Highlights of 4/9 Lincoln Board of Education Meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, April 9, at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St.  The Board will hold its next meeting on April 23, 2019.

Efficient, money-saving move for potential bond issue

Lincoln Public Schools will take an essential step later this week to begin coordinating the important work leading up to a potential bond issue – in beginning the selection for architect, engineering and construction manager professional services related to planning for future high school projects – information provided to the Board of Education Tuesday evening.

Scott Wieskamp, director of Operations at LPS, stressed the long-standing tradition of planning ahead for a potential bond issue to ensure the school district is prepared to begin construction work immediately following a successful bond vote.  That simple move will save the school district an estimated $2 to $3 million (depending on whether LPS builds one or two high schools), as well as finishing construction earlier and more quickly relieving the high school enrollment crunch.

“Time is money in the world of construction, and maximizing time maximizes the money available to meet our facility needs,” Wieskamp said.

He noted that the need for additional high school space is well-recognized across the community, however, designing a high school or high schools will be a lengthy process.  In order to maximize time, later this week LPS will release a request for proposals for architect, engineering and construction manager services.

Once the team is selected and is in place this summer, Wieskamp explained, a great deal of background work can be done prior to those important and final decisions – still to be made – about recommendations related to the number, size, makeup and location of potential future high schools. 

Family and community partnerships 
The Board Tuesday heard an update on the LPS strategic goal of: Family and Community Partnerships.

John Neal, assistant superintendent for Governmental Relations and General Administration, notes that: “Lincoln is a community that supports young people and public education. LPS partners with community businesses, organizations, non-profits and post-secondary institutions to extend learning beyond the classroom walls. Family and community engagement are essential for student success and growth. In LPS, we are committed to listening to and working with parents and community partners.”

The update included information about engagement plans at high-poverty schools, and engagement programs for English Language Learner families.   

In addition, Neal specifically updated the Board on the LPS Community Learning Centers and full-service community schools.  The city’s 26 current CLCs are located in schools throughout the city. They offer safe, supervised before- and after-school programs, weekend and summer enrichment opportunities and other support services for children, families and neighborhoods. 

  • Three additional Community Learning Centers were recently approved for LPS through the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant: at LPS for these schools: Lincoln High School, Lincoln Northeast High School and Randolph Elementary School.
  • CLC students who attend after-school programs consistently academically out-perform CLC school non-after-school attendees. Each year more sites are showing a positive impact on achievement scores with after-school academic support
  • Community Learning Centers all feature School Neighborhood Advisory Committees, and many operate parent-led Community Cafes.

Bids on commodities

Bids of more than $1 million were considered Tuesday to purchase nutrition items that include mozzarella cheese, barrel cheese and bulk chicken.

Recommended purchases were:

  • Nardone Brothers Baking Co. (Hanover, Pennsylvania): $388,382.70
  • Land O’ Lakes, Inc. (Arden Hills, Minnesota): 102,427.70
  • TysonFood, Inc. (Springdale Arkansas): 529,701.00

The Board will take a final vote on April 23.

Memorandum of Understanding

The Board approved a memorandum of understanding between LPS and the Foundation for LPS.

The MOU will:  

  • Strengthen the partnership between LPS and the Foundation, better serving students and the community.
  • Create a stronger partnership between the two organizations.
  • Ensure that the organizations align in both strategic goals and priorities.
  • Create a stronger clearinghouse for major donors
  • Builds collaborative communications strategies between the district and Foundation.

Staff Celebrations

The Board of Education recognized:

  •     Melissa Hernandez, Spanish teacher at Lincoln Northeast High Schools, named 2018 Outstanding World Language Teacher by the Nebraska International Languages Association.
  • Kristen Tangen, French teacher at Lincoln Southeast High School, named 2018 Nebraska French Teacher of the Year by the Nebraska International Languages Association.  
  • Mariah Wailes, Spanish teacher at Lincoln High School, named 2018 New World Language Teacher of the Year by the Nebraska International Languages Association. 

To view the entire Board meeting;
Go to: Livestream.com/lpsorg

Published: April 9, 2019, Updated: April 9, 2019