Tulsa School System Makes Last Minute Preparations For School Year

Friday, August 10th 2012, 7:36 pm

The start of classes for Tulsa Public Schools is just over a week away, and that means a last minute push to get things ready.

The administration from each of Tulsa's public schools was in training Friday, as the district was working to put a new emphasis on evaluating teachers and improving what and how they teach.

In a testing lab, principals and their assistants watched video of teachers and graded their performances.

Their goal is to standardize how teachers are viewed by their supervisors.

"We want to be known for our professional learning communities and how we implement our teacher leader effectiveness plan, while preparing for national common core state standards, and we have to identify areas that will improve, said TPS's Dr. Oliver Wallace.

While teachers and principals are undergoing some last minute training, some TPS buildings are undergoing massive transformations, the biggest of which is at Wilson Middle School.

The start of classes is just a week away but there is plenty of work left to do.

"When you go into an 80-year building and change it totally, which is what we've done, it's a big job, especially for two and a half months," said TPS's Bob LeBass.

Wilson is undergoing a $3.5 million remodel, that will change it into the new site for Mayo Demonstration School and a teacher training academy.

The remodel will not be done by the start of school.

"It will be occupy-able," LeBass said. "We'll still be doing some minor paint touch-up, but the technology will be up and running, the air conditioning will be operating. But we're still going to have some cosmetic work to do."

At other sites, TPS is tackling smaller projects and planning a new round of major remodels for next summer.

Those projects include a new field house at Memorial High School, new windows for 25 schools, and more classroom expansions at overcrowded schools.