Chalkboard: The week in school news -
Published Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 4:53 pm
Chalkboard: The week in school news

Education week: The Omaha Public Schools will host a series of open houses during Omaha Education Week, which will begin Monday. During the open houses, parents and families can meet teachers and staff, tour the building and sign up for parent organizations. Here is the open house schedule.

Monday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Catlin Magnet, Conestoga Magnet, Crestridge Magnet, Fullerton Magnet, Lothrop Magnet, Skinner Magnet, Spring Lake Magnet, Western Hills Magnet, Blackburn Alternative and Parrish Alternative.

Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: all middle schools.

Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: all high schools.

Thursday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Head Start sites, all nonmagnet elementary schools, Wilson Focus School, Integrated Learning Program, J.P. Lord, Career Center and the Transition Program at Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Essay contest: The Nebraska Latino-American Commission invites Nebraska youths to participate in the seventh annual Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest. For the theme, “How Latino Culture Strengthens My Community,” students are asked to share their personal stories, opinions and experiences on how Latino culture has made their community a better place. Middle and high school students of all ethnicities and backgrounds are eligible. Essays are welcome in English and Spanish.

All essay and entry forms are due by 5 p.m. Sept. 18 and may be submitted by email, preferably as a PDF, to, via fax at 402-471-4381 or mailed to: Nebraska Latino American Commission, Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest, Attn: Jasel Cantu, PIO, P.O. Box 94965, Lincoln, NE 68509-4965. For printer-friendly guidelines and entry forms in English and Spanish, visit For more information or questions, call Jasel Cantu at 402-471-2791 or email

A record and a tie: Omaha Brownell-Talbot welcomed a record enrollment of 477 students in grades preschool through 12 as it opened its 150th academic year. The school also tied its retention record at 92 percent.

High schools

Your left, your left: Bellevue West will have a Marching Band Marchathon on Sept. 14.

Time to register: Omaha Bryan is preparing for “Glow For It,” the school's first 5K Run/Walk. It will begin at 7:30 a.m. Sept. 28 at the school stadium, 4700 Giles Road, in Bellevue. The cost is $25 through Sept. 25 and $30 (cash only) for on-site registration the day of the event. Half of the proceeds will benefit Children's Hospital & Medical Center Foundation and half will go to the Bryan journalism department for new equipment for the yearbook and newspaper. For more information and to register, visit

Silent auction: Omaha Central's journalism students will host a silent auction in order to raise money for a coming national competition in Boston. The silent auction will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in the courtyard of the school.

Page position: Omaha Gross student Andrew “A.J.” Sakalosky will spend Monday through Jan. on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. He is one of 30 high school juniors nationwide who will serve as a page for Congress. Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., sponsored him. Sakalosky will attend the Senate Page School and serve various members of Congress. He said he is looking forward to having access to the Library of Congress, a trip to Philadelphia for the Army-Navy football game and getting an inside look at politics.

More students: Enrollment at Elkhorn Mount Michael increased for a second consecutive year. Current enrollment is 233 students, up from last school year's 221 students. Admissions Director Eric Crawford said: “This past fall we had more out-of-state applications (eight states) than we have had in over 15 years as well as having a record number of seven-day residential students.”

Welcome: Omaha Burke invites parents of freshmen to a parent information night in the auditorium from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday before the school's open house.

Picnic time: The Duchesne Parent Association will sponsor Sunday's Omaha Duchesne Back to School Picnic.

Just the guys: Men for Duchesne will have an informational meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Quinn Performing Arts Center at Omaha Duchesne.

Cheer clinic: The Little Rams Cheer Clinic put on by the Ralston cheerleaders will be held Thursday at 4 p.m., before the Rams' home football game against Blair. Children ages 5 to 14 may attend. The $25 cost includes a T-shirt, pizza and free admission to the game. For more information, call Cindy Ksiazek, 402-331-7373.

All dressed up: Bellevue East and Papillion-La Vista will have homecoming dances tonight. Omaha Gross will have its homecoming dance Friday.

Finalists: The Conestoga High School FFA Chapter is a finalist for a national award recognizing community contributions. The winner will be announced at the Oct. 30 to Nov. 3 FFA National Convention in Louisville, Ky.

Lighting dedication: The family of the late Dr. Chester “Chet” Paul provided a $150,000 gift to purchase and install lighting at Omaha Brownell-Talbot's stadium. Join the Paul family at 6:40 p.m. Friday for the lighting dedication before the first home football game. Dr. Paul died in December 2012 at age 70.

Music, music, music: Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson will host today's all state show choir workshop.

Middle schools

No to bullies: As seventh-grade students arrived recently at Papillion Junior High, they gathered in the gym for a slide show and pep-rally kickoff for an anti-bullying day. Students participated in anti-bullying activities in each of their classrooms. The focus was not just anti-bullying but getting to know one another and understanding each other's unique qualities.

New officers: This is a year for many firsts at the just-opened Alfonza W. Davis Middle School in the Omaha Public School district. The school's first elected PTO officers are Lisa Carlson, president; Chandra Wrightsell, vice president; and Melissa Gray, secretary-treasurer.

Elementary schools

Very special visitor: Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman will visit Omaha's Sacred Heart School for an hour Monday morning. He will take part in morning assembly, read to the fourth-graders and visit the eighth-grade classroom. Last spring, several Sacred Heart students had lunch with him in Lincoln. He was impressed with the students and the next day called the school to set up a time to visit.


On the move: The PTO at Heritage will sponsor Skate, Ride and Roll on Thursday.

An adventure: Pine Creek will have its PTO Adventure Walk on Thursday.


Carnival time: The PTOs at Deerfield, North, South and West Primaries will host a carnival Friday at North.


Lending a hand: The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW)-Omaha Section has donated time and resources to Jackson for the past eight years. The council chose Jackson as its school partner based on the school's need for assistance. On the first day of school, 20 NCJW-Omaha Section volunteers, led by program chairwoman Harriet Epstein, distributed school supplies to all 270 Jackson students. Each year, the council buys the supplies the teachers request. In addition to the supplies, backpacks were purchased for students the teachers designated as needing them.

PTO gathering: The first meeting of this school year for Columbian PTO will begin at 6 p.m. Monday in the library. Child care will be available for school-age children. There will be limited space for children ages 3 to 5. Make reservations for child care ahead of time with the office.

First meeting: The PTA at Kellom will meet at 5:50 p.m. Tuesday in the library. This is the first meeting of the school year.

Remembering: Students at Saddlebrook will wear red, white and blue on Wednesday, which is Patriot Day.

Food aplenty: The Springville PTA will have a bake sale during Thursday's 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. open house. The PTA also is compiling a cookbook. Recipes are due by Sept. 19.

Another first: The PTO at Standing Bear will have its first meeting of the school year at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.


Look at this one: First-graders at G. Stanley Hall in La Vista and Patriot and Tara Heights, both in Papillion, will have vehicle day Friday.

Golden year: La Vista West will have its 50th birthday barbecue Sunday. The PTO recently sold bags of popcorn after school to raise money for playground equipment. The popcorn for playground sales will be held occasionally throughout the year to raise money for a second playground area.

The World-Herald News Service contributed to this report.

Contact the writer: Sue Story Truax    |   402-444-1165

Sue writes obituaries and covers community news and schools for's Living section, primarily Community Connection.

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