OPS Elementary School History
In 2022, 24 OPS students, nine OPS social studies teachers, three graduate students, a University of Nebraska professor, and many community members worked to uncover the history of OPS’ 125 current and former elementary schools located east of 72nd Street. They interviewed school alums. They discovered the OPS archives, finding old photographs, artifacts, and newspaper articles for their assigned elementary schools. They worked in geographic teams, visiting and photographing each of their school sites. They mapped each of their schools using ArcGIS software. They learned about OPS’ busing and desegregation plan from the people who created it and discovered its effect on students, teachers, and school integration. They learned about OPS’ changing demographics by comparing each school’s student ethnicity in 1974 and 2020-21 and learned how 20th-century Federal, State, and City policies affected school demographics. Lastly, participants heard from OPS district officials to find out how Omaha’s most diverse school district is integrating schools today.
Student projects can be found on the following pages.
More information on OPS’ 1976 to 1999 Busing and Desegregation Plan and Demographics can be found here.
OPS Elementary School Map