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Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: February 1, 2016

Posted in Just Sharing by on February 1st, 2016

  1. Snow days For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Yes, Lincoln Public Schools is keeping a watch on the skies, as we do whenever there is an inclement weather forecast. The school district uses a telephone communication system to alert families of weather-related school closing days in the winter, a mass communication system that notifies families individually when school has been canceled due to bad weather. When a decision is made in the evening, we try and notify families by 10 p.m. or earlier. When a decision is made in the morning, we try and notify families by 6 a.m. Information about school closings is also posted prominently on the LPS website, and announced through local news media.

2. Proposed 2017-18 calendar For more information: John Neal, jpneal@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools would start the 2017-18 school year on Monday, August 14, and end on May 24, according to a proposed calendar that the Lincoln Board of Education will vote on Tuesday, Feb. 9. For a complete look, as well as guidance for sharing comments and questions, go to: http://www.lps.org/about/calendar/proposal/

As in previous years, the LPS Calendar Committee has followed Board approved student calendar primary and secondary variables to design and recommend a calendar that meets the purpose statement, “The school calendar demonstrates the district’s commitment to learning.  It is based on sound instructional considerations and priorities ensuring the continuity, efficiency, and effectiveness of teaching and learning.”

BACKGROUND: Each year a joint LPS/Lincoln Education Association committee – composed of parents, Board members, Lincoln Education Association leaders, teachers and administrators – recommends a student calendar for the Board’s consideration. In addition to the Calendar Committee, the Board’s Student Learning Committee reviews the recommended calendar.  It has been the practice of the Board to adopt a calendar more than a full calendar year before it is in place. The Calendar Committee received input from the Community Curriculum Council, a district parent group with a representative from each school, the district-wide PTO group and the Board’s Student Learning Committee.

3. Meeting your School Board members For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

In honor of School Board Recognition Month in January, we have added personal photographs and interesting Q&As to our webpage on the Lincoln Board of Education. Go to this webpage, scroll down to the Board members and click on the green boxes. http://www.lps.org/about/board/

4. LPS podcast focuses on S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G For more information: Zachary Baehr, zbaehr@lps.org

LPS Podcast has launched: a collection of interesting school district stories featuring our students, staff members and schools. The latest podcast highlights the lure, love and luck of spelling bees – speaking with two long-time organizers of the LPS Spelling Bee who talk about why they love it and what makes for the best spelling bee strategies. This year’s LPS Spelling Bee is set for 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 13 at Culler Middle School, 5201 Vine St. For the podcast go to: http://home.lps.org/podcast/

5. Proposal for North Star For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

Due to high and increasing student numbers at Lincoln North Star High School, the Lincoln Board of Education is considering a change in previous practice and making the high school unavailable to transfers of students living outside of the North Star attendance area – after the transfer deadline late in January. Students who filled out the appropriate forms by the Jan. 31 deadline would still be allowed transfer into North Star students.

The enrollment at North Star is approaching 2,200 and is expected to continue to grow, according to Liz Standish, associate superintendent for Business Affairs at LPS.   “We see this as balancing the facility and staffing needs of the school – with the long-standing choice system in the community. The high school choice and selection form process is intact.”

LPS staff members monitor enrollment trends in LPS facilities – such as available capacity, impact on educational program within the building, prior enrollment levels, and anticipated future growth within the building attendance area – in order to determine availability for transfer. In particular, staff has been continuously monitoring the enrollment trends at North Star as the population within the high school’s attendance area continues to grow. The Board will vote on this proposal at the Feb. 9 Board meeting.

6. Celebration of SuccessFor more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education recognized Ann Jablonski, principal at Kooser Elementary School, named a Distinguished Principal by the Nebraska Council of School Administrators and the Nebraska Association of Elementary School Principals.

Why dismissing school early isn’t a realistic option

Posted in Behind the Scenes, Just Sharing, Rumor Control, Your Questions Answered by on January 26th, 2016

The most common comments Lincoln Public Schools received yesterday — other than just a general plea for a snow day from students — was to let our students go home from school earlier than scheduled.

If you consider yesterday’s snowfall and the timing of the snow, our school district believes we would have made a tough situation  even worse by letting out students early.

Imagine: If a decision could be made purely on forecast (and one notable local meteorologist admits they didn’t foresee the full impact of Monday’s snowfall) it might have been made at 10:30 in the morning. Then let’s pretend we dismiss all schools at noon.

Here’s what that would have meant:

  • Thousands of parents and guardians and grandparents would have had to leave work or home just when the weather turned really poor (low visibility, heavy snowfall).
  • Daycare places would have had to adjust schedules to find drivers to make their normal pick-ups.
  • School bus drivers would have had to hurry to their bus, then out to their location and routes. Also keep in mind that some bus drivers may make two or three different pick-ups from schools at different times.
  • Thousands of high school students would have been leaving school and driving just as the storm reached its full impact.
  • Thousands more students of all ages would have been walking home in areas of low visibility, and to homes that may or may not have had anyone waiting for them. (Just because we send an automated phone call and email doesn’t mean they are received right away.)
  • Thousands of students would not have eaten any lunch, and school lunches might be a child’s best chance at a healthy meal during the day.

Instead, as the timing worked out, students were walking and driving home when it wasn’t snowing, when visibility had improved, and on a normal schedule (albeit roads were slick).

LPS can’t always predict and plan when snow storms will start and stop. Yesterday we made the best decision we could based on the fluid forecasts available to us.

The safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Thanks for your understanding and patience.

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: January 18, 2016

Posted in Just Sharing by on January 18th, 2016

  1. New online patron tool For more information: John Neal, jpneal@lps.org

Over the past six months, Lincoln Public Schools has piloted a new online patron engagement program – also designed to create a tracking system for questions and concerns from the community. LPS has branded the new program, ConnectNow, a product called “Let’s Talk” provided by K-12 Insight for free since July 15.

“We continue to ask ourselves how we can better communicate and engage with our public,” said LPS Superintendent Steve Joel. “As our district continues to grow, maintaining an effective system for communicating with our customers and following up on those communications will be a challenge.”

The new patron engagement program can be accessed on the front of the LPS website where community members can click, send their questions and concerns – and expect answers within two days and often sooner. The Board and staff members will continue to evaluate the program and develop a plan going forward.

2. First semester at The Career Academy For more information: Zachary Baehr, zbaehr@lps.org

Dan Hohensee, director of The Career Academy, talks popular pathways, promotions, surprises and the most delicious perk of the job – in the latest LPS Podcast. Go to the LPS website to find them.

3. Dogs, a school’s best friend: Learning Lunch – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Dogs, a school’s best friend, is the topic of the next LPS Learning Lunch set for 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26, in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St. The presentation will feature stories about the value of canine companions in our schools (with appearances from two-legged and four-legged critters). Doors to the Board Room will open at noon, the program will begin at 12:15 p.m., questions-and-answers will happen at 12:45 p.m.

4. Celebration of SuccessFor more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education has recognized Lincoln High School for being selected for the 2015 NebraskARTS Award presented by Nebraskans for the Arts.

5. Thank your Board of Education members

January is School Board Recognition Month, a great time to focus on the crucial role an elected board of trustees plays in our communities and schools. Please thank your LPS Board of Education!

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: January 4, 2016

Posted in Just Sharing by on January 3rd, 2016

1. A quiet moment for Lincoln Public Schools students to respect our veteransFor more information: Mindy Burbach, mburbach@lps.org

Take a few minutes for a wonderful video showing how some of our LPS students spent a wintry Saturday morning decorating veteran’s graves at Wyuka Cemetery. Go to the front of the LPS website and look for Wreaths Across America, or go to http://lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=10501

2. High school info nights for eighth graders and families in JanuaryFor more information: Pat Hunter-Pirtle, ppirtle@lps.org

Eighth-grade students and their families are invited to attend informational meetings held at each LPS high school in January. The meetings are designed for students and families to meet with school counselors and instructional staff, in addition to that school’s current students. Feel free to attend more than one school’s information session, as LPS students entering the ninth grade may choose the high school they want to attend. For more information contact the school’s counseling center, contact Pat Hunter-Pirtle or check the LPS website.

3. Launching LPS podcasts For more information: Zachary Baehr, zbaehr@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools has launched a brand new communications channel: LPS Podcasts. These weekly productions feature a collection of interesting stories about the students and staff from LPS – in the growing popular audio form. Go to the LPS website to find them.

4. Thank you teachers – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Early January marks the beginning of the annual Thank You Teacher contest, sponsored by Lincoln Public Schools, inviting students and former students to write us about how special teachers have made an impact on their lives. Nominations should be postmarked or sent by Friday, Feb. 19 – letters to LPS District Offices or online nominations on the LPS website. Five teachers will be chosen and honored at a special breakfast on March 1, where the five students who submitted the winning nominations also will be invited to attend and read their winning letters.

5. Upcoming Board of Education meetings – For more information: Laura Maxwell, lmaxwel@lps.org

There are several upcoming meetings for the Lincoln Board of Education in January: a special work session at 4:30 p.m. and a regular meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 12 – and a rescheduled Board meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

6. TV listings on cable TV– For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Starting early in January, the specific TV shows broadcast on the educational public access channel – channel 80 – will now be listed on the TV schedule guides that run on cablevision networks. Tune in!

A few tips for social media users …

Posted in Web Sites and Social by on December 16th, 2015

Remember that we in Lincoln Public Schools are sometimes held to a higher standard. This means we need to be extra careful when we share information online. This doesn’t mean don’t tweet, but it is helpful to remember a few things before pushing publish:

  • Stay positive. Don’t be unnecessarily critical. Being upset that an airline cancelled your holiday flight home is one thing, but attacking an indvidual based on their viewpoint (or their dropped touchdown pass) isn’t helpful. And never use vulgar or foul language.
  • Avoid slang, or inside jokes or ‘code’ words that could easily be mis-interpreted.
  • Don’t post photos of other people, or tag them in a photo, if you haven’t asked if it’s ok. Remember that photo of you accidentally falling over in a chair with a innocent red silo cup nearby in the wee morning hours? Yeah. Let’s protect our friends from unnecessary embarrassment.
  • Maintain appropriate relationships. In general, communicating with minors (via social media, texts or otherwise) with whom you are not related could lead to confusion, mis-interpretation and allegations. Keep a clear line to maintain trust with all.

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: December 14 2015

Posted in Just Sharing by on December 14th, 2015

  1. LPS families give high grades to schools and district – For more information: Leslie Eastman, leastman@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools analyzes student achievement and school district success through many different lenses, and one of those measurements is called “Perception Data.” More than 1,600 families from 27 LPS schools were surveyed about the “climate” of various aspects of the school district.

Highlights of findings:

  • 89 percent gave their child’s school a grade of A or B, compared to 72 percent nation-wide
  • 80 percent gave the school district a grade of A or B, compared to 51 percent nation-wide

2. Superintendent on NET panel discussion – For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel appeared recently on a panel with state legislators and state school administrators to discuss state aid to education. The program will air at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15 on NET Radio and at 7 p.m. Dec. 15 on NET Television (online at netnebraska.org).

3. LPS classified as ‘great school – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools has been classified as a “3 – great” school district in a new Nebraska Department of Education accountability system that assigns a rating to the performance of schools and school districts across the state (at four levels, with 4 as the highest). This is the first year of the program – called AQuESTT, Accountability for a Quality Education System Today and Tomorrow – and with a focus on state assessments but also student growth and improvement, the data will become more valuable over time as we identify trend lines. LPS had 13 schools receiving a 4/Excellent; 23 schools receiving a 3/Great; 17 schools receiving a 2/Good; and two schools receiving a 1/Needs Improvement.

Additional resources about AQuESTT can be found at:

4. Update on LPS social media – For more information: Zachary Baehr, zbaehr@lps.org

  • LPS Facebook: 11,213 fans – 55 percent more than two years ago https://www.facebook.com/lincolnpublicschools
  • LPS Twitter: 10,363 followers – 250 percent more than two years ago https://twitter.com/lpsorg

5. LPS employees recognized for 25 years of service – For more information: Mary Hiller, mhiller@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education recently recognized LPS employees who have worked for the school district for 25 years. The list of employees can be found here:

http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=10452

6. Launching LPS podcasts – For more information: Zachary Baehr, zbaehr@lps.org

LPS Podcast has launched – featuring a collection of interesting school district stories featuring our students, staff members and schools. The aim will be to provide a weekly story highlighting the various aspects of LPS, using a delivery system popular and still growing: audio podcasts. These are currently available in the iTuned Podcasts (Apple) and on the LPS website – http://home.lps.org/podcast/. In certain cases, video or photos are available with the podcast, and those can shown on Channel 80, our public access channel.”

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: November 30, 2015

Posted in Just Sharing by on November 30th, 2015

  1. Financial audit clean – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

Last week results of the annual Lincoln Public Schools financial audit – an extensive overview of the school district’s financial procedures – were presented to the Lincoln Board of Education by the external firm conducting the audit, Orizon CPAs, LLC.

The firm characterized the outcomes as “a very clean audit.” The audit found:

  • The school district’s financial information has been presented accurately.
  • The district has strong financial protocols in place.
  • LPS follows best practice standards and maintains accuracy in reporting financial information.

2. State and national presentations – For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools administrators, teachers and staff are always in demand for speaking statewide and nation-wide on a wide variety of topics. Recently LPS presented at the Nebraska Association of School Boards, the American Library Association’s Annual Meeting and the Annual School Wellness Summit for the Dakota Medical Foundation.

3. Grad rate dips – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

The high school graduation rate decreased for the class of 2015 at Lincoln Public Schools as well as for the statewide average, according to a report released recently by the State Department of Education.

“We have known for some time that this is the hardest work we will ever do, as we set the bar high for raising the graduation rate while our student numbers increase and our student demographics become more complex,” said Steve Joel, superintendent for LPS. In addition, Joel said, last year’s LPS seniors were the first to graduate with new and more rigorous graduation requirements moving from 230 to 245 credits. “We make no excuses,” he stressed. “We are not happy with a decrease. We also knew the new graduation requirements could have a slight effect on our graduation rate while we resolutely believe that increased rigor is necessary for students to be career and college-ready.”

The graduation rate for 2015 was 85.2 percent compared to 87.2 percent the previous year. When you look at actual numbers, 29 fewer students graduated from LPS in 2015 compared to 2014, Joel said, “which means we are talking about – on average – five students and their families at each of our six high schools.”

Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS, noted that five years ago the graduation rate at LPS was 80.1 percent. She said: “The LPS graduation rate remains above the national average, but our school district is not satisfied with that achievement. That is not good enough for us. We have set a very high goal, aspiring to reach a 90 percent graduation rate. Every step along the way reminds us how hard the work is – and how much work we still have ahead of us.”

4. New performance coaches– For more information: Kathi Wieskamp, kwieska@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools has hired two people to fill new Sports Performance Coaches positions, the first of their kind in the school district. The focus of these positions is to develop and implement a comprehensive sports performance program at all LPS schools. The overall goal of the program is to equip LPS athletes with the proper training and education necessary to achieve maximum performance in competition.

Matthew Bertsch and Jacob Fincham will assist the six LPS high schools year-round, and will be responsible for assessing, developing and implementing the LPS Sports Performance Program. The Performance Program will include the education of athletes, coaches and in some cases parents in proper lifting techniques, flexibility, speed and agility training, athlete nutrition, and injury prevention and rehabilitation.

5. Schoo Middle School goes quiet – For more information: Zachary Baehr, zbaehr@lps.org

Last year Schoo Middle School has become involved with the Me to We organization which focuses on empowering youth to make the world a better place both in their community and globally – and the student leadership groups at school adopted campaigns this year to spread the message. The school has adopted the slogan of Schoo Steps Up (#schoostepsup), challenging students and staff to find ways to step up.

Our First Friends took on the campaign of We Are Silent, which is a day when people across the world take a vow of silence and speak up for kids fighting for their basic human rights. Another 8th grade group called Why Try created a video to inspire students to choose something that is important to them. Here is the video (located on the LPS Vide Center): http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=10424

6. Bus drivers needed For more information: Bill McCoy, bmccoy@lps.org

LPS is spreading the word: Bus drivers wanted and needed. Regular routes are available as well as substitute positions. Route hours are typically 6:30 to 9:30 a.m., and/or 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., with a potential for working mid-day. For bus drivers, an excellent driving record is required. This is a great opportunity for students, retirees, at-home parents, and self-employed in need of extra money. Go to: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=10052

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: November 16, 2015

Posted in Just Sharing by on November 16th, 2015

  1. Take 3 this week – For more information: Mindy Burbach, mburbach@lps.org

Please remember to Take 3 this week. In honor of American Education Week, Lincoln Public Schools is asking you to take three minutes to talk with three people and share three great things about Lincoln Public Schools. Hashtag: #LPSProud.  http://www.lps.org/connect/take3/

2. Special education audit – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education is taking steps to undertake a comprehensive, external audit of the Lincoln Public Schools Special Education Department.

Board member Lanny Boswell explained: “The intent is to align our existing work with national best practices and to improve outcomes for students with special needs. We have approximately 6,000 students identified with special needs in our district, and that represents roughly 15 percent of our enrollment. We have a large number of students that benefit from these services, and it is appropriate that from time to time we take a step back and review the services we provide.”

The Board last week approved a $150,000 contract with District Management Council, and will further discuss the audit at a special Board Work Session later in November.

3. Bubba’s Closet For more information: Vicki Schulenberg, vschule@lps.org

Bubba’s Closet – the annual Lincoln Public Schools coat giveaway for our community’s children – handed out 900 new winter coats last Saturday (Nov. 14) – held at Lincoln High School this year in an event sponsored by LPS elementary principals.  This year the Foundation for LPS was awarded a $36,000 grant from Wal-Mart to purchase brand new coats – and yet the event still ran short on coats.  If you care to donate coats, please bring them to LPS District Office, 5905 O St., or Fredstrom Elementary, 5700 NW 10th St.

4. District of Distinction – For more information: John Neal, jpneal@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools has been bestowed with the award of District of Distinction, prestigious national recognition from the District Administration magazine. LPS was honored particularly for development of The Career Academy, noting the unique partnership of the school district, Southeast Community College, and local business and industry. The Districts of Distinction is a national recognition program created by District Administration magazine to honor school districts that are leading the way with new and innovative ideas.

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

The annual celebration for the LPS Scottish Rite Distinguished Teacher of the Year was scheduled for 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16 – honoring Eastridge Elementary School teacher Alan Eighme, the 2015 recipient.

6. Learning Lunch, Maker Spaces for November – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

The next Learning Lunch – 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24 in the Board Room at LPS District Office – is titled Makerspaces and Other Wonders of LPS Libraries, with a presentation from Mary Reiman and Chris Haeffner of Library Media Services. The program runs live on cable channel 80 and is live-streamed on the LPS website.

7. Foundation update For more information: Wendy Van, wendy.van@lps.org

During the first two months of the fiscal school year, the community has contributed $260,000 to the Foundation for LPS to fund various projects throughout the school district, according to a recent update to the Board. Contributions go to programs such as: New scholarships established in honor of LPS teachers who have passed away; the LPS Wellness Program; and more.

Wendy Van, president of the Foundation, noted: “Fundraising is an art, and fund receiving is an art, and it takes both sides to make a gift come to life.”

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: November 2, 2015

Posted in Just Sharing by on November 2nd, 2015

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

We celebrate Eastridge Elementary School teacher Alan Eighme, 2015 Scottish Rite Distinguished Teacher of Year, at a 4 p.m. ceremony on Monday, Nov. 16, in the Board Room at LPS District Office.

See him in action in the classroom: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=8574

2. LPS student stats for 2015-16 For more information: Leslie Eastman, leastman@lps.org

LPS student statistics for 2015-16 are now posted online in the newest addition to the Annual Statistical Handbook: http://www.lps.org/post/index.cfm?collection=77

 3. Homeless students highlighted at October Learning Lunches – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Forget about the person you have seen standing on a street with a sign proclaiming the person is homeless, and asking for a handout.  The majority of cases of homeless families in Lincoln look nothing like that image. Most likely homelessness comes about when a family with little savings has a bad surprise: health problems, job loss, broken car, loss of housing.

Bryan Seck, LPS Outreach Specialist for homeless students and families, spoke at the Lincoln Public Schools October Learning Lunch, a series of speakers who talk about the “Untold Stories” of our school district. Seck said there were 493 homeless students at the end of the 2014/15 school year, an increase over previous years – and that his goal for these families is: stability.    “Kids are successful when they go to bed and wake up in the same bed, when they are confident that they are not going to wake up being roused by mom at 3 in the morning, saying ‘we got to go. Our job as a community is to get them back.”

Go to: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=10300

4. High school counselors help students apply for college – For more information: Zachary Baehr, zbaehr@lps.org

“Just apply to college. Just go home and log on. It’s easy. It’s right there on the college’s website. You can figure it out, I’m sure.”

And that ‘just’ isn’t correct. There are questions, there are differences between applications, and there is the simple fact that you don’t apply for college that often in your life.

As a result, over the past few weeks, counselors at LPS high schools have helped hundreds of seniors apply for college. Students, parents, school staff and admissions counselors are all incredibly grateful for the Apply2College initiative, a statewide campaign sponsored by EducationQuest: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=10325

5. Community News for November focuses on tech – For more information: Zachary Baehr, zbaehr@lps.org

The latest edition of Community News – November – includes a complete section focusing on the wonders of technology in Lincoln Public Schools with words from teachers and students. Community News is a monthly LPS publication sent home with elementary students, mailed to most families with middle school students, distributed in high school libraries, and available on our website. Total print production is about 25,000 copies.

About those Chromebooks: Feedback from students and staff:

http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=10323

For the November Community News issue go to:

http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=10303

6. Bubba gets new coats, new location – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Bubba’s Closet – the annual Lincoln Public Schools coat giveaway for our community’s children – is scheduled for 8-10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at Lincoln High School, 2229 J St. This event is sponsored by LPS elementary principals and this year the Foundation for LPS was awarded a $36,000 grant from Wal-Mart to purchase brand new coats. These new coats will be distributed to children who attend the event with an adult.

When to send a message home to families

Posted in Your Questions Answered by on October 26th, 2015

When should schools send a message to families about something potentially or actually harmful that happened at school?

– When it disrupted the students’ day
– When students are talking about with friends and family (text, social media, word of mouth)
– When it will impact the school day going forward
– When media or police or emergency services showed up
– When there will be a public record about it (police report, 911 call, etc.)

The goal is to let all parents know about it from the source with the most knowledge of the event. That’s you. Be consistent and honest to build trust. Let police handle their duties when it comes to the investigation and any follow-up communication with the public. Know that you don’t have to say everything; just say what you know to be true, and how it impacts students and staff and families. And always emphasize to parents that their children are safe at school.

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: October 19, 2015

Posted in Just Sharing by on October 19th, 2015

1. Heading into second quarter:

Monday, Oct 19, marks the beginning of second quarter for Lincoln Public Schools.

2. Humann classes to move while school gets essential makeover – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

Humann Elementary School students next year will attend classes at a different location – the new Bison facility recently purchased by Lincoln Public Schools at 710 Hill St. just north of 7th and Van Dorn streets – while their school undergoes essential renovation. Extensive construction work happens more efficiently and appropriately in some cases when students are moved to a different location – and Humann will be the 24th LPS school relocated while under renovation.

Improvements at Humann that will take place next year include:

  • New heating and cooling, lighting and flooring.
  • Modifications for students with special needs.
  • Office/Secure Entrance addition project.
  • Additional classroom space.
  • Relocation and improved space for kindergarten and early childhood.
  • Technology Ready.
  • New parking area.

The 38,000-square-foot Bison site was purchased as an eventual warehouse for LPS Nutrition Services, but LPS will begin immediately to refurbish the facility in order to create a good learning climate for Humann students and staff for the 2016-17 school year.  “This is the best site based on savings, site location, proximity to Humann and timing,” said Scott Wieskamp, director of Facilities and Maintenance at LPS.

3. Bubba receives new coats, new location – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Bubba’s Closet – the annual Lincoln Public Schools coat giveaway for our community’s children – is scheduled for 8-10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at Lincoln High School, 2229 J St. This event is sponsored by LPS elementary principals and this year the Foundation for LPS was awarded a $36,000 grant from Walmart to purchase brand new coats. These new coats will be distributed to children who attend the event with an adult.

Bubba’s Closet will continue to accept used and new donations of winter coats, but is also hoping for more donations of other winter wear: Warm jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts, hats and mittens/gloves. If you have children’s new or gently used warm winter clothes to donate for this event – elementary aged – please bring them to any Hanger’s Cleaners from now through Nov. 5.

4. Board of Education receives prestigious honor – For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools and the Lincoln Board of Education have been honored with the prestigious 2015 Award for Urban School Board Excellence, bestowed by the Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) to only three “exemplary” school districts in the nation. LPS was citied specifically for success in increasing the high school graduation rate – and in addition, for increasing the graduation rate for all groups of students.

“The Board is humbled and proud of this recognition by our peers,” said Kathy Danek, president of the Lincoln Board of Education. “This honor is really a culmination of the collective efforts of every single administrator, staff member, volunteer, student and parent.  It is a testament to our community.”

Each year CUBE recognizes exemplary school boards for their excellence in school board governance, ability to build civic capacity, success in closing the achievement gap and working for equity in education, and demonstrated success of academic excellence.

5. LPS Citizens Education Academy – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

The new LPS Citizens Education Academy is now meeting – a series of monthly classes offered to Lincoln citizens and stakeholders that include hands-on interactive experiences depicting a true, behind-the-scenes sense of LPS. If you would like to see the resources we share with this group, go to the website and look under: About LPS (http://home.lps.org/citizensacademy/)

6. New timeline approved for Chromebooks Grades 3-5 For more information: Kirk Langer, klanger@lps.org

LPS third-, fourth- and fifth-graders will receive Chromebooks sometime early in second semester of this year – after a Board of Education vote that fast tracked the original schedule by about six months from the school district’s three-year instructional technology plan (CLASS).

Major reasons for the change include:

  • Elementary teachers and administrators have indicated they feel like they need better access to computers.
  • These computers can be used during the spring assessment season when there is significantly increased demand for use.
  • This time frame allows students more time with devices – more time to adjust and be comfortable with them.
  • The Chromebooks are already included in this year’s General Fund Budget, and the Instructional Technology Plan is agile enough to constantly identify opportunities to better facilitate the rollout.

 

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: September 28, 2015

Posted in Just Sharing by on September 29th, 2015

1. Student enrollment at LPS at historic highs – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

Student enrollment at Lincoln Public Schools hit historic, record highs this school year with 39,948 students attending the school district, 882 more than last year – a 2.3 percent increase over one year ago and a 9.5 percent increase over the past five years – according to official student enrollment counts on the final Friday of September. For story and map: http://www.lps.org/connect/final-friday-2015/index.html

2. Chromebooks for Grades 3-5 For more information: Kirk Langer, klanger@lps.org

By mid school year, each Lincoln Public Schools third-, fourth- and fifth-grader will likely be assigned a Chromebook for their use – accelerating the original schedule about six months from the school district’s three-year instructional technology plan (CLASS). The Lincoln Board of Education Sept. 22 discussed a recommendation about the details of making that happen – and will finalize the decision at the Oct. 13 Board meeting.

The original plan called for providing Chromebooks to students grades 3-5 this coming summer for next school year. Many reasons were cited to schedule this earlier:

  • Elementary teachers and administrators have indicated they feel like they need better access to computers.
  • The computers can be used during the spring assessment season when there is significantly increased demand for use.
  • This time frame allows students more time with devices – more time to adjust and be comfortable with them.
  • The Chromebooks are already included in this year’s General Fund Budget, and the Instructional Technology Plan is agile enough to constantly identify opportunities to better facilitate the rollout.

3. Bon appetit For more information: Edith Zumwalt, ezum@lps.org

Recently LPS has introduced something called the Smarter lunchroom movement: aiming to increase the number of students who are eating vegetables and drinking their milk. Our schools are working with the University of Nebraska and the Nebraska Department of Education to research and develop the program – and LPS has already started developing strategies for this program. They’ve come up with fun food names to entice students to eat more fruits and veggies. Posters are being placed around the schools, featuring teachers who are modeling good eating habits.

Consider this:  Lincoln Public Schools has to plan and prepare 4.4 million lunches and 1.2 million breakfasts each school year. That’s a total of 5.6 million meals – not even including the school district’s summer breakfast and lunch program, all the after-school snacks, and the many other food programs for our students.

4. Deaf Awareness Week For more information: Zachary Baehr, zbaehr@lps.org

Students from Irving Middle School share facts and stories about the limitless talents and ability of all people – in recognition of Deaf Awareness Week. For a great video go to: http://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=10156

5. LPS and Prosper Lincoln For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel – at the latest Board of Education meeting – talked about the school district’s involvement in the community initiative called, Prosper Lincoln. Using the findings in Lincoln Vital Signs as a starting point, Prosper Lincoln is a community-wide discussion aimed to help set priorities and establish a shared agenda for positive change. Representatives from all sectors of the city – businesses, non-profit organizations, neighborhoods, government, faith communities, philanthropies and individuals – are involved in the venture.

Joel said that through the ongoing discussion, “education has been represented very, very well…by folks who are thinking about how you approach big community issues…understanding education can be a tremendous vehicle for providing solutions.”

6. First LPS Student-Athlete Summit For more information: Kathi Wieskamp, kwieska@lps.org

About 40 student-athletes from Lincoln East and Lincoln Southeast high schools attended the first LPS Student-Athlete Leadership Summit in September held at the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame. Southeast Athletic Director JJ Toczek said this is part of a comprehensive plan to strengthen the school district Athletic’s District Pillar of ‘Life Skills’ project. For more on that event, go to: http://lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=10160

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: September 14, 2015

Posted in Just Sharing by on September 14th, 2015

1. StudentServe features students across community supporting civic service – For more information: Zachary Baehr, zbaher@lps.org

Student Serve 2015 is this week, and that means thousands of students across the city will be volunteering in various ways. They might rake leaves, visit with senior citizens or simply learn how volunteering impacts the community by working with nonprofit organizations. This event is entirely organized by students, and this year features new and easier ways to get involved. For more information: http://wp.lps.org/studentserve/

2. Citizens Education Academy launches For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

The first gathering of the LPS Citizens Education Academy happens this week with about 25 community members signed up. The brand new initiative involves a series of monthly classes that features presentations and experiences depicting a true, behind-the-scenes sense of LPS. For more information: http://lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=10014

3. Big Ticket week at LPS For more information: Kathi Wieskamp, kwieska@lps.org

It’s Big Ticket Week for LPS Athletics. That means elementary and middle school students can get free admission to all LPS-hosted varsity sports. You can find tickets on the LPS website. Sports like cross country, tennis and golf are always free for regular season events –meanwhile, visit the LPS athletics schedule at www.lps.org for football, softball and volleyball games.  Big Ticket Week starts Monday and runs through Saturday’s games.

4. Saltdogs experience offers lessons for fifth graders For more information: Matt Avey, mavey@lps.org

Piling off school buses in the bright late summer sunshine, almost 3,000 Lincoln Public Schools fifth graders arrived at Haymarket Park on a Wednesday in early September – ready for the annual LPS-Saltdogs field trip of early fall.

“Preparation for this event begins way before the game starts,” said Matt Avey, LPS curriculum specialist for Health and Physical Fitness. “We talk about good character and good behavior that should be displayed at a baseball game.”

For more photos of the event, go to the front of the LPS website and click on Saltdogs game.

5. MOSAIC underlines rich cultural offerings in LPS libraries For more information: Mary Reiman, mreiman@lps.org

MOSAIC, an annual display of cultural books available to LPS libraries, is now on display at LPS District Office – an exhibit highlighting 278 titles that represent a broad variety of cultures. After the District Office display, MOSAIC will travel to schools around the district.

“We know that it is critical for kids to find themselves reflected in books,” said Chris Haeffner, coordinator of LPS Library Media Services. “Not only can these books help them relate to things they are feeling and doing, it can open their minds to our global society and also take them to places a world away to learn about new cultures.”

LPS has created a Multicultural Committee, which includes current and retired media specialists and volunteers, to review materials and make recommendations to schools about appropriate content for these books. The Committee has a rigorous evaluation process with a set of guidelines for each grade level, and only the books that receive a very good or higher rating make the cut for the annual MOSAIC display.

 

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: August 31, 2015

Posted in Just Sharing by on August 31st, 2015

1. Student achievement steady and strong – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org

Late in August, two different sets of achievement scores were released – ACT and NeSA – and Lincoln Public Schools progress was steady and growing in both.

NeSA: LPS continues to generally see solid, significant improvement in achievement – scores above state averages in most grades and subject areas – based on release of the 2014-15 Nebraska State Accountability (NeSA) scores, the piece of the achievement picture based on state standards.

Particularly noteworthy are LPS reading scores: 86 percent of our third graders are reading at or above grade level, an increase from 76 percent just five years ago. The new NeSA scores also indicated LPS math holding strong with scores meeting or exceeding the state average in every grade but 11, and science scores continuing to climb.

ACT: For the LPS class of 2015, almost 100 percent of all the students as juniors had continued to take the ACT – a popular college- and career ready test – and overall school district scores remained consistent according to the latest ACT numbers. The results come from the fourth year of a pilot program for LPS – sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Education – in which all LPS juniors take the test for free at school on a regularly scheduled school day as opposed to previously, when students had to pay for the test and it was administered on a Saturday.

“This initiative makes a lot sense, and helps more of our students become aware of their potential,” according to Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS. “By allowing all of our students to take this exam, we eliminate possible roadblocks between our kids and postsecondary opportunities.”

2. Beautiful weekend for high school football For more information: Kathi Wieskamp, kwieska@lps.org

The community of Lincoln celebrated and debuted a brand new Seacrest Field, coming out to cheer for their teams at three games over Thursday and Friday, August 27-28.

Football fans arriving for the games were greeted with a new stadium and a host of new fan-friendly additions: Paved parking lots, new handrails, stairways and bleachers, and a brilliant razzle-dazzle video board. The Seacrest upgrades were paid for by the community through approval of bonds voted last year. Other upgrades were paid for by donations, including from the Seacrest family.

3. Bond issue projects on target – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

Construction projects throughout the LPS district continue into the new school year, projects funded through the 2014 bond issue that was overwhelmingly approved by Lincoln voters. For the latest updates go to the online LPS Bond Progress map accessible on the front page of the LPS website http://lps.org/2014bond/update/map/

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

More than 3,000 LPS fifth graders will head for the ballpark on Wednesday, Sept. 2, for the annual attendance at a Saltdog baseball game. The Saltdog Organization and our schools provide the financial support necessary to make sure all fifth graders attend the game.

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

The Lincoln Board of Education officially has adopted the 2015-16 Lincoln Public School budget, a budget that will include funding for appropriate staffing, services, supplies and resources to address significant growth in LPS student enrollment – as well as retain a flat tax levy with no increase over last year.  The vote was 6 to 1 with Board member Matt Schulte voting against adoption.

A few budget highlights:

  • The proposed budget provides appropriate staffing, services, supplies and resources to address significant growth in LPS student enrollment.
  • The budget proposal includes a flat tax levy with no increase over last year. Any tax increase to property owners would be the result of increases in property value.
  • The proposed budget predicts a revenue of about $396 million – of which about $10 million would be placed in cash flow to fund budget growth over the next two school years. As a growing school district, LPS wisely projects multiple years ahead to foresee funds available to staff student growth, open new schools and accommodate increases in salaries and benefits. The overarching goal is to provide stability for students and staff in a variable funding climate.

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: August 17, 2015

Posted in Just Sharing by on August 17th, 2015

1. LPS Citizens Education Academy For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools is launching a new initiative for the 2015-16 school year: the LPS Citizens Education Academy. Citizens are invited to apply to participate in a series of monthly classes that include hands-on interactive experiences depicting a true, behind-the-scenes sense of LPS. For more information go the front of the LPS website and click on Citizens Academy: http://lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=10014

2. Celebrating a newly renovated Seacrest For more information: Kathi Wieskamp, kwieska@lps.org

High school football fans arriving at Seacrest Field for the first games of the season – Thursday and Friday, August 27-28 – will enjoy a newly renovated stadium with new bleachers, railings, scoreboard and more.

3. First day of school For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Classes started at Lincoln Public Schools on Wednesday, August 12 for the 2015-16 school year, a clean slate for teachers, students and families. Moms and dads of kindergarteners grabbed those last hugs and kisses. Parents everywhere took first day photographs. New backpacks and new shoes sparkled. And LPS opened its doors. For highlights of the first day, go to the LPS website at: http://www.lps.org/connect/firstday2015/

4. The Career Academy For more information: Dan Hohensee, dhohen@lps.org

LPS held a ribbon cutting in August to officially celebrate The Career Academy – a partnership of Lincoln Public Schools, Southeast Community College and local business and industry.

  • LPS Superintendent Steve Joel: “This will be a game changer and a difference maker in the lives of our kids.”
  • Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts: “Ultimately the best thing about this new Academy is what it’s going to do for our kids: Give them an opportunity to have that great career.”

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

The Lincoln Board of Education held a public hearing on August 11 on the proposed 2015-16 Lincoln Public School budget – inviting members of the public to come and speak followed by Board discussion. A final vote on the budget will happen at the August 25 Board meeting.

A few budget highlights:

  • The proposed budget provides appropriate staffing, services, supplies and resources to address significant growth in LPS student enrollment.
  • The budget proposal includes a flat tax levy with no increase over last year. Any tax increase to property owners would be the result of increases in property value.
  • The proposed budget predicts a revenue of about $396 million – of which about $10 million would be placed in cash flow to fund budget growth over the next two school years. As a growing school district, LPS wisely projects multiple years ahead to foresee funds available to staff student growth, open new schools and accommodate increases in salaries and benefits. The overarching goal is to provide stability for students and staff in a variable funding climate.

 

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: August 3, 2015

Posted in Just Sharing by on August 2nd, 2015

1. Welcome Back Celebration For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools is welcoming the school year with a brand new event: The 2015–16 Welcome Back Celebration set for 8–11 a.m. Wednesday, August 5, at the Pinnacle Bank Arena. All LPS employees are invited to attend this celebration, which features an inspirational speech from Manny Scott, one of the original Freedom Writers; words from LPS Superintendent Steve Joel and Lincoln Board of Education President Kathy Danek, as well as shout-outs for schools and LPS employees.

2. Goals and priorities for 2015-16 school year For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

In the 2015-16 school year Lincoln Public Schools will likely focus priorities on the high school graduation rate, Community Learning Centers, the instructional technology plan and ensuring all departments in the school district are operating efficiently. The proposed annual goals and priorities for next school year – which will be approved by the Board of Education at the August 11 meeting – are:

  • By 2019, develop, implement, and sustain district initiatives that result in an increased graduation rate, with a goal of 90 percent of on-time graduates that are career and college ready.
  • By June 1, 2017, develop and adopt benchmarks that ensure high-quality, sustainable, full-service community schools and communicate a strong vision for current and future partnerships.
  • By June 1, 2016, identify components and develop implementation strategies for the district’s ongoing and evolving technology needs.
  • Initiate the following comprehensive reviews of programing designed to meet the unique needs of students, ensuring access and success for ALL: By June 1, 2016, Special Education Programs; By June 1, 2017, Alternative Education Programs; By June 1, 2018, Enrichment Programs

Proposed ongoing priorities: Keep our focus on learning to meet the unique needs of all students; Continue to evolve The Career Academy to meet the needs of students; Legislative advocacy; Effective alignment of fiscal resources; Effective stakeholder engagement; Regular reporting to the Board on all strategic priorities.

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

Next opportunities for involvement in the budget process: The Lincoln Board of Education will hold a public hearing for the proposed 2015-16 LPS budget at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 11, at LPS District Office, 5905 O St. The meeting will be live-streamed on the LPS website and air live on cable channel 80.

4. Speaker’s Bureau – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

If you need speakers for meetings and events in the coming school year, please check out the LPS Speaker’s Bureau, on the LPS website at: http://www.lps.org/about/speakersbureau/

5. TCA ribbon cutting – For more information: Dan Hohensee, dhohen@lps.org

A dedication/ribbon cutting ceremony will be held for The Career Academy (TCA) at 8:15 a.m. Monday, Aug. 10, at the new facility at 8800 O St. The Career Academy is a partnership between LPS and SCC – a program where high school students will explore their specific interest in any one of 16 different career pathways.

6. Great video: We loved the words of Board of Education President Kathy Danek at the New Teachers Breakfast, so we pulled them out and added some photos. Check out this link and scroll down to find the video: http://lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=9978

7. First Day of school is: Wednesday, August 12 when an estimated 800 more students will arrive (pushing our student enrollment to almost 40,000).

LPS elementary classroom ‘wish lists’

Posted in Your Questions Answered by on July 27th, 2015

Traditionally, one of the rituals families participate in as they prepare for the new school year is to purchase school supplies. In accordance with the Nebraska Constitution and state and federal law, Lincoln Public Schools provides a free, public education to all students. This generally means the district provides the supplies needed for instruction at no cost to students. This includes text books, pencils, erasers, crayons, glue, scissors, paper, notebooks, etc. For this reason, please do not send school supplies for your child’s individual use at school.

If you enjoy shopping for school supplies, and would like to make a donation to your child’s classroom, the list below provides suggestions. Items donated will be shared with all students at each grade level. Thank you!

Kindergarten

*Elmer’s™ Glue sticks, (small)
*Ziploc™ freezer bags: 2-gallon, gallon, quart, sandwich, and snack size, (plastic tab zip top preferred)
*Highlighters (skinny size, any color)
*Clorox™ wipes (antibacterial wipes)
*Pump bottles of hand sanitizer
*Boxes of tissues
*Expo Low Oder Dry Erase markers (skinny size)
*Index cards (white/lined or blank)
*Sticky notes (blue, green, orange, pink, white)
*Stickers
*Colored copy paper (blue, green, orange, pink)

Grade 1

*Boxes of tissues
*Hand Sanitizer
*Glue Sticks
*#2 Pencils
*Gallon & Sandwich freezer Ziploc™ bags
*Wide rule spiral bound notebooks
*Crayola™ markers both wide tip and thin tip

Grade 2

*Crayola™ brand Markers (washable wide tip classic and/or bold colors)
*Glue sticks
*Hand sanitizer (pump bottle)
*Boxes of tissues
*Wide-ruled spiral bound notebooks
*Notebook paper (wide-ruled, white, lined, 3-hole punched at left side)
*Zip-lock freezer bags (quart size)
*Expo Low Oder Dry erase markers (black or blue)

Grade 3

*Boxes of tissues
*#2 pencils
*Wide-rule filler paper (notebook)
*Markers
*Colored pencils
*Elmer’s™ glue
*Highlighters – skinny and large
*Scotch™ tape
*Sticky notes – all sizes and colors
*Index cards – white and colors
*Stickers
*Small, black dry erase markers
*Hand sanitizer (pump bottles)
*Glue sticks

Grade 4

*Boxes of Kleenex
#2 Pencils with erasers
*Pencil top erasers
*Hand sanitizer
*Markers: all kinds, types, and colors
*Dry Erase Markers: Expo™
*Dry erase board erasers
*Sticky notes – variety of colors
*Spiral notebooks – yellow, red, green, blue
*Construction paper – variety of colors
*Clipboards
*Reams of white unlined paper (copy paper)
*Classroom games – Mancala, Checkers,
Chess, UNO, Connect Four, Battleship,
Sorry, (strategy games), etc.

Grade 5

*#2 Pencils with erasers
*Pencil top erasers
*Boxes of Kleenex
*Markers: all kinds, types, and colors
*Rolls of scotch tape
*Sticker Dots – assorted colors –
(like those used for garage sale pricing)
*Dry Erase Markers: Expo, low odor
*Colored pencils
*Sticky notes – variety of colors
*Stickers
*Pens – red and green
*Spiral notebooks – yellow, red, green, blue
*Construction paper – variety of colors
*Student scissors
*Hand held pencil sharpeners
*Two pocket folders
*Classroom Games – Mancala, Checkers, Chess, UNO, Connect Four, Battleship, Sorry, etc. (strategy games)
*Hand sanitizer – pump dispensers
*CD’s – blank for recording
*Bright-colored copier paper
*Small prizes for Shooting Stars drawings (unique pencils, small tablets, bouncy balls, trinkets)

Specialists

*Boxes of Kleenex
*Hand sanitizer – pump dispensers
*Sticky notes – variety of colors and sizes
*Clorox™ wipes
*Pens – black, blue, red
*#2 Pencils with erasers
*Pink Pearl erasers
*Hand held pencil sharpeners
*Sponges

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: July 20, 2015

Posted in Just Sharing by on July 20th, 2015

1. Countdown to 2015-16 school year For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools is definitely gearing up for the 2015-16 school year: preparing for the first day of school on Wednesday, August 12 when an estimated 800 more students will arrive (pushing our student enrollment to almost 40,000). A special learning day for all new LPS administrators is planned for Thursday, July 23, with all LPS administrators coming together early in August. Most teachers report back on Wednesday, August 5.

This school year The Career Academy opens its doors for high school students who have interests and passion in any of the 13 career pathways offered. Seacrest Field will boast a totally renovated facility. And LPS will launch into the first phase of the instruction technology plan with Chrome Books in the hands of all sixth graders.

2. Bond issue updates For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools is airing its latest community video providing updates on progress from the 2014 bond issue. This video focuses on the ongoing construction project at Irving Middle School: http://www.lps.org/video/center.html?title=Video&id=2143

Work continues on bond issue-funded projects that include the new Sally Wysong Elementary School, Marilyn Moore Middle School and Bill Nuernberger Education Center.

3. LPS Summer school graduationFor more information, Pat Hunter Pirtle, ppirtle@lps.org

More than 125 high school students officially graduated in July, thanks to completing final high school credits and requirements at LPS Summer School this year.

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

In the proposed 2015-16 General Fund budget, the total tax levy would remain flat, which means a homeowner’s estimated property tax would remain the same (if their house valuation remains the same). The guiding principles are to develop a budget that reflects needs based upon projections and priorities – but one that also looks to the future.

The Board of Education will hold a public hearing on the budget at 6 p.m. Tuesday, August 11, at District Office.

Basic Chromebook questions … and answers

Posted in Your Questions Answered by on July 17th, 2015

1. What is the make and model of the Chromebooks LPS will be receiving?

Chromebook 11 from Dell will be distributed to students entering 6th Grade and the Focus Programs (Arts & Humanities, Science, International Baccalaureate, The Career Academy) this fall.

2. What does the Chromebooks come with? (i.e accessories)

In addition to the Chromebook, students will receive a charger and a protective sleeve/bag in which they will be expected to transport the Chromebook.

3. Are there or will there be any restrictions on what accessories you have to or cannot have on the Chromebooks?

The Chromebooks should remain free from stickers, decals, etc. but schools will be provided information about “shells” that can be purchased / acquired which can be applied and personalized.

Starting a tweet with the @ sign is limiting your reach

Posted in Web Sites and Social by on July 17th, 2015

Key note for Tweeters — and I see this all the time by organizations and individuals that probably just aren’t aware yet — If the first character of your tweet is the ‘@’ sign, the only people who see it on their timeline are you, the other person, and anyone who follows both of you. That’s a pretty small number.

You should notice that when you reply, it automatically starts the tweet with the @ sign. If you want your reply to get the most reach possible, change that.

The best advice is to reword your tweet. But, if you want to start your tweet with the twitter profile ‘@’ sign and want the widest possible audience, start with a period.

Example:

.@zacharybaehr appears for all your followers on their timeline;

@zacharybaehr appears on your timeline, my timeline, and for those who follow both of us.

Contact

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

P.O. Box 82889
Lincoln, Nebraska 68501

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