A review of Omaha Public Schools Board of Education meetings.
Feb. 19, 2021

Following each Board of Education meeting, the Office of District Communications recaps the board meeting in the Board Digest.

If you are having trouble accessing direct links, please click here to view the full Board of Education Agenda with presentations and other documents.
#OPSProud School Spotlight
Nebraska School Counselor Association Awards
The #OPSProud Spotlight features three major awards for OPS staff members who have worked hard to make students feel safe, heard and appreciated.

The Nebraska School Counselor Association (NCSA) recognized Giovanna Zermeno, Dr. Carrie Carr and Jacqueline Hotz.
Giovanna Zermeno, a Norris Middle School counselor, received the Nebraska Counselor of the Year Award.
Jacqueline Hotz, a Walnut Hill counselor, was awarded the Elementary School Counselor of the Year Award.
Dr. Carrie Carr, the principal at Norris Middle School, was given the NSCA Admin of the Year Award.
Board of Education Consent Agenda
Consent Agenda Items
Consent agenda items are packaged into one agenda item. They are often routine and garner very little discussion.

The consent agenda items were:
  • Staff Adjustments
  • Approval of Administrative Appointments
  • Approval of the Appointments of Jane Erdenberger, Spencer Head, Shavonna Holman, and Tracy Casady to the Nebraska Association of School Boards (NASB) Legislation Committee
  • Approval of Amendment No. 002 to the Agreement with McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. – 2018 Bond Program – New Middle School 42nd & Y Street Project for $15,331,762.00.
  • Approval to Award Bid No. 21-016 to Sirius Computer Solutions for Network Infrastructure Updates for the 2021-2022 School Year for $1,935,425.74
  • Approval of Certificate of Substantial Completion – Southroads Swing Space – Phase 1 and Phase 2
  • Approval of Change Order No. 001 – Bid No. P050-21 and Bid No. P051-20 – District Camera Upgrades – Electric Company of Omaha for Bryan High School, Service Center, and Transportation - (ADD $44,735.00) Revised Total $282,822.00
  • Approval of Change Order No. 002 – Bid No. P050-21 and Bid No. P051-20 – District Camera Upgrades - Omaha Electric Service Inc. for Norris Middle School and South High School-(ADD $20,950.00) Revised Total $942,201.88
  • Approval of Change Order No. 003 – Bid No. P050-20 and Bid No. P051-20 – District Camera Upgrades – Kidwell for Belle Ryan, Boyd, Catlin, Castelar, Central Park, Transition North, Monroe Middle School, Davis Middle School, McMillan Middle School, and South High School -(ADD $17,418.00) Revised Total $1,512,695.00
  • Approval of Educational Service Unit No. 19 Claims – Expenditures to Be Paid from Education Service Unit’s Funds
  • Approval of Head Start Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Funding Extension 
  • Approval of the Proposed Agreement with the Omaha School Psychologists Association for the 2020-2021 (Current), 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 School Years
  • Approval of Proposed Administrative Appointments
  • Approval of Proposed Staffing Adjustments
  • Approval to Purchase Computer Laptops from Apple Inc. for Various Elementary Administrative Principals and Assistant Principals ($52,740.00)
  • To see the full consent agenda, click here.
Board of Education Action Items
Legislative Update
An update was provided to the Board regarding where bills are currently in the Nebraska Legislature.
The Legislative Committee continues to review bills as they change throughout the legislative session. The committee provided updated recommendations for several bills based on their potential impact on Omaha Public Schools. The Board approved the position statements.
The OPS Board Legislative Committee will continue to monitor bills and will review any adjustments. As adjustments to bills are made, the OPS position may change as well.
To view the bill summary, click here.
Approval of Resolution Authorizing Issuance and Sale of Bonds
The Board of Education passed a resolution authorizing the sale of up to $140 million of general obligation bonds. This issuance is the 3rd tranche under the 2018 bond issue passed by voters in May 2018. In addition to the resolution authorizing the sale of bonds, they approved in form the preliminary official statement, notice of sale, and custodian, paying agent and registrar’s agreement. The public sale is expected to take place in early March.

To view the presentation, click here.
Approval of Recommended Organizational Chart Changes for 2021-2022
The Board approved changes to the organizational chart. The new organizational chart provides for a reorganization of some departments. The ESU 19 director position will transition to the Chief of School Improvement, Accountability and Innovation. The current ESU 19 director will assume technology responsibilities that support our 1:1 initiative.
The Chief of School Improvement, Accountability and Innovation will oversee academic recovery, research, title 1 and non-public support.
The mission of the department will be to provide coordinated performance management, technical assistance, promote strategic innovation and data analysis services that align resources with outcomes and support the Strategic Plan of Action and local school improvement plans.
To see the approved organizational chart for 2021-2022, click here.
Approval of Allocation of the Remaining Funds in the 2014 Bond Program 
Dr. Lisa Sterba, Chief Operations Officer, presented to the Board regarding the remaining fund balance from the 2014 Phase 1 Bond. All work planned for the 2014 Phase 1 has been completed. There is $1.7 million of uncommitted funds that came from cost savings on projects ​within the 2014 Bond work. The District is required to spend the funds by June 2021. The Board approved using the funds for additional capital improvements to schools that include:

  • HVAC automation upgrades allow for improved air ventilation and air quality in schools as well as energy savings. This will benefit 52 schools.
  • Hydration stations which are hands-free water bottle fillers. They help to reduce high touch surfaces during the pandemic and beyond. This will benefit 35-40 schools.
  • Knox boxes which will provide secure key box for fire and police departments to access schools during an emergency. This will benefit over 60 schools.

To view the presentation, click here.
Board of Education Information Items
Information on the Academic Acceleration and Recovery Plan: Next Level Learning for Summer 2021
Melissa Comine, Chief Academic Officer, gave an update on summer school 2021 now known as Next Level Learning. This is one of the short-term goals for the Academic Acceleration and Recovery Plan.

Our district has been gathering feedback from teachers, families, community and staff throughout the last several weeks. This included a parent survey open from Feb. 9-23.

For summer 2021, all Omaha Public Schools students will have the opportunity to participate in summer school. Incoming kindergarten students, ​currently enrolled in early childhood, will also have the option to participate. The focus for elementary and middle school will be on literacy and math that incorporates enrichment and social emotional learning. ​Middle school will also offer a Welcome Camp for all incoming students. At the high school level, the focus will be on credit recovery, credit accrual, enrichment, and a jumpstart on 9th grade.

To accommodate student needs, our district will provide flexible scheduling options. Sessions will be offered in June and July. Specific session dates are dependent on student grade level and/or programs. Information will be available on registration forms. Families can choose to enroll in morning only, afternoon only, one-hour options or full day. In addition, 1:1 tutoring will also be provided.

Next Level Learning for Summer 2021 will also include opportunities for student paid internships. High school students may work with elementary students during summer learning. Students will be paid $10/hour for this internship, will have the opportunity to earn one elective credit and we are working towards students earning dual credit through Metropolitan Community College.

Curriculum and Instruction Support will work with Human Resources to advertise summer job opportunities to new and current staff. Next Level Learning will offer flexible schedules and job-sharing opportunities. The district is currently looking at using approved community partners and exploring university partnerships. The hiring process will begin in early March.

Student enrollment in Next Level Learning will run March 1-31.

To view the presentation, click here.
Important Information for OPS Staff
CHI Health and Omaha Public Schools partner to honor teachers across the District
CHI Health wants nominations of Omaha Public Schools teachers changing the lives of students. Each month, they’ll surprise a Top Teacher nominee with a treat basket for the teachers' lounge and a personal gift card. CHI will draw winners on the last Friday of the month. CHI Health will select winners from three different grade levels across the District.
Anyone can nominate a Top Teacher at CHIhealth.com/TopTeachers.
Next OPS Board of Education Meeting
The next regularly scheduled Board Meeting will take place on March. 1. It is tentatively scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. There will also be Board of Education Workshop regarding the Student Assignment Plan on Feb. 22 at 6 p.m.

Board of Education Agenda
To review previous Board of Education agendas, click here. If you are having trouble accessing direct links, please access the full Board of Education Agenda to view presentations and other documents.

How Can I Watch a Previous Board of Education Meeting?
The video from the meeting will be available by 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