Mission: To prepare all students for success in college, career and life.
Vision: Every student. Every day. Prepared for success.
Values: Equity, Results, Leadership, Accountability and Joy.
Entering the third decade of the 21st century, there are many reasons to be joyous in the Omaha Public Schools, chief among them are our amazing students. Bright, curious, engaging and unique – each student in the Omaha Public Schools has the right to and deserves a world-class education. While no school can ensure equal outcomes for all students, our public schools are our community’s chief vehicle for working towards equal opportunities for all our children. This plan is driven by our values. Values ground us, even when the winds of change blow. Our values inform the culture we build and what we hold ourselves accountable for.
Omaha Public Schools continues to be an important and vital institution for our youngest residents in the city of Omaha, serving more than 54,000 unique students. Omaha Public Schools’ Strategic Plan of Action provides a focus for the work of the district on its fundamental promise to the community it serves: To prepare every student, every day, for success. We strive to fulfill this promise by embodying our five foundational shared values in our work – Equity, Results, Leadership, Accountability and Joy.
Our first shared value, Equity, is central to our work to deliver on our promise to our community. Within the Omaha Public Schools, Equity means making sure every student has the support they need to be successful. Significant portions of this Strategic Plan of Action focus on delivering equity through our schools.
Results are one way we bring Equity to our schools. That is, we look to results – meeting standards and goals for students – across their entire Omaha Public Schools experience. For example, to ensure students graduate with the attributes we collectively believe are needed for young adults to thrive in this century, all students must learn to read well by the end of third grade. Thus, direct reading supports for struggling readers and others who may need more support will take precedence over all other programming priorities. The human and financial resources of the district will follow this priority. We will look to results when evaluating program success in Omaha Public Schools.
District staff will be empowered with the Leadership skills they need to understand both what they must support or start doing, and also to understand what we must stop doing – skills that include the courage to recognize what we must change in our work and in our schools.
Shared Accountability in the Omaha Public Schools will allow us to report and focus on local school accountability, as well as district-wide results. This means we must be honest with our community when looking at our results. Equity means families of students attending schools where results reflect a need for change should be assured the Omaha Public Schools believes that every school and every student matters.
Joy is our final foundational shared value, and it must suffuse our work every day. It first does so through our ethic of care for all who work in our schools. As one of our community’s largest employers – operating in the context of a nationwide teacher and workforce shortage – we will treat our employees with an ethic of care that supports retention of our very best employees and provide a path for career enhancement that allows them to remain and grow within the organization, while helping all staff members find greater successes than they have in the past. This is critical to delivering Equity for our students. Enabling Joy also requires us to address the social-emotional needs of our students through thoughtful school-wide systems that take note of each and every child. Thus, we create the conditions for success for all who work in our schools – be they children or adults. When we celebrate the authentic successes of children, we create joyful schools.
Choice programming within the Omaha Public Schools should embody our five foundational values. This will require an honest examination of the quality and outcomes of current programming. As we augment programming to represent what our families want and children need, we will need to ensure Equity, Results, Leadership, Accountability and Joy. For example, specialized career-focused high school programming will prepare students for living-wage careers, as well as the workforce needs of the city of Omaha and state of Nebraska. While we will focus on our core, we will explore innovative, evidence-based promising practices to ensure every school in Omaha Public Schools is a choice option for families.
Embracing the richness of the diversity of our students and staff allows the Omaha Public schools to serve our students with the fierce urgency of now. This ensures each child has a daily opportunity to be the best version of themselves. Furthermore, we look to the future with our foundational values as we build five new schools. Our new inviting and welcoming facilities will provide additional value to our students’ experience in our schools.
Every day, we are excited about our schools. Every day, we are inspired by the adults who work within them. Every day we are devoted to the children and community we serve. We look to the mid- 21st century confident we can build on Equity, Results, Leadership, Accountability and Joy to support the future of our students, greater Omaha and Nebraska.