More Than A Dozen Tulsa Public Schools Begin Closing Process

Friday, June 3rd 2011, 9:23 pm
By: News On 6

Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- It's the end of an era for 14 Tulsa Public Schools

Last month, Tulsa Public Schools approved its school consolidation plan to streamline the district and save millions. Now begins the long process of closing down the 14 schools that won't reopen next year.

5/26/2011 Related Story: Tulsa Public Schools Preparing For District Consolidation

Vicki Carpenter isn't just cleaning house. With every science fair project re-discovered, she's taking a bittersweet trip down memory lane.

"Yeah, it's kinda hard. It's rough," she said.

Carpenter has worked at the Wilson for 13 years; in the same room for six. She can't help feeling like she will lose part of her family when she leaves Wilson for the last time.

"It's a lot of good friends," she said. "And there are people here who I had their children, ya know too. So it's hard."

It's all even harder because hundreds of teachers displaced by consolidation do not know where they will be next year.

"It's just very frustrating," Carpenter said. "And some of us have been together a long, long time. And we don't really understand why Wilson was chosen to close."

District administrators and union officials are working together to see that teachers are placed in schools where they'd like to work. Teachers were asked for their top three choices, but both sides admit may teachers may not get their first choice.

"Pretty nerve-wracking," Carpenter said. "But I'm in a better place than most because I have a lot of years of experience and I'm eligible to retire."

Teachers could find out their assignments next week.

The Tulsa School Board is set to vote Monday on declaring Wilson and eight other properties as surplus. That's the first step toward selling those properties.