OVS Weekly Update

May 25, 2018 Edition, Volume 76

Mark Your Calendars!

FYI-Important Dates
May 25th-
Watch your email for 2018-19 course selection

June 4th-29th: Summer School for select students-check emails for those who qualify

2018-19 Important Dates

August 1st-7th: Parent Orientation Sessions

August 9th: Back to School Night

August 13-17th: First Week of School

Principal's Corner

Shifts for 2018-19 School Year

Wowza! We finished another school year! Thank you all for your hardwork. We have all learned so much, together. About ourselves, our learners, and our program. Thank you to all of the learning coaches who have shared feedback on how we can improve. We want to hear it and hopefully you see that we are responding by improving our practices. We made some adjustments at semester to better serve our students and we will be working hard this summer to plan for a successful 3rd year.

Through our strategic design work of articulating our core values, mission, and vision, we were able to clearly define the direction and focus of our program. While we already felt like we had direction and focus through unspoken agreements and, the way we do things around here. This process re-affirmed that we are all focused on personalizing our students' experiences, because the term personalization came up so much in our conversations. We are all committed to creating the best possible learning environment for EACH of our students. That is refreshing! I read in an article once that no school could completely 100% personalize a learner's experience. Well, our program can come pretty close to 100%, because of the partnership that we have with our learning coaches.

OVS Mission:

OVS is committed to empowering life-long learners by developing collaborative relationships. Within our community, we provide an innovative, personalized learning experience. Success in this mission will cultivate critical thinkers who have the tools to contribute to a changing global society.


Future ready, today.

Next steps

An action step towards our mission is to put our students in the middle, in the driver's seat, almost! So they are empowered to set goals and have a clear understanding of where they are in their learning and where they want to be. One simple way to help with this is to change what we call our students. As we discussed in our coffee chats, the word "student" takes on a passive connotation. When we think of student we think of a receiver of information. One who is lectured to. As you are aware, that is not how we do things at OVS. Inspired by the work of Lindsay Unified School District in California, we will call our students, learners. The term "learner" tends to have a more active connotation. One who is actively seeking out information and doing. A similar shift will be made for what we call our teachers. The word teacher implies the owner of knowledge. In this day and age, no one owns all of the knowledge, Google does! Our teachers' role at OVS is one of facilitating learning, supporting students when needed, providing interventions or supports when a need is identified, assisting students with setting and making goals, and guiding students towards proficiency of skills. With that said, teachers at OVS will now be called learning facilitators. This aligns nicely with our parents' role of learning coaches. Our school will be called the learning center (or The Den-for all of our Ocelots to gather in). I still have to determine how my name of director/principal can shift along with everyone else, so I'm open to suggestions!

It is important to note that our shift for year three is more than just changing our names. It is about going deeper in the personalization of our student experience. When our learners come to the learning center, they will be engaged in activities and strategies that will support the skills that they need to focus on, based on MAP scores and what they need to support their learning on K12. Learners will need to bring their school books to the learning center, because we will support them in their coursework that they currently are on, during portions of our learning time. Our goal is to meet our learners where they are at, not where they should be.

What does this mean for the learning coach? Well, currently we have a variety of different learning coach engagement levels that are occurring in our program, and we need ALL learning coach engagement levels to be high. The learning coach will need to actively communicate with our learning facilitators. Learning coaches need to share more about their learners so we can get to the point where we are at 100% personalization for our learners. You know your learners best. We see them once/week, so your engagement is critical to your child's success. We will build systems of support for learning coaches with training and touch-points so that learning coaches are equipped to meet the needs of their learners.

What does this mean for our teachers, now learning facilitators? Learning facilitators will need to be aware of where their learners are at in their progress in their coursework. They will be more active in communication with learning coaches as well. Their lesson plans will be more individualized and will look completely different. They will be regularly analyzing data to ensure that they are truly meeting our learners where they are at, and collaborating with the learning coach to develop plans to support learners.

Our core values are: growth mindset, positivity, collaboration, integrity, self-advocacy, and accountability.

These values apply to ALL of our learners at OVS, K-10th grade learners, learning coaches, learning facilitators, student learning advocates, and leadership. Together, as learners, we will have the best school year, yet in 2018-19! But first, let's just enjoy our summer!

Other notes:

This summer, Ms. Sechrest, Ms. Donnelly (secretary), and myself are working at the learning center if you have any questions or concerns. Additionally, we will be sending more information out regarding the upcoming school year in the next few weeks. For now, relax. You earned it!

Still Time for Attendance

There is still time to complete your student's attendance for the 2017-18 school year. We ask Learning Coaches to have all attendance updated by Wednesday May 30th. For students in K-5th grade, online and offline attendance need to be tracked while 6-9th grade need to track offline attendance only. If your student didn't work on course work on an identified missing day, please fill in zeros for those days. Every day counts!!

REMINDER-Update Contact Info

This week, your student was given a form for you to verify your student's contact information. Some may have completed at the Learning Center while others had theirs sent home. If you have not returned them yet, please email a picture to Brooke at virtualschool@ops.org or drop them by the learning center on May 29th or 30th. Our goal is to update all of the systems we use (K12 and Infinite Campus) to ensure materials are received over the summer in a timely manner plus contact information is correct. If you move over the summer, please contact the school as soon as possible. Thanks for all of your hard work!!!

Returning Device and Materials

The last day of school is fast approaching! This week (May 22-24th), students will be required to return their device and all accessories during their face to face session.Within the next two weeks, you will receive instructions and labels for returning your materials to K12. For additional information please check out the K12 website!

If for any reason the device or accessories are damaged or lost, you are responsible for the cost of replacement. You can bring cash or make a check payable to Omaha Public Schools; paid at the time of returning the device. The device coverage, if paid at the beginning of the year, only covers the cost of the device if damage has been reported.

Replacement costs are:

Headphones: $18.99

Wireless mouse: $18.99

Stream (K-5th grade): $266.17/ea

612 (6-8th grade): $805.59/ea

Stylus for 612: $45.99

Charging cord for both devices $49

How do I know what materials to return?

By accessing My Info from within the Online School (OLS), you can view a list of all materials your student(s) will need to be returned once the course has ended. Please note that you must be logged in to the Learning Coach account for access to My Info.

How to View Materials to Return in My Info

Log into the Learning Coach account and then follow the directions below:

  1. Click the Learning Coach Profile Toolbar, located on the top-right of the home page
  2. Click the link My Info

  1. Select the student name, and then the "Orders" tab to see a list of all material orders
  2. Select the order number that you would like to view
  3. Scroll down to Course Materials to view a summary of your order; this includes a list of the materials provided for each course, the kit name/SKU number, the order status, and tracking information.
  4. Click the arrow (>) to see the items provided in each course kit
  5. ​Use the icons (next to each item) and the Return status listed below, to determine which materials will or will not need be returned once the course and/or School Year is complete
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Summer Activities for Youth

Many children look forward to having a break from school, homework and tests. However, it typically does not take long for children to feel bored. Here is a list of healthy summer activities available throughout Nebraska to help keep children active. Check out a list of summer activities below:
  • General list of free activities in Omaha for your family! Click HERE!
  • Great resource of Fun summer ideas for parents HERE!
  • Omaha Public Libraries: Check out the Summer reading programs and other events!
  • YMCA: The YMCA offers several activities like summer camps, day camps and sports programs to keep youth active all summer long. There are over 20 locations in Nebraska offering activities for all ages. Find a YMCA near you.
  • Kids Bowl Free Summer Program: Sign your children up to receive two free games of bowling per day all summer long.
  • Parks Nebraska Game and Parks has information about parks, trails, hunting and fishing on their website! Check out what they have to offer around you!
  • The Durham Museum in downtown Omaha is a great attraction to explore and expand on the history of our community and state.
  • Visit the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha for FREE!
  • There are hundreds of museums statewide that have educational opportunities for all ages.
  • Science and Math Camps: Aim for the Stars Science and Math camps at the University of Nebraska Omaha!
  • The Henry Doorly Zoo offers day camps for ages 3‐12 and educational courses for all ages.
  • The Lincoln Children’s Zoo offers day camps and overnight stays for ages 3‐12 and adventure camps forages14‐20.
  • Aksarben Aquarium Outdoor Education Center is one of four education centers in Nebraska. Aksarben Aquarium Outdoor Education Center offers an interactive classroom experience, tours
  • Pioneers Park & Nature Center is an 1,100‐acre park that includes public art, an outdoor amphitheater, picnic areas, hiking/biking trails, ponds, a sled run and a golf course.

Congratulations to Our Star Students

Classroom Happenings

Ms. Roger's Classroom

I can't believe the 2017-2018 school year is over! It went by so fast! Thank you to all the students, Learning Coaches, and families for all of your support! I have enjoyed working with all of you and watching your students grow. Have a great summer and I will see you in August!

Mr. Dowling's Classroom

As we wrap up year 2 at OVS, I just wanted to send out a quick note to say thank you for all of your hard work. It seems like yesterday when we were meeting in August and discussing drop-off and pick-up procedures. :) We have all grown throughout the year. I’m hoping that same growth continues each year. Have a fun and safe summer and enjoy the time with your family! I’m looking forward to seeing you in August!

Ms. Nommensen's Classroom

Happy summer, again!! We had so much fun at field day! It was so great to relax and just have some fun with the kids! They are all so great and I had such a wonderful time connecting to them this year. Thank you for sharing your children with us this year! It was a fun adventure and I can’t wait to see all of you next year! For those of you not returning, I wish you nothing but the best! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. Just because you aren’t on my class list, doesn’t mean I’m not here to support you! I am always here for you and love helping you all succeed! And please email me with all of your successes!!

Mr. Gamble's Classroom

Thank you to all the students, learning coaches, and families for everything this year. Have a great summer and I look forward to returning families and students.

Ms. Blackburn's Classroom

Ms. Robison's Classroom

9th Grade Newsletter

Troubles with your device?

If you are having issues with your student's device, please email your issue/concern to this email address: ovs-techhelp@ops.org

Parents will get an email response following your submission. One of our staff members will email parents back to provide assistance, so be sure to check your email after sending your concern.

Mission Statement

We are a dynamic and nurturing community of learners that empowers students to reach their individual potential by providing a creative atmosphere for innovative learning and academic excellence.