Highlights of 11/9 Board of Education Regular Meeting

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

You can watch the full meeting below:

Special Reports, Presentations and Celebrations of Success

Junior ROTC presentation

The Board heard a presentation from an instructor, Senior Master Sergeant Michael Miller, and numerous student cadets from the LPS Air Force Junior ROTC program. The program, based at Lincoln Northeast High School, is a leadership and character-building program and not a military recruitment program. The academic curriculum emphasizes global and cultural studies, the development of flight, applied flight sciences, military aerospace programs, and space exploration.

The program currently has 65 cadets, representing all six LPS high schools. The program places a strong focus on community service; cadets have already engaged in 681 hours of community service this school year. 

Staff celebration - Amy Allerhelligen

The Board regularly honors staff members who win state or national awards with a formal resolution. On Tuesday the Board honored Amy Allerhelligen from Calvert Elementary School, who was named the 2020 Elementary Art Educator of the Year by the Nebraska Art Teachers Association.

2021 LPS Pandemic Plan & Procedures

Board member Dr. Bob Rauner spoke about the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Lincoln and across the state and how that is starting to affect hospital capacity. He also encouraged those who are eligible to receive a booster shot to do so. He spoke about the success of the vaccine clinic for children ages 5-11 at Lincoln High School last weekend, as well as the upcoming clinic this Saturday, Nov. 13, at Lincoln Northeast High School, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

First Reading

Series 2021 Bond Issue

In 2020, voters approved to issue bonds of the school district in a principal amount not to exceed $290 million for the purpose of:

  1. constructing, furnishing and equipping a high school in the northwest area of the school district and a high school near the southeast area of the school district;
  2. constructing an elementary school in the northeast area of the school district;
  3. constructing, furnishing, equipping, renovating, remodeling and repairing Park Middle School and Everett Elementary School;
  4. constructing, furnishing, equipping, renovating, remodeling and repairing focus program facilities, early childhood facilities and athletic and activity facilities;
  5. constructing, furnishing, equipping, renovating, remodeling and repairing various school district facilities, additions and infrastructure throughout the school district; and
  6. acquiring sites and constructing related infrastructure improvements for school facilities of the school district.

LPS staff is now preparing for the second and final issuance of the authorized bonds and has worked with the district’s financial advisor (Piper Sandler & Co.), its bond counsel (Gilmore & Bell), and its general counsel (Perry, Guthery, Haase & Gessford) to prepare a draft resolution and to meet all other requirements necessary for the second issuance of bonds - for the amount of $95 million - that was authorized in the February 2020 bond election.

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

Middle School Classroom Projection

In 2014-15, projection devices were installed in middle school classrooms throughout the school district. Over the past five years, the technology in projectors has moved from incandescent bulbs to lasers. Also during that time, the cost of laser projectors have fallen to the current level where there is very little cost difference. Additionally, laser projectors provide greater brightness, generate less heat and do not require bulb replacement. The current projection devices with bulbs have reached the end of their life cycle and updated laser technology will allow the district to avoid costs associated with bulb replacement and increasing maintenance.

It’s recommended that LPS pay $827,975 to GovConnection (Merrimack, New Hampshire) for the purchase of Epson laser projection devices and wall mounts. The Board waived second reading and voted to approve the purchase.

Second Reading

Community Learning Centers agreements

LPS has various sites throughout the school district that provide services related to Community Learning Center activities.

It was recommended Tuesday that LPS continue agreements with the following organizations to offer programming and services at various LPS locations: Boys and Girls Club of Lincoln/Lancaster County; Cedars Youth Services; Civic Nebraska; Lincoln Housing Authority; Willard Community Center; YMCA of Lincoln. and Northeast Family Center

These agreements - totaling $929,688 - will be paid for through a combination of LPS general funds, federal funds and grants.

The Board voted to approve the proposed agreements.

New High Schools Gymnasium Equipment Install Package

LPS requested bids for the installation of gymnasium equipment for the two new high schools under construction. There was one bid submitted:

Sports Construction Midwest (Adel, Iowa) - $29,360

The Board voted to approve the bid. This will be paid for through the 2020 Bond Fund.

New High Schools Signage

LPS requested bids for signage for the two new high schools under construction and received the following:

ASI Signage Solutions (Omaha) - $118,130

Love Signs LLC (Grand Island) - $126,518.22

Ace Sign Displays (South Sioux City, Neb.) - $133,580

Nebraska Sign (Lincoln) - $179,189

The Board voted to approve the lowest bid, from ASI Signage Solutions. This will be paid for through the 2020 Bond Fund.

New High Schools Goal Posts

LPS requested bids for goal posts for the football fields at the two new high schools under construction and received the following:

Stadium Sports (Wayne, Neb.) - $30,280

Sportsfield Specialties (Delhi, NY) - $35,694

The Board voted to approve the lowest bid, from Stadium Sports.

Standing Bear High School Glulams

LPS sought bids for glulams for the new Standing Bear High School currently under construction. Glulam is a stress-rated engineered wood beam composed of wood laminations that are bonded together with durable, moisture-resistant adhesives. This will be used in the schools’ swimming pool areas. LPS received the following bids:

R.E.W Supply LTD (St. Paul, Minn.) - $474,000

Bell Structural Solutions (New Brighton, Minn.) - $507,230

Western Wood Structures (Tualatin, Oregon) - $513,008

Leslie Structural Sales (Omaha, Neb.) - $582,750

Timber Systems LLC (Lapeer, Mich.) - $600,426

The Board voted to approve the lowest bid, from R.E.W Supply LTD.

Informational Items and Reports from Board Committees

Ad-Hoc Committee for Redistricting

Board member Lanny Boswell serves on this committee with Board members Barb Baier and Kathy Danek. Boswell shared that after the federal census is conducted - every 10 years - the Board works with the Lancaster County election commissioner to adjust the seven subdistrict boundaries to account for changes in population.

With nearly 300,000 people living in the LPS school district, it is estimated each subdistrict should have roughly 42,500 people. Due to each area of the city growing at different rates over the last decade, some of the current subdistricts have populations that vary substantially from that average population. The committee can rebalance the subdistricts by reassigning precincts from one subdistrict to another.

Boswell informed the Board that the next step is to review options and draft maps that rebalances the districts in different ways. The committee plans to have recommendations ready for first reading at  the Nov. 23 Board meeting, with second reading and approval at the Dec.14 meeting.

The deadline for Board approval of updated redistricting is the end of the 2021 calendar year.

Public Comment

There were 16 citizens who addressed the Board during the two 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 school district. Tuesday’s video featured students from the Independence Academy and their work at The Bay with its Freight Farm. 

Published: November 9, 2021, Updated: November 9, 2021