Highlights of 7/27 Board of Education Regular Meeting and Budget Work Session
Budget Work Session
The Lincoln Board of Education met for a Budget Work Session on Tuesday, July 27, at the Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St.
Lincoln Board of Education Regular Meeting
The Lincoln Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, July 27, at the Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St.
Pandemic and Emergency Powers Resolution
In March 2020, the Board approved its original pandemic and emergency powers resolution to provide the ability for prompt school district reactions to the evolving COVID-19 coronavirus so as to not prevent, hinder or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency.
In June 2020, the Board terminated that resolution and approved a new pandemic and emergency powers resolution, which approved a reopening plan for the fall of 2020 and among other things also provided for emergency powers as long as members of the Board of Education were reasonably informed of such actions taken pursuant to [such] authority.
In light of changing circumstances and the new 2021-22 Safe Return to School Plan, it’s recommended that resolution should now also be terminated.
The Board will vote on the recommendation at its next meeting.
Board of Education and Superintendent’s Annual Goals and Priorities
Every year the Board evaluates the superintendent and develops priorities for the coming school year. At Tuesday’s meeting, the following 2021-22 Board and superintendent goals and priorities were presented for consideration:
- By April 1, 2022, develop and present to the Board a comprehensive learning acceleration plan with specific strategies/interventions, such as increasing instructional time, to maximize Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funds to improve outcomes for all students.
- By Sept. 1, 2021, present to the Board specific measurables to assess disparities in student learning outcomes, students’ school experience, and the composition of certified personnel. By April 1, 2022, present to the Board a plan to reduce these disparities and achieve more equitable outcomes.
Proposed Agreements with Maintenance Employees Association and Transportation Employees Association
The Board has recognized the Maintenance Employees Association and Transportation Employees Association as the exclusive bargaining agents to negotiate salary, fringe benefits and working conditions for members of their employee groups. LPS has negotiated with these employee groups and a tentative agreement has been reached with LPS for the 2021-22 school year.
The proposed agreements are as follows:
The total package for 2021-22 is a 1.58% across the board increase. The total package includes a salary increase of 1.51%, increases in Social Security and retirement costs, and a 2.96% increase in health insurance premiums.Four Alternative Network Options (health insurance) will be available for all maintenance employees beginning in the fall 2021.
The total package for 2021-22 is 1.83%. The total package includes a salary increase of 1.51%, increases in Social Security and retirement costs - and a 2.96% increase in health insurance premiums. Four Alternative Network Options (health insurance) will be available for all Transportation employees beginning in the fall 2021.
The Board waived second reading and approved the proposed agreements.
U.S. Department of Justice Federal Grant - STOP School Violence Grant Program
LPS is proposing to write a competitive application to the Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance, within the U.S. Department of Justice, as part of the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Grant Program. This program funds school safety projects that address one of two purpose areas: (1) To provide training to school personnel on preventing student violence against others and themselves, including how to respond to mental health crises; or (2) To develop and implement threat assessment and/or intervention teams, which must coordinate with law enforcement agencies and school personnel.
LPS utilizes a four-person 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 district will apply for grant funds for multiple training opportunities:
- Threat identification training for all secondary school staff, including focus programs, over the course of three years.
- Specialized threat management training for smaller, school-based threat assessment teams in secondary buildings, which will increase their competency for supporting the work of the district threat assessment team, including development of common language and protocols.
- Supplemental training for the district threat team, which includes Lincoln Police Department and Blue Valley Behavioral Health staff.
- Training for clinicians in secondary schools on WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) programming to support students returning to school after a mental health community placement.
- Training on trauma and behavioral supports for IIn School Suspension Supervisors, Campus Supervisors and Student Support Technicians.
The Board will vote on the grant application at its next meeting.
Interlocal Cooperation Act for School Resource Officers and Threat Assessment Officer
It’s proposed that LPS enter into an agreement with the City of Lincoln for providing 12 school resource officers and a threat assessment officer for Sept. 1, 2021, through Aug. 31, 2022. This agreement may be renewed for additional one-year periods upon mutual written agreement between LPS and the City of Lincoln. The resource officers are assigned to LPS middle and high schools and the threat assessment officer works district-wide. The officers assist with the education of students, assist staff and facilitate communication between LPS and the police department.
This would be an expenditure of $533,169 from the LPS general fund. The cost per officer per year payable by LPS cannot be greater than the cost the prior year, compounded by a growth limitation of 5 percent per calendar year. The increase for 2021 is 4.95 percent.
The Board will vote on the proposed agreement at its next meeting.
New High Schools Construction Projects
The Board waived second reading and approved five construction project bids for the new high schools.
Standing Bear High School Landscaping and Seeding Package
- Nebraska Nursery & Color Garden (Lincoln, Neb.): $328,946
Standing Bear High School Electrical Package
- Gregg Electric Co. (Lincoln, Neb.): $652,300
Both bids were the lowest received. This will be paid for through the 2020 Bond Fund.
New High Schools Expansion Control Package
The Board waived second reading and voted to accept a bid of $75,924 from Williams Restoration Co. (Papillion, Neb.) for an expansion control package for the two new high schools under construction. It was the only bid received and will be paid for through the 2020 Bond Fund.
New High Schools Site Irrigation Package
The Board waived second reading and voted to approve a bid of $321,782 from Millard Sprinkler/HEP, Inc. (Omaha/Lincoln, Neb.) for irrigation work for the two new high schools under construction. It was the lowest bid received and will be paid for through the 2020 Bond Fund.
Architecture and Engineering Services for New High School Athletics Complexes
In June 2019, the Board approved a contract with The Clark Enersen Partners, now known as Clark & Enersen, for design and construction administration services for the two new high schools.
The project scope under the contract has been adjusted to include basic services for design and construction administration work on new activities complexes at the high school sites. Fees for the adjusted basic services are not to exceed $830,000.
Every year district policy is reviewed and recommendations for changes are solicited from schools and departments. Transportation schedules are prepared and a summary of needs is balanced against staff and equipment available to the school district. On Tuesday the Board approved the transportation plan that was presented at the June 22 meeting.
For the 2021-22 school year - like past years - the LPS Transportation Department will transport only those students who qualify under provisions of state law, including:
- Elementary and middle school students residing more than four miles from their school attendance area;
- Special education students whose Individual Education Plan (IEP) require transportation as essential to learning;
- Students who have been moved for the benefit of the district to relieve overcrowding, due to major facility renovations, efficiency in use of buildings and/or staff.
In addition, the Board may approve other transportation areas based on unique circumstances and for the purpose of equalizing school enrollments and facilitating programs.
Special Education - 7000 series
Periodically, changes in federal or state law requires the Lincoln Board of Education to review existing policies to ensure compliance with these changes. Following each session of the Nebraska Unicameral, the Board’s policies are reviewed to identify the policies that need to be deleted, revised, or added. Updates to Policy 7000 are recommended to keep the policy aligned with the Nebraska Administrative Code. On Tuesday the Board approved updates.
From the Superintendent
In the Superintendent’s Report, Steve Joel informed the Board that LPS continues to meet with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department to get the latest information and recommendations as we plan for students and staff to return to school.
The Board adjourned into closed session for litigation and legal advice.
A total of 32 citizens addressed the Board during two seperate public comment periods. You can view their comments as part of the full meeting video here.
Glimpses of LPS
We open every Board meeting with a video that highlights the amazing things taking place in our schools. Tuesday’s video featured the LPS summer JumpStart program.
Published: July 27, 2021, Updated: July 27, 2021