Union Public Schools

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Union Public Schools
Type and location
TypePublic, Independent
GradesPK - 12
Established1919
CountryUnited States
Location8506 East 61st Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133
District Info
SuperintendentDr. Cathy Burden
Budget$86,013,694
Students and staff
Students14,658
Staff894
Other information
Information918-357-4321
Websitewww.unionps.org
 
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Union Public Schools
Type and location
TypePublic, Independent
GradesPK - 12
Established1919
CountryUnited States
Location8506 East 61st Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133
District Info
SuperintendentDr. Cathy Burden
Budget$86,013,694
Students and staff
Students14,658
Staff894
Other information
Information918-357-4321
Websitewww.unionps.org

Union Public Schools is a public school district located in southeast Tulsa, and northwest Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The school district is the eleventh largest in Oklahoma. Union is notable among school districts in the area because Union does not encompass a particular city. Instead, many of its patrons believe Union is unifying organization within the community, providing activities for its families, a sense of pride, support and identity for its patrons.[1]

Because of a supportive community, Union Public Schools has been able to provide their students with advanced, instructional technology in order to enhance reading, language, math, science, music, and writing skills. Each school has the privilege of having media specialists, nurses, counselors, gifted programs, and special needs programs.

Union Public Schools observes a nine-month calendar school year, beginning in mid-August and ending in May. However, the school offers a number of summer programs including traditional summer school classes, driver's education, enrichment classes, and adult education classes. In addition, the district offers an Extended Day Program which provides adult-supervised care for elementary students before and after school, on certain holidays or when the school is closed for profesional development days as well as during the summer.[2] Union Public Schools offers a gamut of courses in their secondary curriculum to accommodate both college-bound and non-college-bound students. Options among these courses are Advanced Placement (AP), and concurrent enrollment. These options enable students to earn college credit while fulfilling high school requirements. Students interested in careers or courses in vocational areas are transported to the one of the Tulsa Technology Center campuses for the curriculum they desire.

In 2009, Union implemented a new program called the Union Collegiate Academy, in which selected seniors may participate in classes led by instructors from area colleges - including OU-Tulsa, OSU-Tulsa, Tulsa Community College, Northeastern State University, Tulsa Technology Center, University of Tulsa, and Oral Roberts University. The class addresses a myriad of topics such as college selection and scholarship research, project-based learning, professional dress and etiquette, and public relations and leadership skills introducing students to different academic disciplines.[3]

The district also a community education program which serves as the “umbrella” for a variety of programs offered in the Green Country area including Tulsa, Broken Arrow and Muskogee. These programs include adult classes funded by the Oklahoma State Department of Education and community programs for both adults and children. Some programs are offered at no cost, others at a nominal fee.

Union also offers a host of parent organizations and the Union Public Schools Education Foundation which funds innovative teaching projects to reward and reinforce excellence. Its Board of Education consists of five members elected by district zones for five-year terms.

Contents

History

Union began with its formation in 1919 when four rural communities – Alsuma, Boles, Mayo and McCollough – consolidated.[4] The school's first graduating class consisted of just four students, and all classes (K-12) were housed in a two-story brick building.[citation needed] Beginning in the 1980s, Tulsa's residential and commercial population boomed, and its population grew with it. Today, Union Public Schools serves more than 14,600 students in its 19 schools, including an Early Childhood Center. All 19 schools have State Department of Education and North Central Association accreditation.[4]

Schools

Union Public Schools comprises 19 schools.

Elementary schools

Union Public Schools has 13 elementary school sites and one Early Childhood Center, which serves 3-year-old students:

Secondary schools

Union Public Schools has five secondary schools, including an alternative school:

Adult and Community Education

Community Education serves as the “umbrella” for a variety of programs offered to the community by the Union Public School District. These programs include adult classes around Northeastern Oklahoma funded by the State Department of Education and community programs for both adults and children. Some programs are offered at no cost, others at a nominal fee.[6]

-Adult Basic Education (ABE)-

GED Preparation classes are provided for adults who are no longer attending high school and need basic skills instruction in reading, writing, math, and life skills.

-GED and Career Certification Exams-

Passing the General Educational Development or GED test qualifies adults to receive a high school diploma issued by the State of Oklahoma. Exams for certification in the fields of Health, IT, Education, and more are also available.

-English as a Second Language-

English as a Second Language or ESL classes provide instruction to non-English speaking adults. Students learn communication and assimilation skills in order to be productive citizens.

Student activities

Union leaders encourage students at each grade level to participate in organized activities whether they are school-sponsored such as Student Council or an organization like Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts.[7]

Notable people

Notable people who attended, or were otherwise associated with, the Union Public Schools include:

Extra Curricular Activity

Union's football program has been regarded as among the best in Oklahoma and in the nation. Union has won the 1963, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 state titles.[13][14][15][16] Union's rivalry with nearby Jenks High School has been named by numerous news sources as one of the top high school football rivalries in the nation. Either Union or Jenks has won the state 6A championship (the division for Oklahoma's largest high schools) every year since 1996.[17] Games between Union and Jenks are frequently played at the University of Tulsa's Skelly Field at H. A. Chapman Stadium, where the record attendance for this game was over 40,000. A documentary titled King of the Mountain was made about the Jenks-Union rivalry, and it has been covered by ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and NFL Films, which covered the 2007 regular season game.

Union's basketball team plays in the 5,662 seat John Q. Hammons Arena at the Union Multipurpose Activity Center. Union has won 2 State boys basketball titles. The first in 2004 and recently in 2012 becoming the first large school class to go undefeated since Norman did it in 1990. Union has also been State Runner-Ups in 1998, 2002, and 2006. Union Lady Redskins won the State title in 2008 capturing their first crown.

Union's band, The Renegade Regiment, has won 12 state championships and been a finalist to Bands of America Nationals 7 times. Union's Renegade Regiment's Colorguard has not only won multiple state and regional championships, they have been named National Champions from the Bands of America championship several years, including 1986 and 1990. The 1990 show was "Spartacus" and the guard played the role of Spartacus' wife.[18] [4] The guard also competes in the Winter Guard International (WGI) and dominated the late 80's as the Grand Champion, year after year. They placed first at the WGI International Championship in 1985, 1987, 1988, placed 2nd in 1986, and 3rd in 2001. The guard's first winterguard show was in 1982, so this young guard came on the scene and made a historical impact on the sport. One of the best known Union Winterguard shows was the 1987 "Mannequin" show.[5]

In the Fall of 2007, Union's Repertory Theater won first place in the Regional One Act Competition with their performance of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead. They later went on to win the State One Act Competition with the same play. In both contests they placed first in the Best Technical Crew award. They continued this trend in the Fall of 2010 with their one-act, The Insanity of Mary Girard. They won first place in Regionals, had 6 out of 10 All-Star Cast Members and won the Technical Crew award. Two weeks later they took home the State One Act Competition trophy along with the State Technical Crew award. Union's drama department also puts on an all school musical every year that has been touted by some as being one of the best in the nation.

Union's Varsity Cheerleading squad has won several state and national high school cheerleading championships since 2006. They won 3 National Cheerleading Association national titles from the years 2006-2009 in the super large varsity division. The NCA National High School Championships are held in Dallas, Texas each year. They won NCA's grand national titles in both 2006 and 2007. In 2007, they won the coveted 6A state title in cheerleading which had not been won by Union since 1990. In 2011, Union Varsity Cheer attended the Universal Cheerleading Association's National High School Championship in Orlando, Florida and won the national title in the super varsity division. Both NCA and UCA are the biggest national cheerleading competitions in the United States; however, they each hold their own distinct styles of cheerleading. It is an honor that Union Varsity Cheerleading to have won both major styles of cheerleading. They are on their way to UCA high school nationals again this February.

Union also has an outstanding Vocal Music program. They have won numerous awards and receive superior ratings at almost every contest. Their choirs consist of the Union Avenue Singers, Union Harmony, the High School chorus and the 9th grade girl's chorus. Recently, they have decided to add a Union "Mini-Me" choir that will consist of Freshman and Sophomore girls. This group will form in the 2011-2012 year.

Mascot controversy

Union's use of the "Redskins" team name has exposed it to some criticism, similar to the controversy faced by other schools using mascots referring to Native Americans. In 1999, Cherokee Nation chief Chad Smith criticized the school's use of the name.[19] In December 2002, the school received a demand from the University of Miami that it stop using a "split-U' logo which Miami claimed was unacceptably similar to the university's trademarked logo. Some Native American groups saw this as an appropriate time to renew their calls for Union to abandon the Redskins name, since it appeared that the school would have to change its uniforms in any event. However, in January 2003, Union settled Miami's claim by agreeing to pay $1,000 per year for the continuing right to use the split-U logo.[20] In November 2003 the school board voted unanimously to keep the "Redskins" name.[21] Since that time the school has maintained its position despite continued protests and proposed legislation intended to change the name.[22]

Notes

External links