Highlights of 2/9 Board of Education Regular Meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 9, at the Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. 


Staff Celebration

The Board honored physical education teachers Lis Brenden from Lincoln Southwest High School and Mallory Nutt from Randolph Elementary School with formal resolutions. The Nebraska Society of Health and Physical Educators named Nutt the state’s Elementary School Physical Education Teacher of the Year and Brenden the state’s Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year.

2020 LPS Pandemic Plan & Procedures Update

Superintendent Steve Joel gave a pandemic update to the Board: 

  • The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department updated the COVID-19 risk dial today from Orange to Yellow. LPS will meet with the health department this week to see what adjustments will need to be made to school protocols. 
  • Seniors now have the opportunity to attend school full time, but not very many are taking advantage of the offering. LPS will examine what other high school groups would benefit from full-time, in-person instruction.
  • The LLCHD continues to move through the vaccination tiers as identified by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. There are several groups ahead of educators in Phase 1B, and it is unknown at this time when enough doses of the vaccine will be made available for LPS staff. We will continue to advocate for LPS staff to receive the vaccine as soon as the doses are available. When information about vaccine distribution becomes available, it will be shared with staff via email.

First Reading

Resolution regarding school health screenings

State law requires students in early childhood, kindergarten, grades 1-4, 7 and 10 be screened annually for vision, hearing, dental and height/weight. 

This year school nurses have made efforts to screen all required students - including those who are attending remotely - but due to the pandemic not every student will receive their required screenings. School nurses have contacted families of remote learners, information on screening is available on the LPS website, and families of remote learners received a communication concerning required screenings and options for completion. LPS health staff is committed to conducting school health screenings next school year for those students who are not screened this year.

The Board discussed a resolution that acknowledges the challenges presented by the pandemic to health screening completion and waives the screening mandate for students who cannot be screened in the 2020-21 school year. 

The Board will vote on the resolution at its next meeting.

Student calendar for 2023-24

The Board on Tuesday discussed the proposed student calendar for 2023-24.

Each year a joint LPS/Lincoln Education Association committee, composed of parents, Board members, education association leaders, teachers and administrators, recommends a student calendar for the Board’s consideration. It has been the Board’s practice to adopt calendars more than a full calendar year before it is in place.

The proposed calendar for 2023-24:

  • First day of school Monday, Aug. 14, 2023
  • Last day of school, Thursday, May 23, 2024
  • Quarter break, Oct. 16-17, 2023
  • Thanksgiving break, Nov. 22-24, 2023
  • Winter break, Dec. 23, 2023 through Jan. 5, 2024
  • Quarter break, March 11-15, 2024
  • Spring break, March 29, 2024
  • Arbor Day state holiday, April 26, 2024

 The Board will vote on the calendar at its next meeting. 

Park Indoor Air Quality Construction Project

Bids were requested from interested vendors to provide Indoor Air Quality construction at Park Middle School. This will be paid for through the 2020 Bond Fund. 

Three bids were submitted, with the lowest being from Hausmann Construction of Lincoln for $16,914,000. The Board will vote on the bid at its next meeting.

FAA Aviation Maintenance Technical Workers Grant Program

Airline industry projections for workforce needs in the future are alarming. Boeing, the leading manufacturer of airlines in the U.S., predicts a world demand of 754,000 new technicians by 2037. The global aviation maintenance technician workforce will need to add almost 38,000 new technicians annually in order to meet the projected demand.

As part of an effort to address this issue, Congress in 2018 passed the FAA Reauthorization Act, which called for the establishment of the Aviation Workforce Development Grant Program. The program’s goal is to provide grants to eligible projects to support the education and recruitment of aviation maintenance technical workers and the development of the aviation maintenance workforce.

To support the local workforce needs in this area, the LPS Curriculum Department is partnering with Duncan Aviation to develop and launch an LPS aviation focus program at Lincoln North Star High School. This program is focused on helping students identify the best aviation track for them and exposing them to a variety of potential aviation-related careers, with an emphasis on aviation maintenance. LPS began offering two courses in aviation during the 2019-20 school year at North Star and served 45 students. LPS then added two additional courses the following school year and served 60 students. 

With interest growing, LPS will now apply for a $500,000 Aviation Maintenance Grant to help launch this new focus program, which will expand course offerings and provide students with hands-on learning experiences in the field of aviation maintenance. There is no match requirement for the grant.

The Board will vote on the grant submission at its next meeting. The grant application is due March 22.

Second Reading

LPS WiFi Infrastructure Update

The majority of devices on the LPS network use wireless connectivity. It’s the only form of network connectivity for the district’s 45,000 Chromebooks and more than 9,000 iPads. It’s also the primary method used by more than 4,000 staff members to connect with their district-issued laptops. A robust, reliable and resilient wireless network plays a critical role in the instructional, operational and administrative work of the school district.

The school district’s current wireless equipment is nearing the end of support from its manufacturer. Most of the current wireless access points are at least seven years old. 

In compliance with Federal E-rate procurement requirements, sealed proposals for Wireless Network Infrastructure, including Access Points and associated software licensing, were sought. 

The Board voted to accept the bid from DataVison LLC for $1,664,975.26.

The Career Academy Update

Board Member Don Mayhew updated the Board on the latest with TCA. More than 350 students have applied so far to attend TCA next fall. Human Services and Academic Transfer are two new pathways that will be added. 

Public Comment

No members of the public attended the meeting to address the Board during Public Comment. 

Glimpses of LPS

We open every Board meeting with a video that highlights the amazing things taking place in our schools. Tonight’s video featured the TeamMates of Lincoln mentoring program and how mentors and mentees have adapted during the pandemic. 

LPS LIVE Board Update

On LPS LIVE Board Update, Board Member Don Mayhew sits down with LEA President Rita Bennett and Assistant Superintendent for Governmental Relations and General Administration John Neal to discuss the proposed 2023-24 student calendar.

Published: February 9, 2021, Updated: February 9, 2021