The Omaha Public Schools prepares all students to excel in college, career and life.
Managing Editor: Deb S. Christiansen Garza

Superintendent's 90-Day Plan Report


Omaha Public Schools Community:

It has been my privilege during this 90-day transition to meet many wonderful people and to become better acquainted with the Omaha community. As I have visited schools, met with stakeholders and participated in community meetings, the robust support for the mission and vision of Omaha Public Schools is evident. 

Through our input process, students, teachers, support staff, parents and community members and the Board of Education have been candid with their feedback, which has helped me better understand many aspects of the daily operations of Omaha Public Schools and the way that different constituencies experience our schools daily. During those conversations, I have also asked participants to imagine what they want OPS to become in the future. Their vision and expectations for their school district and their children are inspiring. 

My hope is that this report will foster a common understanding of our school district’s current position and serve as our guide for future discussions on continuing the fine traditions and extraordinary outcomes of Omaha Public Schools. Working together we will empower all of our students to become the best version of themselves. I appreciate our community’s participation during this process and look forward to leading the district as we work together to support our schools and contribute to the success of Omaha. #OPSProud 

Respectfully, 

Cheryl J. Logan, Ed.D / Superintendent 
Omaha Public Schools
Omaha Public Schools Foundation Earns National Award

The Omaha Public Schools Foundation was recognized on Nov. 12 with the Investor in America Award by Partners for Livable Communities, a Washington-based nonprofit. This award recognizes individuals and organizations that use enterprise, vision and creative public and private partnerships to bring new civic assets to the nation's cities.

Partners for Livable Communities released the following:

"Since being established in 1984, the OPSF executive and board leadership have creatively leveraged $1,555 in initial start-up funding, which was gifted by Omaha Public Schools teachers and staff, to create a multi-million-dollar public education foundation that serves the students and teachers in Nebraska's largest school district. For the last four years, OPSF has ranked in the top 10 on Caruthers Institute's 'Nation's Top K-12 Education Foundations' list.

"'The foundation is an exceptional partner for the staff, students and families of the Omaha Public Schools,' said OPS Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan. 'They are unsung heroes who provide tremendous support for special projects and programs. We're fortunate to have them as our partners and commend them for their dedication and for receiving this coveted national recognition.'

"OPSF's unique model of social entrepreneurship provides enriching early education programs and much-needed before and after school care for working families and their elementary-aged children. The success of these parent-paid programs, combined with a loyal philanthropic community that cares about the OPS district, have eliminated all administrative costs for the foundation so that 100 percent of the $150 million dollars raised in the last 13 years has funded innovative, educational experiences that level the playing field for more than 53,000 students enrolled in the OPS district.

"Current Board President Steve Kinkead and Executive Director Toba Cohen-Dunning continue an example of excellence and success with a strong president-director relationship that supports the mission of the foundation and the OPS district. With 76.5 percent of the student population on free or reduced lunch, 120 distinct languages spoken and 3,000 refugees from 15 different countries, there is a great need for OPSF programs.

"OPSF invests the revenues from its early childhood education and before and after school care programs into scholarships for high school seniors, teacher innovation and classroom grants and community partnership projects. The sole purpose is to enhance the classroom experience by providing students educational opportunities they may not receive anywhere else."
Please Complete the BrightBytes Survey
– Deadline is Nov. 21

OPS is partnering with BrightBytes, an educational research and analytics company, in order to learn more about our students’ school and home technology use for learning.

We are reaching out to ask you to take part in our Omaha Public School technology and learning questionnaire. Your participation is essential in helping us form a more complete picture of technology use for learning in our students’ lives. Please know that all of your responses will remain anonymous to protect your privacy and they will help your child's school choose the right technology for their classrooms. It will take approximately 5 minutes to complete.

The last day to complete this questionnaire is Wednesday, Nov. 21.

Please go to https://bbyt.es/V774C to complete the survey.

Thank you for taking part in this important initiative!
Central High School 30+ Club
Central High School honored its 47 students who scored 30+ points on their ACT test. Note: not all students are pictured.
Central also honored students whose scores jumped three points or more on their ACT test.

Congrats to all these standout Central students!
New District Safety Director

Mr. Donald Morrison began as the district's new Safety and Security Director on Nov. 5.

Morrison comes to the central office from Davis Middle School where he served as an assistant principal. He holds a bachelor's degree from Dana College in Blair, Nebraska, and a master's degree from the University of Nebraska Omaha. He is a certified building administrator and brings 16 years of experience working directly with schools, including teaching at Beveridge Magnet Middle School, serving as dean of students at Burke High School and working as a student placement administrator for K-12 students. Within each of Morrison's two most recent roles, he worked closely with the district's partners in local law enforcement.

We look forward to Morrison's leadership in the safety office as his role will revolve heavily around leading the work that will enhance the district's culture of safety.

The district leadership team continues to emphasize the importance of continuing to build up a strong culture of safety across the district. Most recently, the district engaged in several after-action review activities to assess areas of strength in safety and threat assessment, as well as crisis response. District leadership is assessing improvement areas using a two-prong approach: immediate improvement adjustments and long-term improvement adjustments, including discussions around additional planning and training needs and efforts that can be rapidly undertaken to begin enhancing our culture of safety.
OPS Focuses on Math

Chief Academic Officer Melissa Comine recently shared an overview of the district's comprehensive math plan.

Last year, the district formed a Math Task Force to provide guidance, feedback and recommendations on the K-12 Comprehensive Math Plan. This group of teachers, administrations and community members revised the OPS mathematics mission and vision. The team also agreed on 13 goals for the plan and prioritized four goals to focus on during the 2018-2019 school year. The four priority goals for this academic year include:

  • All math classrooms will increase the use of identified Best Instructional Practices of Mathematics.
  • Math teachers and instructional leader will engage in routine coaching conversations to support effective mathematics instruction.
  • The district will increase the percentage of teachers collaborating with colleagues to support mathematics instruction.
  • The district will increase the capacity of building leaders to implement and sustain a high-quality math program.

The district is focusing on these priority goals by providing targeted and complete professional learning opportunities to staff across the district. The task force believes all students should have access to high quality math instruction and the focus is on improving the teaching and learning at the classroom level for our students today and in the future.

The new math plan helps students persevere and thrive in student-centered classrooms where critical thinking and reasoning, collaboration, math discourse, conceptual understanding, procedural fluency and authentic problem solving is expected. It is important for students to believe in themselves as mathematicians and leave the district empowered, mathematically literate citizens.

In the spring of 2019, the district will begin reviewing Measures of Academic Progress testing data to assess student growth.

Parents, please visit ops.org to learn more about upcoming Parent Math Nights.
CHI Health and Omaha Public Schools are partnering to honor teachers across the district. 
 
Starting this month, CHI Health is seeking nominations of Omaha Public Schools teachers who are changing the lives of students.

Each month, they’ll surprise a Top Teacher nominee with a gift basket and a gift card. Winners will be drawn on the last Friday of the month. CHI Health will select winners from each grade level (elementary, middle and high).
 
Anyone can nominate a Top Teacher at CHIhealth.com/TopTeachers .
 
Thank you for your support of our teachers and for your support of the Omaha Public Schools.
Agriculture Award
...Bryan Middle School teacher Tyler Schnidler, who received the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation's scholarship award of $14,000. Schnidler is one of 13 teachers recognized throughout Nebraska. Recipients of the award are all agricultural education teachers in their first through fifth year of teaching.
Student-athlete of the Week
...Northwest High Magnet School student-athlete Emmanuel OKamkpa. Runza recently selected him to receive the Runza Student of the Week Award and a $500 college scholarship.
Educator of the Year
...Burke High School teacher Nicole Niebur, who is the K-12 Tech Educator of the Year for AIM's 2018 Tech Celebration Awards. This award is presented to one instructor or administrator who has risen to to the top of their profession as a technology leader. Niebur will receive her award on Nov. 15 at Founders One Nine.
Global Youth Institute
...Northwest High Magnet School student Abigail Rieff who is one of 210 individuals selected to attend the 25th Annual Global Youth Institute in Des Moines, Iowa, on October 17-20 by the World Food Prize Foundation. In order to participate, students research and write a paper on a topic affecting food security within a specified country and provide recommendations on how to better the lives of a families in that country.
Debate Honors
...the North High Magnet School debate team, which earned sixth place in the Overall Team Sweepstakes in the Maryville Classic Speech and Debate Tournament in Maryville, Missouri, on Oct. 27 and 28. Coach: Michael Brown

Individual Team Awards
Original Oratory: Courtney Andreesen, 2nd Place
Duo Interpretation: Imani Lamar and Christina
Short, 5th Place
Poetry Interpretation: Eric McGee, 5th Place
Dramatic Interpretation: Katie Morse, 3rd Place
Radio Speaking: Trey Smith, 6th Place
Volleyball Champions
...Davis Middle Schools' girls volleyball team, who won the 2018 city championship. Coaches: Megan Salcedo and Tonya Sandoval
Nebraska Elementary and High School Counselor of the Year

...Chandler View counselor Erin Malm and Central High School counselor Angela Meyer. The Nebraska School Counselor Association recognized them as the Elementary School Counselor of the Year and High School Counselor of the Year, respectively. "Their forward thinking, compassion and fire have ignited real change and made a positive difference in the lives of their students, said Kathryn Hecht OPS school counseling lead for secondary education.
Erin Malm
Angela Meyer
OPS Green Schools Initiative

The district's most recent data on its green efforts is out. Community members can see the results of the district's efforts at OPS Green Schools Initiative .

To date, the savings to the district includes the following:
  • $11.4 million dollars saved in energy and waste/recycling costs.
  • 261,000 cubic yards of material recycled.
  • 113,800 metric tons of greenhouse emissions avoided.
  • 19-point increase in the District Energy Star rating.

The green sheets show the following information by school (current and historical data included) for the past two years: Energy Star rating, water use per occupant, materials diversion rate. The following schools are achieving high levels of success in all three areas: Beals, Castelar, Columbian, Harrison, Masters, Miller Park, Wilson Focus and Ponca elementary schools.

If you have questions regarding the Green Data Sheets, please contact Jim Skrobo at (531) 299-9837 or at james.skrobo@ops.org.
S is for Science!
by Julie Sigmon, Director of Omaha STEM Ecosystem

Inquiring minds want to know…S is for Science in STEM

Are you a fan of CSI Miami, NCIS, or Bill Nye, The Science Guy? Do you want to know why dirt is red in some areas of the country? If so, STEM and the applied sciences are for you. Programs such as welding, precision machining, computer science, process engineering and mechanical engineering will train you to be a skilled worker and lead to many job opportunities.

The Founding Fathers had the foresight to establish copyright and patent laws to protect their scientific accomplishments, including:

  • George Washington’s inoculation of the Continental Army with a smallpox vaccine to his establishment of whiskey distillery that is still in operation today
  • Benjamin Franklin’s inventions of the lightening rod, bifocal glasses and terminology still used today in electrical science
  • Thomas Jefferson’s re-engineered plow according to Sir Isaac Newton’s scientific principles and invented methods for excavating archaeological sites.
  • John Adams’s establishment from physics principles our current Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches and our ideas of “checks and balances.”4

Research and development hasn’t always been this intentional. Many discoveries emerged in experimentation such as: the Slinky, rubber, popsicles, Teflon, Saccharin, Super glue, the microwave, the heart pacemaker and one of the most revolutionary discoveries of the 20th century, penicillin. However, accidental discovery of things such as the world’s first antibiotic to treat and cure bacterial disease was indeed a revelation.

Science has made our world what it is today. Omaha STEM Ecosystems and Dream It! Do It! have partnered to promote STEM education experiences that reinforce students’ interest in science leading to high-paying, in-demand manufacturing and technology jobs.

Find your passion! If you can Dream It, you can Do It!


This article is written in partnership with Dream It Do It!
Are you Familiar with the Omaha Public Schools'
Inclement Weather Procedures?

The winter season is nearing and the Omaha Public Schools have clear weather procedures outlined for all situations. Please review these guidelines as they will help you understand how and why school is canceled and how parents and the community will be notified.
For a quick reference, watch the weather-related video by clicking here.
Attendance Matters!
"Students with good attendance generally enjoy school more and achieve higher grades. Grades go down when you're not around!"


Every student. Every day. Prepared for success.
Teacher and Administrative Center Pumpkin Contest

It was creepy and kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
It was altogether ooky,
The Logan pumpkin fest contest.
And the winners were.......drum roll please:

1 st Place: Faerie B&B - created by Courtney Pentland, Library Services
2 nd Place: Fall Leaves Carved Pumpkin - created by Barbara Wild, School Support
3 rd Place: Gumball Machine - created by Theresa Robinson, Title I

Congratulations!
Northwest High Magnet School Students
Participate in UNO Service Learning Project

For several months, Northwest High Magnet School students partnered with University of Nebraska Omaha and the Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium Wildlife Safari Park on a service learning project. To learn more, read this featured article on UNO's website. (Photo courtesy of the Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.)
The Omaha Public Schools' employees often go above and beyond while serving the students and families of the district. To recognize them, the district implemented its "30 Ways to Say Yay!" initiative as part of its branding campaign. Each month, schools and departments select an outstanding staff member to highlight. As part of the recognition, employees receive branded materials, gift cards, etc., provided by generous community partners. Thank you #30 Ways to Say Yay! winners for all you do!
Here is a sample of some of the recent winners. Search #30WaystoSayYay! on social media to see more winners.
Kathryn McWilliams
Bryan High School
"Mrs. McWilliams is our 30 Ways to Say Yay! recipient. She spends countless hours working with her StuCo members to organize CREW contests, entertaining pep rallies, homecoming spirit week and planning and decorating for homecoming. Thank you for all you do!"
Amanda Marcinek
Lewis & Clark Middle School
"Mrs. Marcinek, our school support liaison is our 30 Ways to Say Yay! recipient. She does a phenomenal job providing resources and information to the community as we Strive for 95 percent attendance."
Lisa Brewer
Franklin Elementary School
"Ms. Brewer is our 30 Ways to Say Yay! recipient. For more than 20 years she has served as a paraprofessional at the school. Thank you for your dedication to our Franklin students!"
Amanda LaFollette and Kate Minshall -
Research Office
"Amanda and Kate are our 30 Ways to Say Yay! recipients. Keep up the amazing work!"
Author David Biedrzycki Visits Standing Bear Elementary

Children's author/illustrator David Biedrzycki visited Standing Bear Elementary to share his love of books with students. Biedrzycki grew up in Taylor, Pennsylvania, and is of Polish decent. Growing up, he enjoyed playing sports, riding his bike and fishing. He began drawing when he was four-years-old and perfected his skill over the years. He attended Kutztown State University and majored in painting. After graduation, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts,where he circulated his portfolio and created artwork for newspapers, magazines, ad agencies and design firms. Today, he concentrates on writing and illustrating children’s books and visiting more than 70 schools a year to inspire future young authors. Just a few of his books include “Me and My Dragon,” “Ace Lacewing: Bug Detective,” “Santa’s New Jet,” and “The Freshwater Alphabet Book.” His “Ace Lacewing: Bug Detective” was named one of the Bank Street College of Educator’s Best Books of the Year.
Biedrzycki shares with students how he became an author and some of the books he's written.
Biedrzycki demonstrates how he creates illustrations for his books. Each student received a signed copy of the illustration to take home.

Fullerton Celebrates
Red Ribbon Week

Fullerton Magnet Elementary School celebrated Red Ribbon Week by showing the community at large its commitment to lead drug free lives. During the week, school counselor Katie Clark facilitated lessons on healthy choices and living drug free, classrooms participated in a door/hallway poster contest and the school participated in theme days to make the message fun and memorable.
OPS JROTC Celebrates
Veterans Day

Ret. Lt. Col. Mike DeBolt (third from left) participated in the Council Bluffs Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 3. The event included marching bands, firetrucks, vintage cars, JROTC groups and Clydesdale horses among others. DeBolt was a member of the honor guard that flanked a rider-less horse representing those who did not return from service.
Marrs Magnet Middle School Math Competition

Marrs Magnet Middle School recently held its annual math competition. Twenty-three teams from four area districts competed in the written and online competition. Fullerton Magnet Elementary placed first and Wilson Focus School placed third in the written portion of the test. Congratulations to these math-savvy students!
Fullerton Magnet Elementary
Students competing during
the event.
Wilson Focus School
Verizon Innovative Learning Initiative

Two Omaha Public Schools' middle schools (Marrs Magnet and Norris) joined the national Verizon Innovative Learning initiative that provides free technology, free Internet access and hands-on learning experiences to help give underserved students the education they deserve. Powered by a next-gen, technology-infused curriculum, the program fundamentally changes the way teachers teach and students learn. Verizon kicked off its initiative at Marrs Magnet Middle School where students received new iPads.
Rose Hill Students Spread Acts of Kindness

Rose Hill Elementary students painted rocks to share around the Benson community on Nov. 13. Each student painted a rock with a motivational message to inspire others to be kind. Fifth grade students delivered the rocks to Benson High Magnet, Monroe Middle School and various businesses and churches in the community. Additionally, each student received a Be Kind T-shirt as well. Pictured are students sporting their T-shirts and displaying their rocks with Principal Tylee Hanson as well as samples of other decorated rocks.
Marketing Students Design Window Displays
Honors marketing students at Northwest Magnet worked in teams to design three window displays that promoted the great things happening at the school. Team 1 created a display inspired by athletic achievements; Team 2 created a display celebrating the rich diversity at the school and Team 3 created a display to represent the influence music has in our lives. Students, staff and the community voted for their favorite display. Team 2's display depicting the school's diversity won.
OPS Congratulates its 149 Advanced
Placement Scholars

The Omaha Public Schools is proud to announce it has 149 Advanced Placement Scholars as a result of the 2018 exams.

The Advanced Placement program is available in all seven OPS high schools and offers students the opportunity to take college level courses in the high school setting.

The College Board recognizes several levels of achievement based on student's performance on AP Exams. Our students earned the following awards:

  • AP Scholar Award that is granted to students who receive grades of 3 or higher on three or more exams. Five is the highest possible score.
  • AP Scholar with Honors Award granted to student who receive an average grade of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken and grades of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.
  • AP Scholar with Distinction granted to students who receive an average grade of at leas 3.5 on all AP Exams taken and grades of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.
  • National AP Scholar granted to student in the United States who receive an average grade of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken and grades of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.
Family Math Nights
Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

Beveridge Magnet Middle School
Jan. 15, 2019
6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Lewis & Clark Middle School
March 19
6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
2019 Graduation Dates
District Operational Services

Here are the updated 2019 graduation dates for Omaha Public Schools. In May, the Board of Education approved recommended changes to the 2018-19 calendar. One of the recommended changes included a shift of teacher workdays, which resulted in changes to May graduation dates for Benson and South High schools. Please see the revised schedule below.

Senior Last Day May 10
State Track Meet May 17-18

All graduations will be held at the UNO Baxter Arena at 7 p.m.
Benson – Thursday, May 16
South – Saturday, May 18
Central – Monday, May 20
Northwest – Tuesday, May 21
Bryan – Wednesday, May 22
Burke – Thursday, May 23
North – Friday, May 24
New High School Community
Information Meetings
Community Meetings
District Operational Services

In May 2018, the citizens of Omaha approved a $409.9 Phase 2 bond issue. The Phase 2 bond includes funds to build two new high schools to address the growing population of students in OPS. OPS will host two community meetings on the new high schools. The meetings will include an overview of the project, review of the design scheme, review of types of spaces being planned and time for questions and answers. Both high schools are scheduled to open in the Fall of 2022.

Community Meeting - New High School at 156th and Ida Streets
Tuesday, Dec. 4
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Davis Middle School Cafeteria

Community Meeting - New Highs School at 60th and L Streets
Thursday, Dec. 6
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Ashland Park/Robbins Elementary Commons Area

High School Sophomores to take Pre-ACT - 12/4
Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

Just a reminder for parents,all OPS sophomores will take the Pre-ACT test on Dec. 4. Please make certain your student is well rested and ready for the exam.

No school for students at traditional high school in grades 9, 11 and 12. Alternative Schools, please check with your school.

For students not taking the test, we have some recommendations for how the time off can best be used:

12th Grade
Complete the FASA
Free help from UNO and MCC this day.

11th Grade
Access ACT Online Prep
Complete a Community Service Project
Fine Tune Your Resume

9th Grade
Complete Reality Check (located at EducationQuest.org website)
Start Developing Your Resume
THIRD QUARTER

Semester Break Day/Teacher Planning Day
Jan. 4

Third Quarter Begins
Jan. 7

Martin Luther King Day
Jan. 21

Middle/High School Conferences
Feb. 7

Middle/High Teacher Planning Day
Feb. 8

President's Day
Feb. 18

Elementary TEAM Planning/Conferences
March 7

Elementary Planning Day
March 8

Third Quarter Ends
March 8
To view the full 2018-2019 calendar, please click here .
Burke High School Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Burke High School celebrated the completion of its 2014 bond renovation project on Oct. 4 prior to a welcoming reception for Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan and its first televised football game. In addition to Logan, those attending the ceremony included OPS Board Member Matt Scanlan; OPS Chief Operations Officer Dr. Antoinette Turnquist; Executive Director of School Support Dr. Roni Ortega; Associate Principal Chad Liechti and Architectural Department Manager Donnette Koelzer of KPE Engineers; Vice President and General Manager Brian Mahlendorf and Project Superintendent Jeff Thompson of The Weitz Company; Program Manager Mark Sommer and Construction Manager Bill Vandenberg of Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. and staff, students, parents, community members and numerous OPS administrators.

The scope of work completed at Burke included fire, life safety, security and technology upgrades that involved the installation of a key card access system, fire sprinkler system, video intercom system, safe area construction and replacement of interior doors and hardware, damaged carpet, plumbing and the electrical distribution panel. Additionally, exterior wall repairs were completed and new classrooms added. The new two-story addition includes new band and choir rooms, aeronautics classroom and simulator room, storm safe area and a multi-purpose activities court. The projected estimated cost is $9 million.
Burke's PTO association helped serve refreshments following the ceremony.
Burke's JROTC Color Guard presented the colors as student-soloist Audrey Saucier delivered a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner .
OPS Board member Matt Scanlan offered his congratulations to the school.
Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan offers congrat-ulations and highlighted the accomplishments of the school.
OPS Chief Operations Officer Dr. Antoinette Turnquist also offered congratulations and spoke about the work completed at the school.
Burke's PTO presented Dr. Logan a welcome gift and thanked her for all of her support.
Members of the school's pep squad welcomed guests to the school as they arrived and later attended the ceremony.
Students, staff and guests cut the ceremonial ribbon.
One of the new classrooms in the school's new aviation academy located on the top floor of the addition.
The aviation academy's flight simulator in its new location.
The new vocal chorus room located in the lower level of the new addition.
The new entrance area of the new addition.
Gilder Elementary School Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Gilder Elementary celebrated the completion of its 2014 bond renovation project with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 18. Guests attending included Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan; OPS Board Vice President Lacey Merica; OPS Chief Operations Officer Dr. Antoinette Turnquist; Program Manager Mark Sommer of Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.; Architect/Associate Molly Macklin of Schemmer Associates; Superintendent Tony Kouba of J.E. Dunn Construction and students, staff, parents and OPS administrators.

"We are grateful to the Omaha community for funding the bond program and to the Bellevue community for their ongoing daily support to our school," said Principal Cassie Schmidt. "We are excited to be in an updated building that offers students greater learning opportunities, safety and for all students to now occupy the same building."

The scope of work completed at Gilder included key card access, improved bus/parent drop-off locations, fire alarm system replacement, safe area construction, interior door and hardware replacement, fire sprinkler system, emergency lighting system, video intercom system, security alarm system, central air conditioning, damaged carpet replacement, roof replacement, exterior aluminum window replacements and an additional 12 classrooms. The estimated projected cost is $9 million.
Bryan High School's JROTC Color Guard presented the colors as student led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance .
The Gilder chorus sang the Star Spangled Banner and addition tunes during the ceremony.
Principal Cassie Schmidt welcomed guests and thanked them for attending and sharing the school's milestone.
Ribbon cutting portion of the ceremony.
Guests mingle inside the updated multi-purpose room prior to taking a tour of the building.
The school's contractors visit with parents, staff and the community.
The school's brightly painted lockers to match the school's colors.
Just one of the new classrooms in the addition.
The new hallway connecting the new addition to the school.
Parents take a look at students' photos in the new entryway.
Gilder's colorful new main entrance.
Dr. Logan visiting with Gilder community members.
J.P Lord Dedication/Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

J.P. Lord School held its dedication/ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 13. Guests attending included Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan, OPS Board member Amanda Ryan, Program Manager Mark Sommer of Jacobs Engineering Group; Robert Mabrey of BCDM Architects; Jerry Kelley of Darland Construction Company and OPS administrators.

Highlights of the opening ceremony included special acknowledgements by Program Director Laura Mac-Holmes, the presentation of colors by Central High School's JROTC Color Guard and a musical selection by the Norris Middle School Redbird Choir.

Following the performance, special guests Logan, Ryan, Turnquist and parents Theresa and Tony Peterson gave remarks.

Under the 2014 bond program, J.P. Lord received a new building in the spring of 2018.
The 45,000-square foot building sits on a 10-acre site across from Norris Middle School
on 44th and Marinda Streets. The new school has eight classrooms, an art and music
room, library, a multi-sensory room and an 8 x 12 foot hydrotherapy pool donated by the
Omaha Volunteers for Handicapped Children.

Additional features include a ceiling-mounted lift system to assist staff in transferring
students and a covered drop-off canopy to protect students from inclement
weather. The new building also allows increased interaction between the school’s 64
students and other OPS students. Three point four million dollars from the 2014 OPS
Bond Program and a $6.6 million relocation agreement with UNMC and Nebraska
Medicine funded the project.
Program Director Laura Mac-Holmes welcomes guests during the ceremony..
Central High School's JROTC Color Guard presented the colors during the ceremony under the direction of Sgt. Maj. Dwaine Sutter.
Members of Norris Middle School's chorus provided entertainment for the ceremony under the direction of Gordon Russell.
Members of Norris Middle School's chorus.
J.P. Lord's new multi-purpose room.
J.P. Lord parents Theresa and Tony Peterson speak on behalf of parents and their daughter Heather.
The ribbon cutting.
The ribbon cutting.
Adaptive librarian Corliss Moore inside the school's new library.
Guests were invited to create a postcard for the school's students and staff to be displayed in the school's hallway.
Former J.P. Lord Program Director Dick Galusha and former secretary/historian Johnita Moody joined in the celebration.
Guest mingle, visit and tour the school following the ceremony.
This month, we recognize Morton Magnet Middle School principal Sherri Wehr for her commitment and dedication to the students and families of the Omaha Public Schools.
Video created by District Communications' videographer Alex Hassel.
Your Opinion Matters!

We would like feedback on how well this newsletter is meeting the needs of OPS staff, parents, community members, retirees, community partners and others receiving it. Please take a few moments to complete this brief survey. It is our goal that the newsletter is packed with information important to you.

Thank you!
The Omaha Public Schools' Community Opportunities is a monthly
publication where businesses and non-profit organizations can post
advertisements for our parents to let them know of student and family opportunities taking place in the Metro area. The publication goes live on our website the first school day of each month. If you would like to see this month's ads, please click on the link below:

Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, citizenship status, veteran status, political affiliation or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to accept allegations regarding non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531) 299-9822. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director for the Office of Equity and Diversity, 3215 Cuming St, Omaha, NE 68131 (531) 299-0307.