In the 2022-23 school year, our District will open two new high schools. We are so thankful to our community for supporting the Bond Issue Phase 2 which provided the necessary funds to open these schools, along with three others.
Omaha Public Schools has taken many steps to plan for the opening of the five new schools. In 2019, the Board of Education approved new boundaries for elementary and middle schools. In addition, our district recently announced the proposed Omaha Public Schools College & Career Academies and Pathways, an evolution in our high school programming. Now that boundaries have been determined, the district has finalized the new High School Student Assignment Plan, to coincide with the opening of the two new high schools.
The High School Student Assignment Plan determines a student's transportation eligibility and placement priority during the high school choice process. The plan and how it was developed is outlined below.
How was the plan developed?
Over the past 16 months the Student Assignment Plan Committee has been working towards a simple, efficient and equitable plan for all OPS students. The committee developed several options and gathered feedback from internal and external groups including students, parents and staff. The feedback from those groups helped to determine the plan.
High School Choice
Choosing a high school that meets a student's individual needs is an important opportunity in Omaha Public Schools. We know that students and families make their high school choice based on a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, programming and transportation. The plan takes this into account. No matter where a student lives, they will have the option to apply to any high school in Omaha Public Schools. The Student Assignment Plan will determine their transportation eligibility and priority in the high school choice process.
Neighborhood vs Non-Neighborhood Transportation
Our district currently has guidelines for transportation eligibility to both neighborhood and non-neighborhood schools.
Neighborhood transportation is for eligible students who attend their neighborhood (home) school.
- The plan increases transportation eligibility at all high schools.
- Instead of using distance, the plan uses streets to identify transportation areas in each high school boundary.
- Each transportation area identified is an area that is generally located farthest away from the school.
- The neighborhood transportation plan is below.
Non-neighborhood transportation is for students who attend a school other than their home (neighborhood) high school.
- The plan creates three partner zones each including three high schools.
- One additional school has been identified as a partner school.
- Students would have priority and be eligible for transportation at other schools in their partner zone and their home school's additional partner schools, also known as their "plus one school" (pictured below).
- For example, students living in the North attendance area would be in the same zone as Burke and South. North High School's plus one school is Westview (156th and Ida). Students in the North attendance area would have priority and be eligible for transportation to Burke, South or Westview.
- The three partner zones and the plus one schools are listed below.
- All three partner zones offer students access to diverse programming at high schools across the district.
- The non-neighborhood transportation plan is below.
Omaha Public Schools College & Career Academies and Pathways
The Omaha Public Schools College & Career Academies and Pathways comes after an evaluation and refocus of current programming. It builds on what has been working well and where we can grow for the students we serve.
The proposed Omaha Public Schools College & Career Academies and Pathways align with high skill, high wage, in-demand future jobs. They give students the opportunity to explore a potential career field while gaining skills that will be beneficial in the next chapter of their story. In Omaha Public Schools, some high schools will offer academies, while others offer pathways.
Below, we have outlined the proposed Omaha Public Schools College & Career Academies and Pathways in each partner zone. No matter which school a student attends they will gain real-world career experience while maintaining the foundation of core classes and access to advanced academics, fine arts and electives. The zones are designed to offer students an opportunity to select from a variety of career clusters.
To learn more about Omaha Public Schools College & Career Academies and Pathways, click here.
Throughout February, our District held family engagement sessions. These sessions provided families with the opportunity to hear more information about the proposed High School Student Assignment Plan and Omaha Public Schools College & Career Academies and Pathways. Families were able to provide feedback on the High School Student Assignment Plan during these presentations. To view any of these sessions, just follow the link below at the given date and time. The High School Student Assignment Plan will go into effect in Aug. 2022 as the new high schools open. Our district will begin communicating with impacted families in April 2021 through August 2022.
Family Engagement and Feedback
Our District offered four family engagement opportunities. Three were provided in English and one in Spanish. To view one of the meetings, simply click the link below on the appropriate date and time.
We are committed to regular, ongoing communication with families as the process continues.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are the high school student assignment plan changes final?
This plan was approved by the board on March 16, 2021.
How do I know which school is my neighborhood school?
Click here to view the School Search application on the boundary website (boundary.ops.org). Enter your address and a student's grade level to determine your current neighborhood school (2019/20 School Year) and your future “approved boundary”.
In the new High School Student Assignment Plan, how do I know which schools my student is eligible for transportation to?
A student’s transportation eligibility depends on their home address and what school they will attend.
Once you know your neighborhood school based on your residential address, you can determine your child’s eligibility. Students can receive either neighborhood or non-neighborhood transportation.
1. Neighborhood transportation is for eligible students who attend their neighborhood school and live in the transportation area. The plan increases transportation eligibility at all high schools by creating transportation areas. Instead of using distance, the plan uses streets to identify transportation areas in each high school boundary that are generally located farthest away from the school. Students attending their neighborhood school living outside of the transportation area will not be eligible for transportation.
2. Non-neighborhood transportation is for eligible students who attend one of their non-neighborhood partner schools. The plan creates three partner zones, each including three schools. In addition, the plan identifies an additional partner school for each student based on their neighborhood school. Altogether, each student has priority to attend and is eligible for transportation to the two zone schools and the additional partner school. Students attending a school that is not one of their partner schools will not be eligible for transportation.
How does this Plan impact my Special Education student?
Students who receive transportation as part of their Individual Education Plan (IEP) will continue to receive district-provided transportation. Students will continue to be placed in schools and programs designed to meet their special education needs, and our district will serve students as close to their home as possible.
How does the Partner Plan impact my student’s ESL services?
ESL services will not be impacted by this change. ESL services will continue to be available at all high schools.
Can my child still go to our neighborhood school?
Yes. Placement in your neighborhood school is guaranteed at initial enrollment and during the annual school choice process.
Can I still choose to have my student go to a school other than my neighborhood school?
Yes. Families may apply to any school in Omaha Public Schools. However, placement in a non-neighborhood school is based on space availability. If more students request a school than there is space available, then student placement will be prioritized in the following order:
- Neighborhood students
- Siblings of students already attending the school
- Students applying to a partner school where they are eligible for transportation
- All other students
What if my child currently receives transportation to a school that is not a partner school?
Students will continue to receive transportation through the 2021-22 school year under the current Student Assignment Plan guidelines. Changes to the High School Student Assignment Plan will go into effect in the 2022-23 school year, as the new high schools open. At that time, students will only receive transportation to their home high school or a partner school based on the new plan’s guidelines.
We will begin communication directly to families regarding impacts beginning in April 2021.
Under the Partner Plan, what happens if I move during the school year? Will my child receive transportation back to their current school?
Our District recognizes that families move throughout the school year. Families may request to have their child remain in the same school following a move. However, in order to continue to receive transportation, the new address will have to be in the neighborhood transportation area of their current high school or be a partner school attendance area