October 9, 2020 Weekly Family Update

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Lincoln Public Schools families,

There are some important updates for you this week that involve student calendars. You can continue to check our special website for updates and information: lps.org/coronavirus.

Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent Steve Joel was a guest at the Lincoln Mayor’s press conference with an important update. You can watch that press conference with the update here.

Joel said, “We have to do better as a community with regards to limiting and stopping the spread of COVID-19. We know what is happening during the school day is effective. It’s when our students leave school that they have a tendency to let their guards down. We have to follow protocols in the community if we want our kids back in school full time. It’s going to take every single one of us.”

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: Student Calendar Oct. 12-16

Monday, Oct. 12

  • PreK-8 : regular classes
  • High School (9-12) A Day: Students in the A group attend class in person. Students in the B group Zoom-in for instruction.

Tuesday, Oct. 13

  • PreK-8 : regular classes
  • High School (9-12) A Day: Students in the A group attend class in person. Students in the B group Zoom-in for instruction.

Wednesday, Oct. 14

  • PreK-8 : regular classes
  • High School (9-12) A Day: Students in the A group attend class in person. Students in the B group Zoom-in for instruction. (Early Release)

Thursday, Oct. 15

  • PreK-5: NO SCHOOL (Elementary Plan Day)
  • 6-8 : regular classes
  • High School (9-12) B Day: Students in the B group attend class in person. Students in the A group Zoom-in for instruction.

Friday, Oct. 16

  • PreK-12: NO SCHOOL, Fall Break

UPDATE: High schools will continue in 3/2 schedule beginning second quarter

After meeting with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and surveying the latest community conditions for the spread of COVID-19 we have decided to keep high schools in the 3/2 schedule starting second quarter on Oct. 19.

When we announced the possibility of going back to the regular schedule, we said it would be contingent upon community conditions at the time. While our safety protocols are working and schools are a very safe place for students, we want to do our part in Lincoln to help reduce the risk of spread.

We know the best place for students to learn is in our classrooms. We will continue to evaluate the community conditions with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. To help families with planning, we will try to announce high school schedule changes in the family messages 10 days before any possible change.

Special Education – High School

If you have questions about your child attending five days a week instead of the high school 3/2 plan, contact your child’s special education coordinator at their school.

Information for Remote Learner families about second quarter

All students who selected remote learning at the beginning of the school year will continue in remote learning second quarter. On the remote learning request form, if you selected for your child to be in remote learning for just the first quarter, there is nothing you need to do to continue remote learning in second quarter. We will continue your child in remote learning. If you wish for your child to return to school second quarter for in-person learning, please contact your child’s school office.

Please note: Any switch between in-person and remote learning generally takes two school days for processing the request. This allows time for staff to prepare for your student.

Choosing remote learning

We understand that circumstances might change and you may choose to start remote learning for your child. We ask that you please consider this option carefully and commit to a long-term change. We are not able to effectively serve students bouncing between remote and in-person every day or even part of the day. Students who are switching often may be missing out on valuable instruction. Any in-person student who is absent can still make up the instruction they missed as they have traditionally in the past and are not able to Zoom in to their classes for that day. For more information, please contact your child’s school. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.

Cameras during remote learning

While we understand some of the reasons your student may keep their Zoom camera off during instruction (privacy, Zoom fatigue, competing family obligations, etc.) we also wanted to take a moment and share some of the benefits to encouraging your child to keep their camera on during instruction.

  1. Teachers report the students with their video cameras on are more engaged and are generally more successful academically.
  2. Teachers often use facial cues and body language to adjust instruction. Teachers have a talent for recognizing facial cues, furrowed brows, or confusion. These cues signal your child’s teacher that they may need an extra example, additional clarification or feedback.
  3. Teachers often ask students to give a thumbs up/down, nod their head, hold up the number of fingers, or other non-verbal gestures to check for engagement and understanding. Having the camera on, allows your child to participate in these structured opportunities to respond and keeps your child engaged.
  4. Seeing faces is how we build relationships. This is true for both the teacher-to-student relationship and the peer-to-peer relationships. When your student keeps their camera shut off, they are less likely to interact with peers and build those relationships.

There may be times when your student needs to shut off the camera, however, we hope you will encourage your child to keep their camera on as much as possible in order to foster learning and build connections.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s teacher.

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. 

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, October 12.

New menu items starting Oct. 19!

We are expanding our meal offerings to include cheese quesadillas, Hawaiian pizza, honey sriracha boneless wings, pizza stuffed breadsticks and fish sandwich.

Go to our website for more information. 

Check out October’s Community News!

Community News is our monthly publication that provides families with information about community non-profit organizations and government entities offering student- and family-friendly events and services. There are also stories from across Lincoln Public Schools.

Click here to read October’s edition of Community News.