Surviving the winter of 2019, looking ahead to spring

Whew, this has been a winter to forget.  I vaguely remember hearing a meteorologist predict earlier in the fall that this would be a mild winter with below average precipitation.  I am happy that we had enough days built into our instructional calendar to accommodate the school days lost to inclement weather.

It could have been much worse.   There were school districts in Nebraska that lost close to ten days and I know of several districts in Iowa that were closer to 15.   We were fortunate.

Less fortunate are the many Nebraskans living closer to the rivers who have lost everything. I am so proud of our students, schools, departments and staff members for their efforts to assist the flood victims of our state with fund raisers, donations and notes of encouragement.  The citizens of Nebraska, Lincoln and LPS are caring folks who believe in supporting and helping others.

While our Lincoln community did not have to deal with the devastating flooding that occurred throughout the state, we did face mandatory water conservation reductions. I believe these measures brought out the best in our students and staff.  In fact, I am extremely proud to report that we were able to reduce our usage 30-40,000 gallons per day – an example of what happens when everyone does their part.  We also used this serious challenge as a teachable moment at LPS with teachers discussing the importance of conservation.

So this spring began with quite a dramatic challenge, along with the usual continued quality teaching and learning in fourth quarter.  And of course the start of spring also reminds us about the inevitable countdown to graduation.  In about two months we will be sending more than 3,000 LPS graduates into the world, equipped with a high school diploma that is representative of their hard work.

Then of course the cycle will begin anew. In August we will welcome more than 3,000 ninth graders into our six high schools, straining our high school facilities with record numbers of high school students. I am grateful we have a Superintendent’s Facility Advisory Committee that is planning LPS facilities into the future – and grateful for a school district and community always planning ahead.

Thank you all for your continued support of our schools.