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OKCPS Board of Education to hear proposal for temporary closure of North Highland Elementary

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Public School Schools Board of Education will review a proposal on June 26 that recommends the temporary closure of North Highland Elementary School for the 2017-2018 school year.

All students who reside within the North Highland boundary would be reassigned to Britton Elementary.

Current students would have the opportunity to apply for transfers to other neighboring schools.

“In our preparations for the 2017-18 school year, it has become apparent that there is no possible scenario at North Highland that is good for students,” said Superintendent of OKCPS Aurora Lora. “This school is in crisis, and drastic change will be required to improve the negative culture. Our students deserve nothing less.”

As of Wednesday, there is “no principal in place for North Highland and no solid prospects for the position.” Office staff at the school have also resigned, and only four core teachers are slated to return for the 2017-2018 school year.

To keep the school open, the district would have to “staff nearly an entire school without the time or the talent pool needed to set the school up for success.”

Under the proposal, those at North Highland would be relocated to Britton Elementary, placing a total of two full-time counselors, two full-time social workers, and two assisant principals at Britton Elementary for the 2017-2018 school year.

“Although this proposal is not ideal, I believe this is the only option that provides a chance for the students at North Highland to have a positive experience next year,” said Lora. “This is just a temporary solution. We will reassess the future of North Highland during the demographic study and redistricting process already in the works for Fall 2017, and with time to plan, we hope to design a future for the North Highland community that provides the instructional environment our students deserve.”

The board will vote Monday, June 26.

If approved, OKCPS will develop an “implementation plan” that includes transportation, transferring returning staff and records, removing materials, moving smartboards and technology, and a short-term alternative purpose for the building.

The district would also have meeting for the families affected by the transition.