School board OKs consultant for OPS strategic plan -
Published Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 3:54 am
School board OKs consultant for OPS strategic plan

An organization based in Bethesda, Md., will help the Omaha Public Schools craft a long-term strategic plan.

The OPS board voted 7-0 Monday to let Superintendent Mark Evans negotiate a contract with Cross & Joftus, one of three consulting groups that made presentations to the board at a special meeting.

Board member Sarah Brumfield was absent, and Vice President Lou Ann Goding abstained from voting because a cousin works for Cross & Joftus and likely will be heavily involved in the project.

The board also heard from Atlantic Research Partners, based in Chicago and Jacksonville, Fla., and the Parthenon Group, which has offices around the world and has worked with OPS before.

Some board members wondered if the Parthenon Group could act impartially, considering the company has helped implement some ongoing district initiatives. Some board members also especially liked the community engagement plan presented by Cross & Joftus.

That company submitted a bid of approximately $260,000, but the cost could change depending on a final agreement.

Omaha business leaders and Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce officials have pledged to raise money to help OPS pay an outside group to help facilitate the strategic plan, said Wendy Boyer, senior vice president of community investment and advocacy for the chamber.

High-performing urban districts nationwide routinely use focused, long-term plans to direct everything they do. The plans detail measurable goals and promise public accountability.

OPS has had a working document that it calls its strategic plan, but the document was made public and given to the school board only last year after a request by The World-Herald. The plan contains broad aims based on board goals from more than a decade ago.

The board will vote on a final agreement with Cross & Joftus at a later date.

Contact the writer: Jonathon Braden    |   402-444-1074    |  

Jonathon writes about education, mostly the Omaha Public Schools, Nebraska's largest district.

At NU's helm, J.B. Milliken built the university by building relationships with state leaders
Kelly: Huskers' glory days of '80s live on — on the small screen and on stage
Video: Stothert says Crossroads project is 'full speed ahead,' but she won't support bond issue
Agreement reached to end dog racing at Bluffs Run at end of 2015
Beau McCoy calls Pete Ricketts a 'convenient conservative' for immigration stance
Police ID body found near 36th, Seward Streets
World champion Crawford's promoter working to have title defense at CenturyLink Center
Hail, strong winds, heavy rain hit south-central Nebraska
'Fairly old' human skull found in Mills County
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
Omaha crash victim, 19, had touched many lives
Firefighters take on 'fully engulfed barn fire'
Council Bluffs school board approves new district headquarters
Officials announce effort to lure more veterans to Nebraska
SB 132nd Street lane closed
Shane Osborn grabs several endorsements
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Omaha area may get 1 inch of rain tonight
Gov. Heineman vetoes bill to ease restrictions on nurse practitioners
Nebraska banking and finance director to retire
Waitress who served alcohol to teen before fatal crash gets jail time, probation
Owners of exotic dance bar deny prostitution allegations
More Nebraskans are electing to vote early
A day after Ricketts endorsement, Ted Cruz backs Sasse for Senate
< >
Kelly: Huskers' glory days of '80s live on — on the small screen and on stage
The 1984 NFL draft was unusual for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and these days it's remembered in the name of a rock band, the 1984 Draft. Tonight, the band will be featured nationally on the NFL Network in a documentary about — what else? — the 1984 draft.
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
The idea that Paul Hogan had studied and then hatched at his mother's table was that older people, rather than moving in with relatives or to an assisted-living center, would much prefer to stay home instead.
Breaking Brad: Nebraska GOP candidates unified against naked squirrels
Some of these Nebraska campaigns are tilting pretty far right. At a recent forum, there was a consensus that we need to ban public dancing and clothe naked squirrels in public parks.
Breaking Brad: Inside the mind of a 99-year-old real estate agent
I saw an article about a 99-year-old real estate agent who's still working. “This house is extra special. It has indoor toilets!”
Breaking Brad: Into the claw machine! Florida kid follows Lincoln kid's lead
In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a child climbed inside a claw machine. Hey, Florida kid: Nobody likes a copycat.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
7M Grill
Half Off Delicious Comfort Fusion Food & Drinks!
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »