Viking News

November 2020

Principal's Greeting

Greetings Viking Family,

Welcome to November! This month always provides me with a gentle nudge to return to my mindfulness practice of gratitude. Even in this challenging season of leading, learning, and loving through a pandemic, it is a wonderful time to give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. The practice of gratitude is not meant to dismiss our current challenges, but instead it sharpens our attention for the good and the positive in our lives, which helps us appreciate things that we tend to take for granted.

So let me first start by saying thank you to our Crestridge parents, guardians, and caregivers. We would like to thank you for all of your support during the first quarter of our school year. We continue to see your support and partnership at work as students navigate learning from home and through your commitment to safety. A sincere thank you to the many families who have called to tell us your children will be streaming from home as a precaution and out of care for our teachers, their fellow students and our larger Crestridge community. This decision takes an act of true care and concern and for that I want to say thank you. In district level conversations, I continue to share that our families commitment to keeping Crestridge well has been commendable. An additional thank you to our parents and guardians for your participation in October conferences. With most of our teachers reaching 100% participation, it is safe to say that conferences were a huge success! The continued partnership of families and teachers make our students' achievements soar.

In addition to thanking our parents. A resounding thank you is overdue to our students, you make us proud each and every day. Our students have adapted to the many changes in school wide procedures and have continued to demonstrate our CREW expectations. They have shifted to multiple models and modes of learning, continuing to exemplify resiliency and grace. And above all, I continue to be moved by their selfless concern for the well-being of others. They are committed to doing their part here at school to keep their friends, teachers, and themselves safe.

Next, I would also like to give a big "thank you" to the PTO for supporting with conference meals onThursday night of conferences. PTO partnered with our local Jimmy John's to provide boxed meals to keep our teachers fueled. Also, thank you to our PTO president Melissa Nosal, for forging a partnership with Toppers Pizza to provide take and bake pizzas for staff to enjoy on their much deserved Friday off following two long days of conferencing. We are always touched by the generosity and care that our PTO shows and for the extraordinary partnerships of local community partners.

Last but not least, during this month of showing gratitude, I would be remiss if I did not give thanks for our teachers and staff. I have reflected a lot on what they have accomplished between March and now, and it is truly incredible. They continue to be the unsung heroes of our time. Every day, I am in awe of the the commitment and care that the staff at Crestridge demonstrates for our students, families, and for one another. Their willingness to learn and grow is fueled by their immense love for their students. They truly deserve to be uplifted, praised, and shown appreciation for all they have and continue to do to serve our students and community.

As a school this month we will be focusing on spreading kindness through Inclusion. The focus on Inclusiveness allows us to explore ways to include others through kindness, regardless of differences. When we include others in what we are doing and treat them kindly, we are practicing inclusiveness. We will also celebrate what makes each of us special and what makes others special as well. Even though we are different, we can all be included!

Our school family will build our inclusive "muscles" during the month of November by:

  • Highlighting similarities regardless of preconceived notions of differences
  • Explore differences between fair and equal
  • Understand the relationship between kindness and inclusiveness

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out. Email me at and I'll be sure to respond to you as quickly as possible. At the bottom of this electronic newsletter is a form entitled Family Voice Survey that seeks to learn parents questions, concerns, and to hear parent input. Thank you again for your continued flexibility and support as we navigate through our school year.




Go Vikings!


Mrs. Valerie Varas


Crestridge Magnet

Omaha Public Schools

(531) 299-1280

A Note from Miss Rowland

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Hello Crestridge Families,

It has been wonderful to have our students back in the building, while still being able to connect online with our remote learners. Counseling classes are underway and we will be finishing up our Skills for Learning unit in the next couple of weeks. You can reinforce these skills for learning at home by reminding students to use whole body listening (eyes watching, ears listening, voice quiet, and body still/calm), focus their attention, use self-talk to ignore distractions, and be assertive when asking for what they need or want.

Our next unit of study will be our Empathy unit. Empathy is defined as “the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.” Towards the middle and end of November our lessons will focus on identifying and understanding our own and others’ feelings and learning how to take another’s perspective. If you are looking to reinforce this idea at home, when you and your student are watching a show or reading a book you can ask these questions:

  1. How do you think (book/show character) is feeling?
  2. What clues on (book/show character) face and body help you figure out how he is feeling?
  3. How would you feel if something like that happened to you?
  4. What could you do to show (book/show character) that you care?

Winter Coat Give Away

If you, or someone you know, is in need of a winter coat, St. Vincent DePaul Society is having a Winter Coat Giveaway Event. It is on Saturday, Nov. 7th from 8:00 A.M.-3:00 P.M. The event is taking place at the St. Peter Gym at 2728 Leavenworth St. For more information you can call 402-341-4560 ext. 102.

Holiday Assistance

The Open Door Mission has put out some information about holiday assistance programs.

1.The Turkey ‘N’ Fixin’s program empowers low-income individuals and families in need with the holiday food items – like a turkey or ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy – to cook a Thanksgiving meal in their own home rather than eating at the Open Door Mission on Thanksgiving Day. You may register and receive holiday food items for Turkey ‘N’ Fixin’s during your normal shopping time November 3rd thru November 25th at any of the 3 Outreach Centers during Holiday hours. They are open Tuesday thru Saturday from 10 AM to 3 PM. There will be ONLY- 1- Turkey ‘N’ Fixin’s registration allowed per address. To register, applicants will need a photo id and a current piece of mail with current address on it. Only one adult per address is needed to register for this program.

2.The Feed the Multitudes program is a partnership with Bellevue Christian Center. This will be a Drive-Thru Event with to go containers filled with a Traditional Turkey dinner. The pre-cooked meal will contain turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and corn. They will put gravy and cranberries in their own containers. People will drive-thru and be able to take the full meal home and heat it up when they are ready to eat! There will be bonus food items such as bread, soda, dessert and snacks. This will be a FREE Drive-Thru event on Saturday, November 21st from 11:30 am-2:30 pm located at the Garland Thompson Men’s Center. Follow the traffic flow once you get to the Open Door Mission campus.

3.The Project Santa’s Drive-Thru Christmas program empowers low-income parents to have gifts for their children under the tree on Christmas morning from themselves or Santa. This will be a Drive-Thru event providing 1 -2 toys for each child, books, diapers, coloring books and a Holiday food box. Parents will drive through and pick up gifts for their children on an assigned Saturday in December. This program serves children ages birth to 12. Registration will be at all 3 Outreach Centers during Holiday Hours in the months of November and December. The Outreach Centers are open Tuesday thru Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To register your children for Project Santa, applicants will need the following for EACH child they are registering: a birth certificate or document verifying their age and the child’s social security number. Parents will need to have their photo id and a current piece of mail. Only one adult per household is needed to register children for this program. Children can NOT be present at registration. A child can only be registered once for this program.

If there is anything I can help your student with, do not hesitate to call me at 531-299-1286 or email me at You can also click this link to fill out a Request to Speak with the Counselor form and it will come directly to my email.

As we spend extra time thinking about the things and people we are thankful for in the month of November, please know that I am so thankful to work at Crestridge with our wonderful students, families and staff.

Be well,

Miss Rowland

Crestridge Counselor

District Response to COVID-19 in Schools

Daily Health Assessment

As we move into a new week, we’d like to provide a kind reminder to families to please stay vigilant in daily life at school, work, and home. If you or someone you live with are experiencing the following symptom(s)

* Two or more of the following - fever, chills, cold/shivering, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea


* One of the following - new cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and new loss of taste/smell

* You or someone you live with is waiting for test results for Covid-19

* You or someone you live with have been diagnosed with Covid-19

* You have been in close contact (6 feet or closer for 15 minutes or more) with someone diagnosed with Covid-19 without masks.

We want to take this opportunity to remind all of you the importance of completing the daily screener and monitoring your child and household closely for symptoms. Daily temperature checks are a part of the daily screening process. Together we will make sure our students and staff stay safe and healthy.

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Cold Weather Guidelines

As the winter months inch closer, please remember that breakfast does not begin until 8:35. Students should not be dropped off prior to 8:35 am. This can become a safety issue once the temperature begins to drop.

Please take a moment to review the cold weather recess guidelines below. It is important that students come to school with the proper clothing to stay warm and safe. Students without proper clothing for the weather will need to have indoor recess.

'Feels Like' Temperature Guidelines

58 or above - students may choose what they wear

50-57 - sweatshirt, jacket, long sleeves with upper temperatures

40-49 - coat, legs covered (sweatshirts & lighter jackets not accepted)

32-39 - coat, gloves, hat or hood, legs covered

21-31 - coat, gloves, hat, legs covered, recess limited to 15 minutes max

20 or below - indoor recess

*Snow boots are required to walk/run in the snow, snow pants are required to play in the snow

An additional reminder that we make every effort to get students outside weather permitting. If you are in need of coats, hats, or gloves, please contact us at Crestridge. We are happy to help!

Mark Your Calendar

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Upcoming Dates


A reminder that on Tuesday, November 3 and Wednesday, November 4 there will be no school for Crestridge students. These are designated as professional learning days.

Virtual PTO Meeting

We look forward to our upcoming PTO meeting scheduled for Wednesday, November 4 @ 5:30 PM. We have had great attendance and have truly enjoyed seeing new faces and receiving input from our Crestridge families.

Topic: PTO Meeting: November 2020

Time: Nov 4, 2020 05:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 278 390 4074

Passcode: Vikings

Virtual Parent Breakfast

Bring your coffee and join us for a collaborative conversation as we look to co-establish our organizational values on November 9th @ 9:00 AM. This will be our first step in refreshing and recommitting to our vision and mission as an organization. We look forward to the input of our community in this process. Please check the School Story on Class Dojo for the link to the meeting.

Picture Day

School pictures create memories that last a lifetime. Each elementary building will offer a school picture opportunity. School pictures are not required; they are optional and offered as a courtesy for families. This opportunity is available for students who are attending in person and remote. Remote families should reach out to Mrs. Varas to schedule a separate time within your child's assigned cohort for school pictures.

Crestridge Magnet's Picture Day will be on November 18th for A-K learners, and November 20th for L-Z learners. Information related to school pictures will be sent home this week with your child.

Safety Precautions:

● Students will remain masked except for when taking their picture

● Safety and cleaning protocols will be followed.

● Families/students must complete a self check for Covid-19 symptoms; they may not attend the picture opportunity if there are symptoms. We will offer a picture retake later in the year for those students who are not able to attend.

If conditions related to the pandemic require the cancellation of our building’s picture opportunity, we would work with Jeremy Johnson Photography to reschedule it to a later date if possible. Should the need for rescheduling occur, we would notify parents of necessary changes.

Progress Reports

Progress reports will be sent home with A-K learners on November 18th and L-Z learners on November 20th. Should questions arise following your receipt of your child's report, please feel free to reach out to your child's classroom teacher. Our goal is to always have proactive communication about your student's achievement and work habits.

Thanksgiving Recess

A reminder to families that our Thanksgiving recess will be November 25th- November 27th. We hope families take time together and to give Thanks for the many gifts we have.
Omaha Public Schools District Calendar

Both the English and Spanish calendars are available by clicking this button.

District Health and Safety Information

Click here to read more about district related health and safety information

District Health and Safety Videos

Click here to watch district created health and safety videos

Academic Information

MAP Testing

Students will soon begin taking the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment. The MAP assessment window at Crestridge is October 19 through November 24. This year, students attending for in person instruction in grades Kindergarten through fifth will only take the Reading and Math MAP Growth Assessment.

To ensure an accurate assessment of your child's present level of performance, parents can:

* Commit to regular bedtimes and wake up times to allow children to receive enough rest

* Talk to their child about trying their best

* Prepare students to not know all the answers

As students take the MAP assessment they will receive a RIT score. The RIT score assists teachers in identify where students are ready for instruction today. As your child progresses, the MAP assessment allows us to identify areas of strength, areas of need, and to ensure your student continues to meet or exceed their personalized growth goals. The MAP Assessment is an adaptive test. This means it is not simply a measure of students' mastery on grade level standards, instead this assessment finds a range of student performance by presenting leveled questions based on student's answers. MAP growth data to pinpoints the instructional areas your students are ready to tackle—whether they’re on, above, or below grade level. Over the course of this year, we look forward to supporting your student's individual growth and to celebrating their achievements together.

Food Distribution Sites

OPS Meals 2 Go

Thanks to a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Omaha Public Schools is offering Meals2Go at no cost to students and community children, ages 1 - 18. Each bag contains school favorites, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Milk is available as an option.

• All students will receive a breakfast and lunch, at no charge until USDA CARES Act funds are gone.

• Children ages 1-18, will have the opportunity to receive Meals2Go bags at all schools where we are currently distributing meals curbside. Students who are learning remotely as well as community children may receive meals. Additionally, students who will return to the classroom will receive breakfast and lunch at no charge.

• Parents/guardians who pick up the meals without children in the car will need to provide identification (report card, schedule, birth certificate, etc.) that the meals are for a child at home.

• Meals2Go bags will continue to be distributed on Mondays (Monday and Tuesday) and Wednesdays (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) at all of the schools where meals are currently distributed. Beginning Oct. 5, the meal distribution time will change to accommodate for staffing:

  • Elementary: 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
  • Middle and High Schools: 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
  • Program schools, early childhood locations and TAC programs will not distribute the Meals2Go bags. The parent/guardian may pick up the meals at any of the other sites currently open.

Omaha Public Schools is able to offer the meals at no cost to all children, ages 18 and under, through a short-term waiver issued from the USDA. After the waiver is over, our district will keep the community informed of all changes as they take effect.

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.

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:


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.

Latino Center of the Midlands

Affected by COVID?

Through the CARES ACT, the Latino Center of the Midlands is able to assist individuals and families whose lives have been directly or indirectly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Latino Center of Midlands is dispersing emergency COVID relief. You may be eligible for assistance with:

  • Rent/ Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Food Assistance

Ready to apply?

Please visit the below website or call us at 402-733-2720 to make an appointment.

Want to Support the PTO?

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

Other Resources for Families

District Level Support

If you have additional questions, please consider which of the following department below may best meet your needs.

Contact Student Information Services at for:

  • Current or past student proof of education
  • Pre-K and K registration or physicals
  • Questions about summer school

Contact the Student Placement Office at​ for:

  • Transfer requests
  • Questions regarding home attendance areas

Family Voice Survey

The Family Voice Survey that seeks to learn parents questions, concerns, and to hear parent input.Our goal is to provide accurate and update information to our families and to address parents questions and concerns.
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