Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: Dec. 3, 2018

  1. Rousseau honored nationally as Blue Ribbon School – For more information: Randolph Principal Wendy Badje,

Rousseau Elementary School has been named a 2018 Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, one of only four in Nebraska and 349 nationwide. The school in south Lincoln went through a rigorous application and review process that began more than a year ago. The school’s principal, Wendy Badje, was notified earlier this fall that Rousseau had been chosen for the honor, which designates the school as “Exemplary High Performing.” There are multiple criteria for the award, with an emphasis on state assessment scores. The Nebraska Department of Education nominated Rousseau.

Rousseau becomes the sixth LPS school to earn the Blue Ribbon designation, now in its 36th year. Other winning schools were Riley Elementary School (2011); Norwood Park Elementary School (2012); Southeast High School (1988); Lincoln East Junior and Senior High School (1983); and Lincoln High School (1983). For more:

2. LPS bestowed award for computer science instruction – For more information: Kent Steen, curriculum specialist for Computing Instruction,

Lincoln Public Schools has been honored as the best school district in the country for computer science instruction.  The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and named LPS the “Champion for Computer Science” school district winner for 2018.   “To say that I am proud is an understatement,” Steen said. “This award is a reflection of the past five years of hard work, leadership, willingness to learn and change, and passion for bringing computer science to all LPS students.” Go to:

3. Excellence in annual financial audit – For more information: Liz Standish at

State law requires that the school district conduct an annual financial audit, and officials reported on the audit at the last Lincoln Board of Education meeting – giving LPS what Board President Connie Duncan called “a clean bill of bill.”  Representatives from HSMC Orizon CPAs, LLC, the independent auditor for LPS, pronounced positive reports for the 2017-18 audits for both the school district and for Educational Service Unit No. 18.

Board member Don Mayhew said: “My opinion…is we have a lot of very intelligent, hard-working people who do something very difficult, and they do it well.  That is good news to all of us.”

4. LPS increases United Way

This year Lincoln Public Schools increased their participation rate in the annual LPS Combined Giving Campaign to 34 percent (compared to 23 percent last year), raising more than $147,500, according to a campaign update presented to the Lincoln Board of Education Tuesday by Betsy Tonniges, who coordinated the campaign at LPS.   “I see so much overlap between the mission of United Way and Lincoln Public Schools,” said Brian Wachman, executive director of United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County.  “Thank you, this means a lot, all these funds will go out to people who really need it.”

5. December Learning Lunch highlights LPS HR – For more information: Eric Weber, associate superintendent for Human Resources,

The December LPS Learning Lunch – scheduled for noon on Tuesday, Dec. 11 – is titled, Recruitment and Retention of Talent in LPS, featuring Eric Weber, associate superintendent for Human Resources at LPS.  Doors open at 11:45 a.m., please bring your own lunch – we’ll provide dessert.  Learning Lunches are open to the public as well as LPS staff. They are live streamed on the LPS webpage and run live on local cable channels.