Highlights of 3/27 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

Highlights of 3/27 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, March 27 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next meeting on April 10 at 6 p.m. 

Lessons in Chromebook purchases

Lincoln Public Schools officials Tuesday recommended a slightly costlier Chromebook for purchases in the next annual technology cycle for high school students – finding that the investment pays off long-term in reduced repairs. 

This year all LPS students grades 2-12 have access to an individual Chromebook – and the popularity of these gadgets in education settings continues to grow, leading to innovations in the Chromebook operating system. Most notably is the proliferation of Chromebooks featuring a touch screen and "2-in-1" form factor that allow the device to be used as both a standard laptop and tablet.   

Repair data suggest that a more costly touch screen and greater feature set is a good investment for high school students.  So for the next cycle of purchases, LPS officials recommended to the Lincoln Board of Education – adoption of touch Chromebooks for ninth grade students (3,300) who will use them throughout their high school years and standard Chromebooks for sixth grade students (3,000) who will use them for their middle school years.

“We did a lot of work and research to make the technology plan very deliberate and thoughtful,” said Board Vice President Don Mayhew.  “We’ve also been learning…and as a result staff are making slight modifications…We are getting better at this. 

The recommendation would award a $1.9 million contract to Dell EMC Inc.  The Board will vote final approval April 10.

LPS Safety and Security

The Board Tuesday voted ratification of a memorandum of understanding with the Lincoln Police Department.

The agreement would give the Lincoln Police Department access to LPS camera feeds when it is “necessary to protect the health or safety of students or others.” That means in the event of a crisis at one of the LPS high schools, Lincoln police could use a live feed from cameras in the schools.  

“It would make it possible for Lincoln police to utilize our camera system in the event of a crisis,” said Liz Standish, associate superintendent for Business Affairs at LPS.  “This is a great value add. 

Board member Matt Schulte praised the idea: “I see this as an essential tool in the moment of crisis.”

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

School meal prices

The LPS Nutrition Services Department operates a school meal program that provides breakfast and lunch meals to LPS students. Annually, the Board of Education reviews and approves school breakfast and lunch prices – and Tuesday heard a proposed ten-cent increase for meals next year.  The Board will vote final approval April 10.

Prices suggested for next school year – which all represent a dime increase:

  • Elementary Student Full-Priced: $2.45                       
  • Middle School Student Full-Priced: $2.65                      
  • High School Student Full-Priced: $2.80                      

The issue of equity in school lunch pricing is addressed in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 – mandating that School Food Authorities (SFA) annually review their paid lunch revenue to assure compliance with the paid lunch equity requirement.  The average paid lunch price requirement by USDA is $2.83, compared to the LPS weighted average price for lunch at $2.49.  That means our price is 30 cents lower than USDA standard. Because the district’s price was less than the paid lunch equity requirement, the district is required to adjust and increase its lunch prices for 2018-19.  The required increase for paid lunch meals for the 2018-19 school year is 10 cents.  

Modifications of Southeast, Southwest swimming pools

The Board of Education heard proposals to make mechanical modifications of the swimming pools at Southeast and Southwest high schools.  The recommendation would be to contract with Cheever Construction Company to make modifications related to filtration and environmental pool conditions. The Board will vote final approval April 10.

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 approved Tuesday for the 2017-18 school year:  Maxey Elementary School, Lux Middle School and Lincoln East High School.  

The City of Lincoln has also annexed two parcels of land for which the Board considered attendance areas.  Final action for the last two parcels will happen April 10.

  • Wandering Creek, Annexation Ordinance #20627, for 2017-18 school year:  Pyrtle Elementary School, Lux and East.
  • Dominion at Stevens Creek, Annexation Ordinance #20630, for 2017-18 school year:  Meadow Lane Elementary School, Culler Middle School and East.  Final action for the last two parcels will happen April 10.

Staff Celebration

The Lincoln Board of Education Tuesday recognized:

  • Barb Johnson: Named Teacher of the Year by National Council of Exceptional Children's Division of Visual Impairments and Deafblindness.
  • Lincoln High School: Named a School of Opportunity by the National Education Policy Center, represented by Lincoln High Principal Mark Larson.

Published: March 27, 2018, Updated: March 27, 2018