A review of Omaha Public Schools Board of Education meetings. 
June 18, 2019

Following each Board of Education Meeting, the Office of District Communications recaps the board meeting in the Board Digest.
Nebraska High School Theater Academy Showcase Winners
On June 7, the Omaha Performing Arts presented their annual Nebraska High School Theater Academy Showcase at the Orpheum Theater to recognize the outstanding achievements of high school musical theater productions and students.

Hundreds of musical productions were judged from across the state and OPS students won in the following categories:

  • Burke High School won Outstanding Musical Theater Production for Big Fish

  • Beveridge Magnet Middle School won Outstanding Middle School Musical Theater Production for The Theory of Relativity

Two students won Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role:
  • Al Griffin of South High Magnet, who played Sebastian from The Little Mermaid
  • Boston Reid of Burke High School who played Edward Bloom from Big Fish

  • Jamie Gould of Burke High School won Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role as Sandra Bloom from Big Fish

Three students won Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role:
  • Colin Burk of Central High, who played Benny Southstreet from Guys and Dolls
  • Raymond Butler of Benson High who played Boland from Dogfight
  • Will Rodgers of Burke High who played Amos from Big Fish.

  • Sara Tiemann of Burke High School won Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role as The Witch from Big Fish.

  • The Backstage Excellence Award was awarded to Central High School.

Two of our students Boston Reid of Burke High and Lilly Weak of Central High were nominated as 2019 National Finalists to represent Nebraska at the National High School Musical Theater Awards program in New York later this month.

The evening was full of OPS students and staff to celebrate. Linda Hulsey, Supervisor of K-12 Vocal Music, also received an award for Lifetime Achievement in Education.
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
  • Approval of the 2019-2020 Maintenance Crafts Division Negotiated Agreement
  • Approval of the 2019-2020 Nutrition Services Negotiated Agreement
  • Approval of the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 Proposed Master Agreement with the Omaha Education Association
  • Assessment Renewal for 2019-2020
  • Change Order No. 002 - 2014 Bond Program - Capital Improvements - Benson High School
  • Construction Documents Approval - 2018 Bond Program - Bryan High School Capital Improvement & Renovation Project
  • Instrumental Music Purchase - Instruments and Equipment For High Schools, Middle Schools And Elementary Schools
  • McGraw Hill Math Resources Purchase
  • Nebraska Medical System Occupational and Physical Therapy Services Contract
  • Proposal No. P009-19 Shingle Replacement, Central High School, Summer 2019
  • RFP No. 19-044 - Desktop Computers, Laptop Computers, and Touch-Enabled Computers with Self-Maintainer Service Provider Agreement and Fully Managed Installation
  • Superintendent's Contract - Dr. Cheryl Logan
  • Superintendent's Evaluation
  • 7th and 8th Grade Catastrophic Coverage
  • To view the entire agenda, click here.
Administrative Appointments
  • Lynette Keyes, current OPS Principal at Standing Bear Elementary, will be assigned as the Principal at Masters Elementary.
  • Luann Jacobs, current OPS Instructional Supervisor, will be assigned as the Principal at Wilson Focus School.
  • Christina Warner, current OPS Staff Development Coordinator, will be assigned as the Principal at Franklin Elementary.
  • Daniel Kirchhevel, current OPS Instructional Facilitator Highland Elementary, will be assigned as the Principal at Miller Park Elementary.
  • Nathan Buchholz, current OPS Assistant Principal at Lewis & Clark Middle School, will be assigned as the Principal at Fullerton Elementary.
  • MeLitta Wilson, current OPS Instructional Facilitator at King Elementary, will be assigned as the Principal at Lothrop Elementary.
  • Bridget O’Melia, current OPS Assistant Principal at Druid Hill Elementary, will be assigned as the Principal at Standing Bear Elementary.
  • Langston Frison, current OPS Assistant Principal at Beveridge Magnet Middle School, will be assigned as the Principal at Rose Hill Elementary.
  • Tara Lane, current Assistant Principal for Dallas Independent School District, will be assigned as the Principal at Benson West Elementary.
  • Angelique Gunderson, current Middle School Principal for Grand Forks, ND Public Schools, will be assigned as the Principal at Marrs Magnet Middle School.
  • Benjamin Rosenbaum, current Associate General Counsel for Fresno Public Schools, will be assigned as Associate In-House Counsel for OPS.
OPS Board Extends Superintendent's Contract
The Omaha Public Schools’ Board of Education has extended Superintendent Cheryl Logan’s contract through the 2021-2022 school year.

During the announcement, President Marque Snow praised the significant momentum Logan has gained for the school district by building positive relationships with board members, students and families and by regularly meeting with state senators to discuss matters pertinent to the school district.

“As a body, we’re pleased to have attracted her caliber of talent to Omaha,” said Snow. “In addition to experience and expertise, she has brought energy, positivity and an injection of fresh perspective.”

To help it evaluate the Superintendent’s performance during her first school year, the board set the following objectives:
  • Establish a collaborative, positive and productive working relationship with the Board and ensure a collaborative governance team with a common, united purpose.
  • Establish trust and confidence through open and honest communication and positive relationships among stakeholder groups.
  • Review and study district-wide fiscal and overall organizational health.
  • Review and study current instructional practices/initiatives, curricular and student services programs and student performance within the district.
  • Reduce the percentage of students missing nine days or more of school.
  • Increase the level of mathematic learning of all students to ensure they are college and career ready upon graduation from high school.

Her efforts thus far have led to a unified understanding of school safety protocol and staff’s responsibilities with regard to mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect, an increase in student attendance, a greater focus on math and reading, the creation of the Better Together Coalition to ensure the district’s financial health and early stage work on developing the district’s new strategic plan.

“It’s been a successful, productive year for OPS,” said Snow. “Dr. Logan often shares how much she loves the Omaha community. We are thrilled to have her here and we look forward to what lies ahead for our school district under her leadership.”

Changes to the Superintendent’s contract includes: 1) extending her term to June 2022 from 2021, 2) keeping her base salary unchanged, 3) increasing the district’s contribution to her tax-sheltered annuity by approximately 1.8% of base salary for 2019-2020 and approximately 3.18% of base salary for 2020-2021* and 4) an additional five days of vacation time.

To view the contract, click here.

*These percentages mirror the total compensation tentatively negotiated with OPS teachers.
Board of Education Action Items
2019 Legislative Review
John Lindsay provided the Board with a review of the 2019 Legislative Session. The review broke down legislation that passed and the impact they may have on OPS. The review included information on bills that they anticipate will be carried over to the next legislative session.

The update also included information on Interim Studies. This allows the legislature to take a deeper dive into issues before passing legislation.

To review the entire presentation, click here.
Board of Education Information Items
Strategic Plan Update
The district is currently working with three experts as part of the Strategic Planning Process. They are: Rebecca Ryan, futurist, David Trautenberg, financial consultant and Kecia Ray, K-20 expert. Rebecca Ryan provided an update on the process.

As the District begins to plan for the next strategic plan, four planning goals have been identified:
  1. Identify research based practices to support the assessment of the district's budget and development of the strategic plan.
  2. Engage stakeholders in the evaluation of the budget and establish strategic plan goals.
  3. Facilitate community meeting to create opportunities for reviewing goals and assembling parts of the strategic plan.
  4. Finalize a draft of a strategic plan that is data driven and evaluated by the superintendent and Board for approval.

As part of the next strategic plan, Ryan will hold Futures Labs in September and October.
Futures Labs are designed to bring together stakeholders from various backgrounds and points of view to discuss trends that may impact OPS in the future and define disruptions that could affect OPS. The Futures Labs are designed to require that participants look towards the future as opposed to the past.

The district has outlined proposed overarching goals for the Strategic Plan 2020. These will be adjusted and finalized as OPS completes the strategic planning process. The proposed goals are:
  1. Omaha Public Schools students are prepared to meet post secondary expectations (early literacy, college prep, career readiness, instructional resources; climate conducive for learning).
  2. Omaha Public Schools has highly qualified and effective staff in every division, (grow your own; retention; recruitment; professional development; advancement and growth)
  3. Omaha Public Schools demonstrates financial sustainability tied to student outcomes (desirable programmatic offerings - state of magnet programs; facilities; operations; finances).

A generous community donor has agreed to pay for the strategic planning process. Therefore, no district or tax payer dollars will be used for the process.

For more information on the strategic plan, click here.

Fore more information on the Futures Labs, click here.
Phase I and Phase II Bond Program Update
Karlus Cozart, Economic Inclusion Program Director, shared an update on the Phase I and Phase II Bond Program.
Phase I Bond Program
On time and on budget
83 Active Projects
  • 0 - Bid / Award
  • 0 – Design
  • 11 – Construction
  • 66 – Complete
  • 6 – Closeout

Total Program Budget: $421 Million + $2.6 Million (accrued interest over life of bond applied back to program) = $423.6 Million

Contract Amount Awarded: $419 Million
(98.9% Phase I Program)
Phase II Bond Program
On time and on budget
15 Active Projects
  • 3 - Bid / Award
  • 9 – Design
  • 3 - Construction
  • 0 – Completed
  • 0 – Closeout

Total Program Budget: $409.9 Million

Contract Amount Awarded: $38.7 Million
(9.5% Phase II Program)
For Phase I, the goal was to have 7% of contracts go to Small and Emerging Businesses. As of June 2019, 11.8% of the contracts have been awarded to Small and Emerging Businesses. The goal for Phase 2 of the Bond is to have 15% of contracts go to Small and Emerging Businesses.

To view the entire presentation, click here.

For more information on the Bond programs, visit bond.ops.org.
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 July 15. 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