Tulsa Public Schools Launches New Effort To Support Struggling Students


Thursday, March 4th 2021, 5:15 pm
By: Emory Bryan


TULSA, Okla. -

Tulsa Public Schools announced a new initiative to help struggling students catch up on their coursework and in extracurricular after school projects as well.

Tulsa Public Schools is launching a comprehensive set of supports for students, in hopes of recouping some of the educational losses of the last year when students were in distance learning because of the pandemic.

The district is expanding connections and financial support for the many nonprofit agencies, like Reading Partners, that work directly with students. The Executive Director of Global Gardens, MaryAnn Donahue, said her leaders are eager to reconnect with students.

"We are starting to do that now. Some of our after school programs are beginning to meet, and I anticipate sometime before the end of this school year, we'll be back in the classrooms," Donahue said.

TPS Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist said the district is committed to "providing our students with everything they need to get caught up and be successful" but said the district is aware the losses of the last year, which she said are common to most districts in the state, would not be recouped in the next year.

The district is launching "Operation Graduation" to help seniors meet standards to graduate, including an evening class option for students who need to catch up on lost credits. The Care and Connect program will continue on Wednesdays, and a program called "Ready, Set, Summer!" will open up new enrichment classes, a summer day camp for the month of July, and free meals for anyone 18 and under.

The district said in the next year, free tutoring, and before and after school programs would be offered.

Dr. Ebony Johnson, who is charge of academics for TPS, said many students are struggling.

"We're trying to support our seniors and high schoolers this spring, so they'll know we're going to continue with the supports you need to thrive and be ready for college or the next grade level," Johnson said.

Parents can pre-register students for the program on the TPS website here.