Announcements

11/27/2020 LPS Weekly Family Update

It is hard to believe the first semester is nearly over with only three and a half weeks left before winter break. Just a reminder, middle and high school students will return to classes on Monday, Nov. 30. Elementary students will return on Tuesday, Dec. 1 since Monday is an elementary plan day.  Early childhood services will resume on Tuesday, Dec. 1. 

LPS Weekly Update – 11/20/2020

We want to remind you there will be no classes next week (Nov. 23-27) for all LPS students. We only have three and a half weeks of school remaining after Thanksgiving break. Middle and high school students will return to classes on Monday, Nov. 30. Elementary students will return on Tuesday, Dec. 1 since Monday is an elementary plan day.  Early childhood services will resume on Tuesday, Dec. 1. 

IMPORTANT: Weekly LPS Family Update 11/13/2020

We are 13 weeks into the school year. This is one of the most challenging school years in the history of Lincoln Public Schools. Our staff have been working at a feverish pace to keep up with the needs of our students, our families and our community. They are dedicated to making this work. Just like many in our community, everyone is putting in extra time and effort where it’s needed – giving 110%.

Our Protocols

Four Pillars to Prevent Spread

LPS is working collaboratively with the Lincoln-Lancaster County County Health Department. The following actions are proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Self-Screening

  • People with COVID-19 self-isolating at home will reduce the spread.
  • Staff and students are expected to conduct a self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms every day prior to entering an LPS building

Face Coverings

  • Face coverings reduce the spread of droplets containing the COVID-19 virus
  • Staff and students are required to wear a multilayer cloth face covering in the school setting.
  • Face coverings are the strategy to accommodate the school setting where six feet of physical distance is not practical.

Hand Hygiene

  • Washing your hands along with cleaning and disinfecting surfaces frequently touched will reduce the spread of COVID-19
  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Physical Distancing

  • Keeping physical distance from others will reduce the spread of COVID-19
  • Maintain three to six feet of distance from others whenever possible
  • Any distance makes a difference. Space out as far as you can, where and when you can.

Lincoln–Lancaster County Risk Status

Lincoln's current risk status is HIGH

Updated Friday, November 20th

What is the Risk Dial?

This COVID-19 Risk Dial provides a summary of current conditions in the Lincoln-Lancaster County community. Each color incorporates federal and national guidance published by public health experts and is coupled with specific guidance.

Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department WebsiteFive key measures are used to determine the position of the Risk Dial:

  • Case Numbers
  • Testing Capacity
  • Positivity Rate
  • Contact Tracing
  • Hospital Capacity

This is only guidance and does not replace federal, state, or local directed health measures.

The dial is updated every Friday during the Coronavirus Press Conference around 3:30 p.m.

Weekly Illness Dashboard (Updated Thursdays at 2 p.m.)

Our Pandemic Procedures

Lincoln Public Schools staff is working collaboratively with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) to develop plans for school operations. Staff gathers information from various sources and draft plans for discussion with LLCHD topic by topic (i.e. health protocols related to hygiene, instructional delivery model, cafeteria operations, etc.). The joint team meets routinely and communicates constantly by sharing documents, questions and clarifications in between meetings. LLCHD gives feedback and LPS adjusted plans throughout the process. This work will be ongoing as new research emerges and LLCHD has further guidance to provide the district.

LPS will conduct classes and operate within the framework of the four risk color statuses of the COVID-19 Risk Dial as designated by LLCHD and the City of Lincoln.

Lincoln Public Schools has approximately 600 pages in various documents that outline our plans and procedures. These documents are updated as new information and recommendations come from the LLCHD. Here is a 36 page summary that lists all of the planning documents and topics of consideration.

Low (Green)

All students in grades Pre-K through 12 will attend school in person. There may be some modification based on recommendations by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.

Severe (Red)

If the Lincoln-Lancaster County risk status moves to Red – Severe, Lincoln Public Schools will work collaboratively with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department to implement plans and protocols that address the areas of concern in our community and schools. We will follow recommendations from the health department on how schools can respond effectively and allow teaching and learning to continue while reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread.

Moderate Risk (Yellow) – High Risk (Orange)

When the risk dial is in Yellow/Orange, Lincoln Public Schools will implement the following general procedures below based on recommendations by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. There may be some modification based on specific recommendations by the Health Department.

  • School Day
  • Before and After School
  • Transportation

Early Childhood

In Yellow/Orange: In-person learning and services. Families may request Remote Learning/Services through scheduled sessions instead of in-person services.

Students grades Kindergarten – 12

In Yellow/Orange: In-person learning with the option to request synchronous Remote Learning (Zoom-in).

Currently, to help reduce capacity at high schools, students in grades 9-12 are utilizing a rotating 3/2 schedule. 

View the 50% Capacity 3/2 plan for high schools here.

Students who are not able to attend school

For our students who are not able to attend school, families will have the option to request Remote Learning (via Zoom). Remote Learning for the 2020-21 school year will look significantly different compared to fourth quarter last spring. Accommodations will be made for K-12 students to utilize synchronous Remote Learning using Zoom and other learning tools. Synchronous means remote students Zoom in to receive instruction with their class at certain set times during the school day.

Remote Learning Request Form

We are opening the Remote Learning Request Form on the website while the City of Lincoln’s risk dial is red. Families can choose — now or any time — to move to 100% Remote Learning for their child. After filling out the form, the school will call to confirm your request. Please allow two school days for staff to prepare and get your child the materials they will need to begin remote learning. The school will communicate with you when remote learning will begin for your child. Families, weigh this option carefully as continuously moving back and forth between in-person and remote learning creates a major disruption in your child’s learning experience.

More information about Remote Learning (Zoom-in)

Here are Zoom In Directions for parents and students.

Students in kindergarten through 12 grade who participate in Remote Learning will Zoom-in with their class and observe lessons from their teacher. They may not be on Zoom the entire class time. This will be based on the lessons. Your child will be required to complete work independently outside of scheduled class (Zoom-in) sessions. 

It is important to note that some classes, courses and services cannot be offered through Remote Learning. A list of those courses can be found here: Remote Learning Exclusions List

Student engagement is the responsibility of the student and parent.

For pre-school students, Remote Learning will not be synchronous and will look a lot different. Families will participate in scheduled weekly sessions instead of daily in-person learning.

Please note: Students attending Don Sherrill, Nuernberger, Yankee Hill and Individual Success Program will not be allowed to Zoom-in. Students can Zoom-in to their home attendance school or attend in person.

Attendance In-person

  • Attendance will be taken as normal for all students.
  • Students MUST self-assess for symptoms at home before coming to school. Students who are sick or have symptoms need to stay home and parents call the school or use ParentVue to report the illness.
  • If students or family members test positive for COVID-19, stay home and report the absence to the school.
  • If a student is only ill for one day, they will not be able to Zoom-in to class. Parents must provide permission for a student to use Remote Learning for situations where a student will not be in school for an extended period of time. Extended time would be considered when a student expects to be absent from school for 10+ school days.

Attendance Remote Learning (Zoom-in)

  • Regular participation via Zoom is required and attendance will be taken as normal for all students.
  • If the student will miss their Remote Learning session, parents MUST call the school or use ParentVue to report the absence.
  • Parents must provide permission for a student to use Remote Learning for situations where a student will not be in school for an extended period of time. Extended time would be considered when a student expects to be absent from school for 10+ school days. Students will not be allowed to use Remote Learning if they will be absent less than 10 days.
  • LPS will be notified by Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department
  • LLCHD will lead all contact tracing working closely with LPS staff. Those students and staff with direct exposure that need to self-isolate will be contacted directly.
  • All families and staff will be notified when there is a positive case in their building and there is a chance of potential exposure. A positive case could include any staff, students or visitors who have tested positive for COVID-19. A potential exposure is any identified positive case that is in a school building at any time during the 48 hours prior to symptoms being exhibited or the positive test was taken.
  • Anyone identified as a high-risk close contact with the positive case will be called directly and given instructions on next steps.”

Once a student is excluded from the school environment, they may return if they satisfy the recommendations of the CDC. Currently those guidelines are:

1. Untested: Persons who have not received a test proving or disproving the presence of COVID-19 but experience symptoms may return if the following three conditions are met:

  • They have not had a fever for at least 24 hours (no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers); and
  • Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath
    have improved); and
  • Ten (10) calendar days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
    OR
  • Students may also return if they are approved to do so in writing by the student’s health care provider.

2. Tested: Persons who experienced symptoms and have been tested for COVID-19 and are found to be positive, may return to school if the following three conditions are met:

  • They have not had a fever for at least 24 hours (that is one full day of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers); and
  • Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved); and
  • Ten (10) calendar days have passed since your symptoms first appeared

Persons who experienced symptoms and have been tested for COVID-19 and are found to be negative, may return to school if the following two conditions are met:

  • They no longer have a fever (without the use medicine that reduces fevers); and
  • Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)

3. Tested with no symptoms: Persons who have not had symptoms but test positive for COVID- 19 may return to school when the following three conditions are met:

  • They have not had a fever for at least 24 hours (no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers); and
  • Any symptoms that develop have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved); and
  • Ten (10) calendar days have passed since the positive test was done.

4. Close contacts with a positive COVID-19 case: The close contacts must remain in quarantine for 14 days unless they test positive. A close contact is someone who has had contact with a positive case 48 hours prior to onset of the positive case’s symptoms or test date if the positive case is asymptomatic. A close contact has been within 6 feet of the positive case for 15 minutes or more and one or both persons were not wearing a face covering.

5. Household contacts: Remain in quarantine for 14 days after the positive case in their house is released from isolation. 

Please note: A person identified as a close contact and household contact remain in quarantine even if the person tests negative.

6. Pending test results: any student or staff with pending test results for COVID-19 are quarantined until results return. Only the student or staff with a pending test needs to be quarantined, unless family members have symptoms of COVID-19, then they need to quarantine as well.

Students may start a remote learning plan while excluded especially if for an extended period of time.

Reference: CDC guidance on When to Quarantine

  • Multilayer cloth face coverings will be required for all staff, students and visitors to enter school buildings. 
  • Per our current school dress code, bandanas are not allowed.
  • Plastic face shields are not a suitable replacement for multilayer cloth face coverings.
  • LPS will have face coverings available for staff and students who do not provide their own.
  • Families are allowed to provide their own multilayer cloth face coverings. Please note: Gaiters are single layer and can only be used if doubled up and cover both the nose and the mouth.
  • Students and families are responsible for laundering and wearing their face coverings each day.
  • LPS will treat face coverings as a required part of dress code and discipline for not following dress code is outlined in our Important Information Handbook.
  • There will be time during the day when students and staff can break from wearing a face covering. Those include: while eating, when physical distance can be maintained outside and during scheduled hourly breaks.
  • NEW FROM THE CDC: Face coverings with exhalation valves or vents will not be allowed. Face coverings with one-way valves or vents allow air to be exhaled through a hole in the material, which can result in expelled respiratory droplets that can reach others.  This type of mask does not prevent the person wearing the face covering from transmitting COVID-19 to others. Therefore, CDC does not recommend using these face coverings for source control if they have an exhalation valve or vent.
Image shows unmasked individuals with a high risk of virus spread while masked invividuals have a low risk of spread
Source: Bryan Health
  • Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizer

In our schools:

  • Cleaning materials and hand sanitizer will be provided in each school.

  • Each classroom will have a spray bottle of cleaner and paper towels.

  • Custodial staff will clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in common areas at midday and clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in common areas and classrooms at the end of the day.

  • Other school staff (teachers, paraprofessional, etc.) will clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in the classroom, including the classroom door handle. Elementary staff will disinfect once at midday and Secondary staff will disinfect between each class period. In addition, school staff will be responsible for cleaning school supplies, shared items, and classroom equipment (i.e., science equipment) as needed.

Instructional Supplies

  • Students will have their own supplies when possible and students should not share materials.
  • Anything that needs to be shared will be sanitized between use.
  • Students should not share print materials such as newspapers, magazines, packets, or textbooks. If it is necessary to share a book, students could be assigned the same daily book buddy with which to share the book.

Breakfast

Breakfast will be served in the cafeteria through our standard process with additional protocols in place:

  • Assigned seats are not required during breakfast.
  • Students should be spread out as much as possible.
  • Students will be moved to an alternate location after they have finished eating.

Lunch

Lunch will be served in the cafeteria through our standard process with additional protocols in place:

  • The serving line will not be self-serve but pre-cupped items and the cashier will be touchless.
  • Students will wear face coverings through the lunch line and remove their face covering once seated to eat.
  • Schools are working to spread out lunch seating as much as possible and elementary students will be with the classmates.
  • Students will put their face covering back on when they are done eating.
  • Student may be moved to other areas of the building.
  • Students will wash hands prior to lunch. Hand sanitizer will also be available.
  • Students will face the same direction when possible or be spaced to not be directly across from one another.
  • Tables and chairs will be wiped down between class use.

Drinking Fountains and Water Bottles

  • All “mouth-on” drinking fountains will be covered and cannot be used.
  • Classroom sinks will be available.
  • Water bottle fill stations will be accessible where available.
  • K-12 students may bring bottles full of water from home.
  • Paper disposable cups will be provided by schools for students who do not have water bottles.

Recess (Elementary/Middle Schools)

  • Face coverings are required while outside and observing physical distancing.
  • Classrooms need to stay together. No mixing of students from multiple classrooms.
  • Playground equipment will be regularly sanitized between use.
  • Playground structures will be open.
  • Students must wash/sanitize hands after using structures and equipment.

Assemblies, Large Groups and School Events

At this time LLCHD recommends no gatherings or events that bring large groups together. (ie. dances, assemblies, pep rallies, etc.) until further notice.

Field Trips

The LLCHD recommends no off-campus field trips. Virtual field trips may be provided when possible.

Volunteers and Visitors

At this time, LLCHD recommends the following to reduce the risk of exposure and assist with contact tracing:

Allowed to be in schools during the day:

  • Parents for scheduled meetings
  • Gifted mentors
  • TeamMates
  • Community mental health providers
  • Therapists
  • Therapy dogs
  • Probation Officers, DHHS caseworkers, Guardian ad Litem can meet in the main office.
 

Not allowed to be in schools during the day:

  • Visitors for lunch
  • Volunteers assisting with classroom parties
  • Visitors to classrooms
  • Walking child in building during arrival
  • Outside volunteers
  • Building tours

Serving students virtually:

  • Junior Achievement
  • Guest curriculum speakers
  • College and military recruiters
  • Cultural groups

Outside Organizations

  • No outside visitors or volunteers from outside organizations are allowed at school during the school day.
  • At this time, no distribution of materials from outside organizations in take home folders.
 

Donations

  • Donations of materials and items will continue with items needing to be quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours before distribution.
  • Monetary donations should go through the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools.
  • Keeping physical distance from others will reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • Maintain three to six feet of distance from others whenever possible.
  • Any distance makes a difference. Space out as far as you can, where  and when you can.
  • Class sizes essentially the same as every year, but dependent on the number of Remote Learners.
  • Desks will be placed as far apart as possible.
  • Per LLCHD recommendations: symptom self-screening at home with spot checks at school, face coverings, hand hygiene will reduce the spread when 6 feet is not possible.
  • Follow same protocols as when school is in session.
  • Families will need to sign a waiver for students to participate.
  • Students will be grouped with the same children and adults from day to day.
  • SNAC, Community Cafes and other parent and leadership groups will meet virtually rather than onsite unless required as part of funding guidelines for federal and other grants. 

PTO/PTA/Booster Club Events at School

The LLCHD is recommends the following:

  • No gatherings or events that bring large groups together.
  • No events in school buildings until further notice (Examples: student walk-a-thon outside, fun night, pancake feed, dine-out nights, book fairs, classroom parties)
  • Monthly meetings be held via Zoom until further notice. No meetings in schools.
  • Schools will not be able to promote any PTO/PTA/Booster event that brings people together.

LPS will follow all guidelines set by the LLCHD and the NSAA. This could include:

  • Limiting spectators.
  • Changing protocols for practice and competitions.
  • Students who are Zooming in for courses may participate in athletics/activities if they meet all district eligibility requirements, regardless of the dial color.

Extracurricular Activities

Concerts and School Events

The LLCHD is recommends the following:

  • No gatherings or events that bring large groups together. This includes dances and fundraising activities.
  • No events in school buildings until further notice.

  • Lincoln Public Schools is taking Archibus applications ONLY for the following PK-12 youth activities: before- and after-school care, Community Learning Centers, outdoor practice or playing fields, outdoor green spaces, and youth-based utilization of specialized LPS facilities to support Non-LPS Youth Organization Activities.
  • For definitions and required COVID-19 Protocols please see the LPS Facility Reservation Information on the website. https://home.lps.org/operations

Transportation

  • Students and staff will wear a face covering while being transported.
  • Students will apply hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the bus.
  • Students will have assigned seats with maximum 2 students per seat.
  • Households will be seated together.
  • Windows will be down as much as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Class sizes will be comparable to previous years, LPS is serving 100% of students. In working with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, the district is putting in place required face coverings, self-symptom screening with spot checks and hand hygiene protocols to reduce the spread. Desk will be placed as far apart as possible. All of these strategies are proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when physical distancing of 3-6ft is not feasible.

Hallways in High Schools will be planned to assist with traffic flow and minimize congestion as much as possible. It is important to note that close contact with COVID-19 is 15 minutes without a face covering. Our passing periods are short and students will be encouraged to keep moving and face coverings will be worn.

Our staff will continue to work with students to educate and encourage them to wear face coverings at school to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Our first priority is to help students understand the expectations. If a student refuses to wear a face covering, we will follow our Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for Behavior and our Student Code of Conduct. Repeated refusal to wear a face covering could result in consequences that include suspension or re-assignment to Remote Learning.

Lunch will be served in the cafeteria through our standard process with additional protocols in place. The serving line will not be self-serve but pre-cupped items and the cashier will be touchless. Students will wear face coverings through the lunch line and remove their face covering once seated to eat. Schools are working to spread out lunch seating as much as possible and elementary students will be with the classmates. Students will put their face covering back on when they are done eating. Students may be moved to other areas of the building.

If the Lincoln-Lancaster County risk status moves to Red – Severe, Lincoln Public Schools will work collaboratively with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department to implement plans and protocols that address the areas of concern in our community and schools. We will follow recommendations from the health department on how schools can respond effectively and allow teaching and learning to continue while reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread.

If LPS moves to 100% Remote Learning, it will look significantly different than the 2020 spring semester.

  • All K-12 students will be remote with a device.
  • Students are expected to attend all Zoom sessions synchronously and attendance will be taken.
  • Students will participate in a live class with their teacher.
  • There will not be recordings of live instruction available.
  • Students may be participating in pre-recorded instruction for specials classes.

Self-Screening

Every day ask yourself or your student the following screening questions PRIOR to entering an LPS building

Do you have one of the following?

  • Fever of over 100.4
  • Onset of shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • New onset of dry cough
  • New onset of loss of taste or smell

Do you have 2+ of the following?

  • Chills longer than two hours
  • Congestion and/or runny nose
  • Nausea, Vomiting or Diarrhea
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Muscle Pain

Have you had contact with Covid-19?

  • Have you had close contact with someone positive for COVID-19?

Contact longer than 15 minutes within 6 feet without a face covering or residing with someone who is positive

Have you been directed to self-isolate?

  • Have you been directed to self-isolate due to a positive COVID-19 result or for having contact with someone with COVID-19?

If you answered YES to ANY of the above questions, do NOT go into an LPS building, instead:

  • Contact your doctor or seek medical care
  • Get tested for COVID-19
  • Self-isolate. Do not go to an LPS building until you have a negative COVID-19 test result or cleared by a medical professional.

GET TESTED for COVID-19

Our Re-Opening Plan

The Lincoln Public Schools (LPS) in creating a school reopening plan has grounded its decisions in social, economic and political policy which include the balancing of important educational and public health considerations, within the confines of its budgetary limitations, to allocate resources and staff in a way that mitigates risk but also seeks to achieve important educational goals.

There currently is an ongoing public health emergency related to the COVID-19 virus, and while LPS has undertaken measures to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission as explained in this reopening plan, these measures are intended to mitigate, but not completely eliminate, risk and by attending school the COVID-19 pandemic presents unique health and safety risks and dangers, known and unknown, inherent and otherwise, that cannot be eliminated and which can cause injury, illness, paralysis or death.

LPS will conduct classes and operate within the framework of the four risk color statuses of the COVID-19 Risk Dial as designated by LLCHD and the City of Lincoln. Please keep in mind that just like our Standard Response Protocols, every building or program may not always be in the same color category. Families are being asked to screen their students for temperature and other recognized COVID-19 symptoms. Students and staff also are being asked to wear face coverings and sanitize their hands when entering classrooms, hallways and common spaces.