Teaching and Learning
There were 150 3-and 4-year-old students, who participated in programs at the Rosa Parks Early Childhood Education Center. District wide, 650 four-year-olds enrolled in pre-kindergarten classes.
The Kreuger Book Program at the Tulsa City-County Library provided Pre-K students with new age-appropriate books each month so they can create their own personal libraries at home. During the 2020-2021 school year, 4,239 books were distributed to Pre-K students at Boevers, Clark, Grove, Jarman, Jefferson, McAuliffe, Ochoa, and Rosa Parks elementary schools.
Union Public Schools launched a new Intro to Construction class at the Freshman Academy with help from the Home Builders Association, Hardesty Family Foundation, and Hilti. in 2023, Union launched a brand aeronautics program.
McAuliffe Elementary has been recertified as a Leader in Me School by the Franklin Covey Education Team. Lighthouse recertification is achieved only when a school shows sustainable evidence of growth and innovation within the Leader in Me Framework. As it is a significant benchmark, applying for this certification typically occurs four to five years after a school begins the process. The certification is evidence that schools have produced outstanding results in school and student outcomes by implementing the process with fidelity and excellence. It is also because of the extraordinary impact the schools are having on staff, students, parents, and the greater community.
Union’s Community Schools philosophy seeks to equalize the playing field for students and families by removing barriers to learning and by providing access to basic needs and layered supports.
During the 2020-2021 school year, Union partnered with more than 60 community organizations to support our students and families. Community School liaisons coordinate a range of comprehensive support for students and families from infancy through adulthood. Schools serve as hubs for programming that includes expanded learning opportunities, early childhood programs, family engagement, and a variety of social services and supports.
Offering these opportunities at the school creates an environment where students and families feel safe, supported, and engaged. This system of support also helps alleviate challenges associated with poverty and trauma while helping improve academic outcomes for students and supporting their social and emotional development. Ultimately, these efforts will help Union achieve its mission of “100% Graduation, College and Career-Ready.”
Five Union schools received grants from the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and Flight Night for special programming, and eight schools received funding for a virtual STEM series offered through the Tulsa Children’s Museum. The grants total $21,736 for Community Schools programming needs.
One critical component of the Community Schools strategy is offering students a wide range of expanded learning opportunities at the school site. How children spend their time outside of school matters just as much as how they spend their time in school. Union’s afterschool programs promote the development of 21st Century Skills and the opportunity to build relationships with caring peers and adults, who become part of the student’s support system. In doing so, we prepare students to be successful in their education and in their future careers. This goal is closely aligned with the district’s mission.
During the 2020-2021 school year:
- 741 students participated in virtual and in-person afterschool programs at Boevers, Clark, Grove, Jarman, Jefferson, McAuliffe, Ochoa, and Rosa Parks elementary schools
- 103 students participated in Summer Enrichment Camps
- 1,016 total hours of enrichment and academic opportunities were offered to students in afterschool programs, including: 33 STEM programs; 23 academic and tutoring programs; 14 health and wellness programs; 23 youth development/leadership programs; and 9 fine arts programs. All of students participated at no cost.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Curriculum
All 13 of Union’s elementary schools were recognized as Project Lead the Way’s Distinguished School Launch Program for 2019-2020.
Robotics continues to grow at Union, beginning with several FIRST Lego League groups at the elementary level. The Bazinga Project and Project Agnizab for grades 8-12 are aimed primarily at middle school students, creating our FIRST Tech Challenge robotics team. Both compete to solve real-world problems using STEM and problem-solving skills, learning to work together as a team. UBotics, Union’s High School Robotics Team for grades 9-12, come together to design, program, and build a robot that meets specific criteria to accomplish tasks in FIRST Robotics Competitions.
907 students graduated in the Class of 2021.
Union High School seniors Shrea Tyagi and Anna Hemm were named 2021 Academic All-State Students by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.
For the ninth consecutive year, Union Public Schools has been recognized by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education as the Oklahoma’s Promise 2020 State 6A Champion for having 167 seniors from the class of 2020 qualify for the Oklahoma’s Promise Scholarship.
Twelve seniors were named 2020-2021 National Merit Finalists and five won National Merit Scholarships. Two more were recognized as Commended Students as part of the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program.
Since its inception in 2014, Union Career Connect has garnered 950 nationally recognized certifications for 370 students in fields including, Manufacturing, Information Technology, Culinary, Early Childhood Education, Law Enforcement, and Construction.
Twenty-four Advanced Placement courses were provided, and 319 students took a total of 584 exams. Two hundred thirteen students (67 percent) earned a score of “3” or higher. Eighty-four students received AP Scholars recognition, with an average score of 3.64. Of the 84 scholars, 33 students earned National AP Scholar with Distinction recognition with an average test score of 4.20 on five o more exams.
Students attending college classes offered at the Union Collegiate Academy (UCA) through a dual credit partnership with Tulsa Community College have earned 20,493 credits since the program began in 2010.
The EDGE (Earn a Degree, Graduate Early) program, one of the first “early college” programs in Oklahoma – in partnership with Tulsa Community College – has 175 students enrolled. There are 31 seniors who have earned at least 36 hours of college credit, 45 juniors who have earned at least 9 hours of college credit, 47 sophomores who are working on their first 6 hours of college credit, and 62 freshmen who are learning what it takes to be a college student in high school. Each student enrolled in EDGE can earn an associate degree by the time he/she graduates from high school.
Union had its first graduates under the EDGE (Earn a Degree, Graduate Early) program. EDGE, a pilot program launched in 2018 in partnership with Tulsa Community College, enables high school students to earn an associate degree at no cost to the student while they earn their high school diploma.
For the 2020-21 School Year, Union Virtual recorded a large increase in participation due to safety concerns due to the pandemic. Union expanded its pilot program to all grade levels and experienced an enrollment of 3,500 students at its peak. Utilizing our own teachers, Union served secondary students through the Edgenuity program, with some courses on Canvas that were created by Union teachers. Elementary, also utilizing Union teaching staff, served virtual students through both the Seesaw online program and live Zoom video sessions.