A review of Omaha Public Schools Board of Education meetings. 
March 6, 2018

Following each Board of Education Meeting, the Office of District Communications recaps the board meeting in the Board Digest.
#OPSProud Spotlight - Beveridge Magnet Middle School - African- American History Challenge Winners
Congratulations to Beveridge Magnet Middle School competitors who won the 18th African-American History Challenge on Saturday, Feb. 3 at North High Magnet School.This is the third year in a row Beveridge Magnet students have won the competition. This year's competitors include: Israel Bryant, Emma Cecil-Starlin, Elana Elder, Eyana Kandido and coaches Sheila McCauley and Melissa Hoialmen. 

The History Challenge is a collaboration between the 100 Black Men of Omaha and Omaha Public Schools.  Alfonzo Davis Middle School and Morton Magnet Middle School earned second and third place. In the senior division, South High School and Burke High School earned second and third place. Creighton Prep came in first place. We congratulate all students who participated and recognize the Beveridge Magnet junior division champions. They will compete at nationals in Hollywood, FL in June 2018.  
Board of Education Action Items
Consent Agenda Items
Consent agenda items are items packaged into one agenda item. They are often routine and garner very little discussion. 

  • Staff Adjustments
  • Change Order No. 005-2014 Bond Program- Capital Improvements and Addition- Beveridge Magnet Middle School
  • Construction Documents Approval- 2014 Bond Program - Boyd Elementary School
  • Construction Documents Approval- 2014 Bond Program - Hartman Elementary School
  • Construction Documents Approval- 2014 Bond Program - Dodge Elementary School
  • Construction Documents Approval- 2014 Bond Program - Hale Magnet Middle School
  • Bid No. 18-016 Football Field Reconstruction - Burke High School
  • Declaration of Surplus Relocatable (Portables) Classrooms
  • Proposal - Chiller Replacement- Spring Lake Elementary School
  • Associate School Resource officers (ASRO) Contract 2017-2019
  • 2018-2019 Proposed Master Agreement with Omaha Education Association
  • To view the entire consent agenda, click here.
Board of Education Action Items
Below are the items the Board of Education discussed at last night's Board of Education Meeting. 
Resolution Relating to School Shootings in the United States
The Board of Education approved a resolution relating to school shootings in the United States.

To review the resolution, click here.
Legislative Update
The district’s liaison to the Nebraska unicameral provided an update on current legislation regarding the district’s retirement fund, OSERS.
By law under existing statute, OPS is required to make its actuarially required contribution (ARC) to its retirement fund, OSERS, annually. The payment is made using OPS General Funds.
In September 2017, OPS paid an additional $12.8 million toward the ARC payment. The current projection is the required payment toward the ARC will continue to trend upward.
The Retirement Committee at the unicameral held a hearing Feb. 14 to discuss two amendments, which would address the required retirement fund payment, AM1529 and AM1758. Senator Lindstrom introduced AM1529. The amendment provides the OPS Board of Education the ability to issue pension obligation bonds. The bonds would be used toward an up-front, lump sum payment to pay a majority of the required funds needed to ensure the retirement fund is fully funded over the next 30 years.
If approved by the legislature, these pension obligation bonds would be repaid using the district’s general funds over time. The bonds would not raise property taxes as the amount requested would be included within the already-established $1.05 tax levy. The OPS Board of Education voted to approve moving forward with working with legislature to gain approval to issue pension obligation bonds.
Senator Kolterman’s Legislative Amendment 1758 was also discussed. It would require that OSERS certify to Nebraska Department of Education when the full ARC has been paid. NDE would withhold all state aid from OPS until the district’s full actuarially required contribution has been paid annually. The bill, if passed as law, would require that the school board determine the amount of the ARC as recommended by the actuary and within 45 days of receiving the recommendation, subsequently pay the ARC by Aug. 31 of each calendar year. OPS testified against this amendment at the hearing Feb. 14 because state statute already requires payment of the ARC.
The Retirement Committee at the unicameral is currently seeking input from OPS on a pension obligation bond amount for AM1529 as well as a position from the OPS Board before they consider taking action on either amendment. The Legislature is set to adjourn on April 18 of this year.

To view the presentation, click here.
Board of Education Information Items
Comprehensive K-12 Mathematics Plan 2018-2021
The Curriculum and Instruction Support provided an overview to the Board of Education last night on the Comprehensive Math Plan for 2018-2021. The Comprehensive Math Plan ties directly into the strategic plan principles 2 and 3.

As part of the plan, OPS aligned its math standards with the new state college and career ready math standards. Students in 3rd through 8th grade will now take the Nebraska Student Centered Assessment System (NSCAS) instead of the previous NeSA. Since it is a new assessment, 2018 will be a baseline year. Students in 11th grade with take the ACT for the second year in a row.

The math team task force, which will begin this spring, is comprised of approximately 35 teachers, leaders and community members who will provide guidance, feedback and recommendations on the comprehensive math plan.

The CIS and Research departments gathered feedback, through a teacher survey, on the perceptions and guidance provided by the district to math teachers that was conducted in the area of mathematics.

To view the presentation, click here.
Attendance and Absenteeism 2016-17
Community, Schools and Family Engagement and the Research Department presented to the Board on attendance and absenteeism from the past three years. The presentation included crucial attendance data and recent efforts to create a system's approach to tracking, progress monitoring and aligning needed supports to students and families to address and prevent absenteeism.

The district now has a full-time attendance administrator who solely focuses on this important work. This administrator ensures that a district-wide attendance policy is followed, assists schools with proper attendance tracking practices and provides ongoing training and support to a variety of identified district stakeholders.

By the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, Community, Schools and Family Engagement will ensure all schools have a mandatory attendance team with ongoing training. These teams will help review attendance data, identify and remove barriers and assist in the alignment of needed supports for students to attend school. These teams will also have access to real-time data through the newly created Attendance Dashboard. This dashboard is currently being piloted at a number of schools and will roll out with full implementation in August 2018.

To view the attendance and absenteeism presentation, click here.
Important Information for Staff
Budget Advisory Committee Update
The Budget Advisory Committee met for its second meeting Feb. 15, 2018. The committee discussed the district’s current revenues and expenditures as well as preliminary budget projections from the state, which are expected to come in at approximately $11 million less for the 2018-2019 school year. Additionally, the committee discussed the approximately $16 million that will need to be cut to manage the unfunded liability portion of the district’s retirement system, OSERS.

The committee discussed additional budgeting challenges the district is currently facing, including enrollment increases of approximately 1,306 students within the past year, without additional funding, state textbook adoption requirements, estimated at $10 million and anticipated cost of living increases for staff to name a few. To review the full presentation from the meeting, please visit: openbook.ops.org
The committee explored discussion around potential next steps regarding budget cuts, including the budget cutting philosophy the group should consider as well as the manner in which the committee might explore budget cutting priorities.
The committee’s next meeting will take place Thursday, March 22 at 6 p.m.
Next OPS Board of Education Meeting
The next regularly scheduled Board Meeting will take place on March 19. 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.
Omaha Public Schools| 531-299-0220 | www.ops.org

Questions or feedback? Email us at: BoardDigest@ops.org