Lincoln Public Schools: Highlights of 5/9 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

Lincoln Public Schools:  Highlights of 5/9 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, May 9 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next meeting Tuesday, May 23 at 6 p.m.

Plans for increased help for struggling students

More help for Lincoln Public Schools struggling students is planned and was further discussed at the Tuesday Lincoln Board of Education meeting – a proposed action plan coming out of a comprehensive review and recommendations from the District Management Council (DMGroup).

“We’ve had many opportunities to review this and now we are ready to go to work,” said Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS.  The Board will vote final approval at the May 23 meeting.

The proposed collaborative action plan would serve as the working document to guide the future work of the school district related to struggling students with a focus on:

  • Clarify the role of regular education to take primary responsibility for the delivery of core instruction and provide extra time on task for struggling students within the school day.
  • Ensure extra instructional time is provided by a teacher with strong subject-specific training and background.
  • Refine the site-based approach to supporting struggling students by establishing some guarantees for all students and developing a model plan that schools may choose to adopt.
  • Clearly define the approach for providing social-emotional d behavioral supports for students.
  • Refine the role of school based special education coordinators

Some suggested parts of the action plan would include: 

  • Begin developing foundation courses specific to core areas of instruction that will expand to K-12 staff members to support struggling students at all levels – and identify pilot sites at each level to implement new foundation level courses.
  • Investigate current LPS practices for extended learning time and collaborative planning practices. Begin developing models to allow for extended learning time and collaborative planning practices.
  • Focus group will review best practices and current practices within LPS to identify academic needs for students. Focus group will determine common assessment methods for identifying students in need of additional learning time in grades K-12
  • Assess current level of fidelity and effectiveness of PBIS using outcome data, self-assessment survey and benchmarking goals.
  • Review research on best practices related to optimum ratios for mental health services.
  • Develop plans that include designated and embedded time for teaching multi-tiered curriculum to address social/emotional learning and supports.
  • Provide specialized, research-based professional learning opportunities to support interventions that address specific areas of need (i.e. trauma, anxiety, substance abuse).
  • Analyze current capacity for accessing usable data to determine areas of need.
  • Develop a network of support by level that allows for peer observation, transition planning and ongoing resources and collaboration.
  • Identify potential sites that might serve as hosts for ED/Life Skills clustered programming.
  • Analyze and align current building administrative / coordinator roles and establish criteria for equitable level of support and compensation.
Grant to help prevent childhood obesity

LPS would like to expand a pilot project it has been conducting in four middle schools this year using fitness monitoring watches in physical education classes. By using $25,000 in grant funds from Children’s Hospital in Omaha – to purchase additional fitness monitoring watches that will accommodate four more middle schools – LPS will be able to move closer to its goal of a more rigorous and consistent program for all middle school students. 

The fitness monitor watches allow students to track their heart rate and level of exertion during PE classes. The students can personalize their learning through activity goal setting, fitness levels and rate of perceived exertion.   In addition to purchasing sets for four schools, the grant will provide resources for professional development around the use and implementation for middle school PE staff as well.

Three years ago Children's created Preventing Childhood Obesity Community Grants to harness the strength of community partners and touch as many young lives as possible. In 2016, Children’s opened the Center for the Child and Community in Lincoln, which opened up this grant competition to Lincoln organizations.  This year, Children’s will award grants to non-profit partners in Omaha and Lincoln, equipping them to improve the health and lives of children.

The Board will vote final approval at the May 23 meeting.

Approval of 2018-19 school calendar

The Board approved the calendar for the 2018-19 school year which includes the following highlights:

  • First Day: Monday, August 13
  • Quarter Break: Monday and Tuesday, October 15-16
  • Second Quarter begins: Wednesday, October 17
  • ThanksgivingWednesdayFriday, November 21-23
  • Winter Break: Friday, December 21 - Friday, January 4
  • Third Quarter begins: Monday, January 7
  • MLK: MondayMonday, January 21
  • Quarter Break: Monday-Friday, March 11-15
  • Fourth Quarter begins: March 18
  • Spring Break: Friday, April 19
  • Last Day: Thursday, May 23

Newly annexed property

The Board of Education assigns school attendance areas to property newly annexed or newly platted in the city of Lincoln.  This action establishes school attendance areas prior to the sale of residential lots, allowing purchasers to know what schools their children will attend. 

Lincoln has annexed three parcels of land, which automatically brings these properties into LPS.  The Board Tuesday assigned attendance centers so that potential purchasers of homes in these areas will know which schools they will be attending.

  • Rogge Square, Annexation Ordinance #20453, for 2016-17 school year:  Norwood Park Elementary School, Dawes Middle School and Lincoln Northeast High School.
  • Legends Addition, Annexation Ordinance #20459, for 2016-17 school year:  Kooser Elementary School, Schoo Middle School and North Star.
  • White Horse, Annexation Ordinance #20472, for 2016-17 school year:  Pyrtle Elementary School, Lux Middle School and Lincoln East High School. 

LPS policy

The Board considered policy changes for student fees, and small changes to the 2000 series. They will vote final approval at the May 23 meeting.

Community Health Endowment of Lincoln  

Lori Seibel, president and CEO of the Community Health Endowment of Lincoln, presented a series of maps that analyze some demographic trends in Lincoln – starting with a map of life expectancy throughout the community. 

“Life expectancy can vary by 20 years according to where you live,” Seibel said, showing a map of Lincoln that illustrated how life expectancy varies from neighborhood to neighborhood in the community.  “If you drive south on O street you see life expectancy get higher and higher.”

She spoke to related issues to life expectancy that can be mapped, such as:  

  • Poverty, “the driving force of so many things that happen,” Seibel said, noting that “poverty is not just happening in one place in Lincoln.”
  • Childhood obesity: Seibel said they have achieved decreasing childhood obesity in Lincoln, however, there is uneven success across Lincoln.
  • Mental health (police calls related to a mental health crisis) is also related to where you live.
  • Access to health care, cancer deaths, asthma – all health issues that are related to poverty and geographic locations.

“I look upon this as another tool our school district can use as we look toward the future,” said Board member Annie Mumgaard.

Staff celebration

The Lincoln Board of Education recognized:

  • Camelle Kinney, Lincoln North Star High School Family and Consumer Science Teacher, named Family and Consumer Science Teacher of the Year by the Nebraska Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.
  • The tenth annual BackPack Extra Mile program, that raised more than $188,000 this year for the BackPack program – a record number. Top fundraising schools, in three categories, were: Lincoln East High School, Lux Middle School and Maxey Elementary School.  A special Board honor was presented to Shari Styskal, director of Budget at LPS – and the woman who has coordinated the fund-raiser for all ten years.



Published: May 9, 2017, Updated: May 9, 2017