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LPS scores major commendations in external accreditation report

Lincoln Public Schools earned major commendation from an external accreditation team that visited the school district in November with the goal of providing guidance to the school district – as part of an accreditation visit required every five years by the Nebraska Department of Education.

“Our visit was awesome,” said Mark Adler, team leader of the External Visitation Team – and superintendent of Ralston Public Schools. “What you do here is great…We want that to be heard, loud and clear…You are doing great, and your people are working hard.”

The team was at LPS from Nov. 5-8, visiting a cross section of 18 schools and visiting with teachers, administrators and family members.  “Our job is to immerse ourselves in what you do…to walk alongside you…enlisting professional advice of colleagues from outside of this school district, then assisting you in fulfilling school improvement goals and plans.”

Adler shared the team’s overall themes about LPS: Commendations for the school district, as well as Recommendations (which he said were “actually ways to make you more awesome.”)

Overall Commendations:

Positive culture and climate including strong community support: “It is overwhelmingly, insanely positive in all the buildings we visited, elementary, middle, and high schools – for students, teachers, parents and administrators.  Your climate and culture are incredible…Your buildings are beautiful, infused with technology, and you invest in your people.”

Effective school improvement processes and leadership:  Schools are doing school improvement well, Adler said, also praising Sarah Salem, director of Continuous Improvement and Professional Learning at LPS.

Dedicated and empowered school staff: “Your staff members are owning it…part of the culture you have built that is so powerful.”

Leadership: Effective and quality leadership that ranges from the Board of Education – to district and building administrators – to teacher leadership.

Facilities and technology: “Even your older buildings look awesome…You have technology…You have amplification systems in every classroom…I think this is part of the way you make sure you are taking care of your kids.” 

Overall Recommendations:

Evaluate and strengthen the connection between the District Strategic Plan and the building action plans: “A little more connecting and communicating.”

District focus area for continuous improvement/effective instruction: Adler said LPS is definitely heading in the right direction – “continue on that journey” – and suggested more work with the Instructional Design Model to make sure it is infused in all classrooms. 

District focus area for continuous improvement/student supports: Adler said LPS has a great Professional Learning Community Process, and suggested consistent expectations throughout all schools.

District focus area for continuous improvement/equitable practices: “You are driving straight into the school equity highway,” he said, noting possible refinement when considering program evaluation, prioritization and equity.


Published: November 9, 2018, Updated: November 9, 2018

“What you do here is great…We want that to be heard, loud and clear…You are doing great, and your people are working hard.”

Mark Adler, team leader of the External Visitation Team – and superintendent of Ralston Public Schools