Tulsa Public School Considering Change To School Calendar

Thursday, October 18th 2012, 5:59 pm

Tulsa Public Schools might convert all schools to a continuous learning calendar (CLC), so students would have a short summer break with longer breaks during the year.

TPS sent an email to all of its employees Thursday, outlining a plan to possibly switch over to a year-round schedule.

It is fall break at the Fate house, and Jesse Fate is taking full advantage of his time off.

Like most teens, this Memorial High School senior likes to take a break from the books

"Summer breaks are great, like going out in the summer. I wake board, so I love to go to the lake, I do that a couple time a week," Jesse said.

But Jesse's mom, Allison, said the longer he's away from the classroom, the more difficult it is to get back on track.

"The long summer break is hard on the kids, they forget some things, they don't do their reading, so from an educational standpoint, I always thought continuous learning was good," Allison said.

Read Superintendent Ballard's letter to TPS employees.

In an email sent out to all TPS employees, Superintendent Keith Ballard addressed that issue: "We need a rigorous calendar to ensure that students who need it are in summer school and they are not out for 12 consecutive weeks."

Ballard told employees that, "Even if all of the stars were perfectly aligned, we would likely not be in a position to implement CLC district-wide until the 2014-15 school year, although we could explore piloting the program in other schools as early as next year. There are many, many factors to be considered, not the least of which is funding."

Switching to the CLC format wouldn't change the number of days that students are out of school; it would just redistribute them throughout the year.

"I get really stressed out. Time management's a big problem," Jesse said. "I feel like if I had a week every three weeks, or whatever it is that they're scheduling, would help me to better manage my time."

But not all students and parents are on board with the idea.

Memorial freshman Erin Grizzle said the district has made enough changes in recent years.

"It'd be like a shock, because they already had to put us in uniforms and stuff and it's just adding on something else," Grizzle said.

Troy Driver - Tulsa Resident

"I think they just need a break, so they can enjoy the summer, just like we used to do," said Tulsa resident Troy Driver.

Six TPS schools already use the continuous learning calendar.

Oklahoma City Public Schools converted all their schools to the new calendar in 2011.

Tulsa Public Schools spokesman Chris Payne would not comment on the contents of the memo Thursday.