EdNotes Express

Lincoln Public Schools Communication Services continues to look for the most effective way to provide you with information.  EdNotes is written and published specifically for the faculty and staff of Lincoln Public Schools.

If you have information you would like to include, please email Mindy Burbach at mburbach@lps.org.

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

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


Meeting notice for the Lincoln Board of Education - May 24, 2022

The Lincoln Board of Education will hold its Regular Meeting on Tuesday, May 24, at 6:00 p.m. located in the Boardroom at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. 

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 meeting can be found here: lps.org/board.

There are multiple ways to view the livestream of the Regular Meeting:

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 May 23, 2022


Required staff training for suicide awareness/prevention now available

Training is now available for all Lincoln Public Schools employee groups required to take the annual suicide awareness/prevention training as required by the law passed by the Nebraska State Legislature in 2014. The deadline for completing the training is the end of the first quarter of the 2022-23 school year (Oct. 18, 2022). Unlike previous years, you can now complete this training in the summer if you choose.

PLEASE NOTE:
The link to access the training can be found here. (More detailed instructions are here.) You will need to register to create an account. Passwords must be 10 characters long and must contain a capital letter. After you have registered, please choose the course titled “Making Educators Partners in Youth Suicide Prevention: Act on FACTS (60 min) National Version”

Please note, this course should take about an hour to complete and will include videos that you’ll need to watch (Closed Captioning is available), knowledge checks/assessments, and definition and resource lists that can be utilized after you’ve completed the course. This training is provided by the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide.The training module looks at youth suicide and the important part that educators play in the prevention of youth suicide.

Those required to take the training are: teachers, administrators, counselors, school psychologists, social workers, nurses, health technicians, treatment nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, sign language interpreters, service coordinators, SLPs, Bilingual Liaisons, Gifted Mentors, Youth Development Team members, Campus Security, Early Childhood Student Parent Advocates, and para educators including SEMs. Any employee who is not required to take the training, including substitutes, can still take it if they choose to do so.

At the end of the training, you will be able to print or save a certificate of completion for the course. Please forward that certificate to whomever will be your principal/supervisor or to the individual designated in your location/department for the 2022-23 school year.
Thank you for your continued work and dedication toward making Lincoln Public Schools a safe and welcoming place for the students of our community.  If you have any questions contact Student Services at 402-436-1651.

Posted on May 20, 2022


LPS announces new Director of Accounting and Payroll

Lincoln Public Schools recently announced that Jess Jefferson will be the new Director of Accounting and Payroll. 

Jefferson currently serves as internal auditor and finance coordinator, a position she has held since 2015. In her current position she supports the director of accounting and payroll in compiling the annual financial report, and maintaining the computerized budget system. Jefferson also works with a team to assist in the development of budget presentation materials and documents for Board of Education work sessions and public hearings. She coordinates the district’s annual external audit by collaborating with multiple departments to facilitate a smooth process.

Jefferson started with LPS in 2014 as a budget secretary, and she earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Northwestern in St. Paul.

“Jess exemplifies teamwork in everything she does,” said Liz Standish, associate superintendent of Business Affairs for LPS. “In serving as the internal auditor and finance coordinator over the last seven years, Jess built a tremendous skill set and strong knowledge of the school district finances. She will be an extraordinary leader for the Accounting and Payroll Department.”

Jefferson will follow Kelli Ackerman, who is retiring from LPS June 30.

Posted on May 18, 2022


Highlights: 5/16 Lincoln Board of Education and ESU 18 Organizational Meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held its annual organizational meeting on Monday, May 16 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St.  The ESU 18 annual organizational meeting was held immediately following. The Lincoln Board of Education will hold its next regular meeting on Tuesday, May 24. 

Policy 8420 and Policy 8441 - Board Operating Procedures

Lincoln Public Schools 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 passage of LB83 in 2021 required changes to the state’s elements of the Open Meetings Act impacting Public Comment. Policies 8420 and 8441 were reviewed to ensure compliance with the new law and to consider any other regular updates that occur when revising policies. The revisions to these policies represent bringing the policy in compliance with changes from LB83, reflecting recent Nebraska Attorney General’s opinions, and capturing other effective practices for engaging the community through Public Comment.

Each year prior to the annual Board Reorganization Meeting, the Board reviews the policies that govern its operating procedures.

Some of the policy and regulation updates provide more clear information for the public on how to participate in Public Comment. Some of the proposed changes include:

  • Each speaker will be allowed three minutes to address the Board. Reducing from five minutes to three minutes allows more speakers to be heard prior to the business of the meeting being conducted.
  • A written step-by-step process is now included on how someone can participate in public comment. 
  • Incorporating State Senator Mike Flood’s Bill (LB83) that was passed last August addressed Open Meetings Act and Public Comment, the Board Chair will call each speaker to the podium by first and last name, organization they represent, and address. 
  • Information is now also included on what happens when a person is declared out of order by the Board Chair. This is not a change in practice, it just adds in writing for the public so they may understand practices.

The Board voted to approve the revision to 8420 and 8441.

New officers for Lincoln Board of Education

Don Mayhew was elected as the new president of the Lincoln Board of Education serving from May 2022 until May 2023.  Connie Duncan was elected as vice president.

New officers for ESU 18

Bob Rauner was elected as the new president of Educational Service Unit (ESU) 18, and Lanny Boswell will be vice president.

Posted on May 16, 2022


Meeting Notice: Lincoln Board of Education and ESU 18 Organization Special Meetings - May 16, 2022

The Lincoln Board of Education and Education Service Unit (ESU) 18 will hold special meetings on Monday, May 16, at 6:00 p.m. located in the Boardroom at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The purpose of these special meetings are for the annual organization which includes the election of officers and voting to affirm current policies and regulations. 

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. 

There are multiple ways to view the livestream of the special meeting:

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

The agenda for the meetings can be found on our website at lps.org/board

Participation by citizens in the Special Board Meeting

The function of the special organizational meetings of the Lincoln Board of Education and ESU 18 is to conduct the business of the Lincoln Public School District. 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. 

Please note: No signs, posters, placards, etc. shall be affixed to the walls, doors, etc. of the Lincoln Public Schools District Office or any room therein, except by LPS staff in connection with District business and then only with permission of the Superintendent or designee. No sign, placard, or poster which is carried by hand shall be permitted in the Lincoln Public Schools District Office building or any of its rooms. 

Posted on May 14, 2022


LPS Standing Bear High School to partner with UNL College of Business for new focus program

Lincoln Public Schools and the College of Business at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are joining together to launch Nebraska Business at Standing Bear High School. The announcement of the newest LPS focus program was made during a special press conference on Tuesday morning.

“Once again Lincoln Public Schools and the University of Nebraska will team up to provide an exciting new opportunity for our students,” said LPS Superintendent Steve Joel. “This focus program at our new high school will empower our students to find academic success through authentic learning opportunities, rigorous standards and individualized learning. This is just another example of the great collaboration between our two institutions that will greatly benefit our students and community.”

Standing Bear High School students will learn about the dynamic world of business and take courses to explore and learn more about potential career opportunities in business. Students in grades 9 and 10 at Standing Bear High School will have coursework integrated into other core classes they take. Students in grades 11 and 12 may opt to take classes for college credit through the focus program and will receive reduced tuition. Non-credit experiences will be available to students free-of-charge. The program is designed to be affordable and accessible to students and their families.

Through hands-on immersive experiences and early college pathways, the focus program will allow Standing Bear High School students to explore their passions and career opportunities in the areas of marketing, management, accounting, finance, supply chain and economics. Pathways are designed for students who wish to pursue a two- or four-year college degree, as well as for students who plan to enter the workforce after graduating from high school. They will do so while connecting with peers, teachers and business professionals from the community. 

“We exist to create opportunity for Nebraska, and today we are boosting access to exceptional business education for Nebraskans,” said UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green. “Partnering with LPS and Standing Bear High School in this new way with our College of Business builds on a historically strong relationship and expands opportunities for students right here in Lincoln.”
 
“We all know business and entrepreneurship are critical to our state and that our state’s high school students can go on to lead successful careers in Nebraska,” said Kathy Farrell, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Dean of the College of Business. “This partnership will help Lincoln high school students explore the world of business and gain insight into their interest in leading the future of business.”

Standing Bear High School will open in the fall of 2023, and with it the new Nebraska Business focus program. As the new high school continues to be built, curriculum planning will take shape this next year collaboratively with LPS teachers and College of Business faculty. 

Posted on May 14, 2022


Fredstrom teacher Rochelle Settles wins prestigious Scottish Rite Award

When the Fredstrom Elementary School students gathered in the gym on Friday afternoon, they were met by special guests from the Lincoln Public Schools District Office and members from the local chapter of the Scottish Rite organization.

“We have a really special announcement today that we want to share with you,” explained Eric Weber, LPS association superintendent of Human Resources. “Every year we surprise and award one teacher in Lincoln Public School that really stands out with the Scottish Rite Award, and the one teacher we are going to recognize is here today.”

In 1964, the local chapter of Scottish Rite developed the education committee to recognize excellent classroom teachers, and help make the public aware of the vital role a classroom teacher plays in educating youth. The recipient of the award also receives a check for $10,000 from the organization.

As Weber started reading the winning nomination letter, Fredstrom science teacher Rochelle Settles realized it was describing her.

“When they mentioned an award I previously won, I knew it was me as I was the only one to win that award in our building,” said Settles. “I am very grateful. There are a lot of great teachers at Lincoln Public Schools that work just as hard or harder than I do.”

Settles has taught in Lincoln Public Schools for 26 years, all at Fredstrom Elementary. She was 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 received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2019.

“I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, even when I was in elementary school because I liked my teachers,” added Settles. “I’ve seen a lot of changes in education throughout the years, and in particular in science. We need students in the field of science. We have a lot of issues we need solving. It’s my job to promote science and do the best I can.”

Fredstrom principal Cheryl Richter wrote “I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award. She is an amazingly dedicated educator, not only for Fredstrom students but students all over Lincoln.”

Settles will be honored again during a special event in the fall at LPS District Office, where she’ll be featured along with past winners on an interactive display located outside the boardroom.

Posted on May 13, 2022


Highlights: 5/10 Lincoln Board of Education Regular Meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, May 10, at the Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. 

Special reports, presentations and celebrations of success

Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools

Wendy Van, President for the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools, gave an update to the Board on 2021-2022 activities. Some of the highlights include:

  • $1.5 million distributed 
  • 3,316 gifts received
  • $1.2 million raised
  • $1.9 million pledged
  • 423 new donors
  • 82 scholarship recipients awarded
  • 14 outstanding educator award recipients 
  • 66 Fund-A-Needs complete: $74,217 raised for classrooms
  • 450 Requests for Funds: $825,231

Van shared this year’s Educator Awards that were given during National Teacher Appreciation Week. You can find the complete list here. She also reminded the Board that the Foundation will be participating in the Give to Lincoln Day on May 26.

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

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

Policy 8420 and Policy 8441 - Board Operating Procedures

Lincoln Public Schools 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 passage of LB83 in 2021 required changes to the state’s elements of the Open Meetings Act impacting Public Comment. Policies 8420 and 8441 were reviewed to ensure compliance with the new law and to consider any other regular updates that occur when revising policies. The revisions to these policies represent bringing the policy in compliance with changes from LB83, reflecting recent Nebraska Attorney General’s opinions, and capturing other effective practices for engaging the community through Public Comment.

Governmental Relations and Community Engagement Committee Chair Don Mayhew reported that each year prior to the annual Board Reorganization Meeting, the Board reviews the policies that govern its operating procedures.

“In the last couple of years the Board has had to make a number of adjustments to its policies and procedures based on COVID and other factors, and it seemed prudent at this time of year as we revisit our policies and regulations to look for opportunities to improve our processes,” said Mayhew. “Our Board meetings are business meetings and it is our responsibility to facilitate the business of the district. None of the proposed changes are huge, but they do tighten things up a bit and hopefully provide clearer language.”

Associate Superintendent for Governmental Relations and General Administration John Neal added, “It is incredibly important to bring the voice of the community to the Board and provide a method for doing that that not only ensures all voices are heard, but also ensures the business of the board is accomplished.” 

Some of the policy and regulation updates provide more clear information for the public on how to participate in Public Comment. Some of the proposed changes include:

  • Each speaker will be allowed three minutes to address the Board. Reducing from five minutes to three minutes allows more speakers to be heard prior to the business of the meeting being conducted.
  • A written step-by-step process is now included on how someone can participate in public comment. 
  • Incorporating State Senator Mike Flood’s Bill (LB83) that was passed last August addressed Open Meetings Act and Public Comment, the Board Chair will call each speaker to the podium by first and last name, organization they represent, and address. 
  • Information is now also included on what happens when a person is declared out of order by the Board Chair. This is not a change in practice, it just adds in writing for the public so they may understand practices.

Several Board members reminded the public that their contact information remains published on the LPS website if any person wishes to contact a Board member with their concerns or questions. 

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

Proposed Contracts with the Associate Superintendents and ESU Administrator

Annually, the Board of Education reviews the contracts of the Associate Superintendent for Instruction, the Associate Superintendent for Business Affairs, the Associate Superintendent for Human Resources, the Associate Superintendent for General Administration and Governmental Relations and the ESU 18 Administrator.

It is recommended that the proposed three-year contract for each of the associate superintendents be amended and extended to June 30, 2024. It is also recommended that a total salary increase of 3.50 percent, overall total package increase of 3.81 percent, be approved for 2022-23. The 2023-24 total salary increase recommendation is 3.00 percent, and overall total package increase of 3.20 percent. Each contract is within the parameters set by the Board of Education.

It is also recommended that the proposed 260 working days two-year contract for the Director of Continuous Improvement and Professional Learning and ESU 18 administrator be amended and extended for the 2022-23 school year with a salary increase of 4.82 percent, overall total package increase of 5.30 percent for 2022-23. The 2023-24 total salary increase recommendation is 4.60 percent, an overall total package increase of 4.78 percent. The contract is within the parameters set by the Board of Education.

Included in the total package increase for each of the four associate superintendents and the ESU 18 administrator are additional district costs including the district’s contributions to health insurance, state retirement, and Social Security.

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

Second reading

Evaluation of the Superintendent

Annually, the Board of Education evaluates the superintendent of schools. The 2021-22  evaluation of Superintendent Steve Joel was reviewed during first reading at the last Board meeting and is recommended for approval to be placed in his personnel file.

Joel received many positive comments on his final evaluation. As one board member stated:

“Dr. Joel is completing his final year of a distinguished career having earned the highest respect and deepest gratitude of the Board and the community.”

Board members unanimously responded with high praise of the comprehensive plan to address the Board priority to address specific measurables to assess disparities in student learning outcomes, students’ school experience, and the composition of certified personnel. 

Duncan added, “We are honored to congratulate Dr. Joel, a champion of public education, on a lifetime of service to students and educators. Thank you for sharing your life with LPS. We are a better place thanks to your leadership.”

The Board voted to approve the superintendent’s evaluation.

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, East High School.  In 2023-2024, the area will be assigned to the new Standing Bear High School. 

The Board voted to approve the assignments.

Policy 5520- Student Fees

The Board annually reviews and approves Policy 5520 to ensure that its policy is in accordance with the Public Elementary and Secondary Student Fees Authorization Act.

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

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

The Board voted to approve Policy 5520.

Pulled from consent agenda

Contract for Nebraska Business at Standing Bear High School

Student Learning Committee Chair Lanny Boswell asked Association Superintendent for Instruction Matt Larson, and Director of Strategic Initiatives and Focus Programs James Blake gave an update on an agreement for the newest focus program.

Lincoln Public Schools and the College of Business at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are joining together to launch Nebraska Business at Standing Bear High School. Through hands-on immersive experiences and early college pathways, the focus program will allow Standing Bear High School students to explore their passions and career opportunities in the areas of marketing, management, accounting, finance, supply chain and economics.

Pathways are designed for students who wish to pursue a two- or four-year college degree, as well as for students who plan to enter the workforce after graduating from high school. They will do so while connecting with peers, teachers and business professionals from the community. 

Students in grades 9 and 10 at Standing Bear High School will have coursework integrated into other core classes they take. Students in grades 11 and 12 may opt to take classes for college credit through the focus program and will receive reduced tuition. Non-credit experiences will be available to students free-of-charge. 

Standing Bear High School will open in the fall of 2023, and with it the new Nebraska Business focus program. As the new high school continues to be built, curriculum planning will take shape this next year collaboratively with LPS teachers and College of Business faculty. 

The Board voted to approve the item.

Informational items and reports

The Career Academy

Boswell reported that the joint Southeast Community College and Lincoln Board of Education met to discuss renewing the joint agreement. The joint board approved the revisions and the agreement will come before the Lincoln Board of Education at a future meeting.

Public comment

There were five 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 some of the educators honored with Educator Awards from the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools.

Posted on May 10, 2022


Meeting notice for the Lincoln Board of Education - May 10, 2022

The Lincoln Board of Education will hold its Regular Meeting on Tuesday, May 10, at 6:00 p.m. located in the Boardroom at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. 

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 meeting can be found here: lps.org/board.

There are multiple ways to view the livestream of the Regular Meeting:

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 function of the regular meetings of the Lincoln Board of Education is to conduct the business of the Lincoln Public School District, as distinguished from providing an open citizens’ forum. 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. In keeping with this belief, the Board encourages and provides an opportunity for public comment through the Public Comment agenda item at its regularly held Board meeting, public hearings on important issues facing the District, and through many different forms of community engagement.

No signs, posters, placards, etc. shall be affixed to the walls, doors, etc. of the Lincoln Public Schools District Office or any room therein, except by LPS staff in connection with District business and then only with permission of the Superintendent or designee.

No sign, placard, or poster which is carried by hand shall be permitted in the Lincoln Public Schools District Office building or any of its rooms. 

In keeping with Board Policy:

  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 five minutes will be allotted for any speaker. 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.
  3. Each individual speaking to the Board will be required to identify himself or herself prior to giving public comment. A "Record of Appearance" card is provided for this purpose. Those speaking must provide their first and last name, address of residence, and what organization if they are representing one on the card prior to addressing the Board.
  4. Persons wishing to appear will be heard in the order in which the Chair of the meeting determines appropriate.
  5. 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.
  6. If the number of people wishing to speak under the public participation portions of the agenda is large, the chair may rule that a public hearing be scheduled or the discussion be limited on the issue in question.
  7. Persons speaking to the Board during public comment may make printed materials available to the Board but may not use any other form of media or displays.

Please note: The Board will hear up to one hour of public comment, followed by the business meeting and then the second public comment session. If at any time persons appearing before the Board exceed the time limitations set forth in this policy or on the agenda or if persons appearing before the Board or who are present at the Board meeting or public hearing become abusive in language or behavior, it shall be the responsibility of the chair to declare that person or persons out of order and to refuse permission to continue to address the Board, require a change in behavior and may require the person or persons to leave the premises of the Board meeting.

Posted on May 08, 2022


Milkweed research lands Science Focus Program student in national competition

Milkweed provides a nurturing home for monarch caterpillars, however, Lindsay Howe notes the plant is essential for many other pollinators – as well as representing a broader, ecological picture. “Nature is declining significantly, so we won’t be here much longer if we don’t do something.  There’s not a lot of time left, so we need to observe, preserve … find better solutions for our environment.”

Howe, a junior at the Lincoln Public Schools Science Focus Program, took top honors this spring for her research about milkweed, presenting at the Nebraska Junior Academy of Sciences Fair held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Judges found her research both scientifically relevant and well conducted. In fact, Howe was the only student from LPS selected to continue to Junior Academy national-level competition set for next year in Washington, D.C.

And it all started with her grandmother.

“She introduced me to milkweed five years ago, so this was important to our family and it has become important to me … She gave me some pods to start.”

And as Howe watched the milkweed grow, she noticed the difference in size and number of pods varying from plant to plant – and varying from urban to rural.  “Compared to milkweed in Lincoln, the pods in rural areas seemed to be smaller, not thriving.”

So, she set up a research project with milkweed growing in four different environments – two urban and two rural – and subsequently took soil samples, measured size, counted pods and noted yield.

“There’s an ever-expanding amount of knowledge about the world out there, and I love investigating problems,” said Howe, also a student at Lincoln Christian High School.

Mark James, Howe's science teacher at the Focus Program, explained that each junior in his class is asked to choose a topic to research for one semester – a topic related to the larger community that has an ecological focus.  “I ask my students:  ‘If you could do whatever you want to do at school, if you could learn whatever you want to – what would you choose?’”

Students must discover how to research a topic, collect data, understand  proper technique, James said.  “I provide guidance, but I don’t babysit them.  They have a lot of freedom and head off in all different directions.”

James said this semester his students are researching 12 very different projects, including decomposition of rats, animal populations at a nearby prairie refuge – and, of course, milkweed.

“I did conclude that milkweed was healthier in urban areas,” Howe said.  “I have not concluded why, but my research continues.”

Her sights set on becoming a wildlife biologist someday, Howe said she loves the independence and opportunities at the Science Focus Program: “I was looking for a challenge, and this school is so open-minded about teaching and learning.”

James has taught at the Science Focus Program for 15 years now and appreciates what he calls the emotional payback for doing something meaningful: “I teach in a place where students have already decided about the value of science.  They have chosen to be here.”

He recalls a former student whose family was going on vacation during the very same week of the annual science competition.  The student decided to stay home.

“When students see the value in their research and are willing to miss their own family vacation, because they are so proud of what they did – yes, that’s what teaching is all about.”

Posted on May 04, 2022


Lincoln High School team wins state Econ Challenge

Lincoln High School students competed in the Nebraska Economics Challenge on April 22 at the Federal Reserve Omaha Branch. The team of Juriah Lawson, Jessica Huynh, Alex Beard and Matthew Grives competed in a written exam over economic current events followed by an escape room round. The escape room round consisted of a series of economic problems that had to be solved in order to get the code for the next problem.

The team finished first in the escape room round and headed into the quiz bowl round in first place. The team competed in the quiz bowl against Thedford where they won 10-3. These students will now compete on the national level with the opportunity to travel to New York City to compete in the national quiz bowl.

Posted on May 04, 2022


North Star photography student finds her voice – and top honors

Hajer Al-Eid takes powerful photographs, passionate pictures filled with the images of women who don’t always have a voice.

  • A young woman wrapped in the Iraqi flag.
  • Another bound in rope.
  • Still another with currency taped over her mouth.

“I want to give voice to people who often don’t have one,” says the Lincoln North Star High School senior.  “That’s my personal vision, that’s my own personal voice … My hope is that you look at my images and you see them, feel them, experience them, and that you hear the voices of these women.”

Al-Eid had barely taken a photograph when she walked into her first art class as a ninth grader – her first photography class as a sophomore.  “I didn’t even know I had a creative, artistic side,” she says.

Yet this year Al-Eid was recognized with a National Medal in the 2022 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, an honor that comes with a prize of $1,000.  Her photo portfolio was chosen to receive a Silver Medal with Distinction. Judges recognized her work for excellence in originality, technical skill and the emergence of a personal vision – work that will be on display this June at Carnegie Hall in New York City. 

To put this honor into perspective: More than 100,000 students submitted more than 260,000 works for the 2022 Art and Writing competition – and only 47 portfolios received national medals.  That places Al-Eid within the upper 1 percent of all submissions from across the nation.

“As a teacher, it is so amazing to see a student realize that she can say something through her photos, to watch a student catch fire, find her passion and her voice,” says Jason Codr, chair of North Star’s Art Department and Al-Eid’s photography teacher.  “When I think about watching someone like Al-Eid grow it has been truly magical.  She had something special, she has drive, interest and passion about what she is working on.”

At this point Al-Eid is experimenting with all types of photography, from portraits to fashion, enjoying the process of creating images.  In fact, she has used her photos to illuminate domestic violence, global travesties, the confusion of “culturally in-between, not knowing where you belong.”

Al-Eid explains that she begins with a concept of what she wants to say, then takes her sketchbook and maps out perhaps 15 different ideas of how to say it.  “I try different lighting, different backgrounds, whatever evokes the emotion I am going for … There are so many options, so many possible outcomes.”

Many of her models are friends, classmates and family members: “I tell them to relax their face, be natural, trust me.”

For now, Al-Eid plans to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this fall but has not determined her specific career plan.  “But I do know this.  Photography will always be part of my life.  Always.”  

Her teacher notes: “Hajer also has an ability to help raise others around her too. She has helped others realize their visions, their ideas.  She has helped them to grow alongside her.”

Codr says a teacher wants the best for every single student – wants them to discover what they are capable of.  The true joy of teaching happens, he says, “when you see a student light up with that discovery – when you witness a student like Hajer who continues to grow, who captures and pushes the envelope.

Once a professional graphic designer, Codr accepted an opportunity to teach, “because I believe students need a place to find an outlet, a place to be themselves, express themselves – and visual arts does just that … It is not all about textbooks, but it’s a place to share ideas, experiment – a place where students can take risks.”

Posted on May 04, 2022


Science Focus Program Science Olympiad team places first in state

Students from the Lincoln Public Schools Science Focus Program placed first in the State Science Olympiad competition this spring.  They will compete in nationals later this school year.

Lincoln Southwest High School placed fourth in state and Lincoln East High School placed sixth.

Science Focus students on the first-place team are:

  • Dalton Adams, grade 12
  • Riley Kalnins, grade 12
  • Bailey Bessert, grade 12
  • Graham Vinton, grade 12
  • Camryn Nelson, grade 12
  • Scoie Darringer, grade 12
  • Tina Tran, grade 12
  • Alec Robbins, grade 11
  • Hyrum Moody, grade 10
  • Kathryn Boldt, grade 10
  • Brynn NIckolaus, grade 9
  • Blake Marlar, grade 9
  • Liam ONeal, grade 9
  • Gabby Young, grade 9
  • Elsa Meyer, grade 9

Science Focus team co-coaches are: Mark James and Brian O’Neal.

Posted on May 04, 2022


NAACP Lincoln Branch Senior Recognition 2022

The Lincoln Branch of the NAACP and Lincoln Public Schools are recognizing African American seniors graduating this year with this special virtual ceremony. African American students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher will be recognized, along with scholarship award winners.

Posted on May 02, 2022


LPS Music Festival will showcase local musicians April 30

UPDATE: The LPS Music Festival has been moved INSIDE East High School due to weather. The performances will be in the auditorium, and audience members should enter through Door #1. Mary Ellen's will still be there selling food, and the merchandise sales and silent auction will continue! We look forward to seeing you there!

 

The Lincoln Public Schools Tri-M Music Honor Society chapters are working together to host the fourth annual LPS Music Festival on the practice fields south of East High School on Saturday, April 30, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The outdoor event will feature student performances from all six LPS high schools along with several community groups including PANgea, Los Mariachis de la Ciudad Estrella, The Red Keys a cappella group, and Northeast High alum Jadyn Keller.

“This is an opportunity to highlight the strong musicians we have in our community in a fun, casual and inclusive environment,” said staff sponsor and East High School assistant director of bands Nicole Shively. “This event caters toward talent show-esque musical performances rather than serious solo and ensemble performances. Students from around the school district auditioned in March and are eager to perform.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased ahead of time for $5 online, or $6 cash at the door. All proceeds will be donated back to LPS Music Department to help purchase new instruments for beginning band and string students at LPS.

There will be silent auction items for people to bid on and merchandise for sale. Mary Ellen's BBQ and New Day Smoothies & Coffee food trucks will be at the event, and bottled water will also be available for purchase.

Everyone is encouraged to come and go as they please and bring their own lawn chairs or blankets.

The approximate performance times are as follows:

11:00 a.m.  Los Mariachis de la Ciudad Estrella

11:30 a.m.  Vivian Dao

11:35 a.m. Larry Li

11:40 a.m. Berkley Nielsen

11:45 a.m.  Dre Mimick

11:55 a.m.  Jack McCarter

12:00 p.m.  Ellie Baumert and Tyler Strover

12:15 p.m.  Guys Across the Street

12:25 p.m.  Jadyn Keller

12:50 p.m.  The Red Keys

1:05 p.m.  Addison Stelzer and Jack Thielen

1:15 p.m.  Nicholas Li

1:25 p.m. The Wax Museum

1:35 p.m. Harper and Aderha

1:40 p.m. Lydia Atim

1:45 p.m. Sento Nel Corre

1:55 p.m.  Jay & the Jiblets

2:05 p.m. Ella Swank and Eli Shane

2:10 p.m.  Hannah Robb

2:15 p.m. The Fast Fingers

2:20 p.m.  Too Many Kazoos

2:50 p.m. Pangea

Purchase your tickets online at http://lpsmusicfestival.seatyourself.biz/. Gates open at 10:30 a.m.

Posted on April 29, 2022


Highlights: 4/26 Lincoln Board of Education Regular Meeting

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

Public Hearing on student fees policy (5520)

Each year the Board conducts a public hearing under the provisions of the Nebraska Public Elementary and Secondary Student Fee Authorization Act and other Nebraska laws. The purpose of this hearing is to receive input regarding proposed updates to Policy 5520 and Appendix 1. The input received during the hearing will be taken into consideration by the Board when they take action on the updated policy.

No one addressed the Board during the public hearing.

Special reports, presentations and celebrations of success

LPS District Scholar Equity Cadre

The Lincoln Public Schools Scholar Equity Cadre is a diverse body of scholars from around the school district who advise leadership on policies and strategies which impact diversity and equity while profiling the successes among scholars of color.

The group provided feedback to the Board on the equity action steps presented at the last board meeting. The group spent time in conversations with peers and staff, and also at their April cadre meeting examining barriers and next steps in the district's plan.

First reading

Evaluation of the Superintendent

Annually, the Board of Education evaluates the superintendent of schools. The 2021-22  evaluation of Superintendent Steve Joel is in the process of being completed and will be recommended for approval to be placed in his personnel file.

Joel received many positive comments on his final evaluation. As one board member stated:

“Dr. Joel is completing his final year of a distinguished career having earned the highest respect and deepest gratitude of the Board and the community.”

Board members unanimously responded with high praise of the comprehensive plan to
address the Board priority to address specific measurables to assess disparities in student
learning outcomes, students’ school experience, and the composition of certified personnel. 

Duncan added, “We are honored to congratulate Dr. Joel, a champion of public education, on a lifetime of service to students and educators. Thank you for sharing your life with LPS. We are a better place thanks to your leadership.”

The Board will hold a second reading and vote to approve the evaluation at the next regular 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, East High School.  In 2023-2024, the area will be assigned to the new Standing Bear High School. 

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

Policy 5520- Student Fees

The Board annually reviews and approves Policy 5520 to ensure that its policy is in accordance with the Public Elementary and Secondary Student Fees Authorization Act.

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

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

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

Second 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 South 40th Street and Rokeby Road to the Cavett Elementary School, Moore Middle School, and Southeast High School attendance areas.

The Board approved the assignments.

Title VI, Indian Education Program

The U.S. Department of Education through Title VI of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides funds to fulfill the federal government’s responsibility to the Indian people for the education of Indian children. These funds support the goal of ensuring programs that serve Indian children are of the highest quality and provide for not only the basic elementary and secondary educational needs, but also the unique educational and culturally related academic needs of these children.

LPS has received federal funds for services for Native American students since the mid-1980’s. Each year, LPS is required to submit a grant requesting funds. Estimated funding from Title VI for 2022-23 is $197,942. Decisions regarding the use of these funds are made in consultation with the Native American Advisory Committee.

The Board voted to approve.

Bid for shelf-stable, refrigerated and frozen foods

Bids were requested from interested vendors to provide shelf-stable foods, refrigerated, and frozen food products for use by Nutrition Services for all locations during the 2022-23 school year. 

The Board will consider approving the following bids for an estimated total of $5,492,548.62:

  • Arlington Valley Farms - $12,816.00
  • Bernard Food Industries, Inc. - 24,870.60
  • Butterball - 40,800.00
  • Cash-Wa Distributing - 782,545.06
  • International Food Solutions Inc. - 221,130.00
  • Kellogg’s Specialty Channels - 78,016.25
  • Mrs. Clark’s Foods - 127,121.50
  • Nardone Brothers Baking Company - 270,300.00
  • National Food Group - 19,987.50
  • Performance Foodservice - 2,296,451.68
  • Peterson Farms Fresh, LLC - 80,760.00
  • Ripple Foods, PBC - 7,020.00
  • Schreiber Foods, Intl. - 71,335.60
  • Sysco Lincoln - 598,749.73
  • Tecumseh Poultry - 44,800.00
  • Tyson Prepared Foods Inc - 815,844.70

The Board voted to approve the bids.

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 the amazing things taking place in our school district. Tuesday’s video featured the BackPack Project Extra Mile Walk. 

Posted on April 27, 2022


Backpack Extra Mile Walk raises over $2 million in 14 years

By Saturday, Lincoln Public Schools employees and students raised $83,000 to support the community's children through the annual BackPack Extra Mile Walk that was held on April 23 at Lincoln East High School.

"This is the 15th year the employees of Lincoln Public Schools have collaborated with the Food Bank of Lincoln to make this event happen," said Liz Standish, associate superintendent for Business Affairs, to the crowd. "Over the past fourteen years, we have raised over $2 million dollars for the hungry children and families in our community."

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel thanked everyone for braving the wind for supporting such an important cause.

"The Food Bank of Lincoln is a true partner of Lincoln Public Schools and the entire community. It helps play an important role in helping our students and families meet their nutrition needs so they can continue to go to school and do well," added Joel.

The fundraiser helps support the Food Bank of Lincoln’s generous BackPack and Food Market initiatives, which provides a weekly backpacks filled with food for students who need help in having enough to eat over the weekend.

"This event is about helping kids, about families knowing that every single family in our community matters. We know that this special partnership between LPS and the Food Bank means this morning more than 5,000 kids across our community woke up to pancakes and syrup, cereal, or oatmeal because of the special partnership we have with the schools and all of you who believe in this work. Thank you." said Michaella Kumke, president of the Food Bank of Lincoln.

Top school efforts

  • Top elementary school: Maxey
  • Top middle school: Pound
  • Top high school: Southeast

Donations are still being collected on the fundraising website

Posted on April 26, 2022


LPS designated 'Best Communities for Music Education' for seventh year

Lincoln Public Schools has been honored for the seventh time with the prestigious designation of Best Communities for Music Education, bestowed by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation.

The honor recognizes outstanding commitment to music education – from the schools as well as the entire community – and is awarded to school districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. 

“This award reflects the hard work our music educators and students do every day to learn and develop a life-long appreciation of music making,” said Lance Nielsen, supervisor of Music at LPS.  “It reflects the creativity, innovative ideas and expanding curriculum that allows us to provide musical experiences to all students.  We not only have wonderful choirs, bands, orchestras, show choirs and jazz bands, but we provide instruction on guitar, world drumming, music technology and recording.”

He noted LPS is one of the only school districts in the country that supports a youth symphony, the Lincoln Youth Symphony – as well as the All-City Girls Choir, the steel drum band PANgea, and the mariachi group, Los Mariachis de los Ciudad Estrella.

“We also encourage students to create their own music,” Nielsen continued.  “We have a Young Composers Showcase that we host each spring in which students share the original music they have composed – then the students are mentored by composers from our area.”  

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, LPS answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs.

“Music is an essential component to the education of the whole child,” Nielsen said, noting that the city of Lincoln understands that significance. “Our community values the arts because it enriches people's lives. It makes our community stronger both economically and artistically.” 

The Best Communities for Music Education Award is not just about pride in LPS, this is something for all of Lincoln to celebrate, Nielsen stressed.  “This recognition is not just reflective of the excellent work happening in our schools by our very talented music educators and students, but it is also reflective of the support we receive from the Lincoln community – a place that embraces and cherishes the arts and arts education. The Best Communities designation is a celebration for all of us.”

Nielsen explained that the many musical connections in Lincoln reinforce and expand the school district’s capacity to provide a breadth of musical experiences for LPS students.  “The support by the Lincoln community for music and all of the arts is what makes Lincoln a special place.”  

The community collaborations are vast, he said: “The Lincoln's Symphony Orchestra providing the Young People's Concert with our fourth graders, Abendmusik inviting our students to be a part of performances, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Glenn Korff School of Music with the String Project and masterclasses, the unique music events offered to students by Nebraska Wesleyan University, Doane University and Union College.”

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 members. The Foundation advances active participation in music-making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs.

The NAMM Foundation continues to point to research into music education that demonstrates educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music:

  • After two years of music education, students show more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores.
  • Students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school, but also to attend college.
  • Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically trained children.
  • Later in life, individuals who take music lessons as children show stronger neural processing of sound.

For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.

Posted on April 26, 2022


Meeting notice for the Lincoln Board of Education - April 26, 2022

The Lincoln Board of Education will hold its Regular Meeting on Tuesday, April 26, at 6:00 p.m. located in the Boardroom at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. 

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 meeting can be found here: lps.org/board.

There are multiple ways to view the livestream of the Regular Meeting:

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 function of the regular meetings of the Lincoln Board of Education is to conduct the business of the Lincoln Public School District, as distinguished from providing an open citizens’ forum. 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. In keeping with this belief, the Board encourages and provides an opportunity for public comment through the Public Comment agenda item at its regularly held Board meeting, public hearings on important issues facing the District, and through many different forms of community engagement.

No signs, posters, placards, etc. shall be affixed to the walls, doors, etc. of the Lincoln Public Schools District Office or any room therein, except by LPS staff in connection with District business and then only with permission of the Superintendent or designee.

No sign, placard, or poster which is carried by hand shall be permitted in the Lincoln Public Schools District Office building or any of its rooms. 

In keeping with Board Policy:

  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 five minutes will be allotted for any speaker. 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.
  3. Each individual speaking to the Board will be required to identify himself or herself prior to giving public comment. A "Record of Appearance" card is provided for this purpose. Those speaking must provide their first and last name, address of residence, and what organization if they are representing one on the card prior to addressing the Board.
  4. Persons wishing to appear will be heard in the order in which the Chair of the meeting determines appropriate.
  5. 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.
  6. If the number of people wishing to speak under the public participation portions of the agenda is large, the chair may rule that a public hearing be scheduled or the discussion be limited on the issue in question.
  7. Persons speaking to the Board during public comment may make printed materials available to the Board but may not use any other form of media or displays.

Please note: The Board will hear up to one hour of public comment, followed by the business meeting and then the second public comment session. If at any time persons appearing before the Board exceed the time limitations set forth in this policy or on the agenda or if persons appearing before the Board or who are present at the Board meeting or public hearing become abusive in language or behavior, it shall be the responsibility of the chair to declare that person or persons out of order and to refuse permission to continue to address the Board, require a change in behavior and may require the person or persons to leave the premises of the Board meeting.

Posted on April 22, 2022


Learning Lunch: How Does Science Really Work?

Working through the scientific process is not linear, but more like a pinball machine zigzagging around – and not a solo venture, but instead a collaborative endeavor among communities of scientists.

Those were a few of the conclusions Wednesday from audience members attending the April Lincoln Public School’s Learning Lunch: How Does Science Really Work? 

In the wake of the pandemic, science has certainly been put under the microscope, said Betsy Barent, science curriculum specialist for LPS.  So, she invited Learning Lunch participants to engage in an activity that would deepen their understanding about what science is – and what it isn’t.

Barent passed out a deck of cards to each table in the presentation room and asked folks at each table to turn over five cards at a time – then attempting to write a sentence from the words.  As they were allowed to turn over more and more cards, the sentences gradually were formed with more clarity.

First of all, audience members noted how they were not working alone, but were all working collaboratively.

“Scientists collaborate all the time – they are not locked up in a lab in white lab coats with crazy hair,” Barent said with a laugh.  “In fact, in this day and age, their work is becoming more and more global.” 

Audience members also observed that the sentences they were creating – representing scientific observations and conclusions – became more understandable with additional cards (additional data, evidence and information).  

The next and last LPS Learning Lunch for the school year – “Lincoln Youth Symphony, 65 Years of Musical Excellence” – is set for noon Tuesday, May 17.  You can watch the program via livestream or attend in person at LPS District Office, 5905 O St. No registration is required.

Barent told audience members they were very much like paleontologists digging up ancient bones.  “You just keep finding out more, digging up more … Science is never done … It is ever-changing, innovative, dynamic.” 

Posted on April 20, 2022


Learning Lunch: Sustainability at Lincoln Public Schools

More than half of the trash and waste created at Lincoln Public Schools is diverted from the landfill through recycling, composting and reusing.

That translates into: Over 1.2 million pounds of materials recycled annually in our school district – over 900,000 pounds of organic materials composted – and over 39,000 pounds of LPS stuff reused.

“LPS has more than 70 buildings, more than 8 million square feet to manage – students, staff and community members coming in and out, all using resources,” explained Brittney Albin, sustainability coordinator at LPS, speaking at the March Learning Lunch.

Albin’s job is to stay vigilant and prevent as many of those LPS resources as possible from ever reaching the landfill.

“But my job is actually twofold,” she said. “I help us reduce our environmental impact and improve sustainability … But we are a K-12 school district and it is also my job to help foster environmental stewardship among our staff and students.” 

Albin is proud of LPS successes, noting the district was named a Green Ribbon School District in 2015, an accomplishment that required three pillars: Reducing environmental impact, leading in health and wellness, and increasing sustainability literacy.

She credited the LPS Board of Education for following up and approving an official sustainability policy in 2019, therein enhancing the district-wide culture of sustainability.

Meantime, she said, the school district has continued to work on improving its efforts and success in sustainability.  

Green schools: Albin said LPS has created a clear path for individual schools to become “green,” outlining these steps: Designating sustainability champion/s at schools to lead the effort, participating in the recognition program that rewards a wide breadth of “green” initiatives and activities, and organizing a green team of school environmental activists. 

Instruction: Albin stressed that part of her mission is to create student stewards who understand, practice and advocate for sustainable efforts. She pointed to one simple example, the Garbology unit now included in the kindergarten curriculum.

Transportation: LPS is constantly looking for ways to reduce emissions, a major piece of sustainability, Albin said, pointing out there are now seven EV charging stations at LPS – located at all six high schools and the Operations facility. She said calculations indicate those stations and the use of electric vehicles have saved 5,333kg greenhouse gas emissions – the equivalent of planting 137 trees and letting them grow for 10 years.

Gardens and outdoor learning: LPS now features about 25 school gardens in outdoor learning spaces, thanks to a variety of community partners. She said there are many examples, but pointed to the recent project organized by The Career Academy’s FFA Chapter – helping build raised flower beds at Mickle and Dawes middle schools, and Saratoga Elementary.

Waste: Albin said the LPS goal continues to be reduce, reuse, recycle and compost, and recover – which has resulted in a 54 percent district diversion rate (keeping LPS garbage out of the landfill).

  • Recycling:  LPS recycles traditional materials such as paper, cardboard, plastic and aluminum, but also more behind-the-scenes resources such as milk cartons, metal, electronics, pallets, books, cartridges, lights and batteries.
  • Composting: Currently 61 buildings at LPS have joined the cafeteria composting program that collects organic materials.
  • Reuse:  LPS encourages the reuse of materials through a variety of programs such as the auction program, surplus disbursement, books and oil reuse.

New schools: Albin said she works closely to bring increased sustainability to new schools under construction.  She said that Northwest High School – opening this fall – will have the district’s first garden roof. In addition, other possible features include enhanced and preserved wetlands, native plants, greenhouse and garden classrooms, outdoor classrooms, a vehicle charging station and permeable pavers.

Albin said she has many long-term goals in her vision for sustainability at LPS: Zero waste, gardens and outdoor learning spaces at every building, increased engagement and curriculum connections through after-school clubs, and a districtwide sustainability master plan.

Meantime, if you want to help, she said there are many options: 

  • If you are connected to a school, ask if they have a sustainability champion – then reach out and ask how you can help.
  • Celebrate Earth Day on April 22.
  • Participate in the annual Cans4Books Recycling Drive in April, bring your aluminum cans to Green Quest Recycling and designate which school library you want to support.
  • Support an existing garden space or help start a new one.

Please join LPS for the next Learning Lunch in person or on Zoom: Noon Wednesday, April 20, “How Does Science Really Work?  Dogs and Turnips.”

Posted on April 16, 2022


Update on the Lincoln Board of Education goals for equitable outcomes

The Lincoln Board of Education listened to a presentation on the All Means All Action Plan at their regular meeting on April 12. The plan is a culmination of work that began last summer.

During the 2021 summer retreat, Board members engaged in a visioning activity designed to facilitate dialogue centering on long-term goals for equitable outcomes for all student groups. As Board members discussed their vision for the district, themes such as academic success, school culture, honors course enrollment and hiring staff from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds surfaced as top priorities. Based on the priorities identified, the Board asked staff to present current data and draft potential language in the form of goal statements. The four measurable goals of the plan were adopted by the Board in the fall of 2021:

  1. Graduation Rate Goal: Raise the “All Students” graduation rate to 87.0%, and reduce existing differentials from “All Students” by 50%.
  2. Positive Behavior Goal: Reduce total suspensions for “All Students” by 20%, and reduce disproportionality ratios to 1.2 or less for all student groups.
  3. Honors Course Enrollment Goal: Reduce disproportionality by 75% between “All Students” who have completed at least 1 honors course, and each student group.
  4. Diverse Staff Goal: Increase the percentage of certi?ed staff from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds by 25%, to a target of 8.1%.

The Board then directed teams of LPS stakeholders to create a formal action plan to address these goals and report back in April. Committee members included teachers, counselors, social workers, administrators, Community Learning Center staff, community leaders, college and university staff, students and parents. 

As committees began to analyze data and build a clear picture of this work, it was determined that the implementation of these action steps would begin during the 2022-2023 school year, with an annual review of progress to be conducted both at the district and school levels, at the end of each school year. In addition, co-chairs will present progress to the Board annually.

While this action plan represents overarching district-wide goals for more equitable outcomes, each school will now begin the work of developing measurable objectives at the school level, including strategies to align with the recommendations in this report.

For more information about the goals and action plan, visit our website: lps.org/all.

Posted on April 15, 2022


Highlights: 4/12 Lincoln Board of Education Regular Meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, April 12, at the Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St.

Special reports, presentations and celebrations of success

Staff Celebration: J.J. Toczek, Nebraska District I Athletic Director of the Year

The Board frequently honors staff who win state or national awards with formal resolutions. On Tuesday, the Board recognized Southeast Director of Athletics and Activities J.J. Toczek as he was awarded the 2021-22 District I Athletic Director of the Year by the Nebraska State Athletic Administrators Association. 

During Toczek’s time at Southeast, the Knights have had 70 student-participants honored with First Team Super-State/All-State accolades, won 17 Heartland Athletic Conference Championships, 18 District Championships, and have made 53 state tournament appearances resulting in Girls Tennis Class "A" State Championships in 2016 and 2019, and Class "A" State Runner-up in 2014 in Boys Golf, and in 2021 in Girls Tennis.

Toczek has worked collaboratively to create the Lincoln Southeast SHIELD Student Leadership Program and Academic Support Program, and he facilitates the Heartland Athletic Conference Student Leadership Cadre Program. 

Under Toczek’s leadership, Southeast High School’s education-based athletics and activities program continues to grow and the school’s athletic facilities continue to experience vital upgrades.

Lincoln Board of Education Goals for Equitable Outcomes

The Board listened to a presentation on the All Means All Action Plan - the goals for equitable outcomes. The plan is a culmination of work that began last summer.

During the 2021 summer retreat, Board members engaged in a visioning activity designed to facilitate dialogue centering on long-term goals for equitable outcomes for all student groups. As Board members discussed their vision for the district, themes such as academic success, school culture, honors course enrollment and hiring staff from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds surfaced as top priorities. Based on the priorities identified, the Board asked staff to present current data and draft potential language in the form of goal statements. The four measurable goals of the plan were adopted by the Board in the fall of 2021:

  1. Graduation Rate Goal: Raise the “All Students” graduation rate to 87.0%, and reduce existing differentials from “All Students” by 50%.
  2. Positive Behavior Goal: Reduce total suspensions for “All Students” by 20%, and reduce disproportionality ratios to 1.2 or less for all student groups.
  3. Honors Course Enrollment Goal: Reduce disproportionality by 75% between “All Students” who have completed at least 1 honors course, and each student group.
  4. Diverse Staff Goal: Increase the percentage of certi?ed staff from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds by 25%, to a target of 8.1%.

The Board then directed teams of LPS stakeholders to create a formal action plan to address these goals and report back in April. Committee members included teachers, counselors, social workers, administrators, Community Learning Center staff, community leaders, college and university staff, students and parents. 

As committees began to analyze data and build a clear picture of this work, it was determined that the implementation of these action steps would begin during the 2022-2023 school year, with an annual review of progress to be conducted both at the district and school levels, at the end of each school year. In addition, co-chairs will present progress to the Board annually.

While this action plan represents overarching district-wide goals for more equitable outcomes, each school will now begin the work of developing measurable objectives at the school level, including strategies to align with the recommendations in this report.

For more information about the goals and action plan, visit our website: lps.org/all.

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 South 40th Street and Rokeby Road to the Cavett Elementary School, Moore Middle School, and Southeast High School attendance areas.

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

Land acquisition: Bottler’s Building property

The Board Planning Committee recommends a proposal to purchase the Bottler’s Building located at 711 South 25th Street. The Arts and Humanities Focus Program along with itinerant staff are currently located in the space. The property consists of 1.72 acres across from Lincoln High School on Capitol Parkway. 

Due to a quick turnaround on the closing date, the Board waived second reading and approved the purchase price of $2.3 million plus closing costs to purchase the Bottler’s Building.

Title VI, Indian Education Program

The U.S. Department of Education through Title VI of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides funds to fulfill the federal government’s responsibility to the Indian people for the education of Indian children. These funds support the goal of ensuring programs that serve Indian children are of the highest quality and provide for not only the basic elementary and secondary educational needs, but also the unique educational and culturally related academic needs of these children.

LPS has received federal funds for services for Native American students since the mid-1980’s. Each year, LPS is required to submit a grant requesting funds. Estimated funding from Title VI for 2022-23 is $197,942. Decisions regarding the use of these funds are made in consultation with the Native American Advisory Committee.

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

U.S. Department of Education Demonstration Grant for Indian Children Program

The purpose of the U.S. Department of Education Demonstration Grant for Indian Children program is to develop, test and demonstrate the effectiveness of services and programs to improve the educational opportunities and achievement of Native American students.

The current grant will end on September 30, 2022, and LPS will submit a new grant proposal to build on the momentum of its current federal Demonstration Grant. A new award will allow LPS to further enhance services to American Indian students through strategies such as success coaching and mental health services at school, more advocacy and counseling at the high school level, and also new strategies meant to encourage participation in the teaching field, such as a partnership with the K-12 Education Pathway at The Career Academy.

Due to the grant’s deadline, the Board waived second reading and voted to approve the application for $500,000 per year for up to five years.

Bid for shelf-stable, refrigerated and frozen foods

Bids were requested from interested vendors to provide shelf-stable foods, refrigerated, and frozen food products for use by Nutrition Services for all locations during the 2022-23 school year. 

The Board will consider approving the following bids for an estimated total of $5,492,548.62:

  • Arlington Valley Farms - $12,816.00
  • Bernard Food Industries, Inc. - 24,870.60
  • Butterball - 40,800.00
  • Cash-Wa Distributing - 782,545.06
  • International Food Solutions Inc. - 221,130.00
  • Kellogg’s Specialty Channels - 78,016.25
  • Mrs. Clark’s Foods - 127,121.50
  • Nardone Brothers Baking Company - 270,300.00
  • National Food Group - 19,987.50
  • Performance Foodservice - 2,296,451.68
  • Peterson Farms Fresh, LLC - 80,760.00
  • Ripple Foods, PBC - 7,020.00
  • Schreiber Foods, Intl. - 71,335.60
  • Sysco Lincoln - 598,749.73
  • Tecumseh Poultry - 44,800.00
  • Tyson Prepared Foods Inc - 815,844.70

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

Second 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 attendance areas to the following newly annexed areas:

  • Area near 66th and Arbor Road to Norwood Park Elementary School, Dawes Middle School and Northeast High School.
  • Rokeby Ridge to Wysong Elementary School, Moore Middle School and East High School.
  • Woodlands at Yankee Hill to Wysong Elementary School, Moore Middle School and East High School.

The Board voted to approve the assignments of the newly annexed property.

Processing of USDA commodities

LPS requested bids to process and deliver diverted USDA commodities for use by the LPS Nutrition Services Department for all locations. These commodities include mozzarella cheese, barrel cheese and bulk chicken. The contract prices are for July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023. There are two optional, one-year renewal periods.

It’s recommended the lowest bids that meet specifications be accepted, which are the following:

  • Nardone Brothers Baking Co. - $479,473.50
  • Land O’ Lakes, Inc. - 107,691.90
  • Tyson Food, Inc. - 801,653.50

The Board voted to approve the total estimated annual cost of $1,388,818.90.

Proposed negotiated agreement with the Lincoln Education Association

In a proposal presented to the Board, the Lincoln Education Association (LEA) and Lincoln Public Schools have reached a contract agreement with teachers for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years.

The agreement represents a careful balance between recognizing the valuable contributions our teachers make for Lincoln Public Schools - especially as front-line workers during a pandemic - while also acknowledging the revenue decline including a significant drop in state aid.

For the 2022-23 year, the tentative agreement approved by a vote of LEA members provides a total compensation package increase of 4.11 percent. The tentative agreement includes the district’s contribution for increases with health insurance, retirement, Social Security and an across-the-board increase of $1,250 along with movement on the pay schedule for a total increase of approximately $1,740-$3,248 for the year depending on the staff member’s placement on the salary schedule.

For the 2023-24 year, the tentative agreement approved by a vote of LEA members provides a total compensation package increase of 3.65 percent. The tentative agreement includes the district’s contribution for increases with health insurance, retirement, Social Security and an across-the-board increase of $1,055 and movement on the pay schedule for a total increase of approximately $1,545-$4,108 for the year depending on the staff member’s placement on the salary schedule. 

The Board voted to approve the negotiated agreement.

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. Please note: The Board did go into a short recess during public comment due to a Tornado Warning in the area. Public Comment resumed as soon as it was safe to do so.

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 the Aspiring Diverse Educators Symposium. 

 

Posted on April 12, 2022


Meeting notice for the Lincoln Board of Education - April 12, 2022

The Lincoln Board of Education will hold its Regular Meeting on Tuesday, April 12, at 6:00 p.m. located in the Boardroom at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. 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 meeting can be found here: lps.org/board. There are multiple ways to view the livestream of the Regular Meeting:

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 function of the regular meetings of the Lincoln Board of Education is to conduct the business of the Lincoln Public School District, as distinguished from providing an open citizens’ forum. 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. In keeping with this belief, the Board encourages and provides an opportunity for public comment through the Public Comment agenda item at its regularly held Board meeting, public hearings on important issues facing the District, and through many different forms of community engagement. No signs, posters, placards, etc. shall be affixed to the walls, doors, etc. of the Lincoln Public Schools District Office or any room therein, except by LPS staff in connection with District business and then only with permission of the Superintendent or designee. No sign, placard, or poster which is carried by hand shall be permitted in the Lincoln Public Schools District Office building or any of its rooms. In keeping with Board Policy:

  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 five minutes will be allotted for any speaker. 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.
  3. Each individual speaking to the Board will be required to identify himself or herself prior to giving public comment. A "Record of Appearance" card is provided for this purpose. Those speaking must provide their first and last name, address of residence, and what organization if they are representing one on the card prior to addressing the Board.
  4. Persons wishing to appear will be heard in the order in which the Chair of the meeting determines appropriate.
  5. 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.
  6. If the number of people wishing to speak under the public participation portions of the agenda is large, the chair may rule that a public hearing be scheduled or the discussion be limited on the issue in question.
  7. Persons speaking to the Board during public comment may make printed materials available to the Board but may not use any other form of media or displays.

Please note: Due to the number of anticipated speakers, the Board will hear up to one hour of public comment, followed by the business meeting and then the second public comment session. If at any time persons appearing before the Board exceed the time limitations set forth in this policy or on the agenda or if persons appearing before the Board or who are present at the Board meeting or public hearing become abusive in language or behavior, it shall be the responsibility of the chair to declare that person or persons out of order and to refuse permission to continue to address the Board, require a change in behavior and may require the person or persons to leave the premises of the Board meeting.

Posted on April 11, 2022


Dawes Middle School named 'Inspire School of the Year'

On Friday, the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools announced that Dawes Middle Schools was awarded the 2022 Inspire School of the Year Award to students and staff during a special assembly.

"One of the best parts of being a superintendent is celebrating the success of staff and students," said Steve Joel, LPS superintendent, during the surpise announcement. "Dawes Middle School staff have worked extremely hard to help students achieve and create a positive culture here at Dawes; and principal Miller has worked to increase staff input and leadership, and also listens to student voices to build a positive culture. It is clear that Dawes Middle School values the lived experiences of all Dawes community members, and sees those experiences as strengths."

To be considered for the Inspire School of the Year award, principals must detail the initiatives that have led to accomplishing considerable progress toward their school improvement plan. A selection committee comprised of community members, LPS District Office staff and the Foundation Board of Directors select the school that had the most significant impact on the students, staff, faculty and the community. 

“Dawes’ focus on building and strengthening their school community culture is evident in all that they do,” stated Wendy Van, president of the Foundation for LPS. “The improvements in student engagement in the last year and a half are a direct result of that effort and should be applauded.”

As part of the award, Dawes Middle School will also receive a check for $5,000 to use on any upcoming project of their choice. Funding for the award was provided by Allstate.

Principal Liz Miller told the crowd, "We've been named the Inspire School of the year because of you and because of our community. Students, Dawes is a success because of your energy, engagement and willingness to share your voices with us. Staff, Dawes is being honored because of you and your relentless hard work."

In addition to awarding Inspire School of the Year, the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools also suprised one student and one staff member from each school with an Inspire Award. Each Inspire Award recipient was selected by their school principal for regularly going above and beyond, taking initiative and are a positive inspiration to others.

You can see a list of all the student and staff honorees at the links below:

Posted on April 08, 2022


LPS Director of Accounting and Payroll Kelli Ackerman announces retirement

Kelli Ackerman, Lincoln Public Schools Director of Accounting and Payroll, has announced she is retiring at the end of the school year.

“Kelli brought tremendous experience and knowledge of school finance with her when she joined us in 2018,” said Liz Standish, associate superintendent of Business Affairs for LPS. “She was instrumental in working with the finance team to maintain financial stability and growth, ensuring staff and students have the resources they need to succeed.” 

Prior to coming to Lincoln in 2018, Ackerman served as the Holdrege Public Schools business manager and school board treasurer for 11 years. She started at Arapahoe Public Schools in 1984 as the business manager for 15 years before working in the private sector, returning to school finance in 2007. She received the Nebraska Council of School Administrators Distinguished Service Award in 2017.  Ackerman also was president of the Nebraska Association of School Business Officials, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Nebraska Public School Advantage and is vice chair on the Public Employees Retirement Board. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at Kearney State College. 

Ackerman’s last day will be June 30, 2022.

Posted on March 31, 2022


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