Highlights of 5/23 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

Lincoln Public Schools:

Highlights of 5/23 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, June 133 at 6 p.m.

Refunding 2009 bond series

LPS issued $100 million in general obligation school bonds in 2009, the second series issued for funding a comprehensive ten-year facilities improvement plan.  Bond principal and interest are scheduled to be repaid through January, 2039.   The current bond market may allow for an advanced refunding at a reduced interest rate, resulting in a reduction of debt service payable. 

The Board voted for LPS staff to work with the school district’s financial advisor (Ameritas Investment Corp.), bond counsel (Gilmore & Bell) and general counsel (Perry, Guthery, Haase & Gessford) to finalize refunding if and when the school district decides to proceed. 

“We have done this several times before, relying upon the good advice from the people we work with to make these decisions to the benefit of our taxpayers,” said Don Mayhew, vice president of the Board.  “This is a decision point designed to still take care of our needs, but to reduce the burden of taxpayers…I’m glad this is something we do.” 

Approval will be finalized at the June 13 Board meeting.  

Plan approved for increased help for struggling students

The Board approved an action plan for providing more support to struggling students – a plan that emerged from a comprehensive review and recommendations from the District Management Council (DMGroup).

The collaborative action plan will 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 

Preventing childhood obesity: a step forward

LPS will expand a pilot project now in four middle schools using fitness monitoring watches in physical education classes – to accommodate four additional middle schools. The Board approved application for $25,000 in grant funds from Children’s Hospital in Omaha to purchase additional fitness monitoring watches – allowing LPS to move closer to its goal of a more rigorous and consistent program for all middle school students.

The fitness 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 for middle school PE staff as well.

Indian Education program  

The Lincoln Public Schools Indian Education program will provide support to Native American students in grades PK-12 in the 2017-18 school year, students enrolled in all schools across LPS representing about 60 tribes. The funding from federal grants specifically for Native American students is $138,292, and decisions regarding the use of these funds are made in consultation with the Native American Advisory Committee. The school district has received federal funds for services for Native American students since the mid-1980’s. 

The U.S. Department of Education provides funds to fulfill the federal government’s responsibility for providing programs that serve Indian children of the highest quality and provide for the unique educational and culturally related academic needs of these children. The purpose of this program is to support American Indian and Alaska Native students in meeting the same challenging state student academic achievement standards as all other students.

Approval will be finalized at the June 13 Board meeting.  

Community Learning Center agreements   

The Board considered approval of partnering organizations for the Community Learning Center sites in schools throughout LPS:  Boys and Girls Club of Lincoln/Lancaster County, Cedars Youth Services, Family Service Association, Lincoln Housing Authority, Lincoln Parks & Recreation, Malone Community Center, Nebraskans for Civic Reform, North Pointe Community Church, Northeast Family Center, Willard Community Center, and YMCA of Lincoln. These organizations provide services to CLCs at a total expenditure of $1,045,992. 

Approval will be finalized at the June 13 Board meeting.   

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 a parcel of land, which automatically brings this property into the district of Lincoln Public Schools.  Grandview Estates 1st Addition, Annexation Ordinance #20483, proposed attendance areas for 2017-18 school year: Wysong Elementary School, Pound Middle School and Lincoln Southeast High School.

Approval will be finalized at the June 13 Board meeting.  

LPS policy

The Board approved policy changes for student fees, and small changes to the 2000 series.

Food purchases

The Board Tuesday considered several major food purchases for the coming school year:

  • Purchase of $950,000 in fresh fruits and vegetables from Greenberg Fruit Co.
  • Purchase of almost $3 million in shelf-stable, refrigerated and frozen food from various vendors.

Approval will be finalized at the June 13 Board meeting.  

Lincoln High and the Lighthouse  

The Board approved an agreement for the 2017-18 school year between LPS and the Lighthouse After School Program – for the Lighthouse to administer an Out of School Suspension (OSS) program available to all Lincoln High School students who are suspended out of school.  The program will include the following services (at no cost to LPS): Students of parents who choose to allow their students to serve their OSS program at the Lighthouse will do all assignments, get a lunch and participate in restorative justice principles.

Superintendent Update

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel Tuesday took a moment to recognize Mary Reiman, director of Library Media Services at LPS, who is retiring this summer. 

“Mary Reiman is a tremendous talent who has dedicated her professional career to Lincoln Public Schools and who has left a tremendous legacy of excellence.  She is decorated nationally, but also, if you walk into any of our media centers you will see the touch she has administered over the years, they are all welcoming places of collaboration and innovation.”   

Student Celebration

The Lincoln Board of Education recognized Lincoln North Star High School senior Kyler Johnson, who has served on LPS Superintendent Steve Joel’s“Weather Team” as an official weather forecaster and storm hunter.


Published: May 23, 2017, Updated: May 23, 2017