LPS board approves focus program agreement with Bryan College of Health Sciences

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The Lincoln Board of Education on Tuesday made official the plans for a health sciences focus program at the new high school in northwest Lincoln, approving an agreement with Bryan Medical Center and Bryan College of Health Sciences.

The program, which will be embedded in the high school being built south of Air Park, will offer dual-credit courses and a head start on a variety of medical fields through a collaboration with the Bryan college.

The 10-year agreement will begin when the school and the focus program open in 2022 and requires that both LPS and the Bryan college appoint a program administrator and program director.

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Bryan College of Health Services will pay LPS an initial sum of $169,590 and then $10,000 each year. If both parties agree, the annual payment can be increased to reflect inflation or unexpected costs.

The large initial payment will help with curriculum development, classroom supplies and necessary modifications to the labs to make them more like a medical setting, said Matt Larson, LPS associate superintendent for instruction.

The annual payment of $10,000 will be to support the purchase of consumable materials and supplies for the courses, things such as textbooks, lab equipment and protective supplies.

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The focus program for juniors and seniors will allow students to become certified nursing assistants, take dual-credit anatomy and physiology courses — along with some others — and get phlebotomy training. The program is open to students from all high schools, though they would need to transfer to the new high school, which they could do their junior year.

The plan is in keeping with the district’s decision to embed focus programs within high schools, rather than have free-standing programs like the long-established science and arts and humanities programs.

The Bryan College of Health Sciences Focus Program will have a capacity of 300 students and will open in the first of two new high schools being built as part of a $290 million bond issue passed by voters in February.

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LPS officials say it will complement the popular health sciences pathway at The Career Academy.

Although open to juniors and seniors, LPS plans to add medical hands-on experiences to regular math, health and biology courses taken by all underclassmen.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7226 or mreist@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSreist

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