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OPS first day full of high hopes and technical difficulties

The excitement was in the air but so were glitches
Posted at 6:08 PM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 19:08:13-04

OMAHA, Neb. — Omaha Public Schools students returned to class Tuesday virtually. The excitement was evident from teachers and students as they both navigated new territory, but technical glitches soon followed.

On the outside, the school buildings looked similar, but on the inside teachers were the only ones inside the classrooms as they taught remotely via webcams.

"I like it from a teaching standpoint because there's no distractions in my room. I get to focus on what I'm doing and just kind of focus on the teaching part of it," Wakonda Elementary School teacher Taylor Gunter said.

OPS gave an inside look to how their teachers navigated the first day through Zoom. On their end, everything was alright. However, many parents reported technical and connectivity issues. Long lines stretched outside of the Family Support Centers. These support centers are a one-stop shop where parents can go to get help with technological issues, nutrition services and counseling. The support centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Skinner Magnet, Beveridge Magnet and Bryan Middle.

Wakonda Elementary School principal Jennifer LeClair says first day connectivity issues are bound to happen and that hopefully by the end of the week most glitches are resolved with the school-distributed iPads.

"We've helped a handful of families today and we anticipate that tomorrow will be less, and the following day it will be less and by the time we get to next week everyone will be rocking and rolling," LeClair said.

This week will be an introductory week to get students, parents and staff accustomed to the new virtual learning setting. Remote learning will continue for OPS students until at least the first quarter of school which ends October 16.