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Special message from Superintendent Deborah A. Gist

Published 3/19/2018




Tulsa Public Schools


Emma Garrett Nelson


Dear families,

As you likely know, Tulsa Public Schools is joining school districts from across the state to support the leadership of the Oklahoma Education Association and our own Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association in a legislative advocacy plan for restored funding to education and increased teacher salaries. That plan includes a state‐wide teacher walk‐out if our state legislature does not find a way to increase teacher pay and funding to public education by Sunday, April 1.

If that teacher walk‐out takes place, Tulsa Public Schools will close all schools in the district effective Monday, April 2. Schools would be closed indefinitely until Oklahoma state leaders create a permanent, sustainable plan to pay educators a professional, more competitive salary. We are working with community advocates and partner agencies to develop a plan to support families by providing childcare, meals, and other services. We will send more information about community resources for families after we return from spring break. This information, as well as other details about the impacts of any school closure, will be shared with you through your child's school, on social media, and online at

We are still working through a number of issues and concerns about the impact of potentially closing schools. I do, however, want to share a few details that may be helpful as you determine how your family will manage during a closure:

  • All schools in the district will be closed to the public - students and families will not be able to access these buildings. Any school days affected by the shutdown will be made up at the end of the school year like snow days are.
  • Transportation services will be available only to assist our students taking classes at sites not affected by the closure such as Tulsa Tech and Tulsa Community College.
  • Child Nutrition Services will work with our community partners to provide breakfast and lunch free of charge at approximately 70 non‐school sites throughout the city.
  • We will open some buildings to allow students to complete the SAT, and our 12‐month employees will serve as test proctors.

Additionally, most district‐run extracurricular programming, including athletics, will be suspended. Spring varsity‐level teams and spring varsity‐level activities are the only exceptions.

To allow varsity‐level practices, games, and competitions to continue, we will use administrative staff and parent/volunteer coaches. (Teacher‐coaches will participate only if they choose to and coordinate any work with the district's athletic director.) We recognize that many of our varsity student athletes are counting on the college scholarship opportunities available through sports participation and want to ensure that those options remain accessible. In addition, while school will be made up after the walkout, the spring season for our varsity athletes cannot be since OSSAA is continuing competitions and games. We remain hopeful that our state leaders will be able to pass a plan that includes permanent, sustainable revenue sources to increase funding to education and raise teacher salaries to a level that is regionally competitive and allows educators to stay here with your children from pre‐kindergarten through to high school graduation. Please take a few minutes to visit to contact your legislators and let them know that bright futures for our children cannot wait - it's time for meaningful change.


Deborah A. Gist

For more information visit: Mensaje especial de la superintendente Deborah Gist





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