Health and safety remain the focus of Omaha Public Schools as we begin the 2021-22 school year. We care deeply about our students, staff and families. Our district is in regular contact with public health officials, medical experts and the Nebraska Department of Education. We fully expect conditions to change in the coming year, and that may require us to change some protocols. We will communicate updates directly to staff and families.
As one of the first large, urban school districts to return in-person in 2020, the entire Omaha Public Schools community can be proud of our collective commitment to young people. Our data has shown that students need to be in class, connected and learning with one another. We can do it, together.
Many health and safety protocols from the 2020-21 school year will continue. Enhanced disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, classrooms and shared materials will be part of our daily routine. Handwashing and hand sanitizing will occur frequently throughout the day. Schools may adjust traffic patterns to minimize crowds when possible. Our district will continue to partner with public health to host COVID-19 vaccination clinics and encourage anyone eligible to be vaccinated, in consultation with their doctor. Face coverings will be required inside all district schools and offices. Face coverings should be worn properly over the nose and mouth and will be available at each location.
Additional specifics on our health and safety protocols are below:
COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies
- Vaccines and face coverings
- Staff and families should continuously monitor their health. If a student or staff member feels ill, they must stay home.
- Since early 2021, Omaha Public Schools has partnered with the Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) to host dozens of COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
- Omaha Public Schools will partner with DCHD to host thirty-three additional COVID-19 vaccination clinics at middle and high schools before the start of the 2021-22 school year.
- Omaha Public Schools encourages everyone eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in consultation with their doctor.
- Face coverings will be required inside all district schools and offices.
- Face coverings will be available at every Omaha Public Schools location.
- Enhanced disinfecting measures
- School campuses will undergo cleaning and sanitization procedures at least daily.
- Frequently touched surfaces will be sanitized with an EPA-approved disinfectant or sprayed with an ionizer at least daily.
- Shared materials, including computer labs and other hands-on resources should be disinfected between uses.
- Student desks should be wiped down with an EPA-approved disinfectant or sprayed with an ionizer at the end of each day.
- Staff will work with students to teach and reinforce proper handwashing.
- Hand sanitizer will be available throughout schools, where permitted by the fire marshal.
- Staff will work with students on “respiratory etiquette,” like covering coughs and washing hands.
- Signage throughout schools will share strategies to limit the spread of germs.
- Handwashing or sanitizing will be part of the routine when moving throughout the school, before and after mealtimes and more.
- Students will wash or sanitize hands before and after every meal.
- Staff will follow public health recommendations and food safety will be prioritized at all levels.
- Staff will keep seating charts to assist with contact tracing if needed.
- Schools may adjust routines based on the needs of their location.
- Adjusted routines
- Physical distancing should be maximized whenever possible.
- Seating charts should be kept in classrooms to assist with contact tracing if needed.
- Schools may adjust traffic patterns based on the needs of their location.
- The use of shared materials should be limited when possible and disinfected between uses.
- Use of water fountains will not be permitted for health and safety reasons. Schools will identify solutions, like individual water bottles for students.
- Visitors to school
- Visits to schools must be planned in advance with school administrators.
- Face coverings and hand sanitizer will be available near the main entrance.
- Contact tracing and communication
- Each school will have a designated, isolated location for students who show symptoms of COVID-19. Any staff working in the area will have appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Families will be contacted immediately to pick up their student.
- The building contact tracing designee will work with Omaha Public Schools health services staff to complete the contract tracing process.
- Close contacts of an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive direct communication and guidance, based on recommendations from public health and the specific circumstances of that close contact.
- Schools will continue to communicate by email with all staff and families if an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 was on their campus while contagious.
- Vaccines and face coverings
What is Omaha Public Schools doing to protect students and staff in the 2021-22 school year?
Will Omaha Public Schools return in-person?
Can I enroll my student in the Remote Learning Program?
Will Omaha Public Schools provide face coverings for students and staff?
Will visitors be allowed in schools?
Why might some school procedures look different?
Could protocols change in the year to come?
What should staff do if they or a family member are sick?
District Weekly Summary for Oct. 15, 2021Current Active CasesStaff
This dashboard is updated weekly on Fridays with data current as of 2 p.m. that day. Due to case levels in the Omaha community, we know there will be cases identified in our schools. Schools are notified of any positive cases if someone was contagious on-site. The number of cases does not necessarily indicate transmission within schools.