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OPS school board approves names, mascots and colors of new schools

OPS school board approves names, mascots and colors of new schools

Omaha Public Schools has announced the proposed names for the district's two new high schools (Westview, Buena Vista) and two new elementaries (Pine, Forest Station).

Omaha Public Schools students and parents will be cheering on the bison and wolverines at sporting events and school activities in the coming years.

On Monday night, the school board unanimously approved the names, mascots and colors for the district’s two new high schools and two new elementary schools.

OPS announced the mascots and the names of the schools on Friday.

The new high schools will be called Buena Vista, at 60th and L Streets, and Westview, at 156th and Ida Streets. The elementary schools will be named Pine Elementary, at 10th and Pine Streets, and Forest Station Elementary, at Fort Crook and Childs Roads.

Students, some requiring step stools to speak at the podium, presented the new names, mascots and colors of four new schools to the OPS board.

The students told the school board why they liked the names, colors and what the mascots represented. Student committees helped pick out the names and mascots.

Buena Vista will be named to recognize the area’s beautiful views and will add to the identity of South Omaha and the student population, the proposal said.

The school colors will be black, silver and burgundy. The school’s mascot will be a bison, which district officials called a pragmatic, resourceful animal.

Westview High School will be named to represent the view of west Omaha, officials said.

The school colors will be orange, black and royal blue. The school mascot will be a wolverine. The animals are symbols of fearlessness and courage, the proposal said, and are known to stick together and work in groups.

The high schools will open in the 2022-23 school year. The district has already named the principals of both schools.

Carrie Carr will serve as the principal of Buena Vista High School. Thomas Lee will serve as principal of Westview High School.

In recent months, there have been discussions about what programming will look like at the new high schools. The district has proposed implementing academies and pathways at all of the district’s high schools.

This year the school board approved changes to the district’s student assignment plan to include the two new schools. The student assignment plan helps determine where a student attends school, their eligibility for transportation and their priority for school choice.

The name of Pine Elementary comes from its location on Pine Street and, the district said, the large evergreen trees being preserved in the building process.

The school colors will be green, white and gray, and the school mascot will be a porcupine.

The school at Fort Crook and Childs Roads will be dubbed Forest Station Elementary School because of its close proximity to Fontenelle Forest and nearby trains.

School colors will be dark green, white and tan. The school’s mascot will be an owl.

OPS has a policy that says schools can only be named for an individual if that individual has been dead for 10 years.

On Monday night, the school board voted to update that policy to say no new OPS school building or facility acquired after April 5 will be named for an individual.

The policy also says OPS will not accept a title to a building or donated facility where one of the conditions is that the building be named for a specific person.

Our best Omaha staff photos of March 2021

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Emily covers K-12 education, including Omaha Public Schools. Previously, Emily covered local government and the Nebraska Legislature for The World-Herald. Follow her on Twitter @emily_nitcher. Phone: 402-444-1192.

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