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5 Ways to Improve iPad Performance

iPad with low battery warning

Technology is a great tool for learning at home or in-person, and while hiccups happen, there are little tweaks you can make to help stay connected in class. Discover our quick and easy tips to keep your iPad running smoothly.

Take Charge 
Plug the iPad in overnight to charge and during breaks throughout the day so you’re always able to be connected.

Work on WiFi
If you have access to a WiFi network, turn off Cellular Data (LTE internet access) while the iPad is connected to WiFi. This helps preserve battery life while speeding up downloads and improving streaming.

Be Mindful of Videos
iPad batteries drain faster while streaming video. If you’re low on power, keep unnecessary streaming to a minimum until you can charge back up.

Dial Back the Brightness
The brighter the screen, the quicker the battery drains. Use the Control Center or Settings app to turn down your brightness to preserve power. 

Tidy Up
Just like a physical work space, iPads work more efficiently when things are orderly. Close out unused tabs in Safari and clear your cache and cookies to improve performance. 

Still feeling sluggish? Restart your iPad first, then contact your teacher or school for additional technical support if needed.

Investing in Staff Cultivates New Educators

Summer Hospodka teaches kindergarten virtually from her classroom

Summer Hospodka has supported students in Omaha Public Schools’ classrooms for nearly three years, but the 2020-21 school year brings an exciting new chapter as a teacher. The Chandler View Elementary kindergarten educator credits the Para to Teacher Career Ladder Program for getting her there.

Hospodka first learned of the program from Principal Elizabeth Holland at Pawnee Elementary when she interviewed to become a paraprofessional. She had already earned a scholarship to another college, but what she heard about the Para to Teacher program prompted her to reconsider her future.

“Everyone spoke so highly of it, so I decided to … apply for the para to educator program and cross my fingers and toes and hope that I got in,” Hospodka said.   

Omaha Public Schools and area universities created the accelerated program to help district paraprofessionals earn a K-8 endorsement and start a teaching career. The district covers the cost for paras who work in district schools and continue their employment for at least three years after graduation. Flexible class times allow aspiring teachers to balance home, work and school.

For Hospodka, the courses she took through Midland University helped build on the skills she learned as a para. 

“Classroom management is a huge one,” she said. “As a para, you do some things, but learning through the courses at Midland just how to set up your classroom and do the behind the scenes type things that maybe as a para you don’t get to see. Having that helped bring it all full circle.”

Hospodka’s class of 20 varied in age and experience and included attendees from across the district. Having a diverse group helped enhance skills they had already learned working as paras in the classroom. 

“You could bounce so many different ideas off of other people through different buildings and different grades, so you were always learning and collaborating,” she said. “If you were at a traditional school and not working as a para, just going to school, you don’t have the same experiences.” 

Though Hospodka had plenty of classroom experience, the program helped her become more confident stepping into a new role. 

“The nice thing is I have my para school, I have my student teaching school … and now, having a new school that I’m working at, I have so many avenues and resources to get help,” she said. “I think that’s one of the biggest things about the para to teacher program. You just have so much help and people rooting for you. That’s a huge plus.”

Hospodka encourages others in the district to follow her path. After completing the program, graduates are eligible for a Nebraska teaching certificate and program graduates who work in Omaha Public Schools are guaranteed an interview for a classroom position.

“Don’t let age be a factor – it’s never too late to chase your dreams,” she said. “We had a variety from 21 years old all the way up to 60 years old in our program. If you want to be a teacher, if you have that passion for kids, just do it. Take that chance. Take that leap because being able to collaborate with other paras and then have your dream job is pretty amazing.”

Applications will open later this semester. District paraprofessionals interested in the program can reach out to LaTasha Muhammad, Staff Development Coordinator at latasha.muhammad@ops.org for more information.

Update: Weekly Family Support Center

UPDATE 8/25/20:
The Family Support Center will be open weekly at Morton Middle School. See details below.

We know that families may have questions about the 100% remote learning instructional model. Never hesitate to reach out to your child’s school if you have questions that may be answered by phone or email. 

Understanding that some solutions may require in-person assistance, our District has decided to continue offering a Family Support Center weekly through September. This will be a one-stop shop to help families start the school year successfully. Families will be able to work with nutrition services, technology support staff, counselors and other staff to answer any questions they may have.

Morton Middle School Cafeteria
-    Aug. 31 (Monday)
-    Sept. 8 (Tuesday)
-    Sept. 14 (Monday)
-    Sept. 21 (Monday)
-    Sept. 28 (Monday)
Each session runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The following services will be available for families
-    School Support Liaisons
-    Bilingual Liaisons
-    Counselors
-    Social Workers
-    Nutrition Services – to assist with meal applications and Meals2Go information
-    Technology Support 
-    Student and Community Services

Health and Safety Precautions
All visitors will be required to wear facial coverings while at any of the Family Support Centers. We ask all staff and families to maintain distance whenever possible for the health and well-being of everyone.

Technology Support
In addition to in-person supports, the district has produced several videos to help families navigate District provided iPads. To review resources, click here.

Meals2Go Updates for Aug. 31 – Sept. 25

We are happy to support student success through our Meals2Go program. We have some important program updates to share, designed to make pick up easier for our families. 

Click here to request meals from Aug. 31 through Sept. 25. Please complete the request form on or before Wednesday, Aug. 26 to allow staff time to prepare. After Aug. 26, if your family would like to request meals in September, please call Nutrition Services at 531-299-0230.

Updates for Aug. 31 – Sept. 25

· Families will only need to pick up meals on Monday and Wednesday. Monday packages will have meals for that day and Tuesday. Wednesday packages will have meals for that day, Thursday and Friday.

· You may now select which school is most convenient to pick up meals. The window of time for pickup is 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Monday and Wednesday.

Labor Day

· Monday, Sept. 7: Schools will not be in session and meals will not be distributed.

· Tuesday, Sept. 8: One day of meals will be available for pickup.

· Wednesday, Sept. 9: Meals for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will be available for pickup.

For complete Meals2Go information, please visit our website. A reminder that all breakfast meals are complimentary. Depending on a student’s meal status, there may be a cost for each lunch. Families interested in applying for free or reduced-price school meals for the 2020-21 school year can submit an application here: https://www.schoolcafe.com/.