Last-Minute Move Hurts Preparation Time At OKC School


Saturday, August 2nd 2014, 10:56 pm
By: News 9


The new school year is just two days away for Oklahoma City Public Schools. Most schools are ready for students, but questions still linger for one school.

Teachers and staff at Columbus Elementary are changing buildings to become Jackson Elementary. Originally teachers were told they'd have a month to move, but that month has turned into days.

Columbus elementary is quiet, the fence now like a boundary between society and structure. Everything that was once inside this school is now being hustled into Jackson Elementary, creating complete chaos.

“We're still trying to find everything and get it unpacked and still get lesson plans ready and be ready for structure on Monday. This isn't going to happen," said teacher, Janet Caesar.

Monday comes much too soon for Jackson Elementary Teacher Janet Caesar, who's never seen anything like this in her 17 years with Oklahoma City Public Schools.

"It is impossible. It's really impossible," said Caesar.

The timeline is what Janet says makes it impossible. After boxing everything at Columbus, she was first told she and her coworkers would have a month to prepare. But because of renovation delays, she didn't even start getting some of her boxes until Monday.

Desks, cabinets and everything else continue to pile in, one at a time. Student bathrooms and the floors continue get finishing touches as well, all while Jackson Elementary’s 630 some students stand ready.

"We're going to have to make up stuff and keep them busy while we're still trying to get our classrooms ready," said Caesar.

The district reassures Monday is the start, even after Caesar and other's asked for the start day to be delayed a week, like Taft Middle School last year. In a written statement the district told News 9 the building will be ready. There are no safety concerns and all permits have been cleared. Not the same case as with Taft.

"If we start the school and it's chaotic, that just sets the tone for the rest of the year. They're expecting too much"

Janet and several of her co-workers worked from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday and plan to do the same on Sunday.