Lincoln Public Schools families,
There will be a number of updates we will be sharing with you as we navigate the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Please continue to check your email or our website (lps.org) for this important information. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through this.
You will be receiving instructions Monday morning from your school principal providing links to instructional materials for all students and about student Chromebook pick up for students grades 2-5 on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. We strongly encourage picking up the Chromebook at the times outlined by your school as it will be used for learning if the school closure continues.
Middle and High School Families
You will be receiving instructions next week from your school on how your students can access classroom instructional materials. Please have your child check their Google Classrooms and student email. Your school will inform you how to pick up your child’s Chromebook if your child has left it at school over spring break.
From Lincoln Public Schools
Our Nutrition Services will provide a sack lunch and breakfast for any LPS student at any of the five locations beginning Monday, March 16. The sites are Belmont, Arnold and Hartley elementary schools; Park Middle School and Northeast High School. The student needs to be present to pick up the meal. One meal per student will be available between the hours of 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. while supplies last.
Food Bank of Lincoln (Food BackPacks and Food Pantries)
Schools with LPS BackPack Program:
For those families currently receiving BackPacks from the Food Bank of Lincoln, they intend to continue distribution of BackPacks on the regularly scheduled Friday afternoons. They will begin BackPack distributions according to each school’s regularly scheduled dismissal time and continue for 30 minutes.
School Food Markets:
At this time, Food Markets will temporarily take place outside the school building during the school’s regularly scheduled day and time. To simplify the distribution and increase health and safety, most of the food will come pre-bagged, except produce, bread and meat, which will be bagged onsite. Look for us to be set up in areas close to the front door of your school.
LPS Emergency Pantry:
Following our standard LPS closure policy, the LPS Emergency Pantry will NOT be open while LPS is closed. For more information about accessing the Lincoln Food Bank distribution locations visit their website: https://www.lincolnfoodbank.org/get-food/food-finder/
Helping Children Handle the Stress
Watching news reports, spending time on social media, and listening to people discuss their fears about COVID-19 can cause people to feel anxious. This is a particular concern for young people, who may not fully understand or have context for the information they are receiving.
It is important to remember that children look to trusted adults for how to respond in stressful situations. Adults who remain calm, share factual information, and provide answers that are developmentally appropriate can help young people remain calm also.
Some key talking points:
- Pay attention to updates from local health officials but limit the time spent watching, reading, or listening to reports. More than once or twice a day may be excessive.
- Watch out for conversations that blame the outbreak and spread of the virus on a specific ethnic group. Viruses know no boundaries and COVID-19 affects people of all ethnicities who live in all parts of the world. Challenge misinformation and stereotyping that you see or hear.
- Social support is important. Be sure that if someone you know is ill, they receive support and reassurance.
- Do your part to limit the spread of the virus. If you have symptoms, follow the recommendations of health officials and avoid exposing others to the virus.
- Maintain routines as much as possible. Remember that children need time to relax and play.
Below are links to several articles available that provide suggestions about how to talk with children and youth about this issue.
- Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus – National Public Radio
- Talking With Children: Tips for Caregivers, Parents and Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Helping Children Cope With Stress During the 2019-nCoV Outbreak – World Health Organization
- Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource – National Association of School Psychologists
We will be updating families through email and on our website (lps.org) all week. On Friday, March 20 we will make another announcement about school for the following week.
Thank you for your continued cooperation.