Tulsa Elementary Parents, Students Petition To Keep School Open

Wednesday, April 13th 2011, 9:30 pm
By: News On 6

Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- As plans to retool a Tulsa high school develop, some students say they feel like they're being kicked out of their school.

Residents who live around Rogers High School met Wednesday night to talk over Tulsa Public Schools consolidation efforts.

Consolidation could prompt a ripple effect throughout the Rogers feeder pattern, from high school students to younger students at elementary schools, like Bell.

Current Rogers students aren't the only ones feeling like they're getting kicked out to make room for others.

"They're trying to shut us down. They're going to turn us into an alternative education school," Taresa Pflueger, a Bell parent, said.

Taresa Pflueger is making it her business to make sure every Bell parent knows what's at stake.

"We're trying to save our school," she said.  "This is our school. Our community. And we want to keep it that way."

Tulsa Public Schools is facing another lean budget year and district leaders say they simply can't afford to keep operating all of the current schools. One of the three consolidation proposals calls for Bell to be replaced with an alternative education campus.

Read all three Project Schoolhouse Proposals

"And they've invested money after money into making this a perfect elementary school. So I don't see any reason to close it down," Alicia Nolan said.

Most Bell students would attend Rogers for high school, which could look completely different after consolidation.

The district is considering reinventing the chronically under-performing high school as an early college program, starting in seventh grade. Current Rogers students would be redistributed to other Tulsa high schools.

"I was just starting to like my school," Lashanta Brewer said, laughing.

Lashanta Brewer says her 2012 classmates would be cheated out of their senior year at Rogers.

"I don't feel like they're taking our feeling or how we feel into consideration," she said.

"Just like the kids that are there, booting them out and starting all over again. As if they're not college material," Lisa Walston, a parent, said.

Back at Bell, Taresa Pflueger is doing her best to save her student's school. But she's also worried about where her students will go next year.

"If they close Bell down, we just don't know what we're going to do," she said. "I'm not even sure where they'll ship the kids. We may go private school, but I really want to keep them in Tulsa Public."

Lots of those in attendance at Wednesday night's meeting had questions about the new concept for Rogers.

District leaders say they're considering tweaking the proposal to include current Rogers sophomores and they're also looking at a year-round calendar for the high school.

Related Stories:

4/13/2011 Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Says Consolidation Long Overdue
4/12/2011 Tulsa Public School Superintendent: Part Of Consolidation Proposals Off The Table

4/12/2011 Survey Finds Tulsa Teachers Willing To Change For 'Trade Ups'

4/8/2011 District Consolidation Spurs Third Survey From Tulsa Public Schools

4/6/2011 Tulsa Elementary Parents Unite Against Possible School Closing

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3/31/2011 Consolidation Means Possible Expansion For Some TPS Programs

3/31/2011 Tulsa Public Schools: $1.1 Million In Bonds Committed To Sites That Could Close

3/31/2011 Tulsa Public Schools Revises Dates For Forums On School Consolidation

3/30/2011 TPS Proposal Would Make Rogers High School A College Magnet Program

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