Important Information Regarding Teacher Walkout
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions related to the potential teacher walkout beginning on April 2. Please read over this information carefully. If you have further questions, please contact your child's school site.
What is the District’s official position on a potential teacher walkout?
Jenks Public Schools completely understands the desire of teachers to take action for higher compensation. JPS supports the right of its teachers to walk out and will continue to advocate for teacher raises, as well as for additional operational funding. When teachers are valued, respected, and paid accordingly, our students stand to benefit. Unfortunately, with many qualified teachers leaving the state and teacher salaries at the bottom of the national scale, our students stand to lose too much. If a walkout occurs, and the number of teachers requesting leave exceeds the ability to provide substitutes, the District will have no choice but to close schools. The legislature needs to take action as soon as possible to avoid such a disruption to our students and our schools.
On March 15, Jenks Public Schools’ Board of Education voted unanimously to grant Superintendent Dr. Stacey Butterfield the authority to close school for up to 10 days in the event of a teacher walkout.
Why are teachers prepared to walkout on April 2?
- Based on the Oklahoma minimum teacher salary schedule, Oklahoma teachers have not received a pay raise in 10 years.
- OEA is asking legislators to put forth a plan by April 1 to increase public education funding and include enough revenue to pay for a teacher raise.
- If the April 1 deadline is not met, teachers across the state of Oklahoma plan to walk out on April 2.
How will I know if school is canceled?
The state legislature could put forth a plan on April 1 so there may not be an official word on school being closed until that date. Jenks Public Schools will communicate with parents and employees via all available communication methods - phone, email, social media, and web.
How will I know when school will resume?
The District will closely monitor the situation and communicate information as soon as it becomes available. Should a walkout occur, it will be a day-to-day decision to cancel school.
How will missed days be made up?
The JPS Instructional Calendar includes five inclement weather days. If the duration of the walkout exceeds five days, additional days will need to be added. Depending on how long the walkout lasts, there is potential for the 17-18 school year to be extended.
Will activities such as prom, graduation, athletic events, fine arts, and other scheduled trips still take place?
Regardless of what takes place with the teacher walkout, prom will be held on April 21 and graduation will take place on May 21. As for scheduled trips, if money has been invested and commitments have been made, those commitments will be honored and trips will take place.
Throughout the walkout, practices for athletics and fine arts must be held outside of normal instructional time (9:15 am - 3:55 pm). Fine arts events and athletic events for Middle School, Junior Varsity, and Varsity teams will take place as scheduled unless one or more of the following takes place:
- Other school(s) cannot travel to Jenks for competition.
- Other school(s) cancels all athletic events.
- JPS employees/coaches/directors choose not to participate and appropriate substitutes cannot be located.
Although instructional time can be made up by adding days to the end of the calendar, JPS will attempt to continue athletics and activities as normal because there is no opportunity to make up those events. All meetings, rehearsals, or camps should be scheduled outside of normal instructional hours or the teacher contract day.
Is there a plan in place to continue feeding students on days when school will be closed?
JPS teachers, staff members, and administrators are working closely with the Jenks Community Food Bank and local business partners to gather food donations to distribute to students at strategic locations around Jenks and South Tulsa.
- 18 school bus stops throughout the District have been chosen for students to pick up food.
- Food will be distributed on Mondays and Thursdays while school is closed for the walkout.
- Beginning on March 26, students and parents will be notified of specific times and locations for food pick-up.
Will Community Ed continue classes, athletics, and current child care programs?
After school classes for youth will be canceled. Evening classes for adults and Community Ed athletic events will be held as scheduled. Child care will continue for those who are currently enrolled. Jenks Community Ed will also offer day care for current customers only during the weeks of April 2 and April 9 if necessary. Child care will be offered from 7:00 am - 5:30 pm at the Early Childhood Center, East Elementary, West Elementary, and East Intermediate. Enrollment will take place on a first-come, first-serve basis and is contingent upon the ability of Community Ed to provide adequate staffing. The cost for Pre-K students is $35 per day, the cost for K-8th grade students is $30 per day. If you are a current customer, you will be receiving more information and details from Jenks Community Education. If you have questions about this non-school day child care option, please contact your child’s site coordinator or call Jenks Community Education at 918-298-0340.
What about state testing?
In the event of a walkout and school closure, testing for students in grades 3-8 and 11th grade students in science will be pushed back. The District expects to receive more guidance from the Oklahoma State Department of Education concerning these tests.
The ACT scheduled for all juniors to take on April 3 will be pushed back to the make-up date of April 24.
AP testing scheduled for May 7 - 25 will take place even if a teacher walkout occurs. Administrators and volunteers will administer the AP tests during the testing window. Throughout the duration of the walkout, any AP coaching provided by teachers for students should take place outside of normal instructional hours.
Will Tulsa Tech and Tulsa Community College hold classes during the walkout?
Yes. JPS students enrolled in Tulsa Tech or Tulsa Community College will have classes as planned. Buses will continue to run for those students who are transported to these programs.
What can parents do to support teachers and public education?
Contact your legislators and tell them you support Oklahoma teachers.
- To find your legislator, visit http://www.oklegislature.gov/FindMyLegislature.aspx
- We encourage parents to join our PLAC (Parent Legislative Action Committee). The Facebook page is available at https://www.facebook.com/jenksplac/