A review of Omaha Public Schools Board of Education meetings. 
May 7, 2019

Following each Board of Education Meeting, the Office of District Communications recaps the board meeting in the Board Digest.
The Faces of Benson Mural
The #OPSProud Spotlight is on Benson High Magnet School and “The Faces of Benson” mural. The mural sits just above the main offices at Benson High Magnet School. It’s a beautiful mural displaying the face of four current Benson students and two alumni.

Benson High students had to submit an essay to determine who would be represented in the mural. Four student essays were selected and these students are here with us tonight. Their essays were chosen because they showed true character of the school and its diverse population.

Aung Myo Mya discussed what it meant to be welcomed as a refugee student at Benson. Paradise Sullivan wrote on the importance of academies, and how teachers have been integral in her growth as a learner and leader. Abigail Mefford discussed the multiple generations of her family that have attended Benson and how it is truly her home away from home. Lamar Brown discussed how his teachers believed in him and how his face would be a reminder to anyone walking the halls that success is possible.

The alumni association chose the two alumni featured on the wall. Nile Kinnick was chosen because he won the 1939 Heisman Trophy and was a consensus All-American. He died during a training flight while serving as a United States Navy aviator in World War II. Kinnick was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951, and the University of Iowa renamed its football stadium Kinnick Stadium in his honor in 1972.

Wanda Ewing was chosen because she was an influential artist in the Omaha community. Ewing studied printmaking at San Francisco Art Institute where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1997. She received her Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts in printmaking at the University of Iowa in 2001 and 2002, respectively. She was a tenured professor at the University of Nebraska Omaha, where she taught visual arts classes from 2004 to 2013. Ewing exhibited nationally and won several awards for her work.

We commend these students for sharing their stories which will now be part of a long-term art piece cherished by many generations to come at Benson High. Special thanks to our supporters and community members for making this project possible: the Benson art department and administrative staff, former Benson High graduate Reggie LeFlore who painted the mural, grants given by the Nebraska Arts Council, OPS Foundation, Benson Alumni Association and the Benson Legacy Foundation.
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
  • Administrative Appointments
  • Agreement with Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands for Bryan Middle School 
  • Amendment No. 001 to the Agreement with the Weitz Company - 2018 Bond Program - Capital Improvements & Renovation - Burke High School
  • Amendment No. 002 to the Agreement with Sampson Construction Company, Inc - 2018 Bond Program - New High School 156th & Ida Street Project
  • Bid No. 19-028 - 2014 Bond Program - Capital Improvements & Renovation - Kellom Elementary School - Withdrawal and Re-Award
  • Bid No. 19-033 - 2014 Bond Program Asbestos Removal at Columbian School
  • Bid No. 19-034 TerraWave Wi-Fi Ceiling Tile Enclosure Purchases For Various Schools
  • Bid No. 19-035 - 2018 Bond Program - Capital Improvements & Renovation - King Elementary School
  • Certificate of Substantial Completion - Service Center
  • Contract Renewal with Humana Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Work-life Services
  • Declaration of Surplus Relocatable Classroom Building
  • District Annual Order General Science Supplies for 2019-2020 School Year
  • OPS/Local 226 Memorandum of Understanding Relating to Contracting Out of Certain Services.
  • Sale of Property at 48th and Q Streets
  • To view the entire agenda, click here.
Administrative Appointments
Ms. Kathryn Hecht-Weber has been selected as the next School Counseling Supervisor. Her appointment will become effective Aug. 1, 2019.
Ms. Hecht-Weber has worked for the district for 18 years. She is currently serving the district office as the School Counseling Secondary Lead. Prior to that, she was the School Counseling Director at South High School. Ms. Hecht-Weber has also previously served as a School Counselor at Burke High School and Beveridge Magnet Middle School. Prior to that, she taught art at King Science and Technology Magnet School.
Ms. Hecht-Weber holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art Education from Nebraska Wesleyan University (2001) and went on to earn a Master of Science Degree in Counseling from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (2008).

Please join us in welcoming her into her new role.
Board of Education Action Items
Legislative Update
The District Lobbyist gave an update on the current status of things happening in the Legislature.

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

The Board voted to update the matrix and take a position of opposition on LB 289. This is the revenue committee's current bill and the Board believes that it would have a negative financial impact on the district.

To view the current matrix. click here.
Board of Education Information Items
Bid No. 19-018 Vehicles-Eight (8) 2019 or 2020 New and Unused Type A Buses and Bid No. 19-019 Vehicles - Five (5) 2019 or 2020 New and Unused Type C Wheelchair Buses
Members of the Transportation Department gave an overview on the need to replace 13 buses in the OPS fleet.

The district currently owns and operates 273 buses. Of those, 228 are Type A Buses and 45 are Type C (wheelchair buses).

Each year the maintenance team assesses each district owned vehicle, which includes buses, nutrition trucks, operation vehicles, district cars and activity vans, to determine if they meet the requirements for the replacement formula.

The formula is used as a guideline to determine if a vehicle or bus should be replaced. Two or more categories should be met before replacement is considered. The following is the criteria:
  • Vehicle must be 10 years or older.
  • Labor and parts must be equal to or exceed half of the original cost of the vehicle.
  • The unit must exceed 150,000 miles.
  • Poor interior and/or exterior body condition.

All eight of the Type A buses planned for replacement are from 2004 and have an approximate mileage
range of 189,675 to 215,153 miles. All of the units have extensive rusting. These buses also have issues that vary from transmissions to rusted brakes to frequently changed injector pumps.

The five Type C buses that need to be replaced are from 2001 and have mileage varying from approximately 216,180 miles to over 238,483 miles. Due to age, it is difficult to get parts for these
wheelchair bus chassis. Many of the parts have been discontinued and there are no aftermarket parts available. Fuel lines, transmission lines and coolant lines are rusting out and are all obsolete. These buses are the only wheelchair buses in the fleet with no rear air ride suspension which makes for a very rough ride for the students.

The Board approved the purchase of these new buses.

To view the presentation, click here.

To see bid information on the Type A buses, click here.
To see bid information on the Type C buses , click here.
First Reading - Student Code of Conduct Revisions for 2019-2020
The Board of Education approved the first reading of the 2019-20 Student Code of Conduct.  Revisions were suggested by the district Code of Conduct committee, as well as from teachers, families and students.  The Board requested clarifying language that will be added prior to the finalization of the Code of Conduct.

To review an outline of the chang es,   click here.

To review the revisions with track changes on the previous Code of Conduct,  click here.
Jackson Consulting Professional Development
The Board approved a contract with Jackson Consulting to provide professional development to staff on August 7- 9, 2019. Jackson Consulting will train elementary teachers, staff and leadership on Phonics Mastery Guides. The contract also purchases access to the Master Guides for all elementary schools. Jackson Consulting will also provide professional development to middle and high school ELA Teachers on "How to Teach Students to Critically Think About Text."

To view the Jackson Consulting agreement, click here.
Omaha Virtual School Program & Online Learning System - Additional 1 Year Renewed
The Omaha Virtual School is a K-11 innovative program offered by Omaha Public Schools where instruction is delivered through a blended learning environment, combining the benefits of the virtual and traditional classrooms. For the 2019-2020 school year, the Omaha Virtual School estimates having 180 students in grades K-8 and estimates 55 students in grades 9-11.

The Board approved a one year renewal of the Educational Products and Services Agreement with K12 Classroom LLC to provide curriculum for the Omaha Virtual School. The Board of Education originally approved the Omaha Virtual School program and the Virtual School Online Learning System from K12 Classroom LLC on July 18, 2016.

To view the Omaha Virtual School Program & Online Learning System - Additional 1 Year Renewal, click here.
OPS Boundary Change Process
OPS Boundary Change Process
To learn more about the boundary change process, please watch this video . You may also visit boundary.ops.org  to see the boundary option maps, review frequently asked questions and provide feedback.
Open Community Meetings for Proposed Boundary Changes Set for May
The dates, times and locations of the remaining meetings are as follows:
Benson High Magnet - Cafeteria
5120 Maple St.
May 7
6-8 p.m.
Bryan High School - Library
4700 Giles Road
May 8
6-8 p.m.
To view the proposed boundary change maps and to find out more information, please visit  boundary.ops.org . We encourage you to take the survey and provide feedback while visiting the site.
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 Schools 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 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 May 20. It is tentatively scheduled to start at 5 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