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New inclement weather schedule impacts staff, students

New+inclement+weather+schedule+impacts+staff%2C+students

This year, Omaha Public Schools introduced a new schedule for inclement weather days. After Covid, OPS changed the normal snow days to include 20-minute classes where students would log in for attendance and get directions for a short assignment.  

This was in use for about three years before it was changed again. Now, the schedule is asynchronous, where teachers are expected to make an assignment students can complete on their own time.  

Their only instructions were to have the assignments posted by 8:30 a.m. so students would have plenty of time to work on them. They also had to be available from 8:30-10:30 a.m. for questions students may have.  

As expected, teachers and students had opinions regarding the new schedule.  

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A commonality for students was that they favored the asynchronous learning schedule over the Teams meetings. This was due to the freedom and flexibility students were given with the schedule and being able to do their work on their own time.  

“It was very effective for me. I was able to get plenty of sleep and get all my work for the day out of the way,” Landon Creighton, 11, said.  

Emma Hebda, 11, had a similar opinion.  

“I prefer the new schedule. It’s more designed for teenagers and their lives,” Hebda said.  

Hjelle, math teacher, also preferred the asynchronous learning schedule better.  

“I like this more than synchronous Team meetings,” Hjelle said.  

On the other hand, Stover, sustainability teacher, had a differing opinion and preferred the Teams meetings.  

“Last year was much better because of the accountability with attendance and getting instructions directly from the teacher,” Stover said.  

She also believed that student participation and engagement was higher last year.  

 “Only about 50% of my students actually logged into Teams on their own to view what they should do and complete the brief assignment,” Stover said.  

In contrast, Hjelle said, “I would say that actual engagement was up. I had 86 out of 165 students complete their investigations. Though attendance may have been higher on Teams, do not think I had half of my students participating during the Teams calls.” 

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Eve Rouch, Reporter
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