Tulsa Public Schools in Session Until May 31

Apr 17, 2018

Tulsa Public Schools students go back today, and they’ll be in class until May 31.

The addition of five days was approved by the TPS board last night. Superintendent Deborah Gist said adding minutes to school days is inadequate.

"If we were to add 15 or 20 minutes to a day, you know, that’s two to five minutes a period at the secondary level. That’s not meaningful instruction," Gist said.

Some parents and teachers wanted longer days to make up the difference. Board members asked how many minutes it would have taken to get TPS students out on the original last day of school.

"If you were to add minutes to the school year, in order to get out by May 23, it’s 87 minutes a day," Gist said.

TPS is concerned about attendance after May 23, but the district made the decision that would give students the most time in class without affecting things like extracurricular activities, family schedules and transportation.

"We have a lot of students who work, and when we extend our school day, we [affect] students who aren’t able to make their shifts in the evenings," Gist said.

Teachers' last day is now June 4, and the TPS board approved talks between administrators and support staff about extending their schedules in order to honor their full contracts.

TPS has also announced its state testing window starts Wednesday. It closes April 27 for paper tests or May 4 for online ones.