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Welcome to Union Public Schools!
Union Public Schools, whose 19 sites are located in portions of SE Tulsa and NW Broken Arrow, dropped slightly in enrollment to 15,960 students, PreK-12, during 2016-2017. The number of business, higher education, foundation, and community partnerships investing in the district’s key areas of emphasis -- Early Childhood Education, Community Schools, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Curriculum, and College/Career Readiness remained constant.
The district slogan, “Together We Make a Difference,” was underscored in 2017-2018 as student engagement continued to soar, and great strides were made toward accomplishing Union’s mission – To Graduate 100 Percent of Our Students College and/or Career Ready. See brochure.
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.
About the District
The eighth largest public school district in Oklahoma, Union has approximately 16,000 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 including the brand new Ellen Ochoa Elementary School; 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 Advanced Placement 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 AdvancED. Its accreditation process, involving parents, teachers and administrators at each site, is considered a model for other school districts.
- In 2016-2017, Union’s enrollment dropped slightly by 46 students. With a 0.3 percent decrease over the previous year, Union served 15,960 students – 7,700 at the elementary level and 8,260 in grades 6-12.
- Districtwide, 7,818 students were female and 8,142 male.
- English Learner (EL) services were provided to 2,643 elementary and 875 secondary students; 44 became English-proficient and exited the program. Our diverse population spoke more than 50 different languages. An estimated 20 percent of Union students were not fluent in English.
- There were 3,218 identified gifted students first through twelfth grade served by a variety of courses and programs.
- 1,118 seniors took the ACT test with an average score of 19.5.
- More than 11.9%, or 1,906 of our students, were enrolled in special education.
- There were more than 1,000 students (grades PreK-7) enrolled in Union’s Extended Day Program, Fall Break Camp, Spring Break Camp, and nine weeks of Summer Camp at Grove Elementary.
- During 2016-2017, Union’s Adult Education Program served 1,680 students with HSE/GED classes and 1,656 in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. The program serves Northeast Oklahoma with HSE/GED classes not only in Tulsa, but also stretching to Skiatook, Claremore, Pryor, Muskogee, Fort Gibson, Langley, and Coweta.
- Union Adult Education partners with many community agencies such as Workforce Tulsa and Community Action Project (CAP) to assist students in meeting their educational and employment goals. Many students go on to earn their high school equivalency (HSE) diploma.
- Our HSE/GED testing facility graduated more than 400 students. The center offers more than 300 different certification tests including, but not limited to, teacher certification, insurance, IT, American College, nursing, personal trainer, financial planning, GED, and HiSET.
Employees Statistics & Achievements
- Union employed 980 teachers, 920 support personnel, and 78 administrators. Of the district’s 78 administrators, 92.3% had a master’s degree or higher. Of the teaching and administrative staff, 38.2% held graduate-level degrees – 389 had master’s degrees, two had specialist degrees, and 15 had doctorates.
- Forty-two teachers held National Board Certification.
- The ethnic diversity among the staff was African-American 6.39%, American Indian 5.22%, Asian 2.91%, Hispanic 10.14%, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.11%, Caucasian and other 75.23%. Six hundred fifteen were male and 2,028 female.
- The district welcomed 113 new teachers for the 2016-2017 school year.
- Taya Oelze, kindergarten at Ellen Ochoa Elementary, was named the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year.
- Truman Honeycutt, mail carrier, was named Support Employee of hte Year in June 2018.
- Director of Athletics Emily Barkley was recognized as a Certified Master Athletic Administrator by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) and was also named Oklahoma Coaches Association (OCA) Regional and State Athletic Director of the Year.
- Dan Newman was named Athletic Trainer of the Year for Oklahoma.
- McAuliffe community schools liaison Emma Thadani wasrecognized by the Greater Tulsa Area Hispanic Affairs Commission as an honoree/scholar for the Tomás Rivera Excellence in Education wards for her outreach work in the Hispanic community. The Commission also recognized English Language (EL) curriculum specialist Mary Casto and EL instructor Anita Gennetay, as well as students Marisol Martinez and Benjamin Peralta.
Student Engagement: Co-Curricular Activities
- High School students have many opportunities for involvement with 51 different clubs and organizations available.
- More than 14,180 Union students were involved in some form of the arts, including 6,922 elementary students who took both art and music classes at their individual school site. At the secondary level (grades 6-12), 1,105 were in band; 224 in dance; 735 in orchestra; 1,483 in vocal music; 1,206 in drama; 491 in speech/ debate; and 2,014 in a wide variety of visual art courses.
- More than 1,600 students (grades 7-12) were involved in Union’s 23 competitive athletics and spirit programs, and participation was more than 2,800 in K-12 in the district’s 167 non-competitive teams and spirit squads.
Union’s proud tradition began with its formation in 1919 when four rural communities – Union, Central, Sunnyside and Alsuma – 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 16,000 in 2017.
Union has experienced significant growth in the past decade. During the 2004-2005 school year, the district recorded total enrollment of 13,969. In 2016-2017, enrollment reached 15,960. 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.
The Child Nutrition Department served 1,752,582 lunches and 1,047,130 breakfasts during the 2016-2017 school year, along with 44,259 supper meals and 813,378 snacks. Summer meals included 13,222 breakfasts and 23,544 lunches. The number of students qualifying for free/reduced lunch has steadily increased over recent years and is currently at 70.24 percent.
The district offered MySchoolBucks®!, an online payment service that provides a quick and easy way to add money to a student’s meal account using a credit/debit card.
More than 10,000 students rode the bus on a regular basis during 2016-2017. The district maintained a fleet of 112 school buses and 90 support vehicles. Our buses traveled 1,073,008 total miles - 955,625 miles on regular routes and 117,383 miles on field trips. Activity buses traveled more than 90,000 miles during the school year.
The district ran 14 after-school routes and 26 shuttles, and eight vehicles traveled 10,518 miles for the McKinney-Vento/Foster Care programs. The district purchased 169,686 gallons of diesel fuel and 44,797 gallons of unleaded fuel for a combined cost of $341,765.
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 new 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 a 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.