The Omaha Street School focuses on the development of each student in five ways:
Physical – nourishment (breakfast, lunch), athletics, physical education
Spiritual – whole person, values, discernment, moral code
Academic/Mental – state-certified instructors, individual attention, minimum of 8 credits per semester
Vocational – college preparation, career preparation
Social – personal responsibility, one-on-one interaction, group interaction
Our goal is to grow the whole person as a whole person rather than seek outcomes in only certain areas for the purpose of impressive reporting but at the expense of the life of the individuals we serve.
Our School Model
As an alternative school, OSS has created an alternative structure to the school day in order for our students to experience ultimate success. Below are the three key features of our school model.
Students spend 2 hours per day with their homeroom instructor. This extended time allows students to build a positive, supportive relationship with their instructor and peers within the classroom setting. During the homeroom time, students build on basic literacy, behavioral, life and social skills. The homeroom instructor is the school's point person for the student, their families and other supporters the student may have in his or her life. Homeroom instructors are also in charge of facilitating a Student Learning Portfolio (SLP), which is a collaborative process between the student, family, and instructor. Through SLP planning and goal setting, students track their progress within each OSS pillar and celebrate those successes.
These classes allow students to explore interests beyond the core curriculum. Some examples of elective classes include: work study, art, marketing, and various career exploration opportunities.
The rest of the school day is spent in traditional/core classes: English, Math, Science and Social Studies. These classes are typically small in size, allowing students to receive the necessary help to be successful. Instructors tailor classroom content to student strengths and interest, as they deliver standard-based instruction.
Tabula Rasa is a Latin phrase that means "clean" or "blank" slate. It gets it roots from the Romans who would use tablets for writing and then apply heat to wax to "clean" off the slate allowing it to be reusable.
OSS is exactly our students' "tabula rasa". Students come to us for a variety of reasons: low academic success, negative past choices in school and life, lack of hope or future mindset. But because of God's grace, we seek to work with students to move forward despite previous experiences. A clean slate is given to our students each and everyday (just as it is to all of us through our Savior) as we seek "Transformation through Education" with academic and behavioral integrity.
Tabula Rasa has become an informal motto in the halls of OSS since the marketing class stumbled across the phrase while seeking to describe what makes OSS different than other schools. Since then we have used the poignant expression to practice marketing skills with the Omaha Chamber of Commerce's "We Don't Coast" campaign, as the guiding subject of fundraising efforts, and as a battle cry to rally staff around students who have succumbed to voices from the past telling them they don't have a chance to be anything but used and worthless. Tony, a recent graduate, was a member of the marketing class when Tabula Rasa was born as an OSS motto. Here is his take on it:
To provide an intentional year-long gap between high school graduation and post-secondary education or full-time employment for at-risk students who have difficulty relating learning to future education or career aspirations.
- Provide support and skills needed for graduates to be successfully employed and/or enrolled in college
- Enable students to become self-sufficient long-term
- Raise level of professionalism and excellence for students
Few at-risk high school graduates have the resources or support needed to navigate the college enrollment process and then stay enrolled while working part-time. Even fewer students are able to invest in a specific skill set to make them "job-ready."
Gap U is a transitional program that prepares high school graduates for the job field or post-secondary education. Gap U bridges the gap between what a high school graduate has learned and the practical application needed to be a successful adult.
Gap U Director
Lance T. Griffin
Honesty, Understanding, Desire, Light
To provide a therapeutic support group to help students overcome hurdles in life, improve academic performance, reduce behavior issues, and prepare them for a healthy life beyond school.
- Provide support, discussion, and education for students struggling with mental health or social issues
- Address issues such as anxiety, depression, addiction, and past trauma, and discuss how these issues affect current functioning and future success
- Provide students with an open, safe, and trustworthy environment to express feelings, struggles, and receive the tools necessary to make positive decisions after graduation
Throughout the course of this support group. students are HONEST with themselves about their particular struggles and issues,
are able to state UNDERSTANDING of how these struggles affect themselves and the lives of those around them,
show a DESIRE to want to change their lives, and finally,
are able to see the LIGHT in their own lives and be a light to others.
Ashlee Houy, LMHP, CPC
Latisha McCants, LMHC, LIMHP
Mary Ann Greene-Walsh, M.S.
Leadership Academy (NEW!)
What is Leadership Academy?
Leadership Academy prepares high school seniors for post-graduation life, giving them knowledge and experiences typically found outside of the classroom. Leadership Academy will meet every afternoon from 1:00 - 3:00. Each week, sessions will focus on career exploration, life skills, critical and holistic thinking, as well as community engagement through service.
The students will be connected with real world businesses, entrepreneurial opportunities, and collaborative connections. Students will gain and improve upon their team work skills, initiative, and decision making. All of these components will fuse together to construct an independent and confident leader.
Why Leadership Academy?
Many Omaha Street School students lack the confidence and direction to set their own course after high school. They learn the common academic skills in high school but lack the abilities and support system to acquire a skill set that will allow the students to actively seek their real-life career goals. Leadership Academy will push students out into the real world, engage them with potential future careers, and give them a chance to explore their career interests. Leadership Academy directs students towards opportunities and connections that allow them to experience the real world with the support of Omaha Street School right behind them.
Leadership Academy Director
Lance T. Griffin
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