Phoenix Union High School District

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Phoenix Union High School District
Phoenix Union High School District Logo.png
4502 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, Arizona
Type Public secondary school
Motto "Preparing Every Student for Success in College, Career and Life"
Established 1895
Faculty 2,777
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 27,031

The Phoenix Union High School District is a school district in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. It is one of the state's oldest school districts and its largest high school-only district, serving 27,031 students in 16 schools and employing nearly 3,000 people. Areas served by the district mostly include central Phoenix, south Phoenix, and Laveen; a variety of other school districts serve the remaining areas of the city. The district has 13 different elementary school districts which feed into its service area. It is also one of the most diverse districts in the state; over 60 languages are represented, and more than half of district students come from residences where English is not the primary language. Hispanic students represent over 75 percent of the enrollment, and the district currently has the largest enrollment of African American students in the state.


The District traces its roots to the historic Phoenix Union High School, opened in 1895 with four classrooms and 90 students. The second high school in the district opened its doors in 1926, when Carver High School opened, and by 1939, North High School was operating with 1,500 students and continued growth on the way, as Phoenix Union's enrollment hit more than 5,000 students.

From 1949 to 1972, the meteoric expansion of the Phoenix metropolitan area produced overcrowding (Phoenix Union set the all-time Arizona enrollment record during the 1963-1964 school year, with 6,320 students)[1] and most of the district's new schools. West opened in 1949; Camelback and South Mountain both opened in 1954; Carl Hayden and Central both opened in 1957; Alhambra opened in 1961; Maryvale opened in 1963; East opened in 1964; Trevor Browne High School opened in 1972, the last comprehensive high school in the district to open. This period saw one school closure, with the now-renamed Carver High School being closed upon the integration of schools in Arizona, and the Bostrom and Desiderata special-needs schools opening in the 1970s.

Then the Baby Boom ended, and white flight in Phoenix reversed the trend. It only took one decade to bring Phoenix Union from its 6,000-student days to a mere 1,800. Similar decreases during the late 1970s and early 1980s coupled with budget issues forced the district's hand in closures. West, East, Phoenix Union (by now a 1,200-student school), and North all closed. (North reopened in 1984 due to a lawsuit, Castro v. Phoenix Union High School District, related to inner-city education.) West later was reopened as the new vocationally oriented Metro Tech High School in 1985.

The growth of Laveen, part of the Phoenix Union district, led to two more comprehensive high schools opening. César Chávez High School opened as the first new high school in 27 years in 1999. Betty H. Fairfax High School, named after a longtime educator in the district, opened in 2007.

More small schools also opened in the 2000s, as a unique partnership of businesses and the district created the Suns-Diamondbacks Education Academy, an alternative school for at-risk youth, which moved into its new building in January 2002. Phoenix Union Cyber High School, since closed, opened in 2006, and Bioscience High School also opened the same year. Franklin Police and Fire High School, a first-of-its-kind public safety-oriented school, began operations in 2007.


Comprehensive schools[edit]

Small and alternative schools[edit]


Feeder elementary school districts[edit]


  1. ^ Arizona Interscholastic Association historic enrollment records

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°30′08″N 112°04′29″W / 33.502328°N 112.074725°W / 33.502328; -112.074725