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ESSER Update - Dec. 2021

After extensive community engagement and a vote by the Omaha Public Schools Board of Education to approve our initial plan for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding, early stages of implementation are well underway. This article provides a brief overview of some of the projects. It is not inclusive of all ESSER-related projects throughout our district. Brief updates will be provided regularly through the years to come.

During the Thanksgiving and winter recess, district staff provided intersession learning opportunities for English Learner (EL), Refugee and Migrant Learner students. In November 2021, our district released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for direct, high-dosage tutoring. Staff surveys are informing plans for Next Level Learning (summer school) in summer 2022. With a long-term focus on high-quality teaching and learning materials, our district is reviewing classroom instructional technology resources and needs, as well as planning for upcoming curriculum reviews and adoptions in high school science, electives and social studies.

Focusing on social, emotional and behavioral interventions and supports, seven schools are piloting an approach developed by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, which supports social and emotional learning to foster strong school environments. Project Harmony is also providing resiliency training for staff and, at 15 schools, for families as well. 

Work is also underway on a districtwide facilities study to help identify and prioritize needs, aligned with the ESSER plan’s third pillar: infrastructure for the future. Complete details of Omaha Public Schools’ ESSER plan can be found here.