Leopard Express


50 Years of Opening Minds and Opening Doors


Ignite passion. Inspire excellence. Imagine possibilities.

District 41 Vision


The Leopard Express is an e-news communication that you will receive throughout the year in an effort to more effectively and frequently communicate with you and share valuable information and celebrations about Abraham Lincoln School. If you have any suggestions, comments or questions, please feel free to contact me at lschweik@d41.org.




Dear Lincoln Parents,


Thank you to all the Lincoln parents that have provided us with their feedback and input on the Lincoln Think Tank proposal over the past four months. It has been a time of deep conversations, reflection, and planning on behalf of the children of Lincoln school. As a staff we are excited about the changes next year and will work to keep the lines of communication open as we move forward. It is my hope that we can come together, parents and staff, to build an extraordinary learning environment for our students.


Several months ago, Scott Hierbaum, a parent representative on the Lincoln Building Leadership Team (BLT), wrote this letter as a way to communicate the work of the BLT to our parents. I am very proud of the dedication and commitment of the Lincoln staff. This letter from Scott confirms for me the work we do is important and impactful. Thank you Scott for your continued work on our BLT and for taking the time to write about your BLT experience.


Mythbusting - A Letter to Parents from Lincoln's BLT Parent Representative.


Dear Fellow Lincoln Parents,


My daughter is currently a 3rd grader at Lincoln. For the past 2 years I've participated as a parent on the school's BLT (Building Leadership Team). I can assure you it wasn't because I thought there was bacon involved.


The BLT is a team of teachers from all grades and disciplines tasked with ensuring that each child gets an educational experience that maximizes their potential. I've learned quite a bit on this committee, including about 25 acronyms. But more importantly, my perception of what teachers do on a daily basis was turned upside down. It's been a real-life myth-busting experience.


I attended grade school in the 1970's. So, in my defense, my knowledge and expectations of how a school works are based on the days of pet rocks, disco, and the cold war. I figured that teachers have a lesson plan that's been around for years. It might get tweaked every year, but for the most part things remained constant. My idea of targeted learning was throwing a few kids into the "gifted program". That's what they did when I was a kid...


My perceptions were wrong. The teachers at Lincoln, through the BLT, work tirelessly to help my child, your child, every child. It's really amazing. I'm truly humbled by their dedication, workload, and singular focus on education. Listed below are some specific myths the BLT has busted for me:


  • MYTH: Schools rely on lesson plans that change infrequently.
  • FACT: Stagnancy does not exist here. They are continually doing everything they can to improve their effectiveness. They even have a CIT (Continuous Improvement Team).
  • MYTH: Very few kids get individualized attention.
  • FACT: The BLT has detailed plans that target the high achievers, those who need some additional help, and everybody in-between. This might be the one thing I'd want other parents to know...your kid matters!
  • MYTH: Teaching is not an intense occupation.
  • FACT: These teachers work hard. Before school, after school, weekends, and nights. They take their careers and their students very seriously and are dedicated to tirelessly utilizing all resources afforded them to better the lives of their students.
  • MYTH: Schools focus on "teaching to the test".
  • FACT: I've been on the BLT for over a year and I've never heard the phrase "teach to the test". They are truly focused on enriching the lives of each and every kid and there is, I suspect, an unspoken assumption that the test will take care of itself.
  • MYTH: Education is not a data-driven endeavor.
  • FACT: The continual improvement process in place at Lincoln is definitely data driven. The practices they put in place are based on research. Good research. And specific, quantifiable goals are established and measured against. But, rest assured, qualitative factors are also taken into account at the individual level. 

 In closing, I want to personally thank every teacher, administrator, and staff member at Lincoln school. My experience on the BLT has increased my already high confidence that my daughter is getting a wonderful education.


Scott Hierbaum


Learner Characteristic - Respectful to the Environment

Have you had a chance to see the large green shamrocks on the windows in the glass hallways at Lincoln? The shamrocks are used as a place for students to recognize friends, teachers, and family members that display this month's learner characteristic, Respectful of the Environment.  


Here are a few notes that have been posted:

  • I saw someone pick up a Cheetos bag at recess and throw it in the garbage can.
  • My mom uses salt on the ice at home that does not harm animals.
  • My class recycles our paper.
  • We learned about endangered animals and now I want to do something to protect the environment.
  • My friend and I showed respect to the environment by picking up paper in the hall and putting it in the recycle bin. 
  • I use a lunchbox not a bag for my lunch. 

Please take some time this month to talk with your children about the importance of this Learner Characteristic. 


Traffic Concerns -After School

As a reminder to parents, please abide by the traffic safety guidelines listed in the Lincoln Handbook and Directory. Listed below are a few areas that have been problematic recently.

  • The left lane on Greenfield is a "through lane only" during arrival and dismissal. Please do not block traffic to wait for your children from this lane. Students are not allowed to enter this lane to get into a car.
  • Drivers must remain in their vehicles when parked in the drop off, pick-up lane. 
  • Please be mindful of the cars parked in the parking spaces along Greenfield. At times you may need to move your vehicle to allow others to exit parking spaces.
  • Cell phone use is prohibited at any time while operating a motor vehicle on a roadway in a school speed zone.

Thanks for your assistance as we work together to keep our children safe.


Evening Events and Clubs

Parents, please be sure to connect with the coordinator of your child's evening event to verify drop off and pick up times and location. If you are running late, be sure to contact the coordinator to work out a plan for entering the building.


Spirit Day - Next Week College Colors

Lincoln School is a river of green today as we celebrate spirit day the St. Patrick's way. Next Friday is "college colors" spirit day.


PTA News

Language at Lunch is quickly coming to an end! Due to some weather delays, classes were pushed back by a couple of weeks. Our Language at Lunch students did receive all 20 weeks of instruction. Parents are welcome to attend their child's last class on the dates listed below from 12:20-12:50 p.m. End dates for Language at Lunch classes are below:

French: April 3

Spanish 1: April 4

Spanish 2: April 16

Spanish 3: April 3

Chinese: April 9

Should you have any questions or concerns about your child's LAL experience, please contact Jennifer Rath at jenrath@sbcglobal.net.




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