Tulsa Public Schools Adds New Teachers, Programs

Wednesday, June 15th 2011, 9:36 pm
By: News On 6

Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- New teachers and new programs are some of the new developments in Tulsa Public Schools' historic overhaul.

6/3/2011 Related Story: More Than A Dozen Tulsa Public Schools Begin Closing Process

The district promised consolidation wouldn't just cost communities schools. Administrators said everyone would benefit.

Administrators said some of schools were so small they couldn't afford to have programs like art, music and physical education.

On Wednesday, Assistant Superintendent Millard House told News On 6 education reporter Ashli Sims the district has added 11 more music and art teachers, bringing the total to 141, to make sure all students have access to those programs.

But he said school size may still be a factor. Smaller schools may not have full-time arts teachers.

But House says students will have more access than they did last year.

Tulsa Public Schools is also going to expand some of its successful programs. The district is trying to build on the success of its two demonstration schools, Thoreau and Mayo.

Next year, Monroe will have four classes of sixth-graders that will model the Thoreau program. It will also have two pre-kindergarten classes and two kindergarten classes, modeling Mayo.

Those slots will soon be offered first to those on the waiting list at Mayo and Thoreau, then opened up to everyone else. They're starting small with just 180 students and intend to grow the program every year.

Tulsa Public Schools is also going to start a brand new program also at Monroe.

The district will be unveiling a dual-language immersion program next year. That means half of the students will be native Spanish speakers; the other half will be native English speakers.

The district has already hired a bilingual principal for the program and it will have several bilingual teachers. It will start with two pre kindergarten classes and two kindergarten classes. That program will also add a grade level each year.

That's just the beginning. The district has a lot more work to do to fully implement Project Schoolhouse.