A review of Omaha Public Schools Board of Education meetings. 
Dec. 5, 2017

Following each Board of Education Meeting, the Office of District Communications recaps the board meeting in the Board Digest.
#OPSProud Spotlight - Dundee Elementary Named National Blue Ribbon School
In September, Dundee Elementary was designated an Exemplary High Performing School for 2017 by the U.S. Department of Education. Dundee Elementary is one of four Nebraska schools named a National Blue Ribbon School and among 342 schools nationwide to be recognized for demonstrating exemplary academic performance or progress in closing the achievement gap.

Dundee was honored at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. this November. This is the second year the school has received this honor. They were awarded the Blue Ribbon award in 2005. Dundee Elementary's principal is Kaye Kennedy and the assistant principal is Jeanne Simmons.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.

All schools are honored in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates: -Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. -Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years.

Other Nebraska schools honored include:
  • Calvert Elementary School, Auburn Public Schools
  • Paddock Road Elementary School, Westside Community Schools
  • Pender Elementary School, Pender Public Schools .
Board Member Yolanda Williams Resigns
Board Member Yolanda Williams informed the superintendent and members of the board that she will be resigning from the Board of Education, effective immediately. Her resignation is due to moving out of the boundary lines of sub-district 1, which she currently serves.

Ms. Williams has been on the board for four and one half years.

Since the announcement was not on the agenda, the Board cannot accept her resignation until the Dec. 18 meeting. At that time they will also present a plan for how to fill the vacant position.

Thank you to Ms. Yolanda Williams for your dedication to the students of Omaha Public Schools.
Board of Education Action Items
Consent Agenda Items
Consent agenda items are items packaged into one agenda item. They are often routine and garner very little discussion. 

  • Staff Adjustments
  • Workers' Compensation Third Party Administrator (TPA) Contract Negotiations
  • Certificate of Substantial Completion- Northwest High School
  • Change Order No. 001-2014 Bond Program- Planning Area A - Package No. 2: Fire, Life Safety, Security & Technology- Bancroft, Field Club & Spring Lake Elementary Schools
  • Change Order No. 004-2014 Bond Program - Capital Improvements - Lothrop Elementary School
  • Change Order No. 003-2014 Bond Program - Capital Improvements - Franklin Elementary School
  • Change Order. No. 001-2014 Bond Program - Capital Improvements - Saratoga Integrated Learning Program School
  • Bid No. 18-004 - Learning Community North Center Classroom Audio Visual - Educare Kellom
  • RFP 18-003 Web Filter and Reporting
  • Operations Division Memorandum of Understanding
  • Denial of Tort Claim submitted on behalf of Kimberly Benson for failure to file within the statutorily mandated time
  • To view an entire list of items approved on the consent agenda, please review the agenda here.
Board of Education Information Items
Below are the items the Board of Education discussed at last night's Board of Education Meeting. 
Bullying Awareness and Prevention
A team of OPS staff presented information to the Board of Education on bullying prevention and the importance of creating a culture of kindness. The team shared information on the curriculum that addresses bullying prevention which includes Common Sense Media, lessons in Career Education and Human Growth and Development and counseling lessons from Second Step and Steps to Respect. The group also shared information on bullying intervention - setting expectations and providing supports for all students involved. The district is also working towards establishing a SAFE Schools Hotline that will serve as an anonymous reporting mechanism to support students around the clock.

To view the full presentation, click here. 
NeSA/ACT Results Released for 2016-17
The Research and Curriculum and Instruction Support departments provided a review of the recently released NeSA and ACT results.

NeSA English Language Arts
In 2016-17, the new English Language Arts (ELA) Assessment was given for the first time, making it a baseline year. The changes were based on the new college and career readiness standards from the Nebraska Department of Education. The changes in the test brought increased rigor, relevance and higher expectations of all students. OPS is taking many steps to increase student achievement in ELA including implementing a district-wide reading intervention, resource adoption for ELA/writing, coaching support for teachers and more. The NeSA English language arts assessment is given to students in grades 3-8.

NeSA Math
This year a new math assessment will be given. It also will be aligned with the college and career ready standards, increase rigor and have higher expectations for all students. OPS is taking steps to increase student achievement in math through monthly district math coach meetings, updating A+ OPS reading curriculum guides, a focus on concrete-pictorial-abstract approach in math instruction and more. The NeSA math assessment is given to students in grades 3-8.

NeSA Science
Students have shown growth on the NeSA science exam over a six-year period. The NeSA science assessment is given to students in grades 5 and 8.

NeSA to Become NSCAS
Beginning in 2017-18, NeSA will now become the Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System (NSCAS).

In 2016-17, all juniors across Nebraska were required to take the ACT instead of the previous NeSA tests that were given. Across the district 97 percent of OPS 11th grade students took the exam. The ACT exam increased rigor for students. Since this was the first year the test was given to all students, it is considered a baseline year. When comparing this years data with previous years, it is important to note that many students who took the ACT before were college bound seniors. Since the test was given to all juniors, many previous students had nearly another year or courses they had taken to prepare for the exam.

OPS is working to prepare students for the ACT by providing earlier access to ACT online prep. OPS is also obtaining examples of student essays to provide evidence to teachers and students. OPS is also evaluating course sequencing and content exposure to ensure students courses are aligned with preparing them for the exam.

To view the NeSA Results Presentation, click here.
Policy Updates
Next OPS Board of Education Meeting
The next scheduled Board of Education Workshop will take place on Dec. 18. It is tentatively scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.
Board of Education Agenda
To review previous Board of Education agendas, click here.

How Can I Watch a Previous Board of Education Meeting?
The video from the meeting will be available by the Wednesday at noon following the meeting. The video can be viewed by clicking here.
Omaha Public Schools| 531-299-0220 | www.ops.org

Questions or feedback? Email us at: BoardDigest@ops.org