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DEPARTMENTS   »   Curriculum and Instruction Support

Contact Us

Dr. ReNae S. Kehrberg
Assistant Superintendent
Curriculum and Instruction Support

(531) 299-9458


Secretary: (531) 299-9468

Curriculum and Instruction Support


Welcome to the Curriculum and Instruction Support  (CIS) web pages.  CIA leads the development and implementation of curriculum, instruction and assessment for the district.

The Omaha Public School District is on the move.  We have a new Strategic Plan and we are headed in a direction that after three years of using our Academic Action Plan is getting results.  We are up in our state tests in Reading, Math, Science and Writing.  These results happen because our hardworking teachers and instructional leaders are focused on the Academic Action Plan.  This focus for excellence means we are using the Gradual Release of Instruction (modeled, shared, guided, independent).  We are embedding literacy and numeracy strategies.  We have consistent procedures and routines in our classrooms.  We have Principals and their building leadership teams who are using instructional coaching to increase teacher and student performance.  The result of these efforts has been golden.

In fact, based on the growth the Omaha Public Schools have demonstrated (three consecutive years of gains on State testing and in the top third of all school districts in Nebraska for growth on State testing), student achievement is “on the rise” in OPS.  This year in the OPS Academic Excellence Awards there are 16 schools who have achieved the rank of Gold (showing growth in three or more state tested areas) and 22 schools who have achieved the rank of Silver (showing growth in two or more state tested areas).  Our numbers are increasing because our performance continues to rise.

As we move from good to great, and we engage students at a higher level, we will have 100% of our students engaged in our classrooms 100% of the time. 

Every student. Every day.  Prepared for Success.




Omaha Public Schools
Academic Action Plan
1.        The use of the OPS standardized instructional framework will occur in all classrooms PK-12. The OPS instructional framework is: The Gradual Release of Instruction with literacy strategies across the content areas and consistent procedures and routines.
This is a flexible delivery model to use in all subjects PK-12. These four stages (modeled, shared, guided and independent) are often repeated throughout the lesson (especially the modeled and shared process which may have several cycles during the lesson). Occasionally a daily lesson may not contain all four cycles.
a.       Gradual Release of Instruction will be evident in each classroom on a daily basis.
·   Modeled: Teacher explains and models the strategy and content indicating how it relates to current learning needs and prior knowledge. Students are in whole groups or small groups.
·   Shared: Teacher encourages student participation by using engagement activities (response cards, white boards, clickers) and by asking questions to check for mastery. Students are in whole group, small group or pairs (elbow partners). Teacher checks for understanding and reteaches as needed.
·   Guided: Teacher provides small group instruction at students’ instructional level so that students practice using the strategies with the content. Teacher offers support by prompting, questioning and guiding with extensive descriptive feedback and reteaching individually and in small group.
·   Independent: Students work independently applying what they have learned across a variety of situations. Students work with the content using the strategies to make meaning and complete tasks without support or prompting.
b.      Literacy strategies across the content areas are embedded throughout the gradual release of instruction. Reading, writing, and speaking are the means by which all subjects are learned.
·   “Authentic literacy is the ‘spine’ that holds everything together in all subject areas.”
   (Phillips and Wong, 2010)
·   The following high yield literacy strategies will be used throughout the district.
1.       Six step vocabulary process (Marzano)
2.       Think alouds
3.       Reciprocal teaching
4.       Note-making graphic organizers (Combination, Cornell, or Cloze)
5.       Text preview
6.       QAR (talking to the text)
7.       Comparison matrix with summary writing
8.       Non-linguistic representation
9.       Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) with modeling and/or purpose
10.   Oral discussions (argumentative discourse)
11.   Quick writes
12.   Meta-cognitive writing prompt
13.   Summary writing activities
14.   Think, Ink, Pair, Share
15.   Four Square/Step Up to Writing
16.   RAFT
17.   Analogies and metaphors that connect to prior knowledge
18.   Advance organizers
19.   Text tagging
20.   Frayer model
c.       Consistent use of procedures and routines must occur for the transitions to work smoothly during the gradual release of instruction (from whole group to small group as well as for stations).
·   Each building will determine which of the following Top Ten Classroom Procedures and Routines will become their school-wide practices.
1.       Hand raising without call outs or talk overs
2.       Attention getting and non verbal techniques
3.       Giving directions explicitly and visually
4.       2 x 10 positive connections
5.       Repeat the request/delayed response
6.       Engagement techniques
7.       Transitions every 20 minutes
8.       Teach and pause
9.       Finished early activities
10.   Readiness wall
2.        Coaching results in 95% of a faculty developing and using a skill in the classroom. Traditional professional development in whole group settings results in zero percent of the faculty using the skill (Showers & Joyce).
a.       “School leaders, whether principals, assistant principals, or curriculum leaders, have many roles, but none as important as that of an instructional leader. Through our work with coaching teachers and other staff, we are able to transform our classrooms into vibrant, engaging learning environments.” - Kathy Kennedy
b.      Principals will implement a schedule that provides every teacher positive descriptive feedback through coaching visits. The goal is to work toward weekly visits for all teachers.
c.       Principals will schedule debriefing sessions with building level instructional leadership.
d.      Curriculum Instruction and Assessment will support building level instructional leaders with the following:
·   professional development on coaching (Kathy Kennedy)
·   provide a standardized lesson plan format which includes gradual release of instruction
·   provide a list of “look fors” to use during classroom visits
·   provide sample walk through schedules
·   professional development for principals and instructional leaders using PD 360 vignettes to identify and understand best instructional strategies and their impact in teaching
·   provide principals with feedback after classroom coaching visits
·   participate in debriefing sessions
3.       Acuity Implementation Plan supports teaching and learning with data analysis and planning for strategic reteaching.
a.       Diagnostic assessment will be used in addition to the fall and mid-year assessments.
b.      Instructional resources should be assigned to students based upon their areas of weakness which provides the opportunity for reteaching.
c.       The Acuity implementation plan is designed to guide schools through the steps of analyzing Acuity data and using the tools appropriately to maximize student success. This plan represents an on-going process that principals will use that involves continuous monitoring of instructional strategy implementation and student progress.
d.      Principals will plan professional development for teachers’ use of Acuity to inform and improve instruction. Sample training schedules and navigation short cuts will be provided by Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment and the Research Division.
e.      Curriculum Instruction and Assessment staff members will support schools as they analyze data and plan instruction.


Throughout 2015-16, a committee of Omaha Public Schools (OPS) staff worked to evaluate the grading practices across the district. Under the current grading scale, teachers have expressed concern that some students can achieve “proficient” grade in a course even though they have only completed minimal work in the course. OPS is committed to providing students and families with an accurate representation of students learning. Therefore, OPS will be field testing an adjusted grading scale throughout the 2016-17 school year with select classes. 

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