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Omaha Virtual School Open House & Applications

 

Our district is adding space for 400 new students in the program for the 2021-22 school year. Applications are open for students currently residing in the OPS district. Click here for information on how to apply.
 

What's New for 2021-22!!

Omaha Virtual School is excited for the 2021-22 school year, where we will welcome back all learners to our blended learning environment. All students will meet once per week to engage in learning experiences that they can't do at home. This means, students will engage in collaboration, problem-solving, and inquiry, not to mention experiments, projects, and hands-on learning. We will also provide meaningful support for our parents/learning coaches so they feel comfortable teaching their students at home. Our parent/learning coach trainings will include ways to implement reading and math strategies at home, planning and organizing your student's schedule, how to use the tech tools to support learning, and more! 


Learn More About OVS

Visit the website

Omaha Virtual School Virtual Open House

Panel Discussion Q&A session with staff, students and families

 


Hear From OVS Families

Elementary School

Middle School

High School


Frequently Asked Questions About Omaha Virtual School

General

What is Omaha Virtual School?
The Omaha Virtual School (OVS) began in the 2016-17 school year as the first K-8th grade virtual school in the State of Nebraska. OVS is a program within Omaha Public Schools that currently serves K-12th grade students. Since OVS is a unique learning environment, we have gathered some frequently asked questions that are intended to help interested families understand the program and help determine if OVS is a good fit for their family and their learner.  

How is OVS different from fully remote learning?

  • OVS is a blended program that requires weekly face-to-face sessions at the learning center in the TAC building at 3215 Cuming Street. 
  • Most of the learner's week is spent at home working through the curriculum with the support of their learning coach (parent/guardian). There are limited live online classes. Teacher support is limited to scheduled support times. 
  • OVS is a program with high expectations and a rigorous curriculum.
  • OVS requires strong adult support at home. 
  • K-5 students may need someone to help them for up to 6 hours per day while at home.
  • OVS does not offer transportation, breakfast/lunch, sports or music and has a limited course catalog. There is limited access to counselors and OVS does not have a social worker on staff. 

Will there still be a fully remote learning program for 2021-22?
We know that strong, consistent engagement with students is key to addressing unfinished teaching and learning from the pandemic. With that in mind, we anticipate the Omaha Virtual School will be the only blended learning option for students in the 2021-22 school year. The Remote Learning Program concluded at the end of May 2021.

What is blended learning?
In a blended learning model, students complete online coursework at home with the guidance of their parent/guardian or other individual close to the student who serves as their learning coach. To enhance online learning and focus on skills, students participate in an engaging, face-to-face class at least once per week. These activities include labs, guest speakers, cooperative learning opportunities and much more!

Is there a cost to attend?
OVS is a free program within Omaha Public Schools. We provide a device and all the materials students need to be successful in the program. 
 
Does my student need their own device?
No. OVS supplies each student with a device to complete their work at home. Typical home office supplies, such as printing paper, are not supplied.
 
What curriculum does OVS use?
K12.com provides content, curriculum and the learning management system for OVS. 

Where do face-to-face sessions take place?
OVS sessions are located on the 4th floor of Omaha Public Schools Teacher Administrator Center (TAC) at 3215 Cuming Street in Omaha.
 
How long are face-to-face sessions?
K-8 students attend one half-day per week and high school students attend a full day each week. Due to limited space, middle school and high school students do not attend sessions on the same day.  

Are the face-to-face sessions required?
Yes, these are a necessary component to this learning environment. Research shows that the in-person element of blended learning increases student success.

How many students are in each classroom during face-to-face sessions?
K-5th grade class sizes will be from 10-12 students. 6th-8th grade class sizes will be from 15-18 students, and 9th-12th grade class sizes will be from 18-20 students. These class sizes allow for us to manage students in small groups and maximize the space that we have available to us in the TAC building.
  
How is my student’s learning progress monitored?
The parent representative/learning coach helps facilitate and monitor the student's daily progress, based off the pacing guides that OVS teachers create and distribute. During online, live lessons and face-to-face class time, OVS teachers frequently measure students’ mastery of concepts to personalize learning. Our teachers also provide feedback and are available to answer questions for both the learning coach and the student. OVS provides a positive and caring support system. Student success relies on strong communication between the parent, teacher, and student.
 
Are students required to participate in state testing?
Students are required to take state assessments and come in an additional day on state testing weeks to complete the test in the learning center.
 
What if my student needs extra help?
OVS teachers have support times built into their week for any students that feel they could benefit from some additional time with their teacher. We also provide intervention for learners who qualify for additional supports in the areas of reading and math.
 
Can my student get meals if our family qualifies for free/reduced lunch?
K-8th grade students will not eat lunch at school. However, our high school students do. Families are encouraged to still apply each year to qualify for fee/reduced pricing for high school lunch and for community support programs and memberships. 

Eligibility

What determines a student's acceptance into OVS? 
In order to be successful in OVS, a student must meet the following criteria:

  • They are independently motivated to learn.
  • A parent/guardian or other adult close to the student is available daily to facilitate learning and keep the student on-track.
  • They are able to attend face-to-face sessions at least once per week at the learning center inside the TAC building at 3215 Cuming Street in Omaha.
  • They have access to consistent transportation to face-to-face sessions. OVS does not offer any transportation or vouchers for transportation.
  • Consistent internet service is available inside the home.
  • They are credit sufficient/on track for graduation (high school)

Other considerations include attendance at previous school, chronic behavior and attendance issues, credit sufficiency for high school students, and recommendations or input from current or previous schools.

High school students must meet the following credit requirements: 

Grade Credits Needed
First Semester Entry
Credits Needed
Second Semester Entry
9th 0 6
10th 13 19
11th 25 31
12th 37 43

 

Students who have not attended Omaha Public Schools may have transcripts that calculate differently. As a rule of thumb, students should be on-track to graduate on-time without doing credit recovery. If you have questions about whether your student would be credit-eligible, please contact us at virtualschool@ops.org.
 
Can high school students make up missing credits at OVS?
OVS does not offer credit recovery. High school students entering the program must be on track to graduate on schedule. If a student is not credit-sufficient for OVS, they may make up the credits needed through an accredited program and reapply the next semester.
 
Does OVS offer Pre-K?
No, OVS does not have a Pre-K class in the program.

Does OVS provide special education services?
Yes, OVS provides special education services.

Applications & Acceptance

Can students outside of Omaha Public Schools apply?
At this time we will only be accepting applications from students who reside in the Omaha Public Schools district.

How will you determine which students get accepted to OVS?
New enrollments will be determined based on space and application criteria.

At Home

What is my role as parent/guardian in my student’s learning experience?
A parent/guardian or other individual close to the student serves as a learning coach. The learning coach is highly active and engaged in their student's education. They are expected to learn how to navigate the online learning system to monitor student progress and ensure the student is on-task and engaged in the course content. Learning coaches must be in regular communication with OVS to ensure a strong school-to-home partnership. Additionally, learning coaches are responsible for providing transportation to face-to-face learning sessions and any other required in-person meetings, such as required state testing.  
 
Do students spend all day in front of a device?
K-5 students receive K12 workbooks and other materials that are used to learn away from their devices. Completed material is turned into their teachers to be graded. Middle and high school students spend much more time working through the curriculum online. However, they do receive books and other materials that are used offline.

Extracurricular Activities

Can my student participate in activities, such as sports, music, etc.?
OVS does not have athletics or a music program. However, clubs are offered either online or in person, such as robotics, drones, Minecraft club, etc. Club offerings vary each year and typically begin in September/October. K-8th grade students can participate in athletics/activities at their neighborhood school. Parents are responsible for registering their student and transporting them to and from the school. High school students who want to participate in NSAA sports must take at least half of their classes at the school where they participate in athletics and the rest at OVS.  

How do students socialize in the program?
OVS offers various field trips and family socials throughout the year as well as collaborative opportunities during face-to-face sessions. Learners also have opportunities to participate in open art sessions or take part in extracurricular activities, such as the award-winning robotics program. Students also interact with each other and experts in our community and throughout the world using Microsoft Teams.

High School

Does OVS offer the same courses as traditional Omaha Public Schools buildings?
OVS curriculum is aligned with Omaha Public Schools to ensure your student gets a quality education that meets state standards. Curriculum is provided through K12 online school, and the catalog of classes for high school is limited. Click here to view the 2021-22 Course Catalog
 
What if OVS doesn't offer a course a student wants to take?
Students can take a course that OVS doesn't offer at their Omaha Public Schools home attendance school. It is up to the student to contact their home attendance area school and register for that class. The OVS counselor needs to be aware of courses taken at home attendance schools. Some OVS students are also enrolled in other programs, such as the Career Center.
 
Do students get a diploma when they graduate from OVS?
Yes! OVS is accredited and all graduates receive a diploma from their Omaha Public Schools home attendance area school. If the student lives outside of our district, the diploma comes from Omaha North.

Bond Programs Remain on Track

An important investment in our students and community remains on track as promised, as Omaha Public Schools completes the first phase of its bond program and remains on schedule with phase two. Both initiatives, approved by voters, have allowed for safety, security and technology upgrades districtwide, as well as building renovations and new construction.

“To be able to look back confidently at the taxpayers who granted us the funds and say, ‘we’re on schedule and we’re on budget and we’re doing what we need to do to improve the students’ experience’ is a huge sense of pride for me,” said Brad Boganowski, Omaha Public Schools bond construction supervisor.

The work to enhance our schools and programs for the students, staff and families of Omaha Public Schools began with the 2014 Bond Program (Phase 1) which included more than 80 projects, totaling $421 million. Phase one wrapped up last summer on time and within budget.

“We were able to move first grades out of smaller classrooms into full-size, beautiful, updated classrooms,” said Lynette Keyes, Masters Elementary School principal. “Students and staff are excited. They’ve taken pride in their school. They’re excited about the addition.”

Northwest High School principal Thomas Lee agreed, saying building upgrades have provided a benefit to the community and the students we serve.

“When you have buildings that kids enjoy coming to and walking into and being proud of, it helps them to be better when it comes to being a student. It helps them take pride in their education, it helps them to take pride in the things that are going on in and around their schools and in the community,” he said.

As part of the district’s proactive plan to address future growth, the 2014 bond initiative also helped Omaha Public Schools acquire land to build new schools to be funded by the 2018 Bond Program (Phase 2). The $409 million bond received voter support in May 2018.

“So far, on the 2018 bond, we’re on schedule with the 25 different structures that we’re working in and we’re on budget,” added Boganowski. “We’ve got five new builds going on, including two high schools, a middle school and two elementary schools.”

In addition to the new construction, phase two also includes 20 renovation projects that range from storm shelters to the addition of classroom space.

“We have a nine-room addition that will help us eliminate the portables here,” said Morton Middle School Principal Dr. Kimberly Jackson. “We’re going to renovate our auditorium area and add another four classrooms there with a multipurpose area. So, that’s going to eliminate all of our portables and bring all of our staff and students inside the building finally.”

Despite the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, work on phase two maintained its momentum throughout the last year. Construction teams have made adjustments to ensure work interruptions are minimized during this time. The teams have used critical due diligence to manage, track, and coordinate essential material deliveries needed to keep the bond projects moving forward on schedule.

For detailed information regarding the status of the bond programs, please go to bond.ops.org.

Early Childhood Planning Region Team 19 Meeting

Omaha Public Schools will host the Early Childhood Planning Region Team 19 Meeting. This meeting will include review and discussion of services offered to children from birth to five who have special needs and their families.  We will also discuss needs and recommendations for the 2021-2022 grant year.  The meeting is open to school district representatives, service providers, parents, non-public agencies serving children below age five and other interested persons. The agenda may be obtained by emailing Connie.Coltrane@ops.org.

 

Date: April 16, 2021

Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Meeting will be held virtually via Microsoft Teams; an invite to participate via video or phone will be sent if you reach out by email.

April Sup for the Soul

Dr. Logan recently stopped by Highland Elementary School's temporary home while bond updates take place at their school. She shares an update on our Say Yes to the Prom Dress event, Next Level Learning and more in this week's Sup for the Soul. Watch the video below for news from Omaha Public Schools.