Some Omaha Public Schools administrators dressed up like their school mascots.

Others joined in an impromptu singalong of the “Cheers” theme song.

They all left the annual leadership kickoff event Friday to the sounds of the Omaha Central High School drumline.

School leaders, administrators and two school board members gathered at Baxter Arena to prepare for the 2019-20 school year. School starts Aug. 14.

OPS Superintendent Cheryl Logan is entering her second year as the leader of the largest school district in the state.

On Friday she outlined priorities for the district: attendance, mathematics, safety and creating a new strategic plan for the district.

Those priorities are not new. The district has been encouraging students to “Strive for 95,” or a 95% attendance rate for each student. That means not missing more than nine days of school a year.

In her first year as superintendent, Logan also prioritized math and safety. But this year, Logan said she wants students and staff not only to be safe but feel safe at school.

Thanks to a grant, the school board and district leadership have also been working on a new strategic plan for OPS.

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The school board adopted a five-year strategic plan in 2014, setting long-term goals that included raising graduation rates, decreasing suspensions and expulsions and forging stronger connections between schools and parents.

Work on the new strategic plan continues this fall and should wrap up in January, according to a tentative timeline presented to the school board earlier this summer.

In addition to welcoming new administrators, Logan also announced Friday that the district has found a new permanent chief financial officer.

Scott Roberts, an OPS grad, will replace former CFO Connie Knoche. Knoche resigned from the district last year. The district has been using an outside firm since Knoche’s resignation.

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emily.nitcher@owh.com, 402-444-1192

Emily covers K-12 education, including Omaha Public Schools. Previously, Emily covered local government and the Nebraska Legislature for The World-Herald. Follow her on Twitter @emily_nitcher. Phone: 402-444-1192.

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