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Welcome to Union Public Schools!
Union Public Schools, Independent District #9, Tulsa County, is a premiere Oklahoma school district where "Together We Make a Difference," from early childhood education to college and career readiness, from community schools to expanded avenues for individual student success.
The eighth largest public school district in Oklahoma, Union has approximately 15,500 students, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, residing within a 28-square-mile boundary encompassing both southeast Tulsa and a portion of Broken Arrow. The school system is the heart of the community and serves as a unifying force. It includes an early childhood center for three-year-olds; 13 elementary schools pre-kindergarten through fifth grade; and five secondary schools—a 6th/7th Grade Center, 8th Grade Center, 9th Grade Center, High School (Grades 10-12,) and an Alternative School for grades 9-12.
In addition, Union's Adult Education Learning Center serves northeastern Oklahoma, offering GED classes, English as a Second Language and more.
Parents choose the Union district for its all-around excellence. They take great pride in its wide-ranging, dynamic academic programs; award-winning activities; caring, talented teachers; highly respected elected and administrative leaders; and remarkable facilities. Union is one of the leading districts in Oklahoma in the number of teachers earning National Board Certification and in number of Presidential Math and Science Award recipients.
Union’s Community Schools—elementary schools complete with health clinics and services from community agencies—serve as a model to other districts nationwide. They increase academic success by forming community partnerships to provide extra supports such as early care, health and social services, out-of-school activities, family/community engagement, neighborhood development, and lifelong learning.
In addition to challenging Pre-Advanced Placement (AP) classes, Union offers a variety of AP classes which allow students to earn college credit while learning about a subject in depth. In partnership with Tulsa Community College (TCC), Union was one of the first to pilot a unique concurrent enrollment program at the Union Collegiate Academy (UCA) on its High School campus, enabling qualifying students to earn both high school and college credits at the same time – virtually tuition free! It has not been unusual for some to graduate with both a high school diploma and enough credits for an associate degree.
UCA provides students a challenging college-like experience with TCC instructors, tiered lecture halls, advanced science labs, student lounges, and specialty food shops, along with a safety net of high school staff members there to ensure their success. Counselors in the UCA’s College and Career Center help students and their parents complete college entrance, financial aid, and scholarship applications or bank college credit through Tulsa Technology Center. Students love the UCA’s online courses – Union Virtual Learning Academy –because of the flexibility they provide and because teachers are always there to assist.
The Union community provides whatever it takes to ensure all students graduate college/career ready. Successful bond issues have funded state-of-the-art tools to enhance reading, language, math, science, and writing skills at every grade level. Art, music, and physical education enrich the traditional curriculum. Professionals in remedial reading, speech therapy, and special education are assigned to the schools along with library media specialists, nurses, and counselors. Courses for gifted students are offered at all levels, as are programs for English Language Learners.
Union is accredited by the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the North Central Accreditation Association. Its accreditation process, involving parents, teachers and administrators at each site, is considered a model for other school districts.
Mission - See Strategic Plan
Our mission is to graduate 100 percent of our students,
college and/or career ready.
The following core values serve to guide our strategic
focus and actions in accomplishing our mission:
- Commitment to Excellence –Pursue the highest measure of quality in all that we do.
- Collegiality - Demonstrate respect and an ability to work as team members.
- Honesty, Integrity, Transparency – Do what’s right and above board.
- Innovation – Embrace new, effective thinking and programs.
- Inclusiveness – Cultivate an organizational culture of accepting children, families, and employees for who they are rather than categorizing them by income, ethnicity, or ability.
- Empowerment – Help people reach their full potential.
- Accountability – Accept responsibility for achieving results.
- Thoughtful Planning – Use data and district values in planning and decision making.
These strategic goals in the following focus areas provide guidance for leadership, policy decisions, and development of initiatives, programs, and strategies to achieve our mission.
-Ensure that all students – through greater personalization -- have access to a high-quality instructional and educational environment that prepares them for college or a career.
- Enhance the communication, advocacy, and engagement with our students and families.
- Close achievement gaps for all learners.
- Differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all students.
- Promote ongoing professional learning for teachers and leaders.
- Successfully implement the TLE Evaluation System and Oklahoma Academic Standards.
- Use multiple measures for student success.
- Expand partnerships to enhance learning opportunities for student success and for greater human and organizational capital.
- Promote greater awareness and engagement among school stakeholders to enhance support and funding for public education.
- - Establish business and alumni partnerships in order to garner and sustain continued support for Union Public Schools.
- Human Capital
- Recruit, develop, retain, and support caring, motivated, innovative professional faculty and staff.
- Ensure the operating and capital budgets reflect our priorities as well as areas of focus and need.
- Promote operational safety and high-quality infrastructure to ensure effective and efficient learning and working environments.
- Maintain a technology system that promotes teaching/learning and efficiency within the operational functions of the organization.
- Foster an atmosphere of respect and effective communication.
- Promote a commitment to equity and excellence.
- Maintain a caring, professional, and ethical organization.
- Maintain a safe and secure teaching and learning environment.
In order to fulfill our mission of graduating 100 percent of our students college and career ready, Union focuses on four main areas: Early Childhood Education, Community Schools, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), and the Union Collegiate Academy Experience.
In 2013-2014, Union grew by 227 students. With a 1.5 percent increase over the previous year, Union served 15,526 students – 7,575 at the elementary level and 7,951 in grades 6-12.
In terms of racial origin, 5.5 percent were Native American, 14.8 percent were African-American, 7.7 percent were multi-racial, 0.1 percent were Pacific Islander/Hawaiian, 7.0 percent were Asian, 64.9 percent were Caucasian; and 27.8 percent were of Hispanic ethnicity.
There were 300 three-year-olds at the Rosa Parks Early Childhood Education Center, and 763 four-year-olds enrolled in Pre-K classes districtwide.
During summer school, 1,649 elementary students received remediation or enrichment.
There were 3,204 identified gifted students first through twelfth grade served by a variety of courses and programs.
Ten percent, or 1,599 of our students, were enrolled in special education.
More than 3,200 were served through Adult Basic Education.
English Language Learner (ELL) services were provided to 2,112 elementary and 671 secondary students; 496 became English-proficient and exited out of the program. Our diverse population speaks more than 50 different languages.
There were more than 1,000 students (grades PreK-7) enrolled in Union’s Extended Day Program. The EDP Summer Camp was held at Grove Elementary offering weekly themes over a nine-week period.
More than 13,880 Union students were involved in some form of the arts, including 7,575 elementary students who took both art and music classes. At the secondary level (grades 6-12), 1,005 were in band; 607 in orchestra; 1,302 in vocal music; 1,222 in drama; 99 in competitive speech/debate; and 1,701 in a wide variety of visual arts disciplines.
More than 2,400 students in grades K-12 participated in Union’s non-competitive sports and spirit programs. Approximately 1,600 were involved in its 23 competitive sports teams and spirit squads grades 7-12. District athletic participation in grades 7-12 totaled 1,638; 667 girls and 971 boys.
Of the district’s 2013-14 seniors, 39% planned to further their education at four-year colleges or universities, 41% at two-year schools, 4% planned on attending technical schools, 3% opted for the military, 4% said they would enter the work force, and 9% were undecided.
College classes, which also count toward graduation, were offered at the UCA for only $12.75 through the Tulsa Community College (TCC) EXCELerate program. In the past four years of Union’s TCC partnership, high school students have earned a total of 6,624 hours of college credit, with an estimated savings to Union families of more than $3,000,000.
The district offered 22 Advanced Placement (AP) courses, and 573 students took 1,090 AP exams, with 55% passing.
More than 400 seniors qualified to receive the Tulsa Achieves scholarship through Tulsa Community College, and more than 190 were eligible to receive Oklahoma’s Promise scholarships. Seventy-nine percent of the seniors took the ACT, and their average score was 21.7%.
Each year, the district has an impressive number of National Merit Scholars, and its graduating classes receive millions of dollars in scholarship offers to colleges and universities throughout the country.
Union employed 81 administrators – 57 certified and 14 non-certified – and 975 certified teachers. Support staff members accounted for another 855 positions, both full time and part time. The ethnic diversity among the staff was African-American 5.24%; American Indian 6.40%, Asian 1.9%, Hispanic 9.84%, Caucasian and other 77.62%; 399 were male and 1,491 female.
At the end of 2013-2014, Union had 83 National Board Certified teachers, and 37.4% of district teaching and administrative staff held graduate-level degrees – 318 had master’s degrees and 15 had doctorates.
Union’s proud tradition began with its formation in 1919 when four rural communities – Alsuma, Boles, Mayo and McCollough – consolidated. There were only four students in its first graduating class. Union’s original borders were much broader, extending as far northwest as 21st Street and South Yale. Those portions, however, were annexed by the Tulsa Public School District in the 1950s, making Union’s current northwest border 31st and Mingo Road.
Enrollment gradually increased and new programs were added. Then, Tulsa’s development rapidly spread toward the southeast, leading to new office and home construction and a burst of growth for Union. In 1968, there were 800 students in the entire district. In 1995, that number grew to 11,500 and to about 15,500 in 2014.
Union has experienced significant growth in the past decade. During the 2004-2005 school year, the district recorded total enrollment of 13,969. In 2013-2014, enrollment reached 15,526. Administration projects enrollment in the 2014-2015 school year to reach approximately 15,826 students with the continuation of the four-year old program at every elementary site and the three-year-old program together serving approximately 1,057 students. See Statistics and Annual Reports for a breakdown on specifics.
Parent and Community Involvement
Union is part of a community that consistently supports the school system. More than 2,000 volunteers from throughout the community work in its schools.
The Parent Teacher Association is active in all the schools and works with Union to provide equipment and scholarships for students and supplies for teachers. The Union Schools Education Foundation, which was established in 1991, raises and distributes funds to teachers for classroom-based projects. In addition, a number of parents are active in booster clubs for athletics and spirit programs, as well as band, music and drama.
A community partnership with the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in Tulsa has allowed Union to open three health clinics - an employee clinic and school-based clinics at Rosa Parks and Roy Clark Elementary Schools. The clinics provide preventative health care, physical exams, immunizations and same-day treatment for a host of common ailments and typical childhood illnesses. Students and their families are eligible for care, whether they have insurance or not. For those who are uninsured, the services are free. The clinics have helped to curb absenteeism, promote good health, and encourage good grades.
The Community Action Project partners with Union to provide the program for three year-olds, while the Community Service Council, the City/County Health Department and a number of organizations such as the YMCA and Boy Scouts of America team with the district to offer a variety of services and programs.
Union was picked as the fourth best school nutrition program in the country in 2015. During the 2013-2014 school year, the Child Nutrition Department served an average of 9,200 lunches, 4,900 breakfasts, and 1,800 snacks each day. District participation increased by 4.5% for lunches and 10% for breakfast. The district spends approximately $4 million for food each year including Farm-to-School produce. Of the 183 child nutrition employees, 42 are Serve-Safe certified and Culinary Arts trained.
Six Union elementary schools participate in the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, sampling such delicacies as dragon fruit, gold kiwi, pluots, and apriums. With a $185,000 USDA grant, the program addresses rising obesity rates, an overabundance of highly-processed foods, and the lack of availability/high costs of fresh produce. Child Nutrition also supports the Oklahoma economy and agriculture by purchasing as much local produce as possible.
Child Nutrition also supported Oklahoma economy and agriculture by purchasing as much local produce as possible from a farm in Stratford, Oklahoma—Peach Crest Farms, and tomatoes from a Broken Arrow company, Eden Veggies. The farm-fresh vegetables and whole-wheat pizza crusts made from Oklahoma wheat were popular with Union students Pre-K through 12.
More than 10,000 students rode the bus on a regular basis during 2013-2014. The district maintains a fleet of 95 school buses and 86 support vehicles. There are 48 shuttle routes and 24 after-school routes. Seventy buses run daily routes traveling approximately 2,200 miles per day on average. Activity buses made 1,342 trips during the school year.
The district maintains more than 2.8 million square feet of facilities. A strong corporate tax base and patrons who consistently pass bond issues have helped Union to build spacious, well-equipped facilities including the Performing Arts Center in the High School. The Union Multipurpose Activity Center, 6836 S. Mingo Road, is a state-of-the art building which houses the 6,000-seat John Q. Hammons Arena, fine arts and athletic offices, classrooms, a Wellness and Sports Medicine Center, and the U-Wear Spirit Store. The UMAC also hosts a number of community events and even college-level games.
Other outstanding facilities include Union-Tuttle Stadium at the High School, a soccer complex at the 8th Grade, a 3-meter swimming pool with a seating capacity of 400 at the 6th/7th Grade Center. A modern baseball/softball complex and new tennis court at the 9th Grade Center.
The Operations buildings house transportation, maintenance, warehouse and grounds crew behind the Union Alternative School. Union also maintains Central Park at Union at 62nd and Mingo, a practice field at 61st and Mingo.