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Board Report - October 11


Posted Date: 10/12/2021

Board Report - October 11

Board Reports

Board Members Ratify Agreement for Sign-Up Bonuses for Special Education Aides

The Board of Education approved a memorandum of understanding with the Union Support Personnel Association to provide sign-on bonuses for special education aides as recommended by Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler.

Hartzler informed the Board that Union will receive a grant from the City of Tulsa's Vision 2025 project entitled “Teach. Live. T-Town" to assist in the recruiting, retention, and training of difficult to fill school staff positions.

“This money will be made available to the district annually for each of the next three years,” Hartzler stated. “Our shortage of special education aides has placed staff in difficult positions while caring for our students. By incentivizing aides to join us, we will reduce the extra workload and provide the necessary care for our students.”

Administration and the USPA have agreed to make available to special education aides signing bonuses that are not classified under the current contract.

In a related matter, the Board also ratified a memorandum of understanding to increase employee steps for special education aides, behavior technicians, Child Nutrition workers and Child Nutrition assistant managers.

“To assist in the recruiting, retention, and training of difficult to fill school staff positions, we have determined that our salaries for special education aides, behavior technicians, Child Nutrition workers and Child Nutrition assistant managers are below market levels and need to be adjusted to recruit and retain these positions,” said Jay Loegering, executive director of Human Resources.

Board Schedules Zone 2 Election for Next Year

The Board of Education scheduled the upcoming general election for District #2 on April 5, 2022.

The seat is currently held by Dr. Chris McNeil, who was appointed to the position last January after Board member Lisa Ford resigned so she could run for a position on the Broken Arrow City Council.

If more than two qualified candidates file for the position, a primary election will be held on February 8, 2022.  If a candidate in the primary receives more than 50 percent of the votes cast, that candidate shall be elected to the Board of Education and no general election shall be necessary. If necessary, the general election would be April 5, 2022.

‘Making a Difference’ Award Presented To Union Senior

Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler presented a special award to Union High School senior Jacob Osifeso. Deemed the “Making A Difference” Award, this special recognition “acknowledges a student who epitomizes what it means to be a servant leader,” Hartzler said. “On behalf of the district and as superintendent, I am extremely proud of you.” 

About a year-and-a-half ago, Hartzler said he was alerted to the actions of a young man who was going out of his way to care for a neighbor who had fallen on tough times with some health issues. “The story filled my heart,” Hartzler said. “This is a young man who is going out of his way every day to meet this neighbor’s needs. He didn’t even have to call. Jacob would call and say, ‘Do you need me this evening?’ I was so moved by it, I wanted to hear more from others. Jacob’s response to his neighbor demonstrates the Union Way. That is how we want to raise all our students, and that’s why we’re recognizing him tonight.” 

Board Members Approve Agreement for Mechanical Projects Across District

The Board of Education approved a master agreement with Henderson Engineers after a selection committee determined them to be the most qualified firm based on experience on similar projects, qualifications of key personnel, qualifications of the total design team, and past experience with Union and references on similar projects. Four firms had presented proposals.

The master agreement for fiscal year 2021-2022 will provide for engineering consultation services for multiple mechanical projects.  The design fee for each project will not exceed $50,000 and the total design fee for all projects will not exceed $200,000, according to Fred Isaacs, director of construction services.   

The district has a need for a master agreement to address important small projects, he said. Three of the projects on the list for consultation and design services are the track and field lighting project, power quality issues at the High School, and the baseball/softball lighting project. There will be other projects that require MEP consultant assistance.

In other action, the Board:

  • Approved the 2021-2022 professional development budget and plan presented by Todd Nelson, senior executive director of Research-Design-Assessment.
  • Received a report on college remediation rates presented by John Federline, executive director of secondary education. In this report from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, Union had 1,014 students who graduated in 2018, 55 percent of whom went on to college. In 2019, Union had the single-largest graduating class with 1,214 students; 56 percent of these student matriculated on to college. “Although an increase of one percent doesn’t seem large, it equates to about 100 more students than 2018,” said Federline. 
  • Approved a stop-loss program for the district’s self-insured PPO Medical Indemnity Plan, effective January 1, 2022. Employees will be receiving information about health plans during open enrollment now underway.
  • Awarded the bid for steamers and refrigerators for use at CAP Tulsa (formerly Briarglen Elementary) to Douglas Food Stores for $60,771.
  • Approved an emergency request bid to make repairs to the wall at Moore Elementary’s cafeteria after a non-employee accidentally drove their car through the wall. The repair cost is estimated to be between $50,000 and $75,000. Associate Superintendent Charlie Bushyhead praised the staff at Moore for their quick response: “Accolades to the staff, as we were able to serve meals the next day in spite of this damage,” he said.
  • Authorized the payment of $48,018 for insurance against cyberattacks, after the district was denied coverage originally planned with Travelers. The original rate expectation in June was $40,000. “This insurance is going to be increasingly difficult to get,” said Jay Loegering, executive director of Human Resources. “The rates are growing exponentially. We are appreciative of BancFirst who immediately went to market and was able to find the one carrier willing to take the district on at such short notice.”

District Announcement

‘Safe Return & Continuity of Services Plan’

View Union’s Safe Return & Continuity of Services Plan to see the district’s plans for keeping school open during the pandemic. More details here.

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Contact Information

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

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