Hot Topics, August 6, 2018

  1. New school year

The 2018-19 school year for Lincoln Public Schools officially begins when students arrive on Monday, August 13.  For high schools, that day is reserved for ninth graders, and sophomores, juniors and seniors join them on Tuesday, August 14.

2. Welcome Back rally For more information: Steve Joel,

Lincoln Public Schools is gathering all LPS employees for a Welcome Back Celebration for the 2018-19 school year: Monday, August 6 at Pinnacle Bank Arena – creating some energy and  excitement.  The event will feature music, conversation, shout outs – and an inspirational speech from Derreck Kayongo, who inspires and empowers with his courageous story of survival, social entrepreneurship and humanitarianism.

3. LPS welcomes more than 400 new teachers For more information: Eric 3. Weber,

Olga Mwenentanda moved to Lincoln from Congo when she was 11 years old. She only knew a few sentences of English when she enrolled at Park Middle School.  Now, more than a decade later, she’ll start work as a second-grade resource teacher at Belmont Elementary School when the new school year begins Aug. 13. She credits those early teachers at Park for helping her get to this point: “Now I want to have that same effect on students,” Mwenentanda said.

She was one of more than 400 new Lincoln Public Schools teachers who attended a welcome breakfast and all-day orientation recently to launch their time at LPS. For more info:

4. LPS educators have a summer of learning For more information: Sarah Salem,

As teachers with Lincoln Public Schools put the finishing touches on their lesson plans for a new school year, many of them will draw on lessons they learned during the summer.  Thousands of LPS educators registered for more than 50,000 hours of professional development courses and summer learning sessions this summer.

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel said such a time commitment is a far cry from when he was teaching in the 1970s. Joel talked about this change when he addressed more than 700 educators from LPS and across the state at the second annual Supporting Positive Behavior Conference, sponsored by LPS and held June 13 at Lincoln Southwest High School: “The truth is, you’re here because you’re professionals. You’re here because student behavior is very important in the work you do. You’re here because you care.”

The full story is at:

5. Grant application approved for enhancing services for Native American students – For more information: Linda Hix,

The Lincoln Board of Education has approved a demonstration grant application to the U.S. Department of Education for the Indian Children Program.    LPS will apply for the demonstration grant to significantly enhance services to Native American students through the introduction or enhancement of evidence-based strategies, including mental health services at school, supplemental academic support during and after the school day, an additional Native American advocate, and programs and activities to encourage participation in The Career Academy or focus programs.

The purpose of this demonstration grant is to develop, test and demonstrate the effectiveness of services and programs to improve the educational opportunities and achievement of Native American students in preschool, elementary and secondary schools.  The Department wants to support community-led, comprehensive projects that help Native American children to become college- and career-ready. This grant is designed to help communities improve educational outcomes, specifically college- and career-readiness, through strategies tailored to address the specific challenges and build upon the specific opportunities and culture within a community.

6. LPS hiring bus drivers, transportation paras, treatment nurse

Go to the front of the LPS website for more information:

7. LPS Communications honored For more information: Mary Kay Roth,

The Board of Education has recognized the LPS Communications team for receiving eight national awards from the National School Public Relations Association.