Mr. Bagby commented, "Lincoln High School is fortunate to have
tremendous community support."
Before starting the forum, Bagby made several statements about
improvements and achievements of the high school. He said that in
the four years he has been superintendent, the track and tennis
courts have been resurfaced, an electric sign added, an alternative
education school program and dual credit curriculum introduced, and
technical education is at record enrollment.
Bagby was proud of the alternative program, which has been
growing in recent years. An alternative high school education is
"not just for those students with behavioral problems anymore," he
said. "It is also for students needing to enter the ‘real world'
more quickly." Students can take classes between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
and from 3 to 5 p.m. The time difference allows students who are
working the opportunity to also attend school at hours more fitted
to their schedule.
Lincoln Community High School has paired with Lincoln College to
provide dual credit for high school and college courses. LCHS
students can graduate with not only a high school diploma but also
up to 22 college credits. The courses are offered for about $136 per
credit; however, the LCHS Board of Education reimburses the students
$75 per credit hour. Bagby explained that the reimbursement means
that overall the student pays for only 11 credit hours
Programs of Lincolnland Technical Education Center, or LTEC, have
grown beyond expectations in recent years. LTEC has automotive,
culinary, health, criminal justice and building trades programs
already in place. Students who are enrolled in these classes can
graduate with a food-handling license or automotive technician
skills. Bagby mentioned that other programs such as HVAC, welding
and cosmetology are in the process of being started.
Those who were present for the forum brought up concerns such as
enforcing a school uniform, cellphone policies, truancy and the
emergency response plan.
The superintendent gave every question or concern his utmost
attention. He answered and explained in a thorough manner that
pleased those in attendance.
Uniforms have always been an option, but Bagby felt that a dress
code was certainly enough. It is enforced but, as always, it can be
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The cellphone policy at LCHS is that students may carry a
cellphone, but it must be turned off and not used during the day.
One parent was in favor of changing the policy to allow students to
use their cellphones in the hallways so that parents could stay more
connected to their student throughout the day. Bagby did say that
the current cellphone policy was working, but exploring other
avenues is always a possibility.
Truancy and dropout rates are issues that every high school
faces. Bagby declared that LCHS was no different; however, the
implementation of the alternative education program is lowering
those rates. Alternative education is not just for behaviorally
challenged students but also for unique circumstances.
An astounding fact that Bagby mentioned was that there are
currently 42 documented homeless students -- meaning they have no
fixed nighttime abode. LCHS does receive federal aid to offer free
and reduced-price lunches. The district also gives free textbooks to
students needing that kind of service. The school will always face
truancy and dropout problems, but LCHS has programs in place in
order to better combat it.
Due to the recent Normal Community High School incident,
emergency procedures were fresh in everyone's mind. Bagby explained
that LCHS does have a lockdown emergency policy. Students and
teachers have been instructed in the proper steps if a situation
were to arise. The SchoolReach communication service has been put in
place to notify parents and guardians. Bagby also mentioned that new
radios were purchased this year to be in better contact with the
Lincoln Police Department. He said LCHS was as prepared as possible.
Bagby was excited after the conclusion of the forum. He said he
had received some great ideas and was now better aware of the
community concerns. He thanked those in attendance and announced
that a spring coffee forum will be in the plans for next semester.