A Foundation of Excellence
A Future of Achievement, Innovation, and Inspiration
Founded in 1863, Union School District has continued to build upon its foundation of excellence. From its earliest beginnings in a one-room schoolhouse to our present district of eight schools with 5,400 students, USD has continued to provide the community with schools that are second to none.
Maintaining its stellar achievement as the highest performing district in San Jose, Union is also renowned for providing a caring, supportive, and student-centered culture in all of its schools. Thanks to the overwhelming support of parents and community, the successful passage of Measure J has positioned the district to also be a leader in 21st Century teaching and learning. Classroom learning environments are being designed to provide both teachers and students with state-of-the-art instructional equipment designed to prepare students for their future. Curriculum and assessment in the district has been developed to ensure student success on the rigorous Common Core State Standards, and our teachers are leaders in the using technology to enhance instruction and inspire student creativity and problem-solving success.
The mission of the Union School District is to enrich the community through learning. We are dedicated to children: to involve the community; to anticipate challenges; to take advantage of opportunities; and, to guarantee vital skills for all our children to pursue lifelong learning and become productive citizens.
Early History of Union School District
As early as 1858, people returning from the gold fields came to this area to establish a community and start a new life. One of the priorities being discussed was some form of education for their children.
On November 3, 1863, this discussion became official with an election to organize a school district and choose three school board members. Major Lewis Foster Parker was named as the leader of the board and was in charge of planning the school and hiring a teacher. The community showed their political support by naming the District Union, after the Union army of the Civil War. Union School District officially formed in 1863 during the Civil War and was named “Union” to express the residents’ strong sense of loyalty to the Union Army.
The first Union school was actually our first “portable”. The one-room schoolhouse, serving the rural community and welcoming children, ranging in age from five to thirteen, was built on skids (like a sled) because the community couldn’t agree on where its location should be. A team of horses would be used to move the school from one ranch to another. After some time, it was finally decided that the location of the school would be where Leigh High School is presently located.
In 1872, this portable school burned down. The first permanent school was again named Union School and was located where the present-day District Office sits. Mr. Christopher Schofield donated the land with these three requirements: 1. The land had to be used for educational purposes. 2. It had to have a hog tight fence built around it. 3. It had to have a well dug deep enough to supply cool, sweet water. A bell was purchased from the Southern Pacific Railroad and placed in the school’s bell tower.