OKCPS Superintendent Decides Against Closing North Highland Elementary

Monday, June 26th 2017, 10:31 pm
By: News 9

When the temporary shutdown proposal of North Highland Elementary School was announced last week, Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Aurora Lora said the school was in crisis. 

She said there was no principal and no solid prospect, and only four teachers said they'd be returning. 

But Lora said since that news was released, she's seen a groundswell of support.

"We have been contacted by candidates from all over who have been interested in applying for those open positions," she said at Monday evening's board meeting. 

Lora said the district now has candidates for the principal opening at North Highland, and she said they have even heard from teachers who have since left the state offering to return to work at the school. 

Steve Davis lives near North Highland Elementary School.

"It's amazing to me now that you have teachers and administrators from all over the country saying they wanted to come, but you couldn't find them before?" he asked during public comment. 

Davis was one of several speakers at the board meeting who was still heated about the situation. 

Many people expressed outrage after the announcement last week. 

On Friday night, the school was vandalized. 

"All I wanted from the very start was to find more applicants for the positions and generate interest in wanting to apply to be a part of the solution. I think the vandalism caused a lot more people to possibly consider who maybe hadn't been considering it before, just wanting to be a part of what's right for that community," said Lora. 

The superintendent also announced Monday evening that agreements were reached with unions to offer a $3,000 stipend for certified teachers willing to move to North Highland Elementary and an increase from base pay for principals of 10 percent at the school. 

Lora said a special account was created to collect donations for the school through the district's foundation. After the vandalism, she said there would be a community beautification day at the school before the first day.