Tulsa Public Schools' Project Schoolhouse 2 Is Under Way - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Tulsa Public Schools' Project Schoolhouse 2 Is Under Way

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

At this time last year, more than a dozen schools were about to close and all the children in them were about to move to new building.

It was part of Project Schoolhouse – and it's not over.

Project Schoolhouse 2 is what's happening at Wilson, where the Mayo Demonstration School will be moved over the summer.

The changes under phase one are almost done - and TPS says it's helping the district avoid even deeper cuts in the classroom.

The sixth-grade students at Central Junior High belt out cheers each day in language arts.

It's one of the signs they're ready to learn and have settled into the combination of junior high and high school - a project schoolhouse initiative.

"So our junior high parents have the whole west end to themselves," Central principal Oliver Wallace said.

The combined school model was a change put in place by these people.

That's why we're here today to look and see what changes have taken place, to benefit you as a student," advisory council chair Bill Corbitt said.

But when Wallace wants to showcase what's new under Project Schoolhouse, he always goes to a classroom set aside for autistic children.

The separate classroom, with specialized teachers, was possible when students from smaller schools were combined at Central.

"And this is one of the trade ups that we offer our kids because they would not possibly have this at any other school," Wallace said.

The members of the advisory council seemed pleased with what they helped start last year - especially the addition of enrichment teachers - and moving most sixth graders from elementary to junior high, where the transition to high school is eliminated.

"They'll be a lot less of the freshmen jitters," said Jackie Green, of Project Schoolhouse Advisory Council. "A lot of freshmen will make bad grades because of the transition. These children won't have that issue because they already know Doctor Wallace and they know a lot of the teachers."

Tulsa Public Schools says the annual savings, mainly in salaries and utilities, is $2.7 million.

Although the district still plans to cut teachers to save money in the coming year, the deputy superintendent says far more teachers would have to be cut if not for the efficiencies gained through consolidation.

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