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Hope – Guidance – SEL

Hope – Guidance – Social and Emotional Learning

Union Public Schools

Message from the Superintendent

Dear Union Parents and Guardians: 

I am excited to announce that Mr. Scott Pennington, principal at the Union 6th & 7th Grade Center, has been asked to lead a new department within Teaching and Learning entitled Hope – Guidance – Social and Emotional Learning. As you know, we are in the second year of our 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. Collectively speaking, our 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. 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.

Mr. Pennington’s work as a special education teacher, assistant principal, and principal make him uniquely qualified to lead in this new position. In addition to this change, I am also pleased to announce that Mr. Clay Hucke, assistant principal at Union High School, has been asked to serve as an interim principal at the Sixth & Seventh Grade Center. Mr. Hucke has done an outstanding job at the high school and he looks forward to serving the students, staff, and parents at this site.

Please join me in congratulating Mr. Pennington and Mr. Hucke. These moves will become effective January 1, 2020.


Kirt HartzlerKirt Hartzler, Ed.D.
Union Public Schools



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.

About Scott Pennington

Scott PenningtonScott Pennington was named director of the new Hope – Guidance – Social and Emotional Learning Department in December. He previously served as a class principal for the 6th/7th Grade Center since the spring of 2015. He was named administrative intern for the 6th Grade Center in the spring of 2013 and assistant principal in 2014. He had previously served as a seventh grade history and geography teacher since 2007 for Union. From 1996 to 2007, he served as a special education teacher for Union.

Before he joined Union, Pennington was co-director of the DDA Camp/Bridges Summer Camp for special needs children.

He received his bachelor’s degree in special education and his master’s degree in school administration, both from Northeastern State University.


Make It A Great Day, Or Not

Scott Pennington, Union Public School’s new director of Hope – Guidance – Social and Emotional Learning, is featured in a story reuniting with former student in Madeline Ewing in the February 2020 edition of “Tulsa People Magazine.”

Pick up a copy; they are featured on page 64, or you may read the digital version here:
In the story, Pennington has a message for current and future educators: 

"I truly believe what our students need most from us is 'us.' We need to be willing to model for them what it means to be compassionate, empathetic, encouraging, caring, humble, hard-working, vul­nerable, passionate, trustworthy, etc. We need to see our students not just as students, but as human beings - human beings with a story that is often so unlike our own. It is not our position to judge or to write the next chapters of the story far our students, but to love them, teach them, encourage them and give them the tools they need to write their own story of success. It is our work to instill hope.

Coronavirus Updates

Free Drive-Thru Meals for Children

Union Schools is offering FREE drive-thru meal pick-ups at three locations. Details

Hope – Guidance – SEL Navigation

Last Day of School is May 22

Friday, May 22 will be the last day of school for the 2019-20 year. Additional time will be added to the school day for students in grades 6-8 beginning Monday, March 23, and continue through the end of the school year.

“Due to two days of school that were cancelled due to inclement weather, the district calendar had to be adjusted to meet the minimum state requirement of 1,080 hours of instruction,” Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler said. “We wanted to adjust the calendar so students don’t have to come back after Memorial Day.

Modifications to the school schedule will be made as follows:

  1. Add one day at the end of the year, with Friday, May 22, being the last day of school;
  2. Elementary schools:  No change to the schedule. They have enough school hours to meet the required 1,080 hours.
  3. 6th & 7th Grade Center:  4 minutes added to the end of the school day effective Monday, March 23 (the day after spring break). 
  4. 8th Grade Center:  2 minutes added to the end of each day after March 23.
  5. Union High School Freshman Academy:  No change to current times.
  6. Union High School:  Friday, April 10 will be a “virtual day,” with students working on assignments from home.  

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Contact Information

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

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