LPS families,

At 3:00p.m. today (July 1), we will be unveiling the PROPOSED 2021-22 LPS Safe Return to School Plan. It’s important to note that this is not the final plan, it is only a proposal. We are asking for feedback, comments, and suggestions from staff, students, families and the community from now until July 9. You will be able to view the proposal and give feedback on our website: lps.org/safereturn. The finalized 2021-22 Safe Return to School Plan will be posted on July 15, 2021 and will go into effect on August 2, 2021.

Lincoln Public Schools continues to work collaboratively with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) to develop plans for school operations. We gather information from various sources including the local health department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Nebraska Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Education to draft this PROPOSED 2021-22 Safe Return to School Plan. Adjustments are made based on local community conditions and feedback received from various groups. This work will be ongoing as new research emerges and more guidance is provided to the school district.

We will continue to review and update the plan on the webpage and communicate any changes to our plan and protocols through the website, email and social media. Lincoln Public Schools will adjust protocols as necessary due to changes in conditions.  During the 2021-2022 school year, protocols may change for a specific school building, program, classroom or settings based on cases, contact tracing, community conditions and risk of spread.

You can watch our press conference with highlights of this proposal on the LPS website, LPS YouTube Channel, or LPS Facebook.

Below are just some highlights of the proposal.

We will continue with some of the protocols from this summer:

Face Coverings

The Lincoln Public Schools plan for face coverings is based on current community conditions and recommendations from the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. Please note: The requirement for face coverings may change if there is an identified high risk of spread within the community, school building, program or classroom.

STAFF**

Also continuing from this summer is our face coverings protocols for staff.

For staff who are fully vaccinated, face coverings are OPTIONAL. For staff who are not fully vaccinated, face coverings are REQUIRED. (Please note the federal face covering requirement for transportation staff and anyone riding a school bus below.) Vaccination status will be based on a self-identified system. Staff will make the determination to wear a face covering based on their vaccination status.

STUDENTS

For students who are fully vaccinated, face coverings are OPTIONAL. For students who are not fully vaccinated, face coverings are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. (Please note the federal face covering requirement for anyone riding a school bus below.)

VOLUNTEERS AND VISITORS DURING THE SCHOOL DAY**

Volunteers and visitors who are fully vaccinated, face coverings are OPTIONAL. Volunteers and visitors who are not fully vaccinated, face coverings are REQUIRED.

** Vaccination status is based on a self-identified system. Proof of vaccination may be required in individual circumstances.  According to the CDC, in general people are considered fully vaccinated:

TRANSPORTATION – BUSES

Following the CDC requirement for public transportation:

Drivers, paraprofessionals and passengers (students and staff) MUST wear face coverings on all school buses (this includes activity and athletic buses).* 

*Drivers do not need to wear a face covering if they are the only person on the bus.

COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccines will not be required, but to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we strongly encourage anyone over the age of 12 to get the vaccine. In order to be considered fully vaccinated before the start of the school year on August 16, the first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine will need to be scheduled on or before July 11.

Exclusion From School

Quarantine and Exclusion requirements are established in consultation and at the direction of the Lincoln Lancaster Health Department. The following are the protocols if you are identified as a close contact with a positive case.

Vaccinated individuals WITHOUT symptoms need to self-monitor for symptoms, but no longer need to quarantine or miss school as long as they remain symptom free. Please note: Vaccinated staff members who are identified as close contacts with a positive COVID-19 case still need to fill out the form for Risk Management.

Unvaccinated individuals WITHOUT symptoms will still need to stay home for 10 days without testing, or 7 days if they receive a negative test after the 5th day.

ALL close contacts WITH symptoms still need to quarantine for the full 14 days, even with a negative test result.

Check out this infographic with examples of school exclusion scenarios.

Remote Learning

The Remote Learning Program will not be an option for quarantined students or students with an extended absence. Extended absences from in-person school will be handled as they were prior to the pandemic. It is the responsibility of the student to contact their teachers and make up work which has been missed because of any absence. The school staff will support the student’s initiative to make up work missed.

Communication of a Positive Case

We will continue to communicate with individuals who are identified as high risk close contacts with a positive case. We will no longer be sending building-wide messages for each and every positive case. The community can monitor the positive case numbers across LPS with our dashboard online.

Read the entire PROPOSED 2021-22 Safe Return to Schools Plan on our website.