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Tulsa Public Schools Leadership Aims To Support Students And Families Through Pandemic Uncertainty

KWGS News File Photo
The sign in front of the Tulsa Public Schools' Education Service Center on East 31st Street.

At a special meeting of the Tulsa Public School Board of Education on Friday, administrators and board members were unanimous in approving six recommendations aimed at helping the district and its students deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We’re spending lots of time with our school leaders to ensure that our students feel engaged, loved, connected with, and prepared to move into next year," said Deputy Superintendent Paula Shannon.

Some of the approved policy changes are aimed at making sure students aren't left behind or penalized as a result the district's decision to cancel in-person education through the remainder of the school year.

"Any grade that was entered before March 12," said TPS Chief Learning Officer Devin Fletcher, "can not lower a student's grade from March 12 and beyond."

Danielle Neves, TPS's deputy chief of academics, said it's important to consider waivers and exceptions for policies that may do more harm than good during the pandemic.

"We are encouraging teachers and staff to connect with any families that they've had prior conversations about possibility of retention," or the student being held back, Neves said, "to reconsider that under the grace and compassion that we're all operating with right now."

TPS Superintendent Deborah Gist said that the nearly 2,000 seniors in the school system are a priority for support.

"Our hearts go out to our seniors," Gist said. "We know how serious this is. And we want to be sure that we’re giving them as much support and as much flexibility as we possibly can."

A recording of the entire April 10th Board of Education meeting is available on the Tulsa Public Schools website here.

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