LPS updates parents on new COVID procedures

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Three days after updating their coronavirus procedures, Lincoln Public Schools (LPS) sent out a letter to parents informing them about the change that’s caused some controversy.

Instead of planning of going 100% remote if Lancaster County’s COVID-19 Risk Dial hits the “red,” LPS will follow the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department’s (LLCHD) recommendations on what their next steps should be.

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In a letter sent out by Superintendent Steve Joel, he said the alteration was made to match previous announcements made by the Board of Education and because keeping students in school appears to the safest option.

The Superintendent acknowledged that an email should have been sent out to families following the update.

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He states, “We understand that anxiety is high and there is much we still don’t know or understand. When information is being shared daily, it can be overwhelming. We will do our best to work through this together as a community to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and continue supporting our students and their families.”

 

Read the full letter sent out to LPS families below:

LPS Families,

On Tuesday as part of our regular website update, we revised our COVID page to reflect a more accurate description of the Lincoln Public Schools pandemic plan if the Lincoln/Lancaster County COVID-19 risk dial moves into Red. This update matches our public announcement at the Lincoln Board of Education meeting on September 22. The website is just one of many communications tools we utilize. We acknowledge that a more timely direct email in addition to the weekly Tuesday updates to our website needs to occur.

From the beginning of this pandemic, we have worked collaboratively with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department to develop and modify plans for school operations. We have learned a great deal since the beginning of the pandemic. While our initial plans were based on the information we were aware of this summer, nine weeks of school has taught us and the health department that our safety protocols are working to reduce the risk of spread. Our staff and students are doing an exceptional job following protocols to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Below is more information about the weekly positive cases in Lincoln Public Schools. We are going to continue to look into what information we can provide on the website dashboard without violating confidentiality and privacy.

Screenshot 2020 10 23 172705
*Staff Exclusion = LPS staff reporting to be in self-isolation or quarantine and includes all positions and district locations.

The health department and the LPS medical advisory board agrees – having students and staff in school is proving to be the safest option for our community during the pandemic.

We want to be clear, at this time if the Lincoln-Lancaster County risk status moves to Red – Severe, Lincoln Public Schools will continue to work collaboratively with the health department to implement plans and protocols that address the areas of concern in our community and schools. We will follow recommendations and protocols from the health department on how schools can respond effectively to reduce the spread while allowing teaching and learning to continue.

We understand that anxiety is high and there is much we still don’t know or understand. When information is being shared daily, it can be overwhelming. We will do our best to work through this together as a community to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and continue supporting our students and their families.

Steve Joel
Superintendent

Categories: Coronavirus, Education News, Top Stories