OPSF Wins Swag Awards at the NSFA in Nashville

Newly elected NSFA Board President, and our very own Executive Director, Toba Cohen-Dunning, attended and presented at the NSFA Conference in Nashville. Accompanying her was Board President, Steven Kinkead. Their topic was “Developing a Partnership.” They detailed the steps of building relationships within a foundation board and harnessing the power of each member to engage  through an in depth exploration and evaluation of the OPSF’s own mission, values, and vision.

The OPSF team spent nearly 9 months in discovery and rebranding of the Omaha Public Schools Foundation. Out of this has emerged not only new insights into who we are but a new logo, new brochure and information materials, new Social Media Cover Photos, a new Teacher Ambassador program, as well as a new website.

NSFA 2018 Conference

The NSFA presentation was warmly received and to the delight of Toba and Steve. The Foundation was presented with SWAG Awards for Outstanding Website developed by Kathy David and Outstanding Foundation Brochure created by Esther Mejia and Kate Revollo of eCreative Inc, a real validation of all the work that went into OPSF’s transformation.

Thanks to all the team, our Executive Director and fearless leader, Toba Cohen-Dunning, Steven Kinkead, Board President,  the OPSF Board Members, the OPSF staff, Joe Craig of SourceBurst, Esther Meija and Kate Revollo of eCreative and Kathy David of JBKDesigns.

The Foundation also teamed up with SkillsUSA students from the career center who created a promotional video for the Foundation. The opportunity to involve these bright, talented OPS students in the creative process and the foundation rebranding only serves to validate our confidence that the OPS motto rings true,  “Every Student, Every Day, Prepared for SUCCESS!”

OPS SkillsUSA Video Crew



Slide Show

Benson High School Career Academy Plan

On February 4, 2015, Omaha Benson High Magnet Principal, Anita Harkins, presented a plan to the Omaha Public Schools Board to revitalize the school through the pursuit of a complete Career Academy Plan.   The cost of the project is $1.5m.  All of the Academy programs have been structured to meet the National Career Academy Coalition Standards of Practice.

These include: Freshman Academy: a horizontal cohort of 2 teams with Social Studies, English, Math, Science, GPS and a Special Education cohort; Health Professions: Vertical cohorts of core areas and Foundations; Business and Entrepreneurship: Vertical cohorts of core areas and Foundations; and Construction and Design: Vertical cohorts of core areas and Foundations.  12th grade is still being designed based on student choice and availability of work-based learning experiences, including internships.

The latter three academies include dual enrollment opportunities.  Health Professions has partnered with the University of NE Medical Center.  Business and Entrepreneurship will do work-based learning with the high school store, First National Bank and the Mastercraft Scooters Coffee Shop. Construction and Design will have work-based learning opportunities with area skilled labor unions/firms.

South High School Visual and Performing Arts Addition

On March 2, 2015, Omaha South High Magnet Principal, Ruben Cano, presented a plan to the Board to build an addition on to the school supporting Visual and Performing Arts.  The addition will further expand opportunities for student training (artistic and technical) and encourage students to pursue careers in the arts.

The cost of the project is $12m.  Rapid and increased growth in the school’s population has impacted the ability to effectively provide the necessary space supporting the magnet theme of the arts.  Additional space is projected to increase opportunities for students in dance and piano by approximately 50%.   Due to capacity challenges in the 13-14 school year, a substantial number of students were unable to participate in the performing arts pathway.  Approximately, 70% of the 2,300 students at South participate in at least one class in the visual and performing arts and an estimated 35% of the student body takes two or more classes.

The proposed addition will be a multi-story structure with classrooms, dressing rooms, art studios and labs that will allow for growth in the following programs: dance, pottery, film, technology, instrumental music, music-theory and studio art.

Bryan High School Capital Campaign

Bryan is currently the only Omaha Public School to have an agricultural program and will soon become the largest FFA chapter in the state of Nebraska. In this academy, students utilize knowledge of both urban and traditional agriculture to be innovators in their field and positive members in the community. Agricultural themes are incorporated into their core coursework such as plant and animal science and food production. Students participate in various competitions and regularly attend field trips and conferences across the state. Vegetable and fruit gardens are managed by the students along with other landscaping projects throughout the campus.

Bryan High School Urban Agriculture

Urban AgroBox at Bryan High School

Bryan High School has embarked on a capital campaign to raise funds to build a greenhouse along with additional classrooms to accommodate more students and lab space for their food science program. Please consider a contribution to help them reach their goal.