Highlights of the 5/23 Lincoln Board of Education regular meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for its regular meeting on Tuesday, May 23, at the Lincoln Public Schools Steve Joel District Leadership Center, 5905 O Street. The full meeting video and a summary are below.

Special reports, presentations and celebrations of success

BackPack Extra Mile Walk Recognition

LPS BackPack Extra Mile Walk organizers Kim Schmidt and Jess Jefferson presented the top fundraisers for 2023:

  • Top Elementary School: Maxey Elementary, $10,943.82
  • Top Middle School: Lux Middle School, $2,032.64
  • Top High School: Southeast High School, $1,072.69
  • Top LPS Department: SJDLC-Computing Services $1,758.16

Approximately $126,776 was raised during this year’s event. 

Food Bank of Lincoln President Michaella Kumke thanked the staff, students and community for their continued support in feeding students through the BackPack program.

Equity Cadre report

Members of the LPS Scholar Equity Cadre presented to the Board a highlight of their State of Diversity & Equity Address that will be presented to the community at noon on June 15, in the Boardroom at the Steve Joel District Leadership Center. 

The group centered their time during the school year to address two themes:

  • “How are LPS scholars thinking, seeing and feeling about diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in schools?" 
  • "How are scholars being impacted by the current LPS school climate?" 

Board equity report

Staff updated the Board and community about the work and progress towards the LPS Board of Education Equity Goals that were presented in the spring of 2022.

The four goals include:

  • Graduation Rate: Raise the “All Students” graduation rate to 87%, and reduce existing differentials from “All Students” by 50%.
  • Positive Behavior: Reduce total suspensions for “All Students” by 20%, and reduce disproportionality ratios to 1.2 or less for all student groups.   
  • Honors Course Enrollment: Reduce disproportionality by 75% between “All Students” who have completed at least one honors course, and each student group.
  • Diverse Staff: Increase the percentage of certified staff from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds by 25%, to a target of 8.1%.

First reading

Newly annexed property to the City of Lincoln

The Board of Education 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 proposal assigns the newly annexed area of Hoppe’s Echo Addition to Pyrtle Elementary School, Lux Middle School and East High School.

The Board will hold a second reading and vote at the next meeting.

Proposed 2023-2024 pay rates - substitutes and miscellaneous employees

The Board held first reading on the proposed 2023-2024 pay rates for substitute and miscellaneous employees groups. Generally, the recommended salary increases ranged from no increase to a 3.32% increase, depending on the employee group. The determination of what salary to recommend was made in conjunction with the supervisor of that employee group and an assessment of the availability of candidates for the positions. 

A full list of the proposed pay rates can be found here. The Board will hold a second reading and vote on the proposed rates at the next meeting.

Second reading

Student fees - Policy 5520

The Board annually reviews and approves Policy 5520 to ensure that its policy is in accordance with the Public Elementary and Secondary Student Fees Authorization Act. This year, there were no proposed changes to the policy.

The district’s general policy is to provide for the free instruction in school in accordance with the Nebraska Constitution and state and federal law. This generally means that the school district’s policy is to provide free instruction for courses that are required by state law or regulation and to provide the staff, facility, equipment, and materials necessary for such instruction without charge or fee to the students.

The school district does provide activities, programs, and services to children that extend beyond the minimum level of constitutionally required free instruction. Students and their parents have historically contributed to the district’s efforts to provide such activities, programs, and services. The district’s general policy is to continue to encourage and to the extent permitted by law, to require such student and parent contributions to enhance the educational program provided by the district.

The Board held a second reading and voted to reaffirm the policy.

Superintendent Update 

During his update, LPS Superintendent Paul Gausman thanked the groups who presented earlier in the meeting. He also recounted to the Board his experience throwing out the first pitch during the Saltdogs Kids Day at Haymarket Park during the annual fifth grade field trip. Gausman then invited the community to help celebrate commencement exercises with the approximately 3,300 graduates this weekend at Pinnacle Bank Arena or online at lps.org.

Public comment

There were five individuals that addressed the Board during public comment. You can watch the public comment agenda item in the full meeting video here.

Glimpses of LPS

We open every Board meeting with a video that highlights Lincoln Public Schools. Tuesday’s Glimpses featured highlights from the BackPack Extra Mile Walk. 

Published: May 23, 2023, Updated: May 23, 2023