Dear Omaha Public Schools Community Partners:
We are writing to you because we value the health and safety of our students, staff and families. We continue to work with Douglas County Health Department on the evolution of COVID-19 in our community.
Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, all Omaha Public Schools will be closed as a preemptive measure to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Please understand this decision was made after careful consultation with state and local officials. Student and staff health and safety is our top priority.
Continued Learning Opportunities for Students
We have plans in place to ensure students can stay engaged throughout this closure.
- Students in Elementary School:
Each elementary school has printed packets to provide home learning for PK through sixth grade students. On Monday, March 16, these packets are available for pick up between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Packets can be picked up at your student’s school. The packets are also available on the Omaha Public Schools website.
- Students in Middle and High School:
Students will be provided one activity per week, per class via email or another a digital platform for most classes. More information will be forthcoming from individual teachers. Students will be expected to complete the lessons during the closure. The lessons are designed to keep students engaged in learning but will not be graded. If your family has internet access at home but not a household computer or mobile device, please contact your school principal by email beforeSunday, March 15. We will strive to assist.
- All Students
Thanks to a great partnership between Omaha Public Schools and Scholastic, all families have access to online reading materials.
- The Learning at Home Site, provided by Scholastic, is for Pre-K through grades 9+ and is a completely free resource to be used at home. There will be approximately three hours of learning opportunities that will include projects based on exciting articles and stories, virtual field trips, reading and geography challenges and more. This home resource will be available March 13-April 20, 2020. Log in at: www.scholastic.com/learnathome
Questions for Teachers
Certified teachers will be available to answer questions via email for students and families.
Meal Service and The Food Bank of the Heartland
We understand that many students rely on school meals. Due to the recommendation to limit large gatherings of individuals and in the interest of student and staff safety, meals will not be provided during the closure. We are grateful for our partners at the Food Bank of the Heartland who are preparing to assist families who need it. More information will be shared in the days to come.
Limiting Contact During the Closure
We want to reiterate that the goal of a community closure is to mitigate the spread of the virus. We ask that staff, families and community members follow the guidance of the CDC and Douglas County Health Department. The CDC recommends the best way to stop the spread in a community is to limit exposure to others.
As of right now, we will close for one week. At that time, we will work with state and local officials to assess the current community health situation and determine the readiness to return to school. We will continue to work with the Douglas County Health Department to ensure we are providing updated information to our families and staff. More information can also be found at ops.org.
It is times like these that our community values are visible. Please take care of each other. Reach out to neighbors and friends and lend a hand to those in need. We will get through this, but it will take all of us thinking creatively and continuing to support our community’s children.
Cheryl J. Logan, Ed.D.