What is Omaha Virtual School?
The Omaha Virtual School (OVS) began in the 2016-17 school year as the first K-8th grade virtual school in the State of Nebraska. OVS is a program within Omaha Public Schools that currently serves K-12th grade students. Since OVS is a unique learning environment, we have gathered some frequently asked questions that are intended to help interested families understand the program and help determine if OVS is a good fit for their family and their learner.
How is OVS different from fully remote learning?
- OVS is a blended program that requires weekly face-to-face sessions at the learning center in the TAC building at 3215 Cuming Street.
- Most of the learner's week is spent at home working through the curriculum with the support of their learning coach (parent/guardian). There are limited live online classes. Teacher support is limited to scheduled support times.
- OVS is a program with high expectations and a rigorous curriculum.
- OVS requires strong adult support at home.
- K-5 students may need someone to help them for up to 6 hours per day while at home.
- OVS does not offer transportation, breakfast/lunch, sports or music and has a limited course catalog. There is limited access to counselors and OVS does not have a social worker on staff.
What is blended learning?
In a blended learning model, students complete online coursework at home with the guidance of their parent/guardian or other individual close to the student who serves as their learning coach. To enhance online learning and focus on skills, students participate in an engaging, face-to-face class at least once per week. These activities include labs, guest speakers, cooperative learning opportunities and much more!
Is there a cost to attend?
Omaha Virtual School is a free program within Omaha Public Schools. We provide a device and all the materials student need to be successful in the program.
Does my student need their own device?
No. OVS supplies each student with a device to complete their work at home. Typical home office supplies, such as printing paper, are not supplied.
What curriculum do you use?
K12.com provides content, curriculum and the learning management system for OVS
Where will the face-to-face sessions take place?
We are located on the 4th floor of Omaha Public Schools Teacher Administrator Center at 3215 Cuming Street in Omaha.
How long are face-to-face sessions?
K-8 students attend one half-day per week and high school students attend a full day each week. Due to limited space, middle school and high school students do not attend sessions on the same day.
Are the face-to-face sessions required?
Yes, these are a necessary component to our learning environment. Research shows that the in-person element of blended learning increase student success.
How many students are in each classroom during face-to-face sessions?
K-5th grade class sizes will be from 10-12 students. 6th-8th grade class sizes will be from 15-18 students, and 9th-12th grade class sizes will be from 18-20 students. These class sizes allow for us to manage students in small groups and maximize the space that we have available to us in the TAC building.
How is my student's learning progress monitored?
The parent representative/learning coach helps facilitate and monitor the student's daily progress, based off the pacing guides that OVS teachers create and distribute. During online, live lessons and face-to-face class time, OVS teachers frequently measure students’ mastery of concepts to personalize learning. Our teachers also provide feedback and are available to answer questions for both the learning coach and the student. OVS provides a positive and caring support system. Student success relies on strong communication between the parent, teacher, and student.
Are students required to participate in state testing?
Students are required to take state assessments and required to come on an additional day on state testing weeks to complete to the test in our learning center.
What if my student needs extra help?
OVS teachers have support times built into their week for any students that feel they could benefit from some additional time with their teacher. We also provide intervention for learners who qualify for additional supports in the areas of reading and math.
Does OVS offer special education services?
Yes, OVS provides special education services.
Can my student get meals if our family qualifies for free/reduced lunch?
K-8th grade students will not eat lunch at school. However, our high school students do. Families are encouraged to still apply each year to qualify for fee/reduced pricing for high school lunch and for community support programs and memberships.
What determines a student's acceptance into OVS?
In order to be successful in OVS, a student must meet the following criteria:
High school students must meet the following credit requirements:
- They are independently motivated to learn.
- A parent/guardian or other adult close to the student is available daily to facilitate learning and keep the student on-track.
- They are able to attend face-to-face sessions at least once per week at the learning center inside the TAC building at 3215 Cuming Street in Omaha.
- They have access to consistent transportation to face-to-face sessions. OVS does not offer any transportation or vouchers for transportation.
- They are credit sufficient/on track for graduation (high school)
High school students must meet the following credit requirements:
Students who have not attended OPS may have transcripts that calculate differently. As a rule of thumb, students should be on-track to graduate on-time without doing credit recovery. If you have questions about whether your student would be credit-eligible, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can high school students make up missing credits at OVS?
OVS does not offer credit recovery. High school students entering the program must be on track to graduate on schedule. If a student is not credit-sufficient for OVS, they may make up the credits needed through an accredited program and reapply the next semester.
Do you have options for my Pre-K student?
No, OVS does not have a Pre-K class in the program.
What is my role as parent/guardian in my student’s learning experience?
A parent/guardian or other individual close to the student serves as a learning coach. The learning coach is highly active and engaged in their student's education. They are expected to learn how to navigate the online learning system to monitor student progress and ensure the student is on-task and engaged in the course content. Learning coaches must be in regular communication with OVS to ensure a strong school-to-home partnership. Additionally, learning coaches are responsible for providing transportation to face-to-face learning sessions and any other required in-person meetings, such as required state testing.
Do students spend all day in front of a device?
K-5 students receive K12 workbooks and other materials that are used to learn away from their devices. Completed material is turned into their teachers to be graded. Middle and high school students spend much more time working through the curriculum online. However, they do receive books and other materials that are used offline.
Can my student participate in activities, such as sports, music, etc.?
OVS does not have athletics or a music program. However, clubs are offered either online or in person, such as robotics, drones, Minecraft club, etc. Club offerings vary each year and typically begin in September/October. K-8th grade students can participate in athletics/activities at their neighborhood school. Parents are responsible for registering their student and transporting them to and from the school. High school students who want to participate in NSAA sports must take at least half of their classes at the school where they participate in athletics and the rest at OVS.
How do students socialize in the program?
OVS offers various field trips and family socials throughout the year as well as collaborative opportunities during face-to-face sessions. Learners also have opportunities to participate in open art sessions or take part in extracurricular activities, such as the award-winning robotics program. Students also interact with each other and experts in our community and throughout the world using Microsoft Teams.
Does OVS offer the same courses as traditional OPS buildings?
OVS curriculum is aligned with OPS to ensure your student gets a quality education that meets state standards. Curriculum is provided through K12 online school, and the catalog of classes for high school is limited. Click here to view the 2021-22 Course Catalog.
What if OVS doesn't offer a course a student wants to take?
Students can take a course that OVS doesn't offer at their OPS home attendance school. It is up to the student to contact their home attendance area school and register for that class. The OVS counselor needs to be aware of courses taken at home attendance schools. Some OVS students are also enrolled in other programs, such as the OPS Career Center.
Do students get a diploma when they graduate from OVS?
Yes! OVS is accredited and all graduates receive a diploma from their OPS home attendance area school. If the student lives outside of OPS, the diploma comes from Omaha North.