Operations Is The Backbone Of Union Public Schools
From transportation to Child Nutrition workers, support personnel are an essential ingredient to the success of Union Public Schools. See Support Services for more information.
More than 7,600 students rode the bus on a regular basis during the 2020-21 school year. Union’s buses completed 346 routes per day, transporting students to and from school. Transportation maintained a fleet of 118 school buses and 94 support vehicles. The district ran 727 trips, 12 Tulsa Tech daily shuttles and two vehicles dedicated to the McKinney-Vento/Foster Care programs.
The district purchased 139,027 gallons of diesel fuel and 41,496 gallons of unleaded fuel for a combined cost of $305,581.
The Child Nutrition Department served 884,247 breakfasts, 1,282,602 lunches, and 531,647 supper meals during the 2020-21 school year. Child Nutrition provided free breakfast, lunch, and supper for all students, averaging about 5,700 breakfasts, 9,800 lunches, and 900 supper meals per day.
The Child Nutrition department trained about 170 employees in culinary arts and safe food handling, has four chefs, and four dietitians. The number of students qualifying for free/reduced lunch has steadily increased over recent years and is currently at 67 percent.
The district purchased fresh vegetables and fruits and local grass-fed beef from six local farms. These local products have been served on the menus every day in August and September, and Union will continue to offer local products each month. Child Nutrition purchases have enabled farmers to increase their revenue, continue farming, and hire additional farm help.
Eight elementary schools participated in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant, which provided fresh produce for snacks every day in the classroom.
The district’s two nutrition educators developed seven nutrition videos called “Food for U” that are used in classrooms and in the homes of virtual learners. These videos are very interactive, and provide interesting history, science, math, geography, and cooking connections with foods. Union High School and elementary students participated in these videos. Union Dietitians also developed video lessons on a new nutrition field called nutritional psychiatry, which will be utilized by teachers to help students understand the importance of nutrition on emotions and feelings and will bolster Union’s efforts in the areas of Hope and Social/Emotional learning. The new program is called Food Mood Connection, and was introduced at the Union 6th/7th Grade Center, and eventually will be offered in all schools.
Seventeen Union schools are participating in the afterschool supper meal program. The program reduces hunger among students who otherwise might not get a good, healthy afternoon meal and encourages participation in afterschool programs that tend to drive class attendance and performance.
The Grounds Division employs 12 full-time groundsmen, one small-engine mechanic, and one district grounds coordinator. The Grounds Division maintains over 450 acres of land. During peak mowing season, each groundsman is responsible for maintaining over 40 acres of land. The grounds division is responsible for mowing, edging, blowing, fertilizing, and treating all district grass and naturally surfaced athletic fields. All landscaping design and maintenance is handled in-house. This includes all district flowerbeds and trees. Grounds is also responsible for the laydown and removal of large event set-ups across the district, including the portable basketball floor at the UMAC.
- Inspecting and maintaining all playground equipment across the district.
- Plowing, clearing, and sanding the entire district during severe winter weather events. This past year was particularly challenging with two major winter storms.
- Resealing and repairing smaller sections of our asphalt parking lots in-house. This increases the longevity of the lot and reduces the cost of resurfacing.
- Providing signage and painting for all district parking lots and bus loops across the district.
- Assisting with painting, plumbing, and power-washing projects across the district.
Major projects included pouring the large concrete slab for the Alternative School's trash area, two major water leaks at Union Central Park and baseball, erosion and roof drain repair at Rosa Parks Elementary, interior painting of the Adult Learning Center, concrete repairs, and improvements across the district.
The Maintenance Division employs 11 skilled tradesmen, 23 building engineers, and one district maintenance coordinator. Union’s tradesmen include five HVAC technicians, two electricians, one plumber, one kitchen technician, one carpenter, and one locksmith. Our 23 building engineers are responsible for maintaining the mechanical systems of their respective sites.
They also are responsible for minor repairs. In addition:
- Maintenance staff closes nearly 10,000 repair and preventative maintenance work orders every year.
- Larger projects include UMAC electrical upgrades, HVAC unit replacements, major water leak repairs, shelving fabrication,
- small roof replacements, and repairs.
- Cooling tower water meters were installed at Union High School, the Eighth Grade Center, and Union Freshman Academy campuses to help monitor and reduce our district water and sewer costs.
- HVAC technicians and electricians worked diligently to reduce energy consumption during PSO peak events, resulting in tens of thousands of dollars returned to the district in the way of rebates.
- Implementing a building engineer training and license test preparation program has been a goal for the division. The goal of the program is to prepare future building engineer candidates from the ranks of our custodial and grounds staff, as well as to ensure all building engineers obtain a minimum 3rd class stationary engineers license.
• Closed 9,476 work orders from September 2020 to June 2021
• Replaced 1,200 expiring student laptops
• Replaced 1/3 of all teacher laptops
• Purchased and deployed a backup/disaster recovery system
• Purchased and configured 350 new teacher laptops
• Held the 8th Annual TASTS conference, a free Educational Technology symposium for vendors and participants. Traditionally, the event brings together almost 100 vendors and more than 300 participants
• Held first Oklahoma eSports League (OeSL) playoffs at the UMAC
• Sold 1,170 devices to the public at the surplus sale
• Replaced nearly 250 Interactive Panels
• Replaced all secretary/receptionist computers
• Replaced building engineer computers and those in the custodial staff breakroom