LPS Hot Topics: Nov. 5, 2018

Student Vote 2018: ‘Voting matters because everyone’s voice matters’

For more information: Jaci Kellison, jkellis@lps.org

More than 20,500 students across Lincoln cast their electronic ballots on Nov. 1 students the chance to participate in a mock election using the same local ballot that voters will see Nov. 6.  Students in grades four through 12 at every LPS school – along with Lincoln Christian, Elmwood-Murdock and Raymond Central – participated in Student Vote, which has been held every two years since 1992 in conjunction with KFOR radio.

At Lincoln High School, Principal Mark Larson explained the Student Vote process during first-period morning announcements before the daily reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance: “Make your votes count, LHS students,” he said.

But Student Vote was more than a one-day event. Students at all levels learned more about voting and the election process during the weeks leading up to the day they cast their ballots. For elementary students, there were lessons that focused on the question, “Why does voting matter?” For middle and high school students, “How do I become an informed voter?”

More info at: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=13250

LPS staff, students to honor Veterans Day 2018

For more information: Jaci Kellison, jkellis@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools is celebrating and saluting Veterans Day in schools and classrooms across the school district, recognizing and honoring our community’s veterans with days filled with a wide variety of events and activities.  Veterans Day officially falls on Sunday, Nov. 11, so LPS elementary, middle and high schools are paying tribute to our veterans at various times throughout mid-November as patriotism fills the air.

Children are creating videos of gratitude, writing thank-you letters to veterans, singing songs and making speeches – all to honor those who have served in the armed forces.   Classrooms are asking veterans to visit as guest speakers, interviewing them for writing assignments.   Schools are holding patriotic assemblies, inviting veterans for lunch, hosting special concerts – initiatives focused on saying thank you to veterans for their sacrifice and service.   More info: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=13247

Property purchases and land exchanges

For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education is considering two proposals that involve property in Lincoln that could serve as potential future elementary school sites for Lincoln Public Schools.  The Board will take a final vote on these proposals at the Nov. 13 meeting.

“We are positioning ourselves for the future,” said Scott Wieskamp, director of Operations at LPS, noting more property contracts will be coming before the Board in the coming months.

  • Land purchase:The Board considered the purchase of real estate, potentially suitable as an elementary site, generally located south of Rokeby Road between 70th and 84th  The land is currently owned by Rokeby Holdings, Ltd.
  • Land exchange:In order to better utilize and develop the Wilderness Hills Area, the Board considered exchanging portions of LPS property with property owned by Lincoln Federal Bancorp Inc. – through what is called a Land Exchange Agreement.  The exchange would leave LPS with a 17.7-acre land parcel in Wilderness Hills – a potential elementary school site – located between 27th and 40th streets, and Yankee Hill and Rokeby Road.

LPS steps up efforts to address digital citizenship

For more information:Chris Haeffner, chaeffne@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools has long placed an emphasis on teaching digital citizenship, which means the appropriate and responsible use of technology. This covers a wide range of topics – everything from cyberbullying to password security to online shopping.  However, starting this school year, LPS has launched an initiative that takes a more deliberate and uniform approach to this important topic – one that seems to grow in importance along with the number of devices in our homes and schools.

“This initiative specifically defines the elements we feel our students need to know to be safe and responsible citizens and provides resources for schools to reinforce the instruction that has already been woven into the different curriculum areas,” said LPS Director of Library Media Services Chris Haeffner.   Go to: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=13241

Native youth college and career readiness project

For more information: Linda Hix, lhix@lps.org

The Board of Education recently celebrated receiving a four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education – with funding of almost $500,000 per year – to support the Native Youth College and Career Readiness Project.

The project will aim at determining the most effective services and programs to improve the educational opportunities for Indian students, and strategies that can include academic, social/emotional, cultural and other support services.  The project must involve a full-time grant coordinator, a Partnership Advisory Council to include tribal partners and extensive professional development, as well as: Academic supports, mental health interventions and cultural advocacy.