To give teachers more time to plan and prepare, Omaha Public Schools students will have five more days off this school year.
Last week, the OPS board voted 9-0 to make modifications to the calendar.
There will be no school for students on the following days: Sept. 24, Nov. 1, Feb. 4, April 1, April 15 and April 18.
Students already were scheduled to have April 15 off, but the school board’s vote changed it from a professional development day for teachers to a teacher planning day.
Scott SchmidtBonne, director of research, told the school board this year that the district is focused on addressing the academic challenges and disrupted learning caused by the pandemic.
Those academic acceleration and recovery efforts take time. Teachers need to review data and receive professional development in order to shift their efforts, SchmidtBonne said.
Superintendent Cheryl Logan said classroom instruction is at the heart of what the district does for young people, and this year requires adjustments by the district’s teachers.
Teacher planning days will be on Sept. 24, Nov. 1 and April 15. Feb. 4 will be a curriculum day, and April 1 will be a professional development day.
April 18 is articulation day, which is a day for teachers to work with teachers in the grade level above them to ensure students transition smoothly between grades for the upcoming school year.
Logan said that while an articulation day may be new in the Omaha community, many districts across the country have used the days as an opportunity for collaboration among teachers and school staff as students prepare to move from one grade level or from one school to the next.
“The teacher coordination supports positive transitions for young people,” Logan said.