Highlights: Safe and Successful Kids Interlocal Board Regular Meeting - Sept. 30, 2022

The Safe and Successful Kids Interlocal Board held a regular meeting on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 at 12:15 p.m. in the Boardroom of the Steve Joel District Leadership Center. Board members present included Lanny Boswell, Kathy Danek, Leirion Gaylor Baird, Richard Meginnis, Annie Mumgaard and Bennie Shobe. 

Election of officers

Each year the Board needs to appoint officers. Kathy Danek was voted as chair for the 2022-2023 year, and Bennie Shobe was voted as vice chair.  The role of chair is rotated each year between the City and Lincoln Public Schools.

Resolution recognizing Steve Joel and Lynn Johnson

The SSK Board read and voted on resolutions honoring retired LPS Superintendent Steve Joel and retired Director of Lincoln Parks and Recreation Lynn Johnson.

Update on mental health services

Members of the Threat Assessment Team and Lincoln Public Schools Student Services provided an update on mental health services offered through the Safe and Successful Kids interlocal agreement. 

The Threat Assessment Team is aligned with national standards on targeted violence management and works collaboratively to assess and manage targeted violence risks. Members of the team include Jon Sundermeier, LPS security coordinator; Allyson Headrick, LPS safety social work coordinator; Nate Hill, Lincoln Police Department investigator; Keri Nider, Blue Valley Mental Health therapist; and soon will be adding a safety social worker to the team.

The green Safe to Say button on the Lincoln Public Schools website is one tool the team uses to help identify possible threats. Anyone can anonymously report concerning behavior or comments. Concerning behavior might include warning signs such as stalking, hostile or negative behavior that elicits fear or discomfort, domestic violence, sighting of a weapon, rumor of a weapon, disturbed or unusual behavior, suicide threats and threatening or intimidating contact and/or communications. 

The team receives referrals, the majority of them coming from schools. The referral is then tracked in an incident report system. The team averages over 120 documented situations each year.

With the help of Blue Valley Behavioral Health, Hope Spoke, and Family Service of Lincoln, the team helps eliminate barriers for behavioral health supports for students with safety concerns. They provide ongoing therapy, evaluations, crisis response and follow-up, and assistance in the Student Support Program. 

The Department of Justice STOP School Violence Program Grants extends the outreach and strengthens the capacity of the school district to support students and prevent violence. The SSK interlocal funds are a foundational element that allow an extension in training and management efforts. As a result, the community is more informed and engaged in the culture of reporting,  and our school district has a robust team to respond to reported concerns.

LPS weaves therapy and mental health supports into the Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports for Behavior (MTSS-B). LPS also has 30 elementary school counselors, 36 middle school counselors, 44 high school counselors, 43 school social workers and 48 school psychologists. 

The Youth Assistance Process (YAP) is an intervention-based service where the student’s developing behavioral health (mental health/substance abuse) issues are addressed. Issues are resolved within the YAP services or will result in a referral for behavioral health treatment. The parents of the student and relevant school staff will be involved as necessary to help create the best possible outcome. 

Ongoing challenges are therapist retention and recruitment, accessibility of outside community services and the continued impact of the pandemic on mental health. The groups hope to improve the integration between therapy and school supports, improve student outcomes and align to the Board Equity Goals of trauma informed practices and restorative practices with school-based therapy services.

Amendments to rules of governance

The Interlocal Board approved amendments to the SSK rules of governance. These amendments to the rules of governance represent the final step in re-defining the Safe and Successful Kids Interlocal Board’s work.  The Interlocal Board transformed to a Board that reviews programmatic data and recommends programmatic changes based on that data, rather than on budgeting.  The elected officials of Lincoln Public Schools and the City of Lincoln will continue to be responsible for budgeting in each of the three programmatic areas set forth in the Interlocal Agreement.

SSKIB meeting schedule

The Interlocal Board voted to approve the following meeting schedule:

  • November 3, 2022 at 6:30 p.m.
  • February 23, 2023 at 12:15 p.m.
  • September 23, 2023 at 12:15 p.m.

More information and agendas can be found on the website: https://app.lincoln.ne.gov/city/sskib/.

Published: September 30, 2022, Updated: September 30, 2022