TULSA - It's a one-of-a-kind classroom environment in Oklahoma, and after its first semester administrators at the Greenwood Leadership Academy reflect on how they've grown.
Walking into a classroom you may not see what's different about GLA.
But sit in classroom, and the differences will spell themselves out.
"Kids don't care how much you know until they know how much you care," said Principal Kojo Asamoa-Caesar.
He's leading what he and his vice principal call a vision for North Tulsa in mind.
"We want you to grow up to lead your community, we want you to grow up to be an entrepreneur, a business owner; so in order to do that what kind of character do you need to possess?" said Vice Principal Shannon Isaacs.
Tulsa Public Schools Curriculum is the building block of their holistic approach to education.
"If we're going to be able to teach them math and reading, we have to understand them and where they're coming from, and address them as human beings first."
Students see iconic figures who look like them on the walls, administrators who look like them walking through hallways and teachers like Denita White who look like them dedicated to also caring for them.
"Sometimes kids are a little grumpy, who knows what has happened before, so it's like if you have to come in and I have to give you a hug, I call it teacher loving," the first grade teacher said.
"As a teacher you're not just a teacher, you're a counselor, you're a banker, you're mom, you're dad."
Asamoa-Caesar called the school North Tulsa's beacon of hope, looking into the eyes of students like Haylee.
"I want to be a cheerleader," said Pre-K student Haylee Davis.
Students like her give them hope that when their scholars leave at the end of the day they know not only who they are, but who they can become.
"I don't know if it's anything we necessarily have to say them, besides that they're excellent."
The school is available to children Pre-K through first grade.
The academy is the state's first partnership school between Tulsa Public Schools and the Met Cares Foundation.
Tulsa Public Schools sent 2 Works for You the following statement about the school:
"The Greenwood Leadership Academy founders were the first in the state to open a partnership school. Being the first is hard work and requires an intrepid spirit, and Greenwood Leadership Academy has been up to the challenge. The school leadership team, staff, and their board are deeply committed to the students and the school’s success. We look forward to continuing to learn together with the school team as we work to prepare Tulsa students for the greatest success in college, careers, and life."
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.