Lincoln Public Schools: Highlights of 11/12 Board of Education work session and regular meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for the fifth of six planned work sessions and a regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next work session and meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

Work Session 

During the work session, the Board Finance Committee made a recommendation to the full board to move forward with a resolution for a bond issue of $290 million. Based on analysis and finance models, this amount is expected to stay within the current bond and building fund levy.

LPS staff and the Board Planning Committee provided an updated 10-year Facility and Infrastructure Plan to align it more closely with the dollar amount the Board Finance Committee recommended. Adjustments made to the plan since the Oct. 22 work session include:

  • Move up the timeline for the Scott and Lux additions so that Scott could be finished before the fall of 2022. 
  • Adjust the amount dedicated to infrastructure to $16.2 million.

The Board also discussed the timing of the bond resolution. By holding a special election in February instead of waiting until May, Lincoln Public Schools will be able to take advantage of the 2020 summer construction period, saving approximately $3 million dollars in construction costs at the high school level alone.

“I want to say thank you to each of my colleagues for sharing each of your thoughts tonight,” commented Lincoln Board of Education President Lanny Boswell. “All of them have been appropriate and each of us come to the board with different perspectives that are based on our backgrounds and based on the things that we have learned through our board service. I strongly support the recommendations of both the finance committee and the planning committee and it would be my intent to bring the resolution this staff has prepared and this plan back to the board in two weeks for first reading with the goal of having a board vote on the 10th of December and putting the question in front of the public.”

Regular meeting

Special report

STEM Eco-system
The Board heard an update from James Blake, LPS K-12 science curriculum specialist, and Bryan Seck, director of workforce development for Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development. Both serve as the co-chairs for the Lincoln STEM Eco-system (LNKSE). 

LNKSE brings together community partners, both public and private, to serve on a steering committee. The purpose is to increase children’s knowledge by connecting in- and out-of-school learning to real-world application through community partnerships.


First reading, action at next meeting

New policy on Sustainability 
The Board Planning Committee recommended a new policy for consideration by the full Board. Policy 3905 on Sustainability is to serve as a guideline and commitment to responsible stewardship to sustainability goals. Staff and the Board recognize the impact that district activities have on the natural environment and on the health and well-being of students, employees and the community.  This will come back to the Board at the next meeting for approval. 

Revise current policy on Student Activities 
This revision of policy 6700 includes the addition of Unified Track as a new activity. Unified Track was sanctioned by the Nebraska School Activities Association in the fall of 2019, and LPS staff completed a review of Unified Track, recommending that it be authorized for spring 2020 in Lincoln Public Schools. This will come back to the Board at the next meeting for approval. 

Staff celebration

LPS celebrated two staff members for recently winning state awards.

Kacee Conley from Irving Middle School
The Nebraska Art Teachers Association has named Kacee Conley from Irving Middle School the 2019 Nebraska Middle School Art Educator of the Year. The mission of the Nebraska Art Teachers Association is to advocate for and advance art education in Nebraska to fulfill human potential and promote global understanding. Conley has proven herself as a leader and advocate for art education, both on the state and national levels.

Marnie Zabel from Belmont Elementary School
The Nebraska School Psychologist Association has named Marnie Zabel, from Belmont Elementary School, the 2019 Nebraska School Psychologist of the Year. School psychologists are uniquely trained to help children succeed academically, socially, behaviorally and emotionally. With expertise in mental health, learning and behavior, school psychologists partner with families, teachers, administrators, and other professionals to help children thrive. Zabel has been doing all of this at Belmont for more than 30 years.

LPS LIVE: Board Preview

The Career Academy
Before every Lincoln Board of Education meeting, Board member Don Mayhew sits down with guests to discuss various topics around Lincoln Public Schools. On Tuesday, Mayhew visited with Dan Hohensee, director of The Career Academy, about career pathways available to students.


Published: November 12, 2019, Updated: November 12, 2019