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Strategic Plan


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In January 2016, Tulsa Public Schools adopted our 2015-2020 strategic plan, Destination Excellence, which describes a vision for teaching and learning in Tulsa. Destination Excellence calls for educators, students, families, and community, and district support teams to be learners, contributors, and designers.


Being a learner

Through learning, application, reflection, and persistence we grow every day. We understand that challenges and learning are important opportunities to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for success.

Being a contributor

We are participants in and contributors to the well-being of our schools and larger communities. Because we have responsibilities to each other and our world, we are leaders who seek progress, effect change, and foster success in others.

Being a designer

We solve problems and bring ideas to life. Educators, staff, and students are engaged and successful with authority, time, and support necessary to reimagine, innovate, and iterate.

Our Strategies 

Strategy one: Create powerful learning experiences for all

2018-2019 priority 

Build, test, and refine the Tulsa Way for Teaching and Learning.
  • Design an iterative process to establish and evolve our beliefs, tools and structures to develop and sustain masterful teaching and fully align our tools, resources, beliefs, and practices.
  • Pilot a new learning management system tool.
  • Design guidebooks to help teachers and school leaders integrate social and emotional learning into daily instruction.

Strategy two: Cultivate Safe, Supportive, and Joyful School Cultures

2018-2019 priorities:

Cultivate safe, supportive, and joyful school cultures:
  • Develop a Teacher Care Plan for teachers to support problem solving, resource needs, and links to supports.
  • Design an intensive support referral system for student's experiencing challenging behaviors.

Strategy three: Attract, develop, and retain an effective, empowered team

2018-2019 priorities

Ensure that we have a great teacher in every classroom:
  • Improve the hiring, on-boarding, and ongoing learning of novice teachers through continuous improvement.
  • Launch first cohort of Tulsa Teacher Corps, a rigorous teacher preparation program for aspiring teachers.
  • Provide targeted coaching and powerful professional learning to ensure the right supports arrive at the right times.
Support our principals in leading transformational change:
  • Ensure the school leader role and competencies are reflective of transformational change and the Tulsa Way.
  • Develop school talent role alignment to support growth, empower teachers, and facilitate a career ladder.
  • Design a teacher leader model that can be scaled, distributes instructional leadership, and supports teacher development. 

Strategy four: Incubate and implement innovative school and district designs

2018-2019 priority

Reimagine the high school system through innovative classroom, school, and district designs:
  • Learn from our community through city-wide engagement; review student data & outcomes, understanding the student experience.
  • Launch the first cohort of three to four schools who will engage in school design and cast teams that progress through an 8-month process.

Strategy five: design the district to be adaptive and responsive for students and families

2018-2019 priorities

Provide great customer experiences:
  • Increase capacity and skill to deliver excellent service through team training.
  • Design and implement service culture circles to learn from success and failures.
  • Create a portal where you can request services from a member of the district office service squad.
Create equitable access, excellence, and sustainability:
  • Continue to evolve our school performance framework; develop an equity index that quantifies access to opportunity; adopt policy that articulates how both will be used to support continuous improvement.
  • Test redesigned district and school annual planning process, inclusive of strategic resource allocation.
  • Develop facilities strategy connected to improved access to quality learning experiences.
  • Continue to build individual and team skill.

Staff Reports

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Contact Us

Vanessa Portillo
Director of District Strategy and Implementation 

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Our Theory of Change

We believe that schools are the unit of change. We will create change by embracing innovation and supporting the design and implementation of new learning models for our students, classrooms, teams, schools and the district while we continuously improve teaching and learning for all.

Core Values

Our core values of equity, character, excellence, team, and joy guide how we work and interact with each other and our community.

Learn more

Photo of McLain students at the 2018 McLain comeencement ceremony.

Our North Star

Every student at Tulsa Public Schools will develop the mindsets, knowledge, skills, and habits to achieve academic, career, and life success.