Welcome to the Phoenix Union High School District

Phoenix Union High School District is one of the largest high school districts in the country, with 17 schools, over 27,000 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, three specialty small schools and three alternative schools.  There are a number of programs that make Phoenix Union unique.  Among those, are:

  • 12 magnet programs at seven schools, including a magnet high school, Metro Tech. Students from throughout the District can enroll in magnets such as Aviation/Aerospace, Computer Studies, Marine Science, Medical and Health Studies, Multimedia Communications, Law Studies, Visual and Performing Arts
  • 30 Career and Technical Education areas of study that 7,500 students are enrolled in at any one time, and a school that houses 22 programs for half-day vocational blocks.
  • Arizona’s first Cambridge International Centre at Central High School, offering the prestigious Cambridge curriculum and examinations
  • Two schools, North and Betty Fairfax, with the International Baccalaureate Program 
  • Bioscience High School, a small specialty school ranked among the top schools in Arizona, with rigorous science and math-focused curriculum, career pathways, internships and 100 percent college placement
  • Franklin Police and Fire High School, a small school specializing in public safety careers such as law enforcement, firefighting and emergency medical services 
  • ACT Quality Core curriculum at most schools. All students take the ACT EXPLORE, PLAN and the ACT Exam for free. 
  • AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) college preparatory electives at 11 schools with 1500 students and 250 AVID-trained teachers
  • Suns-Diamondbacks Education Academy, a small alternative school with accelerated, personalized classes that turn students at risk of dropping into high school graduates.
  • The first Montessori High School program in Arizona at Camelback
  • Evening School at several sites and Free summer school for continuing students, as well as incoming 9th


Academically, there are over 500 courses to choose from. Rigor continues to be the emphasis, as the District offers more Honors, AP and other high level courses than ever before, and student enrollment in those classes is the highest ever. Students are earning college credit and accelerating their academics through community college dual enrollment, and “Move On When Ready,” an initiative that can earns students the Grand Canyon Diploma early, and move on to college.
Diversity is a hallmark at The Phoenix Union--94% of its students are minority, including 80% Latino, and the students, including a large refugee population, represent over 60 languages.  More than half of the students come from a home where English is not the primary language spoken.

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 2013, seniors earned $40 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.  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.  

Phoenix Union has clean, safe and modern facilities,outstanding teachers who receive top pay, innovative programs and schools that are “Performing Plus” according to state accountability standards.  Unlike many struggling urban school districts, Phoenix Union has drastically improved graduation rates, reduced dropout rates, and closed the “Achievement Gap” so often cited between high minority, low income districts and national averages.

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. 

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