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Omaha Public Schools details proposal to return students to school

Proposal to be discussed at June 29 board meeting
Posted at 5:18 PM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 16:30:03-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - Omaha Public Schools announced a proposal on Friday that would return students to school this fall.

The proposal details a "family 3/2 model." It would divide students throughout the district by their last name. Students with a last name that starts with A-K would attend every Monday and Tuesday. Students with a last name of L-Z would attend every Thursday and Friday.

Wednesday's would rotate between groups. The plan affects all grades throughout the district.

Approximately 50 percent of students would be present in school on any given day.

In a letter released Friday, the district wrote, "protective equipment like masks will be necessary. Health experts tell us masks, especially, are critical to a responsible return in-person. We know conditions and guidance will evolve."

The letter adds, "During recess, non-contact activities will be encouraged. Students may take their masks off while physically active and away from other children but masks must be worn immediately before and after recess."

In a specific situations where masks cannot be worn, face shields would be available for certain staff and students.

The school district also detailed plans for physical distancing such as staggering passing periods, no locker use during the day and limiting contact with as many surfaces possible.

The plan calls for transportation to and from school to include alternating which sides of the bus students sit when possible, and unloading front to back. The district says hand sanitizer and extra masks would be located at each door, and there will be a staggered dismissal at the end of the day.

The school says all students would have to stop at the restroom on the way to lunch to wash their hands, and that students should not face one another while eating.

Hand sanitizer would be available before entering the lunch line and usage would be required. Lunch seating would be six feet apart.

Five cloth face masks would be provided to each staff member and student.

The district says guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, Nebraska Department of Education, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Douglas County Health Department and more informed their planning.

The district says in addition to the family 3/2 schedule, other options include an on-site learning model that would allow schools to follow their regular schedule. A remote learning model would follow guidelines provided by the district.

More information is expected at a school board meeting on Monday night.

Read more details from Omaha Public Schools here.