Students from Westside High School in Omaha, Neb., have used their artistic talents to brighten up a long, gray hallway at Project Harmony, a child-protection center. Work on the butterfly-themed mural started last fall and once the design was approved by the center, students began sketching and painting. Students said they expect to finish the mural in late April so it can be highlighted at an exhibit that also will feature artwork from local elementary-school students.
A Nebraska lawmaker has pulled a bill that would have required school districts with fewer than 650 K-12 students to join with other districts to share teachers, classes and more. The proposal, which was opposed by some education groups, would have created allied school systems enrolling at least 1,300 students. The lawmaker who proposed the legislation said it was drafted to meet concerns of smaller districts that they did not have the means to offer some specialized courses.
High-school seniors in Bertrand, Neb., combed through old newspapers and other resources to update the book containing the official account of the community's history. Last updated in 1985, the book's new version took six months of research and writing by the group of 21 students working under the guidance of social studies teacher Mark Dethlefs. "It was amazing to learn what the town went through to survive," student Austin Ackerman said, adding, "I feel closer to my town."
Beatrice Middle School social studies teacher Mike Policky, of Beatrice, Neb., and his students are committed to recycling. Policky bought 16 big blue recycling barrels with the help of a $1,500 grant that requires a weigh measurement of how much paper the school recycled during the first six months. "When you start giving the students numbers, they see that they are making a difference, and what we are doing is important," said Policky, whose students last month recycled 955 pounds of paper.
Nebraska is drafting new social studies standards, covering everything from history and geography to personal finance and environmental issues. More than 300 parents, teachers and other concerned parties have gone online with input, which includes concerns that there are too many standards, questions about the resources available to teach all the standards, and suggestions for subjects that should or shouldn't be included.