Overcrowding In Okla. School Forces Teachers To Carry Classrooms On Carts

Monday, March 24th 2014, 7:21 pm

The Oklahoma City school district said it has a solution to overcrowding issues at some Oklahoma City schools. The school board will vote on March 31 on redrawing the boundary lines.

Students and administrators at U.S. Grant High School said it's desperately needed.

Joseph Ciesielski, or Mr. C as his students call him, teaches Social Studies and Special Education at U.S. Grant, but he doesn't have a classroom. He has to maneuver a small cart, containing all his teaching supplies, from room to room.

"At U.S. Grant, we have so many students that just getting through the hallway, you almost have to plan out the day just to miss the traffic," Ciesielski said.

In addition, Mr. C said he loses teaching time unloading and loading his cart every period, there's no consistency and he's at the mercy of the classroom's true teacher.

"Even on a day-to-day basis I might walk in and there's a lab set up and I'm teaching geography," said Ciesielski.

3/18/2014 Related Story: New Plan To Solve Overcrowding Issues At South OKC Schools

Grant's Principal Clay Vinyard said it's the students who really suffer.

"Takes away from normalcy, takes away from routine and takes away from the quality of education they're receiving," Vinyard said.

The district's solution is to redraw the boundary lines, moving 180 students from U.S. Grant and 220 from Capitol Hill to Northwest Classen and Douglas where they have open classrooms.

Representative Richard Morrissette (D), who considers the south side his district, said school isn't taking the students into consideration, and the district could end up with a much bigger culture clash than teaching social studies in a science classroom.

"The two cultures are completely different," said Morrissette. "They're always talking about the children need to be educated in neighborhood schools. This isn't a neighborhood school."

Parents will have an opportunity to weigh in on the issue at a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday night at U.S. Grant High School.