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I have a busy summer ahead of me.
I have introduced interim studies on expanded learning opportunities, school security, college savings plans, teacher education and property tax relief:
Don’t hesitate to contact my office this summer with policy ideas as I would be more than happy to meet with you and discuss potential legislation.
Two Omaha-area districts are leading Nebraska in preparing students for college, according to rankings compiled by national publications.
All three Millard high schools — North, South and West — made the list of “America’s best high schools” released last week by Newsweek magazine. The magazine ranked public schools only.
The Washington Post ranked the country’s “most challenging” high schools, and all three Nebraska schools on the list of 2,054 were from the Omaha area: Millard North, Millard West and Westside.
Newsweek’s ranking are based on six weighted factors: 25 percent, graduation rate; 25 percent, college acceptance rate; 25 percent, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests taken per student; 10 percent, average SAT/ACT scores; 10 percent on average AP, IB and AICE scores; and 5 percent on percent of students enrolled in at least one AP, IB or AICE course.
Millard North and Millard West were the only two Nebraska high schools on the Newsweek list last.
The Washington Post canvassed public and private high schools across the nation. Its rankings are based on a formula that took the number of AP, IB and AICE tests taken by students at a high school and divided it by the number of seniors who graduated the previous year.
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I had a wonderful weekend volunteering with my Kiwanis club at a baseball league for children with disabilities. I am inspired by these children and their families. Below is a picture of myself with Bruce Froendt, the founder of this noble cause.
I am please to announce that my bill to help poll workers and voters has passed final reading!
LB 417 supports our volunteer poll workers and our voters by requiring the Secretary of State to publish statewide election guidelines that will create more efficiency, transparency and equity on election day.
Now on to being signed by the Governor into law.
In support of a bill to help keep harmful drugs out of the hands of our children, Senator Kolowski made the following speech on the floor that is worth reading:
SENATOR KOLOWSKI: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Senators, and good morning, students, glad to see you here. I want to thank Senator Ashford for his comments concerning this bill and Senator McCoy for bringing this forward. I speak as a former high school principal, with my last 15 years at Millard West High School. I had a file on my desk that I’ll tell you about very briefly, but it was related to the number of student funerals I attended over my 15 years as principal. Auto accidents, alcohol, drug situations, depression, and suicides were part of the reality of life of any high school administrator when you’re dealing with large numbers of students and the issues that we face in our world today. Tomorrow morning I’ll be going to the…to visit with the Catholic Charities program in Omaha that I’m the administrator of record for, and that’s the Journeys program, where 16 students are in a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week drug/alcohol program for the difficulties they’re facing in their lives. I wish I could take every senator from this hall to meet and listen to these students. And in most cases you would not believe the students’ stories, what’s going on in their lives, and what they’ve faced and what they are facing at the current time. The need for problem solving, decision making skills on the part of these students, how to fight peer pressure, to set and make personal goals in their lives are extremely important, and they have great difficulties trying to overcome those things that they had been facing. Those stories those kids would tell you are true. I meet with them every month, a number of hours. And I work with these students, hopefully, trying to get them to a place where they can be released back to their homes, back to their schools, and hopefully will lead a clean life as they move on from the program. We need this bill. We need this bill to pass. It’s a reality that surrounds us in every community, in every town, in every school in this state, and we would be burying our heads in the sand if we would ignore that.
Happy National Teacher Appreciation Day! I am so proud of the incredible educators we have in District 31 and in Nebraska. You are invaluable and I truly believe that every day we should be thanking you for taking care of our children, the future of Nebraska.
For a laugh here are my teacher identification card pictures from when I taught in the 70s.
Great meeting with Douglas County Juvenile Court Judge Doug Johnson and his lovely dog Finnegan.
Here is a great article about Judge Johnson and his furry friend: http://www.omaha.com/article/20130409/NEWS/704099913/1694#grace-judge-knows-a-little-puppy-love-can-help-ease-tensions-in-juvenile-court
You Are Invited! Please come to our District 31 Town Hall meeting this evening: 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Millard Foundation Office – 5225 S 159th Avenue.
I look forward to listening, taking questions, learning more about your thoughts and further discussion on pending legislation during our final 18 days of this session. I hope to see you there!
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