OPS Elementary Schools - South Omaha and Sarpy County

  • Brief Explanation of Area:

    The South Omaha-Sarpy County area includes all Omaha Public Schools schools south of Interstate 80 to Giles Road and from the Missouri River to 52nd Street. This area contains early OPS schools built in the 1860s, 1880s, and 1890s. The South Omaha area was filled with immigrant families who came to work in the nearby Stockyards. They included Lithuanians, Greeks, Bohemians, Romanians, Serbians, Croatians, Irish, Mexicans, and later African Americans who emigrated from the South. The City of Omaha annexed South Omaha in 1915, and with that, OPS gained new schools. Many of those original working-class immigrant families moved out of the area. A wave of immigrants from Mexico and Latin America replaced them in the 1980s and ‘90s. Latinos now comprise more than 10 percent of Omaha’s population. The Latin influence is seen throughout the business district.

South Omaha-Sarpy County Map

  • The icons represent the Omaha Public Elementary Schools located in South Omaha and Sarpy County. 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: Ashland Park, Ashland Park-Robbins, Chandler, Chandler View, Corrigan (South Omaha District 3), Forest, Forest Station, Garfield, Gateway, Gilder, Giles, Gomez Heritage, Hawthorne, Highland, Indian Hill - formerly West Side, Jungmann, Madison (Albright), Marrs Magnet Center, Pawnee, Pleasant Hill, Riverview, Robbins (Formerly South Franklin), Rosewater (Forest Elementary), South Central (El Museo Latino Now), South Lincoln, Spring Lake, and Wilson

  • Video 

    A 3-minute presentation produced by students participating in the 2022 Omaha Public Schools Making Invisible Histories Visible program highlighting the history, demographics, and the 1976 desegregation plan of Marrs, Gomez, Pawnee, and Indian Hills areas of South Omaha and Sarpy County and information on Gateway Elementary School which was completed in 2010.   

     

    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 South Omaha-Sarpy area were predominantly white. Students attending the South Omaha schools of Ashland Park, Chandler View, Gilder, Giles, Pawnee, and Pleasant Hill attended Kellom Elementary in 2nd or 3rd grade, and Kellom students attended one of these elementary schools in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades.

     

    Demographics in 2020-21:

    In 1974, before court-order busing, Ashland Park, Chandler View, Gilder, Giles, Pawnee, and Pleasant Hill had more than 93 percent white students. In 2020-21, demographics are now 57 to 77 percent Hispanic and 15 to 33 percent white.

     

    2022 MIHV Project 

Reflections

  • 2022 South O-Sarpy County Group

    I didn’t think that Omaha had a really interesting history, but I was wrong. – Santos

    We were able to hear amazing stories that may have never been told to anyone else … My understanding of Omaha's history has changed because there is so much more to it than we can see. – Jonathan

    I never knew what changes were being made back in the 1970s through the 90s and how schooling changed a lot of things in the city and community. – Kylle

    After hearing about all the history of Omaha, my mind has changed a lot and I now know that there is so much history in Omaha that people don’t really know about. Because this project was so fun and interesting to research, I feel like I will be researching a lot more. – Soniya

    My understanding of Omaha has changed a lot because I have seen and heard a lot more about Omaha and the area around the school. – Samantha

Resources

  • Interviews July 2022:

    Anne Harvey, Corrigan and Indian Hills  

    Dorri Ryan, Giles and Gilder  

    Marie Sedlacek, Corrigan Elementary     

    Linda Stearns, Indian Hills 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

    Krystal Kolb, Bryan Alumni

    The Omaha World-Herald Archives

    The Omaha Public Schools Archives/TAC Building

    OPS.org