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Back To School For Students In Tulsa And Broken Arrow Public Schools

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Hallway lockers at a Tulsa elementary school. Hallway lockers at a Tulsa elementary school.
Broken Arrow School building. Broken Arrow School building.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

It was back to school Thursday morning for students in Tulsa and Broken Arrow.

Tulsa Public Schools says while it has a teacher shortage, it expects everything to go smoothly on the first day of classes, because those open positions are being covered by substitutes.

Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard began his first day of school at the district's bus barn. From there Dr. Ballard toured several of the schools in the district.

Earlier this week, Ballard said despite the challenges the district faces, he expects a great year.

8/20/2013 Related Story: TPS Superintendent Lays Out Expectations For Coming School Year

The district is still in need of 48 teachers -- 24 at the secondary level and 24 at the elementary level.

District spokesperson Chris Payne said special education, math and science teachers are the biggest needs. He adds TPS is not alone; districts across the United States are facing a shortage of math and science teachers.

Work is still underway at Eisenhower International School, which is in the old Nimitz building. District officials said there will be pre-packaged food to the cafeteria for a couple days while construction work on the cafeteria is finished up.

8/20/2013 Related Story: Construction Continues On Broken Arrow Schools While Classes Begin

In Broken Arrow, more 18,000 students headed back to the classroom Thursday.

The ring of the school bell won't be the only thing Broken Arrow students will hear. School officials said construction work at Sequoyah Middle School should be finishing soon.

Elsewhere, Oneta Ridge Middle School is one of the six new schools opening this year across Broken Arrow. Students and parents came by Tuesday to take a tour of the new building.

Broken Arrow Police remind drivers to be prepared for a dramatic change because of back to school traffic near all of the district's schools. Officers said drivers should expect congestion on streets near each school.

Police will be on the lookout for drivers who don't stop for school buses and for speeders.

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