1. LPS opens 2014-15 school year with success – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, firstname.lastname@example.org
Classes began for Lincoln Public Schools Tuesday, August 12, and the first week of school ran smoothly with students and families, staff, teachers and administrators all engaged and ready to go – with wide-eyed kindergartners hugging good bye to teary moms (and dads), sixth graders facing down their first middle school lockers and ninth graders on the cusp of high school transformation. Classes released one hour earlier than normal during the first week of school, but regular hours resume the week of August 18.
2. Lincoln Board of Educations aspires to 90 percent graduation rate by 2019 – For more information: Steve Joel, email@example.com.
LPS will aspire to graduate 90 percent of high school students on-time by the year 2019 – according to a list of annual goals and priorities approved by the Lincoln Board of Education in August. The official list of goals is:
- Sustain and continually increase our graduation rate and work towards graduating every student on time. While we strive to assist all students to graduate on time, we value student success whenever achieved. By 2019, 90 percent graduation rate as measured by LPS indicators.
- Fulfill the promises of the bond, including the opening of The Career Academy by 2015, using the 10-year Facilities and Infrastructure Plan as our guide.
- By May 1, 2015, adopt a Board Resolution for district-wide implementation of the Technology Plan.
Ongoing priorities are:Keep our focus on learning to meet the unique needs of all students; Legislative advocacy; Effective alignment of fiscal resources; Effective stakeholder engagement.
3. New Student Information System offers new opportunities – For more information: Kirk Langer, firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the new school year begins, LPS launches Synergy, a new Student Information System featuring a parent portal called Synergy ParentVUE (replacing Pinnacle Internet Viewer/PIV used the last several years). This new system provides valuable information such as: Communications from teachers, attendance, progress grades, assignment calendars, student schedules, course history and more.
4. Efficient transportation – For more information: Bill McCoy, email@example.com.
The Lincoln Board of Education has approved a change in the 2014-15 transportation plan that will switch using cabs for transporting homeless students to LPS schools – and instead purchase four smaller-sized buses and two vans for these transportation needs. The proposal is what is called “budget neutral” and does not require additional funding.
5. LPS budget close to approval – For more information: Liz Standish, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lincoln Board of Education held a public hearing on August 12 inviting community comments about the proposed 2014-15 proposed $363.3 million budget. The budget will receive final approval at the August 26 Board meeting.
Kathy Danek, chair of the Board’s Finance Committee, said the proposed budget focuses on student learning and student success, specifically allocating money for new staffing, special education, technology, English Language Learners, and more.
Only one community person made remarks at the public hearing: Wanda Caffrey, representing the Lincoln Independent Business Association, praised LPS for working well with LIBA over past years – and applauded the school district for adding teachers to the classroom. She urged the Board to consider lowering the tax levy, as well as several other funding changes.
The proposed LPS budget for 2014-15 addresses a variety of factors in the LPS school district, including: significant growth in student enrollment; growing complexity of the demographics and needs of LPS students; and the changing landscape of how we provide quality education. In fact, this school year LPS estimates an increase of 1,000 more students – the largest increase in half a century since the Baby Boomer years of Lincoln. Taking into consideration Lincoln’s taxpayers and the current economics of the community, the school district will keep the total tax levy flat. That means the school district portion of property tax rates will not increase.