Lincoln Public Schools: Highlights of 10/22 Board of Education work session and regular meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for the fourth of six planned work sessions and a regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next work session and meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

Work Session

During the work session, the Board Planning Committee proposed a 10-Year Facility and Infrastructure Plan to be considered for a potential 2020 bond issue. 

High School Facility Investments

  • Two new high schools - one located in northwest and one located in southeast Lincoln - with core facilities comparable to our existing high schools and space to serve 1,000 students. These new schools are planned to accommodate 2,000 students through future expansion. Each new high school will include space to accommodate a focus program.
  • At the six existing high schools, enhancements and renovations of specialized learning spaces: Arts, Family Consumer Sciences, Industrial Technology and Science.
  • New focus program facility modifications or enhancements as required to support programming at our existing high schools and program sites.
  • Additional athletic and activity facilities with the overall vision to include a football, track and baseball complex at the new northwest high school site; and a soccer and softball complex at the new southeast high school site. While the bond would include funding to begin work, additional partners will be needed to finish the complexes. In addition, an investment in turf at our existing high school sites.
  • High school site acquisition and development.

Middle School Facility Investments

  • Enhancements to address program deficiencies at six of our existing middle schools.  Projects will include additional physical education and multi-purpose spaces in schools currently short of square footage when compared to the school district standard.
  • Address capacity challenges at Scott Middle School with additional instructional space, along with addressing program deficiencies by adding a gym.
  • At the middle schools, enhancements and renovations of specialized learning spaces: Arts, Family Consumer Sciences, Industrial Technology and Science. 
  • Park Middle School Indoor Air Quality and Renovation.  

Elementary School Facility Investments

  • A new four-section PK-5 grade school in northeast Lincoln.
  • An addition at Wysong Elementary School to transition the school from a four-section school to a six-section school, adding capacity for the current population and growth.
  • An Early Childhood Center at Arnold Elementary School to serve pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students. This will increase early childhood offerings in the area and create space for growth in our PK-5 student population.
  • Everett Elementary School Indoor Air Quality and renovation. Everett is the last elementary school to transition to the geothermal heating and cooling model.  

The 10-Year Facility and Infrastructure plan also includes funds to acquire new school sites for future elementary and middle schools, along with addressing other school district infrastructure needs through depreciation funds. For example:

  • The replacement of dated playground equipment
  • Roof recapping and replacements
  • Lighting upgrades
  • Bleachers
  • Family restrooms
  • Parking lot paving
  • Site modifications to enhance traffic flow

Comments from the presentation:

  • Don Mayhew, Board Planning Committee chair: “Thank you to my Board colleagues for taking the time to meet with staff to discuss your priorities and concerns. There was a fair amount of overlap in the feedback we received, and we still have to work out some details. This is an excellent place to start the conversation as it addresses the needs in every zip code and at every grade level.”
  • Lanny Boswell, Board President: “I just want to say thank you. The Planning Committee and the staff have done an excellent job of identifying a starting point for the 10-year plan discussions and I just want to thank you for that work.”

During the work session, the Board also heard presentations from staff on requirements for Early Childhood Education and Lincoln Community Learning Centers.

Click here to view the full work session.

Regular Meeting

Special report

Summer School Presentation
The Board heard a special report about summer offerings at Lincoln Public Schools from Curriculum Director Takako Olson, Federal Programs Director Linda Hix, and Summer High School Administrator Edwin Bonner.

  • Approximately 1,980 high schools students participated in 49 courses and 164 sections. There were 138 students who obtained their high school diploma after attending summer courses.
  • 1,270 elementary students and 263 middle school students were served by the K-8 Title summer programs.
  • 489 elementary students and middle school students who attended the Level I ELL summer school four-week program. 
  • 107 Title I eighth-grade students were able to get a jump start on high school and obtain credit by attending Oral Communications and Fitness for Life classes at their future high school.
  • 59 Title I middle school students participated in course work and earned credit at The Career Academy.
  • 53 high school Level I and II ELL students took classes over the summer.

Second reading, action

The Board held a second reading and approved revisions to several guidelines and policies. 

Legislative Guidelines for 2019-2020
In order to communicate the positions of the Board of Education, the Board approves Legislative guidelines that provide guidance to district staff and representatives communicating with governmental bodies. A change to the guidelines would communicate more clearly support for Educational Service Unit (ESU) 18 and the state-wide network of ESUs.

Policy on Political Activity
LPS reviews policies on an on-going basis and updates policies to ensure they accurately reflect the ever-changing work of the school district. During review, the Government Relations committee found that policies 1310 and 1420 both provided information on Board political activity. The committee recommends merging the two existing policies, and regulations under policy 1420 will become regulations of policy 1310.

Student celebration

This is the 20th anniversary of the Lincoln Community Learning Centers (CLCs) serving Lincoln Public Schools. The Lights On Afterschool event hosted each October by the CLCs is a national celebration to honor programs dedicated to ensuring that all children have access to quality, affordable after-school programs. This year’s event will be held Thursday, Oct. 24, 6-8 p.m. at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo. Lincoln stakeholders shared more information about the CLCs and the planned event with the Board.

  Presenters included:

  • Lincoln High School senior Levi Staton
  • Parent Samantha Anderson, whose children attend West Lincoln Elementary School, Goodrich Middle School and Lincoln North Star High School.

Click here to watch the complete student celebration.

LPS LIVE: Board Preview

Community Learning Centers
Before every Lincoln Board of Education meeting, Board member Don Mayhew sits down with guests to discuss various topics around Lincoln Public Schools. On Tuesday, Mayhew visited with Nola Derby-Bennett, Community Learning Centers director, about the important services our CLCs provide and to promote the Lights On After School event on Oct. 24. View the full episode here.

Published: October 22, 2019, Updated: October 22, 2019