Highlights of 11/28 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

Highlights of 11/28 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St.

The Board will hold its next meeting – the only meeting in December – at 6 p.m. Dec. 12.

Proposed LPS strategic plan focuses on student academic, global success

With a focus on academic success and global citizenship for all students, support for educators, family and community partnerships, and growth ready facilities – the Lincoln Board of Education Tuesday rolled out the proposed strategic plan for the school district going forward for the next five years. 

“I’m really pleased to present this to you tonight,” said LPS Superintendent Steve Joel.  “This is a living, breathing document; this is a tremendous body of work; this is something we can be very, very proud of. 

Board members were supportive:

Don Mayhew: “Our process for this strategic plan was far-reaching, future thinking, very inclusive, and in the end it was data driven…I do believe this document represents a perfect consensus of the Board.”

Connie Duncan: “It was a long process and we worked hard…It just proved to me again, the schools belong to all of us…they are entire community schools.”

Annie Mumgaard:  “We had to answer the question…how do you take the community’s dreams and aspirations for our future – and then set them into intentions and into goals…I really think these five themes say:  This is what our community believes we can be, wants us to be and expects us to be.”

Matt Schulte: “This was lots of fun, a good opportunity to set strategic plan.”

Barb Baier: “This document gives us direction, but what I like about it – is that it’s flexible, we can go and roll with the punches…I also really like this document because the action steps give us accountability to the community as a whole…This is a document that will allow us to achieve new goals and create new realities for our students.” 

Kathy Danek: “For me, our number one responsibility is to graduate students with a world class education that prepares them to go out into the world… This really is about helping kids graduate...We’re working not to just focus on the past needs or visions, but on the ability of today’s and future graduates…I think this is a great plan.” 

Lanny Boswell was particularly impressed with the “flexibility and agility of the action steps…This was a very inclusive process…future focused….there were so many opportunities to share individual opinions, and to find that consensus…We are united in support for this plan.”

The Board determined to create an overarching vision for the new strategic plan that states: “To prepare all students to be college, career and civic-life ready with a goal of 90 percent on-time graduation.”

Then, the refreshed strategic plan is divided into five themes – all supporting the overarching vision – with goals and action steps included in each thematic area.  The proposed goals in each thematic area follow.

Future Ready Global Citizens:

  • Investigate the feasibility of developing additional K-12 focus programs, strengthening existing focus programs, and other programming options.
  • Develop plans to address the need for students to have greater exposure to world languages and cultures.

Support Academic Success for all Students:

  • Expand delivery model opportunities to allow for flexible scheduling.
  • Expand plans to address mental health needs of students.
  • Assess feasibility to expand access to high quality early childhood program access through additional full-day and part-day program options.
  • Increase movement opportunities throughout the school day to support developmental, physical and social needs of students.

Support for Educators:

  • Research and implement strategies to recruit, hire, develop, support and retain the highest quality and diverse staff.
  • Evaluate district assessments to determine the impact on classroom time and student performance.

Family and Community Partnerships:

  • Work toward providing all students access to full-service community schools that provide after school programs. 

Growth ready facilities and infrastructure:

  • Research and develop facility plans to address growing high school enrollment.
  • Continue to update the LPS 10-year Facilities and Infrastructure Plan.

The strategic plan draft is the result of intense community participation and support in an initiative that began early last school year – an initiative that included 49 community sessions and 3,800 responses from community citizens.  Data collected from community engagement was passed onto a Community Study Team – made up of community members and LPS staff – and then reviewed and modified through two Board work sessions.  

The Board will vote final approval of the new strategic plan on Dec. 12. Once adopted, strategic plan goals will return to the appropriate Board committees to develop further operational plans.

Refunding Series 2010 Build America Bond issue

The Board gave LPS the authority for advanced refunding of the series 2010 Build America Bond Issue that analysis indicates would likely result in 3 percent taxpayer savings – or about $1.5 million – according to Liz Standish, associate superintendent for Business Affairs. The purpose of advanced refunding is to take on bonds at a lower interest rate.

Standish explained that potential impending federal legislation could eliminate the ability to have advanced refunding with tax credit status.

Attendance areas for newly annexed property

The Board heard a proposal to provide attendance areas for newly annexed city property near Yankee Hill Road and South 40th Street.  Proposed attendance areas are: Humann Elementary School, Pound Middle School and Lincoln Southeast High School.  The Board will approve attendance areas on Dec. 12.

LPS Policy

The Board approved policy in the 3400 series related to Business: Sale of Real or Other Property.

They considered revisions in policy series 4000 related to Human Resources, including changes for Equal Employment Opportunity and Recruitment.  They will approve those policy changes Dec. 12. 

Grant applications considered

The Board considered several grants:

  •       The Board approved an application for a Migrant Education grant from the Nebraska Department of Education.
  •       The Board considered an application for a Woods Charitable Fund Breakthrough Initiative Grant.  The Board will vote final approval of this grant applications Dec. 12.

Key Core Networking and IP Telephony Equipment approved

The Board renewed the three-year contract for key core networking and IP Telephony equipment and licensing with the manufacturer for maintenance, software upgrades and technical support.

Student Celebration

The Lincoln Board of Education recognizes the rich curriculum of Lincoln Public Schools, honoring our school district’s ability to offer students a wide variety of courses that nurture individual interests.  One class in the high school Music Curriculum offerings – Music Composition/Technology – presents educators and students with an opportunity to weave together lessons in music, creativity and technology. 

Presenters were:

  •        Paul Kenney, assistant band director and music teacher, Lincoln East High School
  •        Lisabeth Wissink, vocal music teacher, Lincoln East High School
  •        Helen Little, senior, Lincoln East High School


Published: November 28, 2017, Updated: November 28, 2017