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OSSAA: KIPP Tulsa charter schools, NFHS Network on June agenda
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OSSAA: KIPP Tulsa charter schools, NFHS Network on June agenda

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KIPP: Tulsa Public Charter Schools is seeking Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association membership.

The OSSAA’s board of directors will consider the school’s application for provisional membership during the June meeting, set for 9 a.m. Wednesday at the OSSAA office in Oklahoma City, 7300 N. Broadway Extension.

If the provisional membership is approved, KIPP would be eligible for full membership in 2023-24, athletic director William Coleman said.

Wednesday’s OSSAA meeting will be the first in several months that wasn’t streamed live or held at larger, remote sites as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agenda also includes discussion and possible action on the OSSAA’s streaming contract with the NFHS Network.

Some board members have urged breaking the contract since an announcer directed racial slurs at the Norman girls basketball team. The controversial remarks were made during an NFHS Network streaming telecast of a Class 6A state tournament game in March.

In April, OSSAA attorney Mark Grossman warned the board that breaking the contract, which expires in 2028, could be difficult. He urged the board to begin collecting and documenting grievances as a way of leveraging future discussions.

KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) is a public charter school with open enrollment and an autonomous board of directors. Charter schools receive some state funding but derive a greater portion from private sources.

The school opened with a middle school in 2005 and just completed its third year with a high school. The 2021-22 academic year will be the first with seniors and a full varsity (nine-through-12) enrollment, Coleman said.

He said the move is intended to facilitate greater ease in scheduling and to aid in providing students with a more well-rounded educational experience.

KIPP Tulsa High School enrollment was 210 students in 2020-21. Coleman said the goal is to add about 60 for the 2021-22 school year. A total of 270 students would place the school at the Class 3A level in basketball. The school also offers track and field at the varsity level.

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