OKCPS Superintendent recommends plan for 15 permanent school closures


    OKCPS superintendent recommends closures (KOKH).

    Fifteen Oklahoma City Public Schools are on the chopping block after the superintendent makes his recommendation for the future of the district.

    Those schools include Edgemere, Edwards, Gatewood, Green Pastures, Horace Mann, Johnson, Linwood, North Highland, Oakridge, Oklahoma Centennial, Pierce, Putnam Heights, Sequoyah, Telstar and Westwood.

    Superintendent Sean McDaniel is recommending a modified version of one of the three plans originally established.

    The closures are said to make Oklahoma City schools better for students and increase enrollment.

    According to McDaniel, "If you're watching out there, and you're residents of Oklahoma City, it's time to come back to Oklahoma City."

    The plan includes fifteen fewer schools but the district hopes for growth in numbers; both the number of students and dollar signs.

    "We believe that this is a sustainable model and it will last throughout time.” McDaniel said, “Our next conversation, big conversation, is going to be about, 'Hey, what do we do with these twenty thousand students that we've got coming’."

    The district promises to make resources more available to all students and it'll save more than $4 million.

    The plan doesn’t come without concern for parents, though. Fewer schools means bus rides up to more than three miles longer.

    Many students will need transfer requests. The district says they'll start accepting those on March fourth.

    According to McDaniel, “If a student is attending on transfer because it's a rising fourth grader and they're grunted a seat, the next tear would be a sibling of that student."

    McDaniel admits employees are also concerned.

    "Fifteen head principal jobs, when this passes, are gone. So, what we do is we say, ‘We are going to protect the employment of our employees’. Meaning it could be that you are moved to a different school as a principal or you could move into an assistant principal role."

    The board will vote on McDaniel's recommendation on March fourth.

    All of the changes will be made before the start of school next year, which is August 12th.

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