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Board Report - December 13


Posted Date: 12/15/2021

Board Report - December 13

Board Reports

Union Adopts Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy

Citing increasing diversity among the student body, Union Public Schools’ Board of Education unanimously adopted a new district-wide diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policy Monday night.

As approved, the new policy states that the district appreciates diversity of thought, values, perspectives and personhood and is “committed to procedures intended to support a diverse and equitable school community in an inclusive manner.”

Dr. Kirt HartzlerWhile presenting it to the school board Monday night, Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler said the new policy is not an attempt to subvert state laws or introduce critical race theory into the classroom but is instead an affirmation of the district’s core values.

“This is a policy that I have supported ever since it was first proposed to me,” said Hartzler. “Our district has changed dramatically, and I love the changes. Our diversity is a treasure that money cannot buy, and we are changing our culture to better serve our students, staff and community. At Union, we have over 60 different languages represented at our district. This new policy is an affirmation of our values. As we’ve said many times, we respect people for who they are, not what they are.” 

He acknowledged the work of the new DEI committee chaired by James Cooper, assistant principal (10th grade) at Union High School and Dr. Todd Nelson, Senior Executive Director of Research, Design and Assessment.

“I am very proud of this policy and I’m proud of those who served on this committee,” said Hartzler. “I think you took a very bold and creative step in moving forward with this policy recommendation.”

Union Approves Capacity Levels for Out-of-District Transfers

Union’s board approved the capacity levels by school and grade level for out-of-district transfers as required under Senate Bill 783. Under the new state law, school districts must set their capacity for out-of-district transfers by Jan. 1 and publish quarterly updates as to how many open seats are available under that capacity policy.

Under its new transfer policy, students who are already attending Union and move outside of the district’s boundaries will be given priority consideration since they have already been included in the student count. However, they will still have to apply for a transfer and provide their own transportation.

Todd Nelson, Unionundefineds senior executive director of research, design and assessment,Todd Nelson, Union’s senior executive director of research, design and assessment, said the district leadership met with individual site principals to determine how much space they have for additional students, with current staffing levels and continuing in-district enrollment growth taken into consideration.

Districtwide, the capacity levels are set at 20 students per classroom for prekindergarten, kindergarten, and first, second and third grades; 23 students per classroom in third and fourth grades; 22 for each core subject in sixth grade; and an average of 27 students per core classroom in seventh grade and up.

With those figures, as of Monday night, Union is at capacity district-wide for prekindergarten, kindergarten, sixth, eighth and ninth grades.

“Where we’re already stressed, we are not going to accept transfers,” Nelson said, noting that the majority of the district’s campuses are already at or near capacity.

The capacity levels are not the same as maximum class size limits, Nelson said. “They are, rather, numbers that are used to determine the amount of space available in a classroom to allow for transfer students while still leaving room for additional students who move into the district.  The calculations are based on current class sizes with existing staff members for general education classes and do not reflect counts of all special programs, certain English Learner classes, and certain special education classes.”

Capacity levels will be available on the district’s website, www.unionps.org, no later than Jan. 1, 2022.

Board Members Approve Revisions to Board Policy

In addition to adopting the new DEI and Student Transfer policies, the Board of Education on second reading Monday, Dec. 13, approved various other board policy revisions.

The Board first considered approval during first reading on November 8. In that time, administrators had made further revisions to the following policies: 1005 – Booster Club PTA Sanctioning, 1840 – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, 5500 Student Transfers, and 5450 – Student Residency. Use the same link below to see the latest revisions. Changes in Board policies may be viewed here.

Board Approves 2022 Meeting Dates

The Board unanimously approved its calendar of meeting dates for 2022, which is generally the second Monday of each month. The Board will meet at 7 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, January 18, 2022 (*MLK Holiday – Monday, January 17, 2022)
  • Monday, February 14, 2022
  • Monday, March 7, 2022 (*1st Monday due to 2nd Monday during Spring Break)
  • Monday, April 11, 2022
  • Monday, May 9, 2022
  • Monday, June 13, 2022
  • Monday, July 11, 2022
  • Monday, August 8, 2022
  • Monday, September 12, 2022
  • Monday, October 10, 2022
  • Monday, November 14, 2022
  • Monday, December 12, 2022

Board Members Approve the 2020-21 Audit Report and Appoint Committee

The Board of Education approved the 2021-2022 Early Retirement Incentive program for certified employees, which will help the district save more than $224,572. Whereas the ERI program is designed for savings over a two-year period, the cost to fund the 2020-2021 program for certified personnel is $375,326. As of this writing, 14 teachers, four support employees and three administrators have signed up for the incentive.

In other action, the Board:

  • Accepted the 2020-2021 annual audit report by RSM US, LLP.
  • Approved the members asked to serve on the Long-Range Planning Committee. The Long-Range Planning Committee is a longstanding Board of Education appointed committee that determines the growth and capital improvement needs of the district. Members are


Zone 1

  • Kelley Blakney
  • Kenneth Edmonds
  • Simon Lee

Zone 2

  • Ron Comeau
  • Katie Geier
  • Mike Fields

Zone 3

  • Susan Ragina
  • Ann White
  • Kristina Varney

Zone 4

  • Michelle Jones
  • Devin Jarrett
  • Wesley Woodward

Zone 5

  • Ken Daily
  • Brian Huddleston
  • Kay McMullen

Other members:

  • Ken Kinnear
  • Joey Reyes
  • Dr. Kirt Hartzler
  • John Federline
  • Charlie Bushyhead
  • Deena Churchill
  • Mike Hall

 

 

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Union Public Schools
8506 E. 61st Street
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133
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Phone: 918-357-4321

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