Marisol Mareno(left) and Carmen Luevano prepare meals at Ellen Ochoa Elementary School Friday, March 27, 2020. The school is continuing to serve students from the Union district lunch and breakfast during the COVID-19 shutdown. The number they serve has increased every day and is up to 3,400 meals for 1,700 students. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World

I would like to thank the hardworking teachers, administrators and staff of Union Public Schools for the terrific job they have done in the wake of COVID-19.

In spite of many obstacles, they have embraced the challenge.

Thankfully, our leadership had great foresight. With the passage of a significant bond issue in 2018, we purchased enough laptops that every student in grades 9-12 has a device to take home, as well as portable wireless devices.

Laptops and iPads have been distributed to students in grades kindergarten to eighth. This has not been easy, but we are making it happen.

This health crisis has given us opportunities to help one another.

In the first week, the district’s child nutrition team served 32,000 drive-through meals to children, which has since grown to about 45,000 meals.

Even more amazing is that our staff completed the massive task of developing a distance learning plan in just a matter of days. Union is blessed with an incredible team.

The next few weeks will be a significant change for parents and students.

Our teachers are eager to return to their students, even if it means meeting by video conference.

Engaging with our students in a personal way is a hallmark of the Union experience, and it’s not something we will ever give up.

I would like to thank parents for partnering with us on this journey. We are fortunate to serve a community that values public education.

Editor's Note: Ken Kinnear is the Union Public Schools board president. He is running for re-election in June against challenger Brandon Swearengin.

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