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LPS announces Lincoln Northwest High School will open in 2022 with grades 9-11

Lincoln Northwest High School will open this fall with only freshman, sophomores and juniors. Seniors will be enrolled in fall 2023.
Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 6:13 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lincoln Public Schools officials announced on Tuesday that Lincoln Northwest High School will open in the fall of 2022 with a ninth-grade class of approximately 223 students. The incoming 10th-grade class is expected to have approximately 77 students and the 11th-grade class is expected to have 78 students. Only 41 incoming seniors submitted the required paperwork to attend the new high school.

Due to the low number of students enrolled in the senior class, LPS made the decision to limit grade offerings to 9-11 grade students the first year. This will allow LPS to focus resources on offering robust opportunities and high school experiences to the greatest number of students. As the graduating class of 2026 moves from grade to grade, LPS anticipates Northwest will meet the designed 1,000 student capacity. In addition, Northwest will provide 10th- and 11th-grade students with an extraordinary leadership opportunity to establish a positive school culture.

“The good news is students and families know that they are getting a quality education where they currently attend high school and don’t want to leave,” said Superintendent Steve Joel. “Our goal was to open a full high school to help ease the overcrowding at our current high schools. We are proud to provide the option for students to choose where they attend high school. However, that does provide unique planning challenges as we open new buildings.” Joel added, “We owe it to our community to be efficient with our resources. By using this opening approach we will be able to assign our staff to where the students are enrolled.”

Future 12th-grade students who chose Northwest for next fall will automatically be re-enrolled in their current high school; there is nothing more they need to do.

LPS said they will still offer varsity sports at Northwest based on interest from students.

“Our intentions are to do that in as many of our sports or activities that we have and again we want to create positive experiences for them,” said LPS director of athletics and activities, Kathi Weiskamp.“The district has never opened up a thousand size student high school so this is new to the district to have a school of that size but again these kids are falling right into that category the numbers to where they can participate in a Class B sized school, and have lots of opportunities which is was we’re excited for.”

The new Bryan College of Health Sciences Focus Program will open as planned. All freshmen and sophomores will experience the pre-pathway classes that will lead into the focus program if they are interested as 11th- and 12th-grade students. Incoming juniors interested in the focus program should turn in their application as soon as possible.

There will continue to be the opportunity for a wide range of activities and athletics at Northwest. The final determination of which opportunities and which levels offered will be determined based on the number, development and experience of the students that commit to attend Northwest and go out for athletics and activities. The intent is to be able to offer as many varsity level programs as possible.

Current LPS students in grades 8-10 who have not yet turned in their High School Choice Form and are interested in attending Northwest need to return the form as soon as possible to increase the likelihood a full range of courses can be offered. Distance learning courses may be offered in some cases. Any family with questions can contact LPS Student Services at 402-436-1688.

Lincoln Public Schools announces no seniors for the first year at Lincoln Northwest. Bill Schammert walks us through what it means for athletics.
Lincoln Public Schools announces no seniors for the first year at Lincoln Northwest. Bill Schammert walks us through what it means for athletics.

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