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Tulsa Elementary Teachers Hope To Keep School Open

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Students pay attention during class at Burroughs Elementary Wednesday. Students pay attention during class at Burroughs Elementary Wednesday.
Jennifer Kronk is a first-year teacher. Jennifer Kronk is a first-year teacher.
Students at Burroughs Elementary walk through the halls Wednesday. Students at Burroughs Elementary walk through the halls Wednesday.

Tara Vreeland, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Project Schoolhouse has rocked the Tulsa community. Tulsa Public Schools says the historic overhaul is necessary to cut capacity and save money.

Teachers say it's shocking.

Burroughs Elementary is one of the schools in Project Schoolhouse set to close in Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. However, the teachers there are hoping for an alternative.

Read the proposals.

Burroughs Elementary Principal Michelle Cullom ended the school day like she always does. She says it's school as usual, that they have a responsibility to the students, even though yesterday was filled with tears.

3/29/2011 Related Story: Neighbors Raise Concern Over Possible Tulsa Elementary School Closures

Teachers say they were shocked to learn their school was on the chopping block for Project Schoolhouse.  This year is Pre-K teacher Jennifer Kronk's first year at Burroughs. She says she's already attached.

"Everybody wants to be here," she said. "We are here for a reason. It's not just a job to us. We care about all these kids in the community. We want to be here."

That attachment and school pride echoes down the long halls.

"I like my classroom. I love my classroom," Dorothea Latimer, Burroughs Special Education Teacher, said. "Hate to leave it because I'm not sure what would happen to it once I'm away from this school."

Instead of just shutting the doors, Special Ed teacher Dorothea Latimer is hoping the board can find an alternative. She also disagrees with putting first through eighth grades in the same building.

"There's a lot of age differences and just a lot of personal concerns," she said.

 But their main concern is the main reason they become teachers in the first place.

"We want to stay with our kids," Kronk said. "We want to keep the building open. I believe it should stay open. Not just because of the history but because Burroughs elementary is a strong community."

Dr. Keith Ballard says teachers may have to go to another setting but Project Schoolhouse isn't about cutting teaching jobs.

[Watch Dr. Ballard answer questions about Project Schoolhouse on Six In The Morning]

The Union representing the teachers says they are behind the administration because something needs to be done.

Related Stories:

3/29/2011 TPS Parent: Community Will Fail If School Closes
3/29/2011 Some Say Eliminating Tulsa Middle Schools Would Benefit Students
3/29/2011 TPS Superintendent: District Spread Too Thin To Be Effective
3/29/2011 Tulsa Public Schools Could Close Up To 17 Schools

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