On behalf of the Board of Trustees and all of the Union School District family, I welcome everyone to the 2018-2019 school year. I would like to thank our classified staff who prepared our facilities for our students’ return, our teachers whose summers included valuable professional learning and preparation for the new school year, and a warm thank you to our community. Each school year would not be able to start successfully without the support of our Union families and community members.
The first weeks of school have already been filled with exciting learning and experiences; kicking off what is sure to be a great year. On the first days of school, all of our schools participated in SmartStart. Classes spent time making important connections with one another and with their school through community activities, student-driven projects, and lessons focused on getting to know fellow classmates and everyone at school.
Carlton’s first week culminated in an all-school dance party after every student added their “Cougar Paw Print” to the blacktop chalk art. At Dartmouth, school teams got to know one another through team-building activities and games designed for students to begin to make connections and build trust. Students at Alta Vista tinkered on several different design challenge activities and got to know their classmates through fun, team-building games and lessons. Guadalupe welcomed students and families with a selfie station to commemorate the first day of school. Lietz kicked off the year with their “PAWS” initiative, rooted in Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) where students learn to Problem Solve, Act Respectfully, make Wise Choices, and Spread Kindness. Noddin students made an immediate connection with each other by hosting a school-wide picnic on the grass. At Oster, students worked on several design, digital citizenship and science activities, and also joined their families at a school-wide picnic. Students at Union Middle embraced the new school year as student leaders welcomed their peers walking onto campus on the first day with high-fives. These are only a few examples of the wonderful activities that started the 2018-2019 school year in Union School District.
Over the past few years, we have been confronted with financial realities that must be addressed in order to maintain the wonderful programs and staff that make our district great. We face low levels of funding in addition to increasing costs that make it clear that we must increase our revenue as a district. One opportunity the district is pursuing includes the leasing of the maintenance yard next to the district office to Belmont Village Senior Living. The project is a result of careful consideration over the past few years in order to ensure a solution that benefits both the community and our schools. It is still early in the process and we will have several opportunities for the community to give feedback. To view more information about the project, including past community meeting communications and the proposal plans, please visit the information page on our website here.