Elementary Encyclopedia

Understanding the language of the elementary school experience can be overwhelming — there are more acronyms than you can even begin to count. No matter what age your student is, learning the lingo can help you and your child better navigate these years.

Announcements  |  Second through sixth grade students have the opportunity to make the morning announcement to the school in a rotation throughout the year. Announcements include school activities for the day, birthdays, lunch menu, Pledge of Allegiance and the Harrison Daily Pledge.

Behavior Skills Program (BSP)  |  The Behavior Skills Program (BSP) is a district program designed to serve students with behavioral needs. It is a specialized program and students are “placed” into the program. Students in the BSP may visit regular education classrooms and are accompanied by a  paraprofessional to provide support. Harrison is one of only nine elementary schools in OPS with this program.

Buddy Room  |  Buddy Rooms are a part of Harrison’s building-wide Citizenship plan, used for a variety of reasons. A student who is starting to exhibiting very minor issues with behavior in a classroom can be sent to a buddy room (usually an older classroom) to calm down and have time to refocus their behavior. Additionally, students may go to a buddy room if they need more time to complete a test or assignment.

Centers  |  A variety of stations are set up throughout the classroom, and small groups of students rotate through each of them to do different activities that aid in mastery of skills. For instance, math centers may include dice adding games, manipulatives, or computer time.

Circle of Friends  |  This is a grant-funded program provided to elementary buildings through the Autism Action Network. The program focuses on establishing friendships between children on the Autism spectrum with students who are not on the spectrum. Students participate in monthly social activities that promote friendship making, pro-social behavior, and the teaching of social skills. The program is led by certified Harrison staff members.

Citizenship Assemblies  |  Assemblies are held at the end of each quarter and are fun events for students who have exhibited good behavior. Good behavior constitutes zero PAC or office referrals for that quarter.  Past assemblies have included performances from the Omaha Street Percussion group, DJ dance parties, live animal or science demonstrations. Think of them like an ‘on site’ field trip. Students are eligible to attend if they have not received a PAC referral or gone to the principal’s office during that quarter. If they have received a Principal’s Treasure Box award, their name is placed in a drawing for prizes.

Clothing Closet  |  The Clothing Closet is a collection of new and gently used coats, clothing, shoes, and even Halloween costumes that are made available to any student in need. It is run by the ESL staff members. Harrison staff members and parents can discretely make a request on behalf of a student and staff is on hand to help fulfill the request. When kids come to school without worry of how they look or dress, they make better learners. If you would like to donate to the clothing closet, please visit harrisonelementarypta.org/clothingcloset to see what the current needs are.

Cycle days  |  The OPS school calendar is based on a rotation of 10-cycle days. For example, the first day of school is cycle day 1. The second day of school is cycle day 2 and this continues until you reach 10 days of school. Then the cycle starts over. If there is a a day of the week where we do not have school due to conferences or workshops, that day is NOT assigned a cycle day.

Elmo  |  The overhead projector of the 21st century. Teachers use the device to project images onto a smart board.

Field Day  |  A day organized by the PE teacher, typically at the end of the year, when children of grades engage in various active stations. During field day, children should come with sunscreen, tennis shoes, and a change of clothes as children sometimes get wet.

Fit Fridays  |  Instituted to bring a bit of fun and fitness, special music is played over the intercom system during morning announcements that encourages the kids to get the wiggles out to start their day.

Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) formerly know as Challenge  |  GATE programming is available to students who show both advanced academic and leadership skills and must qualify for services per the GATE criteria (available in the school office). Students have the opportunity to participate in enhanced educational opportunities with the GATE facilitator on a weekly basis. They are exposed to additional skills and topics not typically presented in a classroom setting, including areas like coding, creative problem solving, etc.
Serves students 3-6

Go Noodle  |  Go Noodle is a website utilized by teachers and staff to get kids moving. These short interactive activities are designed to keep students engaged and motivated throughout the day and may be used when weather restricts kids from heading outdoors for recess. Parents can create an account at home for free at gonoodle.com.

Harrison Daily Pledge

I am responsible for all my actions and behavior today.

I will listen, do my work, and learn.


I will respect the feelings, property, and rights of others.

I will be a good Harrison citizen today and always.

Infinite Campus (IC)  |  IC is an online student information system utilized by the Omaha Public Schools to house all student information. This includes attendance, grades, and all demographic information. There is also a Parent portal where parents can access and keep track of your child’s grades. A navigation help sheet and FAQ sheet are available in the school office.

Kids Club  |  Kids Club provides before and/or after school childcare in a planned program that offers activities and supervision. All Harrison students are eligible for Kids Club. Supervised childcare includes recreational activities supplemented with in-room activities such as arts and crafts, games, reading or story telling, music, drama, the opportunity to complete school assignments, and free time. School breakfast will be served to all students. An after school snack is served at no extra charge.

Manipulatives  |  Small objects such as counters or blocks are often used in the classroom to give students hands-on math practice. Manipulatives aid students in visualizing math concepts and reinforcing math skills.

Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) testing  |  MAP is a computer based assessment that children from all grades take 3 times a year to measure academic progress. Students in grades K-6 take the MAP assessment (previously, only 2nd grade took this assessment.) MAP will replace Acuity at the older grades.

Nebraska Student-Centered Assessments (NSCAS)  |  Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System or NSCAS are standardized assessments administered by the State of Nebraska each year to all students in Grades 3-6, 8 and 11. They are designed to provide a picture of how students in the state of Nebraska are progressing toward meeting academic standards and how schools are doing to ensure learning success for all students. Harrison students take the NSCAS in the areas of reading and math in grades 3-6. Harrison students also take a NSCAS Science at Grade 5. Testing typically takes place during the month of April.

Paraprofessional  |  Often referred to as a “teacher aide,” a paraprofessional is a staff member who works with individual students or small groups of students to reinforce learning of materials or skills initially introduced and outlined by certified staff. “Paras” also supervise students during lunch and recess, assist in arrival and dismissal procedures, and assist teachers with classroom management and record keeping.

Principal’s Treasure Box  |  Principal’s Treasure Box awards are given out by any Harrison staff member to students that show responsibility, respect or kindness towards others. If a student receives an award, they get to go to the Principal’s office and pick out a prize from the treasure box.

Positive Action Center (PAC) room  |  The Positive Action Center is a part of Harrison’s building-wide Citizenship plan. In condensed terms, students who are having trouble controlling their behavior in the classroom may be sent to the Positive Action Center (PAC) room if the Buddy room does not suffice. The PAC room facilitator focuses on reteaching more productive behaviors and problem-solving conflicts or other issues.

Quiet Fridays  |  Quiet Fridays give classrooms a chance to win a special treat for being the quietest and most respectful during the lunch hour. Quiet Fridays take place every other Friday and are listed in the monthly newsletter.

Safety Patrol  |  Fifth and sixth grade students have the opportunity to serve as crossing guards in both the mornings and the afternoons. Patrol members are trained by the Omaha Police Department how to safely and respectfully assist Harrison students and families across the street. The officer visits Harrison in September of each year to train students. There are three posts located along Hamilton Street and shifts typically last two weeks each. The contacts for safety patrol are the 5th grade teachers.

Rocket Math  |  Rocket Math is a ten-minutes-a-day, worksheet-based curriculum. It is uniquely structured for the sequential practice and mastery of math facts. During the ten minutes, students are timed for one minute. During that time, students try their best to complete as many facts as they can. Students start at level A and move up the alphabet. If they get past Z, they progress from addition to subtraction to multiplication and finally division problems. To move up a letter, you must finish a certain number of problems in one minute’s time.

Smart Board  |  An interactive whiteboard. It is like a giant touchscreen that teachers use for instruction.

Specials / Double Specials  |  “Specials” refer to time spent during the class day on curriculum for Physical Education, Music, Art, Library and Guidance. Each class spends 50 minutes in a special on the corresponding cycle day. “Double Special” days are when you have two specials classes on a single day.

Student Council (STUCO)  |  Student Council representatives are elected by their classmates. There is one Vice Council representative and one Council representative per classroom. Student Council members meet with their sponsors (selected Harrison teachers) once per month to plan special school-wide activities and fundraising opportunities. The fundraising proceeds are donated to a selected local charity at the end of each school year. Some fundraising in the past has included: candy grams, the school store, etc.