OKCPS Forced To Reopen School To House Taft 5th Graders

Tuesday, August 13th 2019, 8:38 am
By: Grant Hermes

Seeming to be caught off guard by enrollment numbers, Oklahoma City Public Schools told parents of Taft Middle School fifth graders in a letter their children wouldn’t attending class at Taft Middle, but instead the newly re-opened Linwood Elementary.

"It became apparent that we were going to exceed our projected enrollment numbers and would need to make significant adjustments in order to ensure a high-quality educational experience," The district's letter said in part.

Roughly 330 fifth graders will now be in classrooms about a mile away from their middle school at Linwood, which was closed under the district's heavily scrutinized consolidation plan known as Pathway to Greatness. Under the plan, several schools were closed forcing entire communities, teachers and bus routes to be altered. The District said the changes were made in order to make the OKCPS more efficient.

“It would be easy for some to try to blame this on a mistake with the P2G projections we did last Spring, but we continue to believe that our new school zones are correct,” the letter reads.

The district said the need to re-open Linwood is due to a combination of higher enrollment, a "significant number of students" using residency affidavits and good teachers and staff at Taft. While students will be at a different location the district said nothing else about their day-to-day education will be affected. Students with special needs will remain at Taft's current main building.

The re-opening of Linwood comes as Horace Mann and Andrew Johnson elementary schools will also be reopening to house early learning and overflow centers. Putnam Heights Elementary which will house Seeworth Academy after the Academy’s building became unavailable was also reopened.

It’s unclear what the cost increase, if any will be.