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

Watch this short 4 minute video:

 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:

September/October 2017
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members, 

As we close the first month of school, I want to say thank you to all of you for your generous support of our teachers and students with your donations of classroom supplies. We know these will be put to good use!

I also want you to know that as a district, we are reviewing our classroom practices and learning how to make our schools the very best learning environment for students and staff. To that end, we have embarked on a year-long journey learning about research-based Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports.

"The broad purpose of PBIS is to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of schools and other agencies. PBIS improves social, emotional and academic outcomes for all students, including students with disabilities and students from underrepresented groups." (Retrieved from

To learn more about this, please visit some of the sites below. There are ideas for school as well as home to help shape students' behavior.


Is your child engaging in a troubling behavior you're not sure how to fix? Try Intervention Central:

Behavior Help

Some of the immediate changes you will see on our campuses are that rules and expectations are posted in the hallways, cafeteria as well as classrooms. They are clear and concise so that all students and adults know what is expected.

Watch for more news on this in the months ahead!

All students and staff deserve a safe, orderly learning and working environment.

July/August 2017

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

We know you have a choice of where to send your child to school. Did you know that our schools require all teachers to be certified? Charters and private schools don't. We provide services to our special education students; we don't turn them away. Did you know we provide a free breakfast and lunch to every student, every school day (and part of the summer too!)? Did you know that charter schools can close their doors at any time? We've been around for over 80 years! 

School begins Monday, August 7th! We are enrolling students now for the 2017-18 school year. Please visit the website or call 623-478-5005 for more information.

We are excited about the upcoming new year with many returning teachers, strong leaders, and building upgrades including paint, carpet and even air conditioning units! Our grounds are in tip top shape as well. We value clean, well-maintained grounds and buildings to ensure students and staff have a great environment in which to learn and work.

Planning has also been going on all summer to ensure that teachers are supported in delivering the rigorous, high quality learning experiences you expect for your children. We are seeing gains in classrooms across the district in academic achievement due to the hard work and efforts of our leaders, teachers and students.

We hope you will get involved in your school's PTO/PTA, Site Council or other volunteer opportunities. Involved parents and guardians equals successful students!

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

Here's to a great 2017-18 school year!

Warm regards,

              Supt Headshot

Mrs. Lorah J. Neville
Union Elementary School District

May/June 2017

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

We are now enrolling students for the 2017-18 school year. Information can be found on our website or by calling the schools or district office. We are happy to assist you in anyway we can.

The last day of school is Friday, May 26th. It is a half-day so please plan accordingly.

We wish all of our families a safe and happy summer break. We look forward to seeing our students when school resumes on Monday, August 7th. We know parents have many choices when it comes to educating their children.

Thank you for giving us the great privilege of serving you and your children.

April 2017

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

We are now enrolling students for the 2017-18 school year. Information can be found on our website or by calling the schools or district office. We are happy to assist you in anyway we can.

Wondering what your student will be learning? Follow the link below to the Arizona Department of Education website for standards in all subject areas. There are also resources for parents an students to help prepare students.

March 2017

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

Parent conferences are March 7th & 8th and Spring Break is March 13th -17th. It's also time for Kindergarten registration for 2017-18. We invite you to attend our next event March 30th at either Union or Dos Rios Elementary from 5:00-7:00 p.m. There will be valuable information as well as help on hand to complete registration paperwork. We will also have summer materials for you to help have your child prepared for success in Kindergarten as well. Follow the link below for a free parent kit from First Things First for  preschoolers getting ready for Kindergarten.

If you have children birth to age 5, please visit
there are many great, free resources to assist families.

Happy Spring Everyone!

January & February 2017

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

We are still looking for your feedback as we develop our 3-year goals for the district. Please follow one of the survey links below to provide feedback during the month of December and help shape the direction of the district. The Governing Board will review and consider all feedback provided.

Thank you!

Parent & community Feedback for District Goals

English Survey

Español Survey

November 2016

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

Parents are frequently looking for ways to understand what is expected of students at each grades as well as how to help students. The National PTA website has many helpful resources.

Here is an excerpt and links to the website:

"The Parents’ Guides to Student Success were developed by teachers, parents and education experts in response to the Common Core State Standards that more than 45 states have adopted.

Created for grades K-8 and high school English, language arts/literacy and mathematics, the guides provide clear, consistent expectations for what students should be learning at each grade in order to be prepared for college and career."

The guides are available in English and Spanish.

Parent Guides to Student Success

Hope you find these resources to be helpful!

October 2016

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

The Union Elementary School District Governing Board has a vacancy.  The vacancy is created due to the term expiring of Governing Board member Stacie Marchelli.  We are very appreciative of her service!

The vacancy will be filled by appointment made by Maricopa County School Superintendent, Dr. Don Covey.  The successful candidate will be seated for a four (4) year term starting in January.

Required Documents:

1. Letter of interest addressing the following:
Tell us about involvement with the Union Elementary School District.
Tell us what you believe to be the three most critical issues facing the District and describe how your experience would assist the District in addressing those issues.
Tell us how you hope to contribute as a Union Elementary School District Governing Board member.
Tell us what you believe are the most important responsibilities of a Governing Board member.

2. One-page resume or one-page synopsis of career, education, community involvement and additional interests.

3. Proof of at least one-year of District residency.

4. Proof of current Arizona Voter Registration.

5. Signed, notarized affidavit attesting to qualifications (residency and registration).

6. Optional Letters of support from the community and/or references are welcome.

Any eligible resident within the Union Elementary School District who is interested in being appointed can obtain the application online at

The application must be printed out, signed, notarized and the original mailed or hand delivered by the deadline.  The deadline for applying is no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 21, 2016.

September 2016

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

Union School District was able to secure dates from September to May for our community food bank again this year.

We are excited to announce our first food bank for the 2016-17 school year. We will have this community event on Wednesday, September 28, 2016. It will be held at Union Elementary School campus located at 3834 S. 91st Ave, Tolleson, AZ. Union Elementary is an enclosed school and we will have our community stand in line in the hallway. We are asking that our community members wait to arrive until 1:30 pm, to ensure student safety during school dismissal.

Please bring a basket, wagon or other tool to help you carry the food that will be distributed. If you or a family member would like to volunteer, we would welcome the preparation support! Please arrive at 12:45 pm at Union Elementary School and we will show you how you can help give back to our community. Union Elementary School District looks forward to seeing our families back for the St. Mary's Food Bank.  


Hola padres y familias,

Estamos muy contentos de anunciar nuestro banco de alimentos de septiembre para el año escolar 2016-17. Tendremos este evento para la comunidad el miércoles, 28 de septiembre del 2016. Se llevará a cabo en la Escuela Primaria Unión ubicada en 3834 S. 91ª Ave, Tolleson, AZ . Union Elementary es una escuela cerrada y por eso tendremos a nuestra comunidad pararse en línea en el pasillo, estamos pidiendo que nuestra comunidad espera en llegar hasta la 1:30 pm, para garantizar la seguridad de los estudiantes durante la salida. Por favor traiga una canasta, carrito o otra herramienta para ayudarle a llevar la comida que vamos a distribuir. Si usted o un miembro de su familia le gustaría ser voluntario veríamos con agrado el apoyo de preparación por favor llegue a las 12:45 pm en la Escuela Primaria Unión y le mostraremos cómo puede ayudar a dar a nuestra comunidad. El Distrito Union Elementary School espera ver a nuestras familias de regreso para el Banco de Alimentos de St. Mary’s

August 2016

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

Welcome to the 2016-17 School Year! We are excited to welcome just over 1900 students back to school starting Monday, August 8th.

We invite all of our community members, parents, grandparents, etc. to get involved in the schools. There are many ways to volunteer and support the schools and your children. Here at Union Elementary, we pride ourselves on being a family. We are committed to serving the social-emotional needs of students as well as their academic needs. Together, we can help all of our students achieve their potential!

I would like to update you on a couple of administrative changes for the 2016-17 school year. I am very proud and excited about our dedicated team of educational professionals who are here to ensure that our staff and students have a great year. Two new additions are:

  • Mr. Adam Klingelhoets is the new Principal at Hurley School.  Mr. Kligelhoets served as interim principal this past spring. This is a great selection as Mr. Klingelhoets already knows the staff, students and parents and is ready to hit the ground running.  
  • Mrs. Lori Garcia is the new Assistant Principal at Hurley Ranch. Mrs. Garcia served as a math coach for the district previously and brings a wealth of knowledge to her new role.

Our focus this year is on ensuring effective instruction is happening in every Union classroom. We have recently established shared commitments that all teachers and administrators will adhere to in order to provide a guaranteed and viable curriculum for every student.

We welcome our new teachers as well who recently completed several days of training and showed that they are enthusiastic and committed to doing the best for Union students. Of course, we are excited to have many returning veteran teachers and administrators as well as a district team who will be a great support to staff in all functions of the district from Food Service, Transportation, Grounds & Maintenance, Academic Services, Student Services, Technology, Human Resources and Business Services.

We have a great team and are looking forward to the best year of learning ever for Union students!

July 2016

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

The 2016-17 school year is almost here! It is my great pleasure to be joining the Union Elementary School District Family as Superintendent.

I am a twenty-five-year veteran educator having served in both the Chandler Unified School District and the Kyrene Elementary School District.  Most recently I was Executive Director of Educational Services for the Kyrene School District. In that position, I supervised, coached, and evaluated thirteen K-8 school principals, as well as screened and recommended hiring new administrative, certified, and classified employees.  I have also had the pleasure of planning and delivering professional development for principals and assistant principals as well as aspiring leaders and teachers. My previous positions include:  Executive Director of Curriculum and Learning Services as well as middle school teacher; and in Chandler, Director of Curriculum and Career Ladder and Elementary School Principal. I believe my wide range of experiences have prepared me well for this position and am excited to be part of such a wonderful community.

Thank you for your support of Proposition 123 this past May! This Proposition will allow the state to amend the state constitution to increase the state land trust funds to 6.9% from 2.5% to provide more dollars to public education without increasing taxes. Its passage has provided approximately $425,000 more dollars to the Union Elementary School District to be used in classrooms and to support teacher salaries.

As you know, our 3rd through 8th grade students took the AzMERIT Writing, Reading, Math, and AIMS Science assessments during the first two weeks of April. We anticipate receiving the parent reports for these student assessments in late July and look forward to sharing your child’s results during the first few weeks of school.

With school starting soon, it is time to register children for next year’s Kindergarten class. Dos Rios and Union Elementary school offices are open 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday –Thursday in July. To be registered for Kindergarten, a student must turn 5 years of age prior to September 1st of the current school year.

Finally, I want to sincerely thank the Union School Board for selecting me to serve the students, staff, parents, and community of Union Elementary School District.  It is my greatest hope that, together, we can ensure Union students experience Achievement Today for an Exceptional Tomorrow!

Should you have questions, please contact me at 623-478-5004 or send me an e-mail. Thank you for taking your time to read this message.

Supt Headshot

Mrs. Lorah J. Neville
Union Elementary School District

Union Elementary Mission Statement
To provide a stimulating environment which fosters a love of learning, promotes independent learners, produces responsible citizens, and interacts with the community to develop each child's potential and self-