November 2023
Plan. Do. Check. Act.

It’s our four-step process to growing as educators and improving as one school district.

This week, our principals focused on one of the ways we check our work with students. It’s called the ELEOT, (pronounced “Elliot”), or Effective Learning Environments Observation Tool. The framework measures our students’ experience in Omaha Public Schools classrooms.

We know engaging, active lessons that meet a student’s individual needs are best. That’s true whether it’s algebra, art, science or Advanced Placement Spanish. The ELEOT looks for signs of those best practices.

This work builds on a September Board of Education workshop. That evening, we reviewed the many ways we measure a student’s academic growth. Teachers use the information in real-time, at the end of a unit and at the end of a school year to tailor lessons and support each student individually. As a school district, we use the data to build on successes and refocus our efforts.

Monday, our Board of Education meeting studied the latest MAP Growth data across Omaha Public Schools. Families, please contact your student’s teacher if you have questions about your student’s results. We’re happy to talk through it with you.

This work benefits all students in the Omaha Public Schools. I am excited to see our school district move in this direction as one team.

Matthew Ray
Interim Superintendent
Omaha Public Schools
Preparing for A New School Year
Families: Join us for School Selection events and Kindergarten Roundup
From kindergarten to high school, Omaha Public Schools is preparing our families for an important step in their educational journey.

Our high schools are gearing up for open houses and showcase events ahead of school selection for the 2024-25 school year in January. Student ambassadors work alongside school counselors and other staff to help families decide which school best fits their needs.

“At the end of the day, listen to your head and heart,” said Tucker Ingram, Westview High student ambassador. “Talk to people around you and choose the best decision for you.”

Tucker and other student ambassadors will lead tours now through January.

"We come here, we attend this school, and everyone in this school is here to help us be our best to graduate,” said Dorcas Ametitovi, Northwest High student ambassador. “That's why it's important that we lead these tours."
School Selection Process
The school selection process begins with our High School Showcase on Nov. 30. The event allows families to explore each high school's College & Career Academies and Pathways. Staff and current students will share information about course offerings, advanced academics, world languages, performing arts and activities.
Counselors from each middle school recently toured each high school, so they are ready to assist families with questions.

“The more informed and excited our counselors are about the high schools, the better informed the families will be,” said Jenn Walker, Omaha Public Schools school counseling lead.

School choice applications will be available in January. All Omaha Public Schools students are guaranteed attendance at their neighborhood school. By March 2024, all students will know which school they will be attending.

“We can proudly say that in Omaha Public Schools, at the secondary level, we're able to approve more than 80% of the applications that come in,” said Pat Pope, student placement supervisor.

Families can find more information about School Selection and the process timeline in our comprehensive School Selection Guide.
Kindergarten Roundup
For our youngest learners, school visits happen during Kindergarten Roundup. All elementary schools in our district host events starting in January.
Kindergarten Roundup allows incoming students to visit their future school, see their classroom and meet the staff. Omaha Public Schools wants to ensure students smoothly transition into their new kindergarten class.

“We encourage families to go to their neighborhood school for Kindergarten Roundup,” said Pope. “All of our schools offer such great opportunities. You can't go wrong with whichever one you choose.”

Children must be five years old on or before July 31, 2024, to be eligible for kindergarten in the 2024-25 school year. Enrollment information is available on our website.
Prepared for Takeoff
Omaha Public Schools Helps Student Earn Pilot’s License
Burke High senior Thomas Reid was excited to get his driver’s license last year. Now, at 17, he’s earned another license with help from Omaha Public Schools programming.

“I recently earned my private pilot’s license,” said Reid. “It took a lot to prepare, and once my instructor said congratulations, a weight came off my shoulders. Then, I was able to take my dad up for the first time.”

Reid’s passion for planes began in middle school while watching aircraft investigation videos. He knew then that he wanted to pursue flying as a career. Hearing about Burke High’s aviation program sealed his decision.

“One of the biggest benefits of Burke High’s Air & Space Academy is all the dual enrollment classes,” said Reid. “You can get hands-on experience and see if it's something you want to do.”
Burke High’s Air & Space Academy allows students to gain real-world experience in flight, aircraft mechanics, aerospace engineering and airport management. They can also earn dual credit through the University of Nebraska Omaha.

Burke High has a flight simulator that offers a realistic experience before students take to the skies. Aviation instructor Patrick Ryan says the hours logged by students in the simulator can go towards the hours needed to obtain a pilot’s license.

“It’s great because ou kids get to enjoy where education comes to life,” said Ryan. “Seeing the kids have an experience they wouldn’t otherwise have is really rewarding.”

Air & Space Academy students begin as sophomores before advancing to specific courses. Jenna Crippen is in her first year of the program. She plans to join the U.S. Air Force after high school. She says the program teaches valuable skills she’d otherwise not learn until after graduation.
“I think it’s important because this opens up more pathways. You learn a lot of different skills,” said Crippen. “I chose to come to Burke because of the aviation program.”

Burke High’s aviation program helped Reid lay the foundation for completing his pilot’s license through Oracle Aviation. What started as a hobby is now his career path.

“I want to be a major airline pilot,” he said. “It’s peaceful but can be challenging at the same time when you’re learning something new.”

Burke High’s Air & Space Academy is one example of the opportunities offered at all nine comprehensive high schools in our district. Learn more about Omaha Public Schools College & Career Academies and Pathways on our website.
Superintendent Search

For the latest on the Superintendent Search, visit
Schedules Set for Open House Events Ahead of 2024-25 School Selection
Omaha Public Schools families are invited to visit middle and high school open houses in January as our 2024-25 School Selection process begins.
Open house events allow students and families to meet staff, explore programming and learn about extra-curricular activities at each school.
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 the week of Jan. 8 at all schools and the Student Placement Office at TAC. Students in the transition grades will automatically receive an application at their school. Applications must be returned to the student's current school by Jan. 29 or TAC by Jan. 31.
See our complete School Selection Guide for more information on the selection process.
Mark Your Calendars for Kindergarten Roundup
Kindergarten Roundup is right around the corner for all Omaha Public Schools elementary schools.
Events begin in January 2024, with each elementary school providing an opportunity for families to visit and learn more about the school’s offerings.
Families can visit our kindergarten enrollment page to find their neighborhood school and learn more about eligibility.
Kindergarten Roundup dates will be posted on our website as soon as they are finalized.
Thanksgiving Recess Coming Up for Omaha Public Schools

Omaha Public Schools Thanksgiving Recess begins Nov. 20.
There is no school for all students from Nov. 20-24. District offices will be closed on Nov. 23-24.
Safe2Help Nebraska Hotline

Safety is our top priority at Omaha Public Schools. There are resources in our district and community to support students and staff, including the Safe2Help Nebraska Hotline.
Safe2Help Nebraska is a confidential and anonymous hotline for students, families, staff or community members to report concerns.
If you or someone you know needs support or would like to report a safety concern, Safe2Help Nebraska Hotline is available 24/7 at (531) 299-SAFE. The app is installed on every Omaha Public Schools iPad, providing easy and immediate access.
Check out this month's Community Opportunities. Our Community Opportunities section provides a destination for youth and family events.

Omaha Public Schools does not endorse any business, product or service. 
… to Lea Hanson, Burke High junior, for being recognized as the Phenomenal Woman Rising Star Award recipient from the Phenomenal Woman Academy.

… to Trevis Sallis and Annette Crowder of Student Transportation Services for being honored in the 50 Over 50 Nebraska Awards for the business category.

… to Burke High and Benson High’s yearbook students for achieving a Cornhusker Award from the Nebraska High School Press Association.

… to Amy Page, Forest Station Elementary teacher, for being recognized as an Award of Excellence winner by the Nebraska Department of Education.

… to Stattin Yates, tennis coach at Northwest High, for being named Metro Conference Coach of the Year.

… to each Omaha Public Schools JROTC program recognized by the 3rd Brigade as a 2023-24 Honor Unit of Distinction.
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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.