Welcome to PXU
Phoenix Union High School District
The Phoenix Union High School District (PXU) is one of the largest and most progressive high school districts in the United States. With 21 schools, over 28,000 students, and nearly 3,500 employees, PXU covers 220-square miles of Arizona's capital city. If the K-8 students in its 13 elementary partner school districts were included, it would be among the 25 largest unified school districts in the country, with over 110,000 students.
PXU is a portfolio district with 11 comprehensive high schools, four small specialty schools, two micro-schools, three support schools, and a digital academy. Several programs make Phoenix Union unique. Among those are:
- 10 magnet programs at six schools, and 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 Arts, and Performing Arts.
- Over 30 Career and Technical Education (CTE) areas of study and Metro Tech that houses 25 programs for half-day vocational blocks.
- 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. Bio earned the prestigious National Blue Ribbon School honor from the United States Department of Education in 2020.
- Franklin Police and Fire High School, a National Blue Ribbon School (2014), specializing in public safety careers such as law enforcement, firefighting, and emergency medical services.
- Phoenix Coding Academy opened in 2016, focusing on computer coding and technological skills.
- A full battery of ACT exams for free.
- AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) college preparatory electives at 14 schools.
- Linda Abril Educational Academy is a small alternative school with accelerated, personalized classes that supports at-risk students while providing pathways to graduation.
- The first Montessori High School in Arizona at Camelback High School.
- Phoenix Union Wilson College Prep is the only AVID high school in Arizona.
- The Maryvale Gifted and Talented Academy resides in a beautiful space on the Maryvale High School campus and provides a high quality education to gifted students from all corners of the District.
- PXU Digital Academy provides students with all of the benefits that our comprehensive campuses have to offer in a remote learning environment. Students are able to play sports, join clubs, or participate in extra-curricular activities at our comprehensive campuses while attending class online.
- PXU City is coming soon and will change the way students experience high school.
Academically, there are over 500 courses to choose from. The District offers more Honors, AP, and high-level courses than ever before. Students can earn college credit and accelerate their academics through community college dual enrollment.
PXU belies the notion that large urban school districts struggle academically. Phoenix Union has drastically improved graduation rates, reduced dropout rates, and continues to close the "Achievement Gap" so often cited between high minority, low-income districts, and national averages. PXU's four-year graduation rate surpasses the state average, and its dropout rate is lower than the state average.
Diversity is a hallmark at Phoenix Union with a high minority population - including 81% Latino, a large refugee population, and students who speak over 100 languages. More than half of the students come from a home where English is not the primary language spoken.
Student support is essential at PXU. Every comprehensive high school has a nurse, social worker, psychologist, security staff, student and community liaisons, interventionists, and a team of academic counselors with the best counselor-to-student ratio in Arizona. The Exceptional Student Services Department at PXU is a model for school districts, offering expert services to medically fragile, hearing impaired, and children with autism. The English Language Learner (ELL) program is as comprehensive as any in the state, from placement to testing to reclassification.
PXU schools offer a full array of activities and opportunities for students—Student Government, Yearbook and Newspaper, Academic Decathlon, Speech and Debate, DECA, National Honor Society, and more. There are 11 Army Junior ROTC programs with over 2,000 student-cadets. Performing and visual arts are a staple in PXU. Bands, ensembles, choirs, dance troupes, and theatre offer extracurricular opportunities for all students. 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, universities, nonprofits, and businesses abound, affording innovative programming, grants, student internships, and scholarships to students across the valley. The Maricopa Community Colleges and Grand Canyon University offer dual enrollment courses. The District has several programs with Arizona State University. The Science Foundation Arizona gave its largest school grant ever to Metro Tech to integrate sustainability into its curriculum and project learning. Helios Foundation has funded free ACT tests. A cross-sector of business, education, and nonprofits formed a collective action initiative called Thriving Together, focusing on student success from birth to career within the PXU boundaries. In 2020, in partnership with the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, ElevateEd was launched to provide internship and workforce opportunities for students.
Unlike many urban school districts, PXU is fiscally sound and attracts highly qualified teachers whose experience, educational attainment, and compensation are well above the state average. PXU'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 two new small schools and major campus renovation at others. Phoenix Union's voters also approved a Budget Override in 2013, and a District Additional Assistance override in 2015.
Phoenix Union is a District with a glorious past, a prosperous present, and a promising future as it prepares Every Student for Success in College, Career, and Life.
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