The Omaha Public Schools prepares all students to excel in college, career and life.
Managing Editor: Josh Sluiter
Greetings OPS Community:
There’s something magical about this time of year and it always puts me in a joyous and giddy mood.
The Thanksgiving holiday gives us a brief break from work, allows us to set aside time to enjoy our family and friends, some of our favorite foods and perhaps a bit of shopping. Most importantly, the break encourages us to reflect upon all the special reasons we have for which to express gratitude.
When families gather for the holidays, there’s a natural adherence to the patterns that make up family culture—those unspoken, unwritten, collectively agreed upon principles that govern family members’ interactions, customs, traditions and norms.
Culture is important not only in families, but inside organizations. Culture reflects the values and norms of the people who devote time and energy toward serving the organization’s mission.
As we prepare to unveil Omaha Public Schools’ values and norms with the launch of our Strategic Plan of Action this January, we intend to use them as a guide to positively impact the culture of our school district. Our aspiration is to create consistent experiences for our staff, students and families.
Included below is a diagram of the process we’ve undergone to date as we continue to develop our Strategic Plan of Action. We have much to be thankful for and much to look forward to.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving and thank you for your support of the Omaha Public Schools!
Cordially yours,

Cheryl Logan, Ed.D / Superintendent
Omaha Public Schools
"Sup for the Soul" Podcast - Nov. 2019
On Nov. 5 the Board of Education approved three changes to the 2020-21 calendar based on recommendations from OPS staff and families:

Start of the School Year
  • Teachers
New teachers will report on Aug. 5. All teachers will report on Aug. 11.
  • Elementary Students
All elementary students report on Aug. 18.

  • Middle School Students
Entry level students (the lowest grade level offered at your respective middle school) report Aug. 18.
All higher grade levels report Aug. 19.

To confirm if your middle school student is entry level, please see the breakdown to the right:

  • High School Students
Grade 9 students report on Aug. 18.
All other high school students report on Aug. 19.

Election Day 2020
Nov. 3, 2020 is Election Day. A significant number of OPS schools serve as polling places. In order to help with logistics of the day, this day will become a professional development day.

Winter Break Change
Monday, Dec. 21, 2020 will now be part of winter break for students and staff. January 4, 2021 will become a split teacher work day and professional development day. Students will not report.
Columbian Elementary Celebrates National Blue Ribbon Honors
At an award ceremony in Washington D.C. on Nov. 15, Columbian Elementary received a National Blue Ribbon Award from the U.S. Department of Education as an Exemplary High Performing School, and on Friday, Nov. 22 they brought the celebration home. Columbian hosted its Blue Ribbon celebration featuring guest speakers, student presenters and a group photo commemorating the achievement. Columbian was one of only six Nebraska schools to earn a Blue Ribbon in 2019.

The U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors elementary, middle and high schools across the United States for their excellence in education. Schools are annually nominated by the top education official in the state before going through the Department of Education’s selection committee. Exemplary High Performing Schools like Columbian Elementary are among the top performing schools based on their state assessment and nationally regulated tests.
Community Support Helps Provide Winter Gear for OPS Students
Omaha Public Schools is committed to #StriveFor95, encouraging our students adn families arrive at school on time at least 95% of school days. During the winter months that can be especially challenging with students walking to school or waiting for buses to arrive.

To help our students face the cold safely, OPS and the Omaha Public Schools Foundation kicked off the 10,000 Villagers campaign which rallied to collect hats, gloves and scarves for OPS students. Through the generous donations of Broadmoor, CHI Health, OPSF, United Way of the Midlands and countless community members, the 10,000 Villagers campaign supplied over 12,000 sets of
hats, gloves and scarves to OPS families.

Thanks to the community’s support, we hope all our students look forward to attending school throughout the winter season.
160 Years of Excellence in the Omaha Public Schools!

The Omaha Public Schools, founded in 1859, was the first public school system in Douglas County, Nebraska. Two years prior to its opening (1857), the first school board was elected and Omaha was divided into three wards for school. By 1871, the state legislature consolidated all of Omaha into one school district.

Howard Kennedy served as the first superintendent of the Omaha Public Schools.
The district opened with four schools and approximately 450 students. Today, the district serves more than 54,000 students in more than 90 schools and programs.

Over the years, the Omaha community has supported and regularly passed bond issues, since the first one in 1871. Bond issues help maintain existing schools and build new schools to support growing enrollment.

In 1923, Technical High School opened in Omaha as the largest school west of Chicago. It
opened with nearly 3,000 students; proof of its

popularity. The school closed in 1984 and was remodeled to serve as the Teacher and Administrative Center, which opened in 1989. The Teacher and Administrative Center is now home to district offices, teacher/community meeting rooms, a public auditorium, the Career Center and the Omaha Virtual School.

Vice President Hubert Humphrey visited Omaha in 1965 to applaud the opening of Operation Head Start as a full-time program within the Omaha Public Schools.

Over the years, Omaha Public Schools students and staff have won countless local, regional and national awards.

Here's to another 160 years: #OPSProud!
CHI Health and Omaha Public Schools Partner to Honor Teachers Across the District

CHI Health wants nominations of Omaha Public Schools' teachers changing the lives of students. Each month, they'll surprise a Top Teacher nominee with a treat backet for the teacher's lounge and a personal figt card. CHI will draw winners on the last Friday of the month. CHI Health will select one winner at the elementary, middle and high school level.

Anyone can nominate a Top Teacher at

If you would like to view the latest CHI newsletter devoted to youth issues, please click here.

Thank you for your support of our teachers and for your support of the Omaha Public Schools.
. . . to the Marrs Magnet Middle School’s robotics team for earning the Excellence Award at the VEX Robotics Competition, the highest award for the event.

. . . to Beveridge Magnet Middle School’s David J. Garcia for being named first chair trumpeter for the 2019-20 Nebraska Eighth Grade All-State Band.

. . . to Mariam Zahid of Bryan High, recipient of the Hagel Scholarship Award. This award is presented to outstanding student leaders who exemplify the highest standards of ethics, integrity, leadership and respect.

. . . to those inducted to the Omaha Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame. Inductees include Jane Splittgerber-Elam , Mike Bahun , Alex Henery , Pat Venditte , Charlie Rush , Chris Bober , Russell Harrison , John Huebscher and the 1997 Girls Swim Team from North High .

. . . to Tom Miller , conductor of the Buffett Middle School Orchestra, on earning the Nebraska Teacher of the Year award from the American String Teachers Association.

. . . to our district music supervisor, Ann Davis , for being named the Administrator of the Year by the Nebraska Music Education Association.

. . . to Principal Robert Holzapfel of Indian Hill Elementary for being named the Nebraska Administrator of the Year by the Nebraska branch of the American School Counselor Association.
Thanksgiving Schedule -
For Thanksgiving recess, schools will be closed Wednesday,
Nov. 27 through Friday, Nov. 29. School will reconvene on
Monday, Dec. 2.
The TAC building will be closed Thursday, Nov. 28 and Friday,
Nov. 29, and will reopen Monday, December 2.

Winter Recess Schedule -
For winter break, schools will be closed Dec. 23 through Jan. 3.
Monday, Jan. 6 will be a Teacher Planning/Professional
Development day with no student classes, and school will
reconvene on Jan. 7.

The TAC building will be closed Dec. 24 and 25, as well as Dec.
31 and Jan. 1.

Julie Sigmon, Omaha STEM Ecosystem Director
Article by Marin Harrington
Connecting Educators with Business: Getting Started

When schools develop partnerships with businesses, it’s a great way to enhance the educational experiences of students and give a business more visibility in the community. With all the businesses that exist in a single city, however, reaching out to potential partners can be a daunting task for a school. 
Luckily, the OSE is here to help you foster a meaningful partnership with business. Here are some of our tips to get you started:
What gaps can a business partnership bridge for a school? Brainstorm what student needs are currently unmet by the school and research business partnership opportunities that might fulfill them. Professional development opportunities teach students exactly how the knowledge they learn in school can translate into a career, better preparing them for the future.
Use the OSE to connect with resources! Reach out to us with your school’s needs and we can connect you with some of our business partners by arranging a fair or guest speaker at your school or facilitating a community conversation with business to discuss the most vital skills students need as they transition into the workforce.
Every voice counts. When expressing what school wants from a business partnership, all community members--principals, teachers, other members of the faculty and staff, parent-led committees and even student organizations--can make an impact. Take note of various perspectives when reaching out to the OSE to find a business partner.
Engage all grade levels with businesses. Having business professionals to lead a workshop or assist with an after-school program is a great way to expose elementary and middle school students to potential career interests. Hosting a job fair at your school can connect students of all ages with business professionals and lead to job shadowing or internship opportunities for high schoolers.
Unite with businesses over common values. When working with us to find a business partner that suits your school, keep your mission statement in mind. A truly valuable partner will respect your best interests.
Contact OSE to connect with business partners:

Attendance Matters!

Did you know?

"Students with good attendance generally enjoy school more and achieve higher grades. Grades go down where you're not around!"


Every student. Every day. Prepared for success.
We understand that families are busy. The following links will provide you with quick access to district sponsored events, procedures and resources. Please click on the categories under each title below, and you will be taken to the correct web page.
This month we recognize Principal Tony Gunter for his commitment and dedication to the students and families of Howard Kennedy Elementary and the Omaha Public School District.

Video created by District Communications videographer Alex Hassel
Is there an Omaha Public Schools Teacher who deserves recognition?

A great teacher can turn a geography lesson into an exciting adventure or make a passing conversation become a life lesson, and the Omaha Public Schools community is fortunate to have so many great teachers. It's why the Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher Award was created more than 30 years ago -- to recognize those teachers who have gone above and beyond to help their students in the classroom and in life. Nominate an OPS teacher for this award and tell us what he or she has done that has made a difference. Submit your nomination by January 15, 2020. Click here to nominate a teacher.
Daily attendance is critical to classroom success. As part of OPS' work to boost attendance and get students to school on time at least 95% of the school year, we're happy to share videos that help illustrate the importance.
The Omaha Public Schools' Community Opportunities is a monthly publication where businesses and non-profit organizations can post advertisements for our parents to let them know of student and family opportunities taking place in the metro area. The publication goes live on our website the first school day of each moth. If you would like to see this month's edition, please click on the OPS Community Opportunities photo or the link below:

We love feedback on how well this newsletter is meeting the needs of OPS staff, parents, community members, retirees, community partners and others who receive it. Please take a few moments to complete this brief survey . It is our goal that the newsletter is packed with information important to you.

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.