Thursday, February 22, 2018

Safety reminders to OPS families


Dear OPS Families,

Over the past several days and weeks our hearts have been heavy about the violent actions and loss of life that have impacted schools in nearby Marshall County, and more recently in Florida. 

I want to take this opportunity to communicate to you that the Owensboro Public Schools takes the security of our students seriously. The safety of our students, faculty and staff has been, and always will be, our number one priority.

For years, our district and the Owensboro Police Department have worked together to ensure that our schools are safe. Our schools regularly perform drills to ensure that everyone in each building knows what to do in the event of a crisis. Our school doors are locked during the day and are only opened when a school official makes visual contact with each visitor before they are admitted into the building.

Unfortunately, we continue to hear more about social media threats. Although local law enforcement is notified, these frequent social media threats result in our students, parents and staff being concerned about their safety. As a parent, I understand the effect these rumors have on our entire community.

We will continue to use our texting system and our social media to keep you informed. If there is a credible threat, I assure you we will swiftly respond.

Finally, I ask the members of our school community to join efforts in continuing to provide a safe learning environment for the students. Please talk to your students about not sharing unfounded rumors on social media, as they make investigations more difficult.  I urge parents to monitor their child's social media accounts and text messages. I encourage parents to follow their child on Snapchat and other social media outlets. Individuals who post statements intended to elicit fear will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.

Checking cars, backpacks, phones and social media accounts are all responsibilities that parents should have with their children If you become aware of a potentially dangerous situation, please contact a school or law enforcement official, or report it to the OPS Tip Line linked to a STOP sign on our website homepage at owensboro.kyschools.us.

One single person can’t solve this national crisis alone. We need our entire community to help us identify those who might threaten or bring harm to our loved ones. Together, we can be the change we hope to see in our world.

Warm Regards,

Nicholas Brake, Ph.D.
Superintendent

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

OPS and DCPS boards of education adopt common priorities for state funding


DAVIESS COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
OWENSBORO BOARD OF EDUCATION

Legislative Priorities for the State Budget

 The Daviess County and Owensboro boards of education have the following priorities for the state budget relating to K-12 education:

1.     Include the state equalization (matching) funds for districts in the Commonwealth, including Daviess County and Owensboro, that successfully passed a local recallable nickel for facility projects. 

2.     Fully fund SEEK to at least the $3,981 level funded last biennium.  The proposed cut to transportation amounts to a lowering of the per pupil SEEK rate from $3,981 to approximately $3,770.  This proposal would shift millions of dollars from the state to local taxpayers in Owensboro and Daviess County while current state law mandates transportation for students living one mile or more from school.

3.     The Commonwealth should fulfill its commitment to employees’ health benefits and not burden local taxpayers with covering the cost of health insurance as has been the case for many years. 

4.     Address the pension issue by adopting the “Shared Responsibility” pension proposal advanced by KSBA, KASS, KEA, and other education groups.  The proposal is more cost effective than other proposals, maintains the integrity of the current pension benefits, avoids expensive potential litigation, and would provide savings that could be used to more adequately fund education.

5.     Restore funding to several flex focus areas, including professional development and instructional supplies/ textbooks that were completely eliminated in the initial budget proposal.