PEORIA, Ariz. – The Peoria Unified School District needs community input to determine the mascot and school colors for Sunset Heights Elementary School, the district’s 33rd elementary school, set to open its doors to students in August 2014.
 
Mascot suggestions and school colors are currently being sought from families whose children will be attending the new elementary school this fall. Entries should be submitted to pusdpr@pusd11.org by April 23 and should include the full name, age and contact information of the person submitting the nomination. Top name recommendations will be shared with district administrators at the beginning of May and Principal Conelley will reveal the mascot and school’s colors at an upcoming community gathering.
 
The 96,000-square-foot school will be the first of its kind for the Peoria Unified School District with flexible learning spaces and natural light. The school will open to kindergarten through seventh-grade on Wednesday, Aug. 6 and will add an eighth-grade class the following year.
 
For questions regarding the new school or the mascot and school color contest, contact Peoria Unified Public Relations at 623-486-6100 or email pusdpr@peoriaud.k12.az.us.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and non-traditional high school. With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified is one of the largest unified school districts in Arizona and prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs

  
GLENDALE,  Ariz. – The Peoria Unified School District proudly welcomes new administrators who were approved by the Governing Board for the 2014-15 school year: 
 
Becky Berhow will take the helm as Principal at Desert Harbor Elementary School. Berhow has served as the Assistant Principal at Desert Harbor since 2011. She began her employment in Peoria Unified in 1997 as a teacher at Copperwood Elementary School. Berhow taught sixth- through eighth-grade reading, social studies and math. She was promoted to Assistant Principal in 2007 at Frontier Elementary and then transferred to Desert Harbor where she has been part of the administration team since that time.
 
Kristen Balthis will join Canyon Elementary School as the Principal. Balthis is currently an Assistant Principal in the Glendale Elementary District. She began her teaching career in Peoria Unified, first at Oasis Elementary School, in 1998. After six years as an elementary teacher at Oasis, Balthis transferred to Sahuaro Ranch Elementary where, in addition to teaching sixth-grade, she was grade-level chair and student council advisor. In 2007, Balthis joined the Glendale Elementary School District as an Assistant Principal assisting with the roll-out of their evaluation programs and developing the American Dream Academy for parents in partnership with Arizona State University.
 
Curtis Smith will join Peoria Elementary School as the Principal. Smith currently serves as Principal in Vancouver, Wash. at ALKI Middle School. Smith began teaching in Vancouver at the Roosevelt and Harney Elementary Schools in grades first- through fourth as well as gifted. In 2000, he became a mentor teacher and in 2001 he was promoted to Associate Principal. Smith helped the school successfully develop their School Improvement Plan and utilize data in their daily instruction. He was promoted to Principal at Ogden Elementary School in 2002 and transferred to ALKI Middle School where he implemented instructional support for math, specifically at the sixth-grade level, which resulted in a 10 percent increase in test scores the first year.
 
Tom Green will take the position of Principal at Lake Pleasant Elementary School. Green is currently a Principal in the Davenport Community School District in Iowa. Green began his career as an elementary school teacher. His development into administration included being a Title I Grant Manager, a District Trainer of Mentors and a Curriculum Facilitator. In 2005, Green accepted his first Principal assignment at Harrison Elementary School. In 2007, Green moved to Arizona and was the Principal at Copper Trails in the Avondale School District. He returned to Iowa in 2012 to become the Principal at Adams Elementary School where he is today.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional school. With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs.

  
WHO:     Peoria Unified high school student athletes and parents
 
WHAT:   All-District Basketball and Soccer Recognition Events
 
WHEN:   Basketball – Friday, Apr. 11 at 1 p.m.; Soccer – Monday, Apr. 14 at 1 p.m.
 
WHERE: District Administration Center Training Facility, 6330 W. Thunderbird Road, Glendale
 
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Peoria Unified’s high school student athletes will be recognized for their stellar achievements at the All-District Basketball Recognition Event on Friday, Apr. 11 and the   All-District Soccer Recognition Event om Monday, Apr. 14. Both events will be held at the District Administration Center, 6330 W. Thunderbird Road, Glendale at 1 p.m. These events will take place in Training Rooms 1, 2 and 3 on the north side of the building in the district’s Training Facility.
 
These events will highlight Peoria Unified’s individual scholar athletes, as well as the exceptional first and second teams that participated in the state playoffs this year. Administrators and coaches will be in attendance to honor these student athletes and their remarkable skills.
 
In addition, a student representative from each high school will give a short recap about their season. All-district teams will be present at this event and awards will be given to more than 40 top athletes for soccer and more than 35 top athletes for basketball from all seven high schools within the district.
 
The Peoria Unified School District serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school and was the first district in the state to receive the prestigious AdvancED Accreditation. With ongoing open enrollment and unique educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs.

  
GLENDALE, Ariz. – The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced the Peoria Unified School District’s Governing Board as the recipient of the 26th annual Kennedy Center Alliance for the Arts Education Network (KCAAEN) and National School Boards Association (NSBA) Award. The award, which includes a $10,000 prize, was presented Monday at the National School Boards Association’s Annual Conference in New Orleans.
 
Since 1989, this prestigious national award has recognized individual school boards for their outstanding support of arts education. Each year, a national review panel selects the first place school district from a pool of nominees selected by State Alliances for Arts Education and State School Boards Associations. School districts selected for this national honor must demonstrate support for all four core disciplines in arts education programs: visual arts, music, theater and dance. Instruction and programming must be available for all students throughout the district.
 
Peoria Unified was chosen from nominees around the country for the district’s support of high-quality arts education and clear, demonstrated commitment to teaching and learning through the arts. The Governing Board actively promoted the district’s arts programs and established arts integration in Title 1 schools and continued to offer diverse and practical arts courses for the district’s students at every grade level despite budget cuts. The Board also sought out partnerships with local, state and national arts organizations to increase arts opportunities for students. The Governing Board’s messaging and focus on the education of the whole child testify to the ongoing goal of arts education for all students.
 
The award, which was received by Superintendent Dr. Denton Santarelli, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Heather Cruz and Governing Board Members Hal Borhauer, Matt Bullock, James Kistner and Kathy Knecht, will be used to continue funding for effective arts education programs.
 
The Peoria Unified School District serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school and was the first district in the state to receive the prestigious AdvancED Accreditation. With ongoing open enrollment and unique educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs.

  
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Registration for the Peoria Unified School District preschool program, Child Oriented Occupational Program (COOP) for the 2014-15 school year is going on now.
 
COOP’s are full-day, tuition-based programs offered at Cactus, Centennial, Ironwood, Liberty, Peoria and Sunrise Mountain High Schools. Registration forms can be turned into the front reception desk of each high school. There is a $30 non-refundable registration fee due when registration forms are submitted.
 
COOP programs are for four-year-old children and are staffed by highly qualified teachers and high school students who have taken Child Development classes. The students are interested in a career working with young children and receive direction in developing lesson plans under the guidance of the COOP director and coordinators.
 

Children must be four years old as of Sept.1 and toilet-trained in order to be considered for the COOP. Hours of operation are from 6:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. The program operates five days a week and follows the same holiday schedule as all schools in the district. Two snacks and a hot cafeteria lunch are included.  Cost is $24 a day. There is a non-refundable $30.00 registration fee. For further information, please visit www.peoriaud.k12.az.us or contact COOP coordinators at the following locations:

·         Cactus High School, 6330 W. Greenway Road, 623-412-5012
·         Centennial High School, 14388 N. 79th Avenue, 623-412-4412
·         Ironwood High School, 6051 W. Sweetwater Avenue, 623-486-6411
·         Liberty High School, 9621 W. Speckled Gecko Drive, 623-773-6557
·         Peoria High School, 11200 N. 83rd Avenue, 623-486-6312
·         Sunrise Mountain High School, 21200 N. 83rd Avenue, 623-487-5139
 
Peoria Unified offers other preschool opportunities including:
ECCEL (Early Childhood Center for Excellence in Learning) Preschool
o   Early registration is April 14-25
o   Various elementary campuses
o   Programs are Monday-Thursday (except Frontier, see details below)
o   $50 registration fee
o   $300 per month for half-day programs
o   $160 per month for peer models in a special education setting
o   $490 per month for Signature Programs
o   $600 per month for Frontier
o   Children must be three-years old to attend
 
·         Current Signature Programs are:
o   Arts Integration at Foothills: Arts are infused throughout the curriculum and across content areas daily.
o   Project Search at Desert Palms: Students with unique gifts and talents.  Must be four-years old by September 1.
o   Science Inquiry at Desert Palms: Students have hands on opportunities to explore scientific concepts first hand, over periods of time.
o   Second Language Opportunity at Santa Fe: Curriculum is presented in both English and Spanish throughout the day.
o   Full Day Preschool at Frontier: Extended learning 8.75 hours daily, 6:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday.
 
For more information about these additional preschool opportunities, call (623) 486-6470.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school. With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit the District’s website, www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.

  
PEORIA, Ariz. – The Peoria Unified School District welcomes James Kistner as its newest addition to the Governing Board. His term will run through December 31, 2014. Kistner was appointed to the Board through the vacancy filling process prescribed by Dr. Don Covey of Maricopa County Education Service Agency.
 
Kistner will join the Governing Board at the next regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. on April 10, 2014. Prior to the meeting, a welcome reception will take place at 5 p.m. in the District Administration Center lobby, 6330 W. Thunderbird Road, Glendale.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional school. With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit the district’s website, www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.

  
WHO:     Community members, students and parents
 
WHAT:   AIM High Community Event
 
WHEN:   5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, March 28, 2014
 
WHERE: Desert Palms Elementary School, 11441 N. 55th Avenue, Glendale, AZ 85304
 
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Desert Palms Elementary will host a community event this Friday, March 28 to promote outstanding performance during the upcoming AIMS test. During the event, there will be multiple performances, presentations and activities to engage community members and students in learning.
 
Arizona Science Center will bring the family engineering experience to the cafeteria. In addition, Glendale’s Police and Fire Departments will be in attendance. Teachers will also showcase examples of student achievement for each grade level. The school’s PTSO will hold a Book Fair and multiple food vendors will be on campus. Additionally, there will be a live DJ with games and prizes, band and choir performances, a fashion presentation and much more.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school. With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit the district’s website, www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.
 

  
PEORIA, Ariz. – The Peoria Unified School District will host its Spring Patron Tour for the 2013-14 school year from 8 a.m. - noon tomorrow, Friday, March 21. This is an exciting opportunity to explore Sunrise Mountain High School and Apache Elementary School. The event will begin at Sunrise Mountain High School at, 21200 N. 83rd Avenue, Peoria.
 
The Peoria Unified School District hosts a series of Patron Tours throughout the school year to give an up-close and personal look at the wide variety of exceptional schools and programs offered as part of its ongoing commitment to the community. Patron Tours are nationally recognized by the National School Boards Association and are interactive, informative and an ideal way of introducing parents, residents and business leaders to award-winning programs.
 
Any business leader, community member, parent, retiree, government employee, member of the media or interested individual is encouraged to reserve a space. If you are interested in attending the Spring Patron Tour, we ask that you please reserve your space as soon as possible by contacting the Peoria Unified Public Relations Department at 623-486-6100.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one alternative school. With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit the district’s website, www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.
 

  
WHO:     Qualified teachers and support staff
 
WHAT:   Peoria Unified School District Job Fair
 
WHEN:   10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 22
 
WHERE: Centennial High School Gymnasium, 14388 N. 79th Avenue, Peoria
 
PEORIA, Ariz. – Peoria Unified School District will host a Job Fair to fill open positions for certified teachers as well Speech Pathologists, Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists. The Job Fair will be held from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 22 at Centennial High School, 14388 N. 79th Avenue, Peoria.
 
Prospective employees are encouraged to bring their resume to the Job Fair and to be prepared for screening interviews. To view current job openings, visit Peoria Unified School District’s website at www.peoriaud.k12.az.us and click on ‘Join Our Team.’
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school and was the first district in the state to receive the prestigious AdvancED Accreditation. With ongoing open enrollment and unique educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. The Vision of the Peoria Unified School District is, “Every student, every day, prepared to shape tomorrow.”
 
# # #

  
PEORIA, Ariz. – Students in the Peoria Unified School District’s High School and Junior Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) program recently participated in the Central Regional MESA Day. Both Peoria High and the Peoria Junior MESA Programs entered at least one team in all eight events in this competition. The event was held on Saturday, Feb. 22 at Arizona State University.
 
Students who participated in the competition will go on to represent the district at the Arizona State MESA Day at the Arizona State University on Saturday, April 12.The Peoria High and Peoria Junior MESA Programs were the only programs to place one team in all eight events.
 
The students who participate in The Peoria High and Peoria Junior MESA Programs meet at Peoria High School to work with advisors Jeffrey Sears and David Hill at least once per week, focusing on science-related design projects.
 
The MESA program, sponsored by Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, was designed to inspire students to achieve in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and to focus students’ attention on future career opportunities in the engineering field. It focuses on under-represented minorities.
 
For a full list of winners, click here.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school. With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified is one of the largest unified school districts in Arizona and prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit the district’s website, www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.
 

  
WHO:     Ironwood High students
 
WHAT:   Eagle Soar Safely Day
 
WHEN:   8 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. on Thursday, March 6
 
WHERE: Ironwood High School, 6051 W. Sweetwater Avenue, Glendale
 
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Ironwood High School will hold a special day centered around safe driving this Thursday, March 6 for the student body. The Eagle Soar Safely Day is to promote good decision making while on the road for students during Spring Break and the upcoming prom season.
 
A number of organizations will be on campus to provide students with safe driving resources such as: State Farm Insurance, Red Means Stop, Students Against Drunk Driving, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, City of Glendale Fire Department, City of Glendale Police Department, AllState Insurance, Department of Public Safety’s Roll-Over Simulator, Driving MBA Driving School, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and Maricopa County Office of Tobacco and Chronic Disease Prevention.
 
This event is being promoted campus-wide and participants are encouraged to use social media with the hashtag #EaglesSoarSafely.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school. With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit the district’s website, www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.

  
WHO:     Community residents, government officials, business leaders, parents and media
 
WHAT:   Patron Tour of Peoria Unified schools
 
WHEN:   Registration at 7:45 a.m., tour starts at 8 a.m. on Friday, March 21
 
WHERE: Sunrise Mountain High School, 21200 N. 83rd Ave. Peoria, AZ 85382
 
 
PEORIA, Ariz. – Save the date for Peoria Unified School District’s Spring Patron Tour. This opportunity to visit two Peoria Unified campuses is scheduled from 7:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, March 21. Patrons will meet at Sunrise Mountain High School and then travel to Apache Elementary School on a yellow school bus.
 
The Peoria Unified School District hosts a series of Patron Tours throughout the school year to give an up-close and personal look at the wide variety of exceptional schools and programs offered as part of its ongoing commitment to the community. Patron Tours are nationally recognized by the National School Boards Association and are interactive, informative and an ideal way of introducing parents, residents and business leaders to award-winning programs.
 
Any business leader, community member, parent, retiree, government employee, member of the media or interested individual is encouraged to reserve a space. If you are interested in attending the Spring Patron Tour, contact the Peoria Unified Public Relations Department at 623-486-6100.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional school. With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit the district’s website, www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.
  
Peoria, Ariz. – Peoria High School received an overall “Exceeds Standards,” the highest rating attainable, during the recent Unit Evaluation of their Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC.) Deputy Director, Mr. Greg Winn, visited Peoria High School to conduct a formal Unit Evaluation in January to assess compliance with public law, Department of Defense and Air Force instructions and the written agreement which exists between the Peoria Unified School District.
 
The AFJROTC Program at Peoria High School is spearheaded by Senior Master Sergeant Jeffrey Hicks and Lieutenant Colonel Brian Yates. Both of the instructors were congratulated by Colonel Cameron L. Gilbert, Director of the AFJROTC for their dedication and commitment.
 
The Peoria High School AFJROTC citizenship focuses on making a positive impact on the cadets, the school and community. The AFJROTC prepares cadets to be responsible citizens by providing them with community service skills, aerospace education leadership skills and.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school. With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. The Vision of the Peoria Unified School District is, “Every student, Every day, Prepared to Shape Tomorrow.”
 
# # #
  
WHO:     Peoria Unified students and staff
 
WHAT:   27th Annual Patriotic Speech Contest
 
WHEN:   Thursday, Feb. 27 starting at 8:30 a.m.
 
WHERE: District Administration Center, 6330 W. Thunderbird Road, Glendale
 
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Guests from across the West Valley will judge students from the Peoria Unified School District as they compete in the 27th Annual Patriotic Speech Contest at the District Administration Center on Thursday, Feb. 27. The contest begins at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. for seventh and eighth-grade students. Fifth and sixth-grade students will compete at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.   
 
The judging panel consists of: Master Sergeant Joseph Rivera as well as eight other members from the United States Air Force; Glendale Community College professors Dr. Jim Reed and Rosie Mays; Peoria Unified Governing Board members Hal Borhauer, Matthew Bullock and Kathy Knecht; Sunrise Mountain High School senior and Peoria City Council Liaison Jake Jelinek as well as district administrators and retirees.
 
For the contest, fifth- and sixth-graders conceptualize, write and deliver a two-to-three minute persuasive speech on one of several topics that are patriotic in nature based on a prompt or quote. Seventh- and eighth-graders prepare a three-to-five minute persuasive speech on patriotism, also utilizing and interpreting famous quotes as the inspiration and foundation of their speech. Prior to winning a spot at the district competition, these 60 students competed in their local schools’ speech contests.
 
Parents and community members can watch and listen to all of the contestants in this year’s Patriotic Speech Contest during its premiere on Saturday, March 7th at 7 p.m. on Cox Cable Channel 99. The block of programs will run through the rest of March on Cox Cable Channel 99 at the following times: Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 10 a.m., Sundays at 3 p.m. and Tuesdays at 6 p.m. Speeches will also be available beginning March 7th on the district’s YouTube channel.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school. With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified is one of the largest unified school districts in Arizona and prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit the District’s website, www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.
 

  
WHO:         Ironwood High vs. Liberty High
WHAT:       Unified Sports varsity basketball game
WHEN:       1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21
WHERE:     Ironwood High School, 6051 W. Sweetwater Avenue, Glendale
 
GLENDALE, Ariz. – A Unified Sports varsity basketball game that has been brewing for quite some time between Ironwood and Liberty High Schools is about to become a reality. The two Peoria Unified high schools will take to the courts in a friendly competition in front of the Ironwood student body at 1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21.
 
Unified Sports includes regular and special education student athletes who work collaboratively on the same team. Teams are often organized based on age and ability of students. This game is being organized to promote athletics in a fun, friendly environment amongst peers from two different Peoria Unified campuses.
 
The game will include two fifteen minute halves with a running clock and a five minute half-time. The gym will be packed with students with Ironwood’s band playing, the cheerleaders cheering and a game announcer will give the highlights.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school and was the first district in the state to receive the prestigious AdvancED Accreditation. With ongoing open enrollment and unique educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit the district’s website at www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.

  
WHO:       Ironwood High School Student Council
 
WHAT:     121h Annual Senior Citizens’ Prom
 
WHEN:     Saturday, Feb. 22, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
 
WHERE:  Ironwood High School, 6051 W. Sweetwater Avenue
 
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Ironwood High School’s Student Council will hold its 12th Annual Senior Citizens’ Prom from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22 in the school cafeteria, 6051 W. Sweetwater Avenue.
 
The senior citizens and student chaperones will enjoy a night of music, dinner and dancing for those ages 55 and older and includes door prizes and the crowning of a prom King and Queen. The theme selected for this special evening is The Secret Garden.
 
All senior citizens are welcome to attend and enjoy the fun event. Please RSVP by calling 623-486-6400. Admission to the prom is $10. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. 
 
Ironwood High School, part of the Peoria Unified School District, is the only high school in the district to offer the prestigious International Baccalaureate Diploma program. This world-renowned program provides qualified students with a rigorous college preparatory education and the opportunity to earn university credit while in high school. The Vision of the Peoria Unified School District is “Every Student, Every Day, Prepared to Shape Tomorrow.”

  
PEORIA, Ariz. – The Peoria Guys Read program is currently underway at the Peoria Unified School District. Peoria Guys Read is a program where male MENtors from the community volunteer their time to read in the classroom to Peoria Unified students. The MENtors began reading to second, fourth and seventh-grade students on Jan. 24 and will do so again on Feb. 21 and March 21 at Cotton Boll and Peoria elementary schools.
 
The Peoria Guys Read program began six years ago and has grown since its inception. There are 16 MENtors participating this year, some who are returning volunteers. These volunteers all come from different backgrounds including business professionals, retirees and district employees.
                                                                                        
Each MENtor is assigned a classroom and given a grade-level appropriate book to read to the students along with instructions on how to engage them in a classroom discussion. Before the book is opened, the students spend time getting to know their MENtor. The volunteer uses that opportunity to talk about their background, hobbies and how reading has affected their life.
 
The goal of the program is to improve the students’ reading and listening skills and encourage students to read for enjoyment. Many students benefit from being read to by a male role model, especially those who may not have a father figure at home. At the end of the program, each student is given a copy of the book to keep.
 
The Peoria Unified School District serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school and was the first district in the state to receive the prestigious AdvancED Accreditation. With ongoing open enrollment and unique educational opportunities, the district boasts a 93 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs.

  
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Through a process prescribed by Maricopa County Education Service Agency’s (MCESA), Peoria Unified School District’s Collaboration Team has made their recommendation to fill the district’s vacant Board seat.  The Collaboration Team recommends James Kistner as the first nominee, Joan Evans as the first alternate nominee and William Bercu as the second alternate nominee.
 
The Collaboration Team consisted of the Peoria Unified School District Governing Board President, Superintendent, a Certified Teachers Association representative and a Peoria Education Association representative. The team was tasked with reviewing applications from the six individuals interested in filling the vacancy on the district’s Governing Board. Using a consensus-making process, the Collaboration Team recommended the three nominees to Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Donald Covey, who will make the final Governing Board appointment.
 
The three nominees will attend a Nominee Seminar on Saturday, March 29 at the Maricopa County Education Service Agency. Dr. Covey is expected to make the appointment within five business days following the seminar.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school and was the first district in the state to receive the prestigious AdvancED Accreditation. With ongoing open enrollment and unique educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit the district’s website at www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.
 

  
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Peoria Unified School District’s Governing Board appointed Mrs. Rae Conelley as the principal who will open Sunset Heights Elementary School in August 2014. Sunset Heights is the district’s 33rd elementary school which is currently being built near Lake Pleasant Road and Deer Valley Parkway.
 
Conelley has been an educator for 28 years and has served as the principal of Frontier Elementary School, within the Peoria Unified School District, for the past four years. Conelley started her career in Peoria Unified as an eighth-grade Language Arts teacher at Alta Loma Elementary School. In 1998, she became a Curriculum Specialist, which is where she remained until 2001 when she was promoted to Assistant Principal at Alta Loma. In 2005, Conelley was promoted to principal at Alta Loma Elementary. In the 2010-11 school year, Conelley then transferred as principal to Frontier Elementary School.
 
In 1996, Conelley successfully completed her Masters in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. She completed her principal’s certification requirements in 2000.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school. With ongoing open enrollment opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified is one of the largest unified school districts in Arizona and prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs.

  
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Extracurricular activities will continue to thrive in the Peoria Unified School District thanks to the generosity of our local community. The district received a record $1,640,574.54 in donations in the 2013 tax year.
 
This record-breaking amount is a $117,234.01 increase over 2012, making 2013 a banner year for the district. Kindergarten Academy brought in the highest amount, totaling $465,760.50 in donations. Patrons who stopped by the district office to make last minute tax credit donations on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 brought in more than $33,000 in contributions.
 
Thanks to the generosity of community members across Arizona, tax credit donations fund extra-curricular activities such as clubs, field trips and participation fees for athletic programs. Contributions for the 2014 tax year can be made anytime throughout the year. Donations can be dropped off or mailed to the Peoria Unified School District Administration Center or at a local school. Online contributions can be made using a credit card.
 
To download a tax credit form or make a donation online, go to www.peoriaud.k12.az.us and look for the Tax Credit button in the lower left corner of the home page.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school. With ongoing open enrollment opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified is one of the largest unified school districts in Arizona and prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs.

  
WHO:       Centennial community, media
 
WHAT:     NewTek Smartcar Reveal
 
WHEN:     2:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 12
 
WHERE:  Centennial High School, 14388 N. 79th Avenue, Peoria
 
PEORIA, Ariz. – Centennial High School’s Media Productions teacher, Mr. Ken Keene, and five of his Peoria Student Broadcasting Network (PSBN) students recently became the winners of the NewTek Smartcar HD mobile production vehicle contest. The grand prize includes a 2010 Smartcar equipped with high-tech equipment the students plan to use to cover district sporting events. Keene and his PSBN students have planned a special reveal of the vehicle at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at Centennial High School.
 
The five seniors, Tim Litwiller, Yuriy Isparyan, Malik Farria, Jorge Flores and Isaac Keene submitted an essay which qualified them as a finalist in December and then submitted a video sharing why their school is the best, which ultimately won the national contest. The award-winning video the students submitted which earned them the media production vehicle can be viewed at http://pages.newtek.com/smar-car-giveaway-finalists.html.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school. With ongoing open enrollment, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified is one of the largest unified school district’s in Arizona and prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit the district’s website, www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.
 

  

The 9th Annual Peoria Education Foundation Visionary Awards Dinner presented by McCarthy Construction will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 3, 2014 at Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 West Paradise Lane, Peoria. Individuals, businesses and corporate philanthropists from across the West Valley will join together as the Peoria Education Foundation honors the President of Glendale Community College, Dr. Irene Kovala, as the recipient of the 2014 Visionary Award. 
 
Emceeing the event will be Channel 12 Traffic Anchor and News Reporter, Emma Jade, a three-time Emmy Award winning reporter for her coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, 2012 London Olympic Games and local traffic coverage. Jade started her career in New York at ABC Primetime and has had the pleasure of working for NBC Universal, KIFI in Idaho Falls and now 12 News in Phoenix. Jade has covered stories ranging from the Wallow fire in 2011 to the London Olympic Games in 2012.
 
In addition to the presentation of the Visionary Award to Dr. Kovala, the Foundation will celebrate other local organizations for their past and continuing support of education in the Peoria Unified School District. This year’s honorees include: Arrowhead Honda, the Arizona Cardinals and the Helios Education Foundation.
                             
All proceeds from the event will benefit the programs that the Peoria Education Foundation supports in the Peoria Unified School District – literacy, science and math, technology, special needs, character building, fine arts and staff development. The Peoria Education Foundation places the money directly into the classrooms in the form of grants for teachers and scholarship programs for individual students.
 
Questions regarding reservations for the event or donations of silent auction items may be directed to Peoria Unified School District Public Relations Department at 623-486-6100. More information is available at www.peoriaedfoundation.org.
 
Since 1987, the Peoria Education Foundation has offered grants to teachers in the Peoria Unified School District to enhance the educational experience of students.  The Foundation is an IRS designated 501(c)(3) which provides scholarships to students and grants to teachers within the district.
 
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WHO:     Liberty High and Peoria High residents, parents and media
 
WHAT:   Big Band Swing Dance
 
WHEN:   7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014
 
WHERE: Liberty High School Auditorium, 9621 W Speckled Gecko Dr., Peoria, AZ 85383
 
 
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Liberty High School and Peoria High School are proud to invite all community members to attend their annual Big Band Swing Dance.  This event will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 in the Liberty High School Auditorium.
 
The Big Band Swing Dance at Liberty High School provides a perfect occasion for community members to enjoy and dance to live big bands from two of Peoria Unified’s high schools. Students from Liberty’s and Peoria’s Jazz ensembles perform a variety of styles of music in a traditional “Big Band” setting. Both groups are competitive Jazz ensembles performing in multiple competitions and festivals throughout the year.
 
Attendees will be asked to make a $5 suggested donation which will go to both schools’ band programs and to cover the cost of the hors d'oeuvres offered at the event.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one alternative school. With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit the district’s website, www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.
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WHO:       Cactus High School community
 
WHAT:     4th Annual District Dance Concert
 
WHEN:     7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6
 
WHERE:  Cactus High School, 6330 W. Greenway Road, Glendale
 
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Cactus High School is hosting Peoria Unified School District’s 4th Annual District Dance Concert this year. The charity chosen to benefit from this year’s special event is Arizona Friends of Foster Children and this year’s theme is “Be the Change.”
 
Admission is $5 per person. Tickets can be purchased in advance from the Cactus High bookstore at 623-412-5017 or by emailing Danielle Cicogna at dcicogna@peoriaud.k12.az.us. Tickets may also be purchased by any dance teacher in the district or may be obtained at the door. Dancers from all seven high schools are participating in this event.
 
This year’s theme, “Be the Change,” was inspired by the Cactus performance dancers who like to act quickly and want to inspire others to do the same. For more information on the Arizona Friends of Foster Children, visit www.affcf.org/about-us/our-history/.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school and was the first district in the state to receive the prestigious AdvancED Accreditation. With ongoing open enrollment and unique educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit the district’s website at www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.
 
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GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Peoria Unified School District will hold early kindergarten registration for the 2014-15 school year at its 32 elementary schools from Monday, March 3 through Friday, March 7.
 
Families who live outside of the district’s boundaries can register their child for a Peoria Unified school by filling out an open enrollment form and bringing it to the school of their choice during the registration period.
 
Families looking to enroll their children in Sunset Heights Elementary School, which is the district’s 33rd elementary school currently being built, can do so at the District Administration Center at 6330 W. Thunderbird Road Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Evening registration is also available from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at Sunrise Mountain Public Library, 21109 N. 98th Avenue on Tuesday, March 4. Families within the Sunset Heights boundaries whose first through seventh-grade child currently attends a Peoria Unified school do not need to complete an open enrollment form. Any necessary paperwork will be requested by the Sunset Heights office once it opens.
 
Families who are out-of-district, out of the school’s boundaries and new to Peoria Unified will need to fill out the designated enrollment packets, kindergarten registration forms and open enrollment forms. Forms can be found on the district’s website at www.peoriaud.k12.az.us or obtained at any of the Peoria Unified elementary schools’ offices.
 
For all students who register for Kindergarten Academy by March 7, the $35 registration fee will be waived.
 
To ensure that schools are properly staffed for new kindergarteners in the fall, the district encourages parents with kindergarten-aged children to register at their neighborhood school during the early registration period. 
 
Children, who are five-years-old on or before September 1, may be registered by a parent or guardian at all Peoria Unified elementary schools now through June 2014, when school offices are closed for the summer. The first day of school for the 2014-15 school year is Wednesday, Aug. 6.
 
Parents should bring the following documents when they register their child:
  • the child’s original birth certificate;
  • up-to-date immunization records;
  • proof of residency in the district (a utility bill or lease agreement is acceptable; a driver’s license is not considered an acceptable form of proof of residency).
 
If registering for the Kindergarten Academy, parents will also need to provide:
  • a completed Kindergarten Academy Application form;
  • a payment of $35 for the non-refundable registration fee.
 
Parents may download a copy of the enrollment packet, open enrollment, and Kindergarten Academy Application form from the district’s website, www.peoriaud.k12.az.us. The forms can be completed at home. Parents may bring a completed form with them when they register their child, expediting the process at the school. Kindergarten Academy application forms will not be processed without the $35 non-refundable registration fee.
 
For more information, please call your neighborhood school or contact the district at 623-486-6000.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school. With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.

  
PEORIA, Ariz. – The Peoria Unified School District is now accepting registration for the 2014-15 school year for Sunset Heights Elementary, which is the district’s 33rd elementary school, currently being built near Deer Valley Road and Lake Pleasant Parkway.
 
Families within the Sunset Heights boundaries whose first through seventh-grade child currently attends a Peoria Unified school do not need to enroll their children. Any necessary paperwork will be requested by the Sunset Heights office once it opens.
 
Families who are out-of-district, out of the school’s boundaries and new to Peoria Unified will need to fill out the designated enrollment forms. Enrollment forms can be found on the district’s website at www.peoriaud.k12.az.us or obtained at any of the Peoria Unified elementary schools’ offices.
 
Non-residents of the school district will first have to apply for an open enrollment. Per policy, families will hear after April 7, 2014, if the open enrollment has been accepted. The open enrollment form is also available on the district’s website.
 
Sunset Heights will have a full-day Kindergarten Academy and families who wish to enroll their children in the Kindergarten Academy will need to complete a kindergarten packet available on the district’s website. Those families who register their child before March 7 will have the $35 registration fee waived. Families of kindergartners and those who live outside of the school’s boundaries can register their child by completing an open enrollment form and the kindergarten packet.
 
Enrollment packets, kindergarten registration forms and open enrollment forms can be turned in to the District Administration Center at 6330 W. Thunderbird Road Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
 
Evening registration will also be available from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 4 at the Sunrise Mountain Branch Library, 21109 N. 98th Avenue, Peoria. This registration session will be geared specifically towards parents of prospective kindergarteners.
 
Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school and was the first district in the state to achieve the prestigious AdvancED accreditation. With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs.

  
GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Annual District Spelling Bee was held at the Peoria Unified School District’s Administration Center today where top spellers from across the district competed in front of their peers. Today’s event includes one top speller and seven runner-ups who will advance to the Regional Spelling Bee in February.
 
The winner of the Annual District Spelling Bee is Abel Cherian from Marshall Ranch Elementary School. Cherian won against Apache Elementary’s Cameron Deal in the 22nd round with the word geranium.
 
The seven runner-ups include:
·         Ben Bewley from Vistancia Elementary School
·         Alyssa Carillo from Sahuaro Ranch Elementary School
·         Elysia Casper from Peoria Traditional School
·         Cameron Deal – Apache Elementary School
·         Annalise Dilts from Copperwood Elementary School
·         Noah Manumaleuga from Alta Loma Elementary School
·         BeBee Obando from Zuni Hills Elementary School
 
These eight exceptional students will compete in the Regional Bee hosted by the district on Saturday, Feb. 22 at Cactus High School.
 
The winners of the Regional Bee will move on to the state-level Arizona Spelling Bee on Saturday, March 29, followed by the Scripps National Spelling Bee held in Washington, D.C. the summer of 2014.
 
Those who were unable to attend the Annual District Spelling Bee may watch the recorded event here.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school and was the first district in the state to receive the prestigious AdvancED Accreditation. With ongoing open enrollment and unique educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit the district’s website at www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.
 

  
WHO:     Peoria Unified parents, staff & students
 
WHAT:   Parent Support Organization Dinner
 
WHEN:   Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2013 – 5:30 p.m.
 
WHERE: Oakwood Elementary School - 12900 N. 71st Ave. Peoria, AZ 85381
 
PEORIA, Ariz. – Representatives from Peoria Unified’s Parent Support Organizations will partner with the district’s Community Legislative Network to host local and state legislators in an engaging discussion centered on education in Arizona. The dinner takes place at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 at Oakwood Elementary School, 12900 N. 71st Ave. in Peoria.
 
Each quarter throughout the school year, the district presents a Parent Support Organization Dinner to connect with parent leaders from each school. This quarter, the Community Legislative Network, a committee that serves to provide direction on legislative issues for the district, will invite legislators to answer questions from parents and provide their insight on the direction of education in Arizona.
 
The program and legislator panel discussion will be recorded and shared with the community via local Cox cable Ch. 99 and social media.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school. With ongoing open enrollment and unique educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit the district’s website at www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.

  

WHO:         Peoria Unified School District parents
WHAT:       Grand Opening of Family Resource Center
WHEN:       4:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 27
WHERE:     Marshall Ranch Elementary School, 12995 N. Marshall Ranch Drive, Glendale
 
GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Peoria Unified School District recently partnered with First Things First to provide the district’s first Family Resource Center, set to open its doors to the community on Monday, Jan. 27 at Marshall Ranch Elementary School, 12995 N. Marshall Ranch Drive, Glendale.

This new center is designed to provide resources to families with children five years and younger and will be used for the following: holding parenting workshops; giving referrals for things such as obtaining food boxes, immunizations and assistance with utilities. The center will also offer assistance for families applying for health insurance and food stamps as well as Department of Economic Security childcare. The overall goal of the Family Resource Center is to strengthen families and help children arrive at kindergarten ready to succeed.
 
Funding for the Family Resource Center comes from the Family Support Strategy of First Things First and focuses on strengthening families with young children, preparing them for kindergarten. Strong families are the building blocks of strong communities.  It is critical parents have the necessary resources and tools to provide their children with stable nurturing environments especially in the earliest years.
 
Community members are invited to stop by Marshall Ranch Elementary School for the Grand Opening and are encouraged to invite friends and neighbors. Office hours for the Family Resource Center will be Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. during the school year. Parents seeking assistance with applications can call 623-486-6472 for an appointment or walk-ins are welcome. Classes will also be scheduled in the near future.
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school and was the first district in the state to receive the prestigious AdvancED Accreditation. With ongoing open enrollment and unique educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit the district’s website at www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.
 
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PEORIA, Ariz. – The Peoria Unified School District is seeking candidates to fill a vacant seat on the Governing Board. Prospective candidates must be at least 18-years of age and reside within the Peoria Unified School District. Candidates cannot be employed by the district.
 
Applications, available online and at the District Administration Center, will be accepted Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Jan. 15 - Jan. 27, 2014, in the District Administration Center’s Office of the Superintendent, 6330 W. Thunderbird Road. Only those applications which are signed and hand-delivered will be accepted for review.
 
A complete timeline, approved by the Peoria Unified Governing Board, as well as the application and prescribed process from Maricopa County Education Service Agency is available on the Peoria Unified School District’s website at www.peoriaud.k12.az.us or by clicking here
 
The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school. With ongoing open enrollment and unique educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit the district’s website at www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.
 

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