• September 1, 2017


    Over 30,000 students and staff paused for a Moment of Peace and Unity on Friday, September 1, 2017 at 11am. Students joined hands to form a heart while listening to the Desiderata poem and snippets of infamous speeches. 

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  • August 31, 2017

     The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 states that any school that receives funds for educationally disadvantaged students (Title I funds like Desiderata) must inform parents if their child is assigned a teacher for four or more consecutive weeks who is not "highly qualified" under NCLB.

    According to the No Child Left Behind law, a "highly qualified" teacher is one who:

    1.      Has obtained a Bachelor's degree or higher;

    2.      Has obtained full State certification; and

    3.      Has demonstrated competency in the core academic subject area(s) that he/she teaches by passing a content area test or enough hours to be equivalent to a major (24 semester hours). The core academic subjects are English; Reading or Language Arts; Mathematics; Science; Foreign Languages; Social Studies (Civics, Government, Economics, History, Geography) The Arts (visual arts, Drama, Music).

    All teachers at Desiderata Alternative Program have obtained a Bachelor's degree or higher and are fully certified through the State of Arizona. Please read attached notifications below.  


    Letter - Bail

    Letter - Burke

    Letter - Eddy

    Letter - Hendrixson

    Letter - Myers 

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  • August 1, 2017

    At the annual Opening of School Convocation, Mr. Manuel Calderon, Principal at Desiderata Program, was presented with the COMMITTED award.  The staff at Desiderata Program exemplify being committed to supporting each student on a daily basis.  

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    Thursday, October 19, 2017


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  • Max Ehrmann's Poem "Desiderata" (latin for "desired things") is a prose poem that has an positive message, and was used as the moniker for a unique alternative program that has served Phoenix Union High School District since 1977.

    Desiderata Alternative Program serves exceptional students who have needs that are more effectively addressed in a small school environment. Students are referred to Desiderata by their home school campuses. The Desiderata program emphasizes academic achievements and helps to support the social, emotional and behavioral development and growth of students. All students are taught district approved curriculum that meets Arizona Common Core Standards and content specific Arizona Academic Standards. Classroom activities stress student acquisition of literacy and life skills.

    Desiderata Alternative Program is housed in a 30,000-square foot facility near 35th Avenue and Thomas and was opened in 2006. The campus is designed to be functional and supportive: there are 11 classrooms, library, fitness center, sports court, cafetorium, group therapy room, instructional kitchen, and assistive technology support.

School News

District News

  • Governing Board Calls for November Bond and Budget Override Election

    The Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board has called for a 15 percent Maintenance and Operations Budget Override and Bond election for November 7, 2017.  The action was taken at the May 4 Governing Board meeting.

    The election will be a mailed ballot-only election with ballots mailed to qualified electors residing within the District.

    The override asks voters for authorization to continue the current 15 percent override for  fiscal year 2018-2019 and six subsequent years.  This would be a continuation of the existing override approved by voters in 2013.  There would be no additional taxes if the override is approved.  The override provides for over 400 teachers and support staff that directly impacts students and student achievement.

    The bond would be for $269 million to fund capital improvements over and above those funded by the state.  The District annual capital budget has been cut from $21 million to just under $2 million since the Recession.  The bulk of the bond would fund maintenance, and renovation of school buildings and technology.

    View the full release here.

    View informational materials here:

    (English) Fact Booklet     (English) Fact Sheets    (Spanish) Fact Booklet      (Spanish) Fact Sheets


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  • OPEN ENROLLMENT is Available! Our high schools have it all – more classes, more specialized programs, more support and more opportunities than any other school district.  Make new friends and hang with your old friends; create memories; EXPAND your horizons; EXPLORE your future; EXPRESS yourself and EXCEED your expectations.  This is an exciting time for you.  Our job is to prepare every student for success in college, career and life.  Your job is to take advantage of all Phoenix Union has to offer.  ENROLL with us and you’ll have the EXPERIENCE of a Lifetime.To apply online or download the form, please visit Apply Today!
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  • Shark  
    2920 N. 34th Dr.
    Phoenix, AZ 85017 
    602.271.2963  FAX
    Principal: Manuel Calderon
    Mascot: Sharks
    School Colors: Purple and Gray
    Year School Opened: 1977

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