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Update on Meeting between Interim Superintendent Dr. Ebony Johnson and  Oklahoma State Department of Education on November 2, 2023

On Thursday, November 2, 2023, Tulsa Public Schools’ Interim Superintendent Dr. Ebony Johnson met with representatives of the Oklahoma State Department of Education. The meeting occurred at the request of Chief Academic Officer Todd P. Loftin and was held via zoom.

During the approximately one-hour meeting and in follow-up communications, OSDE representatives, Interim Superintendent Johnson, and Tulsa Public Schools staff discussed the following topics:

  1. The district’s continuous improvement process including school leaders' first ‘reflection’ of the year. 

  2. Examples and video recordings of selected ‘Start of School’ School Leader Reflections.

  3. A sample of a “strategic agenda” was shared as an example of an accountability component.

  4. The district’s Transformation Support Team – a rapid response approach to the challenges facing our MRI and CSI schools.

  5. The expectations of the OSDE team for Interim Superintendent Johnson’s upcoming presentation to the State Board of Education, including specific requests to address the following items:

  • Are you considering shutting down any Tulsa Public Schools campuses (specifically within the MRI/CSI schools) and moving students? (Not today, but for next school year.) 

  • Are you considering moving high performing or more experienced teachers to different school sites, or higher performing principals to lower performing schools?

  • Are the low performing elementaries with more inexperienced teachers feeding into low performing junior high and senior high schools?

  • What is keeping teachers at your other schools?

  • What are you doing to build a sense of collective efficacy?

  • What is the attrition rate for the lower-performing schools this year?

Attending from the Oklahoma State Department of Education were:

  • Todd Loftin – Chief Academic Officer 

  • Mendy Hooks – Division Administrator, Teacher and Learning 

  • Dr. Thomas Kirk – Division Administrator, Federal Programs 

  • Dr. David Chissoe – Division Administrator, School and District Support 

  • Melissa Ahlgrim – Program Director, Literacy Policy and Programs 

  • Theresa Wilson – Program Director, School Support 

Attending from Tulsa Public Schools were:

  • Dr. Ebony Johnson –  Interim Superintendent 

  • Paula Shannon – Chief of Staff

  • Dr. Stacey Vinson – Secondary Instructional Superintendent

  • Dr. Estella Bitson – Elementary Instructional Superintendent

  • Dr. Kathy Dodd – Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer

  • Kelly Kane – Executive Director of Early Childhood Education

  • Emilee Taylor – Director of Secondary Schools Academic Operations

  • Sean Berkstresser – Executive Director, Information Technology

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Tulsa Public Schools honors the diversity, creativity, and passion of our students, elevating every student to be designers of their destiny. Our students lead through literacy, are empowered through experience, and contribute to their community. Learn more at