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Districts at Work: Tulsa Tales Mini-Podcast

Real stories from real districts

DESIGNING EFFECTIVE professional DEVELOPMENT for teachers—on a budget

Tulsa Public Schools has a single strategic priority of creating effective professional development for teachers. These aren’t just one-off PD sessions. This is about changing the way that teachers work in schools.

In this mini-podcast, Tulsa Tales, real school and district leaders tell the story - in three, 10-minute episodes - of this thoughtful approach to professional development for teachers. Listen and then explore the actual tools Tulsa Public Schools used to make it happen. For more examples of districts gaining traction, explore our full Districts at Work series.


Episode 1: Teacher Teaming

Redesigning schools to create great team time for teachers

In this episode, real school and district leaders share details on how Tulsa Public schools helped principals redesign their schools with professional development for teachers and team time in mind. Listen below or on Apple Podcasts.

Episode 2: School Planning

Retooling the school planning process to enable strategic school designs

In this episode, real school and district leaders share details on how Tulsa Public Schools redesigned the school planning process to grow principals' capacity for making more creative and strategic decisions about scheduling, staffing, and school budgets. Listen below or on Apple Podcasts.

Episode 3: Central Office Redesign

Operating the central office as a single team of strategic partners for schools

In this episode, real school and district leaders share details on how central office teams in Tulsa Public Schools used feedback to improve the way they supported schools — shifting from compliance managers to strategic partners. Listen below or on Apple Podcasts.

Tulsa Public Schools: Redesigning Schools for Professional Learning–On a Budget

How Tulsa Public Schools Helped Principals to Support Better Professional Learning for Teachers

The central office in Tulsa Public Schools set out to support principals in implementing job-embedded professional development for teachers. One year later, all pilot schools have increased teachers' collaborative planning time by at least 50 additional minutes per week and have new teacher leadership roles to facilitate this time. This case study opens up the black box to look at how Tulsa Public Schools strategically connected planning to implementation to get their professional learning initiatives to really work for principals and teachers.

Read the Case Study

Tulsa Tools: Tools for Connected Staffing, Scheduling, and Budgeting

Implementing innovative school designs at scale requires tools that are up to the task

During the past two years, Tulsa Public Schools has redesigned its annual school planning process to ensure that school teams have the time, data, tools, and support they need. Making the types of shifts necessary for success has required strong tools for staffing, scheduling, and budgeting. This blog post outlines the four key ways a new, connected suite of planning tools has encouraged strategic resource use and helped the central office transform from compliance monitor to strategic partner.

Check out the Blog


Real Tools from Tulsa Public Schools

Tangible templates and tools that Tulsa Public Schools used to improve professional learning for teachers

These artifacts are organized around the three parts of Tulsa's theory of action:

  1. Support school leaders as they redesign their schools for effective professional learning
  2. Redesign the school planning process and timleine
  3. Provide cross-departmental strategic feedback to schools

Explore the Tools




take action



Listen and rate this mini-podcast.

Get some inspiration for your ears during your morning commute, at your desk, or in the gym. And don't forget to rate the podcast on YouTube and Apple Podcasts.





Share with your networks.

Tell your coworkers, email these "mini-pods" to someone you know who cares about school improvement, or share on social media.

@ERStrategies        @TulsaSchools        #DistrictsAtWork        #TulsaTales



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For more than a decade, ERS has worked with school systems to transform how they use resources. We are ready to partner with your school system or connect you with other service providers. Send us an email at contact@erstrategies.org to talk to us directly.

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Tulsa Tales was produced by Allison Daskal Hausman with sound design by Tina Tobey Mack.

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