Superintendent
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Our teachers are amazing! This month we celebrated Union Elementary School District teachers for the academic growth their students made on the Middle of Year (MOY) Galileo assessments.  The teachers who attended were selected because their class exceeded the MOY growth expectations in either Math or ELA. Our partner, Million Dollar Teacher project, hosted a luncheon sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings, Microsoft, and Office Depot.  Teachers had an hour away from their campus to enjoy lunch with their colleagues, play some games, win prizes, and most importantly be celebrated for their work with our students to improve academically.   Congratulations to our teachers and their students for their hard work!


The Union and Hurley Ranch 2nd and 3rd grade teams hosted an informative and fun “Moving Up” evening to welcome future 3rd graders to the Hurley Ranch campus.  Over the past several months our schools have worked together to help our 2nd graders and their families get excited and informed about the transition to Hurley and to help ease any nerves or concerns that families and/or students might have.  Parents, if you were unable to attend the Moving Up event, Principal Watkins would be happy to answer any questions and help you and your child prepare for a smooth transition.  


Parent teacher conferences are right around the corner, March 2-7.  Thank you for taking time to meet with your child's teacher.  Our goal is to have 100% of families attend.  If you haven't set up your appointment, reach out to your school today.  

Families, thank you for believing in and supporting your local public schools. We know you have choices and we thank you for choosing Union ESD #62 as your education partner. Thank you to those who have recommitted to your school by returning your letter.  This process helps us better plan for future enrollment, supplies, materials, and helps us create a welcoming space for your child's first day back next year.  Additionally, it helps us gauge how many open enrollments we can accept.  If you live out of District and interested in your child attending a Union ESD school, please contact the school, arrange for a visit, and submit an open enrollment form today.

Thank you for choosing Union Elementary School District #62.   Together we will inspire hope and empower all children to courageously pursue their goals and dreams. Have a great Spring Break March 9-13.

Sincerely,

Ms. Kristine Morris
Superintendent

School Contact Numbers

Dos Rios Elementary 623-474-7000

Union Elementary      623-478-5000

Hurley Ranch Elementary 623-478-5100

Posted by kmorris  at 3:12 PM
  
Dear Union Elementary School District Families,

Do you have a child who will turn 5 years old on or before September 1, 2020?  If so, it's time to register for Kindergarten!

Please plan to attend one of the upcoming 2020-2021 Kindergarten Roundup events.  Dos Rios Elementary and Union Elementary schools will be hosting events on the following dates:

-February 5, 2020   from 5-7 pm
-February 20, 2020 from 5-7 pm
-March 4, 2020 from 4-7 pm


This is your chance to learn about food service, transportation, see the campus, classrooms, and meet some staff.  If you bring your child, some staff will be available to conduct a Kindergarten screening. 

Information about what to bring can be found on the Kindergarten enrollment site at http://unionesd.org/Enrollment/kindergarten_round-up

Please direct any questions about Kindergarten registration to your school.  They can be reached at:

Dos Rios Elementary 623-474-7000
Union Elementary      623-478-5000

Thank you for choosing Union Elementary School District #62.  Together we will inspire hope and empower all children to courageously pursue their goals and dreams.

Sincerely,

Ms. Kristine Morris
Superintendent
Posted by kmorris  On Jan 27, 2020 at 1:42 PM
  
We are thrilled to share that we have started the process of adopting a new K-8 Mathematics Textbook series!  We anticipate that we will be able to implement the newly adopted materials during the next school year (2020-2021). Our initial review has narrowed our choices down to 5 quality textbooks series. Currently some of our teachers are piloting the materials to help us make an informed decision about the best product. 

Beginning December 12, 2019, and continuing through February 10, 2020, we will have the textbooks on display for public review at the Union Elementary School District Board Room, 3834 S. 91st Avenue, Tolleson, AZ 85353. If you are interested in reviewing the materials, please stop by the District Office between 7:30-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except during winter break when offices are closed. District Office staff will assist you with accessing the Board room for materials review. 

Should you have questions any questions about our Mathematics Adoption process, please feel free to contact Ms. Melanie Block, Director of Academic Services, at 623-478-5020.  I will continue to provide updates as we move through the process of selecting a program that will help support our students academic success and growth in mathematics. 

Thank you,
Ms. Kristine Morris
Superintendent
   
Posted by kmorris  On Dec 05, 2019 at 10:57 AM
  

Happy Fall! It has been a great start to our year and I’m excited to share with you an update on the progress we have made together and some challenges we will overcome.

First, thank you for making school attendance a priority for your child during the first quarter. Both Union Elementary and Hurley Ranch made student attendance a priority this year.  As a result of their efforts during quarter 1 Union Elementary improved attendance by 1.04 percentage points and Hurley improved their attendance rate by .55 percentage points when compared to last year's attendance! Additionally, both schools reduced their chronic absentee rates by over 3 percentage points! Your children depend on you to get them to school on time each-and-every day, and your efforts are showing. As we head into the Thanksgiving and Winter Break, let’s keep it going. The days leading up to the break, and immediately following the break, are important for your child’s learning.  Please schedule trips and appointments during the vacation days only and help your child develop important habits that will last a lifetime.

We had the highest beginning of year enrollment in recent history, at 1800 students.  Not only is it important for your child’s learning that they attend every day; but, starting at the beginning of the school year ensures that we receive the full appropriation of resources from the state to support their learning.  The state determines how much funding to send to the district based on how many students are enrolled from the first through the 100th day of school.  If a student starts 5 days late, the state will only provide the district with 95% of the funds that were set aside for their education.  Additionally, when a student arrives after the 100th day, there is no state funding provided for that student.  Thank you for choosing Union, for showing up on day one, and for helping us ensure the full resources are garnered to support our students.

Thank you for attending parent teacher conferences.  During the Fall parent-teacher conferences we were able to meet with 69% of parents about their child’s progress.  These meetings give you and your child’s teacher important face-to-face time to discuss the strengths and areas for growth for your child and they are very important to us.  These meetings not only give you  the chance to meet face to face with your child’s teacher, they also show your child that you and the teacher care about their progress, and that you are on the same page about the child’s goals.  We will be having conferences in the spring and look forward to this opportunity again. We hope to reach 100% participation in the spring.  In the meantime, if you have a question or concern, call or email your child’s teacher, they are happy to have you as their partner in learning.

We are so very proud of our teachers and staff and appreciate the work they do to help our students feel safe, supported, and to make academic progress.  Unfortunately, we have faced some challenges with staff turnover. Sometimes unavoidable life circumstances cause mid-year changes to our classrooms and although we ask that employees afford us time to find quality replacements; that cannot always occur.  We are grateful to our guest teachers, parents, and support staff for their patience and consideration of this situation. Thank you for working with us as we seek caring and qualified employees who are committed to ensuring your child’s success.   

The Arizona Department of Education recently released school letter grades from the 2018-19 school year. We have a celebration and one area for growth. Dos Rios kept pace with State averages and received a C letter grade.  They also made significant progress and were 2 points away from a B letter grade. Unfortunately, Hurley Ranch’s last year’s student achievement and growth did not keep pace with State averages and resulted in Hurley Ranch receiving a D letter grade.  We are so proud of all our Union Elementary School District students, staff, and community and know that we will do even better. We are confident that through the adjustments we have put into place for this current school year, we will make greater progress and improve our State standing.

We know you have a choice in where your child attends school and we are committed to ensuring your child experiences outstanding instruction every day. Thank you for engaging in your school through events, parent-teacher conferences, literacy & math nights, PTO events, etc.  It is your firsthand engagement, relationships with staff, conversations with and modeling for your child that education is an important family matter, that will help us strengthen our services, improve our outcomes, and inspire all children with hope and empower them to courageously pursue their goals and dreams. 

Wishing you a safe and peaceful Thanksgiving break, shared in the company of those you care about. Thank you for a great start and looking forward to an even stronger middle of the 2019-2020 school year!

With warm regard,

Ms. Kristine Morris

Posted by kmorris  On Nov 22, 2019 at 5:40 PM
  

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year and to Union Elementary School District #62. Thank you for making Union ESD your partner in the education of your child.

This year is the first year of our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan and we couldn’t be more optimistic about the plan and the caring employees we have hired to ensure all Union’s children are inspired with hope and empowered to courageously pursue their goals and dreams.

Over the next five years, we will be working with you, our community stakeholders to ensure that we achieve the following goals.

  1. Student Academic Success: All students will demonstrate academic growth and achievement.
  2. Student Well-Being: All students are provided a comprehensive education and school climate that supports their learning and social-emotional growth.
  3. High Quality Caring Staff: We support, develop, retain and recruit highly effective teachers, leaders, and support staff that commit to meeting the needs of all our learners.
  4. Stewardship of Resources: We secure and effectively manage resources to meet the needs of 21st century learners and employees.

We will know we have been successful when:

  • Our students are achieving at or above the state on Arizona’s statewide assessment
  • Our schools are highly performing in the top 5 percent in Tolleson High School District boundaries
  • Our students successfully transition to high school
  • Our staff and student retention rate is 90% or higher
  • All students can identify a caring adult in school who can help them succeed
  • We have eliminated the achievement gap between all student subgroups

We have identified strategies to help us achieve these goals and each school and department will put into place an annual plan for how they will implement those strategies. School and district-wide teams will review our progress regularly so that we can adjust to better improve results for our students. 

How can you help?

First, help your child  get to school on-time, each and every day.  Attendance matters and habits are formed as early as Kindergarten.  We only have 180 days of to help them learn their grade level standards, so each day really matters.  Please schedule vacations during break, appointments during early releases, and help your child understand the importance of attendance. Secondly, keep in touch with your child's teacher. Ask how your child is progressing and how you can help.  Third, engage in your school events, attend parent-teacher conferences, literacy & math nights. Most importantly, continue being an active partner in your child’s learning and helping your child create goals for their future self.  Talk with your child about what they want for their future. Discuss what they want for their family, hobbies, community service, and career. The conversations and habits you set now will last a lifetime and set a vision of their future that will inspire them for years to come.

I encourage you to review our plan, engage in the activities at your school, department, or at the district-wide level. Thank you for choosing Union Elementary School District as your educational partner and for helping us make Union Elementary School District, Arizona’s best district to live, learn and work.   

Warm regards,
Ms. Kristine K. Morris

Superintendent 
Union Elementary School District 
kmorris@uesd.org

 

Posted by kmorris  On Aug 06, 2019 at 8:28 AM
  
April 2019   

The Union Elementary School District community is a great place to live, learn and work. In our most recent 2018-2019 parent satisfaction survey, 85% of our parents rated the Union ESD as above average, with a letter grade of A or B. Over 90% of parents felt their own school was an A or B and over 90% of parents agreed that Union ESD creates safe and healthy environments for their children. Thank you families for the privilege of working with your children.

 

We are proud of our schools and pleased to share with you this video highlighting Union Elementary School District.

 

 

If you have made Union to be your district of choice, thank you!  If you are considering Union for your child’s education, we are accepting enrollments now, please visit the enrollment section of our website, or your neighborhood school to register.

 

If you are talented, caring, and dedicated adult, who wants to work in a great district with amazing students, families, and ongoing support, visit our employment website.  Take a few minutes to see what Union is all about, and apply today!

 

Planning for next year already? The 2019-2020 calendar can be found on our website for your information.  We hope you will plan summer break/vacations to ensure that your child is ready for the first day of school, August 05, 2019.  Meet the teacher night will be on Thursday August 1, 2019.

 

Thank you for helping Union ESD Inspire Hope and Empower All Children to Courageously Pursue their Goals and Dreams.

 

Fondly, 

 

Kristine Morris

Posted by mhaley  On Apr 09, 2019 at 3:21 PM
  

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

 

 

Posted by Administrator  On Mar 08, 2019 at 11:30 AM
  

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   

 

 

Posted by Administrator  On Mar 08, 2019 at 11:29 AM
  

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

Calling all future Kindergarten Students! 

Will your child be five years old by September 1, 2019?  If so, please mark your calendar to attend one of Union Elementary School District’s Kindergarten Roundup events. Both Dos Rios and Union Elementary will be conducting campus tours, providing kindergarten readiness and screening information, and registering Kindergarten students for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.  Administration, teachers, student services, transportation, and food service will be on site to answer your questions.  Please plan to attend one of your school’s upcoming events. For more information about what to bring to register your child, please visit the Admissions section of our website. 

February 19th, 5-7pm

Or

March 19th, 5-7pm

 

If you need further information about Kindergarten registration, please feel free to contact Dos Rios at:  623-474-4000 or Union Elementary at: 623-475-5000.

 

Not only is it time to register incoming Kindergarten students.  We are also asking each Union family their plans for school attendance next year.  If your child already attends a Union Elementary School, they should have received a commitment letter, please return that letter to your child’s teacher indicating your child’s return. This will help us plan for a successful start to the school year. We look forward to another great year!

 

Finally, we are also accepting registration for new students for the 2019-2020 school year. Union Elementary is looking forward to helping your child reach his or her goals and dreams. Please visit our Enrollment section of the website or visit your school office today. Thank you for choosing Union, your local public school district!

 

Sincerely,

Ms. Morris

Superintendent

 

 

Posted by Administrator  On Mar 08, 2019 at 11:29 AM
  

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    

 

 

Posted by Administrator  On Mar 08, 2019 at 11:28 AM
  
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