Tulsa Public Schools are using a new program to encourage low enrollment numbers called Education at the Altar.
TPS superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard is spending his Sunday mornings attending local churches. He asks pastors to preach to families and parents to become more involved in their child’s education.
“I really do believe we cannot be successful without the church presence in the schools,” said Dr. Ballard. “I think letting the church know that its presence in the schools is terribly important.”
TPS said its expected enrollment this fall was 40,000 students and it came up 600 students short of that.
The district came up with a plan to send a letter asking local churches’ leaders to give a sermon encouraging parental involvement with their child’s education. 25 churches have chosen to participate so far.
Dr. Ballard spoke from the pulpit on Sunday at north Tulsa’s First Baptist Church to deliver that same message.
“It is a great strategy to partner with the churches to bring the students into TPS, and let parents know parental involvement is one of the key successes for children,” said Bobbie Booker, a retired TPS superintendent and churchgoer. “When parents are involved with setting children up for success learning seems to naturally happen in the classroom.”
Dr. Ballard said his biggest fear is failing to see the students’ achievements.
“It is only through education we can alter the course of lives of our children,” said Dr. Ballard.