|Updated: 8/22/2013 5:24 pm
||Published: 8/22/2013 3:34 pm
The first seventh-grade campus in the Tulsa Public Schools district opened its doors Thursday morning: McLain's seventh-grade academy.
There is a lot of energy and excitement from both parents and teachers. They are hopeful this new seventh-grade academy will solve problems educators have seen from previous seventh-graders and make a positive impact in the community.
Michelle Caddelle said she's thrilled her son is part of the first class at McLain seventh-grade academy
"My child going to a high school with seventh- and ninth-graders. I was iffy about that, but when I heard about this, I said, 'We are going to try this out, Davian.'" She said.
FOX23 checked with the district and found the two main reasons students are there is because of low academic performance and behavior problems with past seventh-grade classes.
"If nothing else, our kids are held to high expectation, academically and behaviorally," said Principal Tarsha Guillory.
She said she feels a lot of pressure to turn these students around.
"Trying to get at the root cause of why kids misbehave," she said.
Her plan of attack is to pull students aside and have a one-on-one conversation or a group intervention.
"We know kids have external problems, we all know that, so we say, 'Why?' Always asking why," she said.
"I think it's going to be a good school. I think so," she said.
The district is being strict about who is hired for the program. McLain Academy teachers will go through positive behavior and intervention workshops to get ready for the new approach and to help students work through potential problems.