Viking News

May 2020

Principal's Greeting

Greetings Viking Family,

Although this is not where we'd imagine that we would be to close out the 19-20 school year, we are here, and when we take a moment to reflect, there is so much to be grateful for given the circumstances. I want to take a moment and recognize the hardworking and dedicated teachers and staff members at Crestridge Magnet. Many of our families have reached out to me directly to express their sincere gratitude for the love our teachers have shown for our students and families, the clear communication and routines for learning they have put into place, and for their ingenuity to ensure students needs are met even in the distance environment. We have learned many lessons and we continue to grow and learn as educators during this time. If we find ourselves still in a remote learning environment this August, we will be disappointed, but much better prepared.

An additional thanks to our families. We realize that there are many barriers that have made this journey difficult and bumpy at times, however our ability to deliver instruction and continue student learning, would not be possible without your partnership and commitment. We are all so proud of the grit and dedication that our students and families have shown during these stressful and uncertain times. I do want to remind our families that your Crestridge family is here to serve you during this time. We have begun tracking engagement data, which at this time is evaluating whether we have heard from families weekly. The goal through this process is to provide connection each week with all families. We care about each of you and want to be sure you are well: emotionally, physically, and financially and to assist as we can.

As we wrap up the 19-20 School Year, here are a few important upcoming dates:

May 4th: Learning packets will be available beginning at 8 a.m, at the following sites: Benson High, South High, and Teacher and Administrative Center (TAC).

May 4th: Food distribution will begin at 11 a.m., at the following 10 locations: Benson High, Beveridge Middle, Bryan Middle, Gateway Elementary, Gifford Park Elementary (new site), Nathan Hale Middle, Norris Middle, Marrs Middle (new site), Skinner Magnet, and South High

May 5th: National Teacher Appreciation Day

May 6th- 14th: Virtual Move Up Day- Teachers will share grade level dates and times

May 11- 15th: Crestridge Teacher Appreciation Week

May 12 at 1:30: Virtual Career Day

May 15th: Last Day

Lastly, as we enter May, here is our wish for you:

May you feel connected during these times

May you feel supported and cared for

May you feel grace

May you have a good full belly laugh each day

May you know that you feel appreciated

May you find quiet

May ​you feel free to throw your own impromptu dance party in your kitchen

May you feel loved

May you know that your school family is here for you

May your loved ones be well

May you have a really good day.




Go Vikings!


Mrs. Valerie Varas


Crestridge Magnet

Omaha Public Schools

(531) 299-1280

Staff Appreciation Week

This is the time of year that we take a moment to be intentional in showing love for our teachers and staff. I am asking that all of our families join me in showing our appreciation for all of our Crestridge Teachers and Staff during the week of May 11-15th! At Crestridge, we choose to combine all of our staff into one week of celebration and appreciation. I have created a "Virtual Appreciation" schedule for our teachers each day that includes a small token of my appreciation. However, in addition, I'd love for each of you to reach out to our staff as well. A HUGE thank you to the Crestridge PTO and Friends of Crestridge for your support in showering our "Out of this World Staff" with love during this week!
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Distance Learning Pictures

Congratulations Buffet Award Winner, Mr. Craig Wiles!

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Congratulations to teacher Mr. Craig Wiles for being selected as the winner of the Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher Award 2020. Mr. Craig Wiles is a 5th Grade Teacher and was nominated by his colleagues, students, and parents for this prestigious award. We are so proud of you, Mr. Wiles, and happy you are a Crestridge Viking!

Talking to Your Student about COVID-19

As the conversation around the Covid-19 (coronovirus) continues and anxiety can be high, it is important to understand that everyone needs an opportunity to process. Below is some guidance from the National Association of School Psychologist as well as websites with additional information.

"Concern over this new virus can make children and families anxious. While we don’t know where and to what extent the disease may spread here in the United States, we do know that it is contagious, that the severity of illness can vary from individual to individual, and that there are steps we can take to prevent the spread of infection. Acknowledging some level of concern, without panicking, is appropriate and can result in taking actions that reduce the risk of illness. Helping children cope with anxiety requires providing accurate prevention information and facts without causing undue alarm." ---

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A Note from Mrs. Rowland

Dear Crestridge Families,

Hello from Miss Rowland, the school counselor at Crestridge! I miss seeing our students and families but am grateful that we are able to stay home and keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy and safe.

I know this is a challenging time for EVERYONE for many different reasons. I want to help ensure that the social/emotional needs of our students are being met the best I can. If parents and students would like to reach out to me and talk we can do that via email and phone.

With a new way of meeting with students there are a few reminders and some information that I would like to share.

  • I will have office hours M-F from 8:00-4:30
  • If you would like to set up an appointment for your student please email me at
  • I have set up a Google phone number that will allow us to talk and/or text. Please know that I will record phone calls with students.

Confidentiality is of the utmost importance. Please see the Counselor Confidentiality Statement below.

Counselor Confidentiality Statement

Information students share with the Counselor is confidential. The student's right to privacy is guarded as much as permitted by law, ethics, and school rules. All meetings held with the Counselor will remain confidential unless the student or parent gives permission to share information with related parties. As Professional School Counselors, we respect the rights of confidentiality of personal information disclosed during the course of a conversation between ourselves and students, except in the following cases:

· If the student presents a danger to themselves.

· If the student presents a danger to others.

· If the student has been neglected or abused by others

· If required to do so by court order.

· If the parent or adult student gives permission for the information to be shared.

As mandated reporters, we are bound by Federal and State law to break confidentiality in the situations mentioned above and will do so to protect our students and to remain legally and ethically true to our profession. The Professional School Counselor may consult with other school professionals but will only share information necessary for achieving the goals of the consultation.

Students and families are welcome to reach out to me if I can help in any way or if you just want to see a friendly, familiar face and share good news.

Take care,

Miss Rowland

Crestridge Counselor

Academic Resources

Crestridge Continuity of Learning Plan

At this time, Nebraska Department of Education has asked schools across the state to make a plan to continue opportunities for learning for all of our students. Our teachers will be providing families with learning opportunities to engage students in reading and writing, math, science, and social studies. I do want families to know that there will likely be more learning opportunities provided than you are able to complete. Student learning at home may range from 1-3 hours per day depending on students grade level, access to resources, and other family circumstances, also the time and completion of these activities will vary. The opportunities presented by each grade level will also be differentiated as they are aimed at providing age appropriate learning tasks. These opportunities may include virtual meetings, teacher videos with student responses, or tasks for students to engage in independent skill practice. If there are questions that arise with supporting your students learning at home, please reach out to your child's teacher. Many of our teachers have begun adding in virtual office hours. We will continue with our continuity of learning plan through our final day - May 15th.

For families with limited or no technology or families who are looking for additional learning resources for their students, the district will be providing another opportunity for families to pick up district created learning packets. If you were unable to pick up the final set of elementary learning packets in recent weeks, additional copies will be available on Monday, May 4, beginning at 8 a.m, at the following sites:

• Benson High

• South High

• Teacher and Administrative Center (TAC)

These paper and pencil academic learning packets cover grade level content in Mathematics, Science, English Language Arts and Social Studies. All packets are also available online for families to download and print by clicking on the button below labeled OPS academic packets & district information.

Finally, there are many resources that the district is providing as optional activities to extend student learning. The Scholastic Learn at Home resources (see button below) provide grade level opportunities for students to listen to a fiction and nonfiction text and complete thematic activities related to the text. Additionally on Libguides (see button below), there are a variety of activities created by educators across the district to engage students across content areas. The activities on OPS Libguides will be updated weekly for families.

A reminder to families that during the closure, assignments provided by teachers, as well as learning packets are not graded, however encouraging and aiding your student in the completion of the activities will help them transition more smoothly when they return to school. If you do not have or have limited access to technology, the best way to help students enhance their learning is by reading. Reading is a tool utilized in every subject area of school and continuing to strengthen this skill will help them excel in all areas.

The following links contain:

1- Up to date closure information from the district and information on accessing learning packets and other resources during this time

2- OPS Libguides organized by grade level and content area. Activities are designed as an extension to classroom provided learning opportunities

3- Information for the Scholastic Learn at Home resource

4- Crestridge Symbaloo- a repository of academic resources and sites that Crestridge students have familiarity with

Spanish Resources

During the closure, many families continue to want to support their students in developing second language skills. Below are a list of resources that students can access in Spanish:

1- El mono Silabo- provides practice for students with Spanish syllables

2- Brainpop Español provides Spanish educational videos on a variety of topics

3- Youtube channel that features books for students to listen to in Spanish

4- Aula 365- provides Spanish educational videos on a variety of topics. Due to the rate of speech, this is most appropriate for students in grades 3-5

5- Duolingo provides bite sized game-like language lessons. Whether you’re a beginner starting with the basics or looking to practice your reading, writing, and speaking Duolingo has something to meet learners where they are at.

6- You tube channel- Pakapaka- Entertainment in Spanish

Social Resources

Cox Connect2Compete Internet Access for Families

If you find yourself in need of assistance in attaining a home WiFi connection, Cox Cable offers their Cox Connect2Compete program for families in need. The program offers WiFi for $9.95 per month. Cox is offering special discounts for families due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Please see the link below:

Food Distribution Sites

Omaha Public Schools Locations

On Monday, May 4 beginning at 11 a.m., Omaha Public Schools will continue providing a number of grab-and-go packages with several breakfast and lunch meals inside for students.

Ten locations will participate:

  • Benson High
  • Beveridge Middle
  • Bryan Middle
  • Gateway Elementary
  • Gifford Park Elementary (new site)
  • Nathan Hale Middle
  • Norris Middle
  • Marrs Middle (new site)
  • Skinner Magnet
  • South High

With a focus on health and safety, families will drive through to pick up food. One breakfast and one lunch package of meals will be available per student/child in the vehicle. If you are unable to bring children in the vehicle, please bring a student ID, report card or other verification for each student.

Food Bank of the Heartland

The Food Bank for the Heartland is supporting our families during this time with pantry pick-up options. Please see the link below to visit their website to find out more information.

A Map of Food Distribution by Address

A thank you to the Latino Center of the Midlands for this interactive map to assist families in identifying their closest location for food distribution based on a family's address. Please click the link below to use this tool to identify your closes pantry.

Mobile Backpack Program

Food Bank for the Heartland is partnering with Westside Nutritional Services, The Salvation Army of Omaha, Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue and local school districts to launch the Mobile BackPack program. The program will distribute 26,000 meals each week!

Starting Friday, March 20, free meal bags will be available to the 13 sites below. Each meal bag contains five breakfasts and five lunches including milk and fresh produce for a total of 10 meals. A meal bag will be offered for each child in a household.

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Need help, but not sure where to turn?

People across our area face challenges every day and may not know how to find or access local programs that address them. That’s what 211 is all about: connecting our neighbors with nearby services that can help. If you are looking for assistance in finding a food pantry, paying for a utility bill, accessing safe housing or shelter, receiving counseling services and more, speak with one of our helpline specialists today. 211 is available 24/7 by phone or text. Your call is free and confidential.

Call 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898211 to get in touch with a helpline specialist today.

Please see the link below for more information or to visit their website.

Want to Support the PTO?

The below are opportunities for you to give through your purchasing:

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