A review of Omaha Public Schools Board of Education meetings. 
August 8, 2017

Following each Board of Education Meeting, the Office of District Communications recaps the board meeting in the Board Digest.
Board and Superintendent Communications
At last night's board meeting, Superintendent Evans discussed that a group of committee members and staff met to discuss Phase 2 of the bond program. Recommendations were provided and the committee will meet again on Thursday, Aug. 10.  The board also highlighted several events taking place under the current bond. The schedule is listed below. 
Bond Events for the Fall 

Groundbreaking Ceremonies 

Burke High School 

Wednesday, Aug. 9 at 9 a.m. 

Dedication Ceremonies

Northwest Magnet High School 

Saturday, Aug. 12 at 2 p.m. 

Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies 

Indian Hill Elementary 

Tuesday, Aug. 15 at 5 p.m. 

Joslyn Elementary 

Tuesday, Aug. 15 at 6 p.m. 

Lothrop Magnet Elementary 

Tuesday, Aug. 15 at 5:30 p.m. 

Franklin Elementary 

Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 5:30 p.m. 

Crestridge Magnet Elementary 

Friday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. 

Topping Out Ceremonies 

Norris Middle School 

Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 9 a.m. 

Board of Education Action Items
Below are the items the Board of Education approved during Monday night's Board of Education Meeting. 
Consent Agenda Items

Consent agenda items are items packaged into one agenda item. They are often routine and garner very little discussion. 

  • Administrative Appointments (see the information below).
  • Committee on Claims Audit Approval 08/07/2017
  • Change Order No. 003 - 2014 Bond Program - Capital Improvements - Lothrop Elementary School
  • Certificates Of Substantial Completion - Franklin, Sunny Slope and South High Schools
  • Classroom #C243 Buildout - 2014 Bond Program - South High Magnet School - Fire, Life Safety, Security, And Technology Upgrades
  • Change Order No. 002 - 2014 Bond Program - Capital Improvements - Franklin Elementary School
  • Bid No. 17-052 - Security Guard Services - Withdrawal of Frontline Bid & Re-Award
  • Notice of Intent to Terminate the Interlocal Agreement with Douglas County School District 054 ("Ralston") dated January 11, 1999
  • To view an entire list of items approved on the consent agenda, please review the agenda here.
Building-Level Administrative Adjustments

The Board approved administrative position adjustments on the consent agenda. The adjustments are: 

  • Emily Hughes, current OPS Assistant Principal at Gomez, will be a new Elementary Supervisor.
  • Echohawk Lefthand, current Program Manager with Omaha Veteran Affairs, will be the new Native Indian Centered Education Supervisor.
  • Anton Schmidt, current OPS Dean of Students, will be the new Assistant Principal at Nathan Hale Middle School.
  • Joel Wisdom, current OPS Student Support Liaison, will be the new Assistant Principal at Marrs Middle School.

Board of Education Action Items
Below are the items the Board of Education approved at last night's Board of Education Meeting
Superintendent Search Committee and Recommendation for issuing a Request for Proposals for Superintendent Search Consulting Services

The Superintendent Search Committee (Snow, Goding, Holman, Perlman and Casady as alternate) met on July 26. The committee recommended to reissue the request for proposal (RFP) for Superintendent Search Consulting Services on Aug. 8 with a close date of Aug. 15.

Last night, the Board of Education voted on the recommendation to reissue the new RFP.  Board members will be invited to attend the opening for the RFP responses on Aug. 15.  Then, the superintendent search committee will meet again on Aug. 17 to develop the recommendations for the whole Board.

The role of the superintendent search committee is to create a framework for the superintendent search, guide the process and bring recommendations to the board. Committee members will meet every Thursday starting on Aug. 24.  Board Vice President Marque Snow says it is his goal that the board hire a new superintendent by December 18.  Mr. Evans will continue to serve as superintendent for the 2017-18 school year (July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018). Recommendations from the RFP will be brought to the board of education meeting on Aug. 21.  

To review the RFP, click here.  
First Reading of Recommended Policy Changes
Board of Education Information Items
Below are the items the Board of Education discussed at last night's Board of Education Meeting. 

Last night, Chief Financial Officer Connie Knoche provided an overview of the district’s budget and recommendations for the fiscal year of 2017-2018.  Omaha Public Schools general fund budget for the 2017-2018 school year is approximately $600 million, a 4.6 percent increase over last year’s budget. More information regarding a breakdown of last year’s budget is listed here: openbook.ops.org.

For the 2017-2018 school year, budget priorities include recruitment and retention, at risk programs, curriculum and textbook needs, student programming, technology purchases and building needs. Key budget changes include shifting of positions across the district, the closing of Saratoga and teacher salaries for 2017-18 which reflect an average 5.5 percent salary and benefit package increase of approximately $13.8 million.
A general breakdown of this year’s budget is as follows:

The General Fund Revenue Sources for 2017-2018 (estimated):
Property Taxes: $217.2 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

The average cost for the district per pupil is $11,214, which is less than the state average ($11,392 per pupil) and the national average ($11,946 per pupil). Overall, the district is scheduled to lose property tax dollars due to the elimination of the Learning Community Levy, but an increase in state aid will make up a portion of the shortfall.  Property valuations in the district are also estimated to increase by 2 percent.  In addition, the district is expected to save nearly $6 million this year due to busing related costs associated with the new Student Assignment Plan.

The board’s budget hearing to adopt the budget is scheduled for Sept. 6.  To review the proposed budget and presentation, click here.

Next OPS Board of Education Meeting
The next regularly scheduled Board of Education Meeting will take place on August 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