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Message from the Superintendent: Bond Update


Posted Date: 03/02/2021

Message from the Superintendent: Bond Update

Dear Union Patrons:  

Dr. Kirt HartzlerWhen historians look back at 2020, it’s likely they will say, “That’s the year when everything changed.” Fortunately, Union had the foresight to invest in a five-year bond campaign in 2018, which positioned us well to weather unexpected storms.  See our special 2021 Bond Report

Union Public SchoolsWhat an unpredictable year 2020 has been!  While “pivoting” seems to be the verb of the year, 2020 has expanded our vocabulary with new terms like social distancing, contact tracing, and herd immunity.  There have been a few disappointments, but there has also been joy, laughter and a few tears.  Our theme for this year’s Teacher Kick-Off was “Press On,” and Union students, teachers, families and staff embraced it. I am thankful for their strength, fortitude and optimism. We take joy where we find it, even if it means celebrating graduation virtually, or doing so against the backdrop of a stadium that’s been half torn down.
 
Some things I’ve been proud of this year:

  • Thanks to the investments we made in the 1-to-1 initiative (“one device for every child”), we were well prepared for distance learning. The distribution of hundreds of laptops and iPads was a monumental undertaking. Somehow, we managed to fully implement 1-to-1 four years earlier than expected due to strong bond planning and our district’s ingenuity. 
  • One year after the launch of Union Virtual, 35 percent of students across the district – more than 5,000 – chose virtual instruction. This enabled us to provide better social distancing for those who elected to take in-person learning in Fall 2020. 
  • The smashing success of STEM Expo 2020 and the grand opening of the Union Innovation Lab. 
  • Our Child Nutrition Department’s free meal distribution, serving over 950,800 meals from the end of Spring Break through August. 
  • The signing of the stadium’s steel I-beam by seniors of the Class of 2021. We embraced the opportunity to give them something extra when it seems like so many things have been taken away. 

I hope you enjoy this progress report covering Year 3 of our five-year bond. Despite the many challenges right now, there are so many exciting things to come. Thankfully, we have bold leadership at the board level and a supportive community that is deeply invested in our work. Your approval in 2018 of a $128.6 million multi-year bond has put us on track to effect improvements that will carry us through 2022. 

Please enjoy this progress report of the work done this year and the many positive changes just around the corner. Until then, keep PRESSING ON!  

Sincerely,
Kirt Hartzler, Ed.D., Superintendent

Download a PDF of The Communicator – 2021 Special Bond Edition

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8506 E. 61st Street
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133
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