After Consolidation, Tulsa Public Schools Works On Redrawing Boundaries

Tuesday, May 3rd 2011, 5:45 pm
By: News On 6

Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma --  The superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools, Dr. Keith Ballard, is moving full steam ahead with his plan to consolidate the district. The next step is redrawing the school boundaries and implementing the plan.

05/02/2011 Related Story: Tulsa Public School Board Approves Plan To Close More Than A Dozen Schools

News on Six Education Reporter Ashli Sims obtained a draft of the implementation plan.

It's a 45-page plan taking the district from closing schools to implementing new programs. Many folks feel like the devil may be in the details or more precisely between the boundary lines.

See The Latest Version Of The Map

Despite the promises of trade-ups, lofty goals of district-wide equity, calculations of millions in savings, and vows of educational efficiency, Project Schoolhouse now boils down to one word: implementation.

School board president Brian Hunt promised implementation would start immediately.

And it has, with a 45-page report handed to the board right after its 5 to 2 vote. It's is an early draft of a plan that details everything from parent notification to sixth grade school sports to the re-distribution of textbooks.

It still needs board approval, but preliminary plans call for identifying displaced students by the end of the week.

The district says about 5,100 students will have to go to a new school next year because their neighborhood school was closed. Another 1,900 will go to a new school because of a boundary change.

The other factor in the equation of just how many students are affected is transfer students.

"I got the transfer three years ago. It was very clear that it was through fifth grade. We don't have to reapply every year, but now that's in jeopardy," Christina Fravel, an Eliot parent, said.

Christina Fravel attended a meeting at Wright concerned about what's going to happen to her Eliot student. District leaders say the affect on transfer students should be minimal, as long as overcrowding isn't a problem.

"Keep transfers where they as much as possible, because it's very late in the year," Fravel said. "It's hard to make plans. I know a lot of parents, you'll lose them to TPS for good, which will be a huge money loss."

Tulsa Public Schools' preliminary implementation plan calls for all parents to be notified which school their child is supposed to attend next year, by mail by May 13th.  The school board still needs to sign off on the implementation plan and they've still got the big task of finalizing the new district map.