Highlights of the 12/8 Regular Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at the Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. 


Special reports, presentations, and celebrations of success

Gift presentation from Allo Communications

Don Schoening and Kathy Carstenson from Allo Communications presented a gift in the amount of $100,950 to Lincoln Public Schools. The funds were raised in July and August when Allo subscribers who signed up for service could choose a local educational entity to receive a $50 reward on their behalf.

“I want to say thank you to Lincoln Public Schools and thank you to the community. The community is where these dollars came from,” Schoening said. 

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel added, “We live in a community where we have partners like Allo who care deeply about public education and about kids.” 

Staff Celebration

The Board honored Elliott Elementary School paraeducator Katie Lewis with a resolution. The Nebraska Department of Education named Lewis the State Paraeducator of the Year for the 2019-2020 school year.

2020 LPS Pandemic Plan & Procedures Update

Superintendent Steve Joel updated the Board on the latest with Lincoln Public Schools protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The presentation included changes to directions for quarantine given last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nebraska Health and Human Services, and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. In addition, Chief Technology Officer Kirk Langer gave a preview of the updates that will be made soon to the online COVID-19 dashboard to provide more information to the community about the number of students and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19, and those who are excluded from school due to isolations and quarantines. The new dashboard will be rolled out Dec. 14 on the LPS COVID-19 webpage.

First Reading

Purchase of new Chromebooks for Grades 2, 6 and 9

The CLASS technology plan provides budget resources in the 2020-21 fiscal year to continue the practice of assigning a Chromebook to each 2021-22 second-, sixth- and ninth-grader. The current lead time for delivery of Chromebooks is four to six months, making a purchase at this time necessary to ensure delivery with enough time to prepare the Chromebooks prior to the start of the 2021-22 school year. This will be an expenditure of $2,720,906.00 from the General, Depreciation and Special Grants Funds.

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

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 Board approved the following attendance areas for Wilderness Hills South: Adams Elementary School, Moore Middle School and Southwest High School. The Board voted to approve the assigned attendance areas.

Construction Projects

The Board voted to approve two construction projects that are being paid for with funds from the 2020 Bond Fund, approved by voters in February.

  • West Holdrege Street Infrastructure Project - K-2 Real Estate & Development (Lincoln, Neb.) - $3,764,940.10
  • New Southeast High School Plumbing Package - HEP, Inc. (Lincoln, Neb.) - $4,509,950.00

Both bids were the lowest submitted. There was only one bid submitted for the New Southeast High School Plumbing Package. The Board voted to approve both bids.

Committee Reports

The Career Academy

TCA Joint Board Chair Don Mayhew offered an update, including the following:

  • TCA currently has an 85 percent retention rate, compared to roughly 81 percent at this time last year.
  • There are currently 166 new applications to attend TCA next school year.
  • There is an ongoing emphasis on strengthening community partnerships and increasing internship opportunities for students.

Superintendent’s Update

Joel commended the student who addressed the Board during public comment about the need for Hope Squads and more information about suicide prevention in our high schools.

Naming Committee Announcements for New Schools

President Danek announced the community members who will serve on the three committees with Board members to help determine names for the three new schools. The committees include: 

New high school at NW 48th Street and W. Holdrege:

  • Don Mayhew, Chair
  • Barbara Baier
  • Annie Mumgaard
  • Randy Bretz
  • Rich Claussen
  • John Goodwin
  • John Harris
  • Randy Hawthorne
  • Marian Price
  • Willie Shafer
  • Tammy Ward
  • George Weaver
  • Larry Wright
  • John Yoakum

New high school at S. 70th and Saltillo:

  • Bob Rauner, Chair
  • Lanny Boswell
  • Don Mayhew
  • Becky Dunder
  • Dayna Krannawitter
  • Halley Kruse
  • Amanda Morales
  • Cindy Ryman Yost
  • Allyn Sampson
  • Kamryn Sannicks
  • Deb Schorr
  • Felecia Welke
  • Ed Zimmer 

New elementary school at 102nd St., south of Holdrege:

  • Connie Duncan, Chair
  • Kathy Danek
  • Bob Rauner
  • Lynn Ayers
  • TJ McDowell
  • Tony Merritt
  • Todd Ogden
  • Marco Pedroza
  • Kim Robak
  • Ishma Valenti
  • Mailani Veney
  • Colette Yellow Robe

The committees will begin meeting via Zoom in January.

Public Comment

One member of the public attended the meeting to address the Board during Public Comment. You can view that here

Glimpses of LPS

We open every Board meeting with a video that highlights the amazing things taking place in our schools. Tonight’s video featured Zoe Prenda, a first-year teacher at Everett Elementary School who was one of the first graduates of the K-12 Pathway at The Career Academy.


Published: December 8, 2020, Updated: December 8, 2020