Highlights of the 2/11 Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at the Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 25.

Bond Election

Board President Lanny Boswell opened the meeting by offering preliminary results from the 2020 Bond Election. By 6 p.m., more than 80 percent of ballots had been counted, with 61 percent voting in favor of the bond vs. 39 percent opposed.

 “The LPS bond has passed,” he said, to a round of applause. “I want to express our appreciation for everyone who has supported this effort. The Board of Education is deeply grateful to the members of the High School Task Force and Superintendent’s Facility Advisory Committee, who helped craft this proposal; Dr. Joel and the LPS District Office staff, who helped inform the community of its details; the parents, teachers and students who stood up for public school; and the elected officials, community and business leaders who supported this effort. We are so fortunate to live in a community that has the highest expectations of our schools and a community that so strongly supports its public schools.”

 Superintendent Steve Joel also expressed gratitude later in the meeting.

“Thank you so much to a tremendous community and tremendous staff for their support of this bond issue,” he said. He then turned his attention to the Board: “This community needs to know just how much time and how much effort you put in on a daily basis, on a weekly basis, over the course of a year to really support the work that takes place in our classrooms, which is nothing short of phenomenal.”

Watch a press conference about the bond election held at LPS District Office after the meeting: 

First reading

Multi-tiered System of Support for Behavior

Lincoln Public Schools reviews policies on an ongoing basis and updates policies to ensure they accurately reflect the ever-changing work of the district. The revisions to Policy 5400 and Regulations 5400.1 and 5400.2 are recommended to make the language of Policy 5400 (previously Student Conduct and Discipline) consistent with the district’s Multi-tiered System of Support for Behavior. The Board discussed these revisions and will hold a second reading and vote at the Feb. 25 Board meeting.

Second reading

Family Literacy Grant 

We currently have 12 family literacy programs in LPS that serve more than 180 refugee and immigrant parents. This two-year grant from United Way would allow LPS to continue with those programs in our school district. This application would replace the current United Way grant funding that expires this summer. The Board voted to approve the proposal submission. 

Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Grant Program 

Staff propose to apply for a competitive grant to the Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance, within the U.S. Department of Justice. These funds would help with threat assessment training. LPS utilizes a four-person district threat assessment team, which responds to potential threats identified in over 60 schools and programs, making it crucial that school personnel clearly understand how to identify and respond to potential threats and how to work collaboratively with the district team. The Board voted to approve the application. 

Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for the Data Center at LPSDO

When the district office was first designed and built, there was an area identified through long-range planning in the basement for a data center. This agenda item sets a guaranteed maximum price for the project to finish the data center. In November, the Board approved contract documents and Cheever Construction Company to provide construction manager services. The proposed GMP for the project will be set at approximately $1,146,300. The Board voted to approve the GMP. 

Staff Celebration

Three Lincoln Public Schools world language teachers have been honored as the best in the state by the Nebraska International Languages Association. The Board recognized the following teachers with resolutions at the meeting: Jami Holbein Swanson of Lincoln North Star High School, 2019 Spanish Teacher of the Year; Sasha Van Zandt from Lincoln Southwest High School, 2019 French Teacher of the Year; and Kelleen Browning, a German teacher at Lincoln Southeast High School, 2019 New Language Teacher of the Year Award. 


Glimpses of LPS

We open every Board meeting with a video that highlights the amazing teaching and learning taking place in our schools. Tonight’s video featured a partnership between Lincoln Public Schools and Lincoln Electric System that allowed physics students at Lincoln North Star High School to study wind turbines and the energy they produce through a hands-on classroom lesson. 

Published: February 11, 2020, Updated: February 11, 2020