Union Public Schools Announces Changes To The District's Schedule

Tuesday, May 10th 2022, 9:12 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Some parents are frustrated with the schedule changes at Union Public Schools.

Union Public Schools said the decision to change hours for the 2022-2023 school year comes after a shortage of buses, and because some buses have difficulty getting students to school on time.

Next year, Bianca Morrison will have a 6th grader and a kindergartener. With the schedule changes, her kids' start time would be on completely different schedules.

“It’s going to make a huge impact on those parents that have a 9-5 job, or even earlier. Those that have to be at work at 8:30. This is going to be a huge issue," said Morrison.

Morrison said she’ll have to decide to either put her kids on the bus or drop them off early before she heads to work. But her main concern is the later release times that may cut her daughter's extracurricular activities.

“Most of those classes start at 5. With this happening we may have to some adjustments on what she can and cannot take. And then also, the times I’ll need to take off early enough to be able to get there in time and to get her to those classes," said Morrison.

She said it may create issues during pickup. “It’s right before 5 o'clock traffic. And it’s just going to be a strain overall for all those working parents out there or even parents that aren’t working who need to stay in that long line to get to their kids," said Morrison.

Union said the change in hours will allow the district to provide the current number of shuttles scheduled throughout the school day.

The district said there were several possible solutions, including hiring a significant number of new bus drivers, spreading the day out further from start to finish, or moving elementary schools to the second wave of buses.

“It was felt that neither of the first two choices listed were feasible,” Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler stated, “especially considering the severe shortage of bus drivers.”

The district said the changes are here to stay. Morrison said she'll just have to figure it out.

“We’ll make it work one way or another but a lot of us parents are going to have to make changes and adjustments. And, you know, it’s just going to be kind of tough,” said Morrison.

The new times are:

  1. 7:40 a.m. – 2:22 p.m. 7th Grade
  2. 7:40 a.m. – 2:24 p.m. 8th Grade
  3. 8:15 a.m. – 2:57 p.m. Elementary
  4. 8:35 a.m. – 3:37 p.m. High School
  5. 8:45 a.m. – 3:27 p.m. Freshman Academy
  6. 9:25 a.m. – 4:07 p.m. 6th Grade

Union Public Schools said the proposed schedule meets the request to have 7th and 8th grade on the same wave and before the High School and Freshman Academy. It also keeps the High School and Freshman Academy on the same wave.