October 30, 2020 LPS Weekly Family Update

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LPS Families,

It is natural that as the pandemic continues, for everyone to experience fatigue in following protocols. As we approach winter, it is important that we do not let our guards down. Everyone can do their part to help teaching and learning continue at LPS by being vigilant and following these protocols:

  • Self-screen every day. Check for symptoms before leaving home. If you answer yes to any of the self-screening questions, stay home. This is the first and most crucial step in protecting one another in our community.
  • Wear multilayered cloth face coverings over the mouth and nose while in public settings – especially when physical distancing is not possible. This reduces the spread of droplets that carry COVID-19. Also limit the amount of time face coverings are removed when meeting or eating with others.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds, and use hand sanitizer.
  • Keep physical distance between you and others. Any distance makes a difference. Space out as far as you can, where and when you can.

We are taking this pandemic seriously, and we know that you are too. It takes all of us, working together, to reduce the spread of COVID-19 which then allows all of our students to return to school. School is where we can best serve our students and we want them all to return as soon as it is safe to do so.

Below is our weekly family update with important information and reminders.

Changes to student calendar

Just a reminder, the following changes were made to the student calendar for the first week of November:

Monday, Nov. 2

  • Teacher Plan Day – No school for all students.

Tuesday, Nov. 3

  • No school for all students.

Wednesday, Nov. 4

  • Classes in session for all students.
  • High School Group A is in person, Group B is remote.

Thursday, Nov. 5

  • Classes in session for all students.
  • High School Group B is in person, Group A is remote. (The PreACT for 10th grade students has been canceled, and the high school state volleyball games have been moved. All high school students are expected to attend class as scheduled.)

Friday, Nov. 6

  • Classes in session for all students.
  • High School Group B is in person, Group A is remote.

The Lincoln Board of Education also approved additional early release and no school days for students during the school year to allow for more plan time for teachers. Click here for a printable updated student calendar.

Student safety

Students may have strong feelings and opinions about the election and express those at school or on their personal social media. It is important that those expressions do not interfere with or disrupt the learning of other students. Regardless of the outcome of the election it is important that:

  1. Students are respected for their appropriately expressed political beliefs,
  2. Students respect the political rights and expression of other students, and
  3. Students respect the right of those who want to be free of political conversations while at school.

This week we have seen an increase in students reporting the use of threatening language towards those who hold positions or beliefs that differ from their own. We take all threats of violence seriously. Any report will be turned over to the LPS Security and Threat Assessment team and fully investigated, even those meant as a joke. In some cases, the Lincoln police may become involved to further investigate and help ensure a successful outcome for all students.

Families, we need your help. Please have a conversation with your child about what is appropriate and what is not appropriate to talk about or post on social media in regards to violence.

We appreciate the students who come forward to report anything that makes them feel unsafe. School safety takes a community. If you or your student have a safety concern, please contact our school, or report it through the green “Safe to Say” button on our website or on students’ Chromebooks.

High school students on 3/2 schedule

When LPS, in collaboration with the health department, decided to maintain the 3/2 schedule beginning second quarter to help reduce capacity in our schools, there were some students identified as needing additional in-person support for various reasons (i.e. students with multiple failing grades, students on existing individual plans, English Language Learners, etc.). This was a relatively small number of students who were invited to return to a full-time in-person schedule based on need, which allows schools to maintain reduced capacity. Even with these students who have been invited back, high schools are well below in-person capacity. We will continue to balance the needs of students with the number of students that are attending in person daily.

Changes to face coverings requirement during recess and outdoor P.E.

Starting next week, face coverings will now be required at recess for students and adult supervisors. This decision was made in collaboration with the health department and is a result of the updated definition of a high-risk close contact and the inability to guarantee physical distancing throughout recess.

Face coverings will also be required for P.E. with the exception of intense aerobic activity or if six feet of distance can be guaranteed at all times.

Identifying high-risk close contacts

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department have recently updated the factors involved when identifying high-risk close contacts. A high-risk close contact is identified as anyone within six feet or less of a positive individual for a cumulative 15 minutes within a 24-hour period, and one or both of the individuals are not wearing a face covering during the interaction.

Check out this information from the Nebraska Department of Education to learn more about identifying high-risk close contacts and the difference between quarantine and isolation while wearing face coverings.

Learn more about our high school focus programs

Several focus programs are holding open houses for interested students and families in November.

Arts and Humanities Focus Program (virtual)
Nov. 4, 6-7 p.m. Click here to sign up.

The AVID program at Northeast High School (virtual)
Nov. 4, 5:30 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. Here’s the Zoom link to join either session. Click here for more information about the AVID program.

Science Focus Program (virtual)
Nov. 10, 6-7 p.m. Click here to sign up.

The Career Academy (in-person)
Nov. 11, 12, 18, 19, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Click here for more information.

International Baccalaureate Program (in-person)
Nov. 21, 9-11 a.m. Click here for more information and to register.

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 the Independence Academy will be offered breakfast and lunch at no charge. 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, November 2.

Go to our website for more information. 

Community News November Edition

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 November’s Community News!