Monroe Middle School On The Chopping Block


Thursday, March 22nd 2007, 6:15 pm
By: News On 6


We're learning more about a sweeping new plan for Tulsa Public Schools. The plan calls for closing several programs including one of the district's lowest performing middle schools, Monroe middle school. Monroe has faced shutting its doors before, but the school board voted the plan down. But News On 6 education reporter Ashli Sims reports that might not be the case this time.

It was just a little more than a year ago that Tulsa's School Board considered, consolidating Monroe Middle School.

"It was on the table before,” said Tulsa School Board member Lana Turner-Addison. “At that time the community feedback, and I was in agreement, that we needed to do whatever we can to make sure that school stayed open."

Addison was influential in keeping Monroe alive. But now, new superintendent Doctor Michael Zolkoski has once again proposed combining Monroe students with neighboring Gilcrease, and moving all of the students to Gilcrease's building.

"If I had my way I would have two full middle school programs,” Addison said. “But at the same time, I have to stop and think: 'Are we going to have the best resources by dividing the two?'"

Monroe has tried to beef up instruction, giving students a double dose of math. This year, students are even coming on Saturday to prepare for state tests, and in almost every subject Monroe eighth graders are doing better than they were four years ago. But still, barely half were on grade-level last year, so now Addison says she's not opposed to the plan to close Monroe.

"I don't think that we're giving up on it,” she said. “I think what we're trying to do is to make sure we have all the resources with the qualified instructors and teachers in place who are really gonna make a genuine difference impacting all of the students."

If the plan is approved, Gilcrease will go back to being a 6-8 grade school. The superintendent also wants to close Bunche Early Childhood Center and several alternative education programs, including Lindsey Learning Academy, Pershing and Phoenix. Doctor Zolkoski would replace those programs with a different alternative school.

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1/10/2006 Tulsa School Board Tables Action On A School Consolidation Plan

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3/17/2007 Changes On The Horizon For Tulsa Public Schools

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3/26/2007 Child Development Center Faces Closing For Good