Highlights of 3/24 Board of Education regular meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, March 24, at the Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. 

First Reading

Policy Update - #5360 Student Directory Information

Lincoln Public Schools reviews policies on an ongoing basis and updates policies to ensure that they accurately reflect the ever-changing work of the district. The Board Student Learning Committee recommends revisions to policy 5360 that reflect concerns raised by Board members as well as the public about the availability of student directory information. The revisions limit the information that is released and how decisions are made regarding who can receive the information. The Board will hold a second reading and vote on the changes during the next meeting.

Issuing of Bonds

Lincoln Public Schools staff have created a spend-down schedule for the first 36 months to determine the amount needed for the first issuance of bonds as authorized in the Feb. 11 bond election. Staff have worked with the district’s financial advisor, its bond counsel and its general counsel to prepare a draft resolution and to meet all other requirements necessary. To allow staff flexibility in moving forward and take advantage of the current financial market, the Board waived the second reading and voted to approve the motion to issue bonds.

Issuing of Refunding of Bonds

The Board discussed a resolution to issue refunding bonds for the purpose of advance refunding 2014 bonds in an amount not to exceed $125,000,000. This would result in a reduction of debt service payable. To allow staff to take advantage of the current financial market, the Board waived the second reading and voted to approve the motion of refunding bonds.

Southeast High School Roofing Repair

The first project from the 2020 Bond Issue before the board is the partial reroofing of Southeast High School. The project could start now while there are no students in the building and should be completed by next fall. The Board waived the second reading and voted to approve the bid by Sprague Roofing Company for $1,749,900.

New High School Site Grading Package

The Board considered bids on mass grading and dirt work at the new high school site located near Northwest 48th Street. The Board waived the second reading and voted to approve the bid to Gana Trucking & Excavating for $1,303,830. Work will begin next week.

2020-21 Student Calendar Revision

Every election, the Lancaster County Election Commissioner uses 22 LPS schools as polling locations. LPS is able to provide adequate staffing at these polling sites when there is normal voter turnout to provide appropriate security for staff and students. The Election Commissioner is projecting a higher than normal voter turnout for the Nov. 3, 2020 general election. This increase in voter turnout at our locations can create potential difficulties in maintaining a safe environment for staff and students.

Staff recommended the student calendar for 2020-21 be changed to make Nov. 3, 2020 a non-school day. To make sure there are enough days, the calendar would then be revised to shorten fall break and make Oct. 15, 2020 a school day. To help families plan, the Board waived second reading and voted to approve the calendar change.

Second Reading

Bond Election

The Board of Education held a second reading to certify the results of the bond election held on Feb. 11 as submitted by the Lancaster County Election Commissioner. There were 36,761 votes cast in favor of the bonds and 22,471 votes cast against. The Board voted to approve the certifying of the bond election results.

Property Purchase

The Board held a second reading on the purchase of a small parcel of land and buildings adjacent to the new high school site on Northwest 48th Street. The Board voted to approve the purchase.

Annexed Property

The Board of Education assigns school attendance areas to property newly annexed to the City of Lincoln. This establishes school attendance areas prior to the sale of residential lots, allowing purchasers to know what schools their children will attend. Tonight the Board held a second reading to assign attendance areas to a newly annexed area near Fletcher Avenue in the Steven’s Creek area. The assigned attendance area will be Norwood Park Elementary School, Dawes Middle School and Northeast High School. The Board voted to approve the attendance areas.

U.S. Department of Justice Federal Grant - School Violence Prevention Grant Program

The Board held a second reading on the submission of the School Violence Prevention Grant application for up to $500,000 for a 36-month period. There is a 25% match requirement, which will be provided through existing district threat assessment team staff time as in-kind contribution. The district will apply for grant funds to purchase a real-time web-filtering platform for digital monitoring of district-sponsored content. The Board voted to approve the submission.

Portable Classrooms

Portable classrooms offer a short-term solution to add needed classroom space as Lincoln Public Schools manages short-term enrollment growth and construction at schools. The Board held a second reading to approve the bid for $790,419 to Génesis Contracting Group for the construction of portable classrooms to be installed at Pershing, Sheridan, and Lakeview elementary schools; Scott, Goodrich, and Schoo middle schools; and East High School. The Board voted to approve the bid.

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 the 2020 Thank You Teacher event.

LPS LIVE: Board Preview

Before every Board of Education meeting, Don Mayhew previews topics of interest with special guests. In Tuesday’s episode, he sat down with Matt Larson, Associate Superintendent for Instruction, to discuss remote learning at LPS during the COVID-19 Pandemic. 


Published: March 24, 2020, Updated: March 24, 2020