By Valarie Shumway
Communications and Grants
Welcome to 2019-2020 school year!
I love the beginning of school. I love seeing school supplies line the shelves in the stores. New backpacks. New shoes. Kids nervous and excited and dressed in their best for the first day. Parents tears and joys. We have begun an exciting new year with a four-day schedule. We know this will bring some challenges for the district and families, but are looking forward to the benefits. It’s going to be an exciting challenge for all!
For those of you who are new to our District, let me share a few facts. The District was established in 1884 and is one of the oldest in the state of Arizona. The District is approximately 916 square miles, making it one of the largest districts in the state. Our District includes five schools: Hassayampa Elementary School (Pre-K - fifth grade); Festival Foothills Elementary School (Pre-K - eighth grade), which is located in our southern border in Buckeye; Vulture Peak Middle School (sixth - eighth grade); Wickenburg High School (ninth-12th grade) and Wickenburg Virtual Academy, which services students from Kindergarten - 12th grade.
Students from surrounding districts, which include Aguila, Congress, Morristown, Wittmann and Yarnell, are a part of the student body of Wickenburg High School.
Our excellent preschool programs help young learners gain a strong academic and social foundation to begin their educational path. Diverse academic programs help high school students move towards graduation in Move on When Ready programs that fit their needs. Examples include our virtual academy that services our mobile students in the roping world. The Grand Canyon Diploma is available for qualifying students anxious to speed up their graduation date. Industry level technical training programs, provided by West-MEC, are available for those looking at a vocational future.
Our staff includes approximately 83 certified teaching staff and 75 classified support staff. This year we hired 11 new teachers. 66 percent had more than six years of teaching experience. We are very excited about our team. They are dedicated, hardworking and compassionate.
The academic education and success of our students drives all of our work, helping us achieve our mission: “Every Child has Hope, Every Student is a Graduate, Every Graduate has a Dream”. We want to make a difference. Our academic success can be measured by improved growth on Arizona state testing measurements. Two of our schools moved up a letter grade last year with the Arizona Department of Education. Festival Foothills Elementary School moved to an “A” grade and Hassayampa Elementary School moved to a “B” grade.
We are proud of our staff, students, families, our communities and our district family. We are WUSD strong.