A review of Omaha Public Schools Board of Education meetings. 
May 8, 2018

Following each Board of Education Meeting, the Office of District Communications recaps the board meeting in the Board Digest.
#OPSProud Spotlight- Three Students Named National Merit Finalists
Congratulations to three OPS high school seniors who were selected as National Merit Finalists for the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program.
 
We would like to recognize Eric Polerecky and Simon Schoenbeck from Central High School and Kamryn Pullen from North High Magnet School. These academically talented students were chosen based on their PSAT scores, the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and high academic performance in classroom course work. Each National Merit Scholar will receive a $2,500.
 
In the fall, Eric will attend the University of Arizona at Tucson, Simon will attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Kamryn will attend the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Each student received various scholarships which will allow them to attend their universities on a full-ride.
 
Board of Education Consent Agenda
Consent Agenda Items
Consent agenda items are items packaged into one agenda item. They are often routine and garner very little discussion. 

  • Staff Adjustments
  • Claims Administration Services Agreement for Administration of Workers' Compensation Self-insurance Program - Risk Administration Services, Inc.
  • Assessment Renewal for 2018-2019
  • HP Computers and Carts for Benson High School
  • HP Computers, Carts and Projectors for Bryan High School
  • Bid No. 18-030 Bread Products
  • Bid No. 18-032 Dairy Products
  • Bid No. 18-025 - 2014 Bond Program - Boyd Elementary School - Addition & Renovation Project
  • Bid No. 18-031 Produce Items
  • Bid No. 16-027 Request for Auction Services- First Year Extension for 2017-2018
  • Amendment No. 001 To the Agreement With Charles Vrana and Son Construction Company - Secondary Success Program Relocation Renovation
  • Agreement with RDG Schutte Wilscam Birge, Inc. - Early Learning Center at Kennedy Elementary School
  • Change Order No. 001- 2014 Bond Program - Capital Improvements - Benson High School
  • Change Order No. 002-2014 Bond Program - Planning Area A - Package #02: Fire, Life Safety, Security & Technology- Bancroft, Field Club, and Spring Lake Elementary School
  • Nutrition Services Food and Supplies Contract Extension
  • MAXIEM 1515 JetMachining Center for the Career Center
  • To view the entire consent agenda, click here.
Board of Education Information Items
Legislative Update
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The 2018 Legislative session ended in April. A review of the 2018 session was presented at the board meeting. The review broke down proposed legislation and signed bills into four areas: Finance, Curriculum and Classroom, Charter Schools/Voucher Programs and Retirement. OPS believes that many of these legislative bills will return next year.

The update also included information on Interim Studies. This allows the legislature to take a deeper dive into issues.

To view the full presentation, click here.
Alternate Curriculum Program Textbook Adoption
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The Curriculum and Instruction Support team shared information with the Board regarding the proposed Alternate Curriculum Program (ACP) Textbook adoption. Students who participate in ACP have significant cognitive disabilities and require additional support to meet their individual needs. There are currently 650 students being served in kindergarten through age 21, including students in the Integrated Learning Program.

Currently classrooms are using a variety of supplemental materials to meet academic and adaptive skill needs. By purchasing Alternate Curriculum Program textbooks, students will be provided with a guaranteed and viable curriculum that ensures that all students receive the same content in a course or grade regardless of which school they attend or who they have for a teacher.

The money used for the textbook adoption has already been budgeted as part of the 2017-18 school year and will not impact the 2018-19 budget. All recurring costs were also included in the proposed amount.

The Board will vote on the textbook adoption at the May 21 Board of Education Meeting.

To view the full presentation, click here.
Board of Education Action Items
Middle Level Reading Intervention Textbook Adoption and High School Reading Intervention Materials Upgrade
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The Board of Education approved the purchase of Middle School Reading Intervention Textbook Adoption and High School Reading Intervention Materials upgrade.
Members of Curriculum and Instruction Support shared information on the Middle School Reading Intervention Textbook Adoption at the April 16 Board of Education meeting.

The Curriculum and Instruction Support team was able to negotiate the price of materials for a one-time savings of approximately $409,300 and an annual reoccurring savings of approximately $385,000. The money used for the textbook adoption has already been budgeted as part of the 2017-18 school year and will not impact the 2018-19 budget.
First Reading - Student Code of Conduct Revisions for 2018-19
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The Board of Education approved the first reading of the 2018-19 Student Code of Conduct.  Revisions were suggested by the district Code of Conduct committee, as well as from teachers, families and students.  The final reading of the 2018-19 Student Code of Conduct is scheduled to return to the Board of Education agenda on May 21 .

To review an outline of the chang es,   click here.

To review the revisions with track changes on the previous Code of Conduct,  click here.
First Reading - Policy Updates
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Members of the Policy Committee shared the proposed changes to individual board policies. The final reading will take place at the May 21 Board of Education meeting.

To see a summary of the policy changes, click here.

The policies with proposed changes are:
Proposed Changes to the 2018-19 District Calendar
The Board approved the recommended changes to the 2018-19 calendar.

The recently approved OEA contracted negotiation changes teacher contract days from 190 to 189. These changes were made as a means of increasing teacher compensation in a budget minded way, and to align with those districts that are comparable to OPS and other metro area districts with whom we compete for staff.

The changes to the calendar are:
  • January 4 becomes a teacher workday versus a winter break day
  • January 7 becomes a student day versus a teacher workday
  • May 22 becomes the last day of school for students
  • Teachers close out the year May 23 and May 24 (one is teacher work day, one is professional development day)

To see the full presentation, click here.
Important Information for Staff and OPS Community
Budget Advisory Committee Update
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On May 3 the Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) held its final meeting. During the meeting, the committee reviewed a list of top recommended budget cut line items, which were compiled following prioritization input submitted by the committee during the April 19 BAC meeting.
 
At the April 19 meeting, committee members assessed a previously prioritized list and ranked it once more. In small groups, committee members held discussions and considered the additional avenues for potential cuts and creating efficiencies. Input from those discussions were submitted, reviewed and compiled to determine consensus amongst the group regarding recommended cuts.  A final list of 12 items , totaling approximately  $29.5 million  was identified. The district is working to identify  $26 million  to cut from its 2018-2019 budget. The  additional $3.5 million identified will give the board some flexibility  as they make decisions regarding budget cuts.
 
The OPS Board of Education will hold budget workshops, tentatively scheduled for  May 15 and May 31  to discuss the Budget Advisory Committee’s recommendations.
 
Budget Advisory Committee’s prioritized and ranked list of recommended cuts (from May 3 meeting):
 
  1. $10 million Central Office Reduction
  2. Cut Cell Phone Stipends 
  3. Reduce/Eliminate Travel
  4. Eliminate Extended Day/Year at Nathan Hale
  5. Eliminate Elementary Magnet Allocations
  6. Reduce/Eliminate Elementary Asst. Principals
  7. 5 percent reduction in All supply, materials and equipment budgets
  8. Reduce/Eliminate Overtime
  9. Out-Source Secondary Success
  10. Reduce/Eliminate Textbook Adoption 
  11. Reduce/Reassign School Support Liaisons
  12. Re-assign 50 FTE certified Staff in Buildings to Classrooms 
 
Next Steps in the Budget Cutting Process
There was some brief discussion regarding the need for the Budget Advisory Committee to remain an active body into the 2018-2019 school year, and to continue studying and assessing areas where additional efficiencies can be made, possibly into the 2019-2020 school year.
 
The areas proposed by the committee for additional study include:
  • Pension plan path forward
  • Summer school
  • Transportation
 
These items are only recommendations to the Board of Education at this time. The board has not yet taken action. The board will begin reviewing recommendations made by the Budget Advisory Committee during budget workshops.
 
Additional information regarding budget cuts:
 
If you would like to provide feedback to the Board of Education regarding budget cuts, please complete a  feedback form . Input from the feedback forms will be shared with the board.
Budget Cuts and the OPS General Fund
The budget cuts currently being addressed by the District, the Budget Advisory Committee and the Board of Education will address a shortfall of budget dollars in the OPS general fund, which is primarily made up of state dollars. The district receives some dollars from other sources to help fund the education of students. However, those dollars are restricted for specific purposes and are separate from general fund dollars. Some examples of those resources include federal dollars provided for services like special education, nutrition services and grant dollars provided for specific programs, purchases or projects.
Next OPS Board of Education Meeting
The Board will have a budget workshop on Tuesday, May 15. It is tentatively scheduled to start at 6 p.m. The next regularly scheduled Board Meeting will take place on May 21. 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.
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Questions or feedback? Email us at: BoardDigest@ops.org