BIG CITY, SMALL SCHOOLS
Phoenix Union High School District is not a typical big-city school district. It is a portfolio of schools that can accommodate every student in a choice-rich educational environment. One size does not fit everyone. Of the 20 schools in the District, six are considered small, specialty schools, including two micro-schools that are part of a larger high school campus. These small schools range from 75 to 400 students. Phoenix Union is renowned for its menu of unique small schools that specialize in economy-driven areas such as biotechnology, coding or public safety, or differentiated learning for gifted students or college preparatory. Explore our small schools and see which one might be just the right size for you.
Phoenix Union’s Small Schools have no attendance boundaries, but first priority is given to students residing within the District boundaries. Because of their popularity, size and specialized curriculum, the enrollment process is a bit different at each school. Enroll early to avoid a waiting list.
Franklin Police and Fire High School, Enrollment: 312, 9th-12th grade
Franklin Police & Fire High is not only a unique small specialty school focused on public safety careers, but it is nationally recognized for its academic performance. Named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education in 2014, it is annually ranked as one of the best high schools in the country, as reported by US News and World Report. Franklin provides a full college prep high school curriculum. Students also prepare for careers in law enforcement or firefighting, taught by public safety professionals, with the opportunity to earn dual credit for community college.
Phoenix Coding Academy, Enrollment: 273, 9th-11th grade currently
This innovative small, specialty school, focused on computer coding and multiple technology pathways through an inquiry-based instructional design, is one of the first public high schools of its kind. Opened in 2016, students receive a full high school curriculum of core academic classes and electives, as well as Career and Technical Education areas such as software development, web design, networking, information security, engineering and entrepreneurship to meet the workforce demands of the booming technology sector.
Phoenix Union Bioscience High School, Enrollment: 379, 9th-12th grade
Bioscience High School is routinely ranked as one of the top high schools in Arizona. Opened in 2007 in Phoenix's downtown Biotechnology Center, its emphasis is on an integrated rigorous curriculum incorporating science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Students can choose career pathway courses such as biomedical and engineering. Senior capstone projects and internships result in hundreds of scholarship offers for Bioscience graduates.
Phoenix Union-Wilson College Prep, Enrollment: 136, 9th-10th currently
Wilson College Prep, opened in 2017 is the first high school in the world to offer the highly successful AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) College Readiness System to every student for four years. AVID prepares students who are in the academic middle who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard, access to rigorous curriculum and preparation for entrance into a four-year university.
Camelback Montessori College Prep, Enrollment 119, 9th-12 grade
Camelback Montessori is the first and only public Montessori High School program in Arizona. Montessori education is structured around the individual needs of the student, utilizing self-directed activity, hands-on engagement, collaborative work and practices that encourage the development of the whole person. Students take core classes in math, social studies, science and English, but take elective classes and participate in extracurricular activities with the larger Camelback community.
Gifted and Talented Academy, Enrollment: 85, 9th-10th grade currently
Opened in 2017, the Gifted and Talented Academy calls the Maryvale campus home, providing an alternative learning model for students. Accelerated course work, including opportunities for Advanced Placement, dual enrollment and technology-based classes, project-based learning and personalized instruction allow students to excel academically and grow holistically. Students also take advantage of courses such as drama, art, music, dance, JROTC and a host of extracurricular activities on the larger Maryvale campus.
Small Schools Facts
Open Enrollment: Students residing within the Phoenix Union High School District boundaries are eligible for priority enrollment at small schools. Out-of-District students are welcome to apply, however, openings may be limited. Should applications exceed capacity, an enrollment lottery will be conducted. Each school has a similar application process that involves a student interview. All small schools accept freshmen (9thgraders), however, because of curriculum sequencing, credits earned or capacity, upper level students may not be accepted. Check with individual schools.
High School Credit, Graduation: Each small school offers a full high school curriculum of credit courses eligible for graduation, and students graduate from that school. Micro schools (schools within a larger school campus) offer students the opportunity to take elective classes and participate in extracurricular activities at the school site. Micro school students may have special events upon graduation, but they graduate as part of the larger campus class. Camelback Montessori and Gifted and Talented Academy at Maryvale are examples.
Advanced classes, Career and Technical Education: Small schools may offer Advanced Placement (AP), AP Testing, Honors, Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses or dual enrollment (community college credit.) Check with each school.
Size: Phoenix Union small school capacity is no more than 400 students at full capacity. Some schools, based on space limitations, may have smaller enrollment numbers.
Uniforms: Student uniforms are not required at small schools except at Franklin Police and Fire, where students receive school t-shirts.
Tuition: Small schools are public schools of the Phoenix Union High School District, and do not charge tuition.
Transportation: Small school students are eligible for a free bus pass if they live over 1.5 miles from the school.
Meals: All Phoenix Union students are eligible for free breakfast and lunch through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program,regardless of family income.
Interscholastic Athletics: Small schools do not have interscholastic athletics. Small school students entering high school as 9thgraders can participate in any comprehensive high school athletic program, despite the student’s home address or location of the small school. However, if a student wants to transfer to another program during his high school career, he/she risks eligibility. For practice and competition, it is often preferable to participate at a school close to the small school, or close to home.
Band/Choir/Extracurricular activities: Small schools do not have many of the same extracurricular activities of a large comprehensive high school. Small school students are able to participate in band, dance, choir, drama and other activities at another District school. JROTC is not offered at small schools.
Clubs, Student Activities: Small schools do have such student activities as clubs, student government, dances, field trips and community service opportunities.
Counselors: All small school students have a counselor.
Exceptional Student Services: Small schools have a variety of school personnel to provide supports and services to students with disabilities. When students have been accepted to a small school through the application process, IEP or Section 504 Teams will convene to review and determine if revisions are needed and/or if the student will be able to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) at the small school.
Student Shadowing: Our small schools offer student shadowing for 8thgraders interested in learning more about the school. Contact the school you are interested in.
Summer School: Free summer school is offered at many Phoenix Union high schools. Incoming 9thgraders can attend free Freshman Academy, and earn ½ credit if they attend a PUHSD school the next school year.
Technology: Small school students have access to technology in the same manner as large schools, and some small small schools provide personal laptops to students.