Highlights of 2/27 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

Highlights of 2/27 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next meeting on March 27 at 6 p.m. 

LPS Safety and Security Update

Student safety continues to be our school district’s top priority, Joe Wright, director of Security at Lincoln Public Schools, told the Lincoln Board of Education Tuesday. Giving a general update about safety and security measures throughout LPS, Wright stressed there are many procedures and systems in place. 

Wright described some of the major LPS safety measures:

  • Regular drills to prepare for a wide range of emergencies, including active threats, gas leaks, fire drills and more.
  • Security cameras at all our major high schools.
  • A solid Threat Assessment/Management Program at LPS, which provides a preventative mindset. For more information:
  • Standard Response Protocol established throughout the district (plain language protocol for emergency situations). For more information:
  • Crisis response plans at each school.
  • Partnering with local law enforcement and safety experts. LPS works closely with the LPS security team and the Lincoln Police Department to continuously evaluate safety protocols and practice with staff and students in the event of an emergency. 

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel said when asked what keeps him awake at nights, he replies: “It’s the safety and security of our students…It is clear this is the biggest and most important work we will do…I’m glad we’re having this conversation now… I have no doubt we will be able to strengthen what we already have.” 

Comments from the Board of Education:

Barb Baier: “We are challenged with balancing the needs of reasonable security measures with the needs of classrooms…and the risk of decreasing the educational values of our schools.”  Baier provided a list of many of the security measures implemented at LPS, but stressed that the commonality among shootings has been “perpetrators who are socially and emotionally isolated.”  She urged building positive relationships with students and a positive school culture, reducing class size so teachers have more time to interact with students, hiring more social workers, counselors and mental health workers. 

Annie Mumgaard noted she had a child in a high school last week who called her with concerns. “I told my child, ‘You are now in the safest place you can be. I know that everything possible is being done to make this the safest place.’”   

Kathy Danek: “The community comments are not falling on deaf ears, we are listening.  I would be happy to talk with any group.”

Matt Schulte said he appreciated the community comments and conversation.  He commended the security team at LPS and investing in mental health of students specifically through the LPS behavioral programs – and made some suggestions for further security measures.  

Don Mayhew: “I know security is not a new topic for LPS…I know that this is something that is very important to the district and has been for a long time.  I also know that when something like Florida happens…it raises so many questions and so many emotions.  I think our parents are rightfully asking…could we doing more?  I appreciate the…constructive dialogue and conversation. I think it is completely appropriate for us to have some broader conversations about best practices that we do.”

Connie Duncan: “I was a teacher…and never once did I ever feel in danger…We want all our teachers and students to feel safe all the time …I feel confident we have the necessary procedures in place...But we may need more conversation.”

Lanny Boswell explained that each of the Board’s standing committees will go forward to review and study the appropriate security issues relevant to those committees: “Security is a multi-faceted issue…We are committed to making schools the safest possible place.”

For more information about general security measures at LPS and frequently asked questions, go to

For a story about the experienced people in charge of security at LPS:

There were community people who came and spoke at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting about safety and security, firearms, mental health and more. To watch the full Board meeting go to the following link and scroll down to Board of Education meetings: 

One-Year Salary Package Approved for LPS Educators

The Board of Education Tuesday approved an agreement with teachers for a one-year contract for the 2018-19 school year, developed by the Lincoln Education Association (LEA) and Lincoln Public Schools.

This proposal recognizes the valuable contributions our teachers make to the school district to maintain the LPS legacy of excellence in teaching and learning, while also making sure the school district serves as good stewards of taxpayer funds – according to Steve Joel, superintendent of LPS; Rita Bennett, president of the LEA; and Lanny Boswell, president of the Lincoln Board of Education. 

The agreement – voted on and approved by LEA membership – provides a total compensation package increase of 2.68 percent for the 2018-19 school year, which includes salary increases of 3.07 percent, increases in Social Security and retirement costs – and no increase in health insurance premiums. Each full-time employee will receive a $1,675 salary increase. The base salary for a new teacher will increase by $1,175 to $45,156.

“One of the most important tasks we do is hire professional educators,” said Board member Kathy Danek.  “This agreement is a token of my great appreciation for every teacher at LPS.” 

Annexed Land

The Board of Education assigns school attendance areas to property newly annexed or platted to 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. The city of Lincoln has annexed a parcel of land – Himark Estates, Annexation Ordinance #20620 – which automatically brings this property into LPS. Attendance areas proposed for the 2017-18 school year:  Maxey Elementary School, Lux Middle School and Lincoln East High School.  The Board will take final action at the March 27 meeting.

Student Celebration

The Lincoln Board of Education heard a special Student Celebration Tuesday, recognizing the value of science fairs and promoting the 23rd Zoetis-LPS-GSK Science Fair set for March 1. 

Speaking were:

  • Rochelle Settles, elementary science specialist at Fredstrom Elementary School – and director of the Zoetis-LPS-GSK Science Fair
  • Audrey West, 8th grader at Moore Middle School
  • Jack McCarter, 5th grader at Meadow Lane Elementary School
  • Jeter Sanders, 4th grader at Meadow Lane


Published: February 27, 2018, Updated: February 27, 2018