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Tulsa Students Some Of Last To Return To School

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Teachers welcome students back to TPS. Teachers welcome students back to TPS.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Students at Tulsa Public Schools headed back to class Tuesday morning for the first time in over two weeks. TPS is one of the last districts to go back to class.

It was an emotional scene as students and teachers at Marshall Elementary saw each other for the very first time in more than two weeks.

"We've got two-weeks’ worth of hugs and loving to make up for, so we're excited to be back and to be doing that," kindergarten teacher Ali Pepper said.

Pepper gave out plenty of hugs as students arrived Tuesday morning. She said she checked with parents over the past two weeks to see how the kids were doing, so it was good to see them again in person.

"There were a few students who had birthdays so I texted their moms and they said, 'We're thinking of you guys. We'll see you when we see you, but do what you've gotta do,’" Pepper said.

Library media specialist Noreen Mohr said, "We made a huge banner and all the kids' names in the school are on it. They're very excited to see the kids again and to be back to working."

Mohr said while the walkout did not turn out how she planned, being back in school should ease that pain.

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"Hearing the voices in the hallway, getting the hugs, hearing the laughs, definitely the best medicine," she said.

To make up for those missed days, students will be in school until May 31st and teachers will be done June 4th. Pepper said she wasn't surprised when the school board made that call.

"I have no negative feelings about it. We knew it was a possibility going into it, so we're ready to deal with whatever comes," she said.

Tulsa Public Schools leaders say it would take extending each day by 87 minutes to still get out on the 23rd, and they also want to make sure meaningful learning can happen in that extended time.

Some parents disagree with the move and say they feel the district is not listening to their concerns on this call.

Wagoner, Okmulgee and Henryetta schools are also back in session Tuesday.

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