LPSCommunity: Highlights of 2/26 Lincoln Board of Education Work Session, Meeting

Highlights of 2/26 Lincoln Board of Education Work Session, Meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a work session and a regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St.  The Board will hold its only regular meeting in March on Tuesday, March 26.

Highlights of 2/26 Board Work Session

The Lincoln Board of Education Tuesday heard results of the most comprehensive evaluation ever done on the existing focus programs at Lincoln Public Schools, along with resulting recommendations that call for additional focus programs, alternative learning and delivery methods, and more robust e-learning. 

LPS spent considerable time analyzing focus program data (enrollment and capacity, academic effectiveness, as well as surveys of student, parent and teacher perceptions) related to these LPS programs: The Science Focus Program (Zoo School), Arts and Humanities Focus Program, The Career Academy (at Southeast Community College), the International Baccalaureate Program (at Lincoln High School) and the Air Force JROTC program (at Lincoln Northeast High School).

A quick summary of major findings:

  • The existing focus programs at LPS are effective in a variety of ways: Generally, we see higher levels of student engagement and achievement, positive feedback from students and parents concerning effectiveness of programs. We see students and parents seeking out additional opportunities for possible choice in the future. There are generally higher than average rates of graduation.
  • There are stronger relationships with teachers and a sense of community. Students perceive teachers to have high expectations and be more rigorous.
  • There is some additional capacity remaining, but not a significant number of seats.
  • LPS needs to look at improving retention in individual programs. 

A High School 0ption Task Force made up of LPS officials was formed to look closely at the data and make recommendations:

  • It is important to replicate more of these types of programs, but they are recommended to be embedded – or located – within existing high schools. (That model is a more efficient way to organize focus programs, eliminates transportation issues and allows students to connect to extracurricular activities.)
  • The Curriculum Department has started the process of exploring alternative instructional delivery methods including more robust e-learning options and personalized learning options, giving students more choice and flexibility in their areas of interest.
  • LPS is looking for the right platform and hybrid model to give students the option to complete some coursework virtually, online, likely while in a school classroom.
  • A group of LPS officials have looked at potential personalized learning options across the country and are looking closely at these types of tailored programs: Global Business, STEM: Aeronautics, Human Sciences, STEM: Health Sciences, STEM: Natural Resources and Agriculture, STEM: Information and Technology Systems, Construction and Manufacturing.

The Option Learning documents will be shared with the Superintendent’s Facility Advisory Committee as an additional resource. In addition, once a decision is made about future high school space, then appropriate curriculum task forces will be formed to begin the process of designing specific programs.

Board Work Session: Update on Human Resources and Business System

LPS Chief Technology Officer Kirk Langer gave an update on the progress of the significant task of implementing a new Human Resources and Business System. 

Langer said they have dealt with some issues, but overall progress is on target for a possible implementation of the $7 million Enterprise Resource Planning tool by Sept. 1 of this year. He said that key testing and evaluation over the next several months will determine a more specific timetable.

 

The scope of this project is huge, covering all Human Resource functions as well as budget and finance, accounting and payroll, purchasing, and all business functions at LPS. 

Highlights of 2/26 Board Regular Meeting

Proposed student calendar for 2021-22

Each year a joint LPS/Lincoln Education Association committee, composed of parents, Board members, education association leaders, teachers and administrators, recommends a student calendar for the Board’s consideration. It has been the practice of the Board to adopt calendars more than a full calendar year before it is in place.  

The proposed calendar for 2021-22:

  • First day of school Monday, August 16, 2021.å
  • Last day of school, Wednesday, May 25, 2022.
  • Thanksgiving break, Nov. 24-26, 2021.
  • Winter break, Dec. 23, 2021 through Jan. 5, 2022.
  • Quarter break, March 14-18, 2022.
  • Spring break, April 15, 2022.
  • Arbor Day State Holiday, April 29, 2022.

As in previous years, the Calendar Committee has followed Board approved student calendar primary and secondary variables to design and recommend a student calendar that meets the Calendar Committee’s purpose statement, "The school calendar demonstrates the district’s commitment to learning.  It is based on sound instructional considerations and priorities ensuring the continuity, efficiency and effectiveness of teaching and learning." The final vote on the calendar will happen March 26. 

Portable purchases
Bids were requested from interested vendors for the construction and installation of six portable classroom buildings: one each at Kooser, West Lincoln and Wysong elementary schools, Goodrich Middle School and two at Lincoln East High School. The Board heard a recommendation of $677,5000 from Genesis Contracting Group in Lincoln, and approved the purchase.

Chromebooks
The LPS student instructional technology plan provides budget resources in the 2018-19 fiscal year for the purchase of enough Chromebooks to provide one for each student in the 2019-20 sixth grade class (3,250) and ninth grade class (3,055). Repair data and experience this school year using the Chromebook models proposed for purchase were shared with the Board Technology Committee.  Both the data and first-hand experience affirmed the distribution of touch capable and standard Chromebooks.  Thus, the recommendation is to continue with touch Chromebooks for 9th grade students who will use them throughout their high school years and standard Chromebooks for 6th grade students who will use them for their middle school years. 

It was recommended that the Board award a total of $1,875,380 to Dell EMC Inc. (Round Rock, Texas) to purchase 3,250 Dell 5190 Standard Chromebooks with Chrome management and a 3-year warranty and 3,055 Dell 5190 2-in-1 Chromebooks including Chrome Management and a 4-year warranty. The final vote is March 26.

Grant application approved

As part of Nebraska’s Every Student Succeeds Act Plan, the Nebraska Department of Education offers funding for improvement efforts at schools identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) – and the AQuESTT accountability system was used to identify schools identified for CSI support. Federal law requires all CSI schools to complete a needs assessment and develop a plan of action for improvement based on that needs assessment, which is also a competitive application for financial support from NDE.  The goal for the school’s plan of action/application is to focus resources on student academic and support services that result in schoolwide improvement over three years.

The Board considered submission of a Plan of Action/Support for Improvement Grant Application to the Nebraska Department of Education for an amount up to $800,000 for a total of three years, dependent upon final funding determination. There is no match or in-kind requirement for this award. Final vote is March 26.

New land annexed, attendance areas approved
The Board of Education approved assigned school attendance areas to property newly annexed to the city of Lincoln. The city has annexed a parcel of land: Wandering Creek PUD, Annexation Ordinance #20731. Recommended attendance areas for the 2018-19 school year are: Pyrtle Elementary School, Lux Middle School and Lincoln East High School. 

Policy changes approved, proposed
The Board approved revisions to Policy 5504 related to Child Abuse and Neglect. Revisions add clarity in regard to responsibility and reporting procedures for child abuse and neglect. 

Various policy changes were recommended related to Board of Education operating procedures, Board vision statement and statement of purpose, Board officers and committees, meetings and more. The Board will take a final vote at the March 26 Board meeting. Periodically, new circumstances or changes in legislation or regulation from the state or federal government requires the school district to make a number of minor updates to align existing policy without changing the original leadership or organizational intent of the Board.  

Staff and Student Celebrations

The Board of Education recognized Lincoln Public Schools as the national "Champion for Computer Science" for 2018, bestowed by the Computer Science Teachers Association and Code.org. Accepting the honor were Kent Steen, LPS Curriculum Specialist for Computer Science, as well as computer teachers from across the school district

In the Student Celebration, the Board Lincoln Public Schools celebrated our music curriculum and instruction.  Lance Nielsen, Supervisor of Music for Lincoln Public Schools, shared remarks about the meaning and value of the solo and ensemble experience.  Student members of the Lincoln Southwest High School Vocal Octet spoke and performed.

 

To view the entire Board meeting;
Go to: Livestream.com/lpsorg

Public Comment
Four Lincoln citizens gave public comments Tuesday evening. To view the meeting go to: Livestream.com/lpsorg

 

 


Published: January 8, 2019, Updated: February 26, 2019

"...People are our greatest asset. Our investment in people is very important, in terms of getting the very best and keeping the very best."

Eric Weber, LPS associate superintendent for human resources