The Student News Site of Lincoln Southeast High School

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Lincoln Southeast High School

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Lincoln Southeast High School

The Clarion

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LPS Focus Programs provide opportunities for experiential learning

Students who attend LPS Focus Programs are provided with unique opportunities, able to explore the subjects that interest them

Animals, planes, careers, filming, coding and science. While all of these subjects may be completely different, students can discover a whole world behind each and every one of them. Through LPS Focus Programs, high school students are granted the ability to learn about, and to experience, the subjects that interest them in a more in-depth way.

Students who are in a Focus Program spend a portion of their day taking classes at their home high school, before or after attending their program. They either drive themselves (if they are able), or take a bus. At the end of the day, they are able to participate in activities and sports back at their high school.

Over the years, LPS has grown from just one focus program to 10. These programs include: Air Force Junior Officer Training Corps, Arts and Humanities Focus Program, Aviation and Technological Education, Bay High, Bryan College of Health Sciences, Early College and Career STEM Program, International Baccalaureate Program (at LHS), Nebraska Business, Science Focus Program, and The Career Academy.

Each focus program has something unique to offer, making them all the more intriguing and opportunistic for students.

Here is a closer look at four LPS Focus Programs.


For 26 years, Zoo School has provided many different opportunities for students who are fascinated by the science world. This program is located at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, however it’s not entirely animal focused. While students in this program are able to interact with and study animals, they also take classes such as economics, chemistry and algebra. They take these classes in a block schedule format, meaning that they attend three different courses every day of the school week.

Students involved in this program are also exposed to the tight-knit community of Zoo School. They do many things as a group, such as carving pumpkins around Halloween, and taking days where they explore the zoo together. In fact, the students even have community days every other Friday. This allows them to interact with one another, and bond over the science-related subjects they love.

LSE sophomore and Science Focus Program student, Elena Wolf, enjoys being a part of this program.

She believes that this type of environment allows her to personally connect with other students and teachers at Science Focus.

“I would definitely recommend it, I personally love this small community,” Wolf said.

If you are interested in becoming a part of this program, applications are accepted year-round.


Arts and Humanities is a program that offers many different types of art-focused learning activities. It’s open to any and all students in grades 9-12. In this program, students have a block schedule, allowing them to take an assortment of classes where they explore many different art styles and create original art projects. While at Arts and Humanities, students take a deeper look at both of the subjects in the title of the program (arts and humanities). Instead of just learning the basics, they discover how arts and humanities are connected, and the symbolism behind both of them.

Examples of subjects that students in this program learn about and complete projects on include time and idols. Students also get to practice with different art styles and mediums, such as digital design, painting and drawing.

Anybody involved in this program will take classes back at their home high school that are not offered in Arts and Humanities. These classes might be science, math or elective related. This gives students the opportunity to spend more time learning about art, while still getting a full education (this applies to many of the other programs as well).

LSE junior, Laura Cruz, feels as though this program is her second home. She feels close to the people there, and says that the Arts and Humanities Focus Program is where she met some of her closest friends. “I love arts,” Cruz said, “and I can never see myself leaving.”


Bay High is a very hands-on focus program, were rather than having hours and hours of classroom learning, students are able to spend more time experimenting and working on projects.

This program is composed of a group of students with various backgrounds and interests; due to the many different courses offered, Bay High attracts a very unique and brilliant group of people.

Bay High student and LSE senior, Marty Ruskamp, feels that his interests line up with what the program has to offer. While Bay High provides various opportunities for students, a main focus is photography and photo editing. So, for Ruskamp–who is considering digital and outdoor photography to be a part of his career–the skills that he takes away from this program will be very useful in the future.

Similar to other LPS Focus Programs, Bay High provides students with real-life experiences, and a look into a world that might not be familiar to them.

At Bay High, the students take a handful of different classes. Some of these are: journalism, digital design, personal branding, and marketing. Bay High also touches on topics such as music and fashion. All of these allow students to try out different things, and possibly discover what they enjoy doing most.

One last noteworthy thing about this program is the skate park attached to it. For many students, this is definitely a perk to Bay High. Not only do students get to learn and master new skills, they are exposed to a relaxing environment and welcoming community.


The Career Academy is a partnership between LPS high schools and Southeast Community College. The intention of this program is to provide real-life experiences for high school juniors and seniors, in preparation for their adult lives. If you are interested in this program, it is recommended that you apply as a sophomore.

During students’ time at Career Academy, they are visited by hundreds of business professionals who simulate what it’s like to be involved in business-related positions. In order to do this, these professionals mentor and critique the students, provide field trips and occasionally offer internships.

The Career Academy provides courses in 16 different career pathways, allowing students to pick and choose what jobs they’re interested in. While other focus programs might take up a substantial amount of your day, students only attend Career Academy for two hours daily during the school year.

LSE junior and Career Academy student, Audrey Robinson, believes that success in this program can be achieved through hard work and dedication. “This program has impacted me by showing what a normal day in college would look like. While my classes are difficult, and it can take me a bit of time to get my work done, it is something that I enjoy doing very much,” Robinson said.

So while this program entails many difficult assignments and projects, there is much more that it has to offer. At TCA, students and teachers strive to create a welcoming environment, where many memories are made, and where you can always count on the person sitting next to you.

While each program has different qualifications, if you are interested in becoming a part of one, you can visit the LPS Focus Program home page where you can fill out interest forms, contact instructors, and learn more about these programs.

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About the Contributor
Lily Deitering
Lily Deitering, Staff Writer
Lily Deitering is a freshman at LSE, and this is her first year as a Staff Writer for the Clarion. During the school day, she looks forward to her History and English classes. Outside of school, she is on the LSE Golf Team, is involved in competitive dance and plays the piano. In her free time, she loves to read, listen to music and paint. She is really looking forward to being a part of the Clarion staff this year!

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