Superintendent

December 2018

When I started this year as your new Superintendent, I shared that I would be spending my first months, Listening, Learning, Communicating, Planning and Collaborating with stakeholders throughout the community.  I have done just that.  I have spoken individually to over 100 stakeholders; visited every campus and classroom; attended professional development, leadership meetings, and family events; met with students, family members, and members of our community.  While each person had his or her personal experience and opinions, a consistent pattern emerged from what I heard and learned. 


Across the various stakeholder groups there was a strong belief that:

1)      Union Elementary School District is on the right track
2)     The district provides many supports and collaborates to help others succeed
3)     Positive Behavior Intervention and Support is helping improve student behaviors
4)     Leadership is strong and supportive
5)     Curriculum maps are a good tool and refinements keep making them stronger
6)     We value the small community with welcome feel

 What I hear we need to continue to improve upon was:

1)      We need increased academic expectations for all of our students
2)     Retain high quality staff
3)    We need new/refreshed materials for Science, SS, Writing, Math, Literacy
4)     Professional development is great; AND we still need time to prepare and plan
5)     Provide more support for handling behaviorally challenging students
6)     Retain our students
7)    Improve Communication

 What I did not hear was:

      Concern about overall direction

      Understanding of our shared mission, vision, goals, strategic plan

      Celebrations about students making growth or high achievement

 So what’s happening to move us forward?   

Currently…

      Schools aligned their School Integrated Action Plans (IAP) to District-wide goals.

      Monitoring student progress and IAP implementation at quarterly benchmarks

      Continuing PBIS implementation with focus on Tier 2 and 3 interventions.

      Examining Special Education service model and designing plan to increase student achievement

 Soon…

      In January, begin 2020-2025 strategic planning process with stakeholders to bring District into alignment with shared vision, mission, goals with focus on students and student needs

      Use strategic planning process to put students into the center of conversations and design the system to get the outcomes our students need and community desires

      Build out robust communication strategy

      Seek additional competitive grant funds to supplement programs and supports

 In Closing…

Thank you for the important part you play in the Union community, for your dedication, and for helping us create the conditions to help our students learn each day, so that ultimately our students will succeed both academically and behaviorally. Achievement today for an exceptional tomorrow!  

I look forward to engaging with you further in the creation of our 2025 vision for students and encourage your participation. Should you have any input or questions about what I have shared, please feel free to reach out to me. Have a wonderful Holiday Season, Merry Christmas, and a Joyous New Year.

Warm Regards,

Ms. Morris


November 2018

Congratulations are in order for our returning Governing Board members, Mr. Delson Sunn, Mrs. Stacy Marchelli, and Mrs. Nubia Briceno for being re-elected! Thank you for your leadership, engagement, and stewardship of our District. 

A huge thank you to the Union ESD community for supporting the M&O Override Continuation!
  Thank you to the Board for helping us deliver quality education by calling for the election. Your leadership in seeking the fiscal resources our students need is the foundation of their success. Thank you to the Union PAC, spearheaded by Norma Pacheco, who was responsible for getting the word out in our community. Thank you to the Union team, and community members who volunteered their personal time to canvas and spread the word about the importance of the election.  It is the collaborative efforts of the Union community that made this happen for kids.

Our community invests in Union ESD because of the good stewardship of the Board, the professionalism of our staff, and the quality of education we provide. From the audits of our finances, to compliance monitoring of our programs, external professionals consistently speak to the competence and warmth of our team. Our community invests and chooses Union because of the connections we build and opportunities we provide our families, from Trunk-or-Treat, Thanksgiving lunches and holiday meal support, to Touchstone supports, we are a hub for our families. Ultimately, our community invests in Union ESD because we are committed to ensuring that every student is growing academically and behaviorally. Achievement today leads to an exceptional tomorrow!

We know you have choices for where your child receives their education and thank you for choosing Union.

Respectfully,

Ms. Kristine Morris
Superintendent (623) 478-5004  
kmorris@uesd.org    


October 2018

 

Dear Union Elementary School District Parents and Guardians,

I hope you and your family had a restful and recharging Fall Break!

At parent-teacher conferences, you learned more about your child’s first quarter academic and behavioral strengths and areas for improvement. I am confident that you left with an understanding of how the teachers will be supporting your child’s learning and what you can do at home to help your child progress. If you were unable to attend a parent-teacher conference, please reach out to your child’s teacher.  They will set up a time to talk to you about grades and progress. Even though parent-teacher conferences happen only occasionally, your on-going communication with the teacher will help ensure your child makes the progress that will help them reach their goals in life.

With all of the energy and excitement surrounding parent-teacher conferences for the first quarter of the school year, you may have missed that the State Board of Education issued its 2017-18 school report cards. The A-F letter grade system, measures year-to-year student academic growth; proficiency on English language arts, math and science; proficiency and academic growth of English language learners and special education students; and chronic absenteeism. I am pleased to share that our schools demonstrated growth in a number of these areas including; student academic growth; English language proficiency; and performance of our special needs students. I am thrilled to report that Hurley Ranch demonstrated so much growth that they were able to improve from a D to a C!  Currently our schools are performing at state average with letter grades of C. 

Just as your child’s success takes the cooperation of the teacher and family, our school and district improvement happens through community engagement and support. Your investment of time, resources, and history of support of bonds and overrides has helped us maintain reasonable class sizes, attract and compensate quality employees, provide full-day kindergarten, and provide well-rounded education through arts, music, PE, and STEM. With your continued engagement, our hardworking students, and our amazing staff, we will continue to improve our performance and celebrate a day in the near future where all our schools receive all ‘A’s. 

This fall will be busy, with many opportunities to be a part of the Union community, I encourage you to check your school calendar and plan to attend some of the upcoming events like; Trunk or Treat; soccer matches; PTA meetings; and school performances. In addition to the quality instruction we provide for children, these are the special things we do that help make Union unique. We provide opportunities to come together, build relationships, and show that education is indeed the foundation of a strong community and future.

Please remember to vote on November 6, 2018. Information about Union’s upcoming M&O Override continuation can be found here.

We know you have choices for where your child receives their education and thank you for choosing Union.

Respectfully,

Ms. Kristine Morris
Superintendent (623) 478-5004  
kmorris@uesd.org    

 

August 2018

Welcome to the 2018-2019 School Year.

I am so excited to join the Union Elementary team as your new Superintendent!

During my first several weeks, I have witnessed the values that attracted me to Union alive and well in each of the individuals working and collaborating to ensure a strong start to the school year. Union is a great place to work and learn. I look forward to getting to know you this year.

The Governing Board and I are committed to: high academic achievement for each student; attracting and retaining high quality staff; and maintaining learning environments that are safe and welcoming. Our Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) initiative will provide students with shared expectations to help them develop important life skills to succeed in life. We are thrilled that you are a part of this important work!

Over the next 90 days, I will be spending time listening to and meeting with stakeholders throughout our community. Through those conversations I will be learning the hopes and dreams of our students, families, and staff; what we can do to surpass our existing goals; how we will continue to grow and improve over the next 5 years; and lastly, how we will make Union the premiere District of choice for our community.


The following goals will guide my work over the next couple of months:

 

  • Celebrate Success: Identify what is great about our work and our District.  Communicate and celebrate results.
  • Connect: Build trust and confidence through open, honest communication. Positively engaging all stakeholders
  • Achieve: Analyze patterns in student achievement data; evaluate programs and alignment of district priorities to budget.

To accomplish these goals I will:

LISTEN

LEARN

COMMUNICATE

PLAN

COLLABORATE

Spend time with students, teachers, parents, staff, administrators, partners, Governing Board, business, and community based organizations to hear greatest accomplishments and challenges they face.  Visit schools, conduct meetings, one-on-one visits, attend neighborhood association meetings.

Analyze and study data. Read and review current policies, budget priorities, and existing initiatives and programs. Receive issue and policy briefings from employees and partner organizations. Spend time with principals and staff to observe initiatives in action.

Share Union’s stories of success with constituents and stakeholders. Tell my leadership story, beliefs and values. Amplify the profile of Union via media, social media, and word of mouth.

Review existing plans, budgets, attendance and enrollment patterns, prepare for strategic plan revisions and upcoming budget development.

Develop and enhance strong, supportive, working relationships with Board, employees, families, community, state and local leaders.  Identify partnership opportunities with those who have aligned goals.


These first months will guide how we will work together to achieve our shared goals in the years to come. You, the District, and the community will feel energized about our direction and empowered to work collaboratively to grow and improve. It is important that I understand your Union experience. I encourage you to actively engage in the process, let me know your celebrations, hopes, ideas, dreams, successes, and yes, even your challenges. Union is a school district filled with outstanding employees committed to improving learning and achievement for all children. Together, through our conversations, shared beliefs, evaluation of data, effective planning, and exemplary instruction, we will grow the Union Legacy; changing more and more lives, and building a thriving community along the way. I look forward to the journey ahead and what we will accomplish together.
 

Warm Regards,
Ms. Kristine Morris
Superintendent(623) 478-5004  

kmorris@uesd.org    

 

Bienvenidos al año escolar 2018-2019.

¡Estoy muy entusiasmada de unirme al equipo del Distrito Unión como su nueva Superintendente!

Durante mis primeras semanas, he sido testigo de los valores que me atrajeron a Unión que se encuentran presente en cada una de las personas trabajando y colaborando para asegurar un fuerte inicio del año escolar. Unión es un gran lugar para trabajar y aprender. Espero llegar a conocerlos este año.

La Junta de gobierno y yo estamos comprometidos para alto logro académico para cada estudiante; atraer y retener personal de alta calidad; y mantener un ambiente de aprendizaje que sea seguro y acogedor. Nuestra intervención de comportamiento positivo y soporte (PBIS) ofrecerá a los estudiantes con expectativas para ayudarles a desarrollar habilidades importantes para triunfar en la vida. ¡Estamos encantados de que usted sea parte de este labor importante!

Durante los próximos 90 días, pasare tiempo escuchando y reuniéndome con todos los interesados a lo largo de nuestra comunidad. A través de las conversaciones aprenderé cuales son los anhelos y los sueños de nuestros estudiantes, familias y personal; lo que podemos hacer para superar nuestras metas existentes; Cómo vamos a seguir creciendo y mejorando en los próximos 5 años; y por último, haremos que el distrito Unión sea la mejor opción para nuestra comunidad.

Las siguientes metas guiará mi trabajo en los próximos meses:

·     Celebrar el éxito: Identificar lo mejor de nuestro trabajo y nuestro distrito. Comunicar y celebrar los resultados.

·     Conectar: Establecer confianza a través de la comunicación abierta y honesta. Positivamente a todas las partes interesadas.

·     Logros: Analizar patrones en la información de los estudiante, evaluar programas y prioridades del distrito para el presupuesto.

Para lograr estos objetivos yo:

ESCUCHAR

APRENDER

COMUNICAR

PLANEAR

COLABORAR

Pasar tiempo con estudiantes, profesores, padres, personal, administradores, socios, Junta de gobierno, negocios y organizaciones comunitaria para escuchar grandes logros y obstáculos que enfrentan. Visitar escuelas, llevar a cabo reuniones,  asistir a reuniones de la Asociación del vecindario.

Analizar y estudiar datos. Leer y revisar las políticas actuales, las prioridades presupuestarias y las iniciativas y programas. Recibir asuntos de información política y cuestión de empleados y organizaciones. Pasar tiempo con los directores y el personal para observar iniciativas.

Compartir historias de éxito del Union con los mandantes y las partes interesadas. Compartir mi historia de liderazgo, creencias y valores. Ampliar el perfil de Unión vía medios de comunicación, medios sociales y de recomendación verbal.

Revisar los planes existentes, presupuestos, patrones de asistencia y matrícula, preparar para el próximo presupuesto desarrollo y revisiones del plan estratégico.

Desarrollar y mejorar, el apoyo y relaciones con la Junta Directiva, empleados, familias, comunidad, estado y los líderes locales. Identificar oportunidades de asociación con los que se han alineado objetivos.

 Estos primeros meses guiarán cómo vamos a trabajar juntos para lograr nuestros objetivos en los próximos años. Usted, como parte del distrito y la comunidad se sentirán capacitados para trabajar juntos en colaboración para crecer y mejorar. Es importante que yo entienda su experiencia en el distrito de Union. Los animo a participar en el proceso activamente, favor de dejarme saber sus, ideas, sueños, éxitos y sí, incluso sus retos. Unión es un distrito lleno de empleados destacados comprometidos para mejorar el aprendizaje y logro para todos los niños. Juntos, a través de nuestras conversaciones, creencias compartidas, evaluación de recopilación de datos, planificación efectiva e instrucción ejemplar, creceremos el legado del distrito de Unión; cambiando vidas más y más y construir una comunidad próspera. Espero iniciar este viaje con ustedes y ver lo que podemos lograr juntos. 

Cordial Saludos,

 

Sra. Kristine Morris
Superintendent
(623) 478-5004  
kmorris@uesd.org    

      


July 2018


Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members, 

We understand that you have a choice of where to send your child to school, and we know that Union Elementary School District is for you! We are proud of our history of providing a great public education, right in your own neighborhood.  For over 80 years, we have delivered a well rounded and comprehensive education for all children who enroll. 

The 2018-2019 school year begins Thursday, August 2, 2018. Please visit your school, our website or call 623-478-5005 for more information. Enroll today and attend Meet the Teacher Night on July 31st!

If you have any questions about the district or your school, please call me at 623-478-5005. I am confident that your Union neighborhood school is the best place for your child to learn and grow.

Here's to a great 2018-2019 school year!

Warm regards,
Ms. Kristine K. Morris
Morris Headshot
Su
perintendent                            
Union Elementary School District               

kmorris@uesd.org

Estimados padres, tutores y miembros de la comunidad:

¡Sabemos que tiene la opción de enviar a su hijo a la escuela y sabemos que el Distrito Escolar Primario de Union es para usted! Estamos orgullosos de nuestra historia de proporcionar una excelente educación pública, directamente en su propio vecindario. Durante más de 80 años, hemos impartido una educación integral y completa para todos los niños que se inscriben.

El año escolar 2018-2019 comienza el jueves, 2 de agosto de 2018. Visite su escuela, nuestro sitio web o llame al 623-478-5005 para obtener más información. ¡Inscríbase hoy y asista a la Noche de Conocer al Maestro el 31 de julio!

Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre el distrito o su escuela, llámeme al 623-478-5005. Estoy seguro de que su escuela del vecindario de Union es el mejor lugar para que su hijo aprenda y crezca.

¡Este es un gran año escolar 2018-2019!

Un cordial saludo,

Ms. Kristine K. Morris
Superintendente
Distrito de escuelas primarias de Union
kmorris@uesd.org


July 2018

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

We are pleased to announce that Mrs. Kristine Morris will begin her tenure as our next Superintendent on July 1, 2018. Mrs. Morris brings a wealth of experience to the role having worked at both the district and county levels. Her passion and depth of knowledge will be a great addition and assist the district in continuing its focus on improving outcomes for our students.

Have a question for her? She can be reached at

KMorris@uesd.org

June 2018

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,


The safety of our students is of the utmost importance to all of us. In light of recent events around the nation and our own state, we are taking steps to increase security at all of our school sites.

We are asking that all visitors to campus check in, show their identification and sign in the front office to receive a visitor’s badge. Additionally, lunch time visitors are asked to stay with their child in the lunchroom. Finally, we ask that you schedule classroom visits with the teacher in advance which also helps lessen disruptions to instruction while also allowing us to closely monitor who is on campus, why they are there and where they should be in the event of an emergency. Again, all visitors must sign in and wear a visitor badge.

We feel these simple preventative measures can lead to a more controlled environment for both learning and safety. We will be working with PTO and Site Councils to further refine school safety procedures in the weeks to come. We invite you to participate in those discussions.

We thank you for your assistance in following these procedures and partnering with us to create more focused and even safer learning environments.

Have a safe and happy spring break! School resumes Monday, March 19.

Estimadas familias del Distrito Escolar Primaria Union:

La seguridad de nuestros estudiantes es de suma importancia para todos nosotros. A la luz de los recientes eventos en todo el país y en nuestro propio estado, estamos tomando medidas para aumentar la seguridad en todos nuestros sitios escolares.

A partir del lunes 19 de marzo, pedimos que todos los visitantes del campus se registren, muestren su identificación y firmen en la oficina para recibir un gafete de visitante. Además, a los visitantes que almuerzan se les pide que permanezcan con sus hijos en el comedor. Finalmente, le pedimos que programe visitas al salón de clase con el maestro con anticipación, lo que también ayuda a disminuir las interrupciones en la instrucción y nos permite controlar de cerca quién está en el campus, por qué están allí y dónde deben estar en caso de una emergencia. De nuevo, todos los visitantes deben registrarse y usar una insignia de visitante.

Creemos que estas sencillas medidas preventivas pueden conducir a un entorno más controlado para el aprendizaje y la seguridad. Trabajaremos con PTO y los Consejos de Sitio para perfeccionar los procedimientos de seguridad escolar en las próximas semanas. Te invitamos a participar en esas discusiones.

Le agradecemos su ayuda para seguir estos procedimientos y asociarse con nosotros para crear entornos de aprendizaje más enfocados e incluso más seguros.

 




March/April 2018


Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,


The safety of our students is of the utmost importance to all of us. In light of recent events around the nation and our own state, we are taking steps to increase security at all of our school sites.

Starting Monday, March 19, we are asking that all visitors to campus check in, show their identification and sign in the front office to receive a visitor’s badge. Additionally, lunch time visitors are asked to stay with their child in the lunchroom. Finally, we ask that you schedule classroom visits with the teacher in advance which also helps lessen disruptions to instruction while also allowing us to closely monitor who is on campus, why they are there and where they should be in the event of an emergency. Again, all visitors must sign in and wear a visitor badge.

We feel these simple preventative measures can lead to a more controlled environment for both learning and safety. We will be working with PTO and Site Councils to further refine school safety procedures in the weeks to come. We invite you to participate in those discussions.

We thank you for your assistance in following these procedures and partnering with us to create more focused and even safer learning environments.

Have a safe and happy spring break! School resumes Monday, March 19.

Estimadas familias del Distrito Escolar Primaria Union:

La seguridad de nuestros estudiantes es de suma importancia para todos nosotros. A la luz de los recientes eventos en todo el país y en nuestro propio estado, estamos tomando medidas para aumentar la seguridad en todos nuestros sitios escolares.

A partir del lunes 19 de marzo, pedimos que todos los visitantes del campus se registren, muestren su identificación y firmen en la oficina para recibir un gafete de visitante. Además, a los visitantes que almuerzan se les pide que permanezcan con sus hijos en el comedor. Finalmente, le pedimos que programe visitas al salón de clase con el maestro con anticipación, lo que también ayuda a disminuir las interrupciones en la instrucción y nos permite controlar de cerca quién está en el campus, por qué están allí y dónde deben estar en caso de una emergencia. De nuevo, todos los visitantes deben registrarse y usar una insignia de visitante.

Creemos que estas sencillas medidas preventivas pueden conducir a un entorno más controlado para el aprendizaje y la seguridad. Trabajaremos con PTO y los Consejos de Sitio para perfeccionar los procedimientos de seguridad escolar en las próximas semanas. Te invitamos a participar en esas discusiones.

Le agradecemos su ayuda para seguir estos procedimientos y asociarse con nosotros para crear entornos de aprendizaje más enfocados e incluso más seguros.

 

January/February 2018


Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

Here is a quick introduction from the PBIS of Arizona website:

What is School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports?

Improving student academic and behavior outcomes is about ensuring all students have access to the most effective and accurately implemented instructional and behavioral practices and interventions possible. SWPBS provides an operational framework for achieving these outcomes. More importantly, SWPBS is NOT a curriculum, intervention, or practice, but IS a decision making framework that guides selection, integration, and implementation of the best evidence-based academic and behavioral practices for improving important academic and behavior outcomes for all students.

4 Elements of PBS

 




What Does School-Wide PBIS Emphasize?

In general, SWPBS emphasizes four integrated elements: (a) data for decision making, (b) measurable outcomes supported and evaluated by data, (c) practices with evidence that these outcomes are achievable, and (d) systems that efficiently and effectively support implementation of these practices.

For more information visit
www.pbisaz.org

Watch this short 4 minute video:
https://youtu.be/AuET68lJDQk





 November/December 2017


Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members, 

With holidays fast approaching, we want to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season! As you spend time together, considering adding story time to your family tradition if you don't already do that. Reading everyday, even for just 20 minutes, will make a big difference in your child's vocabulary which will help him/her to be more successful in school and life. Be sure to talk about what you are reading and your child what he/she thinks and why.

Here is what the state of Arizona considers a proficient 3rd grade reading skill:

Asks and answers questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for answers. (Highly proficient: asks and answers complex questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for answers and making inferences where necessary.)

See the descriptors for proficiency for all grades in English language arts and Math:

http://www.azed.gov/assessment/resources/