps.org

Teachers and staff report to work this week at the new Marilyn Moore Middle School, opening for the 2017-18 school year on the southeast side of Lincoln (8700 Yankee Woods Drive).

Moore Principal Gary Czapla writes on the school website: “One of the goals we will strive for at Moore is to have your students ready for the 21st century.  To do this we are seeking innovative ways to prepare Moore students… We want to look at different ways to redefine learning spaces, develop a futuristic mindset for teachers, and create opportunities for students to design some of their own learning – all while maintaining rigor and high standards for students.”

4. Administrative contracts, evaluations – For more information: Eric Weber, eweber@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education is considering approval of the annual evaluation and contract for Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent Steve Joel, as well as contracts for the top administrators at LPS.  Proposed base annual salary for the superintendent is: $317,239

Highlights of the proposed superintendent evaluation include:

  • Successful completion of the initial phases of updated LPS Strategic Plan, and adoption of the school district’s action plan based on the results of the Special Education review from last year.
  • Some affirmation and some reservation about the goal of reaching 90 percent graduation rate by 2019, but generally pleased about the work.
  • Positive, strong relationships and communication with Board members.
  • “In summary, the Board recognizes and appreciates Dr. Joel’s excellent work as our superintendent, and the Board looks forward to continuing its strong partnership in service to Lincoln’s children and our community.”

The Board will vote final approval for the superintendent evaluation and all the contracts on June 27. For more info: https://home.lps.org/superintendent/contracts

5. New Business/Human Resources platform – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Board of Education has discussed a new platform for Business and Human Resources functions – over the next three years – called the Enterprise Resource Planning Project (ERP).  This new $6.5 million platform would replace the AS 400 Financial/HR system, moving to a new data system for LPS Business and HR functions and eliminating many of the current stand-alone functions that require significant data input and manual processes.

This is software that provides for the back office functions that support a school district:  accounting, payroll, benefits, staffing, budgeting, finance tracking and projects, employee self-service, etc.  The software will collect, store, manage, process, interpret and report data.  The data in the ERP will be a new centralized source where functions within the system can talk to each other.  Major financing would come from the Depreciation Fund. The Board will vote final approval on June 27.

 

 

What mic works well with an iPad?

Posted in Tips & Strategies by on June 15th, 2017

LPS Communications uses a VideoMic Me microphone, which is a directional mic, meaning it is designed to pick up sound that is directly in front of the mic.

Want to see and hear the difference? Watch this short video.

If you post photos of your students to a social media account, you should read this

Posted in Tips & Strategies, Web Sites and Social by on June 12th, 2017

Remember that time … when a friend of yours posted a work photo onto their personal Facebook account, and tagged you – and it wasn’t a great photo – and dozens of people liked it before you even saw it?

It’s not all that dissimilar from the viewpoint of some students.

LPS Communications strongly recommends having clear boundaries between your professional or personal social media accounts – and not mixing those accounts. Teachers and staff should take extra precautions before posting photos of students to their social media accounts.

When it’s ok
  • When the student’s family has given consent via the media permissions form (on the student census) most often signed at the beginning of a school year. (If a student says no, then remove or don’t post the photo.)
  • When the teacher has created or uses a social media account for the SOLE purpose of promoting their classroom or school activities (indicate this in the account bio).
  • When the students and families also know that this account exists and your purpose for the account.
When it’s not ok
  • When a teacher or staff member intermixes classroom photos with personal content (pets, pics of family and friends, comments on other posts, complaints about weather, hair, politics, referees, traffic, etc.)
  • When a teacher or staff member thinks the consent form covers ALL possible uses of photos

So, what are your best options going forward?

1 – Contribute to your school’s social media accounts, then share or retweet those social media messages on your own account (even from your personal account). Be clear with students about why you might be taking photos or video during class.

2 – Use a social media account explicitly for the promotion of your classroom or school projects and activities.  Never post anything of a personal nature.  Be clear with all involved they have a choice.

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: June 5, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on June 5th, 2017

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

More than 2,400 Lincoln Public Schools high school graduates received their diplomas at six graduation ceremonies on Sunday, May 28.  Congratulations!

Graduation coverage:

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

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

The Lincoln Public Schools district does not close up in the summer – schools and classrooms are alive with activity:

  • More than 1,700 students registered for the annual LPS High School Summer School program at Lincoln North Star High School, June 1-July 14.
  • E-learning opportunities are available at most high schools.
  • A wide variety of programs happen at elementary and middle schools.
  • School libraries are open periodically throughout the summer.
  • Programs are available for students with special education needs.
  • Summer school opportunities focus on special interests such as music, technology and athletics.
  • Community Learning Centers in LPS schools are open throughout the summer.

3. Refunding 2009 bond series – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

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

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

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

4. Fierce urgency of “now” for inclusion, equity – For more information: Thomas Christie, christt@lps.org

Author, keynote speaker and workshop leader Gary R. Howard took Lincoln Public Schools employees on a journey of inclusion, equity and excellence early this summer at the 23rd annual LPS Multicultural Leadership Institute held at Lincoln Southwest High School.

Howard said one of the most important questions for him is: “How do we create schools that do a better job with more kids, across more differences, more of the time – without asking kids to give up who they are?”

Howard is a national and international multicultural educator with more than 40 years of experience working in civil rights and cultural competence, founder of the REACH Center for Multicultural Education and author of “We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know.”

“Your school district is becoming increasingly diverse, and that is a beautiful thing but also a challenge,” Howard told the LPS audience.

5. LPS business teachers honored – For more information:  Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

Nine teachers from five high schools and programs in Lincoln Public Schools will be honored this week for their efforts in teaching business classes to students.

Teachers whose professional activities influenced business and marketing education in Nebraska during the past year will receive BEST — Belong, Excel, Study and Travel — Awards for their involvement in professional associations, community and school activities, professional leadership development, and service to the business education profession.

The Nebraska Department of Education will recognize 52 Nebraska business teachers at the Nebraska Career Education Conference June 7 in Kearney.

BEST awards exemplify superior qualities, including dedication to students, community outreach, and continual classroom improvement efforts.

 

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: May 15, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on May 15th, 2017

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

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

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

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

For tips and details about graduation:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

A question, and response, about student devices

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: May 1, 2017

Posted in Just Sharing by on May 1st, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact

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

P.O. Box 82889
Lincoln, Nebraska 68501

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