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Former Grimes Elementary building to be home base for Tulsa Virtual Academy's primary grades
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Former Grimes Elementary building to be home base for Tulsa Virtual Academy's primary grades

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The former Grimes Elementary School, pictured in 2017, will be home base for Tulsa Virtual Academy’s elementary and middle school grades.

Tulsa Public Schools will be repurposing a closed midtown school to accommodate part of its online program.

TPS officials confirmed that the former Grimes Elementary School will house blended learning classes for Tulsa Virtual Academy’s elementary and middle school grades starting later this semester. Students will have the option of going on campus once a week to access academic help, enrichment opportunities and counseling services.

The building will also serve as a testing site for state- and district-required exams and a meeting space for parent conferences.

Tulsa Virtual Academy was already hosting grab-and-go meal service and drive-through meet-and-greet events with its faculty outside the shuttered school at 56th Street and Harvard Avenue.

Citing a $20 million budget shortfall and enrollment capacity at nearby schools, TPS closed Grimes at the end of the 2019-20 school year, along with Wright, Mark Twain and Jones elementary schools.

In an email, a district spokeswoman said the Grimes campus was specifically chosen in part because it could easily accommodate a wide range of classroom accommodations, including those specifically for prekindergarten students.

Earlier this semester, TPS entered into a no-cost agreement with Tulsa Technology Center to allow Tulsa Virtual Academy’s high school students to use space at its Peoria Campus two days each week for blended learning.

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My primary beat is public education. I am a third-generation graduate of Oklahoma State University, a board member for Oklahoma SPJ and an active member of the Native American Journalists Association.

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