TPS student transfers won't be affected by over-capacity schools, official says
BY ANDREA EGER World Staff Writer
Friday, May 13, 2011
5/13/11 at 9:00 AM
Tulsa Public Schools’ “School Lookup” web application is now fully operational for 2011-12. Find out your child’s home school assignment by entering your home address
and the grade level your child will be entering in August.
Tulsa Public Schools officials are no longer expecting to have to rescind any students' transfers because of school buildings being over capacity in 2011-12.
The district has already mailed more than 10,000 school assignment notices to parents or guardians and is on track to complete the process for all 42,000 students by Tuesday.
Larry Smith, assistant superintendent for school and district accountability, said four elementary schools - Carnegie, Jones, McClure and Park - will be full. "However, we are not going to rescind any existing transfers other than those affected by school closures."
Administrators had estimated that at least 1,300 transfer students will lose their transfers and be assigned to the schools in their home attendance areas because of building closures and conversions.
They had announced publicly that some other transfer students might lose their transfers if schools went over capacity, but Smith said Thursday that it doesn't appear that will be necessary after all.
It does mean Carnegie, Jones, McClure and Park won't be able to accept any new transfer students, though, he added.
The district will accept transfer applications from May 17 through June 17. During the first week in June, Tulsa Public Schools will post on its website a preliminary list of schools that will have transfer opportunities and an estimated number of open seats.
Through an efficiency initiative called Project Schoolhouse, the Tulsa school board approved a dramatic school closure and consolidation plan that will eliminate 5,600 of its 10,400 empty seats. The closure of 14 school buildings and the conversion of nine others means the district has to go through the tedious task of reassigning some 7,000 students from those schools, plus those affected by redrawn attendance boundaries.
In recent days, district officials have been fielding a flurry of calls about transportation services.
It's no wonder, since the district is expecting more students to need a bus ride to school next year, said Todd Lee, chief operations and information officer.
"Any time you close 14 schools, you're going to have more kids that are farther from schools, so it's logical to assume we will have more riders," he said. "Boundary changes may add some more riders, too."
Lee said parents can contact the Transportation Department at 918-833-8100 to find out whether their children will qualify for bus service based on the distance between home and school. The district's policy specifies that a child must live at least 1.5 miles away to ride the bus.
But transportation officials will have to wait until most of the school-assignment process is complete to begin designing bus routes, so bus stop information won't be available to students and parents until sometime in July, he said.
He added, "We will absolutely see some changes based on ridership after school starts, too. If there's a bus that's too full, we'll add a second bus. If there's a bus that's empty, we may combine routes."
Original Print Headline: Existing transfers to stand, TPS says
Andrea Eger 918-581-8470