April 28, 2017
Dear parents and guardians,
As you know, the preliminary budget reduction recommendations presented to the Tulsa Board of Education earlier this month included a proposal to consolidate several west side schools. The recommendation would consolidate the students at Park Elementary School, Remington Elementary School, and ECDC Porter at an expanded elementary school located in the building that currently houses Clinton Middle School. Students at Clinton would move to the Webster High School campus.
During the last few weeks, we have heard from many parents, teachers, students, and community members about this plan that would ensure quality programming for students on the west side in our current context of Oklahoma's chronic under-funding of education. The Board of Education and district leaders have a lot to consider and discuss based on the feedback and ideas that we've received from you.
The district has made some adjustments to the budget reduction timeline to ensure that decision making is informed by the most comprehensive and accurate information possible. There are still some cost-saving measures that will be recommended this week so that school teams and district staff can plan for the upcoming school year. The Tulsa Board of Education and Superintendent Deborah Gist have decided to hold a special Board meeting in mid-May to present the final recommendations for budget reductions.
While no decisions have been made, consolidating schools is a big project that requires a significant amount of planning to run smoothly. If the Board of Education approves the proposed changes, we need to be prepared to begin implementing the consolidation immediately to ensure a great start to the 2017-2018 school year. This time of transition and new beginnings requires an exceptional school leader. I am pleased to share that we have selected Phaedra Shipley (current principal at Park Elementary) to serve as school principal in the event that the consolidation plan moves forward. Principal Shipley has served Tulsa children and families for 24 years in many roles, including as a teacher, teacher coach, and assistant principal. We are excited that she will continue her work to advance student achievement for families on the west side.
Thank you for your continued engagement and advocacy in these challenging times- we are so fortunate to have such an involved parent community!
Errick L Greene Ed. D.
Chief of Schools