Consolidation Proposal Would Make Tulsa School Grades 1-12

Monday, April 4th 2011, 7:10 pm
By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, News on 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The historic overhaul being studied now for Tulsa Public Schools could mean elementary and middle school becomes one school. It's possible with Project Schoolhouse.

The idea is that students would do better with fewer transition points, changing buildings for one. If that happens, the building transition could be eliminated at Edison school from first grade on.

By the time students at Edison are ready to graduate, some have been on the same campus for 6 years. It's the only school in Tulsa Public with such a wide range of ages, from 6th to 12th grades.

The library is one of the few places where younger students come in contact with older students.

"Here at Edison, where we have different hallways, we have 6th grade hallways, and 7th grade hallways, and those students know where they are supposed to be," said Edison Principal Stacey Vernon.

Principal Vernon says Edison could manage it even if TPS makes it a campus with grades 1-12.

That's a possibility under Project Schoolhouse "Proposal C". It would combine elementary and middle school grades onto individual campuses. Grades 1-8 would be together, while the upper grades would remain in the high schools.

Read all three Project Schoolhouse proposals

Although it's essentially two schools, including separate cafeterias, Edison is a combined Middle and High School.

Only here would the restructuring put all 12 grades together.

"You just have to be very cognizant of how you place their classrooms and how you arrange the class periods to," Vernon said.

Senior Robert Hollis says at Edison younger and older students rarely interact.

"The only time I really see Middle school kids is when I'm in a class like band or vocal music because I'm in music and the band room is right next door, and there are 8th graders who have that class while I'm in music," Hollis said.

Edison's classrooms are designed for older students, so the restructuring could require everything from new bathroom fixtures to smaller desks.

The same size and space issues would come up in elementary schools that grow to include 6th, 7th and 8th.

Again, this is only a proposal and only in one of the three bigger plans. No decision has been made and won't be until next month.

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