On Tuesday evening, Oklahoma City families will learn which schools are on the chopping block for the fall, but the district wants you to help choose from three possible Pathways To Greatness.
The school board is expecting so many people to attend this week’s work session that they have moved it from their normal meeting room to the Northeast Academy auditorium, and they want the community to continue to be involved in this process.
OKCPS Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel admits taking such drastic action was not easy, but the district has to save money before it loses millions of dollars in state aid.
“It’s a big number,” McDaniel says. “When you think about 14 to 20 close and then repurpose, and then an additional five to eight we’re converting or reconfiguring, we are relocating a lot of kids.”
More than a third of OKC elementary schools will soon become community centers, Head Start programs and health clinics with others turning into middle schools. McDaniel says these locations were chosen with proximity of other schools in mind, and he says there is room in the remaining schools for the students.
Currently, McDaniel points out, “I take an elementary that has 180 kids in it, and in that school I only have one teacher for each grade level.”
McDaniel says next year, each elementary school will have at least three teachers per grade, plus full-time counselors and enrichment teachers.
“Some of my best memories were in art class and music class and PE,” he says, “and only one in three of our elementaries offer those.”
The district will unveil three possible options, all including these changes in varying forms, based on survey responses from the community. About 800 to 1,000 families chimed in then, but McDaniel hopes to see 5 times as many people at high school meetings in the coming weeks.
He says, “The beneficial input is going to be, which of these makes the most sense to you? Which one do you like and why?”
To find the upcoming community meeting closest to you, refer to the below graphic.
To learn more about the Pathway To Greatness project, click here.