Phoenix Union High School District is one of the largest high school districts in the country, with 16 schools, over 26,000 students, and nearly 3,000 employees. Phoenix Union covers 220-square miles of Arizona’s capital city. If the K-8 students in its 13 elementary partner schools were included, it would be among the 25 largest school districts in the United States, with over 110,000 students.
The District has 11 comprehensive high schools, two specialty small schools and three alternative schools. There are a number of programs that make Phoenix Union unique. Among those, are:
Student support is important at Phoenix Union. Every comprehensive high school has a nurse, social worker, psychologist, dean of students, security staff, School Resource Officer, a community liaison, interventionist and a team of academic counselors with the best counselor-to-student ratio in Arizona. Its Special Education Department is a model for school districts, offering services for gifted to medically fragile, hearing impaired and children with autism. The English Language Learner program is as comprehensive as any in the state, from placement to testing to reclassification.
Phoenix Union schools offer a full array of activities and opportunities for students. Student Government, Yearbook and Newspaper, Academic Decathlon, Speech and Debate, DECA and National Honor Society are just a sampling. There are 11 Army Junior ROTC programs with over 1800 student-cadets. Enrollment in performing and visual arts classes increased by 2000 students in the past five years, while bands,ensembles, choirs, dance troupes and theatre offer extracurricular opportunities. There are 21 interscholastic sports available, and over 6,000 boys and girls participate. Almost 700 clubs, with 50 or more on most campuses cover everything from robotics to recycling, step teams to chess teams.
Partnerships with government,colleges and universities, nonprofits and businesses abound, affording innovative programming, grants, student internships and scholarships. For instance, Science Foundation Arizona gave its largest school grant ever to Metro Tech to integrate sustainability into its curriculum and project learning. In 2011, seniors earned $24 million in merit scholarships and millions more in grants and financial aid.
Unlike many urban school districts, Phoenix Union is fiscally sound, its enrollment is growing, and it attracts highly qualified teachers whose experience, educational attainment and compensation are well above the state average. The 2011-12 enrollment is the highest in 32 years with 742 more students than the year before. PUHSD’s facilities are spacious, modern,technologically advanced, well-maintained and safe, thanks to the community supporting two bond elections for over $400 million for construction, renovation and maintenance since 2003. The most recent wave of construction included four new schools, and major campus renovation at two others.
Phoenix Union is a school district with a glorious past, a successful present, and a promising future as it prepares every student for success in college, career and life.
Instructional technology is one area where Phoenix Union sets itself apart from most districts. With significant funding from a supportive community and a commitment to the future, the district is leading the way in Arizona bringing technology into the classrooms and into the hands of its’ teachers and students. Technology is changing the way teachers teach and students learn.