Tulsa Public Schools Scrambles Ahead Of New School Year


Monday, August 15th 2011, 6:33 pm
By: News On 6


Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Tulsa school leaders are scrambling to get things ready for students to return to school next week. An historic overhaul of the district meant some schools were closed and equipment had to be moved.

Some have new uniforms, others have new start times, and still more will be going to completely new schools.

8/11/2011 Related Story: Preliminary 2011 State Test Scores Show Mixed Results For Tulsa Public Schools

The district's consolidation plan, Project Schoolhouse, closed 14 school sites, shook up the makeup of schools, displaced hundreds of teachers and shuffled thousands of students.

Read the update on Project Schoolhouse

That created a massive logistical problem for the district.

Beyond schools closing, Tulsa Public Schools shook up the configuration of schools, virtually eliminating middle schools.

Sixth graders will stay in elementary school. Several middle schools, like Gilcrease, were reinvented as elementary schools.

Some middle schools were renamed as junior high schools and some junior high students will actually be attending classes on high school campuses.

Closing schools left the district with 10,000 computers, books, and desks that needed to be collected and redistributed.  Tulsa Public Schools says that's happened for about 75 percent of those items.

But nine schools haven't been outfitted with the materials they've requested and ten other schools have only gotten part of what they asked for, but district leaders say that should be all fixed by mid-week.

"In my tenure with the district, I've seen a lot of changes. I don't think I've seen one as big as this one's going to be, but I've seen a lot of changes," Terry Evans, TPS Route Operation Manager, said.

Those changes include adjustments to the district's bus routes. It's added more than a dozen routes and some pick-up times have shifted 15 to 20 minutes to match-up with earlier school start times.

Tulsa Public Schools has all of the information on bus schedules online. You can click on your school and find the bus stop nearest to you.

Find your child's bus route

If you need help, they have folks to help out, plus they will have buses standing by in four locations to get confused parents and students where they need to be.