Health and safety remain the focus of Omaha Public Schools. 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. Conditions may still change in the coming year, and that may require us to adjust 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.
We will continue many health and safety protocols to maintain in-person learning. Enhanced disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, classrooms and shared materials will be part of our daily routine. Handwashing and hand sanitizing will frequently occur 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.
Additional specifics on our health and safety protocols are below:
COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies
- Vaccines and face coverings
- Face coverings are optional for all students, staff and visitors inside district schools and offices.
- 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 more than 200 COVID-19 vaccination clinics with more clinics scheduled to come.
- Omaha Public Schools encourages everyone eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in consultation with their doctor.
- 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 regularly wiped down with an EPA-approved disinfectant or sprayed with an ionizer.
- 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.
- 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.
- Schools may adjust routines based on the needs of their location.
- Adjusted routines
- 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.
- Visitors to school
- Visits to schools must be planned in advance with school administrators.
- Hand sanitizer will be available near the main entrance.
- Isolation with symptoms or following a positive test
- 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.
- Students or staff who test positive for COVID-19 will isolate at home for at least five days from the onset of symptoms.
- Vaccines and face coverings
What is Omaha Public Schools doing to protect staff and students?
Could face coverings be needed again in the future?
Will visitors be allowed in schools?
Why might some school procedures look different?
Will elementary schools be allowed to have classroom parties?
Could protocols change in the year to come?
What should staff do if they are sick?
When will COVID-19 restrictions end?