New Horizons Await
As we celebrate years past, and look ahead to opportunities on the horizon, Lincoln Public Schools remains committed to setting the stage for a future that gives our students the greatest potential for success in college, career and civic life.
We have much to applaud
- We are aligned for quality learning with outstanding teachers, fine curriculum and instruction, cutting-edge technology and great schools.
- Accountability data demonstrates we are on track with our students, producing solid academic outcomes.
- With more than 42,000 students, our school district is healthy and robust, expanding in all directions, growing by 8,000 students since 2008-09—an increase of nearly 24 percent.
- We respect traditions while also understanding the need to be creative, thinking outside the box to personalize student learning experiences with career pathways, focus programs and real-life experiences.
- As student numbers grow, so do student needs, and LPS remains bound to the pledge of honoring all students: And ALL MEANS ALL
Academics and Accountability
Lincoln Public Schools students continue to demonstrate solid, quality achievement, evident in student accountability and assessment scores, as well as graduation rates. A few highlights from 2017-18:
LPS again received designation as a “GREAT” school district from the Nebraska Department of Education, a designation that reflects the quality of teaching and learning in the school district, as well as policies enacted by the Lincoln Board of Education that support high-quality teaching and learning.
School district proficiency scores indicate that LPS exceeds state mean scores in every grade from three through eight, in both English/language arts and mathematics.
The graduation rate under the state accountability system is a weighted computation based on the four-year graduation rate and the extended seven-year graduation rate. Under this system, the LPS combined high school graduation rate for the class of 2018 is 86.54 percent. The LPS percent of students who graduated in five, six or seven years is 90.35 percent. Go to: https://lps.org/accountability
Thoughtful Study of LPS School Buildings
Lincoln Public Schools has a tried-and-true community process for analyzing long-range facility needs to ensure we wisely accommodate student growth. In January 2019, we convened the Superintendent’s Facilities Advisory Committee, 100 community stakeholders committed to intense study of school building and infrastructure needs.
The Advisory Committee will dig into difficult facilities questions, then offer recommendations for a thoughtful, community-based plan that lays the foundation for a potential bond issue in 2020. Indeed, these will be tough decisions, ensuring solid schools for our students into the future – but also understanding there are considerably more needs than our limited resources will ever allow. For more information, please click here.
Safety and Security
Lincoln Public Schools continued its commitment to safety and secu- rity in many ways, including an expanded partnership with the City of Lincoln that provides additional resources that benefit students, staff and the community. Through this partnership, there are now six middle school resource officers; a threat-assessment police officer dedicated to LPS; additional therapists and mental health support, including a newly added social worker; and additional funding for safe after-school opportunities with Community Learning Centers.
Of our LPS Students...
The Lincoln Board of Education approved a 2017-18 budget for $421 million and a 2018-19 budget of $444 million, providing education needs for significant growth in the school district. Since 2005-06, LPS has reduced the total tax levy over seven cents – from $1.3142 to $1.2389. For 2018-19 the school district has a slightly lower levy of $1.2241 (the lowest levy in our records dating back to 1967-68). According to the most recent statistics: LPS ranked 227 out of 245 school districts in Nebraska in per pupil spending ($11,274 per pupil compared to the state of Nebraska average of $12,230).
2017-18 Expenditure Budget
Update on the 2017-2022 Strategic Plan
The Lincoln Board of Education approved a new Strategic Plan in December, 2017, the focus for Lincoln Public Schools in coming years. We offer a brief progress report on each of the major themes. For the full strategic plan, please click here.
During the fall semester the Lincoln Public Schools High School Options Task Force reviewed current focus programs and examined potential new curricular themes for high schools. Findings will be presented to the superintendent and Board of Education second semester 2019.
Lincoln Public Schools continues to plan for high-quality facilities to serve our growing population. The area of highest growth is our high school population. The Board of Education charged Superintendent Steve Joel with establishing a community task force to investigate community options and priorities for serving high school students. The Task Force presented findings and recommendations to the Board of Education on April 24, 2018.
Lincoln Public Schools has revised and implemented several strategies to recruit, hire, develop and retain high quality and diverse staff. Significant revisions were made to the teacher mentoring program and tenure courses for new teachers. In addition, new leadership development programming has been prioritized and a new Talent Ambassador program will be an asset to the overall recuriting strategy.
In working toward providing all students access to high-quality full-service community schools, all 26 of Lincoln Community Learning Centers have been evaluated and have established improvement plans for 2018-2019 based on feedback using the District’s quality standards. Grant applications have also been prepared to add CLC’s at Northeast High School, Randolph Elementary School and Lincoln High School.
Lincoln Public Schools continues to expand mental health supports for students and to plan for enhanced early childhood services. During the 2018-2019 school year the number of mental health professionals serving students was increased and a report on the current status of early childhood programs and the potential for expansion was presented to the superintendent.