1. Why are boundary changes necessary?
OPS passed a bond to build two new elementary schools, one middle school and two high schools in May 2018 to alleviate capacity issues and adequately serve our students. Boundaries now need to be updated to include the five new schools.
2. Will my school be impacted by the boundary changes?
Elementary schools that could be impacted in south Omaha are: Ashland Park/Robbins, Bancroft, Castelar, Chandler View, Gateway, Gilder, Gomez, Highland, Indian Hill, Pawnee, and Spring Lake Magnet Elementary Schools. At the secondary level, changes could impact Bryan, Marrs Magnet and Norris Middle Schools and all seven OPS high schools.
3. How were the boundary change options created?
Groups of parents, students, community members and staff worked with Cooperative Strategies consultants and OPS staff to develop numerous school boundary options in February. During these sessions, groups were provided information on current school boundaries, school capacities and student populations, along with tools to develop new boundaries. Groups were also provided the following parameters for creating these boundaries:
• Attempt to assign an entire elementary school boundary to a single middle school or high school.
• Attempt to balance the proposed school attendance area population as it relates to the school’s capacity.
• Attempt to create contiguous boundaries and do not create “islands.”
• Attempt to balance free/reduced lunch and race/ethnicity percentages at the high school level.
These resulting boundary options were used to analyze group consensus for possible boundary changes at all levels. This data was reviewed by Cooperative Strategies consultants and OPS to create three possible boundary options at all levels. These options were vetted by focus groups in early April to provide initial feedback before being presented to the community.
4. Who makes the final decision on which boundary change options will be implemented?
The final decision on boundary changes rests with the Board of Education.
5. What is meant by “live-in population,” “school capacity” and “utilization?”
Live-in population – the students who reside in the home attendance area of a school and are in the grade levels served at that school regardless of where they are currently enrolled. Students attending a non-OPS school are not included in this population.
School capacity – is calculated by multiplying the number of full-size classrooms in a
school by 19 students at elementary schools, 18 students at middle schools and 26 students at high schools. The provided capacities include all new spaces that will be added as a result of bond work.
Utilization – is calculated by dividing the “live-in population” of a school by its capacity.
6. Will we lose current staff because of boundary changes and the new schools?
Staffing changes related to the building of new schools, boundary changes, or changes in enrollment may require the movement of current staff from one building to another.
Additionally, new staff may be brought on to ensure the needs of all schools are met. The Human Resources department would closely monitor enrollments and work with all
stakeholders in determining those needs.
7. When will the boundary changes take effect?
Boundary changes directly impacted by the building of new schools will generally take effect as the new schools open:
• New elementary school at Ft. Crook and Childs Roads – Aug. 2022
• New elementary school at 10th and Pine Streets – Aug. 2022
• New middle school at 42nd and U Streets – Aug. 2023
• New high school at 60th and L Streets – Aug. 2022
• New high school at 156 and Ida Streets – Aug. 2022
8. Will my student have an opportunity to stay at his/her current school if our boundary changes?
There has been no decision made regarding which students will transition to new schools when they open. District practice when opening a new school has been to move students in the assigned area to the new school. At the high school level, consideration is being given to only transitioning 9th and 10th grade students in the first year. Students may apply to attend any school in the district. Acceptance into that school depends on capacity at the requested grade.
9. Will I need to re-register my current student if they are assigned to the new school?
No. A student will automatically be enrolled at the new school and his/her records will follow.
10. If my child is not assigned to a new school, can they apply to attend?
Students may apply to attend any school in the district. Acceptance into that school depends on capacity at the requested grade. However, new schools may be kept closed to non-neighborhood students for at least the first year they are open.
11. How will the boundary changes impact my special education student?
Students who receive services as part of their Individual Education Plan (IEP) will continue to be placed in schools and programs designed to meet their special education needs.
12. How will the boundary changes impact my English learner?
English learner services will continue to be available in all schools.
13. Will there be magnet or specialty programs at the new schools?
Magnet and specialty programs for the new schools have not been determined. The Curriculum & Instruction Support department is currently working to make those
14. Will the new schools have before and after-school programs?
After-school programs are based on need at a given school. This is something the new principals will look at prior to the school opening and will be communicated
to the community.
15. Will transportation eligibility according to the Elementary and Middle School Student Assignment Plan Partner Plan change?
Elementary students will continue to be eligible for transportation if they live more than one mile from their neighborhood school or from an option school in their Partner Zone. Middle school students will continue to be eligible for transportation if they live more than 1.5 miles from their neighborhood school or an option school in their Partner Zone. Students who attend outside of their Partner Zone would need to provide their own transportation. Some changes to Elementary and Middle School Partner Zones will be required as a result of changes to the school boundaries in those Partner Zones and to accommodate the inclusion of the new schools at these levels. Those families directly impacted by partner zone changes will be communicated with in advance of implementation.
16. Will transportation eligibility according to the High School Student Assignment Plan change?
The Student Assignment Plan at the high school level will have to change to accommodate the two new high schools. It is the goal of the district to have final information communicated out to families at least two years prior to the opening of the new high schools in August of 2022.
17. With the current budget challenges, how will the district afford to operate five new schools?
The district receives added state funding for new schools during their first two years of operation to supplement the cost of opening schools. The district estimates approximately $12 million would come from that allocation. Also, some staff members will be reassigned to the newly constructed school, negating the need to hire an entire school of new teachers and staff.