1. LPS achievement shows steady improvement – For more information: Jane Stavem, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lincoln Public Schools monitors student progress and achievement in a broad variety of ways, and results from the 2013-14 Nebraska State Accountability (NeSA) scores – the piece of the achievement puzzle based on state standards – were released to the public recently and show steady improvement at LPS, as well as above-state-average numbers in most grades and subject areas.
- This year every LPS high school’s reading scores improved – sometimes as much as 8 to 9 percent over the previous year – and now LPS district-wide high school reading and math scores are tied or are better than state averages
- The percent of LPS students proficient in math exceeded the state average in all grades – and the percent of students proficient in math on 2014 NeSA was at an all-time high in grade 4 and every secondary grade.
Stavem pointed to a wide variety of intentional strategies and programs coming together: constantly increasing the rigor in instruction, raising student expectations, studying patterns and trends to identify areas of challenge, providing targeted professional development and looking at individual student needs.
2. Summer School 2014 – For more information: Pam Robinson, email@example.com
LPS continues to enhance summer school programs in order to provide multiple opportunities for success across the school district – including course credit acquisition and continued skills reinforcement. The ending enrollment for high school summer school 2014 totaled 1,154 students – up from 804 students completing courses in 2007.
Highlights of the high school summer program:
- Summer school is open to high school students in grades 9-12 who may sign up for two courses. Two sessions are offered: 8 and 10 a.m.
- Students may also finish an on-line eLearning course they were working on second semester.
- This year 53 courses were offered.
- Students on free and reduced lunch – can attend summer school for free.
3. ACT scores continue strong: 100 percent of juniors taking test – For more information: Leslie Lukin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lincoln Public Schools students continued to perform well with results from the second year of a pilot program – starting in April of 2012 – in which every LPS high school junior takes the ACT college-ready test.
Leslie Lukin, director of Assessment and Evaluation for LPS: “We love this program, we are opening doors for our students, ultimately maximizing opportunities for their future – saying to kids, you’re in this game. Quite frankly, students who typically wouldn’t have taken the ACT often do better than expected, which suddenly opens the door for college, opens the door for dual credit.”
In April of 2012, LPS started participation in the pilot of what is called the District Choice in-School Testing (DCST) program for the state of Nebraska in which all LPS juniors take the ACT at no cost on a regularly scheduled school day (as opposed to the previous process of paying for the test and taking it on a Saturday morning). Previously about 65 percent of LPS graduates took the ACT, but now virtually 100 percent take the ACT, one of the most common standardized college entrance examinations.
4. Lincoln Board of Educations approves 2014-15 budget – For more information: Liz Standish, email@example.com
The Lincoln Board of Education has approved the final 2014-15, $363.6 million budget – a budget that strengthens teaching in the classroom and keeps the tax levy rate flat.
The budget addresses a variety of factors in the LPS school district: Significant growth in the number of students attending school at LPS (this school year, LPS estimates an increase of 1,000 more students); growing complexity of the demographics and needs of LPS students; the changing landscape of how we provide quality education.
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.
5. Lincoln High first in nation to offer letter in slam poetry – For more information: Zachary Baehr, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lincoln High School is the first school in the nation to offer a letter in Slam Poetry. (A letter is an honor given to an athletic or activity participant based on participation, meeting team expectation and character.)
Deborah McGinn, Lincoln High teacher: “As sponsor of the Lincoln High Slam Poetry group, I believe that if sport teams, speech, drama, and debate could letter for excellence in athletic, academic and dramatic performances, so should the slam poets who are also extraordinary at producing original polished writing on a stage…After winning the State Championship in 2013 and 2014, I knew it was the perfect time to rationalize lettering in this valuable activity.”