OPS Holding Open Houses For Omaha Education Week

By: Katie Stukey Email
By: Katie Stukey Email
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Omaha Public Schools open their doors to community members this week as part of Omaha Education Week.

It's a chance to see how our tax-dollars are being put to work, but one significant investment in the works right now could be hard to show off.

When parents stop by schools this week, they probably won't have much interest in seeing the inner workings of a school's Internet connections. But right now that's one area of high priority and great change district-wide.

"We've been working on this project for some time," says Dave Patton with Omaha Public Schools.

A year after Central High School debuted as the first OPS school with full wireless coverage. Now, 52 more schools have the same capabilities.

"We stream so much more information," Patton says. "We have online tutorial programs that the kids use. The book publishers all come with DVDs."

Yet keeping up with a 21st century learning environment in many old buildings take time.

"To do all of them, it will probably be a 20-24 month scenario," Patton says.

It's also a costly venture.

"The board committed to no more than $10 million to do the next 18 buildings," Patton says.

Eventually the whole district should be outfitted to make technology-based learning a realistic possibility inside most every classroom.

"Students today are used to that," Patton says. "That's what they do and so the activities can be more engaging for them in an electronic environment so we hear very positive things on it."

In addition to wireless Internet improvements, OPS has been improving wired Internet as well, replacing Internet cabling. Officials at Omaha North High School say it'd been 20 years since cabling had been updated, which can seem like a lifetime when it comes to technology.

Check out the new technology and other changes during Omaha Education Week, starting Monday. Here's the official schedule:

Monday, September 9, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Catlin Magnet; Conestoga Magnet; Crestridge Magnet; Fullerton Magnet; Lothrop Magnet; Skinner Magnet; Spring Lake Magnet; Western Hills Magnet; Blackburn; and Parrish

Tuesday, September 10, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Beveridge Magnet Middle; Bryan Middle; Buffett Magnet Middle; Hale Magnet Middle; King Science Magnet Middle; Lewis & Clark Middle; Marrs Magnet Middle; McMillan Magnet Middle; Monroe Middle; Morton Magnet Middle; Norris Middle

Wednesday, September 11, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Benson High Magnet; Bryan High; Burke High; Central High; North High Magnet; Northwest High Magnet; South High Magnet

Thursday, September 12, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Head Start sites; all non-magnet elementary schools; Wilson Focus School; Integrated Learning Program; J.P. Lord; Career Center; and the Transition Program at PVA

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