Category: Newsletter – Principal’s News

Consistent vocabulary, protocol for LPS response to school incidents

In the interest of creating the safest environment possible for all our students and staff, Lincoln Public Schools is adopting a new system for responding to emergency school incidents.  These incidents could be due to weather, fires, accidents, intruders and other threats to student safety.

This year LPS will use a Standard Response Protocol (SRP) to respond to emergency incidents.

The SRP is simple.  It includes four specific actions that can be performed during a critical incident.  They are:

  • Lockout (secure the perimeter)
  • Lockdown (locks, lights, out of sight)
  • Evacuate (to the announced location)
  • Shelter (using announced type and method)

The use of simple words and phrases will be helpful as we practice these actions with students.  In addition, during an actual event everyone would know what is happening and how to respond.

For more information go to:


Effort and Achievement

Bj Stone, consultant for McREL, Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning advises that we frequently remind students that, “Effort is the one thing you have full control over.”  Students sometimes mistakenly believe their success on school assignments was only due to luck, inherited ability or something else outside their control.  The fact is there is a distinct connection between student effort and school achievement.

Both at school and at home we can help students be better learners by continually reinforcing the importance of effort.  McREL recommends the following:

  1. Continually talk to students about the relationship between effort and achievement.
  2. Give students explicit examples of what it means to put forth effort by telling stories of success that came through hard work and persistence.
  3. Ask students to keep track of their own effort and achievement.

Teaching students about effort fits well with, “Work harder, get smarter,” the motto they hear each day at school.

Working things Out

Clinton is a school where we work things out. We know that at the elementary school age students sometimes have conflicts with others where both sides have responsibility. In these instances it is important for students to report the problem to an adult as soon as possible. When we are aware of problems, we make it a priority to meet with students, help both sides take responsibility, commit to stopping the negative behaviors and commit to new replacement behaviors.

Clinton students have been doing well with this process. They have regularly reported situations that require adult assistance and have cooperated well during resolution meetings. We would like to thank you as parents/guardians for listening to your child at home to help them think through problems that may be occurring. Your support has helped give students the confidence to report problems and and be a part of working toward a solution. Our goal is to be prompt in helping students work things out so they can concentrate on learning.

Continuous Improvement

The phrase, “You don’t stay the same, you’re either getting better or you’re getting worse,” connects with school achievement and our on-going continuous improvement efforts. At Clinton, our resolve is to do the first part of the phrase-“getting better.” The experts tell us that the key to improvement is the setting of specific action plans. Last fall, as we started the new school year, some of our 5th graders met with 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students. They challenged the students to make plans for accomplishing the “work harder” part of “work harder, get smarter” slogan. Each student then wrote their own improvement action steps and posted them throughout the building. As we begin second semester, students have an opportunity to recommit to their achievement plans. The encouragement and support we provide as teachers and parents/guardians will help students meet their goals and achieve at grade level and above.

External Visit Report

The results are in! Each of the Lincoln Public Schools elementary schools hosted an external visit during the week of November 4. The external visit is a routine process and a requirement for all Nebraska public schools. The visiting team met with student, staff and parent groups and in its exit report provided feedback regarding the work being done at Clinton. The external team’s commendations and recommendations are listed below.

• Staff commitment to teaching and learning is rooted in hope, optimism and best practice.
• Everyone at Clinton has opportunities for leadership including teachers, students and parents. The SIP leadership team works effectively and is viewed as a strong support for PLC teams.
• The PLC data teams process is used to improve teaching in order to positively impact student learning.
• Diversity is embraced. All staff have a determination to help all students achieve their full potential.
• A clear alignment exists between goals and actions of adults and students.

• Continue to respond to and expand communication with your community.
• Continue to explore ways to add learning opportunities during the summer months.
• Look at ways to creatively expand parental involvement activities.

The external team’s feedback substantiates the work of Clinton staff members, parents, and students, for their actions to continually improve student achievement. Congratulations to all stakeholders for making a contribution to the external team’s positive report.

External Visit Completed

The School Improvement External Visitation Team visited Clinton on Tuesday, November 5. The visiting team members were Lisa Wood, principal at La Vista West Elementary School and Mary Ells, LPS Special Education supervisor. The external visit is a routine process and a requirement for all Nebraska public schools.

During the visit, the team met with the Clinton School Improvement Process (SIP) Committee, toured the building and met with representative groups of students, parents and teachers. The visit gave us an opportunity to talk about our goals and successes and for the team to hear the perspectives of the various groups within the Clinton community. The visitation team concluded their day by providing feedback affirming our successes as well as making suggestions to promote growth and continual improvement. Specifics regarding the visitation team feedback will be provided in a later newsletter.

Annual Yearly Progress Update

Clinton Elementary School
Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) update
October 2013

We are proud to report that during the 2012-13 school year Clinton scores improved in 13 of the 14 demographic groups. However, there was not enough improvement for all groups to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

General AYP information:
• Schools must meet AYP standards in Math and Reading for all students and for each group containing at least 30 students. These proficiency levels are determined by testing students in grades 3-5.
• The AYP standards have increased each year since the No Child Left Behind Act became law in 2001.
• There are also AYP standards for Writing. The Writing test is given to 4th graders.

AYP information specific to Clinton:
• At Clinton, there are 7 groups with more than 30 students for both Math and Reading (14 total).
• In 2011-12, 9 groups did not meet AYP. In 2012-13, all 9 of the groups that did not meet in the previous year improved and 7 of the 9 groups improved enough to meet AYP. One other group that met in 2011-12 did not meet in 2012-13. The Clinton Writing scores have met AYP each year since reporting began.
• In 2010-11, all Clinton groups met AYP.

Clinton improvement plans:
• In addition to implementing rigorous curriculum and instructional plans, our students are given individualized attention and provided on-going support for a variety of factors. Clinton features an orderly school environment where there are high expectations for student learning.
• Clinton teachers and staff continuously study assessment results to determine improvement plans.
• Clinton teachers, staff and students are encouraged by the improvement shown in 2012-13 and are optimistic about continued improvement in 2013-14.

Thank you for supporting your child’s school efforts and please contact me if you have questions

Sleep Recommendations for Students

Early to bed, early to rise…


According to the old saying, good things happen with a good night’s sleep.  For Clinton students to learn and achieve each day, sleep is a vital need.  Sleep promotes alertness, memory and performance.  Children who get enough sleep are less prone to behavioral problems and moodiness.  How much sleep should elementary school age children get?   The National Sleep Foundation recommends that children 5 – 10 years of age receive 10 – 11 hours of sleep each night. 

Please help your children have school success by teaching them good sleep habits.  To teach these habits, the Foundation provides parents with some tips.  The #1 tip for good sleeping habits in children is to follow a nightly routine. A bedtime ritual makes it easier for your child to relax, fall asleep and sleep through the night.


 Typical Bedtime Routine:


1.     Have a light snack


2.     Take a bath.


3.     Put on pajamas.


4.     Brush teeth


5.     Read a story.


6.     Make sure the room is quiet and at a comfortable temperature.


7.     Put your child to bed.


8.     Say goodnight and leave.


 Other Tips:


  • Make bedtime the same time every night.
  • Make bedtime a positive and relaxing experience without TV or videos. According to one recent study, TV viewing prior to bed can lead to difficulty falling and staying asleep. Save your child’s favorite relaxing, non-stimulating activities until last and have them occur in the child’s bedroom.
  • Keep the bedtime environment (e.g. light, temperature) the same all night long.


·       Be good role models for your children. Go to bed at a reasonable time and talk to them about the importance of sleep


A good night’s sleep makes healthy and wise Clinton students.