OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Omaha Public Schools Board heard from dozens of concerned parents and community members about a proposed plan for starting school in the fall.
"This plan that has come forth is going to only widen the gap between the haves and the have nots and the psychological impact is going to be detrimental to the children and our future,” said one OPS parent.
Many parents were frustrated by the 3/2 plan, which is the district’s recommended option.
That plan separates students by name. Those with last names A-K would attend school Monday and Tuesday.
Students with last names L-Z would attend Thursday and Friday. On Wednesdays, students would rotate between the groups.
"I don't understand why other school districts in the state and bordering districts in Omaha can open, but OPS cannot," said parent Mark Meisenbach.
Several doctors joined the virtual meeting, citing the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, which supports getting kids back in school.
Parent Laura Riggs who works in healthcare weighed in and said she's pleased with the 3/2 model.
"With this pandemic, it is still really just still unknown what's all out there and the research is still very new and fresh. So I'm really happy that OPS is looking at a 3/2 model where we can distance the students and educate them on how to wear the masks and we have to start somewhere," said Riggs.
Omaha Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan said their hope is to one day get all students back in the classroom... but right now, she said the 3/2 model is the best option.
“It's not where we want to want to be but we are in a pandemic and so we're going to make the best decision we can with the information that we have, and to update as we receive more,” said Dr. Logan.
Students in the same family with different last names will get to attend on the same days.
The board meets again in two weeks.
OPS Teacher & mom, Molly Gurnicz says doctors commenting need to consult with teachers about how they could actually carry out plans to get back in the classroom, safely. Says teachers need more time to PLAN & they can't be expected to manage xtra duties on unpaid time.— Sydney Gray (@Sydney_GTV) June 30, 2020
Dr. Aleix Sawyer (mom of two & pediatrician). She also refers to the American Academy of Pediatrics recent guidelines. She says their goal should be having students inside the classroom. For reference -> https://t.co/GqalBS8MmC— Sydney Gray (@Sydney_GTV) June 30, 2020
Avery Wallace says the letter (about the Family 3/2 Plan) sent home to parents wasn't inclusive to special needs families. She says her kids cannot distance learn and says it'd be emotionally and physically destructive to her kids.— Sydney Gray (@Sydney_GTV) June 30, 2020
Rising senior, Morgan Miller proposes students attend school with their class rather than by last name. Says it's unfair seniors won't get to spend their final year in HS with friends in class. Her mother, Gina, also commented & says kids need to get back to a normal routine.— Sydney Gray (@Sydney_GTV) June 30, 2020