OPS Elementary Schools - North Area

  • Brief Explanation of Area:

    The north area expands from Fontenelle Boulevard on the east to 90th Street on the west, and Maple and Ames Streets to the south to just north of I-680 to include Ponca Elementary.

    This area includes Florence, Ponca, Springville, and Fort Omaha elementary schools opened in the 1870s and 1880s when the area was outside the Omaha city limits. Fort Omaha elementary closed when the military families left, but the other three schools were annexed by Omaha Public Schools. The area was filled with white Europeans, with the Danish being the predominant immigrant group in the area. In all, 16 past and current elementary schools are in this area.

North Area Map

  • The icons represent the Omaha Public Elementary Schools located in the north area of Omaha. Blue represents current elementary schools, and the black icons are schools no longer in existence.

    Click on the icons to learn more about each school.

    Schools Include: Belvedere, Florence, Florence, Fontenelle, Fort Omaha Site, Fort Street for Boys, Hartman, Irvington, Miller Park, Minne Lusa, Monroe, Mount View (District 38), Pinewood, Ponca, Springville (District 29), and Wakonda

  • Video 

    A 3-minute presentation produced by students participating in the 2022 Omaha Public Schools Making Invisible Histories Visible program highlighting the history of the Fort Omaha School and the history, demographics, and the 1976 desegregation plan of Miller Park, Minne Lusa, and Fontenelle Elementary Schools in the North area of Omaha.

     

    Brief Explanation of Desegregation/Busing:

    Prior to Omaha Public School’s court-ordered “Desegregation Plan” that implemented mandatory busing from 1976 to 1999, schools within the North Division were predominantly white. In 1976, students attending Florence, Hartman, Pinewood, and Springville attended Druid Hill in 2nd or 3rd grade. Students at Druid Hill attended one of these four schools in 4th, 6th, and 6th grade. Miller Park students were partnered with Sherman and attended 5th and 6th grade at this school. Irvington students attended Lothrop in 3rd grade.

     

    By 1981, Florence, Hartman, Pinewood, and Springville students were not bused but did have the option to attend Druid Hill Science/Math Center, and Black students in Grades 4, 5, and 6 who resided in the newly formed Druid Hill/Monmouth Park attendance area could transfer to Florence, Hartman, Pinewood or Springville Elementary Schools.

     

    Demographics in 2020-2021:

    The area has diversified in the last 30 years. In 2020-21, Black, White and Asian is the predominant ethnic groups. Strong Asian growth has come from refugees resettling to Omaha from the Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) regions.

     

    2022 MIHV Project 

Reflections

  • 2022 MIHV North Group

    I’ve learned so much about the desegregation plan and how it impacted elementary schools. It’s been interesting to learn about “the plan” and how it was put into action, as well as hearing the stories of the teachers and students… - Ella

    Before MIHV I would’ve said that I knew information about Omaha’s schools, but now I realize that I knew practically nothing. Not knowing about busing in OPS history definitely means that you don’t know as much as you think you do. - Micaiah-Anna

    Instead of the research being boring, it was actually intriguing. - Clashaud

    History is probably my least favorite subject, so it tends to bore me. The program is actually really fun. My favorite week of my whole summer for sure. – Lynae

Resources

  • Interviews July 2022:

    Carol Ellis, Belvedere and Adams

    Dr. ReNae Kehrberg, OPS Administrator 

    Nichole Kriegler, OPS Busing Student 

    Jan Pinaire, Hartman Elementary  

    Pat Schweer, Crestridge Elementary  

     

    Publications:

    The Plan - Desegregation of the Omaha Public Schools, 1981-82

    United States District Court Desegregation Plan for the School District of Omaha, May 1976

    Desegregation Task Force Recommendations to the Superintendent, October 1998 

     

    Other Resources: 

    The Durham Museum Archives

    Google Earth

    Google Maps

    The Omaha World-Herald Archives

    The Omaha Public Schools Archives/TAC Building

    OPS.org