The 2011-12 school year is in full swing.
The release of the most recent Nebraska-wide reading and math testing results (NeSA or Nebraska State Accountability) started off this week in grand fashion. The aggregate scores are quite impressive as are the individual buildings and grade levels. We scored well above state averages. I have spoken many times publicly about our school improvement initiatives and how we work to improve learning for ALL students. Thank you to our schools for all you do. (For NeSA results, go to our website, www.lps.org.)
I had a great visit to Lincoln North Star High School today and loved the energy of the staff and students. We have about 35 school visits scheduled this year, one of my favorite parts of this job.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) is the final day for Linda Pappas, executive assistant to the Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent and the Lincoln Board of Education. Her more than 25 years at LPS included breaking in three superintendents. I guess I was a bit too much for her. We wish her well on her well-deserved retirement. Laura Maxwell has been appointed to the position and begins the new job on Thursday.
Last week the Board of Education approved the 2011-12 budget, but we aren’t pausing for a moment. With that budget in the books, we are already turning our attention to 2012-13. One of our primary tasks this year will be to make our case legislatively for additional state aid. The LPS budget also would benefit if our economy begins to show signs of picking up.
In lighter news last week, I couldn’t wait for Friday night to arrive. I love the atmosphere of the first football game and the Lincoln Southeast vs. Lincoln Southwest game had it all. More than 8,000 fans packed the stadium and enjoyed a great game between a couple excellent programs. I was able to take my 2-year old granddaughter to her very first game and she was absolutely awestruck. When we got home, she excitedly told her mom about the game. Sadly for me, she seemed more impressed with the school buses she saw in front of the stadium than she was with the actual game inside the stadium.
I encourage all of you to attend a high school football game this fall, or any LPS athletic competition. Perhaps I’ll see you there.