OPS has moved to the 100% remote learning instructional model for the health and safety of our community. Click here for more information.

Preparing for a Responsible Return to School1 to 1 technology100% Remote Learning Instructional ModelMeals2Go Information

Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Attendance Plans & Academics

What attendance plan are you currently planning to start the year with? 
We will begin this year with our 100% Remote Instructional Model. This may change during the year as health conditions evolve. We will share updates with families through email, our district website and official social media channels. 

When does school start for my student? 
Classes begin for all students on August 18. 

What are the different attendance plans?
Omaha Public Schools will consider three different plans for the 2020-21 school year. 
They include:

  • On-site, where 100% of students attend school each day.

  • Family 3/2, where students with the last name A-K and L-Z are grouped together and attend Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday, respectively. Wednesdays would alternate between last name groups. Students would participate in structured learning on days when not physically in school.

  • Remote, where 100% of students learn remotely.

Why did you create the Family 3/2 plan?
The Family 3/2 plan allows for better social distancing and more limited transitions during the day. The 3/2 plan provides consistency and predictability in what days a student will physically attend school. With our 1 to 1 technology initiative, students will continue learning at home on days when not present at school.

How does the Family 3/2 plan work if students in the same home have more than one last name? 
By following the last name of the oldest student at home, all students will be part of the same learning group to best accommodate family schedules.

I would like for my student to attend every day during the Family 3/2 plan. Is that possible?
At this time, students are expected to attend based on the instructional model used by the district unless they have been accepted to our Virtual School or Remote Learning programs.

I would like for my student to attend every day during the Family 3/2 plan. Is that possible? 
Yes. We will regularly review guidance and conditions to make changes as needed. Since our first presentation in June, our district shared that plans would need to change as conditions evolve in the year to come. Just as we have prepared for fully in person or fully remote possibilities, families should take time to do the same. While we would strive to provide as much notice as possible to our community about a change in our instructional model, conditions may require a quick transition. Our plan for a responsible return and our 1 to 1 technology initiative provides a solid foundation for each attendance plan. 

What will determine if students transition to learning at home?
Any changes to in-person learning will be made in consultation with state and local health officials. Families will be notified through district official channels if and when that happens. Families are encouraged to ensure their email address and phone number are up to date with our district to make sure they receive future communication. You can update your information with your child’s school directly.

What is the plan for special education for the Family 3/2 plan? 
Services will be offered where applicable. Students enrolled in the following programs will attend every day of the week:

  • Early Childhood Special Education

  • K-12 Alternate Curriculum Program

  • K-12 Behavioral Skills Program

  • K-12 Hearing Impaired Classrooms

  • K-12 Multihandicapped Program at JP Lord

  • Transition Program

  • Integrated Learning Program

What is the plan for Early Childhood Education for the Family 3/2 plan?
Students will follow the district attendance plan unless they are receiving special education services, then they will attend every day. Early childhood staff have implemented procedures that align with school procedures and district guidelines for daily activities such as play time, small and large groups, transitions and more.  

Facial coverings will be worn and social distancing will be followed as appropriate. Students will not be required to wear facial coverings during rest time if social distancing occurs. Outdoor play will occur daily as weather permits. Students will not play on installed playground equipment. 

Over the summer, staff developed curriculum guides to support both the Family 3/2 plan and 100% remote learning. Teachers and technology staff have worked together to develop guidelines and practices for 1 to 1 technology use the follows best practices for early childhood development. 

What will back-to-school classroom supply lists will look like? Will students need to bring masks, gloves, hand sanitizers? 
The district not provide a general supply list to families. If individual schools have suggested supply lists for their building, they will share that with their families. We will not ask our students or families to supply face coverings, gloves or hand sanitizer when school resumes. To maintain safe, clean and secure spaces, our district will provide five cloth face coverings to each staff member and student. Disposable masks and disinfectant wipes will also be available at each school. Additionally, we have has partnered with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to supply hand sanitizer for use in our schools.

What is the 1 to 1 technology initiative? Will all students get iPads for the 2020-21 school year? 
Yes. All students will be provided with a district device. They will receive them over a staggered delivery in August and September. If families have questions, they should reach out to their school.

How will you track attendance? 
While we know that attendance at school is important, our district recognizes this is an unprecedented time. Active participation in remote learning will be an expectation throughout our district when students learn from home.

What will a day look like during in-class and online instruction?
When students are in school, they will receive in-depth instruction from their teacher on prioritized grade-level content. This will then allow students to practice the skills and concepts they learned during in-person instruction when they are in at home learning. 

At home learning will incorporate a variety of planned learning experiences with our district curriculum which is a combination of printed and online materials. At home learning will provide the opportunity for both practice and extension of classroom instruction.

Will there be a common daily schedule across secondary schools? 
No. At this time, schools will still determine the daily schedule that works best for their school environment.

How will Career Center classes, the Zoo Academy and other specialized programs work?
We are working to finalize details for students in these programs. More information will be communicated as it becomes available.

How will science labs and group activities work?
We will continue to work with local and state officials to make determinations and finalize plans as we get closer to the start of school.

Will students take state tests during the school year?
A decision regarding state tests will be made by the Nebraska Department of Education.

How will students be able to keep up if they miss school due to illness in their family?
If a student or anyone in their household feels ill, they need to stay home for the health and safety of all. Through our 1 to 1 technology initiative, students will be able to maintain contact with teachers and continue coursework from home.

In School Health & Safety

What precautions are you taking to make sure kids are healthy in school? 
Health and safety is our priority. We understand the importance of caring for the social and emotional wellbeing of our staff and students. Enhanced cleaning measures, regular disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, frequent handwashing and hand sanitizer use, social distancing measures, limiting transitions, adapting meal procedures and the use of district-provided face coverings will all be part of our comprehensive effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

Why might some school procedures look different? 
The district provided overarching guidelines and expectations to all schools. Schools will make decisions related to specific procedures based on their capacity and what works best in their school setting. Families who have questions should reach out to their school principal.

Will the district provide face coverings for students and staff?
Yes. We have ordered five cloth face coverings for each student and staff member in our district community. Our district has also purchased disposable masks for use by visitors and as needed when a cloth face covering is not available.

Will face coverings be required? 
Our district understands that individuals have different levels of comfort when it comes to wearing a face covering. The CDC recommends that all individuals over the age of 2 wear a face covering to limit the spread of COVID-19. The CDC recommends that face coverings be worn anytime someone is around someone who they do not live with. This will help to limit the spread of the virus. The CDC highlights the importance of wearing a face covering in situations where social distancing may not occur. 

By using face coverings, social distancing where possible, increased cleaning procedures and other measures, we can prioritize in-person learning time. Our district will provide five cloth face coverings for each student and staff member. This will allow students to wear it for one day and then take it home and wash it. We will expect face coverings to be worn in all school buildings. Staff will work with families who have concerns about their child wearing a face covering due to specific medical needs. 

Our goal is to educate and teach students about the importance of face coverings in protecting their teachers, classmates and families. We’re confident that we’ll be able to work with everyone to get where we need to be.

What happens if my student can’t wear a face covering? 
The district will provide five cloth face coverings to each staff member and student as a measure to ensure the health and safety of all. If a student comes to school without a face covering, disposable coverings will be available.

How will a confirmed case of COVID-19 be handled?
We are committed to open and transparent communication with our students, staff and families. We will communicate confirmed cases to those we believe may have come into contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 based on guidance by the Douglas County Health Department. We continue to work with the Douglas County Health Department on who that may include based on contact tracing. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Does the district have enough cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer?
Our district has worked throughout the spring and summer to secure necessary protective and disinfecting equipment. We are grateful to our partners at UNL for manufacturing hand sanitizer.

Will schools be doing temperature checks?
Families will need to regularly screen for symptoms and if anyone at home feels ill, the student must stay home for the health and safety of all. Screening questions will be shared in our weekly newsletter.

How will students know what they can/can’t touch? 
OPS Printing and Publication has designed health and safety-related signs for each school to reinforce safety procedures. 
Click here to watch our video for examples.

What should a school do if a student has signs of COVID-19 in school?
If a student is ill at school, they will move to a designated space while staff work with family members to pick up the student promptly. 

Will families be able to visit school as normal?
Engaging families is critical to the success of each student, so supporting families is important to us. For the health and safety of our school communities, families will not be allowed to visit classrooms to limit the traffic through our schools. Meetings between teachers, school leaders and families should take place virtually whenever possible. If a virtual meeting is not possible, families should schedule an in-person meeting in advance. Social distancing and face coverings will be required.

What happens if a student has symptoms and needs to visit the school nurse?
Staff will have personal protective equipment for their safety and the safety of all when working with students who show symptoms of COVID-19.

At what point would you decide to close an entire school?
Any school-wide intervention would be determined in close coordination with the Douglas County Health Department. It will depend on a number of factors that may include number of reported cases, if more than one grade is affected and how much movement the student or staff members had in the building. We will continue to consult with the state and local officials on what is best for our students and staff. 

Families will be notified through our official channels if and when that happens. Families are encouraged to ensure their email address and phone number are up-to-date with the district to make sure they receive future communication. Families can provide an email address and phone number directly to their student’s school.

1 to 1 Technology (iPads)

What is the 1 to 1 Technology Initiative?
All students with be provided with a district device. Each device will come connected to the internet with learning apps preloaded. The learning apps are managed by the district for student safety.

What is the process for getting iPads to students?
Devices will be issued in waves between now and late September. We are currently planning for the most efficient and equitable distribution of devices.

Will the device work for all students, even those without internet access at home?
Yes, each device comes with a service plan included at no cost to families.

Will training be provided to families on how to use the devices and best practices?
We will have online resources in addition to materials we send home with devices to help families connect through this technology. Many of the apps and programs are those students have already been using while learning at school.

How will the district manage and troubleshoot problems with the devices?
We will work directly with schools to manage and troubleshoot any problems with district-owned devices. We are working with tech committees at each school to provide assistance.

Will there be additional support in place to assist with the increased use of technology?
Yes, we have direct support from our provider in addition to the tech committee support at the building level.

Click here for more information about the 1 to 1 Technology Initiative.

Athletics & Activities

Will the district have fall sports and other activities?
During our time in the 100% Remote Learning Instructional Model, all activities and athletics will be suspended. We understand the important role extra-curricular activities play in a student’s school experience. This suspension is for the health and safety of everyone.

Have students tested positive for COVID-19 during summer opportunities?
We have seen cases across our district community and we’ve worked closely with the Douglas County Health Department on each one. Based on health department recommendations, we communicated directly with students or staff who needed to take precautions as a result of close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. 

What happens if a teammate is exposed? 
The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Under the direction and guidance of our partners at the Douglas County Health Department, our district will communicate any recommendations health officials have directly to the affected families.

Transportation for In School Learning

What are the general health and safety procedures for bus riders?

  • Before boarding the bus: Students should complete a health assessment with a parent every day prior to riding the bus. Students should have a required face covering on before boarding the bus. Whenever possible, students should practice social distancing at the bus stop.

  • When boarding the bus: Students must put on face covering and maintain an arm’s length distance before stepping onto the bus, waiting for the student in front to reach the top step of the bus before boarding. Students from the same household may be asked to share the same seats.

  • While on the bus: Hand sanitizer will be available for use at the top step. Students should proceed to the back of the bus and sit in the first available, designated seat. Students are expected to wear their face covering throughout the entire ride.

  • Exiting the bus: Students will unload from front to back, right to left, and everyone will remain seated until directed by the driver to exit. The bus driver will direct students when it is safe to exit. Once students have exited the bus, they will follow the directions of the school building staff.

How will buses be cleaned?
After all students have exited, the bus the driver will then start the Child Safety Check Procedure. Once that has been completed, the driver will then start the disinfectant process. The driver will spray seats with the district-approved disinfectant after each run throughout the day. At the end of the day, the driver will do a more thorough cleaning process of spraying and wiping down all high touch surfaces.

How will bus/transportation management occur with social distancing?
Seats will be marked to keep students an appropriate distance. We will work proactively to explain routines and expectations while riding to and from school.

If buses are half capacity, will this impact budgeting and routes?
Routes and the buses running routes will generally be the same. The Family 3/2 attendance plan allows for increased social distancing with fewer students riding that route on any given day.

Nutrition Services

Will OPS continue offering meal pick-up options for students who depend on free or reduced-price meals?
Meal pick-up options are available for all students on the days they are not in school learning. Click here for more information and to sign up for Meals2Go.

What will the meal service look like for kids in school?
Based on capacity, each building will be responsible for deciding how meal services operate in our schools.

All students must stop at the restroom on the way to lunch to wash their hands, and social distancing measures will be followed. Students will not face each other while eating and all seating will be six feet apart. Hand sanitizer will be used before entering the line. Face coverings will be worn when students are not eating.

What changes have been made to ensure safety in this area?
Students will see new meal options this school year as part of the district’s plan to ensure a responsible return to school. Grab-and-go options and tray covers will be available.

Will in school cleaning procedures change for nutrition services?
Yes. The nutrition services team will introduce enhanced cleaning procedures. Dining areas will be sanitized regularly.

 

Remote Learning Program

All students who enrolled in the Remote Learning Program will move back into their regular classes. This will be done so that all students and staff are on a consistent schedule and paired with their peers. As our district continues to monitor health conditions to determine the best instructional model for second quarter and beyond, we will determine what fully remote options may be available and appropriate at that time.