There’s still work to do

I have so appreciated the incredible opportunity to be a part of Lincoln Public Schools these last 11 years. For someone to begin as a teacher and coach in Wilber, Nebraska and end up as superintendent of arguably one of the top large districts in the country is something I never expected. My educational journey has been filled with incredible opportunities to assist young people achieving their dreams and improving their lives. I recognize it takes an entire village to be successful, and LPS is blessed with the finest staff and most supportive community in all of America.

There is still much work to be completed this year. The Board has recently initiated the process to select a firm to assist in a national search for the next leader. Look for more information on how the community can be engaged in the process and a timeline once the firm is identified by the Board. As I consider this to be the best leadership position in the country, I anticipate there will be significant interest.

We will continue to work through the pandemic. While everyone is tired of face coverings, we know that they have played a significant part in driving and keeping our numbers low so that more of our students and staff are able to be in school. We continue to be appreciative of the leadership of the health department and their guidance.

We had a nice enrollment surprise at the beginning of October. The increase of more than 200 students is greater than what we had projected this summer. The return of a number of home school students is taken as a vote of confidence in our ability to keep our children and staff safe.

With pandemic learning loss at the top of every school district’s “to do” list, we have worked hard to leverage federal ESSER funds to provide additional learning time and academic intervention for students who need assistance. We are excited to roll out video lessons during the second quarter for students who have had to miss class due to being isolated or in quarantine after a COVID-19 exposure. Many thanks go to the teachers across the district who have volunteered to provide this for our students.

As always, thank you for your tremendous support of our work during these difficult times. We are looking forward to better days ahead.

Steve Joel