A review of Omaha Public Schools Board of Education meetings. 
Feb. 5, 2019

Following each Board of Education Meeting, the Office of District Communications recaps the board meeting in the Board Digest.
#OPSProud Spotlight - Five OPS Seniors Selected for Urban Health Occupations Program at UNO
Congratulations to five OPS seniors and UNMC High School Alliance students who were selected to be a part of the Urban Health Opportunities Program (UHOP) through the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). The full-funded students are:
  • Matthew Cogua from Omaha Burke
  • Alyssa Lawrence from Omaha Central 
  • Juana Valdovinos from Omaha South

Students who are accepted into UHOP are fully funded for their undergraduate studies. Students who successfully complete the requirements of UHOP and who meet the requirements for medical school admission, receive a guaranteed place in the UNMC College of Medicine. 

In addition to the fully-funded students, UHOP also selected two alternates: 
  • Ashari Allen from Omaha Central 
  • Audrey Bavari from Omaha Burke

The alternates do not receive full-tuition; however, they receive the same undergraduate opportunities and study along-side the fully-funded students.

We congratulate these students on this wonderful opportunity that allows them to pursue careers in health care. We also thank our community partners UNO and UNMC, who help make this possible. 
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
  • Change Order No. 003 Central High School East Addition
  • Change Order No. 001 2014 Bond Program Capital Improvements & Renovation Gilder Elementary School
  • To view the entire agenda, click here.
Board of Education Action Items
Legislative Update
The Board approved updates to the Legislative Matrix. This includes a number of bills the Board currently supports and some that the committee is continuing to monitor and research what the potential impact to OPS might be.

The OPS Board Legislative Committee continues to monitor
bills and will review any adjustments to bills. As adjustments to bills are made, the OPS position may change as well.

To view the updated matrix. click here.
Bid for Student Transportation Services
At the Board meeting, Transportation Director, Trevis Sallis reviewed the recent Request for Proposals received to provide transportation services for regular education students from 2019 through 2023. The RFP allows for two one-year contract extensions with Board approval.

In October, a request for proposal (RFP) was put out to the community and two businesses responded by the Jan. 8 bid-opening date. The RFP included four significant changes. They are:
  • The vendor must provide a bus tracking application that would be available to parents and schools.
  • Buses already include three interior cameras. An exterior camera must be included to watch students crossing the street and record any drivers going around the stop arm.
  • The vendor will pay for call center services with North End Teleservices. This will be used during peak times such as the start of the school year and inclement weather months. This will ensure parent calls are answered in a timely manner.
  • Liquidated damages are included. This requires the vendor to pay a fine for late buses, a driver who is speeding, a driver who leaves a student on a bus unattended or other predetermined infractions.
The estimated cost for STA for the 2019-2020 school year based on current route data is $20,612,726.83. (This does not include spare buses, activity buses, growth and special program buses). This was approximately $5.4 million less than the bid received from First Student. This cost could change based on the route data for the 2019-2020 school year.

The Board approved the received bid. The district will now work to write a specific contract that meets the terms of the Request for Proposal. It will go before the board to be voted on.
To view the entire transportation presentation,  click here.
Board of Education Information Items
Nebraska Student-Center Assessment System (NSCAS) Update
Scott Schmidtbonne, Director of Research, provided an update to the board on the 2017-18   Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System  ( NSCAS ) test results.

In 2014, the state began adopting College and Career Readiness (CCR) standards. With the adoption of the new standards, students and staff have seen accelerated and significant shifts in standards and testing. The timeline for standard adoption and testing for each area is:

  • English/Language Arts
  • CCR Standards adopted September 2014
  • Item Field Testing 2015-16
  • Aligned testing began during the 2016-17 School Year*
  • Math
  • CCR Standards adopted September 2015
  • Item Field Testing 2016-17
  • Aligned testing began during the 2017-18 school year*
  • Science
  • CCR Standards adopted September 2017
  • Item Field Testing 2019-20
  • Aligned testing to begin during the 2020-21 school year*

*Since this is the first year of the test, it is considered the benchmark year.

When looking at the number of students that met benchmarks in each subject area, students were 33 percent proficient in English, and 45 percent proficient in science. The benchmark percent proficient for math was 30 percent.

With the changes to the standards, the baseline gap of proficiency from NeSA to NSCAS decreased by two percent in English Language Arts and by one percent in math.

To view the Nebraska Education profile for the state, OPS or any individual school, click here. OPS specific data is also available in the data books.

To view the presentation, click here.
Important Information for OPS Staff
CHI Health and Omaha Public Schools partner to honor teachers across the OPS district
CHI Health wants nominations of Omaha Public School teachers changing the lives of students. Each month, they’ll surprise a Top Teacher nominee with a treat basket for the teacher's lounge and a 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 .
National High School Essay Contest
United States Institute for Peace (USIP) partners with the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) on the annual National High School Essay Contest. Each year, the contest engages high school students in learning and writing about issues of peace and conflict, encouraging appreciation for diplomacy’s role in building partnerships that can advance peace building and protect national security. 

The winner of the contest receives a $2,500 cash prize, an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to meet U.S. Department of State and USIP leadership, and a full-tuition paid voyage with Semester at Sea upon the student’s enrollment at an accredited university. 

To learn more, click here.
Next OPS Board of Education Meeting
The next regularly scheduled Board Meeting will take place on Feb. 20. 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