December 2022
A portrait of Omaha Public Schools superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan
Superintendent Cheryl Logan, Ed.D., shared the following message with all Omaha Public Schools staff and families on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022.
Dear Omaha Public Schools Community,

It has been a joy to serve as your Superintendent. The leadership Omaha Public Schools has exemplified at the state and national level amongst large, urban school districts is something we should all be proud of. We have a caring, committed staff, and we serve the best students.

With deep gratitude for the time we’ve spent together, I notified our Board of Education that this will be my final school year with our school district. I will step away from my position at the end of June 2023. I am forever grateful for and honored by the friendships and partnerships we’ve built together. Alas, it is time for me to return home to my family. It is time for me to have tea with my sisters on Saturdays, to watch my nephew play soccer and to spend quality time with my husband and daughter, located close to my native home and both of our families.

From the time the Board of Education offered me this opportunity in 2018, we have accomplished much through our Strategic Plan of Action. We’ve elevated learning through hard work, new materials and expanded programs. With the support of the voters, we’ve built five new schools on time and on budget and renovated several more. We have positioned the long-term financial health of our school district to ensure we can deliver a quality education for all children. We’ve navigated three school years amid global pandemic disruptions.

It takes everyone – staff, families and our community – to make our system “go.” We have important work ahead in the second semester of our 2022-23 school year. Even through challenging times, our service to students, families, community and our investment in the future generation remains at the center of our work. 

Thank you for supporting me along the journey of meeting the challenges and opportunities that have come our way. We worked diligently to support our 52,000 students. I look forward to a strong finish.
Cordially yours,
Cheryl Logan, Ed.D.
Omaha Public Schools
To read a message from Board of Education President Shavonna Holman, Ed.D., thanking Dr. Logan for her service and discussing our district’s next steps, visit
Student Teachers Eager to Serve Young People Full-Time at Omaha Public Schools
Student teacher Kelsey Christensen starts each morning the same way at Jefferson Elementary. She greets bus riders, then helps students get settled in their classrooms.
“I love Ms. Kelsey because she’s nice,” said Elizabeth Arriaga-Aguiluz, Jefferson Elementary first-grader. “And she helps me with my math.”
Christensen, a University of Nebraska Omaha senior, supports our district as a student teacher this semester.
“Everyone at Jefferson makes me feel so welcome,” she said. “Being here, getting to know the kids and the staff and learning new things is amazing.”
Christensen is one of approximately 40 student teachers already committed to full-time teaching positions with Omaha Public Schools. They will join our district for the start of the second semester in January after they complete their student teaching.
“It's nice to know that there are still those young students who value education, who want to come into the field and do what's best for kids and are just excited to be here and learn from everyone around them,” said Lisa Moody, a Jefferson Elementary special education teacher.
Omaha Public Schools is a leader in finding innovative ways to recruit and retain qualified teachers amid a national shortage. Our district has implemented pipeline programs that help train future educators. In January, Omaha Public Schools also announced a stipend of $9,000 per semester to attract student teachers. Our district was the first in the state to do so. Christensen said that extra support played a role in her choice to join our district.
“It was a big reason why I chose Omaha Public Schools as my top school,” she said. “When you are student teaching, it’s like having a full-time job. You’re here 40 hours plus a week.”
More than 100 student teachers joined Omaha Public Schools this fall, nearly three times more than in previous years. Once they begin, staff and district leaders work to ensure they have access to the resources they need to become successful educators.

“The student teachers that we have are a part of our school community,” said Christina Warner, Ph.D., principal at Franklin Elementary. “It's a learning experience of how can we support them and lean on them and then have them lean on us.”

Christensen is scheduled to start full-time at Prairie Wind Elementary in January. She is excited to begin her career and grateful for the experience gained at Jefferson Elementary.
Omaha Public Schools Expanding Tutoring Services for Students
Second grader Grace Speights joins a small group at Rose Hill Elementary several times weekly to review math lessons.
“It’s okay if I make a mistake,” said Speights, who participates in one of Omaha Public Schools before-school tutoring programs.
Micah Speights says tutoring has helped build his daughter’s confidence in her math skills. “She comes home excited to tell me what she has learned,” he said. “My child is doing better in math; that’s all I can ask for.”
Rose Hill Elementary staff helped connect Grace and other students to tutoring opportunities for reading and math.
“Our attendance has been great,” said Christine Koltas, Rose Hill Elementary teacher and tutoring liaison. “We’ll be adding more students in January, which we are very excited to do.”
Omaha Public Schools announced expanded academic support and tutoring services in November. The three-part strategy includes school-based tutoring, community-based tutoring for students enrolled in before and after-school programs and online on-demand services.

“The intent of this strategy is to offer options,” said Susanne Cramer, Omaha Public Schools executive director of school improvement. “By having these different options operating simultaneously, we hope to create access through this investment for all our students.”
School-based staff connect tutoring lessons to the skills, standards and concepts students learn in class.
“We’re not necessarily going back and teaching every missed skill, but we're thinking strategically about what concepts students need right now to access the curriculum,” Cramer added.
Omaha Public Schools Foundation Kids Club and Collective for Youth will lead the community-based tutoring services. Our district will provide training, support and materials for these programs.
Online on-demand tutoring is scheduled to launch in January 2023. This option will be available to students in grades 3-12 with full coverage in English and Spanish. Students also have the opportunity for near-instant support across all core content areas during the day, with access to tutors in more than 50 languages. The online tool will be available seven days a week until 10 p.m. each night.
“We feel very fortunate to be able to offer students this extra assistance,” said Koltas. “I am very excited to look at our data as the year progresses and see how our tutoring students have grown.”
Families interested in learning more can contact their student’s school for more information.
Board Approves Transportation Updates for 2023-24 School Year to Improve Reliability
Omaha Public Schools Board of Education approved updates to transportation for the 2023-24 school year. The goal is to improve the reliability of district-provided transportation for students.

The updates include the following:
  • Adjusting the home-to-school distance to be eligible for transportation
  • Elementary: from one mile to 1.5 miles
  • Middle: from 1.5 miles to two miles
  • Expanding the home-to-bus stop distance by two blocks at each grade level:
  • Elementary: from two to four blocks
  • Middle: from four to six blocks
  • High: from six to eight blocks
  • Maximizing efficiency through the number of students scheduled per bus.
By mid-March, the district will have a clear picture of which students will be eligible for transportation. District staff will communicate with impacted families by mail, email and individual phone calls to families. For more information about transportation updates, visit our website.
Open Houses and School Selection Coming January 2023
This January, Omaha Public Schools families can visit middle and high school open houses before making 2023-24 school selection preferences. Open house events allow students and families to explore high school options, meet staff members and learn about the courses and extra-curricular activities each school offers.

We encourage students and families to attend the open house for their neighborhood school and any other schools they are interested in attending. A complete list of open house events is posted on our website.

School choice applications will be available on Jan. 9 at all schools and the Student Placement Office at TAC. Students at the transition grades will automatically receive an application at their school. Applications must be returned to the student's current school by Jan. 27.

See the School Selection Guide for more information on the selection process.
Omaha Public Schools Prepares for Kindergarten Roundup
Kindergarten Roundup is less than a month away. This is a time for incoming students to visit their future schools, see their classrooms and meet the staff.

Omaha Public Schools wants to ensure students transition smoothly into their new kindergarten class. Your student’s elementary schools will provide more information. Kindergarten Roundup begins in January.

To see more information about each school's events, visit our website.
ESSER in Action: Update on Investments in Students and Staff
Omaha Public Schools is committed to providing regular updates on our use of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds.

We pursued new opportunities to invest ESSER funds over the past few months. Many focus on staff development and recruitment.

We are focused on building our teacher pipeline to address staffing shortages. Omaha Public Schools has targeted a significant amount of ESSER funds to support current and future staff in partnership with UNO.

Omaha Public Schools also introduced our new three-part Academic Support and Tutoring strategy.

  • School-based tutoring began in October.
  • The Omaha Public Schools Foundation Kids Club and Collective for Youth will provide community-based tutoring for students enrolled in those programs.
  •  Online on-demand tutoring services will be provided by Paper and will officially launch in Jan. 2023.

ESSER funds reached school districts in three rounds: ESSER-I, ESSER-II and ESSER-III. ESSER-I spending ended in September 2022. Of the $23 million authorized, our district spent 84% on student devices and connectivity, 11% on non-public schools as required by the grant guidelines and 5% on indirect costs and administration.

2022 State Test Results and School Classifications
In November, the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) released state test scores for the 2021-22 school year. You may hear it referred to as “NSCAS,” or the Nebraska Student Centered Assessment System.

NDE classifies schools across our state from “Needs Improvement” to “Excellent.” State test scores, student academic growth, English language proficiency and attendance in the school determine each school’s classification.

If your student is in a grade that takes the NSCAS test, your family has received information about your child’s performance. If you have questions, please contact your student’s teacher(s). We encourage all families to regularly review MAP data. MAP is a test that students take more frequently – with data available immediately. It is a proven source of information about your student’s current strengths and opportunities in the classroom.

Student data has always guided our instruction. We are constantly working to build on our instruction and improve outcomes for all students.

December STEM Learning

Julie Sigmon, Omaha STEM Ecosystem Director
Happy December! This holiday season bundle up and explore these STEM activities. Search our comprehensive catalog for current and upcoming offerings for students, educators, and professionals. Here are some of our top picks for December.

  • FEI World Cup Finals Omaha 2023: Be part of a world equestrian sporting event in Omaha! The Omaha Equestrian Foundation is organizing the FEI World Cup™ Finals, April 4-8, 2023, at the CHI Health Center. It is seeking volunteers to help show the world what Omaha can do. This program is offered by the FEI World Cup Finals.

  • Metropolitan Science and Engineering Fair 2023: The annual MSEF is currently looking for greater Omaha-area students in grades 6-12. The MSEF gives students an opportunity to present and display their research projects and have their projects judged by college instructors and professionals.

To register for these opportunities or to find more STEM programs, visit the STEM Community Platform Portal.

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the new webpage on the STEM Community Platform for Health and Wellness careers. We added more than 40 health science careers with the help of our community partners. We are continuously updating the SCP career pages and this is just the first step on our goal to add 1,400 careers.
Click the link to explore the NEW health and wellness page!
Community Opportunities

Check out this month's Community Opportunities. It provides a one-stop shop for youth and family events happening in our community.

… to Leanna Johnston of Buffett Middle and Davis Middle for becoming Nebraska’s first school social worker to earn National Certification.
… to North High senior Nayera Abdessalam for being recognized as Scholar Athlete of the Year on behalf of Building Omaha.
… to Norris Middle for being one of 102 schools in the U.S. to win the Computer Science Leaders Prize through

… to Bryan High Principal Rony Ortega, Ed.D., for being selected by the Nebraska School Counselor Association as their 2022 Administrator of the Year.
… to North High for receiving the National Career Academy Coalition Model Academy Certification.
… to the Central High Math Club for winning the UNL Math Day Bowl Tournament for the first time since 1995.
… to Central High Senior E Dona-Munoz for being awarded the rating of excellent distinction in Review Writing at the Journalism Education Association National Student Media Contest.
… to all Omaha Public Schools students honored with Seals of Biliteracy from the Nebraska International Language Association.
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Thank you!
Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, citizenship status, veteran status, political affiliation or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to accept allegations regarding non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531) 299-9822. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director for the Office of Equity and Diversity, 3215 Cuming St, Omaha, NE 68131 (531) 299-0307.