September 18, 2020 Weekly Family Update
Lincoln Public Schools families,
We want to thank everyone for their continued efforts in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community. The work and dedication from our staff and students in following the protocols during the school day ensures we are able to continue with our school year. Just as we have these protocols in place during the school day, we also need everyone to follow the same care while out in our community. This is how we further protect our staff, students and families. We are very proud of our students and staff for their efforts. Keep up the great work!
Below is this week’s update. You can continue to check our special website for updates and information: lps.org/coronavirus.
Thank you for your continued support, patience and understanding. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your school or visit our website and click on the blue “Contact Us” button.
REMINDER: Seniors – September 22 ACT test day
Just a reminder, there will be no in-person or remote classes for high school students on Tuesday, Sept. 22 as we will be administering the ACT test to high school seniors. Only seniors who are taking the ACT will report to high schools on Sept. 22. TCA, Arts and Humanities, and Science focus program students will also not have classes on Sept. 22.
Friday morning technology issue affecting some remote students
We apologize for the disruption on Friday morning that some of our remote learners may have experienced using Synergy between 9:45 and 10:05. Any student who experienced issues will be marked as excused.
An investigation, that included LPS and vendor personnel, determined that when the LPS Synergy servers were handling a high volume of assessments and serving remote learners connected via StudentVUE, issues with the Synergy software caused the servers to be overwhelmed. This is the first year LPS has administered widespread Synergy testing while also serving 13,000+ remote learners. Computing Services will be working over the weekend to apply the software updates and will monitor to ensure the updates have the expected impact.
Bubba’s Closet – winter coats for early childhood and elementary students
Every year, Lincoln Public Schools Elementary Principals Network organizes and distributes winter clothing through the Bubba’s Closet event. This year’s event will look a little different due to the current pandemic safety protocols put into place.
Instead of a Saturday event, families who are in need of winter coats for their pre-school and elementary aged children are asked to fill out a form (bit.ly/Bubbas2020) by Friday, Sept. 25. You will need to include your contact information, the child’s size, age and school. Elementary principals cannot guarantee a new coat for every child, but they will do their best to fulfill as many requests as possible. Coats will be distributed to students through their school during the last week of October.
If you have any questions, please contact your elementary school’s office.
Donating to Bubba’s Closet:
Those who are interested in donating to Bubba’s Closet this year are encouraged to give through the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools Fund a Need campaign bit.ly/Donate2Bubbas. Funds raised will be used to help fill the coat requests from families.
Donations of new coats (tags still on the garment) will also be accepted at each elementary school. Please call your elementary school’s office ahead of time to arrange dropping off your donation.
Free breakfast and lunch for all LPS students
Due to the pandemic, the USDA is federally funding breakfast and lunch for all students while the federal funding lasts. All LPS students in preschool – 12 grade and Independence Academy students will be offered breakfast and lunch at no charge starting Monday, September 14, 2020.
To receive the school meal at no charge:
- The student must select a serving of fruit or vegetable plus at least two other components of the meal (meat, grain, milk, fruit, vegetable).
- Failing to take a fruit or vegetable plus two other food components will lead to the student being charged a la carte pricing.
- A student selecting pizza and milk would need to pay for these food items since there is no fruit or vegetable.
- A student may select all five components of the meal.
- A la carte food items including milk and second entrees will still be available to purchase with money in the meal account or cash.
LPS will communicate when the program is coming to an end for families to plan around breakfast and lunch purchases.
Just a reminder, families must continue to fill out applications for free or reduced priced meals for the 2020-2021 school year. You can access a meal application at https://home.lps.org/ns/free-reduced/.
Breakfast and Lunch for remote learners will also be at no charge.
REMINDER: Meals Distribution for 100% Remote Learners
LPS is offering all PreK-12 grade 100% remote learners meals for the week to be picked up on Mondays from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at three locations.
Next week’s meal distribution for 100% remote learners will be on Monday, September 21.
Notification of positive COVID-19 cases
To make sure families are aware of positive cases of COVID-19 in their schools, LPS will email a school’s families when there is a confirmed positive case and there is a potential exposure. This includes any staff, students or visitors who have tested positive for COVID-19. The health department defines a potential exposure as 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.
Every Thursday after 2 p.m., LPS will post on our website positive cases for staff and students that are reported each week at LPS, and the number of staff reporting to be self-isolating or quarantining.
Please note: the dashboard will not include the number of visitors who have tested positive and therefore may not match the number of messages sent to families during the week.
National Suicide Prevention Month
September is Suicide Prevention Month. We are taking this opportunity to remind everyone to #BeThe1To keep each other safe.
Our Signs of Suicide curriculum teaches students to use the ACT process when they or someone they know is struggling. ACT stands for Acknowledge (listen to your friend, don’t ignore threats), Care (let your friend know your care), and Tell (tell a trusted adult that you are worried about your friend). School counselors, social workers, and psychologists are available at school and there are resources that can be accessed anytime of the day or night. We never want anyone to believe that suicide is the only option.
Here is a link with more information regarding suicide warning signs and resources: bit.ly/LPSAware
Please also review the resources below with your child so they are knowledgeable about these services:
- CenterPointe Crisis Line (Lincoln): 402-475-6695
- Nebraska Family Helpline: 1-888-866-8660
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- National Crisis Text Line: text START to 741741 (text charges from your phone carrier may apply)
If someone you know is struggling, we encourage you to reach out. If you are wondering how to start a conversation about mental health or suicide, HopeLNK (www.hopelnk.org) provides resources to guide you. There is help, there is hope.
Updated October 8, 2020