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Return to In-Person Learning

Second Semester Phased Return In-Person

From our layers of precautions to the pioneering OPS PROTECTS testing program, Omaha Public Schools makes each decision with health and safety at the forefront.

With that in mind, Omaha Public Schools will begin the second semester of this school year with a phased return in-person. Staff will teach from their classroom and students will start the semester as scheduled on Tuesday, Jan. 5 using their district-provided device from home. 

Here are the dates for that phased return in-person:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021: All students begin with remote instruction following the normal bell schedule. JP Lord School returns in-person five days a week.

  • Monday, Jan. 11, 2021: K-12 ACP, Transition, Elementary BSP, Early Childhood Special Education, Homebased/Homebound, and Hearing Impaired classrooms return in-person five days a week.

  • Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021: All students return in-person following the Family 3/2 Model attendance calendar. Gateway to College, OPS/UNO Middle College Program, Parrish, Student Success Program and the Zoo Academy return in person five days a week.

In-person instruction will continue with the Family 3/2 Model in the weeks that follow Jan. 19. At this time, there are no district-wide changes to our instructional model between now and winter break.

We know students learn best in-person. We are also working closely with public health leaders and medical experts for the health, safety and well-being of everyone in our school communities. This phased return in-person at the start of second semester will limit traffic on-site and allow students and families to return to their routine following an extended winter break.

Of course, health conditions have and continue to evolve rapidly. If adjustments are needed, we will update staff and families directly, with as much advance notice as possible.

The Remote Learning Program will remain an option for students who wish to continue learning full-time from home during the second semester.

Please look for additional information to come.

In-Person Learning Details

We appreciate the hard work our staff, students and families invested as we started the year remotely. We received a range of feedback, some voicing appreciation for remote learning and others expressing their preference to return. We recently completed our phased approach to return in person using our Family 3/2 Instructional Model for most students.

Family 3/2 Instructional Model
Students attend based on the first letter of their last name. Students with a last name A-K attend each Monday and Tuesday. Students with a last name L-Z attend each Thursday and Friday. Groups alternate each Wednesday. Students learn at home the remaining days each week through our 1 to 1 technology initiative.

Whether students return using the Family 3/2 Instructional Model or attend five days in person is based on specialized services, programs or experiential learning.

On days when students learn at home in our Family 3/2 Instructional Model, elementary students will attend a morning meeting and later access on-demand lessons in English Language Arts and math. Secondary students will virtually attend their regular day of classes via Microsoft Teams. See the FAQ for details regarding day-to-day instruction for the Family 3/2 Instructional Model.

Remote Learning Program
Remote learning will remain an option for families who feel it is best for their student during this time. There will be differences in the full-time Remote Learning Program when compared to our current instructional model. See the FAQ for details regarding day-to-day instruction for the Remote Learning Program. Families may request adjustments to attendance plans by contacting their students' schools directly.

Health and Safety
Health and safety has been our priority as we planned for a responsible return to school. We care deeply about our students, staff and families. Our Family 3/2 Instructional Model allows for enhanced social distancing in addition to our layers of precautions which include district-provided facial coverings, hand sanitizer throughout our schools, frequent hand-washing and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures. We take these measures most seriously.

To limit the spread of COVID-19 in the greater Omaha community, we encourage students, staff and families to follow safety precautions in their time away from work and school. A community-wide focus on health and safety will support the students we serve. To watch short videos outlining our health and safety procedures, visit the Omaha Public Schools YouTube page.

Every day before they leave home, families will complete a self-health assessment, asking themselves three vital questions:

  • Has your child had a fever of 100.4 or greater, a new cough, new onset of shortness of breath, new loss of taste or smell in the last 24 hours?
  • Is your child waiting for a Covid-19 test result?
  • Has anyone in your household been diagnosed with Covid-19 in the last 14 days?

If they answer "yes" to any of these questions, they will be expected to stay home.

Face Coverings

  • Multilayer cloth face coverings are required for all staff, students and visitors.  
  • Families are allowed to provide their own multilayer cloth face coverings. Please note: Gaiters are single layer and can only be used if doubled up and cover both the nose and the mouth.
  • Plastic face shields are not a suitable replacement for multilayer cloth face coverings.
  • Masks with a valve (as well as mesh masks or masks with openings, holes, visible gaps in the design or material or vents) are NOT sufficient face coverings because they allow exhaled droplets to be released into the air.

Meals2Go
Omaha Public Schools is offering Meals2Go at no cost to any child ages 1 - 18 including remote learners. See the Meals2Go page for complete details.

Extra-Curricular Activities
With our return to in-person learning, we plan to proceed with winter season athletics and other extra-curricular activities, which begin in November. 

  • Students would be able to attend practices on days when they are not on-site through our Family 3/2 model. However, students participating in the Remote Learning Program would not be eligible to participate in extra-curricular activities on-site. 

  • In the event a school were to temporarily transition to remote learning due to a significant number of cases identified on-site, extra-curricular activities would be suspended while students learn from home.

  • We continue to plan for the opportunity to play fall sports in the spring season.

OPSF Kids Club
Families who participate in the OPSF Kids Club and other before and after school programs should look for additional information in the near future.

Calendar
To allow staff time to prepare for a return to in-person learning, we will recommend additional days for professional development to our Board of Education. See the updated calendar here.

Next Steps
If you have school or classroom-specific questions, please contact your teacher or principal by email. If you have general questions for our district, please email info@ops.org. Because of the volume of questions we may receive, we will strive to respond within three business days. 

Throughout our return to in-person learning, we will continue monitoring health conditions in our community. Our conversations with the Douglas County Health Department and University of Nebraska Medical Center are ongoing. We value collaboration among our staff, with families and community partners and we are grateful for your support.

More to Know

Help fight the Flu. Get your flu shot today! For more information, please call 402-444-3400Ayude a combatir la gripe. Póngase la vacuna contra la gripe hoy! Para más información, por favor llame al 402-444-3400


Questions? See our full updated COVID-19 FAQ.

 

Updated 10/29/20