Higley Unified School District

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Higley Unified School District #60
Higley Unified School District logo.svg
Type and location
Type Public
Grades PK-12
Established 1909
Legally Unified 1999
Region Southwest
Country United States
Location 2935 S. Recker Rd. Gilbert, AZ 85297
Coordinates 33.297223,-111.703025
District Info
Superintendent Denise Birdwell
Students 10,508
Students to Teacher Ratio 10,508:557 or about 35:1
Schools 13
Budget about $50 million
District Motto Connect, Engage, Inspire
Statistics
Elementary Schools (K-6) 9
Middle Schools 2
High Schools 2
District Entity Number: 4248
District Grade (from AZ Dept. of Education) A
District Attendance Rate: 95%
High School Graduation Rate: 91%
Other information
Website HUSD Website

The Higley Unified School District #60, abbreviated HUSD #60 is a school district in Gilbert, Arizona.[1] The school district serves portions of Gilbert and Queen Creek. It is one of Arizona's fastest growing school districts, with modest continued growth despite the downturn in the economy at the end of the 2000s (decade). The District owns eight elementary schools and two high schools. In August 2013, the district opened two new middle schools and all other elementary schools that hosted grades K-8 went down to K-6.

History[edit]

The Higley district was incorporated in 1909 with a territory far larger than its current size, but most of the land was transferred to other Valley school districts over the years. For instance, the Queen Creek Unified School District was carved out of the Higley district in 1947.[2] Higley Elementary School was the only school in the district for the next 53 years. The district's high school students went to Gilbert Public Schools' high schools. As the Valley expanded, Larry Likes, then-superintendent of the district, brought it through an era of suburbia swallowing the local farmland. It was not long before the growth of the 1990s and 2000s caught up to the district's 24-square-mile (62 km2) service area. In 1999, the district legally unified; in 2000, it opened Coronado Elementary School, its first new school in decades; in 2001, Higley High School opened its doors; four years later, it opened up Gateway Pointe Elementary School, then a year later, it opened Cortina Elementary School; another year later, further growth induced the opening of Williams Field High School. In the spring of 2008, Higley became the first district in Arizona to receive K-12 accreditation by the AdvancED/North Central Accreditation Team. Graduating Higley seniors were offered $2.7 million in academic and athletic scholarships.[3]

In early 2011, for the first time, Higley grew to larger than 10,000 students as a school district.[4]

The district opened two middle schools (Cooley Middle School and Sossaman Middle School) to better prepare 7th and 8th grade students for high school and to alleviate projected capacity issues at its elementary schools.

About HUSD[edit]

Higley Unified School District is a rapidly growing district in the state of Arizona. It owns 8 elementary schools and 2 high schools. By August 2013, HUSD will be opening 2 new middle schools, the last district to have not opened one yet in the East Valley, to relieve all of its elementary schools from the rapidly growing student population.

Higley allows open-enrollment to all parent for the school of their choice, regardless of the individual school boundaries. The district also allows homeless children to register to school.

The District has two administrative sites. The primary administration building is located north of Higley High School and the transportation center of the district is located south of Williams Field High School.

Each high school has a resource officer to help protect the school environment from disruptions and crimes.

Curriculum[edit]

All preschool classes are split into 2 classes per day, depending on the school and the time the classes start. Higley offers full day kindergarten classes at its schools. Higley's comprehensive curriculum is aligned with the Arizona Academic Standards and the new Common Core Standards. The District primarily focuses on the core standards, which are Reading, Writing, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Higley also offers free full day kindergarten classes, technological instructions, library media services, K-8 Art, Music, and Physical Education, Character Education, and Before and After School Enrichment Programs. In Middle School, Higley offers choir, band, strings, applied technology, Spanish, and many skills for success. Along with its academic programs, Higley provides students athletic programs to encourage children to be actively fit while focusing on academics. The Middle Schools also offer early development childhood (preschool) services. Higley Unified School often tries new academic programs and standards not yet passed or effective in the state to allow students to get used to the new curriculum and align it in the future.[5]

District Website[edit]

The Higley Unified School District website is filled with many district news. Each school has their own webpages, and each school can add any programs, activities, or information they want. Each school has a dedicated teacher page so that teachers may upload assignments to their students and students can access the assignments at home. This is beneficial for students. For example, students can check their teacher's page to see missing assignments that he/she can print out and make-up.

Statistics and Demographics (2010-2011)[edit]

  • Student Enrollment: 10,352
  • Higley High School Graduation Rate: 90%
  • Williams Field High School Graduation Rate: 91%
  • Combined High School Graduation Rate: 91%
  • Attendance Rate: 95%

School Events and Bell Times[edit]

The school has 180 instructional days, beginning on the last Monday of August Until the Fourth Thursday of May. There are 3, 2 week breaks; a Fall Break in September and October, a winter break in December and January, and a Spring Break in March. Every last Wednesday of the month, all district schools have early release days so that teachers can hold conferences.

The district approved on January 2013 a new bell times to match with the new middle schools:

High Schools (Tier 1) Elementary Schools (Tier 2) Middle Schools (Tier 3)
7:30am–2:10pm 8:10am–3:05pm 8:55am–3:50pm

New Middle Schools[edit]

Beginning 2012, Higley Unified School District is in an lease agreement to construct and build two new middle schools to alleviate the growing population of the district. The two new middle schools are Cooley Middle School and Sossaman Middle School. The District Board approved in December 2012 its Feeder-System, showing which elementary schools will feed into each middle school and into the high schools. During the summer of 2013, the District Governing Board voted to submit a form to register the two middle schools as charter schools, which was approved at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year in August 2013. They are:

Elementary School (K-6) Middle School (7-8) High School (9-12)
Gateway Pointe, Higley Traditional, Chaparral, Coronado Cooley MS Williams Field High School
Centennial, Cortina, Power Ranch, San Tan, Bridges Sossaman MS Higley High School

The District created a website to discuss updates and information for the new middle schools. Higley Middle Schools

Higley Center for the Performing Arts[edit]

The District built the HCPA and opened in spring of 2006. The HCPA has a large concert hall, seating 1,235 people and a little theatre, able to sit 186 people. Over 500 productions are yearly shown in the building. It is located adjacent to the Higley High School, and schools throughout the district use it to show major assemblies or guest speakers.[6]

Transportation[edit]

Transportation of students from the various schools throughout the district is provided by the District's transportation crew. They currently have 63 School Buses and 53 Support Vehicles. The district mandates that all students taking a field trip must be approved by parents. The district also provides transportation for students to and from school. Any student who lives within one mile from the school they go to, although, does not have transportation, and will have to transport themselves to and from school. To better balance all the school bus use to transport students to and from school, the district changed the school bell times to help align the high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools so as to not cause traffic.

Schools[edit]

Elementary schools (grades K-6)[edit]

Note: Effective August 2013, the following schools now serve grades K-6, with grades 7-8 moved into the new middle schools.

Elementary Schools Mascot Address Principal
(2016-2017)
Assistant Principal
(2016-2017)
Established
Bridges Elementary Bobcats 5205 S. Soboba St., Gilbert, AZ Sherry Richards Jeffrey Beickel 2016
Centennial Elementary (Home) Cardinals 3507 S. Ranch House Pkwy, Gilbert, AZ 85297 Rachel Broadley Matthew Verville
Chaparral Elementary (Home) Sharks 338 E. Frye Rd. Gilbert, AZ 85295 Kristine Hanson Terry Peper
Coronado Elementary (Home) Coyotes 4333 S. De Anza Blvd. Gilbert, AZ 85297 Micaela Swan Brian Griggs 2000
Cortina Elementary (Home) Tigers 19680 S. 188th St. Queen Creek, AZ 85242 Dan Cover Kelly Papke 2006
Gateway Pointe Elementary (Home) Gators 2069 S. De La Torre Dr. Gilbert, AZ 85295 Tim Fountain Kaity Harris 2005
Higley Traditional Academy (Home) Hawks 3391 E. Vest Ave. Gilbert, AZ 85295 Caryn Bacon Melissa Garland 1909
Power Ranch (Home) Panthers 351 S. Ranch House Pkwy. Gilbert, AZ 85297 Chris Reuter Michelle Cota
San Tan (Home) Scorpions 3443 E. Calistoga Dr. Gilbert, AZ 85297 Ray Mercado Lyndsey Reeves

Middle schools (grades 7-8)[edit]

Middle Schools Mascot Address Principal
(2016-2017)
Assistant Principal
(2016-2017)
Established
Cooley Middle School (Home) Cougars 1100 S. Recker Rd. Gilbert, AZ, 85296 Shawn Varner Josh Vanderflught 2013
Sossaman Middle School (Home) Spartans 18655 E. Jacaranda Blvd. Queen Creek, AZ, 85142 John Dolan Brandon Keeling

High schools (grades 9-12)[edit]

High Schools Mascot Address Principal
(2012-2013)
Assistant Principal (2012-2013) Established
Higley High School (Home) Knights 4068 E. Pecos Rd. Gilbert, AZ 85295 Roseyn Hood Paul Howell, Liza Sejkora 2001
Williams Field High School (Home) Hawks 2076 S. Higley Rd. Gilbert, AZ 85295 Terri Wattawa John Corsaro, John Dolan, Allison Carmichael 2007

Awards[edit]

In 2011, the Higley Unified School District was rated an "A" by the Arizona Department of Education.[7] It was one of 14 districts to receive that rating, joined in the rankings by two neighboring districts, the Chandler Unified School District and the Queen Creek Unified School District. It again received an "A" rating in 2012[8] and in 2013,[9] joined in the rankings by the same neighboring districts as 2011, as well as the neighboring Gilbert Public Schools.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Home." Higley Unified School District. Retrieved on April 10, 2011. "2935 South Recker Road • Gilbert, AZ, 85295"
  2. ^ The district's old history page (Wayback Archive)
  3. ^ Higley Community Newsletter, September 2008
  4. ^ Hayley Ringle (11 February 2011). "Higley school district still growing, now has more than 10,000 students". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 16 April 2012. 
  5. ^ unknown (August 2013). "Higley Curriculum". Higley Unified School District. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "HCPA Technical Specifications" (PDF). Higley Unified School District. 27 January 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  7. ^ Top Arizona School Districts – Our “A” Districts | Arizona Department of Education
  8. ^ 2011-2012 A-F Letter Grades for All LEAs (Districts and Charter Holders)
  9. ^ 2012-2013 A-F Letter Grades for All LEAs (Districts and Charter Holders)

External links[edit]