Information about start of 2020-2021 school year
June 16, 2020
Lincoln Public Schools families,
We have carefully reviewed national, state and local executive and directed health measure orders, thousands of responses from our family survey, and continue in close consultation with the Nebraska Commissioner of Education and the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD). At the present time, based on all the above and to align with the Governor and the Commissioner of Education announcing this week that schools will return with in-person learning in the fall, we are planning to have 100 percent of students return to classes in our buildings starting August 12.
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. Our objective is to have students in school as much as possible. It is widely acknowledged that is the best option for student learning and for our community. There will be health directives and requirements from national, state or local health officials or the Nebraska Department of Education that we must follow in order to keep students in our schools and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community. LPS continues to develop possibilities for providing quality education next school year during this pandemic. A community steering committee consisting of staff, community members and parents will help guide our plans for the four risk dial colors — keeping in mind that just like our Standard Response Protocols, every building may not always be in the same color category.
Accommodations will be considered for students with health or family health concerns. For students who are not able to attend in person, one accommodation that will be available is an option for families to utilize synchronous online learning through Zoom. Synchronous means remote students log-on to receive instruction with their class at certain set times during the school day. We will communicate more information with you later this summer about how you can select this option.
There are many details that still need to be considered and we will announce more detailed information as we get closer to August. Below is the framework and Lincoln Public Schools 2020-2021 Pandemic Procedures information we have available at this time to help answer some of your questions.
Lincoln Public Schools 2020-2021 Pandemic Procedures
PLEASE NOTE: These procedures and school safety measures are subject to change based on recommendations and health directives put into place by the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) and the Nebraska Department of Education. These procedures do not relate to any extracurricular activities or sports which are still under review. More detailed information for Special Education and Early Childhood families will be communicated at a later date.
Interim Director for Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department Pat Lopez says: “We appreciate the open dialogue between LPS and our team at the health department to collaborate on a framework in which we can plan to safely open schools and allow students to return in the fall.” She adds, “Recent data indicates the best way to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community is to wear face coverings. LPS students and staff will play a major role in helping to keep the curve flat and allow schools to remain open to 100% of students. This is also an opportunity to teach good hygiene habits that will have a life-long positive impact in our community.”
We know nothing about this is easy. There are things we will have to do as a community to work together and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and allow students to attend school. We want to thank the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department for its collaboration and guidance as we work through planning for the different risk levels and how it will impact our staff, students and families. We know there are still many questions to be answered and we have a monumental task ahead of us as we navigate the pandemic as a community. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we consider how to continue the delivery of quality education to all 42,000+ students in Lincoln Public Schools.
Updated July 10, 2020