Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Parents frustrated, furious over OKCPS Pre-K plans

OKLAHOMA CITY - "It's really building a culture of mistrust and misguidance, and it makes us not feel confident in the public schools system currently," said concerned parent Petra Colindres.

Colindres is reacting to finding out about the fall 2019 plans for some Pre-K students in the Oklahoma City Public School district.

Cleveland, Wilson and Nichols Hills Pre-K students will move to Horace Mann.

Ridgeview, Quail Creek and most of Britton Pre-K kids will attend Andrew Johnson, which had been on the school closure list.

"We do not want to sacrifice 4-year-olds in a building... so that was the best solution... we had at this time," said Director of Early Childhood Education Pam Hibbs.

"They did mention possible overflow... but that was something we did actually speak to in those meetings... well, what about the Pre-K classes... we were guaranteed over and over again... that that would not happen to our kiddos," Colindres said.

Parents claim Wednesday they still hadn't heard a direct plan from the district.

"No one really discussed what was going on, again, the only reason we found out about this... was by chance and by luck... one of the mothers called on Friday morning to ask more about the enrollment process and was told by the school district that everything changed overnight," Colindres said.

Oklahoma City Public Schools said the six schools face overcrowding.

The early childhood centers will offer art, P.E. and everything that a normal classroom will offer.

The Pre-K teachers are moving with the students, as well.

"There are transfers in the building, we don't want to lose them and ruin an elementary child's experience and have to move to a new school right now," Hibbs said.

The new program will not offer transportation.

"What if we have a 1st grader and a preschooler that now have to go to two different sites? Maybe that doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but it can be in regards to making work fit in to all of this," Colindres said.

News 4 asked why parents hadn't been told about the change. They tell us the news leaked out just days before Pre-K enrollment, rather than being announced.

"Everything was in the planning process... when it came out... so it's not that we were not planning on doing something... it's just that we had not gotten it in the planning stage out," Hibbs said.

The district said their plan is to be back to normal by 2021.

"I like it better... however that still affects me... it still affects me personally 'cause my kids not going 2021... he's going 2019," Colindres said.

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