A growing Tulsa elementary school is looking at shrinking its boundaries

Thursday, February 17th 2005, 11:44 am
By: News On 6

A Tulsa elementary school is looking at shrinking its boundaries and moving some students. Kendall-Whittier Elementary School is about 200 students over capacity.

School officials are discussing possible boundary changes to help ease the overcrowding. News on 6 reporter Ashli Sims has the details on who might be affected.

Kendall-Whittier Elementary School is so full; some classes are spilling out into the hallways. There was no room in the library, so these students are learning about reference materials in the hall. Judy Feary, Kendall-Whittier Principal: "We have used every available nook and cranny."

Out of space, school leaders are having to make some tough decisions. “If I had space I'd gladly keep them all but the building is surrounded by a park and there's no room for expansion." With no room to grow, Kendall-Whittier is trying to scale down by shrinking the school's boundaries.

The school district has proposed redrawing the lines and shifting about 86 students to four area elementary schools. A new proposal would move the school's eastern border to Harvard, sending more than a dozen current Kendall-Whittier students to Sequoyah Elementary. The new southern border would be 11th Street; those students would attend Barnard and Lanier Elementary Schools. There are two options for the western border, one would draw the line at US Highway 75, the other at Peoria, and ether plan would add students to Emerson Elementary.

The proposed changes have some parents very upset, especially since Kendall-Whittier expanded last year to keep sixth-graders in the building. Judy Feary says they added two classes of sixth-graders in response to an outcry from parents. And the major source of growing pains is not the older students, but the younger ones. Kendall-Whittier has about 400 kindergarten and first-graders.

Feary says redistricting offers a long-term solution. "We think this redistricting and the early childhood facilities we would be able to address the needs long term." And maybe the kids could get out of the hallway and back into a classroom.