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Tip Sheet for the week including 4/25/2016


Eliot to compete at Odyssey of the Mind world finals



5/25/2016 , to



1442 E. 36 St.


Lisa Rutledge


Where would you find students of all ages wearing wacky costumes toting PVC pipe and set designs, making structures of balsa wood that can balance and support as much weight as possible, creating and presenting original performances centered around the technical problem of catching objects in motion, or designing and building vehicles that complete a student designed course? Why the Oklahoma State Odyssey of the Mind Tournament, of course.

On April 2, 28 students from Eliot Elementary participated in the Oklahoma state Odyssey of the Mind tournament at Jenks High School. The students made up 4 teams that competed in 4 different problem areas: a vehicle problem, a technical problem, a structure problem and a performance problem. Even though this was Eliot's first year to participate, three of the four teams placed first in their problem and division. Those three teams earned an invitation to compete at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals at Iowa State University on May 25.

One of the first-place teams solved the "Something Fishy" problem by designing and building devices that retrieved team-created moving objects from three different distances. The retrieval systems were integrated into an original performance depicting a modern fairy tale.

Another first-place team chose to solve the "Stack Attack" problem. They designed and built a balsa wood structure that weighed less than 15 grams. The structure was tested for strength and balance by having weights placed on top of the structure, removed, then replaced, essentially making two stacks. While the weights were placed, the team performed an original skit about "scary fairies" that stole a fairy house and were attempting to crush it.

The final winning team from Eliot took on the "Furs, Fins, Feathers and Friends" problem. This team performed a play about animals that attempt to help themselves, a stranger and all living things. Their performance included a polluted river that asked for the animals' help, a door that the animals encountered, a bush that helped the animals get a key and an original song and dance that entertained the audience. The team's characters included a tapir, a piranha, a toucan, a mommy and baby sloth, an alligator, a river and a bush.

The three teams are now raising funds so that all team members will be able to travel to Iowa State to compete at the finals. They are having garage sales, selling free dress day passes at school and selling concessions at school functions. There is also a GoFundMe page for donations to support these amazing students.

The teams will perform in the school gymnasium at 1:45 p.m. Monday, April 25.



Margaret Hudson Program hosts open houses in Tulsa, BA

Updated 4/11/2016


4/26/2016 , 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.


Margaret Hudson

1136 S. Allegheny Ave.


Hannah Bailey


The Margaret Hudson Program invites pregnant and parenting teen students, family members and interested community members, to learn more about the benefits of enrolling at the MHP schools located in Tulsa and Broken Arrow.

The open houses will include school tours, information about how to enroll and an overview of the comprehensive academic and supportive social services that MHP offers to pregnant and parenting students. Refreshments and door prizes will be offered.

On Tuesday, April 19, MHP-Broken Arrow will host an open house and MHP-Tulsa will host its open house on Tuesday, April 26. Both open houses will be held from 5-7 p.m. The MHP Broken Arrow campus is located at 751 W. Knoxville (phone: 918-251-2647) and the MHP Tulsa campus is located at 1136 S. Allegheny Ave. (phone: 918-833-9860).

The Margaret Hudson Program serves teen girls who are enrolled in either Tulsa or Broken Arrow public schools, though any student may attend MHP if her home school district authorizes a school transfer. Students who enroll at MHP can continue their middle and high school classroom education and also receive the benefits of an extensive set of on-site "wraparound" supportive health and social services that help achieve healthy pregnancies and promote early childhood development. The Margaret Hudson Program is a Tulsa Area United Way nonprofit partner organization. There is no cost to attend MHP.

What do students think about the Margaret Hudson Program?

MHP students benefit from smaller class sizes, health supervision, childcare, outreach services and access to counseling that are not available at traditional schools. "This school is a haven for teen mothers," said Trish Allison, MHP board member and former MHP student. "The Margaret Hudson Program strives to create a supportive environment that empowers young mothers and helps them to find lifelong success."

"I love the fact that my experience at MHP has helped me become a better mother through continuing my education," said current MHP student Charley Allen. "The teachers here drive us to continue our learning and better ourselves. Young mothers need to have a good support system in order to succeed and complete their goals."

Since it was founded in Tulsa in 1968, the Margaret Hudson Program has served more than 10,000 girls who started their families as teenagers. The program provides middle and high school education with the wraparound support of counseling, health and social services, early childhood education and childcare, WIC nutritional foods and community outreach.

Through partnerships with Tulsa and Broken Arrow public schools, MHP is able to provide state-accredited academic instruction on a tuition-free basis. Special classroom education provides a solid foundation in life skills, household management and effective parenting. MHP helps students graduate from high school, develop career goals and pursue post-secondary education. MHP counselors and nurses strengthen the emotional resiliency of the teen students and provide prenatal health guidance to achieve healthy birth outcomes.

For more information about the Margaret Hudson Program, visit the MHP website at or contact Hannah Bailey at 918-833-9890 or



TPS proposes changes to bell times, athletics programs to reduce expenses

Updated 4/21/2016


4/21/2016 , to


Tulsa Public Schools


Chris Payne


Tulsa Public Schools will consider changing school bell times and making reductions to athletics programs as a step in managing anticipated state budget cuts of up to $20 million next year. The proposed changes are in addition to recommended cuts in central office positions that will result in $3.7 million in savings -- $ 2.7 million that would directly offset state funding shortfalls and an additional $1 million in federal funding that would be redistributed to schools.

"We want to be sensitive to the needs of our teachers, students and families as we continue to manage this difficult budget situation," said Superintendent Deborah A. Gist. "By making strategic adjustments to school start times, we can save more than $1 million in personnel, fuel and other expenses without affecting transportation services to the thousands of Tulsa families who depend on us to get their children to school each day. We are hopeful that Tulsans will be supportive of these recommended changes.

"We have taken a similar approach to athletics, limiting cuts to where it will impact the least number of students," Gist said. "We will reduce expenses by consolidating middle school athletic teams and decreasing coaching stipends and travel. Moving forward, our district will continue to offer a robust athletics program.

"These recommendations are based on a comprehensive analysis of all of our programs and services, and we remain committed to prioritizing the needs of the students and families we serve," Gist said. "There will be an opportunity for parents, students, teachers and community members to comment on these recommended changes."

The Tulsa Public Schools Board of Education is expected to consider and vote on both proposals during a special meeting on April 27.

Proposed bell time changes: The revised bell time schedule would reduce the number of buses in the district's fleet and create savings in labor, fuel and parts and service. District officials estimate cost-savings of $1.2-$1.4 million by adjusting school start times as follows:

  • Elementary schools: 7:30 a.m.-2:35 p.m. (starts 15 minutes earlier)
  • Combined middle school, junior high and high school campuses and magnet schools: 8:30 a.m.-3:35 p.m. (15 minutes earlier or later, depending on the school)
  • Middle schools not connected to a high school and alternative schools: 9:15 a.m.-4:20 p.m. (30 minutes to one hour later)

Parents can view proposed bell times for each school at

Athletics changes: Recommended cuts to athletics would result in an estimated $205,513 in savings with minimum impact to students:

  • Defund all 6th grade athletics coaching stipends; the district has not awarded these stipends for the past three years.
  • Reduce swimming stipends at all schools, with the exception of Booker T. Washington and Memorial high schools. Stipends would be reduced from a total of 36 head and assistant coaches to 8 head and assistant coaches. Only seven students would be impacted, and they would have the option to transfer to another school with a swimming program.
  • Eliminate assistant coaching stipends in golf, tennis and cross-country. District-wide, 71 students participate in golf, 74 in tennis and 241 in cross-country, all of whom can be effectively supported by half the number of coaches with stipends.
  • Change 7th and 8th grade athletics programs from grade-specific to combined teams at each junior high/middle school. Each school would have one team each in football, boys basketball, girls basketball, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball. The decreased number of games would generate savings by reducing expenses for game staffing, security and transportation. Both 7th and 8th grade students would continue to have access to athletics in this new team structure.
  • Cut travel expenses: No trips greater than 75 miles would be approved unless mandated by OSSAA district and playoff regulations. Booster clubs could elect to fund travel in excess of 75 miles.
  • Non-district contests canceled due to weather would not be rescheduled.

The Tulsa Public Schools Board of Education will hold the following meetings to discuss these proposals:

  • 6 p.m., Monday, April 25: The Board of Education is expected to vote on the recommendation to eliminate certain certified and non-certified administrative positions at non-school-based sites. The subsequent reorganization would consolidate some of these responsibilities into newly reorganized positions. If approved, this change would result in $3.7 million in savings -- $ 2.7 million that would directly offset state funding shortfalls and an additional $1 million in federal funding that would be redistributed to schools. The proposed changes would take effect on July 1, 2016.
  • 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 27: Discussion and vote on the proposed bell time changes and athletics cuts.
  • 6:30 p.m., Monday, May 2: Discussion of school staffing allocation plan for 2016-17 will take place at this regularly-scheduled board meeting.

Meetings will take place at the Charles C. Mason Education Service Center, 3027 S. New Haven Ave., in the Cheryl Selman Room.






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