Post-Fire Questions and Answers

Steve Joel, Lincoln Public Schools superintendent:

How would you characterize the school district and district office employees?
This has been a challenging week, but recovery is underway as we work to restore our systems, doing our best to overcome this crisis. Our employees are strong, working round-the-clock to reconstruct. our e-mails, telephones and websites. I’m proud and pleased to be working side by side with the employees of Lincoln Public Schools. And I believe when people are challenged the most, that’s when we really dig deep. We will come back stronger than ever. When people ask why we’ve been coming back so strong, I tell them: “We didn’t go to bed, we went to work.”

Did you have a trip planned to China this month?
Yes, I was planning to take an educational trip to China through the Confucius Institute at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. But I knew I could never be 8,000 miles away when our school district was in crisis. Marilyn Moore, associate superintendent of Instruction, and Bess Scott, director of Elementary Instruction, made the trip and have blogged about their experiences -

How about the beginning of the 2011-12 school year?
We will open on schedule on Wednesday, August 16.

MORE QUESTIONS and ANSWERS from other LPS officials

What is the latest update on relocating employees?

We have signed lease agreements on two buildings: the former Experian building, Now Municipal Services, near the Lincoln Airport at 949 West Bond Street. Departments generally related to curriculum moved in the week of June 6; the second location is Celerion, 3801 So. 14th St. and staff will be moving into this location likely as soon as Tuesday, June 14. However, both sites will only be temporary locations. The Lincoln Board of Education will determine where the permanent home for district offices will be located.

What is the status of the LPS database, web site and email systems?
The database was fully backed up and is safe. LPS Computing Services workers have been working around-the-clock to recover and restore all the data, including the website and email systems. Most systems are back online: grading system, email, website and job applications. Officials hope more services will be back online this week.

Are there alternate web sites for Lincoln Public Schools while the permanent web site is not available?

The Lincoln Public Schools website ( is live, but you will find disruptions in many phone numbers, documents and links. Please be patient as we continue to bring systems online.

What if you want to offer help to the school district?
If you want to help please go to:

What should you do if you have questions about job applications or interviews?
Due to the fire, we are unable to retrieve information entered in the online application system from May 24 through May 31, 2011. If you applied during this time and are still interested in positions with Lincoln Public Schools, please go to: Once on the website, apply for any position you wish to be considered for, including any positions originally applied for from May 24 – May 31, 2011. As you apply for positions, please be aware of the closing dates. Applications created prior to May 24, 2011 can be accessed through the same link: Log in at the top of the page using the username and password that you created on your initial application.

What about insurance coverage for LPS?
The school district is fully insured for replacement costs of the building and all the professional items inside the building. Insurance does not cover personal items.

Will high school transcripts be safe?
Yes, they are stored in the LPS database – and that is fully backed up. For more information check with individual high schools, or: 402-436-1305 (starting Monday, June 6)

How should a family handle transfer forms?
For special attendance forms, check with elementary and middle schools. For high school choice forms, check with the high schools. You can mail the forms to: Lincoln Public Schools, Box 48, Student Services, Lincoln NE. LPS Student Services is currently located at Lincoln North Star High School.

Is high school summer school on schedule?
Summer school began on schedule at Lincoln North Star High School on Wednesday, June 8. For more information: 402-436-1640 (starting Monday, June 6)

What about the other summer school programs?
There are many other summer student programs at LPS in elementary and middle schools, and they will all be held as scheduled.

Teacher training?
The staff development catalog is online and being actively updated to reflect any changes necessary. Please check it for the most current information about dates, times and locations. Please also check the temporary staff LPS website ( for more general updates regarding staff development and teacher training. Once the full LPS web site comes back online, keep your eyes on the staff development page.

What is the status of grading systems at LPS schools?
Teachers are currently entering grades. Final grades will be available for viewing on Pinnacle's Parent Internet Viewer this coming Friday at 4:00 p.m. Report cards will be printed and mailed from buildings the first of next week and should be in homes shortly thereafter.

What is the status of the fire site where the school district offices burned?
The area is fully fenced off and under the jurisdiction of the Lincoln Fire Department. Fires were still erupting Thursday, June 3, and the site is considered off limits. Professionals are sorting through any possible salvageable materials, but little is expected to be found.

Was anything salvaged from the music department?
The school district offices lost about one-third to one-half of the music library; and were able to salvage about 500 of the fee waiver musical instruments stored in the repair shop on the district offices site. These items are in storage within the school district and will be moved to a permanent location early in July.

What if an LPS employee has trouble with a paycheck?
Employees are advised to wait until LPS systems are running again and call the Payroll Department. If the issue is urgent, call the main LPS phone number and ask to leave a message for Payroll: 402-436-1000.

Published: June 14, 2011, Updated: May 25, 2012