Omaha Public Schools superintendent addresses concerns, changes heading into new year

“Our student teachers who join us, do receive a stipend for the semester”
Omaha Public Schools welcomed students for their first official day back.
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 5:46 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha Public Schools welcomed students for their first official day back Wednesday and Dr. Cheryl Logan, OPS Superintendent, took the opportunity to address some concerns.

She explained the bus driver shortage is still very much an issue for the district, as it has been for the last 15 years across the state.

But, she also said the district is starting in a “better position” than last year.

OPS is also scaling back on having an ambulance present at each football game in case of emergency — that’ll now be an on-call service.

In terms of overall staffing, Dr. Logan addressed persistent shortages there too but added that despite the hurdles, the district does have some recruiting incentives.

“Our student teachers who join us, do receive a stipend for the semester. It’s $9,000 for full-time student teaching and half of that for half-time student teachers. Then, we have a stipend available for all of our staff. It’s $4,500 this year and next year, payable in three increments,” Dr. Logan stated.

Omaha Public Schools welcomed students for their first official day back.

The media was invited to tour the district’s newest facility, Pine Elementary School.

Principal Adriana Vargas, a 12-year veteran of the district, reminded families of the resources available to them, explaining that amid all the excitement that comes with a new semester, OPS hasn’t forgotten that families may still need some extra help.

”We are very fortunate to have a very generous community in Omaha and so we have backpacks ready for parents that can’t afford them. We are establishing a little food pantry here and clothing needs. We also have connections throughout the community to help,” said Vargas.

Pine Elementary School has a 600-student capacity, but this year they will have about 300 students.

Principal Vargas said that’ll make for a smooth transition, to establish good routines and procedures.

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