Schedule changes and other strategies to address staffing shortages

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LPS Families,

The recent rapid rise of COVID-19 cases has created a significant staffing crisis and we are concerned about having sufficient staff in our buildings each week to keep schools safely open for student in-person learning. We are experiencing challenges at every position – teachers, paraeducators, nurses, counselors, social workers, psychologists, transportation, nutrition services, custodial, office support staff, administrators, campus security, and all of the other support positions that help a school run safely. In addition, a large number of students are missing valuable instruction and falling behind.

We know that students need in-person learning. They need to be in school whenever possible. Therefore, we have developed the following strategies to help us address the ongoing issues and sustain keeping schools open during this surge.

In this message...

View the Press Conference

Dr. Joel, January 14, 2022 Press Conference to address Schedule Changes and other Strategies to address staffing shortages

Temporary District-wide COVID Response Fridays

(No classes for students January 21, January 28, and February 4)

There will be no in-person or remote classes, and early intervention services for students on January 21, January 28, and February 4. TCA classes will be in session in consideration of dual credit instructional hour requirements and scheduling limitations.

LPS buildings will remain open on these days and staff will be working. Elementary before and after school programs (CLCs) and middle school extracurricular activities and athletics and after school programs (CLCs) will be closed. High school student extracurricular activities and athletic practices and events will continue as scheduled. High school CLCs will be closed.

If families need meals for their students on Friday when school is not in session, you can pick up one breakfast and one lunch for each child on Wednesday. Fill out this form to request the meals for your student.

Using COVID Response Fridays will aid students who are home due to illness as they will be able to receive staff support virtually on work they have missed. This will also allow staff to recoup valuable planning and work time lost to covering extra classes Monday through Thursday.

We understand this can cause extra stress for families, and do not make this decision lightly. With 924 positive COVID-19 cases reported already this week at Lincoln Public Schools, we need to put extra measures into place to sufficiently staff our schools in order to continue safely serving students.

Planning for temporary classroom, program or school to move to remote learning if necessary

We have systems and district supports in place to temporarily move any K-12 classrooms, whole grade levels or entire school buildings to 100% remote learning if it is determined there are not sufficient staff available to safely operate. This will not be used district-wide, only on a case-by-case basis.

Please note: Students in quarantine will not be able to remote into in-person classrooms – only if the entire class is remote. Students and families can access this website for resources to assist them while their child is quarantining.

Proactive remote learning preparation for K-12 students

In the event we do have to temporarily move a classroom, program or school to remote learning, we will be holding teacher-led practice sessions for K-12 students over the next week. This will give teachers and students the confidence to switch from in-person to remote if needed.

Please note: Students in quarantine will not be able to remote into in-person classrooms – only if the entire class is remote. Students and families can access this website for resources to assist them while their child is quarantining.

We need your help

The number of positive COVID-19 cases of staff and students reported to Lincoln Public Schools mirrors those we are seeing in our community. We can’t do it alone. We need the community to also take measures to help reduce the risk of spread in our community so we can keep adults in our schools to meet students’ needs. Please continue to follow the recommendation from the health department to reduce the rate of COVID-19 spread in our community by monitoring for symptoms and staying home if you are ill, wearing a face covering around others in public places, practicing frequent hand washing, and physically distancing yourself from others when possible.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding as we navigate this on-going pandemic.