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Budget Redesign: Update on School Closures and Consolidations

On Monday night, the Tulsa Board of Education approved Superintendent Deborah Gist’s recommendations to close Grimes, Wright, and Jones elementary schools and to consolidate Mark Twain Elementary School and Wayman Tisdale Fine Arts Academy into the Tisdale building effective in the 2020-2021 school year.

While these were extraordinarily difficult decisions for our Board to make, these changes will help to ensure that every student is receiving the best possible educational experience we can provide within our limited financial resources. While school closures are always challenging for our team, students, and families, these closures and consolidations create an opportunity to bolster those school communities that will receive students and provide for additional teacher allocations and programming opportunities for students in receiving schools:

  • Students currently attending Grimes Elementary would go to Carnegie Elementary or Key Elementary in 2020-2021;
  • Students currently attending Jones Elementary would attend MacArthur Elementary, Lindbergh Elementary, or Bell Elementary in 2020-2021;
  • Mark Twain Elementary School and Wayman Tisdale Fine Arts Academy will be consolidated in the Wayman Tisdale Fine Arts Academy building in 2020-2021; and
  • Students currently attending Wright Elementary would go to Eliot Elementary or Patrick Henry Elementary in 2020-2021; the deaf education program will in full to Patrick Henry Elementary School.

In addition, the Board approved Superintendent Gist's recommended changes to grade configurations in the Central, Memorial and Rogers neighborhoods. Beginning in the 2020-2021 school year:

  • Rogers and Central will become 6th-12th grade campuses;
  • Memorial Junior High will become a 6th-8th grade middle school;
  • Rising 6th grade at Burroughs, Emerson, Academy Central, and Tisdale will move to Central;
  •  Rising 6th grade at Key, Marshall, and Salk will move to Memorial;
  •  Rising 6th graders at Sequoyah will have preference at Rogers or attend Monroe as their neighborhood school; and
  •  Rising 6th graders at Kendall-Whittier Elementary will have preference at Rogers.

These grade configuration changes are a continuation of the district’s work to create consistent grade configurations across all neighborhoods. By creating consistent transition points – from 5th to 6th grades and from 8th to 9th grades – families will be able to more easily navigate the district to find the learning community that best meets the needs of their child. Families of students in the Central, Edison, Memorial, Rogers, and Webster neighborhoods will experience just one transition from 5th to 6th grades. The district expects to continue with grade configuration changes in the East Central and Hale neighborhoods for the 2021-2022 school year. Planning for that work will begin in the fall and winter of 2020.

Over the next week, the district will be communicating with parents and families to share information about enrollment supports and opportunities to visit their new schools. This information will also be shared on school websites. While transitions can be challenging, school teams will be working diligently over the spring and summer to ensure that schools are ready to welcome their new students. 

For more information about these changes that will take effect in the 2020-2021 school year, visit: http://www.tulsaschools.org/budgetredesign