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Check It Out: January 30, 2018

Your weekly news from the OPS Library Services Staff


Upcoming Events:

Wednesday  February 7   Elementary Review Committee Meeting   4:45 PM   TAC--Library Services

Wednesday February 28th   Secondary Team Meeting    TAC--Library Services   AASL Standards

Thursday March 8th    Elementary Team Meeting  8:30-11:30    TAC  4th Floor    AASL Standards

Students in Crisis--Laura Pietsch

Do you ever find yourself questioning how you have handled a student when you find out too late that something outside of school, or simply outside your library, has impacted the student's ability to pay attention, to act appropriately, to stay awake, etc.?


This topic came up at a recent meeting with new librarians. Sometimes you might feel "out of the loop" about what is going on in students' lives. But  consider the other side. When should a counselor, administrator or classroom teacher, give you such information? To answer this, I consulted with Nancy Bond, OPS Counseling Supervisor, and she provided some great insight:


"Confidentiality is always a challenge to navigate...weighing the educational "need to know" with a family/student's privacy is a balancing act. Often counselor's will directly ask a parent/student if they can disclose information to others. Sometimes they are given permission to do so, other times they aren't. In situations where families aren't directly asked, counselors will make judgments about what should be shared.  There are often times, when specifics can't be shared, but generalities could be. 


I will say as well, that no one wants to violate FERPA or the counseling Code of Ethics, so it wouldn't surprise me that sometimes counselors are a bit overly cautious. If a student shares info with a counselor, and the librarian or another staff member shares this knowledge with a student...the breach of confidentiality makes it hard for a student to trust them next time...

If there is a situation that a librarian specifically wants more information about, he/she could be encouraged to approach the counselor again, saying that they are not asking for specific details of a situation, but merely the general information that could help them as they interact with the student.  There is also always the direct route, can't have too many adults letting kids know they care and asking a student some version of... "you don't seem to be yourself today, anything you want to share with me so I could better assist you?"

Google Doodle Contest Info


In last week's newsletter there was information regarding a Google Doodle contest.  Our ever knowledgeable McKenzie White brought it to our attention that one of the grand prizes is a $50,000 tech package.  We are unsure what this includes as the website is not clear and it is also unclear where to direct questions regarding the contest.  BUT, if the tech package includes devices, they would need to be submitted for approval to make sure they would work with all of our existing products.  Just wanted you to be aware.

Who Ya Gonna Call...or Email?

The fastest way to get your questions answered is to contact the right person!

  • Laura Pietsch (531) 299-9615: Policy, personnel and evaluation, Sherwood grants and building projects
  • Stacy Lickteig (531) 299-9614: Technology, cataloging, copyright, budget and ordering
  • Courtney Pentland (531) 299-9609:  Inquiry, professional library, newsletter Items; Secondary Review Committee; secondary author visits, skype visits
  • McKenzie White (531) 299-9362 Instructional technology , ITL Program

  • Gwen Jackson  Elementary author visits

Technology Training/Support

  • Debra Bordenkecher  531-299-9841: Handles training needs of classified staff (including paraprofessionals)
  • Hardware issues should be handled by your building assigned technologist. If this person is not in the building, call or email the Help Desk 531-299-0300

Classflow Inservice Opportunities

Apologies for the short notice.  I just received this information.
Eileen Heller will be holding optional Classflow trainings open to all OPS staff for the next three Tuesday nights in a row at Minne Lusa Elementary. Stipends will be paid!
To register go to:
Login with your district username and your 6 digit employee number as the password.
Classflow 1: Getting to Know Classflow
Tuesday, January 23rd 4:45 - 6:00 PM in the Library

Classflow 2: Building and Editing Lessons

Tuesday, January 30th 4:45 - 6:00 PM
Classflow 3: Assessments and Assignments
February 6th 4:45 - 6:00 PM

Are you interested in a free Golden Sower Manual?

We are working on the Golden Sower Manual for 2018-2019 and we need your help!  We still need volunteers to prepare the pages for a number of the nominees.  (If you prepare pages, you will receive a free manual!)  
Below is the list I received from Judy Andrews.  If you are willing to prepare the activities for one or more of these titles or if you have questions, please contact Judy at:

Thank you!

Kathy Schultz

Chair, Golden Sower Award Committee

Picture Books:
Life on Mars by Jon Agee
Thunder Boy, Jr. by Sherman Alexie
Chapter Books:
Moo by Sharon Creech
The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron
ProjeKt 1065: a novel of World War II by Alan Gratz

Desert Dark by Sonja Stone

World Read Aloud Day February 1st!

My apologies for the short notice on this.  It crept up on me this year.  (It was Febr 16th last year!)




Check out a ton of information on this site:

Including information on a special Harry Potter related event.

Check this out...listen to a read aloud from an astronaut in space! Cool connection with literacy and STEM 

The Microsoft Educator Community is promoting a Skype Literacy Month starting Feb 1.

Upcoming Social Media Topics

We had such fun with our "what are you thankful for" and "our favorite things" posts in November and December, that we would like to keep the ball rolling into this next semester.  Check out the topics below.  You can email Courtney with your items to share!  As always, pictures are helpful!

February--What is a memory you love about using libraries personally or with your loved ones?

March--Why do you feel "lucky" to be a school librarian?

April--Favorite rainy day reads books

May--Favorite things from second semester

Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).

Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).