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Superintendent Gausman presents mid-year transition report to Board of Education

 

You can view the report presentation slides here.

Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent Paul Gausman presented his mid-year transition report to the Lincoln Board of Education during a recent Board meeting. Nebraska Law requires that new superintendents be evaluated twice in their first year.  As such, the Board gave LPS Gausman a goal of a mid-year transition report by Nov. 22. 

Board President Don Mayhew introduced Gausman by saying, “I remind all of us that this report includes those preliminary findings, emerging themes, and potential recommendations, but does not include finalized recommendations for action at this time.  This report will simply touch base on where he is in the process of transitioning into the  school district. Final findings, themes, and recommendations will come as a part of the end of this process in April.”

Gausman opened with a description of the two objectives of the process: To provide a seamless transition in superintendent leadership while learning about Lincoln and LPS; and to develop relationships with stakeholders while listening to their perspectives regarding challenges and items of celebration in Lincoln and the LPS.

“What I’m referring to is quasi-qualitative research,” added Gausman “These findings aren’t random. We had prescribed organizations and people that I met with and interviewed. I want to point out that the conclusions are not absolute. People watching this may hear something and say ‘I don’t agree with that.’ And that is ok. This is simply a finding at this time.”

He went on to say that some of these might be real, or perceived items within the school district. Some things happening might not need changed, but perhaps stronger communication within our community about what programs and offerings we have at LPS.

There were three main questions that Gausman asked the stakeholders he met with. The first being what should be maintained that have helped LPS be successful?  Themes of responses to the first question - in no priority order - included that LPS and Lincoln put students first and the community supports the school district. There is an equity of facilities, supports and staff in all parts of Lincoln, and school choice is already happening. The community feels like they are aware of what is happening in LPS due to the level of communication and content creation. There is metric-driven leadership with data-driven decisions being made. Stakeholders are proud of our staff, the professional development, and the confidence to make a difference in a child’s life. Support staff are strong across the board. Partnerships are what help LPS be successful. Students are at the center of the Board of Education’s work. Finally, that LPS develops and maintains lifelong learning.

The second question asked what should be changed or added for student success? Themes that emerged included support for Human Resources.

“We are in one of the toughest times in history as it relates to Human Resources,” said Gausman. “Our community, and particularly our internal community, thinks we can do even more if we bolster our Human Resources department. This is not to criticize our colleagues in HR, it is simply recognizing that we need to give them more help.”

There was a theme to look at classified staff member pay and look at market rates. Also looking at communicating resources for staff mental health supports. 

Equity education strength and focus was another theme that emerged with the second question. As a school district, the need to continue growing in understanding of ethnicities and cultures. 

There was also a theme to work on partnerships to grow and expand early childhood education. Also partnerships with the legislature, State Board of Education and local entities to help them understand what is happening within our schools. 

Student behavior supports also became a theme with looking at culture and climate of learning, expanding and strengthening social media and digital citizenship, expand mental health supports, communicating with the community about programs to address student bullying, and how student involvement in activities matters to student success.

Gausman spoke of the need for more strategic communication with families and communities on the high school offerings and choices students have to forge their education path. 

The final theme under the second question includes considering where we must be bureaucratic vs. where can LPS allow autonomy.

The final question asked about the highest priorities. Gausman said six themes rose to the top:

  • Human Resources Supports: Retention and Recruitment
  • Early Childhood Partnerships and Growth
  • High School Offerings Focus, Choice, and Communication
  • Strategic Planning Roadmap for Future
  • All Means All Action Plan Focus on Equity
  • Unicameral and Other Political Communication and Partnership

Gausman added, “You asked me to suggest at this time…as we move forward together, and in partnership with our experts, what would we do to strengthen our work positionally and departmentally.”

Gausman said that number one, LPS needs to get more support positions in the Human Resources department to help them do their work, which in turn helps every staff member. There also needs to be a focus on retaining staff, hiring more substitutes and building the pipeline of educators. 

Second, focus on equity across all departments for all students and families. This includes training for staff and students and serving all staff and students.

“We’ve had incredible equity leadership in this school district with Dr. Price being the equity director. She was doing two jobs, she was so good. Dr. Price was promoted. I think it’s time to talk about having our own equity department with its own team. This is a model the district had in the past, and we may need to get back to it,” said Gausman.

Third, LPS needs to do more to develop the cycle with assessment and instruction. Context of the involvement between assessment and instruction will come later.

Positive student behavior and supports that go with it is the fourth focus. Gausman said this will take some focus, budget and positions. LPS will need to look at putting systems in district-wide to support the highly mobile student population.

Growing the talent pipeline is the final priority area conceptually.

As part of his goals, Gausman will give an update to the Board in April 2023.

Posted on November 23, 2022


Highlights: 11/22 Lincoln Board of Education regular meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at the Lincoln Public Schools Steve Joel District Leadership Center, 5905 O Street.

Special reports, presentations, and celebrations of success

LPS Combined Community Campaign update

Every year we honor the schools and LPS departments with the highest number of employees that pledge to give to the annual Combined Community Campaign. The following schools were recognized for their efforts:
 
Top 5 Contributions for Elementary:

  • Pyrtle $2,344
  • Huntington
  • Kooser
  • Clinton
  • Campbell

Top 2 Contributions for Middle School and High School:

  • Lefler Middle School $2,735
  • Culler Middle School
  • North Star High School $5,660
  • East High School

65% or greater staff participation:

  • Fredstrom Elementary 100%
  • Don D Sherrill Education Center
  • Wysong Elementary
  • Campbell Elementary
  • Beattie Elementary
  • Huntington Elementary
  • McPhee Elementary
  • Kloefkorn Elementary
  • Pyrtle Elementary
  • Bay High Focus Program 100%
  • Standing Bear High School
  • Accounting 100%
  • Payroll 100%
  • Superintendent’s Office 100%
  • Superintendent’s Office-Custodial 100%
  • Teammates 100%
  • Instruction Division
  • General Administration/Governmental Relations

2022-2023 Superintendent mid-year transition report

Nebraska Law requires that new superintendents be evaluated twice in their first year.  As such, the Board gave LPS Superintendent Paul Gausman a goal of a mid-year transition report by Nov. 22. 

Board President Don Mayhew introduced Gausman by saying, “I remind all of us that this report includes those preliminary findings, emerging themes, and potential recommendations, but does not include finalized recommendations for action at this time.  This report will simply touch base on where he is in the process of transitioning into the  school district. Final findings, themes, and recommendations will come as a part of the end of this process in April.”

Gausman opened with a description of the two objectives of the process: To provide a seamless transition in superintendent leadership while learning about Lincoln and LPS; and to develop relationships with stakeholders while listening to their perspectives regarding challenges and items of celebration in Lincoln and the LPS.

“What I’m referring to is quasi-qualitative research,” added Gausman “These findings aren’t random. We had prescribed organizations and people that I met with and interviewed. I want to point out that the conclusions are not absolute. People watching this may hear something and say ‘I don’t agree with that.’ And that is ok. This is simply a finding at this time.”

He went on to say that some of these might be real, or perceived items within the school district. Some things happening might not need changed, but perhaps stronger communication within our community about what programs and offerings we have at LPS.

There were three main questions that Gausman asked the stakeholders he met with. The first being what should be maintained that have helped LPS be successful?  Themes of responses to the first question - in no priority order - included that LPS and Lincoln put students first and the community supports the school district. There is an equity of facilities, supports and staff in all parts of Lincoln, and school choice is already happening. The community feels like they are aware of what is happening in LPS due to the level of communication and content creation. There is metric-driven leadership with data-driven decisions being made. Stakeholders are proud of our staff, the professional development, and the confidence to make a difference in a child’s life. Support staff are strong across the board. Partnerships are what help LPS be successful. Students are at the center of the Board of Education’s work. Finally, that LPS develops and maintains lifelong learning.

The second question asked what should be changed or added for student success? Themes that emerged included support for Human Resources.

“We are in one of the toughest times in history as it relates to Human Resources,” said Gausman. “Our community, and particularly our internal community, thinks we can do even more if we bolster our Human Resources department. This is not to criticize our colleagues in HR, it is simply recognizing that we need to give them more help.”

There was a theme to look at classified staff member pay and look at market rates. Also looking at communicating resources for staff mental health supports. 

Equity education strength and focus was another theme that emerged with the second question. As a school district, the need to continue growing in understanding of ethnicities and cultures. 

There was also a theme to work on partnerships to grow and expand early childhood education. Also partnerships with the legislature, State Board of Education and local entities to help them understand what is happening within our schools. 

Student behavior supports also became a theme with looking at culture and climate of learning, expanding and strengthening social media and digital citizenship, expand mental health supports, communicating with the community about programs to address student bullying, and how student involvement in activities matters to student success.

Gausman spoke of the need for more strategic communication with families and communities on the high school offerings and choices students have to forge their education path. 

The final theme under the second question includes considering where we must be bureaucratic vs. where can LPS allow autonomy.

The final question asked about the highest priorities. Gausman said six themes rose to the top:

  • Human Resources Supports: Retention and Recruitment
  • Early Childhood Partnerships and Growth
  • High School Offerings Focus, Choice, and Communication
  • Strategic Planning Roadmap for Future
  • All Means All Action Plan Focus on Equity
  • Unicameral and Other Political Communication and Partnership

Gausman added, “You asked me to suggest at this time…as we move forward together, and in partnership with our experts, what would we do to strengthen our work positionally and departmentally.”

Gausman said that number one, LPS needs to get more support positions in the Human Resources department to help them do their work, which in turn helps every staff member. There also needs to be a focus on retaining staff, hiring more substitutes and building the pipeline of educators. 

Second, focus on equity across all departments for all students and families. This includes training for staff and students and serving all staff and students.

“We’ve had incredible equity leadership in this school district with Dr. Price being the equity director. She was doing two jobs, she was so good. Dr. Price was promoted. I think it’s time to talk about having our own equity department with its own team. This is a model the district had in the past, and we may need to get back to it,” said Gausman.

Third, LPS needs to do more to develop the cycle with assessment and instruction. Context of the involvement between assessment and instruction will come later.

Positive student behavior and supports that go with it is the fourth focus. Gausman said this will take some focus, budget and positions. LPS will need to look at putting systems in district-wide to support the highly mobile student population.

Growing the talent pipeline is the final priority area conceptually.

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 Stevens Creek Villas 1st Addition to Robinson Elementary School, Mickle Middle School and Northeast High School. The second proposal assigns the newly annexed area of Thorn addition to Maxey Elementary School, Lux Middle School and East High School.

The Board will hold a second reading and vote to approve the assignments at the next regular meeting.

Roofing at Holmes Elementary School

Sealed bids were requested from interested vendors to provide a partial roof replacement at Holmes Elementary School. Staff recommended the Board approve the lowest bid by White Castle Roofing & Construction in Lincoln for the amount of $1,252,049.

The Board will hold a second reading and vote to approve the bid at the next regular meeting.

Informational items and reports

Student Learning and Technology Committee update

Board member Annie Mumgaard gave an update on the most recent Student Learning and Technology Committee meeting on behalf of committee chair Lanny Boswell. The committee reviewed graduation data.

“The last few years have been among the most challenging for teaching and learning in Lincoln Public Schools,” commented Mumgaard. “Students and teachers have gone above and beyond the usual amounts of ‘above and beyond’ to ensure that learning continued during the pandemic. Thanks to those efforts, we have great news to celebrate tonight.”

LPS has followed the general rule of calculating graduation rates for students who start as ninth graders in the school district and graduate in four years on time. The LPS four-year graduation rate for the class of 2022 is up two points to 83.9%. This is the highest graduation rate for LPS since 2018. Further, the graduation rate for each of the six high schools improved from 2022 compared to 2021, with Northeast High School seeing a 4.2% graduation rate increase.

The Nebraska Department of Education calculated, 4-year graduation rate also increased 1.8% to 82.3%. This is the highest graduation rate under that system since the calculation rules were changed. The LPS graduation rate occurred when the state as-a-whole saw a 0.4% decrease in the graduation rate.

Mumgaard added, “The disaggregated graduation data shows that there is still more work to do. While disparities in the graduation rates for Black students and students of two or more races decreased, disparities still exist for those and other disaggregated groups. As we celebrate this latest reflection of the outstanding work of our teachers and students, we also renew our commitment to raising the graduation rate for all students and eliminating the disparities for all disaggregated groups.”

Annual Financial Audit

Board policy, state and federal laws and regulations require an annual financial audit of Lincoln Public Schools and ESU #18. The 2021-22 audits have been completed, and a representative from BerganKDV presented the results.

Public comment

There were 11 individuals that addressed the Board during public comment. You can watch the public comments 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 Veterans Day celebrations. 

Posted on November 22, 2022


LPS 2022 graduation rates rebounding despite pandemic

Lincoln Public Schools released the 2022 graduation rates showing that every high school saw an increase in the number of students graduating over the previous years where there was a continuous slight decline.

“We’re really excited about this data,” said Matt Larson, LPS associate superintendent for instruction. “This is more evidence that our teachers and administrators did a great job during the pandemic to not only slow or stop the decline, but turn it around. This is a credit to their work and dedication to student success.”

LPS uses two sets of data for evaluating and assessing the high school graduation rate in the school district – using formulas that are slightly different.  For more than 25 years, LPS has followed the general rule of calculating graduation rates for students who start as ninth graders in the school district and graduate in four years on time. The LPS four-year graduation rate for the class of 2022 is up two points to 83.9%. This is the highest graduation rate for LPS since 2018.

The Nebraska Department of Education calculated LPS 4-year graduation rate for the class of 2022 is up 1.8 to 82.3% from 80.5% in 2021. This is the highest graduation rate since 2018. The state graduation rate declined 0.4 while LPS improved against the state trend.

“This is not just a high school graduation rate,” added Sarah Salem, director of continuous improvement and professional learning. “This is a preK-12 celebration and really speaks to the work taking place in elementary and middle schools as well.”

In 2021, the Lincoln Board of Education directed staff to develop an All Means All Action Plan for Equitable Outcomes. One of the four goals includes raising the all student graduation rate to 87%, and reducing the existing differentials from all students by 50%.

“While we are celebrating this overall positive news, we recognize much work remains and LPS is far from reaching our goals, particularly with respect to most disaggregated groups.”

In addition to the four-year graduation rate, LPS looks at the seven-year graduation rate. This includes students who may not graduate on-time, but do finish school and obtain a degree. LPS seven-year graduation rate declined 2.1 to 85.5%. The state seven-year graduation rate also declined 0.9. 

Larson added, “This year’s seven-year rate is based on the Class of 2019. These students would have been fifth, sixth and seventh year seniors during the pandemic. Complications of the pandemic likely made it more challenging for students to complete graduation.”

Beginning in 2018, NDE changed how they counted students who received an alternate diploma. This change reduced the graduation rates for schools across the state. This is the first time LPS has seen an increase since that change. 

“Although one point in time is clearly not a trend, the steady decline in the graduation rate appears to have ended. This signals that the measures put in place after the calculation rules were changed in 2018 are beginning to take hold,” said Larson.

Below are the rates by school and disaggregated data:

Year

LPS Graduation Calculation

NDE 4-Year Graduation Calculation

NDE 7-Year Graduation Calculation

LPS

State

LPS

State

2016

85.6%

83.2%

89.3%

90.2%

92.7%

2017

85.2%

82.8%

89.1%

90.3%

93.4%

Beginning in 2018, NDE began counting students who received an alternate diploma as not graduating.

This change reduced the graduation rates for the 2018 graduation cohort and after.

2018

84.3%

82.5%

89.0%

89.2%

93.1%

2019

83.6%

81.8%

88.4%

89.7%

93.1%

2020

82.5%

80.8%

87.5%

89.8%

93.2%

2021

81.9%

80.5%

87.6%

87.6%

92.6%

2022

83.9%

82.3%

87.2%

85.5%

91.7%

LPS District Longitudinal Graduation Rate by School

2016-2022

 

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

East

93.6%

94.5%

93.3%

92.4%

91.1%

90.5%

91.4%

LHS

76.4%

69.8%

73.2%

76.4%

74.8%

74.4%

77.9%

Northeast

81.1%

74.7%

77.1%

70.2%

73.6%

70.5%

74.7%

Southeast

87.1%

90.1%

85.5%

82.2%

84.0%

81.4%

83.8%

North Star

80.7%

85.1%

81.0%

85.5%

77.8%

81.1%

81.7%

Southwest

93.3%

93.9%

94.9%

92.0%

91.6%

91.6%

92.7%

LPS District Longitudinal Graduation Rate by Race/Ethnicity

2016-2022

 

All Students

American Indian

Asian

Black

Latino/a

2 or More Races

White

2016

85.6%

52.9%

84.5%

81.2%

74.6%

79.7%

88.5%

2017

85.2%

42.9%

88.0%

79.2%

75.8%

78.5%

88.1%

2018

84.3%

35.7%

85.1%

73.8%

73.6%

80.2%

87.8%

2019

83.6%

68.8%

86.1%

72.3%

76.0%

74.0%

87.2%

2020

82.5%

57.1%

90.5%

65.5%

67.3%

72.5%

87.3%

2021

81.9%

52.6%

92.5%

64.9%

72.2%

71.3%

85.8%

2022

83.9%

41.4%

90.3%

70.4%

72.1%

76.7%

88.6%

Posted on November 21, 2022


Meeting notice for the Lincoln Board of Education Regular Meeting - November 22, 2022

The Lincoln Board of Education will hold its Regular Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 6:00 p.m. located in the Boardroom at Lincoln Public Schools Steve Joel District Leadership Center, 5905 O Street. 

Members of the public and media may access the meeting via live video streaming or by physically attending the meetings, which are subject to all national, state and local limitations on public gatherings associated with COVID-19. Overflow accommodations may need to be implemented to ensure the health and safety of all in attendance. 

The agenda for all meetings can be found here: lps.org/board.

There are multiple ways to view the livestream of all meetings:

Participation by citizens in the Regular Board Meeting

The Board believes public attendance and participation, when appropriate to the business at hand, is beneficial to the work of the Board and models the importance of civic engagement and civil discourse to the community’s children, but it cannot impede the Board from completing the business of the meeting. 

In keeping with Board Policy 8420 and Neb Statute 84-1412(3), the Lincoln Board of Education has established these reasonable regulations to conduct Public Comment:

  1. Persons speaking during Public Comment will be called forward individually by the Board Chair to the location identified for such purpose.
  1. A time limit of three minutes will be allotted for any speaker unless prior to the beginning of the Public Comment agenda item, the chair sets a different reasonable time frame to be allotted for speakers in order to accommodate the number of persons who have submitted "Record of Appearance" cards. The time limit is per speaker, per meeting and may not be transferred or assigned to other speakers.
  1. The chair may endeavor to organize public comment by what agenda items or other issues have been identified as topics by public speakers, adjust for the age of speakers, and/or split the Public Comment agenda item to be conducted in different positions within the Board’s Order of Business. At the discretion of the chair, the speaker may be allotted additional time. Board members may share, address or consider comments from the public during public comment, at the end of public comment or when related business is on the agenda.
  1. In order to be called forward to address the Board during Public Comment, each person wishing to speak must obtain a "Record of Appearance" card from staff at the meeting in which they wish to speak. "Record of Appearance" cards are available beginning 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the meeting. Those wishing to speak must accurately complete the required sections of the card, and submit it to the appropriate staff member by 15 minutes after the start of the meeting.
  1. Individuals will be called forward to speak by name, organization being represented, if applicable, and address. Each individual speaking to the Board will be required to identify himself or herself prior to giving public comment by stating their first and last name and, if applicable, any organization they represent.
  1. In cases where more than one person wishes to speak on the same topic, their presentations to the Board may, at the discretion of the chair, be grouped together by topic.
  1. If the number of people wishing to speak under the public comment portions of the agenda is large, the chair may rule that a public hearing be scheduled.
  1. Persons speaking to the Board during public comment may make printed materials (paper no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches) available to the Board but may not use any other form of media. Public speakers are asked to provide 10 copies of any copies of printed materials presented to the Board.

Persons attending Board meetings and/or speaking to the Board during Public Comment or during a public hearing must follow all requirements established by the Board, as well as all Board, chair and staff directions in order to help maintain the order, proper decorum, safety and security, and the non-disruptive functioning of the Board meeting. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Abiding by time limits;
  • Refraining from applauding, cheering, jeering, or engaging in speech that defames any individual(s), or stymies or blocks meeting progress;
  • Refraining from the use of audio recordings, video recordings, or any digital still images, posters, signs, costumes, other props and/or photographs;
  • Refraining from abusive, disruptive or threatening language or gestures; and
  • Staying in the areas identified by the Board as reserved for the public.

If at any time persons appearing before the Board do not comply with these or any other Board requirements, it shall be the responsibility of the chair to declare that person or persons out of order and require a change in behavior, delay or recess the meeting, or refuse permission to continue to address the Board, and ultimately may require the person or persons to leave the premises of the Board meeting.

Posted on November 18, 2022


Veterans Day 2022

Schools throughout Lincoln honored service members past and present for Veterans Day. Events included special ceremonies, service activities, guest speakers and visitors. Below are highlights from some of the ceremonies.

Brownell Elementary

Brownell Elementary held its first Veterans Day celebration. Students invited their military loved ones to recognize and thank them for their service. The buffaloes recited poems and sang songs like “This Land is Your Land” while waving mini flags. 

Campbell Elementary School

At Campbell Elementary School family members of staff and students who served or have served in the military welcomed students into the building. Then the veterans were invited for a special breakfast served by Campbell student leaders. The invited guests then headed into each classroom where they read to students and spoke about their experiences. 

Fredstrom Elementary School

Each year, Fredstrom Elementary School invites students' family members who serve or have served into the cafeteria for a special lunch. This year, over 50 family members filled the cafeteria to share their experiences with their student's classmates. Fredstrom Principal Cheryl Richter had each veteran stand and be thanked by the students.

Kloefkorn Elementary School

Several veterans visited Kloefkorn Elementary to share their stories about working in the military. Chief Warren Officer (CW4) Richard Davis spoke to fourth graders about his Nebraska Army National Guard job. He even brought supplies like a helmet and food they would eat in the field. 

Lux Middle School

Lux Middle School honored service members with a special assembly on Friday, Nov. 4. The school’s band and chorus performed songs like the “Armed Forces Medley.” Then, they commemorated 94-year-old retired Marine Art Jones. He was a part of “Chosin Few” who served in the Korean War. 

Morley Elementary School

Friday morning, Morley Elementary welcomed in veterans for an all school assembly. All of the veterans in attendance were related to a student or staff member at Morley, who stood when the veteran introduced themselves.  One of Morley's own staff members, computer teacher Ron Schinkel, also joined the veterans on stage to be honored for his service.

Sgt. Tony Franklin (SFC), husband of Morley fourth grade teacher Janelle Franklin, was the guest speaker.  He talked to students about the history of Veterans Day, what a veteran is, and the freedoms those in the military serve to protect. 

Fourth grade students also led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance and "The Star-Spangled Banner".

Riley Elementary School

Riley Elementary School held a special event for family members of students who serve or have served in the military. Family members were welcomed into the cafeteria for cookies and punch. Then they paraded through the halls to the gym while students cheered them on waiving special signs they created. During a special ceremony in the gym, Northeast High School students who participate in the Junior Air Force ROTC program presented the colors while Taps was played by UNL junior Brock Godown. The Riley chorus performed the "Star Spangled Banner". Riley student leaders spoke about the history of Veterans Day along with a special video message that played.

Rousseau Elementary School

A staff member at Roussea Elementary got a special visit from a former student on Veterans Day.  Second grade teacher Hope DaCosta-Schiltz received flowers and a visit from Tavarius, who was in her very first class at Huntington Elementary.  Tavarius is now in the Army, and shared that DaCosta-Schiltz was his favorite teacher, and knowing that she served in the Army as well, he wanted to follow in her footsteps. He said she gave him hope - no pun intended. 

Tavarius and Hope during his visit on Veterans Day and a photo of Tavarius as a second grade student in Ms. DaCosta-Schiltz's class.

Zeman Elementary School

Zeman Elementary's Young Scholar Committee met after school on Friday and did activities to honor veterans.  First, they had a two-minute moment of silence at 3:11 p.m. to honor those who have served.  Next, they wrote thank you notes to be mailed to veterans, thanking them for their service and sacrifice.  They then headed down to the cafeteria to box up household cleaning items that will be donated to veterans who need them.  The Young Scholar Committee is made up of fifth grade students at Zeman, with the purpose of completing service projects and learning how to be young leaders.

Posted on November 14, 2022


Rochelle Settles honored with Scottish Rite Distinguished Teacher of the Year award in formal ceremony

Every fall, Lincoln Public Schools formally honors the Scottish Rite Distinguished Teacher of the Year. This year a special ceremony on Nov. 4 recognized Fredstrom Elementary School teacher Rochelle Settles.

“The Scottish Rite honor is one of our most prestigious awards in the School District – an award that recognizes an outstanding classroom teacher in Lincoln’s public schools,” said Matt Larson, associate superintendent for Instruction. “I would like to thank the Lincoln Scottish Rite for their ongoing support of Lincoln Public Schools and our staff.”

Settles has taught in Lincoln Public Schools for 26 years, all at Fredstrom Elementary School. She started as a resource teacher, then a classroom teacher followed by being a Science specialist. Settles has also been instrumental in organizing the annual city-wide science fair for many years. 

Settles holds all of her students to the highest of academic and behavioral standards and volunteers her time to mentor students who struggle in the classroom. She has been able to develop those strong and lasting relationships that are foundational to students staying in school and graduating.  She truly takes the mission of LPS to heart in all that she does in and out of the classroom.
 
Here are some words from the nomination letter written by Fredstrom Elementary Principal Cheryl Richter:

“Rochelle is an outstanding candidate for this award.  She daily demonstrates an energy and enthusiasm for teaching and learning that is contagious and motivates her students and her peers. Rochelle is also a leader for science education in Lincoln Public Schools.  Students at Fredstrom and throughout Lincoln benefit from her dedication and expertise as a science educator.  She inspires students to explore and discover science, as well as helps them to think critically about why the world around them works. Rochelle is a life-long learner and has been involved in many state and national science offerings to grow her knowledge and understanding of science to directly impact student success in the classroom.”

“Rochelle has also been instrumental in growing the concept of Science Fairs, both in our Fredstrom community, as well as for the school district.  She has been the force behind getting our Fredstrom students excited about science investigations and theories, and allowing them to explore their heartfelt interests.  We have had students build and demonstrate the science behind hoverboards, find out which liquids benefit the growth of certain plants, and many other unique science experiments, all based on sparks that were ignited in Rochelle’s own science classroom.”

“As for the district science fair, it has grown under Rochelle’s leadership the past several years.  Rochelle forms a key group of educators to start the foundational work about 6 months ahead of the date the fair will be held so it is a well planned and thought out experience for students, families and the community at large.  With Rochelle’s leadership, even during a pandemic, the District Science Fair has evolved into STEAMFest, so that students would still be able to learn and grow the experiences in the area of science!  She is truly amazing in her abilities to think outside the box to continue to serve students throughout Lincoln in the area of science education!”

Settles thanked everyone for their support, especially her family, the Fredstrom staff and LPS district staff.

“I learned from my parents, you don’t stop when the sun goes down. You keep going until the job is done,” Settles told the crowd. “I just wanted you to know that my job is not done. And it will not be done, because I will continue to work hard to honor this award that has been bestowed upon me and all those people before me.”

Look at highlights from the celebration below

Posted on November 09, 2022


Highlights: 11/08 Lincoln Board of Education regular meeting

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

Special reports, presentations, and celebrations of success

Staff Celebrations

Tommy Bender - Southeast High School English teacher 
Southeast High School English teacher Tommy Bender received two awards for excellence in teaching.

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), named Bender a 2022 High School Teacher of Excellence. He was also designated as the 2022-2023 English Teacher of the Year by the Nebraska English Language Arts Council (NELAC).  Bender was nominated by Ann Quinlan of Lincoln. 

A former Southeast High School English Department Chair, Ms. Quinlan wrote in her nomination letter: 

"Tommy Bender has dedicated his career to helping students become more than they thought they could be. From teaching required Oral Communications classes to freshmen who may be anxious about presenting their first speech, to working with varsity level speech teams that compete nationally and achieve exceptional honors, Tommy shows interest, enthusiasm, and support for all students."

Hanna Savidge - Randolph Elementary School fourth grade teacher
The Nebraska Association of Teachers of Mathematics named Randolph Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Hanna Savidge 2022 Rookie Teacher of the Year. Established in 2000, this award recognizes teachers in their first three years of teaching who demonstrate outstanding work in the area of mathematics.

Randolph Principal Monica Jochum wrote in her nomination letter:
"Hanna does all she can to ensure her students have the best instruction possible. Hannah will have a student come up and share the way they solved a problem. The rest of the class is intently listening for understanding their method. The students then follow up with questions connected to their student's thinking. The students have a very natural conversation about their mathematical thinking. All the while, Hanna is listening with a keen ear and facilitating the conversation. She allows her students to lead the conversations and steps in to guide or ask follow-up questions. Through her routines and procedures, she has fostered a love of mathematics and deep problem-solving in a community of learners."

First reading

Northeast and East high schools track renovation project

Bids from interested vendors were received for the renovation of the tracks at Northeast and East high schools. Staff recommend accepting the bid from Midwest Tennis and Track for the amount of $639,831.

The Board voted to waive second reading and approve the bid.

Goodrich Renovation Project

Bids from interested vendors were received for the renovation at Goodrich Middle School for specials areas. Staff recommend accepting the bid from BIC Construction LLC for the amount of $826,600.

The Board voted to waive second reading and approve the bid.

Student Calendar changes

Superintendent Paul Guasman recommended the modification of the 2022-2023 school calendar to provide two additional teacher planning days without students in attendance. Staff have continued to repeatedly give up their contracted plan periods to provide class covers and additional supervision duties due to the limited availability of substitutes in a tight labor market. LPS recognizes the added demands on staff and seeks to enhance the ability of staff to meet these challenges by modifying the normal school calendar for 2022-2023 by adding Dec. 9 and Feb. 21 as non-student plan days so staff can use the time to catch up.

To help in communicating the calendar changes to families and staff, the Board voted to waive second reading and approve the change.

Second reading

Lincoln High south annex indoor air quality

Proposals were requested for design and construction administration services for indoor air quality and associated improvements at the Lincoln High School South Annex. Staff recommend that the agreement be awarded to Clark Enersen Inc. for the design and construction administration services for the amount of $555,000.

The Board voted to approve the agreement.

Informational items and reports

Superintendent update

Gausman gave an update to the Board on his transition. He first welcomed interim Association Superintendent of Human Resources Vann Price to the executive team. 

“I’m not sure there is anybody more deserving than Dr. Vann Price to sit at this table and work with us in this capacity,” said Gausman. To Price he added, “I congratulate you and want to acknowledge that you’ve taught me a few things in my short time here. Keep it up because we all need to get better.”

He also marveled at the content created by the Communications, Library Media Services and Technology departments in helping move forward the ‘All Means All’ mission of LPS. Recently Belmont students were offered full tuition at Doane University through a documentary produced by Brian Seifferlein and David Koehn. 

Gausman spoke about his tours of Don D. Sherrill, Nuernberger and Yankee Hill education centers. He commended those staff members for their willingness to get the work done and serve students.

He finished with, “The staff of this district are doing some really incredible things.”

Public comment

There were three individuals that addressed the Board during public comment. You can watch the public comments 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 Student Vote 2022 held on Wednesday, Nov. 2. 

Posted on November 08, 2022


Meeting notice for the Lincoln Board of Education Regular Meeting - Nov. 8, 2022

The Lincoln Board of Education will hold its Regular Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 6:00 p.m. located in the Boardroom at Lincoln Public Schools Steve Joel District Leadership Center, 5905 O Street. 

Members of the public and media may access the meeting via live video streaming or by physically attending the meetings, which are subject to all national, state and local limitations on public gatherings associated with COVID-19. Overflow accommodations may need to be implemented to ensure the health and safety of all in attendance. 

The agenda for all meetings can be found here: lps.org/board.

There are multiple ways to view the livestream of all meetings:

  • Board webpage
  • LPS YouTube Channel
  • PLEASE NOTE: Due to scheduled maintenance, this meeting will not be livestreamed on the LNKTV Education Channel (Spectrum channel 1303, Allo channel 23, or LNKTV in the AppleTV and Roku app store)

Participation by citizens in the Regular Board Meeting

The Board believes public attendance and participation, when appropriate to the business at hand, is beneficial to the work of the Board and models the importance of civic engagement and civil discourse to the community’s children, but it cannot impede the Board from completing the business of the meeting. 

In keeping with Board Policy 8420 and Neb Statute 84-1412(3), the Lincoln Board of Education has established these reasonable regulations to conduct Public Comment:

  1. Persons speaking during Public Comment will be called forward individually by the Board Chair to the location identified for such purpose.
  1. A time limit of three minutes will be allotted for any speaker unless prior to the beginning of the Public Comment agenda item, the chair sets a different reasonable time frame to be allotted for speakers in order to accommodate the number of persons who have submitted "Record of Appearance" cards. The time limit is per speaker, per meeting and may not be transferred or assigned to other speakers.
  1. The chair may endeavor to organize public comment by what agenda items or other issues have been identified as topics by public speakers, adjust for the age of speakers, and/or split the Public Comment agenda item to be conducted in different positions within the Board’s Order of Business. At the discretion of the chair, the speaker may be allotted additional time. Board members may share, address or consider comments from the public during public comment, at the end of public comment or when related business is on the agenda.
  1. In order to be called forward to address the Board during Public Comment, each person wishing to speak must obtain a "Record of Appearance" card from staff at the meeting in which they wish to speak. "Record of Appearance" cards are available beginning 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the meeting. Those wishing to speak must accurately complete the required sections of the card, and submit it to the appropriate staff member by 15 minutes after the start of the meeting.
  1. Individuals will be called forward to speak by name, organization being represented, if applicable, and address. Each individual speaking to the Board will be required to identify himself or herself prior to giving public comment by stating their first and last name and, if applicable, any organization they represent.
  1. In cases where more than one person wishes to speak on the same topic, their presentations to the Board may, at the discretion of the chair, be grouped together by topic.
  1. If the number of people wishing to speak under the public comment portions of the agenda is large, the chair may rule that a public hearing be scheduled.
  1. Persons speaking to the Board during public comment may make printed materials (paper no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches) available to the Board but may not use any other form of media. Public speakers are asked to provide 10 copies of any copies of printed materials presented to the Board.

Persons attending Board meetings and/or speaking to the Board during Public Comment or during a public hearing must follow all requirements established by the Board, as well as all Board, chair and staff directions in order to help maintain the order, proper decorum, safety and security, and the non-disruptive functioning of the Board meeting. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Abiding by time limits;
  • Refraining from applauding, cheering, jeering, or engaging in speech that defames any individual(s), or stymies or blocks meeting progress;
  • Refraining from the use of audio recordings, video recordings, or any digital still images, posters, signs, costumes, other props and/or photographs;
  • Refraining from abusive, disruptive or threatening language or gestures; and
  • Staying in the areas identified by the Board as reserved for the public.

If at any time persons appearing before the Board do not comply with these or any other Board requirements, it shall be the responsibility of the chair to declare that person or persons out of order and require a change in behavior, delay or recess the meeting, or refuse permission to continue to address the Board, and ultimately may require the person or persons to leave the premises of the Board meeting.

Posted on November 04, 2022


Highlights of the 11/3 Safe and Successful Kids Interlocal Meeting

The Safe and Successful Kids (SSK) Interlocal Board, composed of members from both the Lincoln Board of Education and the City of Lincoln, held their regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 3, at the Steve Joel District Leadership Center. The purpose of the meeting was to review the School Resource Officer Program, School Perception and Discipline Data Reports. 

This is the third year of gathering data based on the goals and expectations established by the 2018 Memorandum of Understanding for the SSK Interlocal Board. Even though considerable data has been collected and analyzed, the ability to base recommendations for action on this data is limited for two reasons:

Historical data was based on practices prior to the implementation of the original Memorandum of Understanding in 2018.

The last two years of data do not accurately reflect regular and full attendance or population at schools due to pandemic protocols and procedures implemented in middle and high schools during the 2019-20 and the 2020-21 school years.

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • From the 2015-16 school year to the 2018-19 school year, Lincoln Police responded to an average of 1,310 Calls For Service each school year at LPS middle and high schools. During the 2021-22 school year, that dropped to 1,293 Calls For Service. Calls for Service could include any reason police are contacted and there is a need for an official report or documentation for a possible criminal act. For example, it could be something as simple as missing items, or it could be for more serious incidents where there may be a law violation.
  • A referral is when the School Resource Officer believes the juvenile is responsible for a criminal act and they are referred to the county attorney. During the 2021-22 school year, 15.8% of the Calls For Service resulted in a referral. That is down compared to the four-year average of 30.8%. 
  • The average of SRO initiated Calls For Service that resulted in a referral between 2015-16 to 2018-19 was 4.2%. During the 2021-22 school year that number dropped to 2.9%.
  • During the 2021-22 school year, 83% of the incidents that resulted in a referral involved simple assaults, narcotics, disturbances, vandalism, traffic violations, trespassing or larceny. Staff initiated the largest percentage of Calls for Services in these instances followed by students. 
  • As in prior years, African American and Native American students were overrepresented among both victims and suspects/persons responsible during the 2021-22 school year. In general, the disparity ratios did not vary substantially among demographic groups during 2021-22 compared to the prior four-year average.
  • With 22,000 middle and high school students attending LPS during the 2021-22 school year, there were 1,293 Calls For Service with 205 referrals. Of the 205 referrals, only two resulted in a student being lodged at the Youth Detention Center. Students generally are released to their families after a referral from the Call For Service is complete. 
  • Concerns existed before SROs returned to middle schools in 2019, that their presence in schools may increase the number of referrals. Since the reintroduction of SROs to middle school, the number of referrals given to middle school students remains below the four-year average.
  • In looking at LPS school discipline data, additional data is needed to determine trends and anomalies. Currently overall trends of the out of school suspension data remain relatively consistent and continue to show evidence of disproportionality for students of color and those participating in special programs like special education, English Language Learners and free and reduced lunch. However, the rate of out of school suspensions for high school students receiving special education services and students participating in the free and reduced lunch program appears to be more disproportionate than previous years. 
  • An increase in the number of suspensions may be related to students being removed from the normal routine of school for an extended time. This absence may have created behavior issues that resulted in more suspensions. Overall mental health concerns brought on by the pandemic may have also compounded this issue.

Staff provided two areas of recommendation supported by feedback from stakeholders, the data collected and best practices:

  • LPS and Lincoln Police should continue professional development to reinforce the separation of law enforcement and student discipline, and it should focus on professional development such as restorative practices and trauma-informed approaches that decrease the need for referral of students to Lincoln Police. Following some of the restrictions of the pandemic, having students participate in some of the staff/SRO training to provide their perspective may be especially valuable.
  • Lincoln Police and LPS must continue to work together and with other agencies on existing restorative and trauma informed practices and programs such as RESTORE, as these have demonstrated their effectiveness in reducing disparity. It would be redundant to try and carve out separate new initiatives for the Safe and Successful Kids Interlocal with the initiation of the LPS All Mean All Action Plan. It is recommended that Lincoln Police and LPS administrators coordinate with the work of the All Mean All Action Plan to address disparity concerns expressed in this report. It is noted that goals 4 and 5 of the All Means All Action Plan are directly tied to this work.

The full 163-page report can be found here.


 

Posted on November 03, 2022


LPS announces interim staffing changes in Human Resources

Lincoln Public Schools announces several interim staffing changes in the Human Resources department effective Nov. 3.

Vann Price will be the Interim Associate Superintendent for Human Resources while Eric Weber is on leave for the remainder of the 2022-2023 school year. Price previously served the district as the Supervisor of Secondary Personnel Services and the LPS Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

“I want to thank Dr. Price for her willingness to take on this role and help lead our Human Resources Department during a crucial time for recruiting and maintaining staff at Lincoln Public Schools,” said LPS Superintendent Paul Gausman. “Dr. Price has demonstrated time and again in her tenure that she is successful at identifying and developing talented individuals. She is also passionate about supporting all students and staff while advancing our mission of providing high-quality educational opportunities for our community.”

Price began her career with LPS as a fourth-grade teacher at Humann Elementary School in 1990. She then taught at Campbell Elementary School before moving to Lincoln North Star High School as associate principal when the school opened in 2002. In 2011, she was named North Star principal, a role she held until 2018, when she moved to the Human Resources Department at LPS District Office. Price earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; her Master of Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; her Educational Specialist Certificate in Educational Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and her Doctorate in Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

Scott Middle School Principal Marco Pedroza will be taking Price’s role in the interim and has been named the Interim Supervisor of Secondary Personnel Services.

Pedroza has been the principal at Scott Middle School since 2018. Prior to taking on that position, he was the associate principal at Lincoln Southwest High School, and an instructional coach at Schoo Middle School. Pedroza has taught at Southwest High School and Dawes Middle School. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; a teaching certification from Doane University; a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and a Master of Education in Education Leadership from Doane University; an Educational Specialist certificate from Wayne State College; and a Doctorate of Education from Doane University.

Current Scott Middle School instructional coordinator Mike Gillotti will be stepping into the interim Scott principal role. Gillotti returned to LPS last summer from Bettendorf Community School District, where he served as the Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning. Gillotti was the principal at Southwest High School from 2015-2021. Prior to being a high school principal, Gillotti was an associate principal and an instructional coordinator at North Star, and he began his teaching career there. Gillotti earned a Bachelor of Science in Education and Human Sciences from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; a Master of Arts in Historical Studies from Nebraska Wesleyan University; a Master of Education in 7-12 School Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; an Education Specialist certificate from Wayne State College; and a Doctorate of Education from Doane University.

Both Pedroza and Gillotti will begin their new interim roles on Monday, Nov. 14.

“We are fortunate to have a number of highly qualified individuals who have demonstrated key leadership skills with the ability to step in during this time of transition,” added Gausman. “It speaks to the strength of our school district in attracting and building top talent. Congratulations to these leaders for their new interim roles.”

In addition to the interim changes, Robbie Seybert, LPS Director of Employee Relations, Benefits, and Personnel, was named the Human Resource Manager for Lincoln Electric System (LES). Seybert has been with LPS for over seven years serving as the chief negotiator with the school district’s nine employee groups. Seybert’s last day with Lincoln Public Schools will be Nov. 30. 

Posted on November 03, 2022


Student Vote 2022 results

More than 19,000 students from across Lincoln and Lancaster County cast their electronic ballots on Wednesday as part of Student Vote, a Lincoln Public Schools tradition since 1992 that offers students the chance to participate in a mock election using the same local ballot that voters will see Nov. 8.

Students in grades four through 12 at every LPS school participated in Student Vote, which has been held every two years in conjunction with KFOR and KFRX radio stations. 

This year, 19,698 ballots were cast. Students voted for Democratic candidate Patty Pansing Brooks (10,221 or 52%) over Republican candidate Mike Flood (8,588 or 44%) for District 1 in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the Nebraska Governor race, Democratic candidate Carol Blood (8,528 or 43%) beat Republican candidate Jim Pillen (6,631 or 34%) and Liberterian candidate Scott Zimmerman (3,998 or 20%) for Nebraska Governor. Students also voted in favor of two initiative measures related to requiring voter identification and raising minimum wage. Full results from Wednesday's Student Vote, including a school-by-school breakdown, are available online here.

Student Vote coordinators North Star High School junior Mikey Pitts and East High sophomore Gabriel Buggi announced the results live on KFOR and KFRX radio stations at 4 p.m. 

LPS K-12 Social Studies Curriculum Specialist Jaci Kellison took part in the first Student Vote when she was a student at Lincoln Southeast High School. The candidates and issues may have changed since then, but the purpose behind Student Vote remains the same.

“I think of it as two important lessons. One is just that ability to participate in a mock election - that physical act of casting your ballot on Student Vote day is really exciting for students,” she said. “The other purpose is all of the lead-up to that, everything that surrounds the Student Vote activity. Students are learning about the democratic process, they’re learning about what different offices to vote for, why you vote for those offices, what those offices get to do and how they impact your life.”

Students voted with their Chromebooks. Some schools had students vote during their social studies classes, while others set aside time at the beginning of a period for all students to vote at the same time. 

Student Vote is more than a one-day event. Students at all levels learn more about voting and the election process during the weeks leading up to Wednesday. For elementary students, there are lessons that focus on the question, “Why does voting matter?” For middle and high school students, “How do I become an informed voter?”


Below is a copy of the sample Student Vote Ballot:

Check out these video resources shared in our classrooms ahead of Student Vote 2022.

Posted on November 02, 2022


Student enrollment numbers at Lincoln Public Schools remains steady

Lincoln Public Schools released the Fall Membership Count as of Oct. 1, and officials were not surprised by what they saw.

“With the opening of two new schools this year we expected there to be shifts in school numbers,” said Matt Larson, LPS associate superintendent of Instruction. “The new schools provided relief for staff and the infrastructure on already overcrowded school buildings. The addition of another new high school next fall will allow other high schools to also experience that relief next year.”

Meadow Lane Elementary saw a decrease of 113 students, and Kahoa Elementary decreased by a total of 50 students who moved to the new Robinson Elementary School which opened with  a total of 266 students this fall. North Star High School and Lincoln High School saw a decrease of 170 and 138 respectively, many of those students moving to the new Northwest High School starting the school year with 498 students in grades 9-11.

The total enrollment for LPS grew 18 students from last year to 41,766. During the budget process, LPS had projected a decline of 196 students this year due to the number of births reported in Lancaster County.

Other numbers of note:

  • Kooser Elementary School overtook Belmont as the largest elementary school in Lincoln growing the most with 67 students for a total of 888. Roper is the second largest elementary school with 865, followed by Belmont with 815 students.
  • Scott Middle School remains the largest despite losing 45 students with 1137.  Schoo is the second largest with 918 students. Moore Middle School grew the most by adding 93 students for a total of 739.
  • None of the high schools grew a significant amount. East remains the largest high school with 2,256 students. Lincoln High is second largest with 2,172, and Southwest is close behind with 2,170. North Star with 2,073 students makes it four high schools with populations over 2,000.
  • Prekindergarten enrollment is up by 76 students due to four new early childhood classrooms opening at Northwest High School and Robinson Elementary School. 

 

Lincoln Public Schools By the Numbers

Fall Membership Count as of October 1, 2022

GRADE LEVEL TOTAL
K 2,859
1 3,010
2 2,886
3 2,978
4 2,991
5 3,009
6 3,058
7 3,072
8 3,189
9 3,272
10 3,091
11 3,081
12 3,461
   
ELEMENTARY TOTAL 17,733
MIDDLE TOTAL 9,319
HIGH TOTAL 12,905
K-12 TOTAL 39,957
   
EARLY CHILDHOOD TOTAL 1,827
   
GRAND TOTAL 41,784

Fall Membership Count as of October 1 - Four Year Historical Look

SCHOOL 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 2022-2023
Adams 829 804 776 762
Arnold 776 736 742 739
Beattie 394 371 368 358
Belmont 821 799 829 815
Brownell 335 292 320 339
Calvert 363 349 361 313
Campbell 655 624 591 612
Cavett 636 597 580 563
Clinton 444 415 392 404
Eastridge 291 269 291 280
Elliott 398 366 383 370
Everett 449 409 374 385
Fredstrom 469 463 437 443
Hartley 394 341 339 344
Hill 527 475 449 421
Holmes 416 402 393 408
Humann 530 534 564 524
Huntington 456 412 370 368
Kahoa 582 554 537 487
Kloefkorn 484 499 488 486
Kooser 777 787 821 888
Lakeview 380 387 400 387
Maxey 683 658 683 691
McPhee 301 295 304 284
Meadow Lane 611 635 620 507
Morley 476 424 421 375
Norwood Park 262 233 238 252
Pershing 471 420 430 443
Prescott 561 469 491 502
Pyrtle 470 431 454 468
Randolph 481 468 428 459
Remote Learning Program     203  
Riley 336 342 321 279
Robinson       266
Roper 884 853 803 865
Rousseau 573 530 531 565
Saratoga 271 254 235 242
Sheridan 489 437 407 377
West Lincoln 524 511 505 486
Wysong 542 581 684 697
Zeman 433 426 440 442
         
Culler 634 675 708 701
Dawes 450 444 398 407
Goodrich 886 823 818 876
Irving 828 850 910 886
Lefler 575 607 558 614
Lux 790 808 789 791
Mickle 732 733 719 694
Moore 612 622 646 739
Park 834 860 833 832
Pound 727 737 700 724
Remote Learning     143  
Schoo 916 910 898 918
Scott 1113 1147 1182 1137
         
East 2311 2323 2250 2256
Lincoln High 2362 2378 2310 2172
North Star 2164 2297 2243 2073
Northeast 1779 1813 1861 1811
Northwest       498
Southeast 2077 2001 1980 1925
Southwest 2055 2113 2196 2170

Posted on November 02, 2022


Assessments show LPS teachers helped lessen negative impact of pandemic

While schools across the nation continue to learn how much the COVID-19 pandemic impacted students, Lincoln Public Schools says fall assessments show that students in Lincoln continued to progress at a better pace than their peers.

“The global pandemic interrupted classroom instruction and forced educators to adapt their lessons to virtual and hybrid environments in ever-changing conditions,” said LPS Associate Superintendent for Instruction Matt Larson. “We knew there was going to be learning loss, however, our educators worked tirelessly to make sure that our students continued to learn and grow, lessening the negative impacts of disrupted learning.”

LPS officials released their Fall 2022 Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) data, along with information from previous years prior to and during the pandemic. The MAP growth assessment is one of the nation’s most widely used and trusted assessments to measure academic achievement and growth in K-12 education. It is an adaptive test that allows educators to make real-time assessments of student learning and timely adjustments to provide learning interventions and extra supports for students. It can also be  compared nationally with over 6 million students in grades 3-8 who also took MAP growth assessments in reading and mathematics.

“There is no way to know what student learning should look like during a pandemic,” said LPS Director of Continuous Improvement and Professional Learning Sarah Salem. “The best way we can gauge student learning is to look at a reliable and consistent assessment like MAP that allows us to compare LPS student learning to the rest of the country.”

LPS Median Reading Percentile Rank for all students

  Fall 2019 Fall 2022 Fall 2021 Fall 2022
  (pre-pandemic) (following Spring 2020 fourth quarter asynchronous remote instruction) (following 2020-2021 school year including hybrid instruction and remote learning) (following 2021-2022 school year: 3/4 masked, continued teacher/student pandemic related absenteeism )
Grade 3 66 68 68 63
Grade 4 67 70 68 65
Grade 5 64 68 64 61
Grade 6 63 64 64 62
Grade 7 67 64 62 61
Grade 8 64 64 60 57

LPS Median Mathematics Percentile Rank for all students

  Fall 2019 Fall 2022 Fall 2021 Fall 2022
  (pre-pandemic) (following Spring 2020 fourth quarter asynchronous remote instruction) (following 2020-2021 school year including hybrid instruction and remote learning) (following 2021-2022 school year: 3/4 masked, continued teacher/student pandemic related absenteeism )
Grade 3 61   62 57
Grade 4 64   63 62
Grade 5 60 58 58 57
Grade 6 56 59 56 58
Grade 7 63 61 55 54
Grade 8 65 65 59 57

 

Key takeaways LPS gained from the reading and math assessments include:

  • In both reading and math from Fall 2019 to Fall 2022, LPS student achievement in grades 3-8 as measured by MAP exceeded the national average*. In some grade levels LPS exceeds the national mean for the norm group by a significant difference.
  • In LPS between 2019 and 2021, in reading there were declines at only two grade levels, with the largest decline in seventh grade of five percentile points.
  • Nationally*, the mean decline across grades 3-8 in reading between 2019 and 2021 was 5.2 percentile points. The mean decline in LPS reading across grades 3-8 over the same period was 0.8 percentile points.
  • Between 2019 and 2021, in LPS mathematics there were declines at four grade levels, with the largest decline in seventh grade of eight percentile points – less than the range of declines nationally*.
  • Nationally*, the mean decline across grades 3-8 in mathematics between 2019 and 2021 was 10.0 percentile points. The mean decline in LPS mathematics across grades 3-8 over the same period was 2.7 percentile points.
  • LPS achievement as measured by MAP growth, in both reading and mathematics between 2019 and 2021, did not decline as much as achievement did nationally*. In some grade levels LPS improved in both reading and mathematics, reflecting the effort of teachers and leaders to ensure continuity of learning through the pandemic.
  • Although smaller in magnitude than national declines, LPS declines mirrored the nation* in that declines were greater in mathematics than reading. 
  • In LPS, in both reading and mathematics, there were slight declines in median percentile ranks between 2021 and 2022. Analysis of these scores continues, but may be related to ongoing teacher and student fatigue related to COVID-19 protocols and challenges associated with students returning to in-person learning.

“What this national data tells us is that LPS students over the pandemic did not have the learning loss that other students across the country had. We credit that to the hard work of our classroom teachers under challenging circumstances. This is also because of the support from our interventionists, curriculum department, administrators, families and community in coming together to support our children,” added Larson.

*Source: Learning during COVID-19: An update on student achievement and growth at the start of the 2021-22 school year

Posted on November 01, 2022


Southeast’s Tommy Bender earns awards for excellence in English teaching

Southeast High School English Tommy Bender has received two awards for excellence in teaching.


The National Council of Teachers of English ( NCTE)  named Bender a 2022 High School Teacher of Excellence. He was also designated as the 2022 - 2023 English Teacher of the Year by the Nebraska English Language Arts Council (NELAC).  Bender was nominated by Ann Quinlan of Lincoln. She’s a former Southeast High School English department chair. 


Quinlan wrote in her nomination letter: “Tommy Bender has dedicated his career to helping students become more than they thought they could be. From teaching required Oral Communications classes to freshmen who may be anxious about presenting their first speech, to working with varsity level speech teams that compete nationally and achieve exceptional honors, Tommy shows interest, enthusiasm and support for all students.”


NTCE and NELAC presented him with an engraved Nebraska-shaped plaque at the 36th Annual Plum Creek Literacy Festival. 


Bender will be recognized at the National NCTE Conference in California this fall. 

 

Posted on October 27, 2022


Meeting notice for the Lincoln Board of Education Regular Meeting - October 25, 2022

The Lincoln Board of Education will hold its Regular Meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 6:00 p.m. located in the Boardroom at Lincoln Public Schools Steve Joel District Leadership Center, 5905 O Street. 

Members of the public and media may access the meeting via live video streaming or by physically attending the meetings, which are subject to all national, state and local limitations on public gatherings associated with COVID-19. Overflow accommodations may need to be implemented to ensure the health and safety of all in attendance. 

The agenda for all meetings can be found here: lps.org/board.

There are multiple ways to view the livestream of all meetings:

Participation by citizens in the Regular Board Meeting

The Board believes public attendance and participation, when appropriate to the business at hand, is beneficial to the work of the Board and models the importance of civic engagement and civil discourse to the community’s children, but it cannot impede the Board from completing the business of the meeting. 

In keeping with Board Policy 8420 and Neb Statute 84-1412(3), the Lincoln Board of Education has established these reasonable regulations to conduct Public Comment:

  1. Persons speaking during Public Comment will be called forward individually by the Board Chair to the location identified for such purpose.
  1. A time limit of three minutes will be allotted for any speaker unless prior to the beginning of the Public Comment agenda item, the chair sets a different reasonable time frame to be allotted for speakers in order to accommodate the number of persons who have submitted "Record of Appearance" cards. The time limit is per speaker, per meeting and may not be transferred or assigned to other speakers.
  1. The chair may endeavor to organize public comment by what agenda items or other issues have been identified as topics by public speakers, adjust for the age of speakers, and/or split the Public Comment agenda item to be conducted in different positions within the Board’s Order of Business. At the discretion of the chair, the speaker may be allotted additional time. Board members may share, address or consider comments from the public during public comment, at the end of public comment or when related business is on the agenda.
  1. In order to be called forward to address the Board during Public Comment, each person wishing to speak must obtain a "Record of Appearance" card from staff at the meeting in which they wish to speak. "Record of Appearance" cards are available beginning 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the meeting. Those wishing to speak must accurately complete the required sections of the card, and submit it to the appropriate staff member by 15 minutes after the start of the meeting.
  1. Individuals will be called forward to speak by name, organization being represented, if applicable, and address. Each individual speaking to the Board will be required to identify himself or herself prior to giving public comment by stating their first and last name and, if applicable, any organization they represent.
  1. In cases where more than one person wishes to speak on the same topic, their presentations to the Board may, at the discretion of the chair, be grouped together by topic.
  1. If the number of people wishing to speak under the public comment portions of the agenda is large, the chair may rule that a public hearing be scheduled.
  1. Persons speaking to the Board during public comment may make printed materials (paper no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches) available to the Board but may not use any other form of media. Public speakers are asked to provide 10 copies of any copies of printed materials presented to the Board.

Persons attending Board meetings and/or speaking to the Board during Public Comment or during a public hearing must follow all requirements established by the Board, as well as all Board, chair and staff directions in order to help maintain the order, proper decorum, safety and security, and the non-disruptive functioning of the Board meeting. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Abiding by time limits;
  • Refraining from applauding, cheering, jeering, or engaging in speech that defames any individual(s), or stymies or blocks meeting progress;
  • Refraining from the use of audio recordings, video recordings, or any digital still images, posters, signs, costumes, other props and/or photographs;
  • Refraining from abusive, disruptive or threatening language or gestures; and
  • Staying in the areas identified by the Board as reserved for the public.

If at any time persons appearing before the Board do not comply with these or any other Board requirements, it shall be the responsibility of the chair to declare that person or persons out of order and require a change in behavior, delay or recess the meeting, or refuse permission to continue to address the Board, and ultimately may require the person or persons to leave the premises of the Board meeting.

Posted on October 21, 2022


Highlights: 10/11 Lincoln Board of Education regular meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at the Lincoln Public Schools Steve Joel District Leadership Center, 5905 O Street.

Second reading

District Wide Area Network

The District Wide Area Network  is fiber optic cable that connects LPS buildings in order to provide all staff and students with access to internet digital resources. The current 12-year  fiber network contract was for $8,058,028, or an average annual cost of approximately $671,502, and is set to expire on July 1, 2023.

Staff reviewed three responses to a Request For Proposal (RFP) with initial contract terms of ten years, including provisions to exercise two optional five-year year extensions.  If both extensions are executed, the proposed fiber network will be available to the district until June 30, 2043.

It is recommended that the Board award $1,230,000 over 10 years to Allo Communications for the purchase of Wide Area Network Leased Dark Fiber. This is an average annual cost of $123,000. If the two additional five-year extensions are exercised, the average annual cost of the proposed fiber network would be $120,540 on the 20-year term.  The proposed contract cost represents an average 82% annual decrease, and based on the current percentage of students receiving free and reduced meal assistance, the district is eligible for a Federal E-rate discount of 60%.

The Board voted to approve the contract.

Informational items and reports

Board committee updates

Wellness, American Civics and Multicultural Committee

Board member Annie Mumgaard gave a report from the committee meeting the week prior. There are two meetings required for the purpose of reviewing wellness initiatives and policies in the school district with input from parent representatives. In addition to nutrition and physical education, they also learned about mental health, health services and social emotional learning taking place at LPS.  

“On behalf of of Mr. Boswell and Dr. Rauner, I really want to thank our staff. We are not only living up to our policies, but we are living beyond it and that is a great thing,” said Mumgaard.

The Career Academy Board

Board member Lanny Boswell reported that The Career Academy Board met earlier in the day and saw first hand that TCA students themselves are the best ambassadors of the program. 

“Two juniors and one senior shared their experiences of what made them choose TCA and how the program is preparing them for successful careers,” reported Boswell. “One Lincoln Southwest student in the Criminal Justice pathway noted the experience and dedication of the TCA faculty. A Lincoln High student in the Health Sciences pathway was inspired to learn more about nursing after seeing older students wearing scrubs at school. A Lincoln East senior who learned about TCA from a middle school field trip, now attends TCA all-day taking classes in Health, Ag/Bio Sciences, and Academic Transfer pathways.”

After hearing from these students, the Board discussed ways that they can continue to promote the program to students and families. The TCA Board will meet again in December.

Superintendent update

Superintendent Paul Gausman reported that Wednesday, Oct. 12, is Walk and Roll to School Day. He encouraged everyone to walk, bike, or roll to school in an effort to promote along safe routes while building healthy habits.

Public comment

There were six individuals that addressed the Board during public comment. You can watch the public comments 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 Southeast and Southwest high schools being honored Unified Banner Schools by Special Olympics Nebraska. 

Posted on October 11, 2022


Lincoln Northwest High School basketball teams will not include varsity

Lincoln Public Schools Athletic and Activities Department announced on Friday, Oct. 7, that a final decision has been made in collaboration with Northwest High School to only play junior varsity, reserve and freshman levels games for both girls and boys. There will not be any varsity basketball teams or games during the 2022-2023 season. 

“We have learned valuable lessons during our fall sports season that we carry with us as we navigate the rest of our first year,” said Rob Psencik, Northwest High School activities director. “Putting student safety first, we are taking this unique opportunity to start slow and build our teams and players’ experience. By focusing on the junior varsity, reserve and freshmen level, we can focus on developing our young players. Next year, we will have competitive varsity teams for both boys and girls basketball.”

Northwest students interested in trying out for the basketball teams need to fill out the winter athletics interest form as soon as possible.

JJ Toczek, LPS athletic and activities director expressed support for the decision, saying, "This was a difficult but appropriate decision. I appreciate the administration at Northwest being thoughtful and putting student safety, learning and success first.”

LPS has notified the Nebraska School Athletic Association of the decision, and Northwest administrators have contacted the schools on their winter schedule.

Posted on October 07, 2022


Meeting notice for the Lincoln Board of Education Regular Meeting - October 11, 2022

The Lincoln Board of Education will hold its Regular Meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 6:00 p.m. located in the Boardroom at Lincoln Public Schools Steve Joel District Leadership Center, 5905 O Street. 

Members of the public and media may access the meeting via live video streaming or by physically attending the meetings, which are subject to all national, state and local limitations on public gatherings associated with COVID-19. Overflow accommodations may need to be implemented to ensure the health and safety of all in attendance. 

The agenda for all meetings can be found here: lps.org/board.

There are multiple ways to view the livestream of all meetings:

Participation by citizens in the Regular Board Meeting

The Board believes public attendance and participation, when appropriate to the business at hand, is beneficial to the work of the Board and models the importance of civic engagement and civil discourse to the community’s children, but it cannot impede the Board from completing the business of the meeting. 

In keeping with Board Policy 8420 and Neb Statute 84-1412(3), the Lincoln Board of Education has established these reasonable regulations to conduct Public Comment:

  1. Persons speaking during Public Comment will be called forward individually by the Board Chair to the location identified for such purpose.
  1. A time limit of three minutes will be allotted for any speaker unless prior to the beginning of the Public Comment agenda item, the chair sets a different reasonable time frame to be allotted for speakers in order to accommodate the number of persons who have submitted "Record of Appearance" cards. The time limit is per speaker, per meeting and may not be transferred or assigned to other speakers.
  1. The chair may endeavor to organize public comment by what agenda items or other issues have been identified as topics by public speakers, adjust for the age of speakers, and/or split the Public Comment agenda item to be conducted in different positions within the Board’s Order of Business. At the discretion of the chair, the speaker may be allotted additional time. Board members may share, address or consider comments from the public during public comment, at the end of public comment or when related business is on the agenda.
  1. In order to be called forward to address the Board during Public Comment, each person wishing to speak must obtain a "Record of Appearance" card from staff at the meeting in which they wish to speak. "Record of Appearance" cards are available beginning 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the meeting. Those wishing to speak must accurately complete the required sections of the card, and submit it to the appropriate staff member by 15 minutes after the start of the meeting.
  1. Individuals will be called forward to speak by name, organization being represented, if applicable, and address. Each individual speaking to the Board will be required to identify himself or herself prior to giving public comment by stating their first and last name and, if applicable, any organization they represent.
  1. In cases where more than one person wishes to speak on the same topic, their presentations to the Board may, at the discretion of the chair, be grouped together by topic.
  1. If the number of people wishing to speak under the public comment portions of the agenda is large, the chair may rule that a public hearing be scheduled.
  1. Persons speaking to the Board during public comment may make printed materials (paper no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches) available to the Board but may not use any other form of media. Public speakers are asked to provide 10 copies of any copies of printed materials presented to the Board.

Persons attending Board meetings and/or speaking to the Board during Public Comment or during a public hearing must follow all requirements established by the Board, as well as all Board, chair and staff directions in order to help maintain the order, proper decorum, safety and security, and the non-disruptive functioning of the Board meeting. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Abiding by time limits;
  • Refraining from applauding, cheering, jeering, or engaging in speech that defames any individual(s), or stymies or blocks meeting progress;
  • Refraining from the use of audio recordings, video recordings, or any digital still images, posters, signs, costumes, other props and/or photographs;
  • Refraining from abusive, disruptive or threatening language or gestures; and
  • Staying in the areas identified by the Board as reserved for the public.

If at any time persons appearing before the Board do not comply with these or any other Board requirements, it shall be the responsibility of the chair to declare that person or persons out of order and require a change in behavior, delay or recess the meeting, or refuse permission to continue to address the Board, and ultimately may require the person or persons to leave the premises of the Board meeting.

Posted on October 07, 2022


Highlights: 9/27 Lincoln Board of Education and ESU 18 regular meetings

Board of Education

The Lincoln Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Lincoln Public Schools Steve Joel District Leadership Center, 5905 O Street.

First reading

District Wide Area Network

The District Wide Area Network  is fiber optic cable that connects LPS buildings in order to provide all staff and students with access to internet digital resources. The current 12-year  fiber network contract was for $8,058,028, or an average annual cost of approximately $671,502, and is set to expire on July 1, 2023.

Staff reviewed three responses to a Request For Proposal (RFP) with initial contract terms of ten years, including provisions to exercise two optional five-year year extensions.  If both extensions are executed, the proposed fiber network will be available to the district until June 30, 2043.

It is recommended that the Board award $1,230,000 over 10 years to Allo Communications for the purchase of Wide Area Network Leased Dark Fiber. This is an average annual cost of $123,000. If the two additional five-year extensions are exercised, the average annual cost of the proposed fiber network would be $120,540 on the 20-year term.  The proposed contract cost represents an average 82% annual decrease, and based on the current percentage of students receiving free and reduced meal assistance, the district is eligible for a Federal E-rate discount of 60%.

The Board will hold a second reading and vote to approve the contract at its next meeting.

Second reading

2022-2023 Board of Education and superintendent's annual goals and priorities

Each year, the Board evaluates the superintendent and develops annual priorities for the superintendent to focus on during the upcoming school year. 

During Paul Gausman’s first year as superintendent, the Board has outlined the following superintendent goals for the 2022-2023 school year:

Transition Reports
Present a midyear transition report to the Board by Nov. 22. This will include preliminary findings, emerging themes and potential recommendations based on input from internal and external stakeholders. 

The superintendent will also present an end-of-year transition report to the Board by April 25. Transition updates should include themes based on school visits, community conversations, and staff interviews; as well as, any recommendations regarding school district organizational structures, systems and programs.

Strategic Planning
Develop and present to the Board a framework and timeline for the next LPS Strategic plan by April 25. The plan should include authentic input and ownership from staff, students, families and the Lincoln community. It should also integrate and reinforce the LPS All Means All Action Plan.

The Board voted to approve the goals.

Board Vice President Connie Duncan read a statement after the vote from Board President Don Mayhew who had an excused absence from the meeting.

“Now that our Board and superintendent goals have passed, I'd like to announce the formation of an ad hoc sub-committee. The Strategic Planning Committee will be tasked with collaborating with Dr. Gausman to craft the process and timeline to develop our next strategic plan.

My memory of our last strategic planning process is that it was an incredibly valuable opportunity for our community members to express their thoughts on the direction that the district should move over the next several years. One of the things this district does really well is learning from what we do, and using that information to improve our processes. I'm looking forward to us building on our past successes and have charged this committee with keeping a strong focus on outreach and inclusion.

The committee members will be Kathy Danek and Bob Rauner, and the chair will be Lanny Boswell. I'd like to thank them for their willingness to serve.”

Newly appointed Strategic Planning Committee Chair Lanny Boswell responded by saying he was grateful for the opportunity. 

Boswell added, “Our last strategic plan was the result of extensive community engagement, including 49 community sessions with over 700 participants, as well as, nearly 4,000 responses to an online survey. The data collected through that process was reviewed by a community study team, Educational Service Unit staff members, and several Board committees.”

The last Strategic Plan was adopted by the Board in the fall of 2017. It included initiatives such as creating new focus programs, providing additional mental health supports for students, expanding the Community Learning Center programs, and addressing growing high school enrollment.

“Our District and community have changed over the last five years and we face new challenges and opportunities,” said Boswell. “The creation of a strategic plan is an important opportunity for the school district to work with our community to set the direction of Lincoln Public Schools for the next several years. I look forward to the work ahead."

2022-2023 LPS budget adoption

The Board held a second reading on the proposed 2022-2023 budget. 

After two years of a relatively flat budget, LPS is looking at moderate budget growth with an investment in staff, opening new schools and addressing previous budget cuts. The LPS proposed budget totals about $490 million. This is an average 2.3% increase over the 2019-2020 budget year.

Other highlights of the 2022-2023 proposed budget include:

  • A priority investment on staffing with an estimated 4.11% total compensation package increase.
  • Increasing the school supplies budget by nearly $300,000 to address previous years’ cuts.
  • Spend nearly $643-thousand to help catch up the CLASS plan in purchasing devices that were delayed in previous years due to budget reductions.
  • Replacing approximately $283-thousand in curriculum purchases due to budget cuts.
  • Increase in transportation services for Early Childhood.
  • Add a social worker to the Threat Assessment Team.
  • Provide funding for the startup of bowling and girls wrestling at the high schools.
  • Reduce the use of cash flow from $2,124,040 to $234,067.

More information can be found on our website: lps.org/budget.

Before the vote, Board Finance Chair Kathy Danek said, “Budgets are built on the needs of students and staff, and those needs are demonstrated through budget discussions with each school, school district staff, the community and Board members. We know that students engaged in their schools do better in their academic endeavors.”

Danek went on to highlight some of the focus programs, academic programs, activities and athletics that were supported in the 2022-2023 budget. 

“We’ve done all this while actually lowering the combined levy by about one-third of a penny. It is for these reasons that I will be voting for adoption of this budget and tax levy proposals,” added Danek.

The Board voted to approve the 2022-2023 proposed budget.

2022-2023 LPS property tax request

The Board held a second reading on the LPS property tax request to fund the 2022-2023 proposed budget. This is part of the annual budget process each year.

The proposed total levy rate drops .37 of one cent to $1.207169 and includes:

  • General Fund levy unchanged at $1.05
  • Bond Fund levy drops slightly to $.0139095
  • Qualified Capital Purpose Fund levy drops slightly to $0.018074

The Board voted to approved the LPS property tax request to fund the 2022-2023 budget.

Policy updates - 3000 series

Board policies are reviewed regularly following a schedule to make sure the policies match current practices and ensure compliance with local, state and national laws. 

Some of the changes to the policies include:

  • Adding language about budget hearings to align with new state laws.
  • Adjusting when announcements of monetary donations to LPS can be announced.
  • Adjusting bid requirements to match guidance by the Nebraska Department of Education.

The Board voted to approve the policy changes.

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 Lacy Addition CUP to Pyrtle Elementary School, Lux Middle School and East High School.

The Board voted to approve the assignments.

Policy update for authorization of student activities - 6700

LPS reviews policies on an ongoing basis and updates policies to ensure that they accurately reflect the ever-changing work of the district and changes in state law and federal law.

The budget for 2022-2023 includes additional funding for boys and girls bowling and girls wrestling to the list of authorized student activities. These activities have recently been sanctioned by the Nebraska State Activities Association. The revision of Policy 6700 adds these activities to the approved list in the policy.

Danek said, “The students that came and asked for these activities work hard and they want to represent the schools that they attend. That connection is really important as kids grow and develop. It teaches them about being involved in the community they belong to.”

Board member Barb Baier added, “I want to recognize the fact that extracurriculars are not really that ‘extra’, they are what a lot of kids come to school for. If we want to address our on time graduation rate, we need to support athletics, music and all types of student activities.”

The Board voted to approve the changes.

Informational items and reports

Superintendent Update

Superintendent Paul Gausman took a moment during his report to recognize those individuals who were honored by the Lincoln Journal Star for the 2022 Inspire Awards. Lincoln Public Schools was well represented during these awards. Award winners included:/

  • Excellence in Education: Vann Price, LPS supervisor of secondary personnel services and director of equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Excellence in Philanthropy: Connie Duncan, Lincoln Board of Education vice president.
  • Founders Award: Ellie Hiser, sophomore at Lincoln East High School.
  • Inspire Scholarship: Alaa Ismail, Lincoln High School graduate, class of 2022.

These awards recognized women who have excelled in their professional lives and emerged as leaders and role models in the Lincoln community.

Public comment

There were four individuals that addressed the Board during public comment. You can watch the public comments in the full meeting video here.

Glimpses of LPS

We open every Board meeting with a video that highlights Lincoln Public Schools. In honor of Constitution week, Tuesday’s video featured highlights from UNL Law students visiting Culler Middle School.

ESU 18 meeting

ESU 18 met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 27, immediately following the Board of Education Meeting. You can watch a video of the full meeting here after the Board of Education meeting.

2022-23 Educational Service Unit 18 budget adoption and property tax request

The ESU 18 Board held second readings and voted to approve the proposed 2022-2023 budget and property tax request.

 

Posted on September 27, 2022


Lincoln Northwest varsity football cancels remaining season games

Lincoln Public Schools Athletic and Activities Department announced on Friday that a decision has been made to cancel the remaining Lincoln Northwest High School varsity football games scheduled for the 2022 season. Northwest will still compete in freshmen, reserve and junior varsity level games this fall.

“We understand there may be disappointment behind this decision,” said JJ Toczek, LPS athletic and activities director. “The Falcons have experienced a number of injuries and we are unsure about timelines for when students will be able to return. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution and with student safety as our focus, we’ve decided to forfeit the remainder of the Northwest varsity football games.”

With approximately 75 students on the  team, 15 student-athletes are currently out for various illnesses and injuries. These are injuries that either limit or prohibit an athlete's ability to return to the team in the immediate future, and there is an unclear timeline of possible return to play. Of the 60 students remaining on the roster, 36 are freshmen, 12 are sophomores, and 12 are juniors. Only a few of the Northwest players have any varsity experience, and even more have never played organized football prior to this year. 

Toczek added, “We want our student-athletes to be safe and have a positive experience on and off the field to help them build their passion for the game. Our players will still be able to compete in junior varsity, reserve and freshmen competitions to build their experience as a team and player’s skills for future years.”

LPS informed the Nebraska School Athletic Association and the scheduled competition schools of the decision to forfeit the remaining games on Friday afternoon.

Posted on September 16, 2022


Adams and Humann elementary schools named 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced that two elementary schools within Lincoln Public Schools are designated 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools. The announcement on Friday recognized Adams and Humann elementary schools as two of the 297 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2022. The Blue Ribbon recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. 

“I applaud all the honorees for the 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award for creating vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school communities where students can learn, grow, reach their potential, and achieve their dreams,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “As our country continues to recover from the pandemic, we know that our future will only be as strong as the education we provide to all of our children. Blue Ribbon Schools have gone above and beyond to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. These schools show what is possible to make an enduring, positive difference in students’ lives.”

“It’s an honor any time a school is recognized nationally for their work and dedication to student achievement,” said LPS Superintendent Paul Gausman. “In Lincoln Public Schools we get the honor of not having just one, but two of our schools showcased at the national level for their work in pushing through challenges and succeeding when it comes to student achievement. On behalf of my team and the Board of Education, congratulations to Adams and Humann elementary schools staff, students and families.”

The principals at both schools shared the announcement Friday with their staff, students and families. They will travel to Washington D.C. in November to accept the award during a special ceremony. A special celebration for students, staff and families is being planned at each school after the national ceremony.

“I am so proud of our staff, students and families,” said Jeff Rust, Adams principal. “Our teachers teach with passion, our staff are dedicated to supporting each child, our students learn with confidence and push themselves each day, and our families are there with us every step of the way.”

“I am beyond honored to serve as the new principal for Humann,” said Jamie Cook, Humann principal. “I see how the Humann staff have worked really hard to help students reach new heights in their academic achievement, even through the challenges of a pandemic. I witness every day our students pushing themselves and each other to be the best they can be. I know the Humann families have given their time and support to our staff and students to help them succeed. All of these acts together are the reason why Humann Elementary is being honored as a National Blue Ribbon School.”

The National Blue Ribbon School award affirms and validates the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in striving for – and attaining – exemplary achievement. National Blue Ribbon Schools serve as models of effective school practices for state and district educators and other schools throughout the nation. 

Adams and Humann elementary schools become the ninth and tenth LPS schools to be named a Blue Ribbon School in the 39-year history of the recognition. Other LPS schools honored were Lux Middle School (2021); Pyrtle Elementary School (2020); Rousseau Elementary School (2018); Riley Elementary School (2011); Norwood Park Elementary School (2012); Southeast High School (1988); Lincoln East Junior and Senior High School (1983); and Lincoln High School (1983).

 

Posted on September 16, 2022


Beatrice vs. Lincoln Northwest varsity football game canceled

Lincoln Public School Athletic Department and Beatrice Public Schools announced on Wednesday that the matchup between the Beatrice Orangemen and the Northwest Falcon varsity football teams scheduled for Friday, Sept. 16, has been canceled.

“As is the case with any football program, we’ve experienced a number of injuries on an already small team and we are unable to field a varsity team for our next competition,” said LPS Director of Athletics and Activities JJ Toczek. “Unfortunately, we will have to forfeit our game against the Orangemen. We understand there is disappointment behind this decision, one we do not make lightly.”

“While we are disappointed our team will not be able to play on Friday, we understand the challenges of building a football program from scratch,” said Gus Brown, Beatrice High School athletic director. “We appreciate the collaboration with Lincoln Public Schools to make this decision as early as possible in order to effectively communicate it with our respective communities.”

Posted on September 14, 2022


Highlights: 9/13 Lincoln Board of Education and ESU 18 regular meetings

Board of Education regular meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at the Lincoln Public Schools Steve Joel District Leadership Center, 5905 O Street. 

Special reports, presentations and celebrations of success

Staff Celebration:  Lorinda Rice, LPS Curriculum Specialist Honored with Nebraska Art Teacher Association Roscoe Shield Service Award

The Nebraska Art Teachers Association has selected Lorinda Rice as the 2022 Roscoe Shields Service Award winner. This award recognizes an individual who has exhibited dedication and commitment to art education in Nebraska through sustained leadership and service. It is the highest award the Nebraska Art Teachers Association has to offer.

As curriculum specialist for Visual Art at Lincoln Public Schools, Lorinda Rice has been instrumental in leading and emphasizing the key concepts of art education at LPS. The community partnerships she has cultivated have provided more enriching and meaningful hands-on learning opportunities for students. In addition, Lorinda is currently assisting a University of Nebraska - Lincoln team with researching inquiry-based art education and its impact on student learning.

Lorinda has gained a national reputation as a renowned practitioner and presenter covering topics from student ideation and classroom management, to curriculum development and educational technology. She has also served as an officer multiple times on state and national association boards.

First reading

2022-2023 Board of Education and superintendent's annual goals and priorities

Each year, the Board evaluates the superintendent and develops annual priorities for the superintendent to focus on during the upcoming school year. 

During Paul Gausman’s first year as superintendent, the Board has outlined the following superintendent goals for the 2022-2023 school year:

Transition Reports
Present a midyear transition report to the Board by Nov. 22. This will include preliminary findings, emerging themes and potential recommendations based on input from internal and external stakeholders. 

The superintendent will also present an end-of-year transition report to the Board by April 25. Transition updates should include themes based on school visits, community conversations, and staff interviews; as well as, any recommendations regarding school district organizational structures, systems and programs.

Strategic Planning
Develop and present to the Board a framework and timeline for the next LPS Strategic plan by April 25. The plan should include authentic input and ownership from staff, students, families and the Lincoln community. It should also integrate and reinforce the LPS All Means All Action Plan.

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

2022-2023 LPS budget adoption

The Board held its first reading on the proposed 2022-2023 budget and will vote on it at the Sept. 27 meeting. A public hearing will be held on Monday, Sept. 26, at 6:00 p.m. in the Boardroom at the Lincoln Public Schools Steve Joel District Leadership Center.

After two years of a relatively flat budget, LPS is looking at moderate budget growth with an investment in staff, opening new schools and addressing previous budget cuts. The LPS proposed budget totals about $490 million. This is an average 2.3% increase over the 2019-2020 budget year.

Other highlights of the 2022-2023 proposed budget include:

  • A priority investment on staffing with an estimated 4.11% total compensation package increase.
  • Increasing the school supplies budget by nearly $300,000 to address previous years’ cuts.
  • Spend nearly $643-thousand to help catch up the CLASS plan in purchasing devices that were delayed in previous years due to budget reductions.
  • Replacing approximately $283-thousand in curriculum purchases due to budget cuts.
  • Increase in transportation services for Early Childhood.
  • Add a social worker to the Threat Assessment Team.
  • Provide funding for the startup of bowling and girls wrestling at the high schools.
  • Reduce the use of cash flow from $2,124,040 to $234,067.

More information can be found on our website: lps.org/budget.

After the presentation, Board Finance Chair Kathy Danek said, “I just want to say thank you to Dr. Standish. Your leadership has been impeccable. There have been things added this year, like bowling and girls wrestling. Thank you for making sure we have resources available for the students of Lincoln Public Schools.”

2022-2023 LPS property tax request

The Board held a first reading and will vote at the next meeting on the LPS property tax request to fund the 2022-2023 proposed budget. This is part of the annual budget process each year.

The proposed total levy rate drops .37 of one cent to $1.207169 and includes:

  • General Fund levy unchanged at $1.05
  • Bond Fund levy drops slightly to $.0139095
  • Qualified Capital Purpose Fund levy drops slightly to $0.018074

Policy updates - 3000 series

Board policies are reviewed regularly following a schedule to make sure the policies match current practices and ensure compliance with local, state and national laws. 

Some of the changes to the policies include:

  • Adding language about budget hearings to align with new state laws.
  • Adjusting when announcements of monetary donations to LPS can be announced.
  • Adjusting bid requirements to match guidance by the Nebraska Department of Education.

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

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 Lacy Addition CUP to Pyrtle Elementary School, Lux Middle School and East High School.

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

Policy update for authorization of student activities - 6700

LPS reviews policies on an ongoing basis and updates policies to ensure that they accurately reflect the ever-changing work of the district and changes in state law and federal law.

The budget proposed for 2022-2023 includes additional funding for boys and girls bowling and girls wrestling to the list of authorized student activities. These activities have recently been sanctioned by the Nebraska State Activities Association. The revision of Policy 6700 adds these activities to the approved list in the policy.

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

Second reading

Policy 6443 - Parental and Family Engagement

Each year the Board of Education is required to review and approve Policy 6443 about parent and family engagement.

All parents and family members of LPS students are welcomed and encouraged to become involved with their child’s school and education. Associate Superintendent for Instruction Matt Larson outlined just some of the ways LPS engages with parents and families throughout the school year. Those include Community Curriculum Council, School Improvement Teams, Special Education Networking Program, Family Literacy Program, Title I Programs, Native American Advisory Council, Community Learning Centers School Neighborhood Advisory Committees, Early Childhood Program, and as necessary special meetings are scheduled throughout different groups.

The Board voted to reaffirm the policy.

Policy 6450 - Controversial Issues Policy

At the request of a parent, Policy 6450 was reviewed by staff and proposed modifications that were presented to the Student Learning and Technology Committee. The committee made a recommendation to the Board to modify language that clarified the current policy. Those changes included changing “Teachers should notify parents” to “Teachers will notify parents”, and “Notification will be far enough in advance that teachers can provide students alternative learning activities if the students and/or the student’s parents object to the controversial issue being studied and wish to opt-out of a specific component of the curriculum.”

The Board voted to approve the changes.

2022-2023 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 Lincoln Board of Education, the Board approves legislative guidelines that provide direction to LPS staff and representatives communicating with governmental bodies.  

The Board voted to approve the legislative guidelines.

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 Grandview Estates 2nd Addition to  Wysong Elementary School, Moore Middle School and East High School.

The Board voted to approve the proposal.

The Career Academy first amended and restated interlocal agreement

In 2013, LPS entered into a partnership with Southeast Community College to create The Career Academy. From time to time, amendments to the original agreement are proposed to align with TCA’s current practices and procedures.

Changes to the latest amendment include better defining some of the terms, and clearly identifying financial responsibilities.

The Board voted to approve the agreement.

Informational items and reports

Superintendent Update

LPS Superintendent provided an update to the Board. He spoke about his observations as he has been touring the school district and held conversations with community members. Some of the narrative he hears in the Midwest is around public schools and school choice. 

Gausman said, “I am absolutely pleased and amazed with the choices that I am learning about that students have in this community.”

He also added he is impressed in how LPS is transparent and allows community engagement in the budgeting process. He indicated he has learned so much in the last two months. 

Gausman took the opportunity on the microphone to share with the Board and the community about two upcoming Interview Fairs on Sept. 26 and Oct. 18 for support staff members. There are still over 150 open positions in the areas of transportation, custodial, nutrition services, para educators and health office. The community can learn more about the Interview Fairs at https://home.lps.org/hr/fair/.

Gausman also provided an update from the last Board meeting where he indicated he would look further into a staff learning session. 

Gausman said he met with the presenter, Ryan Sallans, and multiple LPS staff members who attended the session to discuss what exactly was said. When asked about some of the community member statements posted on social media regarding the training, Mr. Sallans replied that he did not advocate for teens to have more sex. The statement reported on social media was not said during the session. 

Gausman added, “I do believe, however, that individuals heard and took away from the session what they wanted to, as it is common for individuals to interpret conversations through the prism of their own experiences, knowledge, and biases.”

Gausman went on to say the data and information presented during the session were geared toward a group of LPS professional clinicians trained to support all students with their mental and physical health needs so students are able to better focus on learning in school.

“You see, this is what this is about - student achievement. That’s our core mission and we have the opportunity and honor to serve all as we bring about student achievement,” said Gausman.

Gausman learned through his conversation with Sallans that he is a nationally recognized speaker who has been invited by health care facilities, judicial systems, and U.S. military bases to conduct professional learning sessions. 

Gausman told the Board that the LPS staff who invited Mr. Sallans and helped organize this training session are highly-qualified professionals with the best interest of students at the heart of their mission. 
“This learning session, along with the 35-hundred-plus hours of training offered to LPS staff throughout the year, was thoughtfully curated to help our staff support the mission ‘All Means All’, and the students who walk through our doors,” added Gausman.

Gausman also said, “As educators, we need to help eliminate barriers so students can be successful in school. Understanding and building empathy for a child - or any human being - does not force our staff to adopt something contrary to their beliefs; rather, it helps them recognize the daily challenges a child may face that create barriers to their learning.”  

He closed the matter by saying to the Board, “I am proud of the work Lincoln Public Schools is doing to support our students, and we will continue to provide training for staff to assist them in serving all students so long as you tell me that ‘All Means All’. And I agree.”

Board Chair Don Mayhew added that he wanted to correct misinformation shared in the community by saying Board members did not take any action to officially approve the presentation by Mr. Sallans. 

Mayhew added, “Last year we had some 35-hundred hours of training provided to staff and those do not typically rise to the level of Board approval for individual workshops or training.”

Mayhew told the Board that Mr. Sallans held a lunch workshop in which he attended. Mayhew said that when he attended that preview workshop, none of the comments circulating on social media were in that preview presentation.

Public comment

There were six individuals that addressed the Board during public comment. You can watch the public comments in the full meeting video here.

Glimpses of LPS

We open every Board meeting with a video that highlights Lincoln Public Schools. In honor of National Arts in Education week, Tuesday’s video featured highlights from Kloefkorn Elementary School and Arts and Humanities Focus Program. 

ESU 18 meeting

ESU 18 met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 13, immediately following the Board of Education Meeting. You can watch a video of the full meeting here after the Board of Education meeting.

ESU Administrator Sarah Salem provided a brief summary about what services an Education Service Unit provides to Lincoln Public Schools. Every ESU in Nebraska is required to provide school districts with professional development, technology, library media, assessment and evaluation services. There is a network across the state that provides distance learning through the ESUs for students. In addition, the Pathfinder program served by the ESU allows Nebraska students who are awaiting a decision by the court system to receive an education.

2022-23 Educational Service Unit 18 budget adoption and property tax request

The ESU 18 Board held its first reading on the proposed 2022-2023 budget and will vote on it at the Sept. 27 meeting. A public hearing will be held on Monday, Sept. 26, in the Boardroom at the Lincoln Public Schools Steve Joel District Leadership Center.

 

Posted on September 13, 2022


Meeting notices for the Lincoln Board of Education and ESU 18 - September 13, 2022

The Lincoln Board of Education will hold its Regular Meeting on Tuesday, September 13, at 6:00 p.m. located in the Boardroom at Lincoln Public Schools Steve Joel District Leadership Center, 5905 O Street. The ESU 18 Regular Meeting will follow immediately after.
Members of the public and media may access the meetings via live video streaming or by physically attending the meetings, which are subject to all national, state and local limitations on public gatherings associated with COVID-19. Overflow accommodations may need to be implemented to ensure the health and safety of all in attendance.

The agenda for all meetings can be found here: lps.org/board.

There are multiple ways to view the livestream of all meetings:

Participation by citizens in the Regular Board Meeting

The Board believes public attendance and participation, when appropriate to the business at hand, is beneficial to the work of the Board and models the importance of civic engagement and civil discourse to the community’s children, but it cannot impede the Board from completing the business of the meeting. 

In keeping with Board Policy 8420 and Neb Statute 84-1412(3), the Lincoln Board of Education has established these reasonable regulations to conduct Public Comment:

1. Persons speaking during Public Comment will be called forward individually by the Board Chair to the location identified for such purpose.

2. A time limit of three minutes will be allotted for any speaker unless prior to the beginning of the Public Comment agenda item, the chair sets a different reasonable time frame to be allotted for speakers in order to accommodate the number of persons who have submitted "Record of Appearance" cards. The time limit is per speaker, per meeting and may not be transferred or assigned to other speakers.

3. The chair may endeavor to organize public comment by what agenda items or other issues have been identified as topics by public speakers, adjust for the age of speakers, and/or split the Public Comment agenda item to be conducted in different positions within the Board’s Order of Business. At the discretion of the chair, the speaker may be allotted additional time. Board members may share, address or consider comments from the public during public comment, at the end of public comment or when related business is on the agenda.

4. In order to be called forward to address the Board during Public Comment, each person wishing to speak must obtain a "Record of Appearance" card from staff at the meeting in which they wish to speak. "Record of Appearance" cards are available beginning 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the meeting. Those wishing to speak must accurately complete the required sections of the card, and submit it to the appropriate staff member by 15 minutes after the start of the meeting.

5. Individuals will be called forward to speak by name, organization being represented, if applicable, and address. Each individual speaking to the Board will be required to identify himself or herself prior to giving public comment by stating their first and last name and, if applicable, any organization they represent.

6. In cases where more than one person wishes to speak on the same topic, their presentations to the Board may, at the discretion of the chair, be grouped together by topic.

7. If the number of people wishing to speak under the public comment portions of the agenda is large, the chair may rule that a public hearing be scheduled.

8. Persons speaking to the Board during public comment may make printed materials (paper no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches) available to the Board but may not use any other form of media. Public speakers are asked to provide 10 copies of any copies of printed materials presented to the Board.

Persons attending Board meetings and/or speaking to the Board during Public Comment or during a public hearing must follow all requirements established by the Board, as well as all Board, chair and staff directions in order to help maintain the order, proper decorum, safety and security, and the non-disruptive functioning of the Board meeting. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Abiding by time limits;
  • Refraining from applauding, cheering, jeering, or engaging in speech that defames any individual(s), or stymies or blocks meeting progress;
  • Refraining from the use of audio recordings, video recordings, or any digital still images, posters, signs, costumes, other props and/or photographs;
  • Refraining from abusive, disruptive or threatening language or gestures; and
  • Staying in the areas identified by the Board as reserved for the public.

If at any time persons appearing before the Board do not comply with these or any other Board requirements, it shall be the responsibility of the chair to declare that person or persons out of order and require a change in behavior, delay or recess the meeting, or refuse permission to continue to address the Board, and ultimately may require the person or persons to leave the premises of the Board meeting.

Posted on September 09, 2022


Highlights: 8/23 Lincoln Board of Education Regular Meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 23, at the Lincoln Public Schools Steve Joel District Leadership Center, 5905 O Street. 

First reading

Policy 6443 - Parental and Family Engagement

Each year the Board of Education is required to review Policy 6443, hold a public hearing, and approve the policy. 

All parents and family members of all students are welcomed and encouraged to become involved with their child’s school and education. Associate Superintendent for Instruction Matt Larson outlined just some of the ways LPS engages with parents and families throughout the school year. Those include Community Curriculum Council, School Improvement Teams, Special Education Networking Program, Family Literacy Program, Title I Programs, Native American Advisory Council, Community Learning Centers School Neighborhood Advisory Committees, Early Childhood Program, and as necessary special meetings are scheduled throughout different groups.

No person spoke during the public hearing about Policy 6443. The Board will hold a second reading and vote to reaffirm the policy at the next meeting.

Policy 6450 - Controversial Issues Policy

At the request of a parent, Policy 6450 was reviewed by staff and proposed modifications that were presented to the Student Learning and Technology Committee. The committee made a recommendation to the Board to modify language that clarified the current policy. Those changes included changing “Teachers should notify parents” to “Teachers will notify parents”, and “Notification will be far enough in advance that teachers can provide students alternative learning activities if the students and/or the student’s parents object to the controversial issue being studied and wish to opt-out of a specific component of the curriculum.”

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

2022-2023 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 Lincoln Board of Education, the Board approves legislative guidelines that provide direction to LPS staff and representatives communicating with governmental bodies.  

The Board will hold a second reading and vote to approve the legislative guidelines at the next meeting.

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 Grandview Estates 2nd Addition to  Wysong Elementary School, Moore Middle School and East High School.

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

The Career Academy first amended and restated interlocal agreement

In 2013, LPS entered into a partnership with Southeast Community College to create The Career Academy. From time to time, amendments to the original agreement are proposed to align with TCA’s current practices and procedures.

Changes to the latest amendment include better defining some of the terms, and clearly identifying financial responsibilities.

The Board will bring the agreement back for a second reading and vote at the next meeting.

2022-23 insurance rates

LPS Risk Management annually solicits quotes for all property and all liability insurance coverage, as well as, excess workers’ compensation insurance coverage, boiler and machinery insurance, and the third-party claims handling service for property/liability. LPS works through consulting and brokerage firm Arthur J. Gallagher (AJG) Company and UNICO. 

The Board waived second reading and voted to approve the insurance rates.

Full-Service Community Schools Grant Program

Lincoln Public Schools is developing a proposal in response to the U.S. Department of Education requesting applications for the Full-Service Community Schools Grant Program.  Existing Community Learning Center partners will be embraced in the planning process that is required in the first year of the program, as well as in the administration and implementation of the entire five-year program. Program services must include academic, non-academic, health, mental health, and other strategies to support the needs of students, families, and community residents.

Grant funds will support a broad range of items including a required full-time coordinator at each school, a full-time navigator to work with school nurses to identify and assist students and families without health care coverage or a medical home to secure these services in the community, expanded community-based contracts for school-based therapy during non-school hours, and other expanded school-based services during non-school and summer hours.

The Board waived second reading and voted to approve the grant application.

Second reading

CLC agreements

Each year, the Board reviews agreements with community agencies to run Community Learning Centers (CLCs) at schools where the programming is located. The following agreements for a total of $1,820,640 were put before the Board for consideration:

  • Boys and Girls Club of Lincoln-Lancaster County: $138,830
  • Cedars Youth Services: $156,800
  • Civic Nebraska: $193,454
  • Lincoln Housing Authority: $39,240
  • Willard Community Center: $38,548
  • YMCA of Lincoln: $207,177
  • Northeast Family Center: $111,760
  • Family Service Association of Lincoln: $568,536
  • Malone Community Center: $87,400
  • Lincoln Parks & Recreation: $278,895

CLCs provide high-quality academic and enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children. These clubs offer a variety of activities that complement and amplify what is taught in school, and encourage community and parent engagement for the success of the children.

The Board voted to approve the agreements.

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 Northwest High School. The 13 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.

The total expenditure is $602,595.90. This is a 4.95 percent increase from last year.

The Board voted 4-1 to approve the agreement.

Informational items and reports

Board Committees

Board Finance Committee

The Board Finance Committee reported that the 2022-2023 Proposed Budget Book is now available on the LPS website for public review. 

Wellness, American Civics, Multicultural Committee

The committee met earlier in the evening to hold the required public hearing on the American Civics curriculum. Staff gave an update on the curriculum and any person interested in learning more can go to the LPS website.

Superintendent Update

Superintendent Paul Gausman spoke to the professionalism of all of the LPS staff as he has been touring around the school district. 

Prior to Public Comment, Gausman addressed some information circulating about a staff learning session.

“It has been reliably reported to me by several staff members that the speaker did not say the quote attributed to him. However, given that there still seems to be some disagreement about what was actually said, I will be looking into this further and try to get a sense of what some staff members feel they heard,” said Gausman.

He added, “I firmly believe that our staff members are trained professionals dedicated to doing what's best for kids. Being new to Lincoln Public Schools, this is an opportunity for me to review our practices when choosing presenters. If we are going to be true to our mission of ‘all means all,’ we may need to consider our speakers through a wider lens. There is always room for us to do better.”

Gausman went on to say that LPS is legally and morally obligated to provide appropriate training to staff to ensure that all students have access to programs and activities free from harassment, bullying, and exclusion. 

Gausman added, “LPS does NOT condone, support or promote sexual activity among our students. However, we are also parents and don't want anybody's children engaging in risky or inappropriate behaviors. Therefore, we do our best to ensure that any content for students and staff will be appropriate and in line with our policies and curriculum. If we find that an invited speaker is not in-line, they will not be invited back.

“We believe school staff members must recognize the importance of the parent/child relationship and the right of the parent to make decisions for their minor child. Parents know what's best for their children, and our strongest desire is to partner with parents and guardians in providing their children with the best and most appropriate educational opportunities,” said Gausman.

Public comment

There were 25 individuals that addressed the Board during public comment. You can watch the public comments in the full meeting video here.

Glimpses of LPS

We open every Board meeting with a video that highlights Lincoln Public Schools. Tuesday’s video featured highlights from the first week of school. 

Posted on August 24, 2022


Meeting notice for the Lincoln Board of Education - August 23, 2022

The Lincoln Board of Education will hold its Regular Meeting on Tuesday, August 23, at 6:00 p.m. located in the Boardroom at Lincoln Public Schools Steve Joel District Leadership Center, 5905 O Street.

Members of the public and media may access the meeting via live video streaming or by physically attending the meetings, which are subject to all national, state and local limitations on public gatherings associated with COVID-19. Overflow accommodations may need to be implemented to ensure the health and safety of all in attendance. 

The agenda for all meetings can be found here: lps.org/board.

There are multiple ways to view the livestream of all meetings:

Participation by citizens in the Regular Board Meeting

The Board believes public attendance and participation, when appropriate to the business at hand, is beneficial to the work of the Board and models the importance of civic engagement and civil discourse to the community’s children, but it cannot impede the Board from completing the business of the meeting. 

In keeping with Board Policy 8420 and Neb Statute 84-1412(3), the Lincoln Board of Education has established these reasonable regulations to conduct Public Comment:

  1. Persons speaking during Public Comment will be called forward individually by the Board Chair to the location identified for such purpose.
  1. A time limit of three minutes will be allotted for any speaker unless prior to the beginning of the Public Comment agenda item, the chair sets a different reasonable time frame to be allotted for speakers in order to accommodate the number of persons who have submitted "Record of Appearance" cards. The time limit is per speaker, per meeting and may not be transferred or assigned to other speakers.
  1. The chair may endeavor to organize public comment by what agenda items or other issues have been identified as topics by public speakers, adjust for the age of speakers, and/or split the Public Comment agenda item to be conducted in different positions within the Board’s Order of Business. At the discretion of the chair, the speaker may be allotted additional time. Board members may share, address or consider comments from the public during public comment, at the end of public comment or when related business is on the agenda.
  1. In order to be called forward to address the Board during Public Comment, each person wishing to speak must obtain a "Record of Appearance" card from staff at the meeting in which they wish to speak. "Record of Appearance" cards are available beginning 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the meeting. Those wishing to speak must accurately complete the required sections of the card, and submit it to the appropriate staff member by 15 minutes after the start of the meeting.
  1. Individuals will be called forward to speak by name, organization being represented, if applicable, and address. Each individual speaking to the Board will be required to identify himself or herself prior to giving public comment by stating their first and last name and, if applicable, any organization they represent.
  1. In cases where more than one person wishes to speak on the same topic, their presentations to the Board may, at the discretion of the chair, be grouped together by topic.
  1. If the number of people wishing to speak under the public comment portions of the agenda is large, the chair may rule that a public hearing be scheduled.
  1. Persons speaking to the Board during public comment may make printed materials (paper no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches) available to the Board but may not use any other form of media. Public speakers are asked to provide 10 copies of any copies of printed materials presented to the Board.

Persons attending Board meetings and/or speaking to the Board during Public Comment or during a public hearing must follow all requirements established by the Board, as well as all Board, chair and staff directions in order to help maintain the order, proper decorum, safety and security, and the non-disruptive functioning of the Board meeting. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Abiding by time limits
  • Refraining from applauding, cheering, jeering, or engaging in speech that defames any individual(s), or stymies or blocks meeting progress;
  • Refraining from the use of audio recordings, video recordings, or any digital still images, posters, signs, costumes, other props and/or photographs
  • Refraining from abusive, disruptive or threatening language or gestures, and
  • Staying in the areas identified by the Board as reserved for the public.

If at any time persons appearing before the Board do not comply with these or any other Board requirements, it shall be the responsibility of the chair to declare that person or persons out of order and require a change in behavior, delay or recess the meeting, or refuse permission to continue to address the Board, and ultimately may require the person or persons to leave the premises of the Board meeting.

Posted on August 19, 2022


Meeting notice for the Lincoln Board of Education - August 9, 2022

The Lincoln Board of Education will hold its Regular Meeting on Tuesday, August 9, at 6:00 p.m. located in the Boardroom at Lincoln Public Schools Steve Joel District Leadership Center, 5905 O Street.

Members of the public and media may access the meeting via live video streaming or by physically attending the meetings, which are subject to all national, state and local limitations on public gatherings associated with COVID-19. Overflow accommodations may need to be implemented to ensure the health and safety of all in attendance. 

The agenda for all meetings can be found here: lps.org/board.

There are multiple ways to view the livestream of all meetings:

Participation by citizens in the Regular Board Meeting

The Board believes public attendance and participation, when appropriate to the business at hand, is beneficial to the work of the Board and models the importance of civic engagement and civil discourse to the community’s children, but it cannot impede the Board from completing the business of the meeting. 

In keeping with Board Policy 8420 and Neb Statute 84-1412(3), the Lincoln Board of Education has established these reasonable regulations to conduct Public Comment:

  1. Persons speaking during Public Comment will be called forward individually by the Board Chair to the location identified for such purpose.
  1. A time limit of three minutes will be allotted for any speaker unless prior to the beginning of the Public Comment agenda item, the chair sets a different reasonable time frame to be allotted for speakers in order to accommodate the number of persons who have submitted "Record of Appearance" cards. The time limit is per speaker, per meeting and may not be transferred or assigned to other speakers.
  1. The chair may endeavor to organize public comment by what agenda items or other issues have been identified as topics by public speakers, adjust for the age of speakers, and/or split the Public Comment agenda item to be conducted in different positions within the Board’s Order of Business. At the discretion of the chair, the speaker may be allotted additional time. Board members may share, address or consider comments from the public during public comment, at the end of public comment or when related business is on the agenda.
  1. In order to be called forward to address the Board during Public Comment, each person wishing to speak must obtain a "Record of Appearance" card from staff at the meeting in which they wish to speak. "Record of Appearance" cards are available beginning 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the meeting. Those wishing to speak must accurately complete the required sections of the card, and submit it to the appropriate staff member by 15 minutes after the start of the meeting.
  1. Individuals will be called forward to speak by name, organization being represented, if applicable, and address. Each individual speaking to the Board will be required to identify himself or herself prior to giving public comment by stating their first and last name and, if applicable, any organization they represent.
  1. In cases where more than one person wishes to speak on the same topic, their presentations to the Board may, at the discretion of the chair, be grouped together by topic.
  1. If the number of people wishing to speak under the public comment portions of the agenda is large, the chair may rule that a public hearing be scheduled.
  1. Persons speaking to the Board during public comment may make printed materials (paper no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches) available to the Board but may not use any other form of media. Public speakers are asked to provide 10 copies of any copies of printed materials presented to the Board.

Persons attending Board meetings and/or speaking to the Board during Public Comment or during a public hearing must follow all requirements established by the Board, as well as all Board, chair and staff directions in order to help maintain the order, proper decorum, safety and security, and the non-disruptive functioning of the Board meeting. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Abiding by time limits
  • Refraining from applauding, cheering, jeering, or engaging in speech that defames any individual(s), or stymies or blocks meeting progress;
  • Refraining from the use of audio recordings, video recordings, or any digital still images, posters, signs, costumes, other props and/or photographs
  • Refraining from abusive, disruptive or threatening language or gestures, and
  • Staying in the areas identified by the Board as reserved for the public.

If at any time persons appearing before the Board do not comply with these or any other Board requirements, it shall be the responsibility of the chair to declare that person or persons out of order and require a change in behavior, delay or recess the meeting, or refuse permission to continue to address the Board, and ultimately may require the person or persons to leave the premises of the Board meeting.

Posted on August 09, 2022


Highlights: 7/26 Lincoln Board of Education Work Session and Regular Meeting

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Work Session

The Lincoln Board of Education held a work session prior to the regular meeting for the purpose of discussing the proposed preliminary 2022-2023 Budget.

Lincoln Public Schools prudently builds the annual budget using a three-year forecast to minimize the negative impact of drastic swings in revenues. LPS experienced a 23% drop in State Equalization Aid over two years and utilized cash flow to balance previous budgets. In addition, there were drops in revenue and student enrollment related to the pandemic.

After two years of a relatively flat budget, LPS is looking at moderate budget growth with an investment in staff, opening new schools and addressing previous budget cuts. The LPS preliminary proposed budget totals about $489.7 million. This is an average 2.3% increase over the 2019-2020 budget year.

Other highlights of the 2022-2023 preliminary proposed budget include:

  • A priority investment on staffing with an estimated 4.11% total compensation package increase.
  • Increasing the school supplies budget by nearly $300,000 to address previous years’ cuts.
  • Approximately $3.7 million for new schools opening.
  • Spend nearly $290-thousand to help catch up the CLASS plan in purchasing devices that were delayed in previous years due to budget reductions.
  • Replacing approximately $283-thousand in curriculum purchases due to budget cuts.
  • Increase in transportation services for Early Childhood.
  • Add a social worker to the Threat Assessment Team.
  • Provide funding for the start up of bowling and girls wrestling at the high schools.

More information can be found on our website: lps.org/budget.

Regular Meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, July 26, at the Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. 

Special reports, presentations and celebrations of success

School safety and security report

LPS Director of Security Joe Wright, Lincoln Police Chief Teresa Ewins and Assistant Chief Jason Stille updated the Board on the school district’s safety and security efforts.

School safety is a multifaceted approach that includes threat assessment, Standard Response Protocols and community partnerships. Wright started the presentation by reviewing current safety features and protocols at each of our buildings. He then talked about how LPS continuously collaborates with community partners like the Lincoln Police Department to review and update school safety and security protocols. Multiple trainings and drills take place each year to identify areas that need improvement, as well as, to train LPS employees and community partners. 

Second reading

2022-23 transportation plan

Each year a transportation plan is prepared and presented to the Board. As part of the process, district policy 3710 is reviewed and recommendations for operational changes are solicited from individual school buildings and various departments. Schedules are prepared and a summary of needs is balanced against staff and equipment available. Each year a review of all routes for the current year are considered.

The Board voted to approve the plan.

Policy 7000 - Section 7: evaluation and identification procedures

As a result of ongoing work with the Nebraska Department of Education during the 2021-2022 school year, it is recommended that Policy 7000, Section 7, be updated. 

Policy 7000 pertains to Special Education Services and Section 7 to Evaluation and Identification Procedures. The proposed addition specifically outlines that during a pandemic (or similar circumstances) that the school district is responsible to meet all evaluation obligations, unless a waiver is granted by the Nebraska Department of Education.

The Board voted to approve the plan.

Computer laptops for certificated staff

The CLASS Technology Plan articulates a cascading 6-year life cycle and resale of computers provided to certificated staff.  Those on a 6-year life cycle are used by certificated staff for the first 3-years and then they are used for an additional 3 years in middle school computer labs.  The balance of the computers are resold to provide needed revenue to fund the CLASS plan.  The proposed computers will replace computers purchased for certificated staff in 2019 and Federal Emergency Connectivity Funds will provide $400 toward the cost of each of 3,666 of the computers.

It is recommended that the Board award the bid to Apple Computer Education Coordinator for $3,234,720.00 to purchase 3,680 laptop computers that will be deployed to certificated staff during the 2022-2023 school year.

The Boardvoted to approve the bid.

Informational items and reports

Superintendent Update

Superintendent Paul Gausman gave an update during his first Board meeting in the role. He spoke about all of the schools and events in Lincoln he visited during his trips prior to officially starting. Gausman also shared how the transition has been going in his first month.

Gausman added that he and staff have been meeting with the health department to review the Safe Return to School Plan for the next school year and how face coverings will be used.

“I want to be very clear that I think this school district has done an admirable job of navigating the challenges,” said Gausman. “At this time, we have been meeting with the health department and we will have a targeted philosophy in place. I ask you to remember that we have 131.41 square miles in this school district…what's needed over here may not always be needed necessarily over there. We are going to make decisions based on the priorities of keeping schools open, keeping them all [students and staff] safe and using data and science for decisions.” 

Board member Bob Rauner addressed community questions the Board has received about specific thresholds for certain decisions.

Public comment

There were eight individuals that addressed the Board during public comment. You can watch the public comments in the full meeting video here.

Glimpses of LPS

We open every Board meeting with a video that highlights Lincoln Public Schools. Tuesday’s video featured the middle school orchestra camp.

Posted on July 27, 2022


Meeting notices for the Lincoln Board of Education - July 26, 2022

The Lincoln Board of Education will hold meetings on Tuesday, July 26, located in the Boardroom at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. 

Special Budget Work Session

A special work session will begin at 4:30 p.m. 

Board of Education Regular Meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education Regular Meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Members of the public and media may access the meetings via live video streaming or by physically attending the meetings, which are subject to all national, state and local limitations on public gatherings associated with COVID-19. Overflow accommodations may need to be implemented to ensure the health and safety of all in attendance. 

The agenda for all meetings can be found here: lps.org/board.

There are multiple ways to view the livestream of all meetings:

Participation by citizens in the Regular Board Meeting

The Board believes public attendance and participation, when appropriate to the business at hand, is beneficial to the work of the Board and models the importance of civic engagement and civil discourse to the community’s children, but it cannot impede the Board from completing the business of the meeting. 

In keeping with Board Policy 8420 and Neb Statute 84-1412(3), the Lincoln Board of Education has established these reasonable regulations to conduct Public Comment:

  1. Persons speaking during Public Comment will be called forward individually by the Board Chair to the location identified for such purpose.
  1. A time limit of three minutes will be allotted for any speaker unless prior to the beginning of the Public Comment agenda item, the chair sets a different reasonable time frame to be allotted for speakers in order to accommodate the number of persons who have submitted "Record of Appearance" cards. The time limit is per speaker, per meeting and may not be transferred or assigned to other speakers.
  1. The chair may endeavor to organize public comment by what agenda items or other issues have been identified as topics by public speakers, adjust for the age of speakers, and/or split the Public Comment agenda item to be conducted in different positions within the Board’s Order of Business. At the discretion of the chair, the speaker may be allotted additional time. Board members may share, address or consider comments from the public during public comment, at the end of public comment or when related business is on the agenda.
  1. In order to be called forward to address the Board during Public Comment, each person wishing to speak must obtain a "Record of Appearance" card from staff at the meeting in which they wish to speak. "Record of Appearance" cards are available beginning 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the meeting. Those wishing to speak must accurately complete the required sections of the card, and submit it to the appropriate staff member by 15 minutes after the start of the meeting.
  1. Individuals will be called forward to speak by name, organization being represented, if applicable, and address. Each individual speaking to the Board will be required to identify himself or herself prior to giving public comment by stating their first and last name and, if applicable, any organization they represent.
  1. In cases where more than one person wishes to speak on the same topic, their presentations to the Board may, at the discretion of the chair, be grouped together by topic.
  1. If the number of people wishing to speak under the public comment portions of the agenda is large, the chair may rule that a public hearing be scheduled.
  1. Persons speaking to the Board during public comment may make printed materials (paper no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches) available to the Board but may not use any other form of media. Public speakers are asked to provide 10 copies of any copies of printed materials presented to the Board.

Persons attending Board meetings and/or speaking to the Board during Public Comment or during a public hearing must follow all requirements established by the Board, as well as all Board, chair and staff directions in order to help maintain the order, proper decorum, safety and security, and the non-disruptive functioning of the Board meeting. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Abiding by time limits
  • Refraining from applauding, cheering, jeering, or engaging in speech that defames any individual(s), or stymies or blocks meeting progress;
  • Refraining from the use of audio recordings, video recordings, or any digital still images, posters, signs, costumes, other props and/or photographs
  • Refraining from abusive, disruptive or threatening language or gestures, and
  • Staying in the areas identified by the Board as reserved for the public.

If at any time persons appearing before the Board do not comply with these or any other Board requirements, it shall be the responsibility of the chair to declare that person or persons out of order and require a change in behavior, delay or recess the meeting, or refuse permission to continue to address the Board, and ultimately may require the person or persons to leave the premises of the Board meeting.

Posted on July 25, 2022


Lincoln Board of Education approves salary increases ahead of Interview Fair

The Lincoln Board of Education recently approved negotiated agreements with several employee groups that include salary and benefit increases for the next school year. This approval comes as hiring for the school year is ramping up with another Interview Fair on Friday, July 15.

LPS will be holding interviews for paraeducators, bus drivers, transportation paras, food service workers, food service manager trainees, head bakers, head cooks and custodians. The event on July 15 runs from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Culler Middle School located at 5201 Vine Street. Anyone interested can fill out an application at the event - or ahead of time online - and be interviewed on Friday. 

“This is an important time for our schools as we prepare for the next school year and we need to get staff hired and trained prior to the start of school on August 15,” said Jessi Stilwagon, Human Resources specialist. “We have nearly 150 open positions across the district that need to be filled, and these are people who are instrumental in providing a safe and welcoming learning environment for all of our students.”

The current salary ranges for the employee groups are as follows:

  • Paraeducators: $14.17 - $17.90 per hour plus hourly service year stipends after the first year
  • Food Service: $15.00 - $22.57 per hour
  • Custodial*: $16.09 - $24.36 per hour
  • Bus Drivers*: $23.00 per hour with paid training to obtain a CDL and up to $1,500 hiring bonus
  • Transportation Paras*: $14.63 with up to a $1,000 hiring bonus

*Please note that these employee groups are still negotiating next year’s agreements.

Part-time (at least 17.5 hours per week) and full-time employees qualify for competitive health insurance, pension, generous leave and other benefits.

For more information, visit our website: lps.org/hr/fair.

Posted on July 12, 2022


2022 Summer Graduation

Approximately 175 seniors from Lincoln Public Schools completed their course work and graduated at the end of summer school Friday, July 8. LPS hosted high school summer school at North Star and Southeast this year. After students finished their final class for the day, they were able to pick up their diplomas, enjoy a celebration with their families and pose for pictures in their caps and gowns.

Below are just some of the photos from the celebrations, with more coming soon. To download your free copy of any photo:

  • Click on the link for the gallery you want.
  • Click on the photo you want to download.
  • Right click on the photo and select "Save image as".

North Star Summer School Celebration

Southeast Summer School Celebration

Posted on July 08, 2022


Highlights: 6/28 Lincoln Board of Education and ESU 18 Regular Meetings

Lincoln Board of Education Regular Meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, June 28, at the Steve Joel District Leadership Center, 5905 O St. You can watch a video of the full meeting and the ESU 18 meeting held immediately following here.

Special reports, presentations and celebrations of success

Staff celebration - Kelli Ackerman named Outstanding Business Official of the Year by the Nebraska Association of School Business Officials

The Board frequently honors staff who win state or national awards with formal resolutions. On Tuesday, the Board recognized Kelli Ackerman, Lincoln Public Schools Director of Accounting and Payroll, as she was named the 2022 Outstanding Business Official of the Year by the Nebraska Association of School Business Officials. This award recognizes individuals who have exhibited outstanding and visionary leadership in school business management.

Associate Superintendent for Business Affairs Liz Standish said: "Kelli joined LPS in 2018 and brought with her tremendous experience and knowledge of school finance. She was instrumental in working with the LPS finance team to maintain financial stability and growth, ensuring staff and students have the resources they need to succeed."

You can watch a highlight of the presentation here.

2017-22 Strategic Plan summary

As the 2017-2022 Strategic Plan comes to a close, LPS Director of Continuous Improvement and Professional Learning Sarah Salem highlighted work and accomplishments in the five strategic plan areas. 

Work in the five areas included:

  • Adding five focus programs and increasing enrollment in The Career Academy.
  • Leading and participating in developing the Lincoln STEM Ecosystem.
  • Increasing the number of preschool classrooms within LPS from 63 to 75.
  • Significant increases in mental health supports by adding social workers, school psychologists and elementary counselors.
  • Partnerships with three primary community agencies to provide a therapist in all of our schools.
  • ??During the 2020-2021 school year, LPS exceeded the state mean in every grade assessed (3-8) in both English Language Arts and Math.
  • LPS graduating senior ACT scores improved for the second straight year and were above the state average for the composite score and in all subtests during the 2020-2021 school year.
  • There was an increase in hiring staff from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds that better mirrors the student population.
  • Adding three more Community Learning Center (CLC) sites, and hired two full time curriculum specialists for the CLC system.
  • In 2020, the community passed a $290 million bond referendum to support building three new schools, and addresses needs in existing schools.

You can watch the full presentation here.

First reading

2022-23 transportation plan

Each year a transportation plan is prepared and presented to the Board. As part of the process, district policy 3710 is reviewed and recommendations for operational changes are solicited from individual school buildings and various departments. Schedules are prepared and a summary of needs is balanced against staff and equipment available. Each year a review of all routes for the current year are considered.

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

Proposed agreements with Paraeducator Employees Association,  Nutrition Services Workers Association, Office Professionals Association, Technicians, and Administrators

Tentative agreements have been reached between Lincoln Public Schools and the respective employee groups for the 2022-23 school year.

The proposed agreement for each employee group is as follows:

Paraeducators

  • The total package for 2022-2023 is a 7.31% across the board increase. This package includes a salary increase of approximately 6.46%, a $.05 increase to the longevity stipend, increases in Social Security and retirement costs, and a 5.84% increase in health insurance premiums.
  • Adjustments to the paraeducator agreement and salary schedule.
  • The total package increase for 2023-2024 is 4.31%. The total package includes a salary increase of approximately 3.32%, increases in Social Security and retirement costs - and an estimated 5.84% increase in health insurance premiums.

Nutrition Services

  • The total package for 2022-2023 is 7.20% across the board increase. This includes a salary increase of approximately 6.51%, a $.05 increase to the longevity stipend, increases in Social Security and retirement costs, and a 5.84% increase in health insurance premiums.
  • Adjustments to the nutrition services agreement and salary schedule were made.
  • The total package for 2023-2024 is 4.84%. The total package includes a salary increase of approximately 3.32%; a $.05, $.10, and $.15 increase to the longevity stipend; increases in Social Security and retirement costs; and an estimated 5.84% increase in health insurance premiums.

Office Professionals

  • The total package for 2022-2023 is a 4.85% across the board increase. The total package includes a salary increase of approximately 3.70%, a $.05 increase to the longevity stipend, increases in Social Security and retirement costs, and a 5.84% increase in health insurance premiums.
  • Adjustments to the office professionals agreement and salary schedule were made.
  • The total package for 2023-2024 is 4.09% across the board increase. The total package includes a salary increase of approximately 3.32%, a $.05 increase to the longevity stipend, increases in Social Security and retirement costs, and an estimated 5.84% increase in health insurance premiums.

Technicians

  • The total package for 2022-2023 is 4.57% across the board increase. The total package includes a salary increase of approximately 3.70%, a $.05 or $.10 increase to the longevity stipend, increases in Social Security and retirement costs, and a 5.84% increase in health insurance premiums.
  • Adjustments to the technicians agreement and salary schedule were made.
  • The total package for 2023-2024 is 4.00% increase.
  • The total package includes a salary increase of approximately 3.32%, a $.05 or $.10 increase to the longevity stipend, increases in Social Security and retirement costs - and an estimated 5.84% increase in health insurance premiums.

Administrators

  • The total package for 2022-2023 is 4.22% increase. The total package includes a salary increase of approximately 3.70%, a $250 increase to the longevity stipend for the two lowest tiers, increases in Social Security and retirement costs, and a 5.84% increase in health insurance premiums.
  • Adjustments to the administrator addendum and salary schedule were made.
  • The total package for 2023-2024 is a 3.84% across the board increase. The total package includes a salary increase of approximately 3.32%, a $250 increase to the longevity stipend for the two lowest tiers, increases in Social Security and retirement costs, and an estimated 5.84% increase in health insurance premiums.

The Board waived second reading and voted to approve the proposed negotiated agreements.

Policy 7000 - Section 7: evaluation and identification procedures

As a result of ongoing work with the Nebraska Department of Education during the 2021-2022 school year, it is recommended that Policy 7000, Section 7, be updated. 

Policy 7000 pertains to Special Education Services and Section 7 to Evaluation and Identification Procedures. The proposed addition specifically outlines that during a pandemic (or similar circumstances) that the school district is responsible to meet all evaluation obligations, unless a waiver is granted by the Nebraska Department of Education.

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

McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grant

The LPS Homeless Outreach Coordinator works with families experiencing homelessness to arrange transportation services for children to attend school. They also work with families to provide other supports that create a more stable environment for children experiencing homelessness. LPS will use funds received through the McKinney-Vento Act to continue to support the salary of the Homeless Outreach Coordinator and to pay transportation costs for children experiencing homelessness to attend school.  

LPS proposes submitting a McKinney-Vento Grant application for approximately $ 53,000 with the final allocation to be determined by the State of Nebraska after submission and dependent upon grants awarded to other applicants. This grant requires a 100% match from Title I allocated to the district. Title I funds have been used in past years to cover the required match for this grant.

The Board waived second reading and voted to approve the application to meet the grant deadline.

Computer laptops for certificated staff

The CLASS Technology Plan articulates a cascading 6-year life cycle and resale of computers provided to certificated staff.  Those on a 6-year life cycle are used by certificated staff for the first 3-years and then they are used for an additional 3 years in middle school computer labs.  The balance of the computers are resold to provide needed revenue to fund the CLASS plan.  The proposed computers will replace computers purchased for certificated staff in 2019 and Federal Emergency Connectivity Funds will provide $400 toward the cost of each of 3,666 of the computers.

It is recommended that the Board award the bid to Apple Computer Education Coordinator for $3,234,720.00 to purchase 3,680 laptop computers that will be deployed to certificated staff during the 2022-2023 school year.

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

Science Curriculum Grades 3-5

Science curriculum from Amplify and Great Minds were piloted at select elementary schools in the spring of 2022. The selection committee elected to proceed with the Amplify Science products for grades 3-5 that meets the recently adopted Nebraska State Standards in Science. This cost includes, but is not limited to, all student materials kits, teacher resources, online subscriptions, professional development, and estimated freight charges. The bid from Amplify and Great Minds for the curriculum is for $1,390,715.

The Board waived second reading and voted to approve the purchase.

Second reading

Policy 1112 – Community Relations – Advertising

The Board Planning Committee reviewed various facility policies and regulations surrounding facility advertising and signage, and the naming of specific LPS facilities in light of the Union Bank and Trust gift that will be considered by the Board later in the agenda.

The Board voted to approve the changes.

LPS District Office to be renamed Steve Joel District Leadership Center

At the June 14 Board meeting, the Planning Committee put forth a recommendation to honor Superintendent Steve Joel by renaming the District Office building located at 5905 O Street. After conversations with Joel, the committee recommended the District Office name be changed to Steve Joel District Leadership Center.

The Board voted unanimously to approve the name change.

Policy 5000 Series - Student Services, and Policy 6740 - Instructional Program

Policy series are reviewed periodically in order to address changes in legislation or regulation from state or federal governments, or to bring policy in line with current practice or intent of the Board. During the 2021-2022 school year, the 5000 Policy Series was first reviewed by the Instructional Directors through the lens of equity with an eye at looking at ways policies could be more inclusive and reflect the district’s commitment to equity. The Board Student Learning and Technology Committee then spent significant time reviewing those recommendations and is recommending a number of changes.

Policy 6740 is included in this set of proposed revisions as Policy 5480 and 6740 were both revised to reflect the inclusion of language surrounding Good Sportsmanship.

The Board voted to approve the changes.

Lincoln Northwest Stadium Gift and Recognition Agreement with Union Bank & Trust Company

The Board is considering a gift of $1.5 million from Union Bank & Trust. As part of accepting the gift, a 20-year agreement was drafted to include naming the stadium located near the new Northwest High School as Union Bank Stadium. Signage in and around the stadium at the activities complex will include the name Union Bank Stadium.

As part of the $290 million bond referendum passed by Lincoln voters in 2020, the Lincoln Board of Education invested $15.4 into phase one of upgrading practice fields at existing high schools and building two new activity complexes at the new high schools. To bring the two new activity complexes up to a premier level, LPS is looking for community partnerships to help with funding.

The Board voted to approve the agreement and gift.

Informational items and reports

Superintendent Update

Superintendent Steve Joel gave his last Board update as he is retiring at the end of the week. Joel thanked the Board for their gift of renaming the District Office in his honor. He also shared several stories about his time at Lincoln Public Schools.

Joel ended by thanking the Board for their leadership and for the opportunities given to him.

Public comment

There were nine individuals that addressed the Board during public comment. You can watch the public comments in the full meeting video here.

Glimpses of LPS

We open every Board meeting with a video that highlights Lincoln Public Schools. Tuesday’s video featured a look back to the fire and rebuilding of the District Office. You can watch the Glimpses here.

ESU 18 Regular Meeting

The Educational Service Unit 13 met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, June 28, at the Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O Street immediately following the Lincoln Board of Education Meeting.

Second reading

Interlocal Agreement with Lancaster County for Educational Services to the Youth Services Center

Each year, the ESU 18 Board approves an interlocal agreement with Lancaster County to offer services at the Lancaster County Youth Services Center. The Pathfinder Program provides educational services and classes to youth detained at the center.

The County agrees to reimburse ESU 18 for all expenses incurred in providing such services pursuant to the agreement, however, that the amount of such reimbursements shall not exceed $909,970.00.

The ESU 18 Board voted to approve the annual agreement.

 

Posted on June 29, 2022


Lincoln Board of Education views preliminary 2022-2023 proposed budget during work session

The Lincoln Board of Education held a work session to view the 2022-2023 preliminary proposed budget. Associate Superintendent for Business Affairs Liz Standish presented the information, and you can view the entire work session here.

Lincoln Public Schools prudently builds the annual budget using a three-year forecast to minimize the negative impact of drastic swings in revenues. LPS experienced a 23% drop in State Equalization Aid over two years and utilized cash flow to balance previous budgets. In addition, there were drops in revenue and student enrollment related to the pandemic.

“The goal of the three-year forecast is sustainability and stability as major swings in revenue are steadied through the utilization of cash flow,” Standish said. “We face challenging economic conditions, workforce shortages, fluctuations in student enrollment, declining State Equalization Aid and rising costs.”

After two years of a relatively flat budget, LPS is looking at moderate budget growth with an investment in staff, opening new schools and addressing previous budget cuts. The LPS preliminary proposed budget totals about $489.7 million. This is an average 2.3% increase over the 2019-2020 budget year.

Other highlights of the 2022-2023 preliminary proposed budget include:

  • A priority investment on staffing with an estimated 4.11% total compensation package increase.
  • Increasing the school supplies budget by nearly $300,000 to address previous years’ cuts.
  • Approximately $3.7 million for new schools opening.
  • Spend nearly $290-thousand to help catch up the CLASS plan in purchasing devices that were delayed in previous years due to budget reductions.
  • Replacing approximately $283-thousand in curriculum purchases due to budget cuts.
  • Increase in transportation services for Early Childhood.
  • Add a social worker to the Threat Assessment Team.
  • Provide funding for the start up of bowling and girls wrestling at the high schools.

LPS continues to rely on a solid process for budget development that includes multiple opportunities for community feedback. There will be two budget forums - one in person and one virtually - with a short presentation and time for community questions, comments and feedback.

  • In-person forum: Thursday, June 30, 5 p.m. in the LPS District Office boardroom (5905 O St.) This forum will also be streamed live for viewing on the LPS website and the LPS YouTube channel.
  • Virtual forum: Thursday, June 30, at noon, join the forum to provide feedback and ask questions using this link. This forum will also be streamed live on the LPS Facebook page.

Any community group that would like to schedule a presentation on the preliminary proposed budget should contact LPS Associate Superintendent for Business Affairs Liz Standish at 402-436-1636 or by emailing lstandis@lps.org. More information about the LPS preliminary proposed budget can be found on the LPS website: lps.org/about/budget.

Posted on June 28, 2022


Meeting notices for the Lincoln Board of Education and ESU 18 - June 28, 2022

The Lincoln Board of Education and ESU 18 will hold meetings on Tuesday, June 28, located in the Boardroom at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O Street.

Special Budget Work Session

A special work session will begin at 4:30 p.m. 

Board of Education Regular Meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education Regular Meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m.

ESU 18 Regular Meeting

The ESU 18 Regular Meeting will begin immediately following the Lincoln Board of Education Regular Meeting.

Members of the public and media may access the meetings via live video streaming or by physically attending the meetings, which are subject to all national, state and local limitations on public gatherings associated with COVID-19. Overflow accommodations may need to be implemented to ensure the health and safety of all in attendance. 

The agenda for all meetings can be found here: lps.org/board.

There are multiple ways to view the livestream of all meetings:

Participation by citizens in the Regular Board Meeting

The Board believes public attendance and participation, when appropriate to the business at hand, is beneficial to the work of the Board and models the importance of civic engagement and civil discourse to the community’s children, but it cannot impede the Board from completing the business of the meeting. 

In keeping with Board Policy 8420 and Neb Statute 84-1412(3), the Lincoln Board of Education has established these reasonable regulations to conduct Public Comment:

1. Persons speaking during Public Comment will be called forward individually by the Board Chair to the location identified for such purpose.

2. A time limit of three minutes will be allotted for any speaker unless prior to the beginning of the Public Comment agenda item, the chair sets a different reasonable time frame to be allotted for speakers in order to accommodate the number of persons who have submitted "Record of Appearance" cards. The time limit is per speaker, per meeting and may not be transferred or assigned to other speakers.

3. The chair may endeavor to organize public comment by what agenda items or other issues have been identified as topics by public speakers, adjust for the age of speakers, and/or split the Public Comment agenda item to be conducted in different positions within the Board’s Order of Business. At the discretion of the chair, the speaker may be allotted additional time. Board members may share, address or consider comments from the public during public comment, at the end of public comment or when related business is on the agenda.

4. In order to be called forward to address the Board during Public Comment, each person wishing to speak must obtain a "Record of Appearance" card from staff at the meeting in which they wish to speak. "Record of Appearance" cards are available beginning 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the meeting. Those wishing to speak must accurately complete the required sections of the card, and submit it to the appropriate staff member by 15 minutes after the start of the meeting.

5. Individuals will be called forward to speak by name, organization being represented, if applicable, and address. Each individual speaking to the Board will be required to identify himself or herself prior to giving public comment by stating their first and last name and, if applicable, any organization they represent.

6. In cases where more than one person wishes to speak on the same topic, their presentations to the Board may, at the discretion of the chair, be grouped together by topic.

7. If the number of people wishing to speak under the public comment portions of the agenda is large, the chair may rule that a public hearing be scheduled.

8. Persons speaking to the Board during public comment may make printed materials (paper no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches) available to the Board but may not use any other form of media. Public speakers are asked to provide 10 copies of any copies of printed materials presented to the Board.

Persons attending Board meetings and/or speaking to the Board during Public Comment or during a public hearing must follow all requirements established by the Board, as well as all Board, chair and staff directions in order to help maintain the order, proper decorum, safety and security, and the non-disruptive functioning of the Board meeting. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Abiding by time limits
  • Refraining from applauding, cheering, jeering, or engaging in speech that defames any individual(s), or stymies or blocks meeting progress;
  • Refraining from the use of audio recordings, video recordings, or any digital still images, posters, signs, costumes, other props and/or photographs
  • Refraining from abusive, disruptive or threatening language or gestures, and
  • Staying in the areas identified by the Board as reserved for the public.

If at any time persons appearing before the Board do not comply with these or any other Board requirements, it shall be the responsibility of the chair to declare that person or persons out of order and require a change in behavior, delay or recess the meeting, or refuse permission to continue to address the Board, and ultimately may require the person or persons to leave the premises of the Board meeting.

Posted on June 24, 2022


North Star Aviation Focus Program helps students' dreams take flight

Sydney Miller first planned on going into auto mechanics, but after a few high school aviation courses – she changed her mind. “I never really considered aviation as a career, but now I can’t wait to learn more.” 

Logan Skrdlant, headed for Iowa Western this fall with hopes of majoring in aviation mechanics, was transformed after his sophomore year and a field trip to Duncan Aviation. “I thought to myself, ‘Yeah, this is a place I would love to work.’” 

Trinity Hamilton chose the University of Colorado-Boulder for a profession in aeronautical engineering – thanks to the hands-on aviation learning at Lincoln Public Schools.

All three Lincoln North Star High School seniors graduated this spring – after participating in the Aviation and Technical Education Focus Program – and are all planning on careers in aeronautics. 

“I’m super excited that we have been able to create a program for kids that connects them to college … that sets up students for success,” says Amanda Woodward, a teacher at the North Star Focus Program. 

North Star began offering courses in aviation during the 2019-2020 school year with a focus on helping students identify the best aviation track for them, as well as exposing them to a variety of potential aviation-related careers.

Woodward said she has loved watching the program evolve and improve.  “We have gradually been able to offer more courses in line with what is happening in the industry,” she explained. “We are sending students to colleges across the country.”  

North Star offers courses that range from Power Mechanics to Aviation 1 and 2, offering everything from a broad overview of how airplanes fly – to hands-on experiences in aviation mechanics.

“I started flying as a kid with my uncles, they even let me take the controls,” Woodward said. “I’ve had an interest in airplanes for as long as I can remember.” 

She is particularly grateful to Duncan Aviation and community partnerships that help support this focus program. “If it wasn’t for Duncan, a ready and willing partner located right in our backyard – providing donations, mentoring, internships, bringing me parts of airplanes – we could not make this work.”

And now the focus program will expand further, thanks to an Aviation Maintenance Technical Workers Grant – and additional support from Duncan Aviation, the Boys and Girls Club of Lincoln/Lancaster County, and LPS. 

Woodward explained that the program had reached a point when it could no longer serve all students interested in the aviation courses. “We were limited in space and equipment … but a new building and facilities will provide more lab and hands-on opportunities.” 

Meantime, the North Star seniors are all grateful.

Sydney: “I had worked on small engines, lawn mowers and snow blowers, but after the courses and the Duncan apprenticeship, I became very invested in aviation.” 

Logan: “I grew up on a farm and had worked with engines, so I took Power Mechanics on a whim … and found I loved the enjoyment of getting to work on plane engines.” 

Trinity: “I learned so much in high school, all the basics of aeronautics, but also the differences in engines, airplanes … It got me into the idea of majoring in engineering.” 

** The airline industry predicts a world demand of 754,000 new airline technicians by 2037. The global aviation maintenance technician workforce will need to add almost 38,000 new technicians annually to meet that projected demand.

Posted on June 20, 2022


Highlights: 6/14 Lincoln Board of Education and ESU 18 Regular Meetings

Lincoln Board of Education Regular Meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, May 24, at the Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. You can watch a video of the full meeting and the ESU 18 meeting held immediately following below.

First reading

Policy 1112 – Community Relations – Advertising

The Board Planning Committee has been reviewing various facility policies and regulations surrounding facility advertising and signage, and the naming of specific LPS facilities in light of the Union Bank and Trust gift that will be considered by the Board later in the agenda.

The Board will hold a second reading of the policy changes and review regulation updates at the next Board meeting prior to voting.

District Office to be renamed to honor Superintendent Steve Joel

The Planning Committee had an additional recommendation for Board consideration related to naming district facilities. The Board Planning Committee recommended the renaming of the District Office building located at 5905 O Street to honor Superintendent Steve Joel. A formal name proposal will be announced and considered for action during the June 28 Board meeting. This will be Joel’s last meeting as superintendent.

Planning Committee chair Bob Rauner said during his comments, “Dr. Joel served as an extraordinary superintendent during undoubtedly extraordinary times. A fire completely destroyed the District Office at the end of his first year as Superintendent. He is closing out his career after facing a global pandemic. There is so much amazing work that occurred during his 12 years of service. Under Dr. Joel’s leadership, the district passed two bond issues, adopted a major technology initiative, advanced the district work on equity and the list goes on.”

Joel’s family was in attendance as part of the surprise for the superintendent. You can view the entire presentation and the Board members' comments on the decision below.

 

Policy 5000 Series - Student Services, and Policy 6740 - Instructional Program

Policy series are reviewed periodically in order to address changes in legislation or regulation from state or federal governments, or to bring policy in line with current practice or intent of the Board. During the 2021-2022 school year, the 5000 Policy Series was first reviewed by the Instructional Directors through the lens of equity with an eye at looking at ways policies could be more inclusive and reflect the district’s commitment to equity. The Board Student Learning and Technology Committee then spent significant time reviewing those recommendations and is recommending a number of changes.

Policy 6740 is included in this set of proposed revisions as Policy 5480 and 6740 were both revised to reflect the inclusion of language surrounding Good Sportsmanship.

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

Lincoln Northwest Stadium Gift and Recognition Agreement with Union Bank & Trust Company

The Board is considering a gift of $1.5 million from Union Bank & Trust. As part of accepting the gift, a 20-year agreement was drafted to include naming the stadium located near the new Northwest High School as Union Bank Stadium. Signage in and around the stadium at the activities complex will include the name Union Bank Stadium.

As part of the $290 million bond referendum passed by Lincoln voters in 2020, the Lincoln Board of Education invested $15.4 into phase one of upgrading practice fields at existing high schools and building two new activity complexes at the new high schools. To bring the two new activity complexes up to a premier level, LPS is looking for community partnerships to help with funding.

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

Second reading

School Meal Prices 2022-23

The Lincoln Public Schools Nutrition Services Department operates a school meal program that provides breakfast and lunch meals to LPS schools.  Annually, the Board of Education reviews and approves school breakfast and lunch prices.

To help offset the rising cost of food, staff have proposed raising lunch prices five cents. Breakfast prices will remain the same. There will not be an increase to those who qualify for Free and Reduced meals.

The proposed fees for 2022-2023 are as follows:
Elementary School Lunch
Full price $2.50
Reduced $0.40
Adult/non-student $4.00
Second lunch $4.00

Middle School Lunch
Full price $2.70
Reduced $0.40
Adult/non-student $4.00
Second lunch $4.00

High School Lunch
Full price $2.85
Reduced $0.40
Adult/non-student $4.30
Second lunch $4.30

Breakfast
Elementary full price $1.30
Secondary full price $1.50
Reduced $0.30
Adult/non-student $2.50
Second breakfast $2.50

The Board voted to approve the proposal.

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 Salt Bank Business Park for 2021-22 school year to Norwood Park Elementary, Dawes Middle School, and Northeast High Schools.

The Board voted to approve the proposal.

Hytera Radios for Elementary Schools

Lincoln Public Schools received a three-year grant to purchase two-way radios and accessories to be used at elementary schools. Staff recommend the lowest bid by Shaffer Communications Inc for a total of $510,600 over three years.

The Board voted to approve the proposal.

Proposed 2022-2023 Pay Rates for Substitute and Miscellaneous Employees

As part of the annual process, the proposed 2022-2023 pay rates for substitute and miscellaneous employees was brought before the Board. Generally, the recommended salary increases range from no increase to a 3.7 percent increase depending on the employee group. A few intramural related positions have a higher increase due to challenging market conditions. The determination of what salary to recommend is made in conjunction with the supervisor of that employee group and an assessment of the availability of candidates for the positions. The proposed rates can be viewed here.

The Board voted to approve the proposal.

Public comment

There were 8 individuals that addressed the Board during public comment. You can watch the public comments in 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 highlights from graduation ceremony speeches. You can watch the Glimpses below.

ESU 18 Regular Meeting

The Educational Service Unit 13 met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, May 24, at the Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O Street immediately following the Lincoln Board of Education Meeting.

First reading

Interlocal Agreement with Lancaster County for Educational Services to the Youth Services Center

Each year, the ESU 18 Board approves an interlocal agreement with Lancaster County to offer services at the Lancaster County Youth Services Center. The Pathfinder Program provides educational services and classes to youth detained at the center.

The County agrees to reimburse ESU 18 for all expenses incurred in providing such services pursuant to the agreement, however, that the amount of such reimbursements shall not exceed $909,970.00.

The ESU 18 Board will hold a second reading and approve the annual agreement at the next meeting.

Posted on June 17, 2022


District Office to be renamed to honor Superintendent Steve Joel

During the June 14 Board of Education meeting, the Board Planning Committee put forth a surprise recommendation for the Board to rename the District Office building located at 5905 O Street to honor Superintendent Steve Joel. A formal name proposal will be announced and considered for action during the June 28 Board meeting. This will be Joel’s last meeting as superintendent.

Planning Committee chair Bob Rauner said during his comments, “Dr. Joel served as an extraordinary superintendent during undoubtedly extraordinary times. A fire completely destroyed the District Office at the end of his first year as Superintendent. He is closing out his career after facing a global pandemic. There is so much amazing work that occurred during his 12 years of service. Under Dr. Joel’s leadership, the district passed two bond issues, adopted a major technology initiative, advanced the district work on equity and the list goes on.”

Joel’s family was in attendance as part of the surprise for the superintendent. You can view the entire presentation and the Board members' comments on the decision below.

Posted on June 17, 2022


Meeting notice for the Lincoln Board of Education and ESU 18 - June 14, 2022

The Lincoln Board of Education will hold its Regular Meeting on Tuesday, June 14, at 6:00 p.m. located in the Boardroom at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. Immediately following ESU 18 will hold its Regular Meeting.

Members of the public and media may access the meetings via live video streaming or by physically attending the meetings, which are subject to all national, state and local limitations on public gatherings associated with COVID-19. 

The agenda for the meetings can be found here: lps.org/board.

There are multiple ways to view the livestream:

Overflow accommodations may need to be implemented to ensure the health and safety of all in attendance. 

Participation by citizens in the Regular Board Meeting

The Board believes public attendance and participation, when appropriate to the business at hand, is beneficial to the work of the Board and models the importance of civic engagement and civil discourse to the community’s children, but it cannot impede the Board from completing the business of the meeting. 

In keeping with Board Policy 8420 and Neb Statute 84-1412(3), the Lincoln Board of Education has established these reasonable regulations to conduct Public Comment:

  1. Persons speaking during Public Comment will be called forward individually by the Board Chair to the location identified for such purpose.
  1. A time limit of three minutes will be allotted for any speaker unless prior to the beginning of the Public Comment agenda item, the chair sets a different reasonable time frame to be allotted for speakers in order to accommodate the number of persons who have submitted "Record of Appearance" cards. The time limit is per speaker, per meeting and may not be transferred or assigned to other speakers.
  1. The chair may endeavor to organize public comment by what agenda items or other issues have been identified as topics by public speakers, adjust for the age of speakers, and/or split the Public Comment agenda item to be conducted in different positions within the Board’s Order of Business. At the discretion of the chair, the speaker may be allotted additional time. Board members may share, address or consider comments from the public during public comment, at the end of public comment or when related business is on the agenda.
  1. In order to be called forward to address the Board during Public Comment, each person wishing to speak must obtain a "Record of Appearance" card from staff at the meeting in which they wish to speak. "Record of Appearance" cards are available beginning 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the meeting. Those wishing to speak must accurately complete the required sections of the card, and submit it to the appropriate staff member by 15 minutes after the start of the meeting.
  1. Individuals will be called forward to speak by name, organization being represented, if applicable, and address. Each individual speaking to the Board will be required to identify himself or herself prior to giving public comment by stating their first and last name and, if applicable, any organization they represent.
  1. In cases where more than one person wishes to speak on the same topic, their presentations to the Board may, at the discretion of the chair, be grouped together by topic.
  1. If the number of people wishing to speak under the public comment portions of the agenda is large, the chair may rule that a public hearing be scheduled.
  1. Persons speaking to the Board during public comment may make printed materials (paper no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches) available to the Board but may not use any other form of media. Public speakers are asked to provide 10 copies of any copies of printed materials presented to the Board.

Persons attending Board meetings and/or speaking to the Board during Public Comment or during a public hearing must follow all requirements established by the Board, as well as all Board, chair and staff directions in order to help maintain the order, proper decorum, safety and security, and the non-disruptive functioning of the Board meeting. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Abiding by time limits
  • Refraining from applauding, cheering, jeering, or engaging in speech that defames any individual(s), or stymies or blocks meeting progress;
  • Refraining from the use of audio recordings, video recordings, or any digital still images, posters, signs, costumes, other props and/or photographs
  • Refraining from abusive, disruptive or threatening language or gestures, and
  • Staying in the areas identified by the Board as reserved for the public.

If at any time persons appearing before the Board do not comply with these or any other Board requirements, it shall be the responsibility of the chair to declare that person or persons out of order and require a change in behavior, delay or recess the meeting, or refuse permission to continue to address the Board, and ultimately may require the person or persons to leave the premises of the Board meeting.

Posted on June 13, 2022


2022 Graduation Videos and Photos

Posted on May 30, 2022


Highlights: 5/24 Lincoln Board of Education Regular Meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, May 24, at the Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. You can watch a video of the full meeting here.

Board Chair Don Mayhew opened the meeting asking for a moment of silence to honor those elementary students’ lives lost earlier in the day. Superintendent Steve Joel acknowledged the news reports of the school shooting in Texas during his update later in the meeting. 

“I want to take a moment to remind our community that we have a Safety and Threat Assessment team that are nationally recognized experts,” said Joel. “We can’t let our guards down. At LPS, we are going to continue to follow our established safety protocols put into place to fortify our schools from potential threats.”

Those include:

  • Heightened awareness of activity in and around our schools and property, immediately reporting anything of concern to law enforcement.
  • Initiating Standard Response Protocols when needed.
  • Continued communication and coordination with local, state and federal law enforcement.

“School safety takes an entire community. I want to thank our law enforcement, and Joe Wright and his team for their response.”

If anyone sees or hears something that makes them feel unsafe, they should contact LPS Security, Lincoln Police at (402)441-6000, or through the green Safe to Say button on the LPS website.

Special reports, presentations and celebrations of success

BackPack Extra Mile Walk Recognition

This last week, fundraising efforts for the 2022 BackPack Extra Mile Walk have surpassed $100,000. 

Top fundraising schools were:

  • Maxey Elementary, $7,153.09
  • Park Middle School, $3,119.24
  • Southeast High School, $5,156.00

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

Staff Celebration:  Courtney Pentland, School Librarian at North Star High School

The Board frequently honors staff who win state or national awards with formal resolutions. On Tuesday, the Board recognized North Star High School librarian Courtney Pentland for being elected the 2023-2024 President of the American Association of School Librarians. She will serve as President-elect of the national organization during 2022-2023.

First reading

School Meal Prices 2022-23

The Lincoln Public Schools Nutrition Services Department operates a school meal program that provides breakfast and lunch meals to LPS schools.  Annually, the Board of Education reviews and approves school breakfast and lunch prices.

To help offset the rising cost of food, staff have proposed raising lunch prices five cents. Breakfast prices will remain the same. There will not be an increase to those who qualify for Free and Reduced meals.

The proposed fees for 2022-2023 are as follows:

Elementary School Lunch
Full price $2.50
Reduced $0.40
Adult/non-student $4.00
Second lunch $4.00

Middle School Lunch
Full price $2.70
Reduced $0.40
Adult/non-student $4.00
Second lunch $4.00

High School Lunch
Full price $2.85
Reduced $0.40
Adult/non-student $4.30
Second lunch $4.30

Breakfast
Elementary full price $1.30
Secondary full price $1.50
Reduced $0.30
Adult/non-student $2.50
Second breakfast $2.50

The Board will hold a second reading and vote on the proposal at its next Regular Board Meeting.

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 Salt Bank Business Park for 2021-22 school year to Norwood Park Elementary, Dawes Middle School, and Northeast High Schools.

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

FAA Aviation Maintenance Technical Workers Grant Program

Airline industry projections for workforce needs in the future are alarming. Boeing, leading manufacturer of airlines in the U.S., predicts a world demand of 754,000 new technicians by 2037. The global aviation maintenance technician workforce will need to add almost 38,000 new technicians annually in order to meet the projected demand.

In passing the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, Congress focused anew on addressing the projected shortages of skills in the aviation industry by directing the establishment of an Aviation Workforce Development Grant Program. The goal of this new program is to provide grants to eligible projects to support the education and recruitment of aviation maintenance technical workers and the development of the aviation maintenance workforce.

To support the local workforce needs in this area, the Lincoln Public Schools Curriculum Department has partnered with Duncan Aviation to develop and launch the Aviation and Technical Education Focus Program. This program is focused on helping students identify the best aviation track for them and exposing them to a variety of potential aviation-related careers, with an emphasis on aviation maintenance.

Using the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) High School STEM Curriculum, LPS began offering courses in aviation during the 2019-2020 school year at North Star High School. Due to space limitations, the program is no longer able to serve all students interested in pursuing a career in this field. The Aviation Maintenance Technical Workers Grant is vital to helping LPS expand the Aviation and Technical Education Focus Program at North Star. 

The Board waived second reading and voted to approve the grant application.

North Star Aviation Renovation & Addition Project

Bids were received for additions and renovations for the Aviation and Technical Education Focus Program at North Star High School. Staff recommended the Board approve the lowest responsible bidder, Scheele-Kayton Construction LLC.

LPS is funding between $1.4 - 1.5 million of the $5.4 million project as part of the 2020 Bond Referendum. Boys and Girls Club of Lincoln/Lancaster County are contributing approximately $805,000. Duncan Aviation is contributing $3,335,000 to the project.

The Board waived second reading and voted to approve the bid.

LNS Building Contribution, Development, & Space Lease Agreement with Boys and Girls Club of Lincoln/Lancaster County

The Boys & Girls Club of Lincoln/Lancaster County has operated after-school hours youth programs at Lincoln Public School facilities since 2008.

The proposed agreement will allow the Boys and Girls Club of Lincoln/Lancaster County to make donation payments to LPS in the total amount of $805,000 for purposes of contributing to the North Star addition mentioned above in exchange for Boys and Girls Club to be able to use the space for youth programs and other purposes. The initial term of the agreement is 15 years and begins upon completion of the addition.

The Board waived second reading and voted to approve the agreement.

Aviation & Technical Education Focus Program at LNS Agreement with Duncan Aviation, Inc

The proposed agreement is for Duncan Aviation to make donation payments to LPS in the total amount of $3,335,000 for the purpose of expanding the facilities that will house the Aviation and Technical Education Focus Program at North Star. The agreement calls for LPS to be fully responsible for the program and to consult with Duncan Aviation from time to time.

The Board waived second reading and voted to approve the agreement.

Hytera Radios for Elementary Schools

Lincoln Public Schools received a three-year grant to purchase two-way radios and accessories to be used at elementary schools. Staff recommend the lowest bid by Shaffer Communications Inc for a total of $510,600 over three years.

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

Proposed 2022-2023 Pay Rates for Substitute and Miscellaneous Employees

As part of the annual process, the proposed 2022-2023 pay rates for substitute and miscellaneous employees was brought before the Board. Generally, the recommended salary increases range from no increase to a 3.7 percent increase depending on the employee group. A few intramural related positions have a higher increase due to challenging market conditions. The determination of what salary to recommend is made in conjunction with the supervisor of that employee group and an assessment of the availability of candidates for the positions. The proposed rates can be viewed here.

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

Second reading

Newly Annexed Property to the City of Lincoln

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 Wandering Creek PUD to Pyrtle Elementary School, Lux Middle School, and East High School for the 2021-2022 school year. For the 2022-2023 school year it will move to Maxey Elementary School as part of the earlier approved attendance area boundary changes.

The Board voted to approve the proposal.

Student Calendar for the 2024-2025 School Year

Each year a joint Lincoln Public Schools and Lincoln Education Association committee, composed of a Board member, parents, teachers, and administrators, recommends a student calendar to the Board for consideration. The Board adopted calendar variables to guide the Calendar Committee’s work in meeting the goal of creating a school calendar that demonstrates the district’s commitment to learning.

The Calendar Committee began work in October 2021 to consider a student calendar for 2024-25. The committee met three times to build a student calendar for Board consideration. The committee began with a review of the previously approved 2019-2020 student calendar because of the similarity of dates with 2024-2025. Additional feedback was received from teachers who are members of the LEA faculty representatives, parents on the Community Curriculum Council, and students from the LPS Equity Cadre. The recommended student calendar aligns with the Board’s student calendar purpose and calendar variables.

The Board voted to approve the proposal.

Public comment

There were 13 individuals that addressed the Board during public comment. You can watch the public comments in 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 water bottle filling stations recently installed in our schools. You can watch the Glimpses here

Posted on May 24, 2022


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