A review of Omaha Public Schools Board of Education meetings.
March 17, 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.
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 Proposed Administrative Appointments
  • Approval of Amendment No. 001 to the Agreement with The Weitz Company, LLC – Adams Elementary School Capital Improvements & Renovation Project - 2018 Bond Program ($1,078,094.00)
  • Approval of Amendment No. 001 to the Agreement with The Weitz Company, LLC – Central High School Capital Improvements & Renovation Project for 2018 Bond Program and Property Uninsured Loss Reserve Fund ($1,660,007.00)
  • Approval to Award Bid No. 21-010 and Contract to Grunwald Mechanical for Monroe Middle School Chiller and Cooling Tower Replacement, Summer of 2021 ($724,584.00)
  • Approval of the Certificate of Substantial Completion for the Masters Elementary School: Capital Improvements & Renovation Project – 2018 Bond Program
  • Approval of Contract Awarded to Sirius Computer Solutions for Network Infrastructure Updates for the 2021-2022 School Year for $1,935,420.00
  • Approval to Purchase Computer Laptops from Apple Inc. for various District Staff ($87,900.00)
  • Approval of Rejection of All Bids Submitted for Bid No. 21-012 for Niagara N4 Hardware Installation
  • Technical Correction to the Approved Agreement with the Omaha School Psychologists Association for the 2020-2021, 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 School Years
  • To see the full consent agenda, click here.
Board of Education Action Items
Approval of the Report of the Legislative Committee Including Recommended Legislative Positions
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 following new positions.
  • LB 83: The bill proposes to modernize the Open Meetings Act to allow public bodies to hold board meetings through virtual conferencing during a declared emergency by the Governor. Change from No Position to Support (Page 4 of the Report).

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 the Amendment to the High School Section of the
Student Assignment Plan Previously Adopted by the Board of Education on June 15, 2015
Dr. Anne MacFarland and Mr. Casey Hughes gave a review of the proposed High School Student Assignment Plan at last night's Board Meeting. The Board of Education approved the high school plan.

How was the plan developed?
Over the past 16 months the Student Assignment Plan Committee has been working towards a simple, efficient and equitable plan for all Omaha Public Schools students. The committee developed several options and gathered feedback from internal and external groups including students, parents and staff. The feedback from those groups helped to determine the proposal.

High School Choice
Choosing a high school that meets a student's individual needs is an important opportunity in Omaha Public Schools. We know that students and families make their high school choice based on a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, programming and transportation. The proposed plan takes this into account. No matter where a student lives, they will have the option to apply to any high school in Omaha Public Schools. The Student Assignment Plan will determine their transportation eligibility and priority in the high school choice process.

Neighborhood vs Non-Neighborhood Transportation
Our district currently has guidelines for transportation eligibility to both neighborhood and non-neighborhood schools.

  • Neighborhood transportation is for eligible students who attend their neighborhood (home) school.
  • The proposed plan would increase transportation eligibility at all high schools.
  • Instead of using distance, the proposed plan uses streets to identify transportation areas in each high school boundary.
  • Each transportation area identified is an area that is generally located farthest away from the school.
  • The proposed neighborhood transportation plan is below.

  • Non-neighborhood transportation is for students who attend a school other than their home (neighborhood) high school.
  • The proposed plan creates three partner zones each including three high schools.
  • One additional school has been identified as a partner school.
  • Students would have priority and be eligible for transportation at other schools in their partner zone and their home school's additional partner schools, also known as their "plus one school" (pictured below).
  • For example, students living in the North attendance area would be in the same zone as Burke and South. North High School's plus one school is 156th and Ida. Students in the North attendance area would have priority and be eligible for transportation to Burke, South or 156th and Ida.
  • The three partner zones and the plus one schools are listed below.
  • All three partner zones offer students access to diverse programming at high schools across the district.
  • The proposed non-neighborhood transportation plan is below.
Next Steps
The plan would go into effect in Aug. 2022 as the new high schools open. The Student Assignment Plan Committee has already begun and will continue to communicate with families who may be impacted by changes to the High School Student Assignment Plan.

If you would like to learn more about the high school Student Assignment Plan, click here.

To view the presentation, click here.
Approval of the Freshman Academies Program
The Board of Education approved the implementation of Freshman Academy beginning in fall 2021. Our District recognizes the important transition from middle school to high school. Beginning in the fall of 2021, all 9th grade students will enter their high school journey by participating in Freshman Academy. They will explore careers and focus on skills for success in high school and beyond.

Freshman Academy is one of the strategies of the Omaha Public Schools NineforNine, which are the nine strategies designed to support our 9th grade students. They are:
  • Freshman Academy
  • Ninth-grade advisement
  • Freshman orientation
  • Family and school community engagement
  • Data walks
  • Student portfolio
  • Ninth-grade student engagement
  • Freshman On-track
  • Freshman Jump Start

To view the presentation, click here.
Approval of First Reading of Policies 3090 and 7000
District Administration and the Policy Committee provided recommended changes to Policies 3090 and 7000. The Board of Education approved the first reading. To review the proposed changes, click below.


The policies will be brought before the Board at a future meeting for the second reading.
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 is tentatively scheduled for April 5. It is tentatively scheduled to start at 6:30 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