Here is your monthly update from Lincoln Public Schools with important information and updates.
Lincoln Public Schools will continuously review and update the LPS Safe Return to School Plan throughout the school year as the risk of COVID-19 spread in our community changes. This work will be ongoing as new research emerges and more guidance is provided to the school district from the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) and the U.S. Department of Education.
Any changes to our plan and protocols will be communicated ahead of time through this website, email and social media.
Please note: Lincoln Public Schools will adjust protocols as necessary to address changing conditions. During the school year, protocols and requirements may change for a specific school building, program, classroom or setting based on the number of positive cases, outbreaks, community conditions and risk of spread.
The LPS Safe Return Plan was last revised July 29, 2022, and last reviewed July 29, 2022.
The school district is developing/modifying its plans based on social, economic, and practical considerations that include the balancing of important educational and public health considerations, within the confines of its budgetary limitations, to allocate resources and staff in a way that mitigates risk and seeks to achieve important educational goals.
We will continue to review and update our LPS Safe Return to School Plan to align with community conditions and the latest information. These protocols go into effect on August 1, 2022.
Staff, students and visitors entering any LPS facility are expected to conduct a self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms every day prior to arriving.
Every day ask yourself or your student the following screening questions PRIOR to entering an LPS building:
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 should report the positive test result through the website reporting tool and follow HR Bulletin #15.
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.
LPS will provide face coverings to students and staff who need or request it.
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.
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):
Significant behavioral needs that are documented in the student’s Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) or 504:
The criteria for face covering exemptions are below.
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.
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).
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.)
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.
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.
For more information about safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and answers to common questions, please see the helpful resources below:
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.
The CDC no longer requires face coverings on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems, including early child education programs.
Hand sanitizer and cleaner will be provided for each bus. Transportation staff will clean high touch surfaces on the bus at the end of each day.
From the City of Lincoln: “Masks are no longer required on StarTran buses. The decision follows an April 18 court ruling ending the national mask mandate on public transportation.”
Learn more on the StarTran website.
The community can view weekly positive case numbers in each building and across Lincoln Public Schools with the dashboard provided online.
Lincoln Public Schools will continue to follow policies and protocols around illnesses as found on page 13 in the Important Information Handbook. In addition, LPS established the following Quarantine and Exclusion requirements in consultation with and at the direction of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.
Exclusion from an LPS building for illness
Following LPS policies around illnesses, if an individual has any symptoms the following is required before they can return:
Isolation and Quarantine
Each case is unique and needs to be addressed individually. The chart below provides general guidelines around isolation, but each family should work with the school nurse, and each employee should follow HR Bulletin#15 on when they can return.
Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are expected to stay home for 5 days from the date obvious symptoms appeared (fever, cough, sore throat, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell) or the date the COVID-19 test was taken. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 can return on day six if they do not have symptoms or if symptoms are resolving. Individuals shall wear a face covering for an additional 5 days.
Individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 through a close contact are expected to wear a face covering for 10 days after the close contact and should seek testing 5 days after the exposure. A close contact is someone who was less than 6 feet away from an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 for a cumulative of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
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.
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.
Prekindergarten classrooms will follow most pre-pandemic protocols. During the 2022–2023 school year, protocols may change for a specific school building, program, classroom or settings based on cases, contact tracing, community conditions and risk of spread.
When there is a confirmed positive COVID-19 case in a home, LPS staff are not permitted to return to the home until:
Parental preference to continue virtual service delivery due to ease and convenience is no longer allowable due to federal requirements to provide Early Intervention Services within natural environments. A family can only choose to utilize virtual service delivery during the COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency Status if the child’s fragile/serious medical condition requires additional health protections. Because the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency in Nebraska has ended, Early Intervention Services must return to in-person service provision for all children/families. Please contact the Early Childhood Office at 402-436-1995 with additional questions.
Please note: On August 8, the Coronavirus Dashboard will be cleared out to only report for the 2021-22 school year.
Our Coronavirus Dashboard pulls information from multiple sources to capture positive COVID-19 cases as reported by individuals to Lincoln Public Schools.
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/