On Feb.18, Superintendent Cheryl Logan and other Omaha Public Schools board members held a meeting discussing the plans for the end of the school year, summer school, and tutoring opportunities. With the disruptions due to COVID-19, all OPS students will have the chance to attend summer school, OPS calling the summer sessions “Next Level Learning.”
The sessions will be held from June 2 to 30 and from July 6 to 23. OPS will offer morning sessions, afternoon sessions, full-day sessions, and one-hour sessions. There will also be one-on-one tutoring as well as regular summer school classroom sessions. What’s different this year is that high school students ages 16 and up will be able to participate in a paid internship tutoring elementary students.
OPS elementary teacher Jennifer Doll-Fowler believes that this tutoring opportunity will be beneficial to both the elementary students and the high schoolers.
“I know the younger students will love having the older students there and the teachers will appreciate their help. I also think the high school students will be able to learn from younger students” Doll-Fowler said. “Seeing the progress of a student is one of the most rewarding things someone can experience. I feel like high school students might not get to experience that in their everyday lives and this will inspire them to appreciate the love of learning.”
OPS will pay students $10 an hour with a possible dual credit option through Metropolitan Community College for students who take a human relations course in addition. High school students could also receive one OPS elective credit for an internship of 90 hours.
Melissa Comine, chief academic officer at OPS, told the school board of the plan to allow high school students the option of paid tutoring. “We have a position for everybody and they [high school students] can still participate in summer learning,” Comine said.
Students interested in tutoring will have to go through an application process similar to what OPS staff and teachers go through, which includes a background check and getting a recommendation from a teacher.
“I think this opportunity will give them [high school students] a hands-on experience that they might not ever get again. Students may have never thought about being a teacher and this could completely open the door for a new career path,” Doll-Fowler said. “With so many things lost for many high school students because of COVID, this will give them an opportunity to show how they are important part of the Omaha Public School community.”