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Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: Nov. 5, 2018

Posted in Just Sharing by on November 5th, 2018

  1. 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

2. 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

3. 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.

4. 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

5. 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.

Hot Topics, July 16, 2018

Posted in Just Sharing by on July 15th, 2018

  1. Summer school graduation – For more information: Russ Uhing, ruhing@llps.org

For much of June and July, hundreds of students walked through the doors of Lincoln North Star High School most weekday mornings to attend summer school. Last week, a proud group of those students walked away from the school clutching in their hands the reason they put in those early summer mornings – a diploma.

“I feel excited, like a big weight is off my shoulders,” said Yuritzy Bonilla-Musito, now a graduate of Lincoln Northeast High School who is considering a career as a social worker. “It means a lot, being the first one in my family to graduate.”

She was one of 136 seniors from LPS who completed their graduation requirements by finishing summer school and among more than 1,600 LPS high school students who completed courses this summer throughout the district, mostly at North Star.   For more: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12956

2. 2018-19 LPS Learning Lunches: Untold stories of our school district For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

The 2018-19 lineup for the annual Lincoln Public Schools Learning Lunches series offers more “Untold Stories of our Schools” with Learning Lunches open to LPS staff and the Lincoln community – beginning with a program on Tuesday, August 21. Lunches are held in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St.  Doors to the Board Room open at 11:45 a.m., the program begins at noon., questions-and-answers happen at 12:30 p.m.  Please bring your own lunch – we’ll provide dessert.  Topics for the year include managing generational differences in the work place, discovering where our schools got their names, Student Vote, student-built houses, opening our community doors for families from around the world – and more.  For the complete list of Learning Lunches: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12951

3. Consider one word to describe LPS For more information: Mindy Burbach, mburbach@lps.org  

This summer Lincoln Public Schools is asking our community:

Can you think of one word that describes Lincoln Public Schools?  We want everyone to know what Lincoln Public Schools means to our community, our students and our staff – and we need your help. What is one word that comes to your mind when you think of Lincoln Public Schools?  Please take this simple, one question survey. We’d love to hear from you!  https://goo.gl/forms/o3uIySqH8yxMUZ413

4. LPS alive with activity this summer

A few examples:

·      Career Academy summer program pairs courses in culinary and engineering – https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12954

·      Annual Great Plains Summit held at Southwest HS – https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12958

5. Still time to apply for LPS Citizens Academy – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools is inviting Lincoln citizens to participate in the annual LPS Citizens Education Academy: a series of monthly gatherings that include hands-on interactive experiences depicting a true, behind-the-scenes sense of LPS.  Meetings are generally scheduled the second Monday evening of each month, but also include several day meetings – hosted at schools across the school district and featuring a wide variety of information and activities. LPS will accept applicants for this no-charge public outreach program on a first-come, first-served basis – however, participants are asked to be willing and able to commit the time needed. For more info: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12942

Hot Topics, July 2, 2018

Posted in Just Sharing by on July 1st, 2018

  1. Superintendent goals 2018-19 – For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education has presented for consideration the Superintendent’s official goals and priorities for the 2018-19 school year:

  • By February 1, 2019, establish the Superintendent Facilities Advisory Committee to review needs, options and priorities.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of existing focus programs and explore options for alternative instructional delivery methods, and provide a report by April 1, 2019.
  • Implement a 21st Century Human Resources and Business System, with a status update by April 1, 2019.

Annually, the Board of Education evaluates the superintendent and develops annual priorities for the coming school year.

2. Proposed budget continues on – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education held a second Work Session late in June in the continued steps of putting together the building blocks of developing a wise and prudent budget for 2018-19.  The LPS 2018-19 proposed budget 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).

Questions:

3. Styskal thanked for her service to LPS – For more information:  Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

Friends, family and colleagues this summer honored Shari Styskal, the Lincoln Public Schools budget director who is retiring after 42 years with the school district. Styskal has worked with the LPS budget for 28 years, first as budget coordinator and then as director. Before that, she worked for 11 years at Custodial Services, Maintenance and Facilities. She began her LPS career at Lincoln Northeast High School.

“Shari has dedicated an amazing amount of her life to Lincoln Public Schools,” said Liz Standish, associate superintendent for business affairs. “There’s no one out there who cares more deeply about getting everything right – about serving taxpayers, about serving students.”

Styskal also started and organized the BackPack Extra Mile Walk for 10 years. The annual event raises money for the Food Bank of Lincoln’s BackPack initiative, which provides a weekly Friday backpack filled with food for students who may not have enough to eat over the weekend. The event raised more than $1.5 million during Styskal’s time as organizer. 

4. Time to apply for LPS Citizens Academy – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools is inviting Lincoln citizens to participate in the annual LPS Citizens Education Academy: a series of monthly gatherings that include hands-on interactive experiences depicting a true, behind-the-scenes sense of LPS.  Meetings are generally scheduled the second Monday evening of each month, but also include several day meetings – hosted at schools across the school district and featuring a wide variety of information and activities. LPS will accept applicants for this no-charge public outreach program on a first-come, first-served basis – however, participants are asked to be willing and able to commit the time needed. For more info: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12942

5. East High speech team honored as one of country’s best

The Lincoln East High School speech team was recognized as one of the top 20 in the nation and multiple students from Lincoln Public Schools finished in the top 10 in their events at the National Speech and Debate Association tournament held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  More than 3,500 students representing 1,300 schools competed in the speech portion of the tournament. The East team finished 15th and earned a Speech School of Excellence Award, one of only 20 schools to receive the honor and the only from Nebraska.  For more info: Go to: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12939

Hot Topics, June 18, 2018

Posted in Just Sharing by on June 17th, 2018

Hot Topics, June 18, 2018

  1. Preliminary budget highlights– For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

If anyone asks you about the 2018-19 LPS budget, a few brief messages:

The Lincoln Public Schools 2018-19 preliminary budget proposal includes an overall one and one-half cent reduction in the property tax levy.

The preliminary 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).

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

The Lincoln Board of Education has scheduled a second work session on the budget for 4:30 p.m. June 26, at LPS District Office.  A public hearing and budget forum are set 6-6:45 p.m. on August 14 at LPS District Office. For more information on the budget: http://home.lps.org/budget/

2. Security remains priority during summer school – For more information: Joe Wright, jwright@lps.org

It might be summer but there’s no time off for Lincoln Public Schools when it comes to school security.

As part of its continuous efforts to evaluate and improve the safety of students and staff members, LPS has partnered with the Lincoln Police Department to employ school resource officers (SROs) at Lincoln North Star High School while summer school is in session – as well as practicing the same emergency drills conducted at all schools during the school year.  More than 1,700 students are enrolled for the courses at North Star, which are offered daily from 8 to 11:50 a.m. through July 11 – and SROs from all six high schools each work one of the six weeks of the summer session.

“The officers’ presence helps create a safe and secure environment for the students and staff who will spend that time at North Star,” said LPS Director of Security Joe Wright. “The SROs are able to keep in touch with many students from their home high school and have the opportunity to partner in trust relationships with students from all of the other schools, as well.”

For more info: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12919

3. Top LPS academics – For more information: Leslie Eastman, leastman@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools is proud to announce that LPS seniors achieved high honors with perfect ACT scores, and being named National Merit Finalists and Presidential Scholars.

Go to: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12913

4. The house that kids built – For more information: Bob Freese, bfreese@lps.org

Lincoln Northeast High School industrial technology instructor Bob Freese has been helping students build houses for families in northeast Lincoln for over 27 years – the last 24 with the Lincoln Housing Authority.  He said:

“They (students) came out and did an incredible amount of work on this house. It wasn’t always easy, it wasn’t always great weather out here, but they got the job done.”

The students in the residential construction course were involved in every step of building the home, from laying the foundation, to raising the frame and putting on the finishing touches. Info at: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12924

5. Supporting positive behavior – For more information: Scott Eckman, seckman1@lps.org

More than 700 educators from Lincoln Public Schools and from school districts across the state gathered at Lincoln Southwest High School this month for the second annual Supporting Positive Behavior Conference.

LPS sponsored the conference and featured 41 breakout sessions and keynote addresses from nationally renowned experts in the field of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). PBIS is a research-based framework for proactively teaching and supporting positive behaviors for students. It’s proven to be effective in schools nationwide, often leading to increased student achievement and reduced classroom disruptions and student suspensions.

Keynote speaker George Sugai, a professor at the University of Connecticut and considered one of the country’s leading voices on PBIS, said: “PBIS is not an intervention, it’s not a practice, it’s not a strategy. It’s a framework, it’s an approach, it’s a process by which schools do the work of building the environment that establishes connectedness and relationships.”

Go to: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12930

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: June 4, 2018

Posted in Just Sharing by on June 3rd, 2018

  1. Preliminary budget – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

A Lincoln Public Schools 2018-19 preliminary budget – discussed by the Lincoln Board of Education recently – provides an overall one and one-half cent reduction in the property tax levy, as well as funding for ongoing and significant student growth, considerable increases in security measures, and supports for students with a mounting list of needs.

The preliminary budget includes:

  • Significant investments in safety and security measures.
  • Staffing and programming increases to support substantial student growth (4,000 more students in past five years).

As the Board of Education continues to develop the budget they are considering:

  • Dramatic growth in student numbers and complexity of student needs: LPS grew by about 5,000 students over the last five years and is expected to grow by 500 additional students next year.
  • The need to address security in our schools with proposed increases in school resource officers, threat assessment, mental health supports, funding for preventative measures that come from Community Learning Centers – as well as an additional security coordinator and funding to ensure a consistent standard for security measures at the entrances of every school in the district.
  • Salary and benefit increases for 7,500 employees that will increase cost by about $8 million next year.

According to the most recent statistics, as prudent stewards of taxpayer money, LPS is one of the lowest spending school districts in the state for per-pupil costs and has been for decades. 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.

LPS has a solid process for budget development. In the coming months the Board will establish priorities, develop a revenue budget to best meet those needs and have a thoughtful conversation with the community.  LPS uses a three-year forecasting and sustainability model – to manage and stabilize the swings in state funding revenue – anticipating state equalization aid will go back down again next year.

The 2018-19 preliminary expenditure budget for LPS totals about $443 million, a 5.34 percent increase over the previous year. That budget is funded by several revenue streams, including two major sources: property taxes (estimated to increase about 5.2 percent this year), and state aid to education (anticipated at about $20 million more than last year after remaining flat for the past three years).

Community budget conversation

Two Community Budget Forums are scheduled in June specifically for community questions, comments and feedback:

  • Budget Forum, 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, Board Room, LPS District Office.
  • Budget Forum, 7 p.m. Thursday, June 14, library media center, Lincoln Northeast High School, 2635 N. 63rd St.

2. LPS plans additional security measures – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education has voted to approve an interlocal agreement that puts into place new measures that will strengthen security and safety at LPS, including: six middle school resource officers, an additional threat-assessment officer, mental health support through an additional school social worker and additional therapist services, and sustained funding for Community Learning Centers.

The city and LPS are each committing $1.05 million to share the costs of providing protective, preventive and proactive services for Lincoln’s youth. Funding would begin in September for the upcoming academic year. School resource officers could be in LPS middle schools as early as January 2019.

3. Summer school – For more information: Edwin Bonner, ebonner@lps.org

LPS Summer School is happening across the school district at all grade levels, elementary, middle and high schools.

The high school program is located at Lincoln North Star High School and runs from May 30 through July 11. High school summer school classes are planned to cover a wide range of course offerings for students grades 9-12. The summer school program provides:

  • an opportunity for all high school students to continue their learning during the summer.
  • an opportunity for high school students to earn additional credit during the summer.

4. New officers – For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education has elected new officials for the 2018-19 school year.  Connie Duncan will serve as the new president of the Board serving from May 2018 until May 2019 and Kathy Danek as vice president.

5. Cultural proficiency at LPS – For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

Walter Powell has been named the new Equity, Diversity and Multicultural Administrator at LPS. Powell is currently coordinator of the LPS TeamMates Mentoring Program and has been since 2007.  Prior to that he served in various positions at Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home, including assistant director, team leader and site coordinator.

“We are excited to have Walter Powell join our team,” said LPS Superintendent Steve Joel.  “He is a proven district leader through his work with TeamMates and has built many positive relationships with students, staff and members of the community.  Mr. Powell brings a passion for educational excellence and a practical knowledge of the diverse needs of our students and staff.”

Powell will follow Thomas Christie, who is retiring at the end of June.

Meanwhile, more than 600 Lincoln Public Schools employees attended the 24th annual Multicultural Leadership Institute late in May at Lincoln Southwest High School and heard from an LPS alum who has guided school districts in Oakland, Denver and Washington, D.C.

Antwan Wilson stressed several key themes to those in attendance during morning and afternoon sessions of his presentation, “Reaching the Least Successful.”

For more info on the Institute: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12907

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: May 21, 2018

Posted in Just Sharing by on May 20th, 2018

1. Increased school security   For more information: John Neal, jpneal@lps.org, and Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education holds a regular meeting Tuesday, May 22, when Board members will likely approve funding for extensive school security that includes: six new middle school resource officers, a threat-assessment officer, mental health support through an additional school social worker and additional therapist services, and sustained funding for Community Learning Centers.

The Board will determine whether to fund these measures with a Joint Public Agency (JPA) or an interlocal agreement, but both would include shared funding from the city of Lincoln and Lincoln Public Schools – in what has been called the “Safe and Successful Kids” initiative.

In addition, LPS has announced plans to identify a standard for security measures at the entrances of every school in the district: Implementation of a controlled setting of locked doors and release mechanisms for visitor traffic through the office while school is in session.  LPS will proceed with a plan to implement locks and release mechanisms in all schools by Jan. 1, 2019 at an estimated cost of $300,000 paid through general funds budgeted for security equipment and enhancements for the 2018-19 school year.

2. Preliminary budget will be unveiled For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education will begin discussion of the preliminary budget for 2018-19 at the Board’s Work Session set for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 22.

As the Board develops the budget they are considering:

  • Dramatic growth in student numbers and complexity of student needs: LPS grew by about 5,000 students over the last five years and is expected to continue growing in the coming school year.
  • The need to address security in schools with proposed increases in school resource officers, threat assessment, mental health supports and funding for the preventative measures that come from Community Learning Centers.
  • Salary and benefit increases for 7,500 employees that will increase costs by about $8 million next year.

Board of Education members have indicated a serious interest in lowering the property tax levy in the coming year.

3. High school graduation to be livestreamed For more information: Pat Hunter-Pirtle, ppirtle@lps.org

For the first time ever Lincoln Public Schools will livestream graduation ceremonies for all six major high schools.  Go to the LPS webpage at the time of the ceremony and follow the clicks.

The class of 2018 will graduate on Sunday, May 27:

  • Pinnacle Bank Arena
    • Southeast High School – noon
    • Northeast High School – 3:00 p.m.
    • East High School – 6:00 p.m.
  • Bob Devaney Sports Center
    • Lincoln High School – 1:30 p.m.
    • Southwest High School – 4:30 p.m.
    • North Star High School – 7:30 p.m.

4. Saying good bye to Thomas Christie For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

Thomas Christie has spent the last 43 years as a teacher, coach and administrator – and the last 22 years as the LPS multicultural school/community administrator. We will say good bye to him at the end of June, along with others who are retiring at the close of this school year.  For more info on Christie: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12877

5. Closing the 2017-18 school year

The last day of classes this year for Lincoln Public Schools is Thursday, May 24.  However, summer school happens throughout the school district in elementary, middle and high schools – with the major high school summer school program starting at Lincoln North Star High School on Wednesday, May 30.

May 2018 Community News

Posted in Community News by on May 10th, 2018

April 2018 Community News

Posted in Community News by on May 10th, 2018

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: May 7, 2018

Posted in Just Sharing by on May 6th, 2018

1. Discussion continues on school safety – For more information: John Neal, jpneal@lps.org, and Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The city of Lincoln and Lincoln Public Schools are coming together with the goal of: Safe and Successful Kids in our Community. To meet this goal, they are proposing multifaceted action that covers increased security, mental health resources and proactive measures.

For information on a proposed Joint Public Agency ( JPA) – questions and answers, the difference between a JPA, Memorandum of Understanding and Interlocal Agreement, and more – go to:  https://home.lps.org/jpa 

2. LPS retirements For more information: Eric Weber, eweber@lps.org

Retirement season is upon us, and to check out public celebrations and announcements go to https://lps.org/go/retirements.

Lincoln Public Schools is hosting a Community Open House to bid a fond farewell to Thomas Christie, Multicultural School/Community Administrator for LPS, who is retiring at the end of the school year.  The celebration will be held from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, May 20, in the library media center at Lincoln High School, 2229 J St.  A program is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

3. Class of 2019 For more information: Pat Hunter Pirtle, ppirtle@lps.org

The Lincoln Public Schools class of 2018 will celebrate graduation ceremonies on Sunday, May 27 – for all six high schools:

Pinnacle Bank Arena
Southeast High School – noon
Northeast High School – 3:00 p.m.
East High School – 6:00 p.m.

Bob Devaney Sports Center
Lincoln High School – 1:30 p.m.
Southwest High School – 4:30 p.m.
North Star High School – 7:30 p.m.

The Bryan Community Focus Program will hold graduation ceremonies at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 24, in the Lincoln East High School auditorium.

For more: https://home.lps.org/graduation/

4. Board of Ed – For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, in the Board Room at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St.  Board Vice President Don Mayhew hosts a live interview show, LPS Live, before every Board meeting starting at 5:30 p.m. – live streaming on the LPS website.  For the full agenda of the Board meeting go to https://www.lps.org/about/board/

5. May Learning Lunch For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Come and try out your musical talents at the Lincoln Public Schools May Learning Lunch: 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, May 15. Lance Nielsen, curriculum specialist for Music at LPS, will join music teachers and music students to talk about the power and value of learning to play the ukulele – and to share some tunes.  LPS Learning Lunches, open to the Lincoln community, are held in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St. Doors to the Board Room open at noon, the program begins at 12:15 p.m., questions-and-answers happen at 12:45 p.m.  You bring your lunch, we provide dessert.  Learning Lunches are livestreamed on the LPS website and broadcast live on cable TV.

6. Lincoln High slam poetry title

A team of student poets from Lincoln High School recently won the state championship in the recent Louder than a Bomb competition, a national program that brings together students to create and share original performance poetry.  Students who performed at the state finals were Jack Buchanan, Erica Leon, Anthony Delaney, Joanna Calel, Karina Hinkley and Samanta Roblyer. Also on the slam poetry team this year were Jasmine Amaya, Helen Newell, Alex Vodraska and Riley Fedderson, along with alternate Shayla Sadowski. LHS English teacher Deborah McGinn is the team’s coach. To find out more: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12845

 

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: April 16, 2018

Posted in Just Sharing by on April 15th, 2018

1. Comprehensive school safety plan proposed by coalition For more information: John Neal, jpneal@lps.org

The city of Lincoln and Lincoln Public Schools are coming together with the goal of: Safe and Successful Kids in our Community. To meet this goal, they are proposing multifaceted action that covers increased security, mental health resources and proactive measures.  They propose establishment of a Joint Public Agency (JPA) – and are working together so citizens would not see an increase in the total tax levy, making it “levy neutral.”

The Lincoln Board of Education will hold a work session on the proposed JPA at 6 p.m. Monday, April 16, in the Board Room at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St.  The meeting will be livestreamed on the LPS website.

More info on the JPA: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12783

2. High School Task Force recommendations shared April 24 For more information: Liz Standish, lstadis@lps.org

Final recommendations from the Lincoln Public Schools Community High School Task Force, which was formed to study high school enrollment, priorities and facilities, will be presented at the April 24 Lincoln Board of Education meeting.  The Task Force – made up of about 70 community citizens and LPS educators – was formed to investigate community options and priorities for serving high school students.

The Board of Education meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St.

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

The eleventh annual Lincoln Public Schools BackPack Extra Mile Walk is set for 10 a.m. (some fun festivities begin earlier) on Saturday, April 28, at Lincoln East High School.  In ten years of walking, LPS employees have raised over $1.5 million for the Food Bank of Lincoln’s BackPack program, which provides Friday food-filled backpacks to children who need help with nourishment over the weekends.

The two major goals of the walk are:

  • Raising money for the hungry children of our community
  • Educating our community about the needs of children at LPS

4. Encouraging budding teachers For more information: Eric Weber, eweber@lps.org

More than 50 Lincoln Public Schools students attended the school district’s annual Future Multicultural Teachers Workshop recently, a day-long workshop aimed to encourage culturally diverse students who have expressed interest in being teachers.

“The idea is to emphasize ‘home grown’ when it comes to recruiting teachers,” said LPS Multicultural School/Community Administrator Thomas Christie, who started the workshop nearly 20 years ago. “Hopefully, through events like this, we can help prepare current students to be some of our future teachers.”

To find out more:  https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12774

5. Board honors  For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education has recognized:

  • James Blake, LPS K-12 Science Curriculum Specialist, elected President of the National Science Education Leadership Association.
  • Adam Bonesteel, LPS Assistant Director of Athletics and Student Activities, named Nebraska State Activities Association Assistant Activities Director of the Year.

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: April 2, 2018

Posted in Just Sharing by on April 1st, 2018

1/ Lessons in Chromebook purchases – For more information: Kirk Langer, klanger@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools officials recommended a slightly costlier Chromebook for purchases in the next annual technology cycle for high school students – finding that the investment pays off long-term in reduced repairs.  This year all LPS students grades 2-12 have access to an individual Chromebook – and the popularity of these gadgets in education settings continues to grow, leading to innovations in the Chromebook operating system. Most notably is the proliferation of Chromebooks featuring a touch screen and “2-in-1” form factor that allow the device to be used as both a standard laptop and tablet.

Repair data suggest that a costlier touch screen and greater feature set is a good investment for high school students.  So for the next cycle of purchases, LPS officials recommended to the Lincoln Board of Education – adoption of touch Chromebooks for ninth grade students (3,300) who will use them throughout their high school years and standard Chromebooks for sixth grade students (3,000) who will use them for their middle school years.

The Board will vote final approval April 10.

2/LPS ratifies safety understanding with Lincoln police  – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education has voted ratification of a memorandum of understanding with the Lincoln Police Department. The agreement would give the Lincoln Police Department access to LPS camera feeds when it is “necessary to protect the health or safety of students or others.” That means in the event of a crisis at one of the LPS high schools, Lincoln police could use a live feed from cameras in the schools.

“It would make it possible for Lincoln police to utilize our camera system in the event of a crisis,” said Liz Standish, associate superintendent for Business Affairs at LPS.  “This is a great value add.

3/New high school principals announced  – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org  

Lincoln Public Schools announced the new principals at two LPS high schools:

Keri Applebee, currently associate principal at Lincoln Southwest High School, will serve as the new principal at Lincoln Northeast High School.

Ryan Zabawa, currently principal at Park Middle School, will serve as the new principal at Lincoln North Star High School.

To find out more: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12750

4/Roper teachers honored with first WIT Award – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org  

Lincoln Public Schools staff do such excellent work, they have inspired the creation of a new award – WIT/Whatever It Takes – to recognize the moments when people go above and beyond to do “whatever it takes.”

Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for instruction, stopped by Roper Elementary School recently to present the first WIT Award, honoring the fourth-grade teachers for going above and beyond. For more info: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12747 

5/Board honors – For more information: Steve Joel, sjoel@lps.org

The Lincoln Board of Education has recognized:

Barb Johnson: Named Teacher of the Year by National Council of Exceptional Children’s Division of Visual Impairments and Deafblindness.

Lincoln High School: Named a School of Opportunity by the National Education Policy Center, represented by Lincoln High Principal Mark Larson.

6/Respecting one another – For more information: Brent Toalson, btoalson@lps.org

Chase Alphin and Abby Peterson don’t agree on much when they talk politics. Alphin, a junior, is president of the Young Republicans club at Lincoln Southeast High School. Peterson, a senior, is president of the school’s Young Democrats club.   One thing they do agree on: People need to change how they talk about politics.

Alphin and Peterson took turns reading the following joint statement over the school’s intercom system last week during student announcements:

“In light of America’s recent tragedies regarding school shootings and calls for gun control, we realize that many students have differing opinions. However, it is more important than ever that we are all respectful and listen to each other. Each of us here has the common goal to make schools as safe as possible and this cannot be accomplished without help from everybody, regardless of differing opinions. So both of us, together, are asking for your help. In order to encourage respectful and progressive conversation, it is important that everyone, on both sides of the political spectrum, are listening and working to understand the other person’s point of view. Let’s all work together to create positive change.”

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: March 19, 2018

Posted in Just Sharing by on March 18th, 2018

  1. Fourth quarter

Fourth quarter begins Monday, March 19, and the last day of school for the year is May 24. LPS calendars at: https://www.lps.org/about/calendar/

2.  Lincoln Public Schools asks for budget feedback – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools invites community members into the development process of the 2018-19 budget in a variety of ways.  The Lincoln Board of Education has scheduled a budget work session for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, at LPS District Office, 5905 O St.

Two Community Budget Forums are scheduled in June specifically for community questions, comments and feedback:

  • Budget Forum, 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, Board Room, LPS District Office.
  • Budget Forum, 7 p.m. Thursday, June 14, library media center, Lincoln Northeast High School, 2635 N. 63rd St.

A second Lincoln Board of Education work session is set for 4:30 p.m. June 26, at LPS District Office.   And a public hearing and budget forum is set 6-6:45 p.m. on August 14 at LPS District Office.    For more information on the budget: http://home.lps.org/budget/

3. LPS Community High School Task Force  – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

LPS Community High School Task Force members continue their work, meeting at Lincoln Northeast High School on Thursday, March 22.  Watch for their recommendations coming this spring.  The Lincoln Board of Education adopted a goal this year to establish a High School Task Force to investigate community options and priorities for serving high school students.   More info at: https://home.lps.org/hstaskforce/

4. New elementary principals announced  – For more information: Jane Stavem, jstavem@lps.org  

Lincoln Public Schools has proudly announced new principals at five elementary schools.

“These five new principals are great examples of people who have both the skills and the heart for leading our schools and the important work that happens in our classrooms every day,” said Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS.

To find out more: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12689 

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

Learning to become responsible young men and women – are lessons for students at Huntington Elementary School – lessons featured at the March Learning Lunch for Lincoln Public Schools this month: Tuesday, March 27, at LPS District Office, 5905 O St.   Called “Developing Young Men and Women” Huntington Principal Rik Devney will talk about empowering young people on the cusp of their teen years. The program begins at 12:15 p.m.

LPS Learning Lunches, open to the Lincoln community, are held in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St. Doors to the Board Room open at noon, the program begins at 12:15 p.m., questions-and-answers happen at 12:45 p.m. You bring your lunch, we provide dessert.

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

The Lincoln Board of Education will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 27 in the Board Room at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St.  Board Vice President Don Mayhew hosts a live interview show, LPS Live, before every Board meeting starting at 5:30 p.m. – live streaming on the LPS website.  For the full agenda of the Board meeting go to https://www.lps.org/about/board/ (published the Friday before the Tuesday meeting).

Lincoln Public Schools Hot Topics: March 6, 2018

Posted in Just Sharing by on March 6th, 2018

  1. Spring break and final stretch

Spring break arrives for Lincoln Public Schools the week of March 12-16, marking the close of third quarter.  Fourth quarter begins Monday, March 19, and the last day of school for the year is May 24.

LPS calendars at: https://www.lps.org/about/calendar/

2. Safety and security at LPS – For more information: Joe Wright, jwright@lps.org

Our community continues to be concerned about security and safety in our schools.  LPS has posted all of our publicly available safety information to a single page on our website: Go to lps.org and click on the safety .

More than a dozen community members came to the latest Board of Education meeting to share suggestions during public comment at our last Board meeting – and we have taken all community comments and suggestions about safety and assigned them to appropriate Board subcommittees to develop a comprehensive understanding of what we need to continue and to improve.

For a story about the people who lead our security initiative at LPS:

https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12646 

3. Science Fair  – For more information: James Blake, jblake@lps.org

More than 500 students from Lincoln Public Schools participated in the 23rd Zoetis-LPS-GSK Science Fair, held March 1 at the Lancaster County Event Center. The fair is open to students in grades five through eight. Once they chose a topic of interest, students had to think of a question to answer, research the topic, write a hypothesis statement, conduct an experiment, record and review the results, and state the conclusion. They also had to prepare a visual display and an oral presentation for the science fair.

Go to: https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12675

4. Thank you teacher – For more information: Mary Kay Roth, mkroth@lps.org

Lincoln High School student Samantha Roblyer says of Deborah McGinn, one of her teachers at Lincoln High: “She gave me a safe place to grow my confidence and to break out of the shell that I had built around myself … She has also taught me some very important things about how to live life. She has taught me that it’s ok to be who you are even if that person is just a bit quirky at times.”

Anycia DuBray-Bivens, now a fourth-grader at Belmont Elementary School, describes Tim Oehring, her previous teacher at Saratoga Elementary School:  “Mr. O is the best teacher ever.  He makes kids think that school is fun. He helped me to know that I am smart … He is my hero, he’s my batman, he’s my super teacher.”

These students – and more – were selected to honor this year’s winning teachers at the annual Lincoln Public Schools Thank You Teacher breakfast For all winners; https://www.lps.org/post/detail.cfm?id=12678

5. Budget development  – For more information: Liz Standish, lstandis@lps.org

Lincoln Public Schools continues to put together the building blocks in developing a wise and prudent 2018-2019 budget.

The expenditure landscape is gradually emerging.

  • The Board approved an agreement with LEA estimated to cost $6.3 million.  In 2017-2018 the LPS required an increase of $10 million to support increased salary and benefit cost at current staffing levels.
  • In addition it is important to staff for student growth and growing student needs, last year LPS added:
    • Funding for student growth: $3.8 million.
    • Additional resources dedicated to serve growing needs for special education and refugee/immigrant populations ($1.5 million), serve early childhood ($1.2 million) and support students with mental health needs.

Next: Each year LPS reviews every budget line for necessary decreases and increases in expenditure needs at the department and building level, and reviews growing staffing needs in schools, while the Board of Education discusses community expectations and priorities.

The revenue landscape is also gradually emerging.

Property taxes: Industrial and commercial values are expected to be up 17 percent, but commercial only makes up 28 percent of valuation for LPS.  The LPS overall increase will be substantially lower than 17 percent.  LPS is awaiting the information from the county on all classes of property typically published in late-April to estimate anticipated overall valuation growth.

State equalization aid: Lincoln Public Schools has the unique circumstance in Nebraska of experiencing growth on two fronts: suburban and urban.

  • As a thriving suburban school district, LPS student numbers are growing dramatically as well as the need for new facilities.
  • As a thriving urban school district, LPS students are growing dramatically in the complexity of needs and supports (growth in special education, poverty, refugee/immigrant populations).

State equalization aid for LPS has remained basically flat for the past three years despite dramatic increases in student numbers and complexity of student needs. While state equalization aid remained flat ($126-$127 million) over the past three years, the school district saw: 1,800 more students, 2,000 more students recognized as living in poverty, 655 more English Language Learner students and 916 more students with special needs.

The state has released certification for state equalization aid and LPS will receive about $146.6 million for the coming school year, recognition of both suburban and urban growth in Lincoln’s public school district.

LPS uses a three-year forecasting and sustainability model – to manage and stabilize the swings in state funding revenue – anticipating state equalization aid will go back down again next year.

Just a reminder, Lincoln Public Schools is one of the lowest spending school districts in the state for per-pupil costs and has been for decades.  LPS spends less per pupil in the state than 226 out of 245 districts in state, nearly $1,000 less per pupil than the state average.

The Lincoln Board of Education stands unified with school districts across the state in supporting a more predictable, sustainable system for funding schools.

March 2018 Community News

Posted in Community News by on February 28th, 2018

February 2018 Community News

Posted in Community News by on February 28th, 2018

Contact

Mary Kay Roth
Director of Communications
mkroth@lps.org | 402-436-1610

P.O. Box 82889
Lincoln, Nebraska 68501

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District Communications

  • Facebook – LPS The facebook page for Lincoln Public Schools
  • News Center One-stop shopping for district news and publications
  • Press Center Resources for members of the press. Story ideas, press releases and more.
  • Twitter – @LPSORG The twitter feed for Lincoln Public Schools
  • Video Center Videos produced by LPS: Board Meetings, Community and Staff Messages…

Reference and Resources

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