Concerns raised over Tulsa Public Schools' calendar

Tuesday, January 18th 2005, 10:39 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa Public Schools are back in session after Monday's Martin Luther King Holiday. Teachers are still lecturing on first semester material, thanks to the district's late start.

Kids will have to be in class until June 9th this year, teachers until June 14th. The late date has students, parents, and teachers wondering if it's worth what the district's saving in air conditioning costs.

News on 6 anchor Scott Thompson says the district's calendar won't be up for debate until late next month. But teachers like East Central's Eileen Simmons say starting classes after Labor Day is handicapping the district. She says getting out two weeks later than everyone else means Tulsa students have to take the leftovers when it comes to getting summer jobs and college scholarships, and teachers don't have enough time to get in on summer enrichment programs.

The school district agrees that both sides make valid points, but they say the school year math just doesn't add up.

Eileen Simmons: “The most frustrating part of starting later is getting out in the middle of June. But we have to have 183 days, so when we start, we have to end 183 days later. Can't we do anything else about that."

Tulsa Public Schools' spokesperson John Hamill: "Parents want two weeks off at winter. They want a full week off for spring break. They want all the applicable holidays, and they want to get out before Memorial Day and start after Labor Day. Well that division doesn't work."