Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

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Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby OmahaFan » Wed May 17, 2017 7:00 am

Why is Elkhorn needing a $130 Million bond issue? I just thought they built a couple of new schools within the past year!

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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby nebugeater » Wed May 17, 2017 7:36 am

I believe it is for a third high school. two new elementary schools and expanding two middle schools.
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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby OmahaFan » Wed May 17, 2017 8:16 am

I'm wondering what the current capacity is at the New Elkhorn South High school and the Original High school. Building a brand new third one seem's a bit premature then again Elkhorn is growing plus new development's are sprouting up non stop it seem's like. Idk if people living out there in the Elkhorn school district's taxing area would want a $130 Million bond issue added onto there property taxes. My next question is where would they build this new High school at?

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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby Greg S » Wed May 17, 2017 8:24 am

That area continues to grow. I wonder if they won't build the third high school bigger to accommodate more growth.

A little bit off but we live in NW Omaha (156th between Fort and Ida), and the amount of housing under contruction is the most since the early 2000's when we built out there. Definitely another housing boom going on.

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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby iamjacobm » Wed May 17, 2017 8:57 am

I am sure they want to stay Class B and will build to right below that threshold.

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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby OmahaFan » Wed May 17, 2017 9:50 am

Question what is the difference between a Class A school and a Class B school? Is there positives to being a Class A school compared to a Class B school? I son't know from the sound's of the article in the OWH they might want to be a Class A school system. Who know's? Either way it's great to see Elkhorn just bustling with activity especially after the huge annexation Omaha did back in 2005. I think the Annexation of Elkhorn was actually quite positive overall for the area in West Omaha. It's spurred explosive growth in Elkhorn and around it I also have noticed that Downtown Elkhorn is growing and getting more business. Unrelated this issue it's like Omaha has 2 downtown's now. The original one and then one out in Western Omaha.

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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby iamjacobm » Wed May 17, 2017 11:26 am

OmahaFan wrote:Question what is the difference between a Class A school and a Class B school? Is there positives to being a Class A school compared to a Class B school? I son't know from the sound's of the article in the OWH they might want to be a Class A school system. Who know's? Either way it's great to see Elkhorn just bustling with activity especially after the huge annexation Omaha did back in 2005. I think the Annexation of Elkhorn was actually quite positive overall for the area in West Omaha. It's spurred explosive growth in Elkhorn and around it I also have noticed that Downtown Elkhorn is growing and getting more business. Unrelated this issue it's like Omaha has 2 downtown's now. The original one and then one out in Western Omaha.


Better student to teacher ratios, smaller class sizes, better chance to make your sports team or club etc. Probably to differentiate themselves from OPS and Millard as well. Elkhorn gets to be the "small town" mentality in the city, that will attract families.

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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby GetUrban » Wed May 17, 2017 12:49 pm

OmahaFan wrote:Question what is the difference between a Class A school and a Class B school?


Class A, B, etc. refers mainly to competition activities the school participates in....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebraska_School_Activities_Association


While the Districts are classified by as I, II, III, IV, V and VI by state law according to the population of the district...
http://law.justia.com/codes/nebraska/2009/Chapter79/79-102.html
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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby MKMScat20 » Wed May 17, 2017 5:28 pm

I believe the bond is to build a 3rd High School, additions at 3 middle schools, build 2 new elementary schools, and some other infrastructure updates throughout the district. With the district growing as much as it has, capacity at Elkhorn High before the first split was around 1400, by 2020 I believe Elkhorn High is projected to be at that amount so a need for a 3rd High School would be warranted.

Hope this helps answer your question.

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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby OmahaFan » Fri May 19, 2017 7:48 am

Well if it bring's in more people and families I'd say go for it! A healthy Elkhorn school district is great for Omaha because it creates a highly educated future and worker's for Omaha which allow's company's looking for such talent to locate here and tap into it! If only Omaha public schools could get it's act together maybe then it would be a contributor to Omaha instead of a negative. Personally if OPS just got dismantle and Millard took over the City's side I think the education gap would greatly improve. Heck OPS can't even pick a leader without bickering over it.

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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby Dundeemaha » Fri May 19, 2017 12:15 pm

OmahaFan wrote:Well if it bring's in more people and families I'd say go for it! A healthy Elkhorn school district is great for Omaha because it creates a highly educated future and worker's for Omaha which allow's company's looking for such talent to locate here and tap into it! If only Omaha public schools could get it's act together maybe then it would be a contributor to Omaha instead of a negative. Personally if OPS just got dismantle and Millard took over the City's side I think the education gap would greatly improve. Heck OPS can't even pick a leader without bickering over it.


The OPS board is a cluster right now, but OPS is a very different district than Millard with significant challenges that Millard does not face. I see no reason to think Millard would be able to handle those challenges:

OPS:
51,966 students
74 % Free / Reduced Lunch
15 % ESL

Millard:
23,913 students
18% Free / Reduced Lunch (double the 2009 pct)
< 2 % ESL

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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby OmahaFan » Fri May 19, 2017 1:15 pm

Well if you give Millard the Entire OPS school District you get more taxing authority therefor more income would be coming in. Income that could be use to improve the OPS education system of course Millard would face significant shortcoming's during probably the first 2 years of actually operating such a large district. Then again this goes back to that Major argument that erupted when OPS tried to Annex Millard public school's which created quite the firestorm. Hence why the State legislature created a Learning community so everyone was happy. Personally in my view Millard and Elkhorn are far superior to OPS in educating student's. Just look at the testing Scores and the amount graduating from those 2 public school district's. OPS is getting my taxpayer money and I expect for them to be using it wisely and on the student's education. Which mean's improved testing score's and graduation rates.

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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby Dundeemaha » Fri May 19, 2017 4:14 pm

I hear what you're saying, my opinion boils down to this idea:

The relative affluence of Millard and Elkhorn are more important to the quality of education they provide than their governance.

Within OPS you have a subset of students who have access to elite education opportunities that no other public district in the state provides. When I was at Omaha Central in the early 2000nds there were at least 3 AP courses no other school in the state offered not to mention the later addition of the IB program. The difference is that OPS also has a large population of students who start at a disadvantage to the majority of students in Millard and Elkhorn and never catch up.

Millard and Elkhorn have zero track record of being able to serve those students because they have so few.

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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby mcarch » Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:52 pm

OmahaFan wrote:Why is Elkhorn needing a $130 Million bond issue? I just thought they built a couple of new schools within the past year!


They DONT need it! You'll hear we need to keep our schools Class B... which is a waste of Tax Payers money... but then you'll hear "its for the children" which makes everyone go NUTSO!

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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby mcarch » Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:53 pm

GetUrban wrote:
OmahaFan wrote:Question what is the difference between a Class A school and a Class B school?


Class A, B, etc. refers mainly to competition activities the school participates in....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebraska_School_Activities_Association


While the Districts are classified by as I, II, III, IV, V and VI by state law according to the population of the district...
http://law.justia.com/codes/nebraska/2009/Chapter79/79-102.html


That is correct. Make sure every student can participate. Which equals, make sure every student gets a medal. And we wonder why our children are growing up to be snowflakes!

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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby buildomaha » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:33 pm

Elkhorn maintains arguably the best education in the state. The smaller class sizes make for a much better educational environment. Why else do you think people are |expletive| to Elkhorn, Grenta, Bennington, etc?

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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby Momto3 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:35 pm

Elkhorn is not building new schools just to stay in class B for sports. In fact, Elkhorn South may be class A in some sports within the next few years due to their enrollment numbers. A new high school will be needed because both Elkhorn High and Elkhorn South will be over building capacity in the next few years. Elkhorn South had an addition built on in the past few years to increase capacity but the growth in the Elkhorn High area of the district means that a new school will be needed--I believe 2022 or 2023 is the approximate completion date. The Elkhorn student population has increased greatly every year and those students have to go to school somewhere. If you haven't been around the area in the northern part (between Blondo and Fort) of the district lately, it is ridiculous how quickly neighborhoods are filling up and the area that used to be farmland is going away. People moving to Elkhorn generally have kids and that is why there is such a need for new schools. Do I want to pay more in taxes---no. But, I see the need and want my kids to go to great schools so I will support a bond issue.

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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:11 pm

I can kind of see the rationale for building a third high school if they're expecting growth far to the north. But judging from Google Maps they could double the size of Elkhorn High if they moved the tennis courts next to the football field. Maybe at that point it would cost the same as building a new school.
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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby V32 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:15 am

Just to clarify:

1) Elkhorn South will be moving to Class A and staying Class A. EPS does not make decisions about building high schools based on their current/future classification.

2) Elkhorn South capacity is about 1800, so the South side of the district is set for years to come.

3) Elkhorn High's current capacity is about 1200. They are almost at capacity this year, and will greatly exceed this in the next few years. It's getting tight there.

4) The North side of the district is growing at a much more rapid pace than the South. Over 2,000 units will be going in very soon near the new lake area up on Fort. A new high school is warranted, and needed, in order to provide a proper learning environment.

5) Changing high school boundaries is not an option and it wouldn't solve the capacity issues in the coming years. This rumor is always floating around out there but there is no truth to it.

6) The administration is very forthcoming with their data and projections that support the bond. Just ask them about it and they will be happy to explain why every single item on the upcoming bond issue is needed.

7) Elkhorn has a pretty darn good track record on bonds. If they're putting one up for a vote, it has heavy justification behind it. The growth of the district warrants it.

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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby bigredmed1 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:47 am

mcarch wrote:
That is correct. Make sure every student can participate. Which equals, make sure every student gets a medal. And we wonder why our children are growing up to be snowflakes!


Yeah, no. This is not the psycho-dynamic that leads to snowflakery. What this does is help alleviate the screwy conflict between "every student has to have an extracurricular activity" and "our play is going to win awards, or else" and "our kids are going to have to be excellent at their sport or else". When you set this conflict in motion, you get kids who can play a sport, but not well enough to cut the wood at class A or kids who can sing or act, but not well enough to turn pro, and they get left behind in class A schools. They then struggle to not run afoul of the participation requirement. This hs been a big driver in the explosion of trap shooting in high schools across the metro. Marian did this to themselves and their trap team became the escape valve for the conflict. Show up, do what the coaches tell you, and try your best, and you get to shoot. Whether you are on track for the Olympics or a kid who feels good when they hit 20/150, you get to shoot. No cuts.

Staying class B means more chances for the jock who can play a sport, but not well enough to get a college recruiter interested. Class A tends to be more competitive and focused more on trophies. Lots of kids who could play Class B or C, but live in Millard or OPS just get gipped out of the chance.

Snowflakery is what happens when these kids get false promotion in class A, or people give class B more credit than it deserves. Everyone who knows what is going on, knows that Elkhorn is doing this and the parents want it so their kid gets to be part of the team/play/musical and they don't give a rip that their kid is in a play that doesn't have pro costume and lighting.

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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby mcarch » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:45 pm

http://www.elkhornweb.org/board/strategic-plan/

"Goal #1 – (Ongoing Goal) – Planning for Growth

The Elkhorn Public Schools (EPS) will develop and maintain plans for ongoing examination of and reaction to enrollment growth. This District growth strategic objective remains as it has since 1991.
•Continue to support a positive community feeling, smaller buildings, smaller class sizes, and opportunities for students (2016 priority).
•Provide purposeful principal development for both current and aspiring principals (2016 priority)."

"Positive Community Feeling." So lets all get a nice fuzzy feeling by spending lots of money. It always works.

"Smaller Buildings." Again, spend money. How? So each Principal of a school generally makes roughly 90k to 150k. A high school has at least 3 or 4. So build a new building and you've added more principals. I would RATHER that money be spent in more teachers, than more administration.

"Smaller Class Sizes." Don't get me started. You can pull research from either direction. In conclusion, class size does not matter. In the end it is the quality of the teacher that matters. I've been in smaller class sizes with a teacher who couldn't staple two pieces of paper together, and I've been in a large class where the teacher was able to answer every students question, give help to each student specifically, etc. You also have smaller buildings, more administration, which reduces more teachers, which in turn makes class sizes larger. So you can't have both, unless you make your tax base pay out the butt.

"Opportunities for students." Where are the Bachelorette programs in the high schools? Where are certain AP classes that Millard has but seems Elkhorn is missing out on?

Don't get me wrong, Class B gives students more opportunities to get involved because there are more open spots, generally in the athletics area. But because of its size it misses out on Federal Funding that would help with more high end programs, like AP.

I like the guy in Westside who wrote an open note to the Westside schools saying NO MORE FUNDING until you learn to deal with what you already have.

Now, I get that the district is growing. So is Papillion, but you don't see them trying to make a false narrative that Class B schools are better. Elkhorn needs to stop thinking its Better than the rest of the school districts. It maybe high rated (school district), but there is a better high school in Omaha due to its programs, only because of its Class A, Millard North. Its also funny that when The Omaha World Herald came out with the highest scores for the ACT/SAT, there were more students from OTHER districts compared to Elkhorn's lonely one student with a high score.

And don't get me started on a high student learner in Elkhorn being bored in school, but can't be moved into a higher learning class, because one DOES NOT EXIST.

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Re: Elkhorn School Bond $130 Million

Postby V32 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:21 pm

mcarch wrote:http://www.elkhornweb.org/board/strategic-plan/

"Goal #1 – (Ongoing Goal) – Planning for Growth

The Elkhorn Public Schools (EPS) will develop and maintain plans for ongoing examination of and reaction to enrollment growth. This District growth strategic objective remains as it has since 1991.
•Continue to support a positive community feeling, smaller buildings, smaller class sizes, and opportunities for students (2016 priority).
•Provide purposeful principal development for both current and aspiring principals (2016 priority)."

"Positive Community Feeling." So lets all get a nice fuzzy feeling by spending lots of money. It always works.

"Smaller Buildings." Again, spend money. How? So each Principal of a school generally makes roughly 90k to 150k. A high school has at least 3 or 4. So build a new building and you've added more principals. I would RATHER that money be spent in more teachers, than more administration.

"Smaller Class Sizes." Don't get me started. You can pull research from either direction. In conclusion, class size does not matter. In the end it is the quality of the teacher that matters. I've been in smaller class sizes with a teacher who couldn't staple two pieces of paper together, and I've been in a large class where the teacher was able to answer every students question, give help to each student specifically, etc. You also have smaller buildings, more administration, which reduces more teachers, which in turn makes class sizes larger. So you can't have both, unless you make your tax base pay out the butt.

"Opportunities for students." Where are the Bachelorette programs in the high schools? Where are certain AP classes that Millard has but seems Elkhorn is missing out on?

Don't get me wrong, Class B gives students more opportunities to get involved because there are more open spots, generally in the athletics area. But because of its size it misses out on Federal Funding that would help with more high end programs, like AP.

I like the guy in Westside who wrote an open note to the Westside schools saying NO MORE FUNDING until you learn to deal with what you already have.

Now, I get that the district is growing. So is Papillion, but you don't see them trying to make a false narrative that Class B schools are better. Elkhorn needs to stop thinking its Better than the rest of the school districts. It maybe high rated (school district), but there is a better high school in Omaha due to its programs, only because of its Class A, Millard North. Its also funny that when The Omaha World Herald came out with the highest scores for the ACT/SAT, there were more students from OTHER districts compared to Elkhorn's lonely one student with a high score.

And don't get me started on a high student learner in Elkhorn being bored in school, but can't be moved into a higher learning class, because one DOES NOT EXIST.


1. " "Positive Community Feeling." So lets all get a nice fuzzy feeling by spending lots of money. It always works."
- I'm struggling to understand what you disagree with here. Small-town-feel with the city amenities is a big draw to suburban Omaha communities. As you said yourself, Elkhorn isn't the only one growing. The challenge with growth is keeping your small-town identity, and this is what the district wants to keep as much as possible.

2. " "Smaller Buildings." Again, spend money. How? So each Principal of a school generally makes roughly 90k to 150k. A high school has at least 3 or 4. So build a new building and you've added more principals. I would RATHER that money be spent in more teachers, than more administration."
- Go ahead and hire 30 more teachers at Elkhorn High School, but that won't do anything to help overcrowding in a building only built to accommodate 1200 students (they're pushing that number this year). The solution that is best for students is to build a new high school because adding on to Elkhorn High is simply not an option. Nor is the shifting of boundaries, because down the road this still results in two schools that are well over capacity. I would much rather have another building with the proper staffing than just keep spending the same amount of money adding even more teachers into an increasingly stressful/overcrowded environment...just for the sake of "having less administration".

3. "Smaller Class Sizes." Don't get me started. You can pull research from either direction. In conclusion, class size does not matter. In the end it is the quality of the teacher that matters. I've been in smaller class sizes with a teacher who couldn't staple two pieces of paper together, and I've been in a large class where the teacher was able to answer every students question, give help to each student specifically, etc. You also have smaller buildings, more administration, which reduces more teachers, which in turn makes class sizes larger. So you can't have both, unless you make your tax base pay out the butt."
- I agree that class size is a moot point if the person leading the class is not a quality instructor. But here's the thing: Elkhorn hires and then trains their certified staff to be highly effective educators. I assure you, the research DOES support that student learning is increased when student/teacher ratios are kept realistically in check (which is also beneficial in establishing meaningful, positive relationships) AND quality instructors are at the helm.
- Taxpayers get a vote, the district's constituents get to decide...majority decides.


4. " "Opportunities for students." Where are the Bachelorette programs in the high schools? Where are certain AP classes that Millard has but seems Elkhorn is missing out on? Don't get me wrong, Class B gives students more opportunities to get involved because there are more open spots, generally in the athletics area. But because of its size it misses out on Federal Funding that would help with more high end programs, like AP."
- The increased availability of students to have activity opportunities in Class B vs. Class A is certainly a motivator for the district to be comfortable with Class B schools. Nothing wrong with a well-rounded education, but Class B is not the end-all-be-all in Elkhorn, either. Elkhorn South is transitioning to Class A where it will remain. Elkhorn High and the new high school would be Class B for the near future, which is perfectly fine.
- Elkhorn schools do not currently offer an (I am assuming you meant) International Baccalaureate program like Millard North offers, but Elkhorn South is accredited as AdvancED and both high schools offer numerous, rigorous AP Classes (with more to come in the future as the district grows):
AP English Language/Composition (11th grade)

AP English Literature/Composition (12th grade)

AP Calculus AB

AP Calculus BC

AP Statistics

AP Biology

AP Chemistry

AP United States History
AP World History
AP Psychology
AP Government and Politics

AP Spanish Language and Culture

AP Japanese Language and Culture
- Elkhorn was the only Omaha metro district named to the AP Honor Roll in 2016 (7th year in a row). https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/d ... annual.pdf


5. "I like the guy in Westside who wrote an open note to the Westside schools saying NO MORE FUNDING until you learn to deal with what you already have."
- Westside's situation is certainly not comparable in any way to Elkhorn's. These are two very different districts right now in terms of growth and projected growth. While I'm sure this Westside voter has a very strong point within his district, his legitimate argument against a bond issue for Westside has nothing to do with Elkhorn.

6. "Now, I get that the district is growing. So is Papillion, but you don't see them trying to make a false narrative that Class B schools are better. Elkhorn needs to stop thinking its Better than the rest of the school districts. It maybe high rated (school district), but there is a better high school in Omaha due to its programs, only because of its Class A, Millard North. Its also funny that when The Omaha World Herald came out with the highest scores for the ACT/SAT, there were more students from OTHER districts compared to Elkhorn's lonely one student with a high score."
- Papillion-LaVista is not growing at the rate that Elkhorn is growing.
- EPS is not creating a "false narrative" about Class B "being better". It is about what EPS considers best for Elkhorn families and students...nobody else.
- "Better than other districts"? Do you think this is a competition or something? It is all about student learning. As stated previously, this is about what EPS considers to be best for Elkhorn student success...nobody else factors in, and it certainly isn't some kind of contest.
- I am confused about what is "funny" about kids' ACT scores. The majority of students work their butts off for their scores. I cannot speak for other districts, but I know for a fact that EPS focuses on helping all of its students to achieve solid ACT scores to set them up for college scholarship opportunities. There were two students (out of 17 perfect ACT/SAT scores in Nebraska) from EPS who earned a perfect ACT score in 2017, by the way. Interesting enough, many of these perfect scores came from Class B and C schools (could be a coincidence, but I found that interesting). http://www.omaha.com/news/education/stu ... 99197.html
- Based on 2015 and 2016 data, EPS seems to be doing very well in helping students prepare for the ACT, though they feel there is always room for improvement. Adding a third high school is a part of the long term plan to ensure student success. https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnew ... =750%2C468


7. "And don't get me started on a high student learner in Elkhorn being bored in school, but can't be moved into a higher learning class, because one DOES NOT EXIST."
- EPS (at the high school level) offers honors level courses in Mathematics and English.
- Enrollment in rigorous AP courses is highly encouraged, as is taking the actual AP Exam for these courses.
- You would be very hard-pressed to find any high school student in EPS that is bored because everything is just too easy for them. The HALE program enriches the education of those who are identified as high ability students, challenging them as needed. http://www.elkhornweb.org/programs/high ... education/



Your mind is obviously already made up on this bond issue; I don't expect to change your stance. However, I hope others gain some insight by reading my thoughts on the matter.


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