Highlights of 8/25 Board of Education Regular Meeting and Educational Service Unit 18 Board Regular Meeting

Board of Education Regular Meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 25, at the Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St.

To watch the full video, click here.

Presentation: Pandemic Plan and Procedure

LPS school nurses have been assisting the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department with contact tracing over the summer and during this school year. LPS Health Services Supervisor Wendy Rau and Sharon Baker, school nurse at Hartley and Randolph elementary schools, presented to the Board an overview of how this detailed process works for various scenarios.

First Reading

LPS 2020-21 Budget

The Board held first reading for the school district’s 2020-21 budget. The proposed budget is $460.4 million, an expenditure increase of less than one-half percent. The proposed budget provides no increase in the overall property tax levy and a continued emphasis on student needs, including an increase in funding for Early Childhood Education and school counselors. The proposed budget minimized reductions to the Multicultural and Equity Office and Special Education Department.

There were two public forums along with a series of work sessions in June and July. A public hearing was held on Monday, August 24. The Board will vote on the budget at its next meeting. 

School attendance areas for newly annexed property

The Board assigns school attendance areas to property newly annexed 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 two parcels of land, which automatically brings this property into the district of Lincoln Public Schools.

The schools assigned to the annexation of the new high school site near 70th St. and Saltillo Road for the 2020-21 school year are Wysong Elementary School, Moore Middle School and East High School. 

The schools assigned to Iron Ridge PUD for the 2020-21 school year are Adams Elementary School, Moore Middle School and Southwest High School.

The Board will vote on the attendance areas at its next meeting.

Turf improvements at Northeast, Southeast

LPS received bids for synthetic turf improvements at Northeast and Southeast high schools. The work would include site demolition, grading, installation of storm sewer piping, synthetic turf and other minor improvements. It was recommended that the lowest bidder meeting project specifications should be chosen, which was Nemaha Landscape Construction, Inc. (Lincoln, Neb.) for a price of $1,413,490.00.

The Board waived second reading and approved the proposed bid.

2020-21 Insurance Rates

The Board reviewed the proposed insurance rates for LPS for the 2020-21 year. This year’s rates include multiple increases, most notably in the property lines. Tom Champoux from the school district’s provider, UNICO, addressed the Board and spoke about some of the reasons for these increases, which he noted are not unique to LPS or even to education. These reasons include fewer insurance carriers competing for business and an increase in events such as the California wildfires. “I've been in the insurance business 27 years and I've never experienced anything quite like this,” Champoux said.

The Board waived second reading and approved the 2020-21 insurance rates.

Pulled from Consent Agenda: Changes to Appraisal System

Due to the nature of the pandemic, staff recommended the Board approve a temporary change to the appraisal process. The recommended action is to allow for temporary changes to be made to the appraisal process for certain certificated staff for the 2020-2021 school year. These changes will include suspension of all appraisal processes for permanent certificated staff (veteran teachers beyond the third year of teaching within LPS). Appraisal processes for probationary certificated staff (those in the first three years of teaching within LPS) will remain the same as required by state law. In addition, all appraisal processes for individuals on notice of performance concerns or intensive assistance will remain unchanged. Appraisers will retain the ability to move teachers to summative or notice of performance concerns if it is deemed necessary during the year.

The Board voted to approve the agenda item.

Second Reading

Interlocal agreement for school resource officers and threat assessment officer

Lincoln Public Schools partners with the City of Lincoln to fund six school resource officers for high schools, six school resource officers at the middle school level, and a threat assessment officer who works as part of the LPS Threat Assessment Team. This is part of the Safe and Successful Kids Interlocal Agreement approved in 2018 that also funds mental health support through an additional school social worker and additional therapist services, and sustained funding for Lincoln’s 31 Community Learning Centers.

An amendment to the agenda item was proposed that would delay the approval of this funding agreement, giving time to renew the interlocal agreement with further analysis of data and engagement with the community in order to develop a plan that has strong expectations, accountability and follow up. The Board did not pass the amendment, two voting for and five against. 

The Board voted 5-2 to renew the agreement for the Sept. 1, 2020-Aug. 31, 2021 time period. As part of this, LPS will pay $508,020.88 from its general fund. The agreement stipulates that the cost per police officer cannot increase by more than 5 percent per calendar year. The increase for 2020-21 is 4.94 percent. This agreement can be renewed on an annual basis. 

Public Comment

There were 18 citizens who addressed the Board during Public Comment. You can view the full video of the meeting that includes public comment here.

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 teachers from Belmont Elementary School teaching students in-class and via Zoom.

You can view the full Glimpses here.

Education Service Unit 18 Regular Meeting

Following the Lincoln Board of Education meeting, the Educational Service Unit 18 Board held a regular meeting. The ESU 18 Board held the first reading of its 2020-21 budget.

ESU 18’s proposed 2020-21 budget totals $14,892,001, a decrease of $354,610 from 2019-20. 

ESU 18 is funded through a variety of sources, including property taxes, state aid, Federal Programs and interlocal agreements. ESU 18 funds a variety of programs to enhance education for LPS students, including these major areas:

  • Ongoing leadership coaching for principals
  • Access to technology for students and staff
  • Information management
  • Large scale state and district assessments
  • Data analysis
  • School improvement planning
  • Professional learning
  • Student access to high quality library and media resources, both online and in print 

The ESU 18 Board will vote on the budget at its next meeting.


Published: August 25, 2020, Updated: August 31, 2020