Craig Day, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- With the final version of Tulsa Public Schools' consolidation plan passed, teachers and students in a number of schools now know their fate. Eleven of the schools that will close are elementary schools.
There are only 23 school days left in Tulsa before summer break. It's the annual countdown kids always look forward to, but at Phillips elementary, it's a countdown to closing for good.
"I don't really like the idea. I don't even get why they're closing Phillips," Aidan Luby, a 4th grader, said.
At ten years old, Aidan Luby doesn't understand the reasons behind the school consolidation plan, but he's definitely not a fan. He even took homemade signs to the public meetings to fight for his school.
"This school, I just love it," he said. "It's a perfect school for me. And I don't think they should be closing this school."
For Phillips Principal Haven Ferguson, knowing the schools' days are numbered is tough.
"It's your home. You spend a lot of time here and it is meaningful to you, so absolutely it's been an emotional process," Ferguson said.
Emotional because 23 school days isn't much time before students will have to say goodbye for good to some of their classmates, or for teachers who won't get to work alongside some of their coworkers next year.
"We have a big responsibility with our kids to keep school going and finish strong," Ferguson said. "So that's really what we're trying to focus on."
While Ferguson and teachers try to reassure students about their futures, the days will be passing toward the end of Phillips. It's an end some don't want, but one they know is now certain.
"Our kids, we have them for the rest of the year, and we're meaning to make the most of it and go out with a bang," Ferguson said.
"Why are they closing Phillips?" Luby said. "It's a good school."
Under consolidation, students at Phillips will go to either Patrick Henry, Hoover or MacArthur elementary, depending on new school boundaries.