On May 11, 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention marked the end of the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declaration. Lincoln Public Schools will follow the direction of the CDC and Lancaster County Health Department in folding COVID-19 protocols and responses into existing structures and programs for communicable diseases.

Announcements

January 26th Monthly Update

Strategic Plan, Community News, Interview Day, Interview Fair, LPS Focus Programs, Jobs and Extended Learning Opportunities

January 26th Monthly Update

Strategic Plan, Community News, Interview Day, Interview Fair, LPS Focus Programs, Jobs and Extended Learning Opportunities

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We will continue to review and update our LPS Safe Return to School Plan to align with community conditions and the latest information.

Plan

To Prevent Spread

Self-Screening

Staff, students and visitors entering any LPS facility are expected to conduct a self-screening for COVID-19 or illness symptoms every day prior to arriving.

Every day ask yourself or your student the following screening questions PRIOR to entering an LPS building:

Do you have any of the following symptoms?

  • Fever of over 100.4
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Muscle or body aches
  • New onset of loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea

If you answered YES, do not go into an LPS building. Instead:

  • Self-Isolate Immediately
  • Contact your healthcare provider or seek medical care.
  • Get tested for COVID-19.
  • Families of students need to contact the school to report the absence.

Get tested for COVID-19

  • Bryan Health
  • CHI 
  • Nebraska DHHS
  • Your healthcare provider
  • Order your free home COVID test by going to covidtests.gov to place an order.
  • Several pharmacies including CVS, HyVee and Walgreens along with other health care provider offices and urgent care clinics also offer testing. If a person is uninsured or underinsured, they can call the COVID-19 hotline at 402-441-8006 and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department will connect them to testing resources.

Students who test positive for COVID-19

Students who test positive for COVID-19 should notify the school health office as soon as possible and follow directions provided.

Staff who test positive for COVID-19

Follow LPS illness procedures as outlined in the handbook and agreements.

Face Coverings

Face coverings are optional for everyone inside all LPS buildings and on all LPS buses. Individuals may wear a face covering based on their personal preference and informed by their vaccination status and personal level of risk.

Please note: Lincoln Public Schools may adjust face covering protocols as necessary to address changing conditions. Requirements may be implemented for a specific school building, program, classroom or setting based on number of positive cases, community test positivity rate, outbreaks, community conditions and risk of spread.

When wearing a face covering in circumstances where required:

  • Face coverings must be multiple layers of tightly woven, breathable fabric that blocks light when held up to a bright light source.
  • Face coverings with exhalation valves or vents will not be allowed.
  • Per our current school dress code, bandanas are not allowed.
  • Plastic face shields are not a suitable replacement for multilayer cloth face coverings.
  • LPS will have face coverings available for staff and students who do not provide their own.
  • Families are allowed to provide their own multilayer cloth face coverings. Please note: Gaiters are single layer and can only be used if doubled up and cover both the nose and the mouth.
  • Students and families are responsible for laundering and wearing their face coverings each day.
  • LPS will treat face coverings as a required part of dress code where applicable and discipline for not following dress code is outlined in our Important Information Handbook.

Face Covering Exemption Process

If face coverings become required at any time for a classroom, program, or school, the following will be used for the face covering exemption process. Students who were granted a face covering exemption last school year will be exempt from any requirement for the 22–23 school year. For new students, a form to apply for the exemption will be provided to families with communication about any requirements.

K-12 Students

The criteria for face covering exemptions are below.

Medical issues that are documented in the student’s emergency health plan, OR Individual Health Plan (IHP):

  1. Students who require oral suctioning
  2. Students on a ventilator
  3. Students who have a trach
  4. Students who frequently secrete bodily fluids from the eyes, nose, and/or mouth.

Significant behavioral needs that are documented in the student’s Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) or 504:

  1. Students for whom face coverings may cause on-going significant distress that cannot not be remedied through teaching, problem solving, or other accommodations.
  2. Students for whom significant distress may disrupt education, or whose distress may disrupt the education of others.
  3. Students with a history of issues concerning restrictive clothing, close spaces, or high anxiety, or with other data supporting significant student distress.

Preschool Students

The criteria for face covering exemptions are below.

  • Children with documented (in the child’s school records or from information obtained from the family from the child’s physician or medical provider) medical conditions, which may include: Asthma, lung disease, tracheostomy, ventilator or children for who are oxygen dependent or require oxygen levels to be checked throughout the school day.
  • Children with other conditions, which may include:
    • Sensory impairments and issues for which the face covering may cause on-going significant distress that cannot be remedied through teaching, practice and support and may disrupt. This distress may disrupt the child’s participation in preschool or the participation of others;
    • Children who secrete bodily fluids from their eyes, nose, and/or mouth;
    • Autism; or
    • Children who are unable to physically remove the face covering or are not able to communicate a need to remove the face covering because the face covering presents a choking or strangulation hazard.
Hand Hygiene

Students, staff and visitors will be encouraged to frequently wash their hands for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer will be available in classrooms and multiple locations throughout the building when hand washing isn’t easily accessible.

Custodial staff will clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in common areas and classrooms as needed and at the end of the day.

Ventilation and Cleaning Efforts

Our Operations Department will continue with fresh air practices in alignment with recommendations from ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) and the CDC (Center for Disease Control).

Drinking Fountains and Water Bottles
  • Drinking fountains will be available.
  • Classroom sinks will be available.
  • Water bottle fill stations will be accessible where available.
  • K-12 students may bring bottles full of water from home.
Volunteers, Visitors and Families at School

All guests must perform the self-screening for symptoms prior to entering a building and adhere to any face covering requirements. (Please see the Face Coverings protocols above.)

Facility Use By Outside Organizations

LPS facilities are available for outside use through the online Archibus reservation system. All facility terms and conditions apply, including the applicant’s responsibility to comply with any COVID-19 protocols from governing organizations, orders and/or Directed Health Measures.

Vaccinations

The COVID-19 vaccine is not required, but strongly recommended.

Under Title 173 of the Nebraska Administrative Code, each school or school district in Nebraska is required to keep the immunization history of the students enrolled on file. If your child has received the COVID-19 vaccine, we ask that you please provide us a copy of the information by emailing a copy of the vaccination card to your school nurse. If your child has not received the COVID-19 vaccine, there is nothing you need to do.

The Nebraska Department of Education and Children’s Hospital and Medical Center have launched a new website to help answer any questions you may have about the COVID-19 vaccine for children. Check out maxthevaxne.org for more information.

A safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine plays a critical role in providing protection against the virus, preventing illness and saving lives. The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) is following CDC and State of Nebraska guidelines to distribute the vaccine. They are committed to ensuring that everyone who lives, works or learns in Lincoln and Lancaster County can receive a vaccine. Sign up now to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine through the LLCHD website.

Resources
For more information about safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and answers to common questions, please see the helpful resources below:

Learn more on the LLCHD website.

School buildings will be considered for vaccination clinics based on recommendations from the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. Information about vaccination clinics held at school will be shared with families ahead of time via email.

Infection Response

Quarantine and Exclusion

Please follow the directions from your healthcare provider and/or the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.

Program-Specific

Special Education

Homebound Services 

If a student has a medical need that prevents them from attending school in person, the parent should contact the special education administrator at their child’s school to request more information about Homebound Services.

Accommodations

If a parent wants special COVID-19 accommodations to be implemented, the parent should contact the school’s special education administrator to set up a meeting to discuss options.

LPS and the City of Lincoln — Working Together

Lincoln Public Schools staff continues to work collaboratively with the City of Lincoln and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) to develop plans for school operations. You can learn more about the City of Lincoln’s response to COVID-19 by visiting: https://app.lincoln.ne.gov/city/covid19/