Learning Lunch Speaker Series

The 2018–19 lineup for the annual Lincoln Public Schools Learning Lunches series offers more “Untold Stories of our Schools” with Learning Lunches open to LPS staff and the Lincoln community.

Lunches are generally held during the school year on the last Tuesday of the month in the Board Room at LPS District Office, 5905 O St.  Doors to the Board Room open at 11:45 a.m., the program begins at noon, questions-and-answers happen at 12:30 p.m. Please bring your own lunch — we’ll provide dessert.

From September

‘How LPS Cares for our Students in the Online World’

Look around and it’s easy to see how Lincoln Public Schools works to keep students physically safe.

There are crosswalks and bright yellow signs to help ensure the safety of students as they walk to and from school. There are secure entrances as you enter every school. There are numerous drills conducted throughout the year – fire, tornado, lockout, lockdown, to name only a few.

But that’s not the only way LPS works to keep students safe.

“We also put a lot of time and effort and thought into how we protect our students digitally. Those things are not always apparent. You can’t necessarily see digital protections when you look at a school, or even when you look in a classroom,” said Chris Pultz, an educational technology analyst for LPS.

Pultz and two of his colleagues from the Computing Services Department, Tim Hahn and Jarred Rowe, shed light on the topic of digital protections for students at the September Learning Lunch, “Digital Protections: How LPS Cares for our Students in the Online World,” held Tuesday in the boardroom at LPS District Office.

They talked about three key federal laws that have guided a number of district initiatives during the last decade: the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the privacy of student educational records; the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which requires extra protections for the personal information of children under the age of 13; and the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which requires schools and libraries to have a web content filter in place.

Here are some of those district initiatives: 

  • LPS employs an information security officer, whose job is to plan, implement, maintain and monitor a formal framework of adequate data security controls.
  • LPS uses web filters that restrict what information students can access on their LPS-issued Chromebooks, both in school and at home. In other words, if a student is blocked from a website at school, they’re blocked from that website at home. 
  • Students must agree to a Responsible Use Agreement (RUA) if they use an LPS-issued computing device. Teachers review the RUA with students, and students agree to the terms each time they sign into the Portal, the webpage where all of their apps and programs are located.
  • Teachers have the ability to gain access, monitor and guide student work through Google Drive.

Pultz, Hahn and Rowe also touched upon broader technology issues that parents face with their children, such as social media and screen time. When it comes to social media, Pultz reminds parents that most social media apps – because of federal law – require users to be at least 13 years old to have an account. As for screen time, it’s become more about quality vs. quantity.

“It’s less about time and more about what they’re doing with the device in front of them,” Rowe said. “Are they passively consuming or are they actively creating?”

They recommend the website commonsensemedia.org as a resource for parents trying to navigate their children’s digital consumption. They also encourage parents to contact LPS through the website lps.org/connect/now with any questions specifically about the school district and technology.

“The world that kids are growing up in right now is so much different than the world even people my age grew up in during the ‘80s and ‘90s,” Pultz said, “because the internet is a part of everything they do.” 

Coming Up - March 19

Twenty-five years of student-built houses

Bob Freese, Lincoln Northeast High School teacher

What’s in a name at Lincoln Public Schools? Plenty of history and stories – and you’ll hear a few of those stories at the Tuesday, Sept. 18 LPS Learning Lunch

Coming Up

Meeting the Needs of All Students: Supporting our Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

November 19th

Alisha Bollinger, Special Education supervisor

The 2019-20 Season

August 20th

Housing the Students of a Growing City: The Bond Elections of 1919 and 1924
Ed Zimmer, Historic Preservation Planner for the Lincoln Planning Department

September 17th

Digital Protections: How LPS Cares for our Students in the Online World
Chris Pultz, Tim Hahn, Jarred Rowe, all from LPS Computing Services

October 15th

ABCs of Teaching English to Immigrant/Refugee Students
Laura Salem, LPS English Language Learners program supervisor, and Kate Damgaard, LPS language curriculum specialist

November 19th

Meeting the Needs of All Students: Supporting our Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Alisha Bollinger, Special Education supervisor

December 17th

SROs: Understanding this Important Job
Joe Wright, director of Security at LPS, and a representative from Lincoln Police Department

January 14th

Ensuring Students Have Adequate Learning Environments
Liz Standish, associate superintendent for Business Affairs

February 18th

We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution
Jaci Kellison, K-12 curriculum specialist, social studies

March 17th

The Importance of Our Guest Teachers in LPS
Vann Price, LPS Human Resources Department supervisor for secondary personnel, and Kren Shellhase, administrative assistant

April 21st

Take Charge, Career Readiness and Financial Responsibility: Lessons in Career and Personal Finance
Julie Hippen, assistant curriculum specialist for career and technical education, along with teachers and students

May 12th

Creating Music on a Blank Canvas
Lance Nielsen, curriculum specialist for Music at LPS