Highlights of 5/26 Board of Education Regular and Special Organization Meetings

The Lincoln Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, May 26, at the Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. Immediately following its regular meeting, the Board held a special organizational meeting for the Lincoln Board of Education and for Educational Service Unit (ESU) 18.

Regular Meeting

First Reading

Superintendent’s contract

The Lincoln Board of Education annually evaluates and reviews the contract of the Superintendent of Schools. On Tuesday the Board recommended that Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent Steve Joel’s contract be extended with no salary increase. At the April 28 Board meeting, Joel informed the Board that he and the rest of the Executive Team will accept a salary freeze during the upcoming budget year. The salary for the superintendent for the 2020-21 year will remain at $329,539.

The Board will vote on the contract at its next meeting.

Proposed contracts, salaries for superintendent’s exec team 

The Board of Education also annually reviews the contracts of the superintendent’s executive team, and this year it is recommended that the proposed two-year contract for each of the three Associate Superintendents and the Assistant Superintendent be extended one year beginning July 1, 2020. In addition, the superintendent and executive team recommended that members of the executive team do not receive a salary increase.

Annual salary proposals:

  • Matt Larson, associate superintendent for Instruction: $209,400
  • Liz Standish, associate superintendent for Business Affairs: $219,259
  • Eric Weber, associate superintendent for Human Resources: $219,259
  • John Neal, assistant superintendent for General Administration and Governmental Relations: $214,925

The Board will take a final vote at the June 23 Board meeting.

School attendance areas for newly annexed property 

The Board 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 City of Lincoln has annexed a parcel of land, which automatically brings this property into the district of Lincoln Public Schools.

The schools assigned to recently annexed Fallbrook, Annexation Ordinance #20911, will be Kooser Elementary School, Schoo Middle School and Lincoln North Star High School.

The Board waived second reading and voted to approve the school attendance areas.

2020-2021 Transportation Plan

Each spring a transportation plan is prepared for the following school year. 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 to the district. Each year a review of all routes for the current year are reconsidered. 

LPS Director of Transportation Ryan Robley and Associate Superintendent for Business Affairs Liz Standish presented to the Board. Their presentation can be viewed in the video recording of the meeting. The Board waived second reading and voted to approve the transportation plan.

Park Middle School Wellfield Project

Bids were requested from interested vendors for the installation of a new geothermal loop field and header piping at Park Middle School. It is recommended that award be made to the lowest responsible vendor meeting specifications, which is K-2 Construction of Lincoln for a cost of  $1,102,327. This project will be paid for from the 2020 Bond Fund.

The Board waived second reading and voted to approve the lowest bid from K-2 Construction of Lincoln.

McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grant

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is the primary piece of federal legislation dealing with the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness. The McKinney-Vento program is designed to address the problems that homeless children and youth have faced in enrolling, attending and succeeding in school. Under this program, state educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) must ensure that each homeless child and youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as other children and youth.

The LPS Homeless Outreach Coordinator works with families experiencing homelessness to arrange transportation services for children to attend school and works with families to provide other supports which 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 homeless children to attend school.  

The Board approved the submission of the McKinney-Vento Grant application for approximately $44,000, 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 percent match from Title I funds 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 grant application.

Second Reading

Evaluation for the Superintendent of Schools

Annually, the Board of Education evaluates the Superintendent. The 2019-20 evaluation of Superintendent Steve Joel is complete. The Board voted to approve the evaluation, which will be placed in his personnel file.

2022-23 Student Calendar

Each year a joint LPS/Lincoln Education Association committee, composed of parents, education association leaders, teachers, and administrators, recommends a student calendar for the Board’s consideration. This committee began work in fall 2019 to construct a student calendar for 2022-23. The committee met and developed an initial draft, which included several possible configurations of non-student days. These options were discussed with a variety of community groups, who provided important feedback. 

The calendar was presented at the April 28 Board meeting. On Tuesday the Board voted to approve the calendar.

From the Consent Agenda

Memorandum of Understanding with Lincoln Education Association

It had been estimated there would be a 4.99 percent increase in health insurance premiums for the 2020-21 year. However, due to current events, that increase is estimated to be 1.72 percent higher. In light of that, Lincoln Public Schools and the Lincoln Education Association have agreed to equally share the cost of the premium increases.

“Not every community enjoys the level of trust that exists here in Lincoln. That partnership will help us get through the difficult times ahead,” said Board President Lanny Boswell.

The Board voted to approve the memorandum of understanding. 

Glimpses of LPS

We open every Board meeting with a video that highlights the amazing teaching and learning taking place in our schools. Tonight’s video featured the eagle feather ceremony, the annual honoring of graduating Native American students. 

Special Organizational Meeting - Election of Officers

The Board voted to elect Kathy Danek as Lincoln Board of Education President for 2020-21 and Bob Rauner as Vice President. 

ESU 18 Organizational Meeting - Election of Officers

The Board voted to elect Lanny Boswell as ESU 18 President for 2020-21 and Annie Mumgaard as Vice President. 


Published: May 26, 2020, Updated: May 26, 2020