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NEWS: Education

Tulsa Public Schools Proposes Solutions To Overcrowding And Behavior Problems

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McLain High School. McLain High School.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa Public Schools is considering a new school and longer school day as part of a larger plan to improve education for the 3,200 students in the McLain High School feeder pattern. The changes would not affect students outside the McLain feeders, with the exception of Burroughs Elementary, which feeds into Central.

TPS plans to create a 7th Grade Academy for McLain-bound students that would be the only standalone 7th grade center in TPS.

The new reform plan involves a partnership with EdLabs, an education research firm, to work at eight schools. The EdLabs plan includes a longer school day and tutoring for individual students.

The initial estimate of the cost is $2,000 per student beyond what the district spends now - an investment that TPS believes can be funded with new philanthropic partnerships. The EdLabs model has shown success in Houston and Denver, according to TPS officials.

3/4/2013 Related Story: Tulsa School Board Votes To Put 'Smart School' Bond Issue On Ballot

TPS plans a March 18th forum for parents to discuss the EdLabs plan at McLain High School.

The new school initiative would create a McLain 7th Grade Center. No location for the school has been determined.

In a briefing for the school board Monday morning, Dr. Lana Turner-Addison said the 7th Grade Academy would help solve overcrowding and behavior issues at the current McLain Junior High.

Dr. Oliver Wallace, an Assistant Superintendent for TPS, said about 275 students would be enrolled at the new center, while rising 8th graders would remain in the current building, which is connected to McLain High. Wallace said the idea is "academic and student population driven. We want these kids in a better place going into McLain."

The changes would start this fall, pending school board approval later this month.

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