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Union Public Schools

Welcome to
Union Public Schools!

Union Public Schools, whose 19 sites are located in portions of SE Tulsa and NW Broken Arrow, has an enrollment of about 16,000 students. The number of businesses, higher education, foundation, and community partnerships investing in the district’s key areas of emphasis -- Early Childhood Education, Community Schools, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Curriculum, and College/Career Readiness remains constant.

The district slogan, “Together We Make a Difference,” continues to be underscored as student engagement continued to soar, and great strides were made toward accomplishing Union’s mission – To Graduate 100 Percent of Our Students College and/or Career Ready.  Download brochure.

Core Values

The following core values serve to guide our strategic focus and actions in accomplishing our mission:

  • Commitment to Excellence –Pursue the highest measure of quality in all that we do.
  • Collegiality - Demonstrate respect and an ability to work as team members.
  • Honesty, Integrity, Transparency – Do what’s right and above board.
  • Innovation – Embrace new, effective thinking and programs.
  • Inclusiveness – Cultivate an organizational culture of accepting children, families, and employees for who they are rather than categorizing them by income, ethnicity, or ability.
  • Empowerment – Help people reach their full potential.
  • Accountability – Accept responsibility for achieving results.
  • Thoughtful Planning – Use data and district values in planning and decision making.

"Our mission is to graduate 100 percent of our students, college and career ready."

Together We Make a Difference

Strategic Goals 

These strategic goals in the following focus areas provide guidance for leadership, policy decisions, and development of initiatives, programs, and strategies to achieve our mission. See Strategic Plan

  • Learning
    -Ensure that all students – through greater personalization -- have access to a high-quality instructional and educational environment that prepares them for college or a career.
    - Enhance the communication, advocacy, and engagement with our students and families.
    - Close achievement gaps for all learners.
  • Teaching
    - Differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all students.
    - Promote ongoing professional learning for teachers and leaders.
    - Successfully implement the TLE Evaluation System and Oklahoma Academic Standards.
    - Use multiple measures for student success.
  • Partnerships
    - Expand partnerships to enhance learning opportunities for student success and for greater human and organizational capital.
    -  Promote greater awareness and engagement among school stakeholders to enhance support and funding for public education.
  • - Establish business and alumni partnerships in order to garner and sustain continued support for Union Public Schools.
  • Human Capital
    - Recruit, develop, retain, and support caring, motivated, innovative professional faculty and staff.
  • Business/Operations
    - Ensure the operating and capital budgets reflect our priorities as well as areas of focus and need.
    - Promote operational safety and high-quality infrastructure to ensure effective and efficient learning and working environments.
    - Maintain a technology system that promotes teaching/learning and efficiency within the operational functions of the organization.
  • Culture
    - Foster an atmosphere of respect and effective communication.
    - Promote a commitment to equity and excellence.
    - Maintain a caring, professional, and ethical organization.
    - Maintain a safe and secure teaching and learning environment. 

Union Public Schools

Union Public Schools


District Focus

In order to fulfill our mission of graduating 100 percent of our students college and career ready, Union focuses on four main areas: Early Childhood EducationCommunity SchoolsSTEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), and the Union Collegiate Academy Experience.


Union is accredited by the Oklahoma State Department of Education and AdvancED. Its accreditation process, involving parents, teachers and administrators at each site, is considered a model for other school districts.


Union has experienced significant growth in the past decade.  During the 2004-2005 school year, the district recorded total enrollment of 13,969. In 2019-2020, Union served 15,816 students – 7,488 at the elementary level and 8,328 in grades 6-12.  See Statistics and Reports for a breakdown on specifics.

Union Public Schools

About the District

The eighth largest public school district in Oklahoma, Union has approximately 15,800 students, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, residing within a 28-square-mile boundary encompassing both southeast Tulsa and a portion of Broken Arrow.  The school system is the heart of the community and serves as a unifying force.  It includes an early childhood center for three-year-olds; 13 elementary schools pre-kindergarten through fifth grade including the brand new Ellen Ochoa Elementary School; and five secondary schools—a 6th/7th Grade Center, 8th Grade Center, 9th Grade Center, High School (Grades 10-12,) and an Alternative School for grades 9-12. 

In addition, Union's Adult Education Learning Center serves northeastern Oklahoma, offering GED classes, English as a Second Language and more.

Parents choose the Union district for its all-around excellence.  They take great pride in its wide-ranging, dynamic academic programs; award-winning activities; caring, talented teachers; highly respected elected and administrative leaders; and remarkable facilities.  Union is one of the leading districts in Oklahoma in the number of teachers earning National Board Certification and in number of Presidential Math and Science Award recipients.

Union’s Community Schools—elementary schools complete with health clinics and services from community agencies—serve as a model to other districts nationwide.  They increase academic success by forming community partnerships to provide extra supports such as early care, health and social services, out-of-school activities, family/community engagement, neighborhood development and lifelong learning.

100 Years

In addition to challenging Pre-Advanced Placement (AP) classes, Union offers a variety of Advanced Placement classes which allow students to earn college credit while learning about a subject in depth.  In partnership with Tulsa Community College (TCC), Union was the first to pilot a unique concurrent enrollment program - EDGE - Earn a Degree, Graduate Early – on its High School campus, enabling qualifying students to earn both high school and college credits at the same time – virtually tuition free!  

Union’s Collegiate Academy at the High School provides students a challenging college-like experience with TCC instructors, tiered lecture halls, advanced science labs, student lounges, and specialty food shops, along with a safety net of high school staff members there to ensure their success.  Counselors in the College and Career Center help students and their parents complete college entrance, financial aid, and scholarship applications or bank college credit through Tulsa Technology Center.  

The Union community provides whatever it takes to ensure all students graduate college/career ready. Successful bond issues have funded state-of-the-art tools to enhance reading, language, math, science, and writing skills at every grade level. Art, music, and physical education enrich the traditional curriculum. Professionals in remedial reading, speech therapy, and special education are assigned to the schools along with library media specialists, nurses, and counselors. Courses for gifted students are offered at all levels, as are programs for English Language Learners.


  • In 2019-2020, Union’s enrollment rose slightly by 43 students.  With a .27 percent increase over the previous year, Union served 15,816 students – 7,488 at the elementary level and 8,328 in grades 6-12.
  • Districtwide, 7,649 students (48.4%) were female and 8,167 (51.6 percent) male.
  • There were 2,890 identified gifted students in grades 1-12, served by a variety of courses and programs.
  • Of the graduating seniors in 2020: 409 took the ACT with an average composite score of  21.4 and 996 took the SAT with an average total score of 936.
  • 1,975 Union students (12.5 percent) were enrolled in special education during the 2019-2020 school year.
  • English Learner services were provided to 2,521 elementary and 1,408 secondary students; of these students, 346 became English-proficient and exited the program.  Our diverse population spoke more than 60 different languages.  An estimated 25 percent of Union students were classified as English Learners.
  • Union’s Extended Day Program served an average of 842 students per month at 15 sites. This was a year of “firsts.” Fall Break Camp served 87 students. Spring Break Camp was cut short by the COVID-19 outbreak, but Union had 112 students enrolled for the first day of Spring Break Camp.
  • For more than 25 years, Union Public Schools has served the community with an adult basic education program to assist adults through GED/ HiSET Preparation classes and/or English language learning for non- native English speakers.  During the 2019-20 school year, Union’s Adult Basic Education (ABE) program enrolled more than 1,500 students in these classes.
  • Through partnerships with local workforce development offices and other community agencies, the Union Adult Learning Center (UALC) embraces the opportunity to serve students not only in Tulsa, but also in our neighboring communities of Claremore, Muskogee, Owasso, and Pryor. Theses partners include, but are not limited to, Community Action Project of Tulsa (CAP), Workforce Tulsa, Tulsa Technology Center, Tulsa Community College, Goodwill Industries, Salvation Army, Women in Recovery, Family and Children’s Services, Rogers State University, Workforce Pryor, Workforce Muskogee, Muskogee Public Schools, Whirlpool Inc., and local churches.
  • The Pearson Vue Testing Center at UALC offers various certification testing for individuals including teacher certification testing and high school equivalency (HSE) testing. During the 2019-2020 school year, nearly 500 individuals earned their HSE diploma with successful completion of the GED or HiSET exam.

Parent and Community Involvement

Union is part of a community that consistently supports the school system. More than 2,000 volunteers from throughout the community work in its schools.

The Parent Teacher Association is active in all the schools and works with Union to provide equipment and scholarships for students and supplies for teachers. The Union Schools Education Foundation, which was established in 1991, raises and distributes funds to teachers for classroom-based projects. In addition, a number of parents are active in booster clubs for athletics and spirit programs, as well as band, music and drama.

The Community Action Project partners with Union to provide the program for three year-olds, while the Community Service Council, the City/County Health Department and a number of organizations such as the YMCA and Boy Scouts of America team with the district to offer a variety of services and programs.

Student Engagement: Co-Curricular Activities

Student engagement districtwide in Fine Arts remained high in 2019-2020, with

  • K-5 student participating in Music & Art: 6,711 students
  •  Grades 6-12 Visual Art: 1,909
  • 6-12 Band: 1,197
  • 7-8 Dance: 345
  • 7-12 Drama: 724
  • 6-12 Orchestra: 711
  • 7-12 Speech/Debate: 177
  • 6-12 Vocal Music: 826
  • Total:  12,600 students
  • Union continued its partnership with Tulsa Symphony Orchestra to provide music interactions for students at Rosa Parks Early Childhood Center.
  • Union Bands hosted a Winter Guard International Regional Championship at the UMAC, with nearly 50 competing units from six states participating.
  • 14 High School students were named as OkMEA all-state musicians (band, choir, and orchestra).
  • All-School Musical “Matilda” performed to large audiences, in spite of a forced cancellation due to inclement weather on opening night. Even with the loss of one performance, the four remaining shows sold more tickets than the previous year.
  • ShowTix4U was implemented as a new ticketing system for the musical with much success, allowing increased proceeds of ticket sales to remain with the district.
  • Carnegie Hall Link Up Concert and Program serves all 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students (approximately 3,422 students) in the district.  Two successful concerts were performed in February by Tulsa Symphony Orchestra for this initiative.

2019-2020 Athletics – -- (In 2021, Varsity Cheer Squad were named National Champions!)

  • Union Varsity Pom were the 2019 State Champions.
  • Junior Courtney Posey was the 200-Yard Freestyle State Champion in Girls Swimming.
  • In Boys Swimming, Junior Danny Sibley was the 500-Yard Freestyle State Champion; Junior Trenton von Hartitzsch was the 100-Yard Breaststroke State Champion; and Junior Danny Sibley was named as one of three finalists for the Tulsa World All-World Swimmer of the Year.
  • Twenty-seven student-athletes signed to play collegiate athletics.
  • Union had 23 All-State athletes.
  • Senior Micah Walker was named OCA Region 7 Male Athlete of the Year and OSSAA State Runner-Up. Senior Darrian Carr received the OCA Injured Athlete Scholarship Award. Senior Ashley Barber was the OTCA 61 Girls Player of the Year (Class of 2020). Senior Courtney Moyer was the OCA Jim Thorpe Player of the Year for Girls Tennis. Senior tennis player Emily Barber received the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
  • The Boys Swimming Team earned a Distinguished Academic Plaque for a GPA of 3.50 and ranked in the top 5 of Class 6A and Academic Achievement Certificates. Ranked in the top 1/3 of Class 6A with a GPA of 3.25 or above went to Fast-Pitch Softball, Girls Swimming and Wrestling.

Employees Statistics & Achievements

  • Union employed 1,015 teachers, 901 support personnel, and 80 administrators. Of the district’s 80 administrators, 91.25% had a master’s degree or higher. Of the teaching and administrative staff, 39.6 percent held graduate-level degrees – 421 with master’s degrees and 13 with doctorates.
  • 43 teachers held National Board Certification.
  • The district welcomed 118 new teachers for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • The ethnic diversity among the staff was African American 7 percent, American Indian 14 percent, Asian 3 percent, and Caucasian/other 82 percent. 425 were male and 1,571 female.
  • Brittany Hamilton, a third-grade teacher at Rosa Parks Elementary School, was named the 2019-2020 Union Public Schools District Teacher of the Year.
  • Lindar Ledbetter, cafeteria manager for Union High School, was named Support Employee of the Year. An employee of the district for 29 years, Lindar manages 33 employees and her team daily produces over 2,300 meals and many a la carte items.
  • Athletic Director Emily Barkley was elected the Oklahoma Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association President for 2020-2021. She also received the OIAAA National Federal Citation Award.
  • Dan Newman, head athletic trainer received the MAATA-Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award and was the Regional Nominee for the Newell Award (The National Athletic Trainer of the Year).
  • Steve Patterson was selected to the OCA Hall of Fame.
  • Brittany Friske, pom coach, was named Oklahoma State Dance Team Directors’ Association East Coach of the Year.
  • Todd Borland, executive director of Information Technology for Union Public Schools, was named the 2019 Technology Director of Year by the Oklahoma Technology Association.
  • Suzanne Falling, Union High School teacher, was honored as an Impactful Teacher by KOTV/News on 6, the CBS affiliate in Tulsa.
  • Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler served as a juror for the 2020 Brock Prize in Education. A jury of nine members selects the laureate of the Brock Prize in Education Innovation, which recognizes the “best innovations in education” in order to expand their impact.
  • Assistant Superintendent Sandi Calvin and Union Freshman Academy Counselor Nicole Wheeler both completed the NYC Marathon.
  • Ellen Ochoa fourth grade teacher Lisa Shotts received the Newsmaker Award winner from the Tulsa Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications.  

Child Nutrition

The Child Nutrition Department served 1,270,296 lunches and 737,090 breakfasts during the 2019-2020 school year.  When schools shut down due to Covid 19, Child Nutrition continued to serve meals free to all children out of four sites, providing almost a million meals –    breakfast, lunch and supper. Adult meals were provided free once a week at Ochoa, and free produce and dairy boxes were provided for families once a week through the USDA Food to Family Boxes program.

The district purchased fresh vegetables and fruits and local grass-fed beef from six local farms.  Eight elementary schools participated in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant, which provided fresh fruits and vegetables for snacks each day in the classroom. A pilot program at McAuliffe and Ochoa Elementary schools taught students how to reduce waste foods, as well as how to compost and recycle.  The district’s two nutrition educators conducted 400 nutrition education classes, two farm-to-student events, six nutrition and activity assemblies, and participated in community nights.

Union was recognized by the United Fresh Produce Association as the “Produce Excellence in Foodservice for Schools” national award winner for the district’s use of fresh produce on our menus, nutritional education, and promoting consumption of more produce by children.


More than 10,000 students rode the bus on a regular basis during the 2019-2020 school year. The district maintained a fleet of 118 school buses and 94 support vehicles. Our buses traveled 888,506 total miles – 802,282 miles on regular routes and 86,224 miles on field trips. 

The district ran 15 after-school routes and 33 shuttles, and two vehicles for the McKinney-Vento/Foster Care programs.

The district purchased 127,532 gallons of diesel fuel and 30,017 gallons of unleaded fuel for a combined cost of $300,460.


The district maintains more than 2.8 million square feet of facilities. A strong corporate tax base and patrons who consistently pass bond issues have helped Union to build spacious, well-equipped facilities including the Performing Arts Center in the High School. The Union Multipurpose Activity Center, 6836 S. Mingo Road, is a state-of-the art building which houses the 6,000-seat John Q. Hammons Arena, fine arts and athletic offices, classrooms, a Wellness and Sports Medicine Center, and the U-Wear Spirit Store. The UMAC also hosts a number of community events and even college-level games. In the spring of 2020, Unoin opened its Community Heath Connection Clinicn at Ellen Ochoa Elementary.

Other outstanding facilities include Union-Tuttle Stadium at the High School, a new soccer complex at the 8th Grade, a 3-meter swimming poolwith a seating capacity of 400 at the 6th/7th Grade Center, a modern baseball/softball complex and a new tennis court at the Union High School Fresman Academy.

Operations and Safety

The Operations buildings house transportation, maintenance, warehouse and grounds crew behind the Union Alternative School. Union also maintains Central Park at Union at 62nd and Mingo, a practice field at 61st and Mingo.   

The Custodial Department employs 103 full-time custodians, a district custodial coordinator, and a district building engineer.  Over 3.5 million square feet of floor space is cleaned nightly. On average, each full-time custodian cleans more than 30,000 square feet on a nightly basis, including over 1,000 individual classrooms.  In addition:

Custodians staff nearly 1,500 district and community events across the district.

Larger custodial projects include the stripping and refinishing of tile surfaces across the district and the refinishing of the High School, 6th, and 7th grade gyms.

The Grounds Department employs 12 full-time grounds men, one small engine mechanic, and one district grounds coordinator. The grounds division maintains over 450 acres of land. During peak mowing season, each grounds man 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, including all district flowerbeds and trees.

The Maintenance Department employs 11 skilled tradesmen, 23 building engineers, and one district maintenance coordinator. Our tradesmen include five HVAC technicians, two electricians, a plumber, kitchen technician, carpenter, and locksmith.  Our 23 building engineers are responsible for maintaining the mechanical systems of their respective sites. They also are responsible for minor repairs.

Safety and Security:  The district employed a director of security and a security coordinator, as well as 11 full-time security officers at the secondary schools, two at the elementary school sites and 24 part-time officers for athletic and special events. One Broken Arrow School Resource Officer was on call daily, in addition to seven off-duty Tulsa Police Department officers on a rotating schedule, allowing one to patrol the district each day.


District Announcement

Union COVID-19 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.

Free Meals


Union is offering free meals now through June 30, 2022 with curbside delivery for virtual students. Details.

Report A Threat

Report A Threat

SafeSchools Alert is our district's tip reporting service. If you have information about a threat to our safety, do your part and report it. And remember, you can remain anonymous.


District Calendar

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Contact Information

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

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