LPS Superintendent's Teacher Advisory Council

Summary of April 26, 2017 Meeting

Superintendent Steve Joel update

“One advantage we have in Lincoln, people in this community love Lincoln Public Schools and they understand the importance of public education,” LPS Superintendent Steve Joel told the Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Council.

“A large part of that is because we are doing tremendous work with teaching and learning at the school level…Every time I visit a school, I walk away convinced that what we are doing is the highest professional quality. Teaching is hard work, and it never gets easier. Kids are coming to us with more and more needs…And at the end of the day, you are dedicated professionals who are making a difference in lives.”

Nebraska Legislative session

LPS is monitoring a number of bills that could have the potential to impact the school district in a variety of ways: Budget, retirement systems, reading, charters and vouchers, discipline and more.

Bottom line: “Our Lincoln senators have been fantastic for us…If you have a chance, let them know – tell them thank you.”

Strategic Plan

Joel explained the strategic planning process over the past school year – and explained the five major themes recently unveiled, that came out of the process:
• Academic Success
• Future Ready Global Citizens
• Support for Students
• Support for Educators
• Family and Community Partnerships

“We have been listening to people for months, asking them how they feel about our schools, asking them to dream big…Now the Board of Education will spend some time examining and studying these five themes and making decisions about a final Strategic Plan – that will take us through the next five years.”

Questions/comments

Q: What are we doing to relieve North Star/Any talk of busing?
A: The Board of Education has made some elementary school boundary changes that should impact high school enrollment in years to come, and is enforcing rules about high school attendance guidelines. The Career Academy should ease some of the pressure as well. “But at this point I’m worried about maintaining the busing we have right now…in this environment. I don’t think that’s the solution.”

Q: Is there any discussion about professional development and training for paras who work with most at-risk students?
A: Yes, we continue to explore additional training for paras, knowing that there is only limited time to provide professional development.

Q: Is the school district continuing their emphasis on cultural proficiency?
A: Absolutely…We continue to look for creative and effective ways to use our professional development time…But the truth is, there is only so much time – and a lot to learn – in any given school year…I do worry that flex time doesn’t feel very flexible anymore, because there is so much to accomplish.

Teacher Advisory Council: What gives you pride? What do you need?

Lincoln East High School
Proud: Students are fully invested in supporting the BackPack Program
Need: More mental health professionals

Lakeview Elementary School
Proud: Our environmental committee has developed some really positive monthly initiatives focused on making the school a better place (kindness pledge, etc.)
Need: More counselors

Lux Middle School
Proud: Our staff is very supportive of extracurricular school activities
Need: Support for mental health – for teachers and entire staff

Hill Elementary School
Proud: Chromebook implementation gone well; teachers implementing technology into teaching
Need: More time for teachers to be devoted to learning

Brownell Elementary School
Proud: Great support staff with paras, coaches and more
Need: Social, emotional and mental health support for kids

Campbell Elementary School
Proud: Making school days work – during time of major construction
Need: Construction to be done

Morley Elementary School
Proud: Using PLC days effectively, pairing lower grade teams with upper level, building relationships
Need: Social, emotional and mental health support

Beattie Elementary School
Proud: Great job with collaborative planning, walking through lesson planning
Need: Support for mental health issues

Rousseau Elementary School
Proud: We have used additional funding for creative projects such as homework clubs, summer programs, etc.
Need: Clarification and definition for flex time, classes, etc.

Huntington Elementary School
Proud: Collaborative team planning, sitting down to look at curriculum and how we will implement as a team
Need: More help with mental health and trauma issues

Cavett Elementary School
Proud: Proud of first color run fund-raiser
Need: Work on mental health and social emotional issues

Adams Elementary School
Proud: Principal and after school program
Need: Para and special education support/many incoming kindergartners

Kloefkorn Elementary School
Proud: Teams working together collaboratively
Need: Support for mental health issues

Kahoa Elementary School
Proud: Identifying students who need assistance – faster – earlier interventions
Need: Support for social emotional

Music teacher
Proud: PLC work refined with teachers clear on understanding expectations
Need: Consistent professional development for all educators

Lincoln High School
Proud: Maintenance and care of older schools and facilities
Need: Continued resources and support for growth, diversity

Lefler Middle School
Proud: NESA testing going smoother
Need: Sometimes too many initiatives introduced at one time

Zeman Elementary School
Proud: Collaborative learning between students and staff – principal has given us time to observe other staff members in our school
Need: Tier 2 supports

Randolph Elementary School
Proud: Learning has continued as normal during construction
Need: We will simply be happy when construction is finished

Scott Middle School
Proud: New high school math curriculum selection (I’m really pumped about the direction we are headed – it’s about what’s best for kids)
Need: Content area trained support, staff and special education teachers

McPhee Elementary School
Proud: Great retention of teachers
Need: Work on improving parent involvement

Kooser Elementary School
Proud: Great staff/leadership specifically meeting student needs
Need: More social worker time

Mickle Middle School
Proud: School improvement and rebranding
Need: More support for special needs kids

Lincoln North Star High School
Proud: Great preparation for juniors taking the ACT
Need: Portables currently house ELL and reading students, students who need additional support (perhaps rearrange)

Belmont Elementary School
Proud: Successful in reducing number of office referrals
Need: Help with interventions for large numbers of students with high mobility

Sheridan Elementary School
Proud: Staff dedicated to data teams, powerful tool when looking at needs of students
Need: Support for mental health issues

Irving Middle School
Proud: Doing better job in better connections to community
Need: More tools in helping teachers be innovative in meeting curriculum demands

Hartley Elementary School
Proud: Special education team pulled together using data to drive decisions
Need: Extra help for students with IEPs

Saratoga Elementary School
Proud: Rolling with ongoing changes; increasing student and parent involvement in after school activities

Clinton Elementary School
Proud: Created new walking trail
Need: Math support specifically for ELL students

Pound Middle School
Proud: Our staff and students came together to help teacher whose home burned down
Need: Support for mental health, social emotional

Arnold Elementary School
Proud: Dedication from staff in working with students/family
Need: Time to experiment with new skills teachers are learning

Lincoln Southwest High School
Proud: Teachers have done especially well in committee work
(ACT day went really smoothly)
Need: Special needs, special education