A review of Omaha Public Schools Board of Education meetings. 
Sept. 7, 2017

Following each Board of Education Meeting, the Office of District Communications recaps the board meeting in the Board Digest.
#OPSProud Spotlight - Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certification
During the 2016 – 2017 school year, OPS was recognized as a Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certified District. In order for the district to earn this recognition, students across at least two entire grade levels have received instruction on strengthening their digital citizenship skills.

Students have focused on a variety of skills ranging from preventing cyberbullying, to understanding their digital footprints, and maintaining privacy and security online. Fifty-three schools and programs earned Common Sense School Certification by engaging in and learning more about digital citizenship and literacy.
Board and Superintendent Communications
Below are the items the Superintendent addressed at the Board of Education meeting:
  • A mobile learning unit will be available this fall at OPS schools. The mobile unit will provide common sense media training and other digital learning opportunities.
  • The 2017 average composite ACT score for the district is 19. The average composite score for the state of Nebraska is 21.4.
  • Omaha Public Schools, the Omaha Public Schools Foundation and the Omaha Education Association formed a partnership to create a Harvey Relief Fund to Assist the Houston Independent School District (HISD). More information can be found here.
  • Crestridge Magnet Elementary will hold its ribbon cutting on Friday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m.
  • Norris Middle School will hold its topping out ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 9 a.m.
  • The Seeds of Hope film premiere is on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at Aksarben Cinema at 7p.m. Seeds of Hope explores how schools welcome and educate immigrant and refugee families as they start their lives over in America. Three OPS schools are featured in the film: Kellom Elementary, Northwest High School and Yates. Learn more here.
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
  • Grant Funds Budget Adjustments
  • Change Order No. 004 2014 Bond Program Capital Improvements Beveridge Magnet Middle School
  • Educational Specifications - 2014 Bond Program - Dodge Elementary School
  • Certificate of Substantial Completion - Bryan Middle School
  • Head Start July Board Report
  • Resolution Authorizing Ed Bennett to Transfer Stock
  • Ray & Associates Agreement with Omaha Public Schools for Superintendent Search Services
  • Midlands Mentoring Partnership & Omaha Public Schools Memorandum of Understanding
  • Purchase of Property at Nebraska Avenue and Childs Road Bellevue NE
  • To view an entire list of items approved on the consent agenda, please review the agenda here.
Budget Presentation
T he Board of Education voted to approve the 2017-2018 budget of approximately $608 million, a 4.6 percent increase (approximately $26 million) compared with last year’s budget. More information regarding a breakdown of last year’s budget is listed here:   openbook.ops.org

The most significant district cost is staff salaries and benefits. They account for 85 percent of expenditures. Teacher salaries for the 2017-2018 school year reflect an average 5.5 percent salary and benefit package increase of $13.8 million.

Key budget changes also include shifting of positions across the district and the closing of Saratoga. Other budget priorities include recruitment and retention, at risk programs, curriculum and textbook needs, student programming, technology purchases and building needs. The district's total state aid increased by $62 million while at the same time estimated property tax receipts decreased by $52 million. Increases in state aid, plus reductions in operations, will be used to balance the budget. Property valuations in the district are also estimated to increase by 4 percent. The mill levy will go up one cent and increase property taxes by $10 on a home with a valuation of $100,000.

A general breakdown of this year’s budget is as follows:

The General Fund Revenue Sources for 2017-2018 (estimated): 
Property Taxes: $222.3 million 
Other Local (fines, licenses, motor vehicle tax, carline taxes, interest, etc.): $42 million 
Other State: $45.9 million 
Federal Sources: $930,000 
State Aid: $288.2 million 

The General Fund Expenditures Budget for 2017-2018 (estimated): 
Salaries and benefits: 85 percent 
Supplies and Materials: 1 percent 
Purchased Services: 14 percent

To review the budget presentation,  click here.
Board of Education Information Items
Below are the items the Board of Education discussed at last night's Board of Education Meeting. 
Superintendent Search Committee Update
The Board of Education passed a contract for Ray and Associates to begin the new superintendent search process. On Thursday, Sept. 7, the committee will meet to discuss the timeline and search process with Ray and Associates. The estimated search cost is $36,800. This amount does not include estimated advertising or candidate expenses for interviews. 

On Monday, Aug. 21 the Board of Education voted to authorize the Superintendent Search Committee (Snow, Goding, Holman, Perlman and Casady as alternate) to enter into contract negotiations with Ray and Associates. The Superintendent Search Committee meets weekly to discuss the superintendent search process.

To review the contract with Ray and Associates, click here .
Strategic Plan Update
At last night’s Board meeting, Central Office provided an update on the strategic plan. In 2014, OPS adopted a 5-year strategic plan to leverage the district’s strengths and address its challenges. Seven guiding principles were created to provide a blueprint for success. Some of the progress made include the following: OPS established the first K-9 virtual school in the state of Nebraska, graduation rates increased, recruitment efforts were enhanced, the anti-discrimination policy was updated, text messaging was added for notification for OPS families and staff and new partnerships were formed with local and national organizations.  
Seven Guiding Principles                                                            
• Safe, Healthy, and Engaged Students 
• High Expectations, Rigorous Curriculum and Effective Instruction 
• Committed, Diverse and Effective Teachers, Administrators and Staff 
• Equitable and Efficient Systems and Resources 
• Engaged and Empowered Parents and Families 
• Involved and Supportive Community Partners 
• Accessible, Transparent and Two-Way Communication 

To review the strategic plan presentation, click here .
Next OPS Board of Education Meeting
The next regularly scheduled Board of Education Meeting will take place on Sept. 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