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LEXINGTON, Neb. – The Lexington Board of Education approved an interlocal agreement Monday night to hire up to two school resource officers to serve Lexington Public Schools.

The agreement between LPS and the City of Lexington stipulates the school shall provide 65 percent of each officer’s salary, direct and indirect hiring costs and benefits and the city will pay the remaining 35 percent.

While supervision and employment of the officers will be the responsibility of the City of Lexington, the officer will spend his or her workdays on school grounds.

The officer’s responsibilities at the schools will include promoting school attendance and discipline, fostering individual responsibility, training in personal safety and resistance to peer pressure, appropriate crisis resolution and chemical abuse prevention, among others.

The school district has agreed to a three-year commitment to employ the officer.

Funding for the position comes from grant money the district was able to secure with the help of Steve Garcia, the coordinator for Midwest Nebraska Drug Court.

LPS Superintendent John Hakonson cautioned that grant money is “soft money,” that is, the district does not have a feel for when that money may no longer be available. In that regard, while LPS can have up to two school resource officers, they will start with one officer and see how the program works.

“We want to make it as sustainable as possible,” said Kent Gydesen, president of the school board.

Board members also agreed for LPS to become a member of the Nebraska Whole Child Project.

The project is a cooperative membership between education entities across the state, including school districts, universities and state colleges. NWCP seeks to share information between these entities on the best practices in addressing student health and well being.

There is no financial obligation on the part of the district in being a member of the NWCP.

Just before the meeting ended in executive session, Hakonson recognized Lydia Hovie, administrative assistant at the Central Office, for her seven years of service with LPS. Hovie has resigned from the district to move to Arcadia, to be closer to her family.

On behalf of the school board, Gydesen presented Hovie with a flower arrangement.

In other business:

– School board members approved the purchase of residential property north of Lexington Middle School. The property, located at 108 E. 13th Street, was purchased for $50,000, and the school will be responsible for taxes associated with the sale, which include 2013 taxes and title insurance.

– Also approved was the sale of two modulars to Jerry Rich. The two units included a 1998/1999 Bonovilla modular building and a 1999 Kan Build modular. They were sold for $7,100 and $5,100, respectively. Income from the sale will be deposited into the district’s special building fund.

– Board members reviewed bids for the purchase of a new pickup for LPS and the bid was awarded to Platte Valley Auto. Platte Valley Auto submitted a bid of $24,365 for a 2013 Ford F250.

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