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Tulsa Parents Fight To Keep Elementary School Open

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"We Love Chouteau" is written across the school's fence. "We Love Chouteau" is written across the school's fence.
Chouteau parents attend a meeting at the school Monday. Chouteau parents attend a meeting at the school Monday.
Dr. Keith Ballard attends Monday's meeting. Dr. Keith Ballard attends Monday's meeting.

Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A group of Tulsa parents wants to make sure the district's historic overhaul doesn't dismantle its school.

Two out of the three consolidation plans call for Chouteau Elementary in West Tulsa to close, but parents there say they're not giving their school up without a fight.

First-grade twins Kymbree and Kyiah Street go to Chouteau Elementary, just like their three siblings before them. But this is not the school they're supposed to attend.

"We actually had to be on a waiting list to get in. And we felt really fortunate when we got in here," Kory Street, said.

The Streets say they were shocked to see Chouteau slated to close in Tulsa Public Schools' push to make the district leaner and more efficient.

Read the Project Schoolhouse proposals

"I'm almost in tears and I looked at my husband and we both was just like, if they do close, we're gonna home school," Kim Street said.

Former Chouteau student Christy Dotson sends three children here.

"I thought, 'What are they thinking?'" Dotson said. "With our test scores and the overall excellence of this school, in my mind, I just could not comprehend the reasoning there."

Parents say they love the school. It's at more than 90 percent capacity, it's award-winning, and its test scores are some of the best in the district.

So why is Chouteau slated to be closed under two of the three proposals? One of the reasons may be that it has fewer than 300 students.

"We love Chouteau. We love the family atmosphere. We love the fact that it's small," Toshia Wilson said.

Like many other school families, Chouteau parents are rallying around their school.  The superintendent was on hand to hear their concerns.  He says district leaders are still crafting a final decision.

"It will not be "A" in its entirety, "B" in its entirety, or "C" in its entirety, it will be a mix. Because that's why we're out here today is to get input and that's legitimately what we're after," Dr. Keith Ballard, Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools, said.

These parents just hope their input will be considered.

"I think they have to look at the good work that's being done here at Chouteau," Kory Street said. "There's a reason everybody tries to get their kids here and I just hate to see that destroyed."

Related Stories:

4/4/2011 Consolidation Proposal Would Make Tulsa School Grades 1-12
4/1/2011 Parents, Kids Protest District's Proposal To Close Tulsa Elementary School

3/31/2011 Consolidation Means Possible Expansion For Some TPS Programs

3/31/2011 Tulsa Public Schools: $1.1 Million In Bonds Committed To Sites That Could Close

3/31/2011 Tulsa Public Schools Revises Dates For Forums On School Consolidation

3/30/2011 TPS Proposal Would Make Rogers High School A College Magnet Program

3/30/2011 Tulsa Elementary Teachers Hope To Keep School Open

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 Neighbors Raise Concerns Over Possible Tulsa Elementary School Closures

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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