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Check It Out: 1/23/19

Your monthly news from the OPS Library Services Staff

Social Media Posts

Last year, we seemed to do a pretty good job with topical post request, so we will go that direction again.  Feel free to share with Courtney during each month or ahead of time.  And, as always, you can submit any cool things going on in your library at any time. Thank you!


January -- one book (K-12 or professional) you would recommend people add to their To Be Read pile for this year  (I am out of book recommendations and need them starting tomorrow through Jan 31st! So, please send them in with a brief blurb about why you liked it).

February -- what you love about working in your school library or lab, your school, or your students

March -- Favorite technology tool, tip, lesson

April -- School Library month theme from AASL (still in development)

May -- I am looking for suggestions on a topic for this month.

June -- summer library happenings

July -- submit ahead of time or during the month (what you do during the summer -- pd, classes, curriculum writing, vacations, etc.)

CSM -- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Resources for Classrooms

Difference -- however we might define it -- is good. It makes us who we are and makes the world wonderful. Students must understand that, and strive for a more inclusive world that values difference, practices empathy, and extinguishes oppressive forces like racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, and beyond. These picks -- which highlight our world's vast diversity and promote equity -- will open students' minds, get them to reflect on their own privileges, and help them better understand other people, perspectives, and cultures. Some of these picks will also cultivate students' perspective-taking and integrity, putting students on the path to social change and activism.

Be sure to preview any of these resources to make sure they fit with your grade level, lesson, and district requirements.

Free Printables

You will need to print these items through your building budget if you choose to use them.

Fun discussion question to use with students...

Important Dates

February 13th 12:00-3:00  Secondary Team Plan (location TBA)

March 7th  8:30-11:00   Elementary Team Plan Day (location TBA)

April 24th 12:00-3:00 Secondary Team Plan (location TBA)

Reminder about Epic! Books

Remember, Epic! Books is a free product that is approved for use by the district.  Links to Epic! are located on each elementary school website.  You can use this books at all grade levels.  Many can support reading and learning by our ESL and special education students as well.

Teachers are Awesome!

That’s Why Epic! is FREE for Educators!

At Epic!, we’re so grateful for your dedication to inspire a love of reading and learning in our children. We want you to have the resources you need, which is why we offer Epic! absolutely free to all elementary school teachers and librarians!

Thousands of teachers are using Epic! to bring high-quality children’s fiction and non-fiction books into their classrooms.

Forward this email to spread the word about Epic! for Educators and help students discover a world of great books.

Science News for Students -- Free Resource for ages 9-14

News Stories About Current Research and Events in STEM

Science News for Students (SNS) is an award-winning online publication dedicated to providing age-appropriate, topical science news to learners, parents, and educators. SNS is a publication of the Science News Media Group, which is a program of the Society for Science & the Public (SSP). SNS—which is free to use—helps to fulfill the Society’s mission by connecting the latest in scientific research to learning in and out of the classroom. Science News for Students publishes award-winning journalism on research across the breadth of science, health, and technology fields, with the aim to bring these new developments to a younger audience. Published daily, SNS posts both shorter news stories and longer features, all written with a vocabulary and sentence structure aimed at readers aged 9–14. The breadth of technical subjects and the tone attract many advanced readers as well. Each story includes further readings, citations to the original research on which the stories are based, power words (glossary terms), and a readability score that ensures the text is accessible to teens and tweens. Longer features also have extra materials to aid in classroom use. Additionally, SNS publishes blogs such as Analyze This!, which engages students in exploring science through data, graphs, visualizations, and more; and Technically Fiction, which invites students to find facts in the fantastic, such as Harry Potter’s ability to teleport from one place to another.

Plus: The Society for Science & the Public runs world-class science-education competitions for youth: the Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS), the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) and Broadcom MASTERS.

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

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 (531-299-9822).

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 (531-299-9822).