Tulsa Public Schools students will have an extra five days added on to the school year due to the walkout.
Students will head back to class Tuesday. The board decided on Monday to extend the school year.
Instead of getting out on May 23rd, they are tacking on an additional five days and getting out after Memorial Day weekend. The school year will end for students on May 31st and for teachers on June 4th.
Many parents and teachers don’t support this plan and don’t think the school district is listening to them.
“They’re the ones getting penalized,” said parent Nikki Wilson. “Our kids are the ones getting hurt once again.”
TPS Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist says, “what we based our decision off of is making sure our students were maximizing our instructional time.”
Many parents and teachers wanted to add minutes on to the end of the day instead, but TPS says they would have had to extend the school day by 87 minutes in order to get out by May 23rd.
“If we were to add 15-20 minutes a day, that’s 2-5 minutes a period at the secondary level. That’s not meaningful instruction,” stated Gist.
“I think we are going to miss class time that kids could be getting by extending the class day by 30 minutes and you’re going to have a lot of people not show up the last few days,” said Wilson.
The school board says they took things like sports, transportation, and student jobs into consideration by not lengthening the school day and decided that a longer school year was the best for learning.
Suzanne Schreiber, school board president, says, “I think the reality is that we all agreed to short-term pain for long-term gain.
“There are arguments for doing it a variety of different ways and, based off feedback, this is the way we’ve decided to do it,” said Gist.
Ultimately, they want people to remember the ground that was gained by the walkout.
“The thing we need to keep in mind is what we accomplished during the walkout is what really is important,” stated Schreiber.
Graduations for TPS high school student will be happening the week of May 14th to 18th.