Phoenix Union to Open Two New Small Schools in 2017-18

Phoenix Union High School District will open two new small schools next school year, further advancing its reputation as a premier portfolio district.    

The District will partner with Wilson Elementary School District to launch a college prep academy at 3005 E. Fillmore Street. Built upon the foundation of the highly successful AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) College Readiness System that both Wilson and Phoenix Union have incorporated into their curricula, this high school will be the first of its kind in the nation designed to provide AVID Secondary College Readiness to all students.  

Phoenix Union will also open a gifted and talented academy to serve students who demonstrate exceptional aptitude and are identified as “gifted.” Honors, Advanced Placement, dual (college) enrollment and other electives will be taught by teachers who are expert in the subject areas, gifted-endorsed, with an understanding of holistic education.  It will initially be housed at Maryvale High School.

The college prep academy will enroll up to 120 freshmen in a building Phoenix Union is leasing from Wilson School District.  It is expected that many of the students will come from Wilson Elementary, a school that has earned distinction as an AVID National Demonstration School, implementing AVID Elementary strategies schoolwide.  It is anticipated that the prep academy will also attract students from nearby Balsz and Creighton elementary districts.  Of course, enrollment is open to any eligible student in the Valley.  The school is expected to grow to 400 students with a new freshman class added each year.  

The gifted and talented academy will accept about 30 freshman.  Approximately 5.9% of Phoenix Union students are gifted.  

These schools will join a small schools lineup that includes Bioscience, Franklin Police and Fire, the new Phoenix Coding Academy and the Camelback Montessori College Prep.  Phoenix Union also has three small support schools - Bostrom, Linda Abril Educational Academy and Desiderata.

“We are very excited to strengthen and expand our portfolio - partly to meet the diverse needs of our students, partly to address our continued growth in enrollment, now at its highest since 1978,"   PUHSD Superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson said.  "We appreciate the ongoing support of the greater Phoenix community.  We could not continue to be flexible and innovative in our school models without full support from our stakeholders."

Phoenix Union is beginning the process to hire staff, and the names of the new schools will be recommended to the Governing Board in early 2017.

For more information about the college prep academy, contact Dr. Zack Muñoz at 602 764-1335 or zmunoz@phoenixunion.org .   For information on the gifted and talented academy, contact Dr. Renu Singh at rsingh@phoenixunion.org or PUHSD Exceptional Student Services at (602) 764-1025

Phoenix Union currently has 17 schools, serving 27,761 students in its 220-square mile attendance area, and is projected to grow to over 29,000 students over the next eight years.

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