Tucson Unified School District
Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) is the largest school district of Tucson, Arizona in terms of enrollment. As of 2006 TUSD had more than 60,000 students and approximately 3,700 faculty members. As of Fall 2012, according to Superintendent John Pedicone (on the 9/14/2012 Buckmaster Show) TUSD has 50,000 students. District enrollment has declined over the last 10 years and TUSD lost 1,700 to 2,000 students per year for the two or three years prior to 2012. There are many reasons for the change, including the population in general becoming more suburban and changes in school choice including increasing availability of Charter Schools and the approved ability to cross districts for school selection.
The district boundaries encompass much of the City of Tucson, the city of South Tucson, and segments of Catalina Foothills and Tanque Verde. TUSD is currently under a federal desegregation order to help balance district schools in terms of race and ethnicity. The district was established as "School District No. 1" in 1867, and assumed its current name in 1977. The district has nine traditional high schools and several alternative high schools. The largest high school in the district, in terms of enrollment, is Tucson High Magnet School near downtown Tucson. According to the district website, 2945 students attended Tucson High during the 2006-2007 school year. It is also the oldest high school in the district. Tucson High School was built in 1907 across the street from where it now stands. The school relocated to its present site in 1923. In 1956, the school had the largest enrollment of any high school in the United States, over 6,800 pupils. The original Tucson High building still exists as Roskruge Elementary and Bilingual Middle Magnet School. The TUSD also owns the radio station KWXL-LP .
In 2012, in response to state law HB2281, the district boxed and put into storage, or distributed to the district libraries, several books used in a course that was determined to be against state law A.R.S. 15-112, including the textbook Rethinking Columbus, and the Tempest. Books were taken away while students were in class. The dismantling of the Mexican-American studies departments and similar Mexican cultural courses has brought controversy over perceptions of xenophobia, and racism against Mexican-American students and their heritage. Events such as TUSD board meetings, in response to HB2281, have resulted in various arrests, injuries, and protests of students and faculty against HB2281. However, TUSD has maintained a stance conveying interest in maintaining the Mexican-American studies program, and it can be speculated that the 4-1 decision in January 2012 to ban the program was a result of the resulting budget cuts that would take place due to a loss of state funding should TUSD continue the program. On January 13, 2012, students walked out of class and held a protest against the banishment of the Mexican-American Studies program.
The Daily Show aired a satirical piece on April 2, 2012 concerning the ban of Mexican-American studies as voted by the school board. The interview of Michael Hicks, a voting board member, put a negative light on the school district, and gave the impression that many authority figures among the TUSD board were ignorant or unsuited to their responsibilities as educators.
The TUSD Governing Board's resolution of this issue has been to establish a course to be taken by all students that emphasizes multiculturalism and diversity.
TUSD came under fire for cuts to the high school graduation requirements made in the year 2008— in years prior, senior high school students at TUSD were required to obtain at least two years of foreign language education in order to receive their high school diploma. In 2008, the TUSD School board approved to revoke the mandate that required the two years foreign language education for each graduating student, citing budget cuts as the overarching problem. The prominent Tucson newspaper, the Arizona Daily Star, later printed an editorial expressing its agreement with the new requirement, agreeing that they would rather see the budget cuts being made in the language department than in others, and stating that TUSD and the School Board did the reasonable thing under the situation. Others disagreed with mandate expressing their concern on the fact that most public and private universities, including Tucson’s own University of Arizona, require at least two years of a high school foreign language class for admission.
As of March 2012, the demographics of the district were composed of: 61.3% Hispanic (of any race, primarily Mexican American), 24.1% non-Hispanic Whites, 5.6% Black, 3.8% Native American, 2.6% Multi-racial, and 2.5% Asian.
Traditional High Schools
|Catalina*||1,317||1957||Trojans||Royal Blue and White|
|Cholla*||1,786||1969||Chargers||Orange and Navy Blue|
|Palo Verde*||1,250||1963||Titans||Royal Blue and Gold|
|Pueblo*||1,900||1956||Warriors||Navy Blue and Columbia Blue|
|Rincon||1,278||1958||Rangers||Purple and White|
|Sabino||1,297||1972||Sabercats||Purple and Gold|
|Sahuaro||1,736||1968||Cougars||Red and Blue|
|Santa Rita||1,200||1969||Eagles||Green and Gold|
|Tucson*||3,014||1892||Badgers||Red and White|
Other High Schools
|Aztec Middle College East|
|Aztec Middle College West|
|Howenstine High Magnet School||Hawks||Baby Blue and Black Closed in 2013|
|PACE Alternative High School|
|PASS Alternative High School|
|Teenage Parent Alt. Middle/High School|
|University High School||1977||Penguins||Black and White|
Traditional Middle Schools and K-8 Schools
|Carson Middle School (Closed 2013)||1967||Cougars|
|Dodge Traditional Magnet Middle School||Bulldogs|
|Doolen Middle School||Thunderbirds||Burgundy and White|
|Gridley Middle School||Grizzly Bears|
|Hohokam Middle School (closed 2013)||Hawks||Maroon and Yellow|
|Magee Middle School||Roadrunners|
|Mansfeld Middle School||1929||Bulldogs||Blue and White|
|Mary Belle McCorkle PreK-8 School||2011|
|Maxwell Middle School||Mountain Lions|
|Naylor/Roberts K-8 School||Spartans|
|Pistor Middle School||Panthers|
|Roskruge Bilingual Magnet K-8 School||1914||Pumas/Cougars||Turquoise and Black|
|Safford Engineering/Technology Magnet K-8 School||Huskies|
|Secrist Middle School||Scorpions|
|Utterback Middle Magnet School||Unicorns|
|Vail Middle School||Falcons|
|Valencia Middle School||Jaguars|
|Wakefield Middle School (Closed 2013)||Knights|
|Ft. Lowell/Townsend K-8
|1958||Tigers||Red and White|
|Banks Elementary School||Southwest|
|Blenman Elementary School||Northwest||Eagles|
|Bloom Elementary School||Northeast|
|Bonillas Basic Curriculum Magnet School||Northeast|
|Booth-Fickett Math/Science Magnet School||Northeast||Falcons|
|Borman Elementary School||Southeast|
|Borton Primary Magnet School||Northwest|
|Brichta Elementary School||Southwest||Bears|
|Carillo Magnet School||Northwest||Cougars|
|Cavett Elementary School||Northeast|
|Collier Elementary School||Northeast|
|Corbett Elementary School||Southeast||Cougars||Closed 2013|
|Cragin Elementary School||Northwest||Cougars|
|Davidson Elementary School||Northwest|
|Davis Bilingual Elementary Magnet School||Northwest||Eagles|
|Dietz Elementary School||Southeast||Dragons|
|Drachman Montessori Magnet School||Northwest||Dragons||Montessori school|
|Duffy Elementary School||Northeast||Closed in 2010.|
|Dunham Elementary School||Southeast|
|Erickson Elementary School||Southeast|
|Ford Elementary School||Southeast|
|Fort Lowell Elementary School||Northeast||Merged with Townsend Middle School in 2010.|
|Fruchthendler Elementary School||Northeast||Firebirds|
|Gale Elementary School||Northeast||Tigers|
|Grijalva Elementary School||Southwest||Grizzlies||Named for Raúl Grijalva. Bilingual Ed. and Gifted Education|
|Henry Elementary School||Northeast|
|Holladay Intermediate Magnet School||Southwest||RedHawks|
|Hollinger Elementary School||Southwest||Merged with Wakefield and became K-8 in 2013|
|Howell Elementary School||Northwest|
|Hudlow Elementary School||Southeast|
|Hughes Elementary School||Northwest||Huskies|
|Jefferson Park Elementary School||Northwest||Panthers||Closed in 2010 and merged with Blenman Elementary.|
|Johnson Primary School||Southwest|
|Kellond Elementary School||Southeast||Cougars|
|Lawrence Intermediate School||Southwest|
|Lineweaver Elementary School||Northeast||Lions|
|Lynn/Urquides Elementary School||Southwest||Coyotes|
|Lyons Elementary School(Closing 2013)||Southeast||Lions||Closed in 2013|
|Maldonado Elementary School||Southwest||Bob Cats|
|Manzo Elementary School||Northwest||Bobcats|
|Marshall Elementary School||Southeast|
|Menlo Park Elementary School||Southwest||Closed in 2013|
|Miller Elementary School||Southwest|
|Mission View Elementary School||Southwest|
|Myers-Ganoung Elementary School||Southeast|
|Ochoa Elementary School||Northwest||Panthers|
|Oyama Elementary School||West|
|Pueblo Gardens Elementary School||Northeast||Now a K-8|
|Reynolds Elementary School (Closed)||Southeast||Closed in 2010.|
|Richey K-8||Northwest||Closed in 2010. Students assigned to Roskruge |
|Roberts Elementary School||Southeast||Merged with Naylor in 2010.|
|Robins Elementary School||Northwest|
|Robison Elementary School||Northwest||Roadrunners|
|Rogers Elementary School||Southeast||Roadrunners||Closed in 2010.|
|C. E. Rose Elementary School||Southwest||Named for Clinton E. Rose, TUSD Superintendent from 1920-1941. Selected for 2012 NCUST Excellence in Education Award.|
|Roskruge Elementary School||Downtown||Cougars||Same building as Roskruge Bilingual Magnet Middle School, building housed Tucson High School from 1907–1923. Named for George J. Roskruge.|
|Safford Elementary School||Northwest||Huskies|
|Schumaker Elementary School||Northeast||Closed in 2013|
|Sewell Elementary School||Southeast||Sabercats|
|Soleng Tom Elementary School||Northeast||Gifted and Talented Education(GATE). Named for Soleng Tom (1912–2000)|
|Steele Elementary School||Northeast||Stallions|
|Tolson Elementary School||Southwest|
|Tully Accelerated Elementary Magnet School||Northwest||Tigers||Gifted and Talented Education(GATE)|
|Van Buskirk Elementary School||Southwest||Bears|
|Van Horne Elementary School||Northeast||Vikings||Closed in 2010.|
|Vesey Elementary School||Southwest|
|Warren Elementary School||Southwest|
|Wheeler Elementary School||Southeast|
|White Elementary School||Southwest|
|Whitmore Elementary School||Northeast|
|Wright Elementary School||Northwest||Wildcats|
|Wrightstown Elementary School||Northeast||Closed in 2010 and merged with Henry Elementary.|
|Direct Link||For homebound students|
|Miles Exploratory Learning Center||Pre-school to grade 8. Named for Nelson A. Miles.|
The Tucson Unified School District has a number of policies outlined to meet federal requirements and to dynamically encourage a healthy lifestyle. The District Wellness Program states that, “Schools shall implement a comprehensive, integrated program for these two components of a coordinated school health program: nutrition and physical activity”. To meet United States Department of Agriculture nutrition requirements, many of the breakfast and lunch options the TUSD offers are whole grain, like whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta and whole wheat hot dog and hamburger buns. In addition, milk, fruits, and vegetables are always offered to students as sides. The TUSD also requires that fundraising events that involve the sale of food meet the same health requirements that school lunches do, though special events such as sports are exempt. Advertisements, such as those on the front of vending machines, must encourage students to purchase healthier options, like water; and other a la carte foods that do not meet health regulations can only be offered on an “infrequent basis."
The TUSD addresses other challenges by recognizing that students will make health decisions based largely on the influence of their role models, like their parents/guardians and teachers. Therefore, the TUSD attempts to communicate with parents and guardians through a variety of channels about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, and guardians are encouraged to pack lunches that meet USDA suggestions if their students do not purchase food from the school. Newsletters published by the district also contain lists of foods that meet health regulations and would be popular for celebrations, such as birthday parties. Furthermore, the district provides an Employee Wellness Committee, which provides health education to district employees, offers free physical activities for staff to partake in and opportunities for staff to monitor their own health and goals.
To meet the physical activity aspect of the mission statement, the TUSD has partnered with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) to provide standards regarding physical education and recess for younger grades. The NASPE provides physical education teachers with appropriate time ranges that students should be active for, the number of times per week students should participate in physical activity, and suggestions to make physical education more individualized. The TUSD also requires that schools have opportunities for students to be physically active before, during and after school, which incorporates recess, varsity and intramural sports, and open gyms and tracks. Like with school lunches, the district also encourages parents and guardians to be physically active with their children and to encourage an overall healthy lifestyle.
The TUSD also supports health initiatives made by individual school. For example, Sam Hughes Elementary School has a community garden and offers culinary classes to its students as part of Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign. The "Greening Group" at the school maintains the garden and is funded by the school's Parent Teacher Association.
- Tucson High Badger Foundation, Inc
- Biggers, Jeff (January 13, 2012). "Who’s afraid of "The Tempest"?". salon. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
- Norrell, Brenda (January 14, 2012). "Tucson schools bans books by Chicano and Native American authors". narcosphere. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
- "Shakespeare and Native American Authors Among Those Banned from Tucson Schools". Indian Country Todays Media Network. January 16, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
- "Did Arizona School District Ban Mexican-American Studies Books?". NBC Latino. 17 January 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
- "Opinion: What is the Tucson school district afraid of?". CNN. March 30, 2012.
- Tucson Unified School District. "Mexican American Student Services". Retrieved 10 April 2012.
- Winerip, Michael (March 19, 2012). "Racial Lens Used to Cull Curriculum in Arizona". The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
- Biggers, Jeff (2012-01-23). "Tucson School Walk Outs Grow: Protest School District's Folly and Mexican American Studies Banishment". Huffington Post. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
- Marizco, Michel (January 25, 2012). "Students Skip School For Mexican American Studies". Fronteras Desk. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
- Castellanos, Dalina (April 4, 2012). "Mexican American studies: 'Daily Show' Segment Strikes a Nerve". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
- Bodfield (Dec 11, 2008). "TUSD ends Foreign-language Mandate". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved Mar 8, 2012.
- "Budget Crunch put TUSD in no-win Scenario". Arizona Daily Star. Dec 14, 2008. Retrieved Mar 12, 2008.
- "University of Arizona Entrance Requirements and Guidelines".
- "School Boundary Changes". Tucson Unified School District. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
- Huicochea, Alexis. "C.E. Rose Among 7 Top Grade Schools". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- "District Wellness Regulation". Retrieved April 9, 2012.
- "Elementary School Menu". Retrieved April 9, 2012.
- "Greening Group". Retrieved April 9, 2012.
21. John Pedicone. September 14, 2012. Buckmaster show. http://www.buckmastershow.com/2012/09/14/buckmaster-show-9142012-tusd-looks (10/1/2012) 22. http://edweb.tusd.k12.az.us/uhs/admin/admissions/htm (10/1/2012) 23. http://edweb.tusd.k12.az.us/uhs/ (10/2/2012)
- Tucson Unified School District's official website
- Tucson Unified School District's official Facebook site
- TUSD Educational Technology website
- TUSD Department of Accountability and Research website
- Radio station owned by TUSD
- "MAS students speak out against TUSD banning their books and classes", The Tucson Citizen, DA Morales, January 15, 2012