Highlights of the 8/8 Lincoln Board of Education regular meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for its regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 8, at the Lincoln Public Schools Steve Joel District Leadership Center, 5905 O Street.

Special reports, presentations and celebrations of success

Staff celebrations

Dawn Sugden
Dawn Sugden serves as the Lincoln High School nurse and received the 2023 Excellence in School Nursing - Nebraska School Nurse of the Year Award from the Nebraska School Nurses Association. Sugden started in early childhood at LPS in 2012 before transitioning into her current role in 2016. She is a passionate advocate for her students and goes above and beyond to help provide access to resources. Sugden also worked on systems-level changes to improve her care and health services processes. 

Julie Frederick
Julie Frederick serves as the Lincoln Public Schools Health Services Coordinator and received the 2023 Excellence in School Nursing Administrator Award from the Nebraska School Nurses Association. As Health Services Coordinator for LPS, Frederick mentors new school nurses, has updated and conducts training for health office staff, revamped the appraisal process, and continues to support health services staff across the school district. 

First reading

2023-24 Board of Education and superintendent's annual goals and priorities

Annually, the Board evaluates the superintendent and develops annual priorities for the coming school year.
The 2023-24 Board of Education and Superintendent’s Annual Goals and Priorities being considered and will be voted on at the next meeting include:

  • By April 9, 2024, develop and present to the Board of Education a comprehensive framework to address student behavior that includes prevention, accountability, and restorative practices.
  • By April 9, 2024, develop and present to the Board of Education a Strategic Plan which represents Lincoln Public School’s commitment to community input and equitable outcomes, and which aligns the strategic priorities of the district with the All Means All action plan and the themes from the Superintendent’s transition report.

Policy 8350 - Board operating procedures

Each year, as required by law, the School Board evaluates the Superintendent using a state-approved assessment tool.  The president of the School Board is responsible for leading the Board in fulfilling the guidelines of this process. Policy 8350 has been revised to support the Board president’s responsibilities related to the superintendent’s evaluation and provide greater clarity in the process. You can read more about the proposed policy changes here.

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

Superintendent appraisal instrument

Annually, the Board prepares an evaluation of the superintendent, and the appraisal instrument is periodically reviewed and modified to match current practice. You can read more about the proposed changes here.

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

2023-2024 Legislative Guidelines

Each year, various federal, state, and local governmental bodies will consider legislative and administrative actions that will have an impact on Lincoln Public Schools. In order to communicate the positions of the Board of Education, the Board approves Legislative Guidelines that provide guidance to district staff and representatives communicating with governmental bodies. The proposed 2023-2024 Legislative Guidelines are the same as the 2022-2023 guidelines

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

Amendment to 2023-2024 pay rates for substitute and miscellaneous employees

After enacting the 2023-24 substitute and miscellaneous pay rates, the LPS Athletics Department requested pay rates be increased for the following positions to be effective for the 2023-24 school year: intramural workers, intramural coaches, athletic event workers, standard head clinicians, standard assistant clinicians, clinical additional coach, concessions, and technical support. The Athletics Department would also like to add a pay rate for the newly created position of athletic event manager. All other pay rates would remain the same as approved by the Board on June 13, 2023. You can review the proposal here.

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

2023-2024 insurance rates

LPS Risk Management annually solicits quotes for all property and liability insurance coverage, as well as excess workers’ compensation insurance coverage and boiler and machinery insurance through the Arthur J. Gallagher (AJG) Company and UNICO, the LPS insurance consulting and brokerage firm. The renewal rate proposed is $903,896.

Due to timelines, the Board waived second reading and voted to approve the renewal rate.

Interlocal cooperation act agreement for school resource officers and threat assessment officer

Every year, LPS reviews an agreement with the City of Lincoln to fund school resource officers and a threat assessment officer as part of the Safe and Successful Kids Interlocal Agreement. This year one more officer will be added with the opening of Lincoln Standing Bear High School. The 14 SROs are assigned to LPS middle and high schools, and the threat assessment officer is assigned to the school district. The officers help with the education of students, assist staff and facilitate communication between LPS and LPD. SROs take appropriate law enforcement action when situations arise requiring the exercise of police authority.

Each year, the Safe and Successful Kids Interlocal Board reviews and presents data and feedback collected by both LPS and the Lincoln Police Department. You can find the presentation from last November here.

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

Second reading

2023-24 Transportation Plan

Last Board meeting, the Transportation Plan was presented for the school year, including reviewing all routes. 

In general, the LPS Transportation Department transports only those students who qualify under provisions of state law, including:

  • Elementary and middle school students residing more than four miles from the school in the attendance area within which they reside.
  • Special Education students whose Individual Education Plan (IEP) requires transportation as essential to learning.
  • Students who have been moved for the benefit of the school district to relieve overcrowding, due to major facility renovations and efficiency in use of buildings and/or staff.

In addition, the Board at its discretion may approve other transportation areas based upon unique circumstances and for the purpose of equalizing school enrollments and facilitating programs.

LPS Transportation transported 3,181 students during the 2022-2023 school year. Approximately 1.8 million miles were driven on LPS routes last school year.

The Board held a second reading and voted to approve the plan.

Policy 3770 - LPS Safe Pupil Transportation Plan policy

The Safe Pupil Transportation Plan in Policy 3770 sets forth the school district’s plan for providing safe transportation to students being transported in vehicles on regular routes assigned through the district Transportation Plan. Revisions to Policy 3770 are recommended by the Board Planning Committee and the LPS Transportation Safety Committee to align with current best practices. You can view the proposed revisions here.

The Board voted to approve the policy update.

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 recently annexed area of South 98th Street & Van Dorn Street for 2023-24 school year is recommended to be assigned to Maxey Elementary, Lux Middle School and East High School.

The Board voted to approve the assignments.

East High School track renovation project

At its regular meeting on November 8, 2022, the Board approved entering into a contract with Midwest Tennis & Track for running track resurfacing projects at Lincoln East and Lincoln Northeast high schools.  Since then, it was discovered the asphalt track base below and supporting the polyurethane synthetic track surface had disintegrated and was not adequate to support installation of a new surface. An adequate asphalt base is vitally essential to the usability, service life expectancy and any warranty requirements for the track surface. After discovering this previously unforeseen condition, it was recommended to draft a change order to demolish and replace the asphalt base.

It is recommended that a change order for the East High School asphalt track base replacement in the amount of $730,603.80, plus possible allowance items not to exceed $21,710.00, be authorized and approved.  

The Board voted to approve the change order.

Informational items and reports

Superintendent update

LPS Superintendent Paul Gausman gave his update to the Board. He spoke about staff returning to the school district these last two weeks and attending professional development. He also shared his excitement about the first week of school next week for students.

In addition, Gausman shared information about the Citizens Education Academy. This unique, no-charge public outreach program is open to approximately 30 people from the community, and features a heavy dose of unique encounters that provides an insight into how LPS works. This year’s academy will be four months during the first semester, meeting once a month on Wednesday evenings from 5-8 p.m.

Those interested in signing up for the program are encouraged to go to lps.org and fill out an application.

Public comment

There were five individuals that addressed the Board during public comment. You can watch the public comment as part of 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 the Community Gardens gathering at Northeast High School. 

Published: August 8, 2023, Updated: August 8, 2023