Happy new year, thank you …. and looking ahead to 2019

As 2018 comes to a close, I always like to use the final blog of the year to say “thank you” – thank you to all our employees, students, parents and community.  We are so fortunate to work with families and community members who care deeply for high quality educational opportunities for ALL students. Lincoln Public Schools succeeds because everyone cares and commits.

With the books closing on this year, I thought I would share a few thoughts (not predictions) regarding what 2019 might hold:

  • The Superintendent’s Facility Advisory Council will convene mid-January with close to 100 volunteers who will begin the arduous task of developing priorities for student facility challenges in our community.   With many more needs than available resources – and our student enrollment pushing our high schools to 110 percent of capacity – the work ahead will be very important.   Thank you to all who have agreed to serve.
  • We are now finishing work in the Options Task Force, a group of LPS leaders who have researched educational opportunities that reach beyond traditional classroom walls.  These leaders have examined our current programs, while also researching career education options throughout the country. National research indicates the need for schools to develop more engaged and experiential learning opportunities that center on a student’s  strengths and career interests. I believe our community will be excited about what the future might hold for students as we continue our quest toward 21st  century teaching and learning.
  • We will learn more about the true patterns of our student growth as we prepare for 2019-2020, asking ourselves: Was the “only” 275 student growth an aberration or a trend?  We suspect the former but time will tell.   The city of Lincoln continues to grow and our companies continue to recruit from outside the city.
  • After almost a decade of economic prosperity, recovering from 2008-09, odds favor a less than robust financial environment in the immediate future. Belt tightening becomes the norm during these times, and we have to be prepared for the same.  I know we will.
  • Finally, we continue to focus on student safety and security and are hopeful that, as a state and country, we can ensure each of our students feels welcome and supported as they pursue one of the gifts that democracy provides: EDUCATION.

I wish everyone a happy and relaxing holiday,