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Lincoln Board of Education highlights from 5-8 meeting
The Lincoln Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Tuesday evening, May 8, in the Lincoln City Council Chambers. The next Board meeting is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 22. All meetings are broadcast live on channel 5.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MEETING
School calendars 2013-14 and 2014-15
The Lincoln Board of Education considered the recommended school calendars for both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years at their regular meeting Tuesday evening.
Nancy Biggs, associate superintendent for Human Resources at LPS, noted that approving calendars two years in advance would allow staff and families to make advanced instructional and family plans.
The school calendars approved for this year and next represented a significant shift in previous years – with the winter break scheduled at the same time as semester break – and feedback has been very positive. So the same pattern was used to formulate the two following school years.
The 2013-14 calendar proposes the first day of school as Tuesday, August 13, and the last day, Thursday, May 22. Quarter and semester breaks would be scheduled: Oct. 12-15; Dec. 21-Jan. 5; and March 8-16 – with additional days off for recognized holidays.
The 2014-15 calendar proposes the first day of school as Tuesday, August 12 and the last day, Thursday, May 21. Quarter and semester breaks would be scheduled: Oct. 11-14; Dec. 20-Jan. 4; and March 7-15 – with additional days off for recognized holidays.
Each year a joint Lincoln Public Schools/Lincoln Education Association committee – composed of parents, education association leaders, teachers and administrators – recommends a student calendar for the School Board's consideration.
In addition, over the past year LPS officials have reviewed and revised the basic variables used to create the calendar, matching the current instructional needs of the district and the flexibility needs of LPS families. The proposed new variables are:
- Semester and quarter breaks should be the same for elementary and secondary schools.
- The four quarters should include at least the minimum number of days necessary for students to reasonably learn the curriculum (42 days).
- Student vacation days should not interrupt instruction just prior to major LPS, state or national assessments.
- Each student week should be at least three days long. (The exception is the suggested week of Thanksgiving – when officials propose a two-day, Monday-Tuesday week.)
- Non-student days will be scheduled between quarters.
- The last day of school will typically fall after the completion of NSAA and similarly sanctioned local and state competitions.
- Whenever possible, non-student days should occur on "common holidays," including days such as federal and state recognized holidays.
"I think you've done a great job improving these variables," said Board member Kevin Keller.
"I like the new variables, reflecting the changes that we have in a student's day-to-day life," continued Board member Kathy Danek.
The School Board will take a final vote on the recommended variables and calendars at the May 22 meeting.
Marilyn Moore, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS, gave a report to the School Board on results of the parent survey that was conducted this year as part of the principal appraisal process.
Nearly 900 parents from 14 schools were interviewed in the survey, which offers indicators about parent attitudes and opinions related to their children's education, teachers, courses and schools.
Among the results she noted:
- 96 percent of the parents said their child enjoys school.
- 97 percent of the parents said they are satisfied with the quality of education their child is receiving.
- 97 percent of the parents said that parents are welcome in their child's school.
- What is the biggest problem at school: 53 percent said there were no problems; 8 percent of parents identified traffic as the greatest problem, and 8 percent of parents identified bullying.
- What's the main thing you like about your child's school: 39 percent, teachers in general; 20 percent, quality of education; 18 percent, atmosphere of the school, 16 percent, concern of staff for students.
- How would you grade your child's school: A, 60 percent; B, 31 percent; C, 7 percent; D, 1 percent; and F, 1 percent.
- 92 percent of parents reported they have a computer in their home. Of those parents with a computer, 96 percent had Internet access.
"We need the unique perspective that parents bring," Moore said. "The biggest and best use of this information is in each school as each principal looks closely at the results and uses that information as they plan the coming school year."
School Board citations
The Board of Education heard a special report on the success of the annual BackPack Extra Mile Walk that raised more than $153,000 for the Food Bank of Lincoln's BackPack program.
Winning schools that raised the most money:
- Elementary: Morley Elementary School
- Middle School: Lux Middle School
- High School: Southeast High School
Published: May 8, 2012
Updated: May 8, 2012