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Omaha Public Schools plans return to in-person learning

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 4:48 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha Public Schools is making plans to phase students back into classrooms — if student families choose to do so.

“At this point, we are ready to bring our students back,” Dr. Cheryl Logan, superintendent of Omaha Public Schools, said in a video posted to the district’s YouTube account.

While remote learning will remain an option for student families, the district is planning to welcome K-12 students in the alternate curriculum, transition, elementary behavioral skills, and special ed programs five days a week starting Sept. 23.

On Oct. 5, pre-K, elementary, and middle-school students opting in from the Family 3/2 plan would begin in-person learning, with high school students on the Family 3/2 plan coming back on Oct. 19.

Students at J.P. Lord School returned to a five-day learning schedule on Wednesday, according to the OPS news release.

“We certainly appreciate the amount of support that we have received since March. At this time, we are ready to bring our students back into schools,” Logan said in the release. “As we move forward, every one of us, from our smallest three-year-olds to our seniors, can contribute to making sure we have a safe, responsible return to school.”

Meals will be available in the school cafeterias on days students are at school, with the Meals2Go program continuing to provide lunches on days students are not in class or for those who continue with remote learning.

In a letter from Logan sent to student families on Wednesday, OPS said it was still planning to have fall sports play during the spring season.

“Students would be able to attend practices on days when they are not on-site through our Family 3/2 model,” the letter states. But students participating in 100% remote learning will not be able to participate in any on-site extra-curricular activities.

If a school returns to full remote-learning due to a COVID-19 outbreak, all extra-curricular activities would be suspended while students are learning from home, the letter states.

The letter instructed student families to watch for an additional email with a form indicating whether students would return to class or remain in remote-learning, noting the selection had to be made by Sunday.

OPS said it would provide an updated calendar with the Family 3/2 plans sometime next week.

The district announced the move to 100% remote learning just ahead of the first day of school in August, at which time Logan said the plan was to keep students out of school buildings through at least the first quarter. Wednesday’s announcement moves that timeline up.

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