Tulsa Schools' new alternative elementary school

Monday, August 16th 2004, 5:10 pm
By: News On 6

The Tulsa School board voted to approve a plan Monday evening to create a new alternative elementary school.

Making room for that school could shift hundreds of north Tulsa students into new schools this fall. News on 6 anchor Scott Thompson has more on which students will be affected. Tulsa Public Schools wants to take a low-performing school with dwindling enrollment and turn it into a second chance for students who are struggling.

But the new program will come at a cost; five elementary school boundaries would have to change. Tulsa schools want to make Lindsey Elementary an alternative school.

The plan calls for Lindsey's 200 students to be shifted to Whitman, Penn, Anderson, Celia Clinton and Bryant elementary schools. The bulk of the students about 115 kids would attend Penn Elementary; another 49 would go to Whitman. The rest of the schools would see relatively small increases in their enrollments.

One local parent says the changes are worth it to expand alternative education. Sharmel Fields says her son Fredrico used to get sent to the office every day. He got into so much trouble; his school restricted him to half-days. Then he enrolled in Project Accept, the district's only alternative program. Fields says now he's a different child. "Right now he's making the counselor's honor roll. He made it the whole year last year. I'm very proud of him, very proud. He's doing real well."

It's the kind of success; Tulsa hopes to expand with a second alternative program. The new alternative school could be ready to go as soon as January.