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Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: Jan.7, 2019

Posted in Just Sharing by on January 6th, 2019

  1. Second semester

Second semester begins for Lincoln Public Schools on Monday, Jan. 7.  The last day of second semester is May 23.

2. Superintendent’s Facilities Advisory Committee – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

In mid-January, Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent Steve Joel is calling together the 2019 Superintendent’s Facility Advisory Committee (SFAC), made up of about 100 community and school stakeholders from across the city.  They will spend the coming months considering the school district’s facility and infrastructure priorities for the coming 10 years. The Committee will provide recommendations for final facility priorities to the superintendent and the Lincoln Board of Education in August. The

three community members who will lead the new Advisory Committee are: Jennifer Brinkman, Lancaster County Commissioner; Nick Cusick, president of Bison, Inc.; and Maribel Cruz, senior leadership consultant for Talent Plus.

3. Kindergarten registration online – For more information: Russ Uhing, ruhing@lps.org

Your child must be five years old by July 31 – to register for kindergarten for the 2019-2020 school year.  The usual kindergarten registration dates will be held in March.  However, for the first time, parents can now register their children for kindergarten online: https://home.lps.org/studentservices/enroll-your-student/

4. Eighth grade info sessions – For more information: Pat Hunter-Pirtle, ppirtle@lps.org

High school enrollment is right around the corner and Lincoln Public Schools wants to provide information to help families make a successful transition into ninth grade.

An important component in the transition process are the informational meetings at the six LPS high schools scheduled for January.  These meetings are designed to welcome students into the high school and meet with counselors and instructional staff to learn about the opportunities available at that school.  Since students entering the ninth grade may choose the high school they want to attend in LPS, these meetings have been scheduled to offer an opportunity to attend more than one high school meeting, For the schedule, go to:

https://home.lps.org/studentservices/8th-grade-high-school-informational-meetings/

5. Lincoln Board of Education: The Lincoln Board of Education will hold a regular Board meeting at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 8 in the Board Room at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will specifically honor LPS employees who have 25 years of service with the school district. For the full agenda of the Board meeting go to https://www.lps.org/about/board/

Board member Don Mayhew will host a live interview show, LPS Live, at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday before the meeting begins – live streaming on the LPS website.

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: Dec. 17, 2018

Posted in Just Sharing by on December 16th, 2018

  1. Semester close

The last day of classes at Lincoln Public Schools for first semester, 2018-19 falls on Thursday, Dec. 20 – and second semester begins on Monday, Jan. 7.

2. Preliminary 10-Year Facilities and Infrastructure Plan – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education started to set the stage for a potential future Lincoln Public Schools 2020 bond issue with the recent presentation of preliminary facility priorities that could include new elementary school space in every quadrant of the city, a new middle school in south Lincoln, some sort of high school solution, a new athletics/activities complex, as well as renovations and infrastructure updates to current schools throughout the community.

The 10-Year Facilities and Infrastructure plan is updated consistently by LPS officials and the Board, identifying priority projects for the school district – and the latest preliminary update was presented at a Board work session Tuesday afternoon. The preliminary Facilities Plan will now go to the newly formed Superintendent’s Facilities Advisory Committee, which convenes in January to study and analyze facility needs for LPS.  At the end of their work – late summer or early fall 2019 – they will submit recommended top facility needs for final consideration by the superintendent and Board of Education. LPS Superintendent Steve Joel has announced the three community members who will lead the new Advisory Committee: Jennifer Brinkman, Lancaster County Commissioner; Nick Cusick, president of Bison, Inc.; and Maribel Cruz, senior leadership consultant for Talent Plus.

The 10-Year Facilities and Infrastructure Plan is organized into three tiers, with Tier 1 signifying what staff believe are the highest priority projects – a tier that includes more than $387 million in identified needs.  All three tiers add up to a total of $640 million in LPS facility needs. “I want to stress, we will never come close to covering all our needs in the next bond issue,” said Scott Wieskamp, director of Operations at LPS.  “As always, we will have to choose only the very highest needs we have.” 

3. Tentative agreement for 2019-21 salary packages – For more information: Eric Weber, eweber@lps.org

The Lincoln Education Association (LEA) and Lincoln Public Schools have reached a tentative agreement with teachers for a two-year contract covering the 2019-20 and 2020-2021 school years in a proposal presented to the Lincoln Board of Education.

This proposal represents a well-rounded salary package: Honoring the essential and respected role our teachers have in a school district of excellence, as well as recognizing we must continue to serve as competent stewards of taxpayer funds, according to Steve Joel, superintendent of LPS; Rita Bennett, president of the LEA; and Connie Duncan, president of the Lincoln Board of Education.  The proposed agreement covers about 3,650 LPS employees who are teachers, librarians, nurses, social workers, counselors, school psychologists, speech language pathologists and early childhood and home-based teachers.

The 2019-2020 tentative agreement – voted on and overwhelmingly approved by LEA membership – provides a total compensation package increase of 3.04 percent for the 2019-20 school year, and a total compensation package increase of 2.69 percent for the 2020-21 school year,

The Lincoln Board of Education will take final action on the tentative agreement on Jan. 8.

4. LPS recycling efforts honored – For more information: Brittney Albin, balbin@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools has been recycling since 1998 and in that time has diverted more than 21 million pounds of material from the landfill. Recently, LPS added another impressive number to its recycling resume: 50, which is the number of schools the City of Lincoln honored through its Recycle Lincoln Leadership Recognition Program, according to an announcement from Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler during a special event at Pound Middle School.

All LPS schools have been recycling since 2002. In addition to recycling, the LPS cafeteria composting program was piloted in three schools in 2014 and is now implemented in 49 schools. Since the program began, more than 2.7 million pounds of organic material has been composted instead of hauled to the landfill.

The city awarded three schools the Gold-level distinction, 31 schools, the Silver-level designations and 14 schools, the Bronze-level.

5. Check out a new LPS webpage – For more information: Jason Keese, jkeese@lps.org

Check out our new webpage, “Inside the Classroom,” with stories, photos and videos that highlight teaching and learning inside the classroom at LPS, https://home.lps.org/insidetheclassroom

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: Dec. 3, 2018

Posted in Just Sharing by on December 2nd, 2018

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

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:

https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=13295

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

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 Code.org 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: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=13304

3. Excellence in annual financial audit – For more information: Liz Standish at lstandis@lps.org

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, eweber@lps.org

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.

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: Nov. 19, 2018

Posted in Just Sharing by on November 19th, 2018

  1. LPS celebrates Veterans Day throughout our community – For more information: Jaci Kellison, jkellis@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools staff members and students celebrated Veterans Day throughout our community with parades, guest speakers, patriotic music, special guests and more.  Our stories, photos and video are located at: https://home.lps.org/veterans2018

2. Middle school resource officers join our ranks – For more information: Russ Uhing, ruhing@lps.org

Lincoln Police Officer Kathryn Meade had her first day of school in mid-November.  She even had her husband take the customary first-day-of-school photo in front of their house. “He thought I was crazy,” she said.

Meade is one of six new school resource officers who had their first day with Lincoln Public Schools on Nov. 15. Each of them will split his or her time between two of the 12 LPS middle schools.  Meade’s first day was at Scott – and it was a great first day. It didn’t hurt that she brought a bag full of Tootsie Rolls that she handed out to students during passing time – the perfect ice-breaker.   “And I’ve already had students teach me four new dance moves,” she said.

The middle school resource officers are the result of an expanded partnership between LPS and the city of Lincoln. It’s a partnership that also includes additional mental health services for students, and resources for Lincoln’s Community Learning Centers.

More at: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=13279

3. Property purchases and deals approved – For more information: Liz Standish at lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education has approved two land purchases that involve property in Lincoln that could serve as potential future elementary school sites for Lincoln Public Schools.

“Our school district has a legacy of planning ahead and making wise decisions about land purchases well in advance of when they are needed,” said Liz Standish, associate superintendent for Business Affairs at LPS.  “We own property throughout this growing community, so we will be well prepared when we set our new facility priorities into the future.”

  • Land purchase:The Board approved a $1.5 million 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.   The purchase calls for payment of $1.5 million – plus additional development costs.
  • Land exchange:In order to better utilize and develop the Wilderness Hills Area, the Board agreed to exchange portions of LPS property with property owned by Lincoln Federal Bancorp Inc. – through what is called a Land Exchange Agreement.  The exchange will 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.

4. Sweet story – For more information: Mindy Burbach at mburbach@lps.org

One of our most popular videos at LPS – is about a custodian and a young lad at Randolph Elementary School, https://home.lps.org/veterans2018

5. Kathy Danek receives prestigious award – For more information: Steve Joel at sjoel@lps.org

Lincoln Board of Education Vice President Kathy Danek received the prestigious Ann Mactier Leadership for Learning Award recently during a ceremony at the Nebraska Association of School Boards conference in LaVista.  The Nebraska Association of School Boards and the Nebraska State Board of Education jointly sponsor this award that recognizes local school board members for their policy leadership and contributions to curriculum and instruction in Nebraska public schools.

Danek has served on the Board of Education since 2001, representing District 1 in northeast Lincoln, and her service includes four terms as president of the board – as well as serving as president of the state association.  Board member Lanny Boswell officially nominated Danek, with support from Board President Connie Duncan, “In gratitude for her long and faithful service to Nebraska public education.”  Boswell stated: “Kathy’s policy leadership and contributions to curriculum and instruction in Lincoln and Nebraska have significantly and positively impacted the learning of thousands of students.” More at: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=13280

6. Formal ceremony for Scottish Rite winner – For more information: Eric Weber, eweber@lps.org

Every fall Lincoln Public Schools gathers together and officially honors the latest winner of the Scottish Rite Distinguished Teacher of the Year, and last week the school district formally recognized Terry Abrahams, longtime English teacher at Lincoln Southwest High School.

Abrahams was first honored as the 2018 Scottish Rite Distinguished Teacher of the Year during a surprise ceremony at the school last spring, but Friday her portrait was officially added to the Scottish Rite photo gallery at LPS District Office – and Abrahams was presented with an official portrait.   Abrahams taught 14 years at Lincoln Northeast High School before joining Southwest 15 years ago. At Southwest, Abrahams serves as department chair and has taught everything from English 11, for students who struggle with literacy, to AP Literature. In all, she’s dedicated 40 years of her life to teaching. Go to:  ttps://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=13282

LPS Hot Topics: Nov. 5, 2018

Posted in Just Sharing by on November 5th, 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.

Misleading social media post about North Star High School from two years ago resurfaces

Posted in Rumor Control by on October 22nd, 2018

It seems that an old social media post with false information about North Star High School in regards to the American Flag has recently made it’s rounds again on social media causing quite a stir.  Since some people may not have been able to receive the full story from us on that day almost two years ago, below is what really happened:

Lincoln Public Schools was made aware on February 2, 2017 of an incident that happened in a Spanish language classroom at Lincoln North Star High School.  There are flags of many nations hanging in the classroom, and one student briefly hung a Mexican flag on the same flag pole as the American flag. What happened next will make you proud of the teacher. The teacher appropriately used the incident as an opportunity for a teachable moment to lead a discussion on respecting the American flag, proper flag etiquette and patriotism, and promptly removed the Mexican flag. The school principal at the time had conversations with the students and staff involved, and people had an opportunity to discuss the issue at length. These were all positive experiences – these are life lessons that stick with students.

So why are people seeing this post on social media now? One student in the class – upset by seeing the Mexican flag added to the flagpole – took a photograph and sent out a Tweet expressing concerns. The student has since removed the original Tweet after learning what was going on.  Unfortunately, the original Tweet was Photoshopped and different misleading versions of the Tweet were forwarded to many people on social media (Facebook, Instagram etc.) which is what everyone is seeing today. From time to time websites and social media pages will use the image and claim this was a new event that just happened.

Here are the links to the original story shared by local news media:

10/11 News: LPS sends statement regarding flag placement at North Star High School

KFOR: Flag Controversy at North Star High School

 

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: Oct. 8, 2018

Posted in Just Sharing by on October 7th, 2018

 

  1. Student enrollment at LPS continues to climb –For more information: Matt Larsen, mrl@lps.org

Student enrollment at Lincoln Public Schools continues to rise, with historic new highs this school year: 42,035 students are attending the school district in 2018-19, an increase of 275 students since last year – and the first time enrollment has surpassed 42,000.  That is an increase of nearly 3,000 students during the past five years and more than 8,000 students since 2008-09, an increase of nearly 24 percent. This growth is occurring throughout the community – north, south, east and west, in the older neighborhoods and the newer neighborhoods.

  • Five LPS high schools now have enrollments topping 2,000, and three high schools have more than 2,200 students. The largest class at LPS is 12th grade, with 3,276 students.
  • The largest high school is Lincoln High School – in central Lincoln – at 2,304. Scott Middle School – in south Lincoln – has the largest middle school enrollment with 1,104 kids. The largest elementary school is Roper Elementary – in west Lincoln – with 879 kids.
  1. Meadow Lane first grader names zoo’s first giraffe: Phoebe –For more information: James Blake, jblake@lps.org

Drum roll, please…Lincoln Children’s Zoo’s first giraffe will be named Phoebe, a name jointly announced by the zoo and Lincoln Public Schools during a special assembly at Meadow Lane Elementary School, where first-grader Iggy Malik was honored for suggesting the winning name. Last month the zoo announced it would hold a naming contest among first-grade students to name the 13-month old female giraffe – the first to call Lincoln home – and Phoebe was chosen from more than 2,200 submissions. In selecting the name, zoo staff noted that, according to historical records, Phoebe/Phebe Elliott was the first female member of the Lincoln Board of Education back in 1887.   The giraffes are not open for public viewing until the spring of 2019. But Iggy and his entire first-grade class at Meadow Lane will receive a special prize: a free field trip in May of 2019, when they will be among the first children to meet Phoebe and the zoo’s two other giraffes.

More info: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=13163

  1. October LPS Learning Lunch highlights Student Vote –For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

This fall, Lincoln Public Schools students will head for the ballot box for Student Vote 2018 – and essential lessons in citizenship. The October LPS Learning Lunch focuses on this fabulous Student Vote event: Informed Citizenship in Action, featuring Jaci Kellison, curriculum specialist for Social Studies, and students with a passion for Student Vote. The Learning Lunch is set for noon on Tuesday, Oct. 9, in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St. – is livestreamed on the LPS webpage and airs live on local cable channels.

  1. Community Open Forums continue high school conversationFor more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools will host two remaining Open Forums in October to gain broader engagement on the question of how to best serve current and future LPS high school students.   LPS has hosted two forums, but two more remain, 5:30-6:30 p.m.:

  • Monday, Oct. 22, Goodrich Middle School, 4600 Lewis Ave.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 30, Park Middle School, 855 S. 8th
  1. Consider using LPS Speakers Bureau – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

LPS has a Speakers Bureau featuring a wide variety of LPS people who are happy to give presentations for civic groups and all community organizations. Please spread the word. For more information go to: http://www.lps.org/about/speakersbureau/

  1. Lincoln Board of Education– For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education will hold a regular Board meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, in the Board Room at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. For the full agenda of the Board meeting go to https://www.lps.org/about/board/  Board member Don Mayhew will host a live interview show, LPS Live, at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday before the meeting begins – live streaming on the LPS website.

You can watch the Board meeting in many ways.

Streaming:

Broadcast:

  • Spectrum Channel 1303
  • ALLO Channel 23
  • Kinetic Channel 1080

Hot Topics, Sept. 3, 2018

Posted in Just Sharing by on September 3rd, 2018

1. Community Open Forums to continue high school conversation For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools will host four Open Forums this fall throughout the community to gain broader engagement on the question of how to best serve current and future LPS high school students. Last year LPS convened a community/LPS High School Task Force to investigate community options and priorities for high school facilities. They shared recommendations last April.

Citizens who attend the Open Forums will continue that conversation, review Task Force recommendations and offer additional input. The meetings are set for four quadrants of the city, 5:30-6:30 p.m.:

  • Monday, Sept. 17, Lux Middle School, 7800 High St.
  • Monday, Sept. 24, Culler Middle School, 5201 Vine St.
  • Monday, Oct. 22, Goodrich Middle School, 4600 Lewis Ave.
  •     Tuesday, Oct. 30, Park Middle School, 855 S. 8thSt. 

More info: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=13048

2. Learn to Dream extends to two years – For more information: John Neal, jpneal@lps.org

Students will now have a chance to receive two years of free credits at Southeast Community College, thanks to a recent gift from the Acklie Charitable Foundation. The Learn to Dream Scholarship was established in 2007 to create an opportunity for every graduating Lincoln high school student to further their education with a free year at SCC in Lincoln, Milford or Beatrice, available for all low income students graduating from a Lincoln public or private high school. SCC and Lincoln’s high schools partnered with Union Bank & Trust and Nelnet to offer this innovative scholarship program, the first of its kind in Nebraska.  Since the inception of the program, more than 5,000 students have participated in the program.

Up until now students have been able to attend SCC for one year of classes without having to pay for tuition and fees.  The donation from the Acklie Foundation will now allow students to complete a second year at SCC, without paying tuition and fees. In fact, through The Career Academy and other dual high school and college credit courses taught in LPS, many LPS high school students participate in college courses while still in high school.

3. Budget adopted for 2018-19   For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education has adopted the 2018-2019 budget, which includes significant investments in safety and security measures, programming with a focus on the classroom, and staffing to support substantial student growth – all while lowering the overall property tax levy one and one-half cents.  In the past five years LPS has grown 4,400 students while the tax levy has been reduced by two full cents (this year $1.22 per $100 of assessed property valuation compared to $1.24 in 2013).  The 2018-2019 budget includes the lowest tax levy on record at LPS in the past 50 years.

LPS has a solid process for budget development with a continued focus on stability in programming for students and families and opportunity for community feedback.  Overall, the Board reviewed about $31.7 million in increased needs and prioritized them, funding $23.1 million of added needs.  Funded areas include:

  • Providing help to classrooms and schools with: added teachers and staffing for regular education, special education, early childhood, English Language Learners (refugees and immigrants); added school counselors, social workers, and health care workers.
  • Security measures that include school resource officers at middle schools, broadened threat assessment, mental health supports, funding for Community Learning Centers, an additional security coordinator, and funding to ensure a standard for security measures at the entrances of every school in the district.
  • Funding for growth in additional areas such as instructional materials, technology needs, operations, and transportation.

Every year the budget process includes an estimate of property valuation growth and every year the county certifies the actual final valuation growth later in August. This summer, LPS officials estimated property valuation would grow by 5.2 percent, and recent final certified valuation was confirmed at 5.5 percent. Due to that adjustment in valuation, the Board of Education Tuesday determined to fund additional critical priorities: technology needs and additions to the LPS bus fleet.

High-quality public schools at a reasonable price bring tremendous value to our community.

4. LPS is ____ hope For more information: Mindy Burbach, mburbach@lps.org

What does Lincoln Public Schools mean to our community? This past summer we posed that question – to our community, our families, our staff and our students – asking folks to describe LPS in one, single word.  We gathered all of the amazing responses, chose the top nine responses, and Communications will make them our nine LPS themes for each month throughout the 2018-19 school year.  To launch our initiative at the beginning of this school year, we chose a word that captures the very essence of public schools in Lincoln. For September, Lincoln Public Schools is: HOPE.

Here’s how you can help with this project:

  • Use the frames on Facebook. Search for “LPS is” under frames when you click to edit your profile picture on Facebook.
  • Share stories on social media with the #LPSis(theme for the month). For example in September #LPSisHope.
  • Check out our special webpage: org/is

5. Thank you, Rotary  – For more information: Jason Keese, jkeese@lps.org

Lincoln’s Downtown Rotary Club has donated $50,000 to Everett Elementary School to help with the revitalization of its playground at 11th and C streets. Late in August, Jim Griesen, president of the Rotary 14 Foundation, presented the donation to Everett Principal Mike Long during a ceremony at the playground. Lincoln Board of Education Member Barb Baier, whose District 3 includes the Everett neighborhood, also was on hand, along with current Downtown Rotary President Randy Bretz and former presidents Mark Stephens and Jennifer Brinkman.   For more: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=13021

Hot Topics, August 20, 2018

Posted in Just Sharing by on August 19th, 2018

  1. First Day

Thank you for the rockin’ first day of classes for Lincoln Public Schools: Monday, August 13.   Check out all of the awesome photos and videos on our website: https://www.lps.org/connect/firstday2018/

2. New level of safety and security at LPS   For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

As the new school year started, the Lincoln Board of Education heard highlights of the next level of safety and security at LPS for 2018-19, expanding the school district’s capacity in communication, training and preparedness.

LPS continues to recognize safety as a top priority for students, moving to the next level of safety and security planning at LPS:

  • Developing additional training materials and resources for safety in our schools.
  • Providing consistent family updates on emergency drills.
  • Adding additional resources for mental health.
  • Looking to welcome six new School Resource Officers who will serve our middle schools beginning in January.
  • Partnering with a new threat assessment officer at the Lincoln Police Department, who will work closely with our LPS security officials (also trained in threat assessment).
  • Adding a new security coordinator at LPS

A school-based group of LPS educators came together this summer to plan and develop additional training materials and resources for safety in our schools.  This school year LPS has built on best practices for Standard Response Protocol to provide greater detail and clarity, ensuring that common language, procedures and expectations are shared with students, families and educators. For more information about security resources, go to: https://docushare.lps.org/docushare/dsweb/View/Collection-378521

3. Public hearing, first reading, 2018-19 LPS budget   For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education held a public hearing on Tuesday, August 14, and heard first reading of the proposed budget for 2018-19, which includes an overall one and one-half cent reduction in the property tax levy.

The proposed budget includes:

  • Significant investments in safety and security measures.
  • Staffing and programming increases to support substantial student growth (4,400 more students in past five years).

Additional budget info: In the past five years LPS has grown 4,400 students – as well as growing in complexity of needs – while the tax levy has been reduced by two cents ($1.22 this year compared to $1.24 in 2013).   LPS has a solid process for budget development with a continued focus on stability in programming for students and families – and opportunity for community feedback.  LPS ranks 227 out of 245 school districts in Nebraska in per pupil spending – spending $11,274 per pupil compared to the state average of $12,230.

The Board will vote final approval of the budget on August 28.

Questions:

http://www.lps.org/about/budget/

lstandis@lps.org  

4. Take me out to the ballgame For more information: Matt Avey, mavey@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools heads for the ball park on Wednesday, August 22, an annual LPS tradition that allows an estimated 3,200 LPS fifth graders to enjoy the experience of attending a Saltdogs game.  Peanuts, popcorn!

5. First Learning Lunch of season  – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Communicating with a Gen X-er?  Supervising a Baby Boomer? Working with a Millennial?  The first Lincoln Public Schools Learning Lunch of the year will address: Beatles, Bee Gees and Beyoncé, Communicating and Managing Generational Differences – scheduled for noon on Tuesday, August 21in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St.  Learning Lunches are open to the public as well as LPS staff.  Learning Lunches are livestreamed on the LPS website and run live on cable channels.

Hot Topics, August 6, 2018

Posted in Just Sharing by on August 5th, 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, sjoel@lps.org

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, eweber@lps.org

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:  https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12970

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

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: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12973

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

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: https://www.lps.org/

7. LPS Communications honored For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

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

Contact

Mindy Burbach
Director of Communications
mburbach@lps.org | 402-436-1609

P.O. Box 82889
Lincoln, Nebraska 68501

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