Superintendent Keith Ballard sets off on annual TPS tour during 1st day of school

TULSA - As classes get under way throughout Tulsa Public Schools, Superintendent Keith Ballard set off on his annual tour of campuses.

Ballard spoke to 2NEWS Anchor Deana Silk Monday morning about the new school year and some of the lingering changes regarding Project Schoolhouse.

"It's so much calmer at the start of this year," he said.

One of the biggest changes at TPS this year is at Rogers, where students can now take college classes.

Last year, students 6th through 10th grade attended the school. This year students 7th through 11th will attend and next year 7th through 12th graders will attend the school.

Students who qualified last year will now attend college classes just next door in what used to be the annex.

"We're very pleased with what's going on at Rogers," said Ballard. "They had great test scores last year. It really has become a very important part of what happened with Project Schoolhouse."

The 2012-2013 school year is Ballard's final year with TPS as he's set to retire at the end of the spring semester.

"You know, I'm not dwelling on that," said Ballard. "This is my 41st year in education and it's just as exciting as the first one. To watch 180 buses that are pulling out of here, it's so exciting to think 40,000 kids are going to school today. So I'm just dwelling on the excitement of the first day of school just like my first day of school ever."

Ballard started the day at Mayo and planned on touring different campuses throughout the district.

What day does your child return to school? What are the days they're not in class? What supplies do they need? Check out our Back to School guide . You'll find area school districts' 2012-2013 calendars and school supplies lists.

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