Tulsa School Could Go Year Round

Friday, July 29th 2011, 10:26 pm
By: News On 6

Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Sweeping changes at Tulsa Public Schools could speed up the start of the school year for some students.

The Tulsa School Board will vote on Monday whether Gilcrease will start classes next week.

Summer maybe just about over for the hundreds of students assigned to Gilcrease Elementary school.

The former Gilcrease Intermediate building already has its new name. A new playground is going in and a new school calendar could be just days away.

"So pending board approval, Gilcrease would be a CLC school and students will start on August the 4th," said Millard House, TPS Deputy Superintendent.

CLC stands for continuous learning calendar, which is known as a year-round school. And that's August 4th... as in next Thursday.

This is all part of the district's consolidation plan, Project Schoolhouse. That plan sent sixth graders back to elementary school, which meant a handful of middle schools, including Gilcrease, would become elementary schools.

05/26/2011 Related Story: Tulsa Public Schools Preparing For District Consolidation

Nimitz Middle School was supposed to be the new home for Grimes Elementary, but the district announced Thursday that was on hold, because Nimitz needed too much work.

Grimes students will remain at Grimes for next school year. But Gilcrease is not only still on track, but on the fast-track to become a year-round school.

07/29/2011 Related Story: Tulsa Schools: Grimes Elementary School Open One More Year

That means Gilcrease would start earlier, have shorter, more frequent breaks, with students able to attend enrichment and remedial classes during those breaks.

The district insists this is not a last-minute decision. They say teachers have been training throughout the summer, letters were sent home to parents, and they had an informational meeting in mid-June.

"A couple of different occasions to allow parents to come in and ask questions. and the result was overwhelming as far as support for the calendar," House said.

Gilcrease has been a chronically low performing school and district leaders say the year-round calendar could add time for learning.

"For Gilcrease to see an additional 300-400 school hours over the course of a year is extremely important when we talk about value added that we want to provide for students," House said.

TPS has five year-round schools that will start the year next Thursday. The school board will decide on Gilcrease on Monday.