OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Monday morning, Omaha Public Schools welcomed back high school students for in-person learning.
The district is using a 3/2 model, so students with last names starting with A-K will attend in-person on Monday's and Tuesday's, and L-Z will attend Thursday's and Friday's. The two groups will alternate attending in-person on Wednesdays.
Seventy-four percent of students chose to return to classes in-person, while 26 percent opted into the district’s remote learning option.
During a board of education meeting on Monday night, OPS Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan said the district was working hard to bring students back into a safe environment, but they would need the help of the community to keep them safe.
“Indeed what people are doing in their community is impacting our ability to open," Logan said. "It's impacting our ability for parents and students to have confidence in whether or not we should open.”
Logan encouraged the community to do its part by staying vigilant about social distancing and wearing a mask both inside and outside the classroom.
Logan also said with Douglas County’s positivity rate being in the red zone of over 14 percent, the district would be working to prevent spread and be prepared to go back to remote learning if necessary.
“Ahead of our student’s return to the classroom, we’ve continued to provide our employees with COVID-19 tests," Logan said. "Having an understanding of the COVID-19 positivity rates inside our schools best positions us to make decisions swiftly should the need arise to temporarily close a school or multiple schools or programs or classrooms to prevent widespread virus transmission.”
Along with creating a safe environment and doing testing, Logan said the district was also providing counseling services for students and staff should they need it.
According to the district's website, the district is tracking 70 active COVID-19 cases in students and staff members. 733 students and staff are in isolation or quarantining at this time. These numbers include students who are learning both fully remotely and in person.