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Park Middle School students crunch data, predict the future for LPS schools

With all the discussion about enrollment growth in Lincoln Public Schools and planning for future facility needs, an eighth-grade algebra class from Park Middle School has its own prediction: Plan for a new middle school in the year 2100.

That was one of many findings and predictions made by the students in teacher Jordan Neukirch’s fifth-period differentiated algebra class as part of a three-day project in which they analyzed enrollment data for LPS middle schools. Students worked in groups of four, with each group analyzing data from one of the six LPS middle schools. On the third day, they presented their findings to the entire class.

The project was the perfect culmination of what Neukirch’s students have been learning in recent weeks about interpreting data, spotting trends and predicting the future.

“We had great discussions about changes in their data, such as dips in the population or huge spikes, and what could have caused that. Many of the students were excited to be able to fully interpret and share their knowledge of the schools. It was really cool to hear them share their ideas and what they learned,” Neukirch said. “Many students talked about opening new schools, changes to who can go to which schools, transfers...It was fun to hear their interpretations.”

It was the first time Neukirch and the rest of the Park eighth-grade math team used LPS enrollment data for this unit. He credited Jerel Welker, LPS secondary math coordinator, for the idea and for supplying the data.

“This was great because we were able to talk about ceilings of populations and what the district would have to do in order to accommodate this constant growth of students among all schools,” he said. “This project provided so many great discussions and insights into how to handle student growth in schools.”

May as well plan for that ribbon-cutting ceremony in 2100.


Published: February 8, 2019, Updated: February 8, 2019

"We had great discussions about changes in their data, such as dips in the population or huge spikes, and what could have caused that. Many of the students were excited to be able to fully interpret and share their knowledge of the schools. It was really cool to hear them share their ideas and what they learned."

Jordan Neukirch, eighth-grade algebra teacher at Park Middle School