The Science of Hope
Union Public Schools believes in the importance of being proactive in our efforts – providing counseling and guidance to address the social, emotional, and academic needs of our students.
Union is becoming a Hope-centered district using the Science of Hope. Hope will be the lens we look through for all we do in the Hope-Guidance-SEL Department.
Union teachers continue to do amazing work in providing dynamic learning experiences for our students. “It is now time for us to articulate a tiered approach to addressing unwanted student behaviors and student trauma – at all grade levels – while also fostering greater hope and confidence in our students’ lives,” Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler said. “The idea is that we will be more proactive in our efforts, providing counseling and guidance to address the social, emotional, and academic needs of our students. I firmly believe this will make a positive difference in our students’ lives and in the learning culture of our buildings.”
The Union Public Schools Comprehensive Counseling Program forms strong collaborative relationships to deliver Hope-centered, data-informed, inclusive, and equitable services that foster the academic, social/emotional, and college/career readiness of every student. In a safe and supportive learning environment, students become self-empowered, empathic leaders, working independently and interdependently, to pursue pathways toward overall wellbeing. Together, students, families, school counselors, staff, teachers, administrators, and community partners, work to achieve the goal of 100 percent graduation, college and career ready.
Union Public Schools is committed to partnering with Dr. Chan Hellman (pictured below) to become a hope-centered school district. It is our belief that integrating the tenets of hope (goals, pathways, and agency) will advance Union’s strategic core components of literacy, cognitive capacity, engagement, and social-emotional learning. The “Science of Hope” provides the framework to create a positive learning environment where every child can successfully pursue their goals and well-being. View his biography.
Scott Pennington, former principal, has been asked to lead a new department within Teaching and Learning entitled Hope – Guidance – Social and Emotional Learning, as part of the district’s five-year district strategic plan. One of the elements of this plan is Union’s Learning Model that focuses on literacy, cognitive capacity, engagement, and social and emotional learning.
As we continuously evaluate our data, and hear from teachers and our site leaders, there continues to be a dominant narrative that more must be done to address the social and emotional development of our students.
Pennington’s work as a special education teacher, assistant principal, and principal make him uniquely qualified to lead in this new position.He will work with Jessica Hogaboom, district SEL counselor, to implement this new program and provide guidance for the district.
What Is Social-Emotional Learning?
Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process of developing the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work, and life success. Learn more.
People with strong social-emotional skills are better able to cope with everyday challenges and benefit academically, professionally, and socially. From effective problem-solving to self-discipline, from impulse control to emotion management and more, SEL provides a foundation for positive, long-term effects on kids, adults, and communities.
Children thrive. Schools win. Workplaces benefit. Society strengthens. All due to social-emotional learning.
Virtual Calming Room
The Virtual Calming Room is a social and emotional library for Union students, families, and employees to help regulate emotions and feelings. It contains links to everything from visual relaxation, creative and imaginative activities, quick meditations, live animal cameras around the world, SEL books and more. It also has a compiled list of applicable community resources and Union resources. Visit the Virtual Calming Room
Only the most recent newsletters will be posted here in English/Spanish.
Meet Jessica Hogaboom
Jessica Hogaboom is the new District SEL Counselor for Union Public Schools. She will assist Scott Pennington, director of Hope-Guidance-Social and Emotional Learning, in launching this program. In addition to overseeing logistal details as needed, she oversees the creation and maintenance of the new virtual calming room.
She received her bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology from the University of Oklahoma. She also holds two master's degrees in counseling and teaching, learning, leadership from Oklahoma State University.
Director of Hope-Guidance-Social and Emotional Learning / Biography
District Lead Counselor