The USD 383 school board voted 5-2 in favor of Oliver Brown Elementary welcoming the new brown & gold color scheme and bison mascot.
Following more than 1,600 responses to an online survey late last year, the public had the final say in deciding the colors and mascot for the new school. Newly elected board president Jurdene Coleman held out for “Ollie the Owl”, and said she was saddened by the resulting polls and was joined by board member Brandy Santos.
The mascots otherwise considered were an owl or an otter, and a brown and orange color scheme was in the running before ultimately being passed up for brown and gold.
Board members also were unanimous in approving $130,000 worth of general audio/visual equipment for the school.
Prior to Wednesday’s business meeting, USD 383 board members held a work session, hearing from elementary principals on how the return to full time in-person instruction has been going.
The district resumed that modality of teaching and learning on Jan. 5 following a semester of hybrid learning. Elementary Education Director Lucas Shivers thanked the board for their investment in the infrastructure and technology the district’s received, providing more robust personalized learning.
Speaking to academics and standardized testing, Woodrow Wilson Elementary Principal Daniel Simon recounted how at the beginning of last year, when students were doing their ‘FAST’ testing, there was a decided decrease in student’s test scores. Through persistence, he says staff are seeing those scores beginning to rise.
The school board also reorganized during the meeting. Coleman was elected board president, succeeding Karla Hagemeister. Kristin Brighton was elected board vice president.