Arizona Governor Visits San Luis High School to See Firsthand How Students are Preparing for College and Career Success

Author: Helios Education Foundation

Posted on: February 9, 2016

On Monday, February 8, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey visited San Luis High School to learn more about Ready Now Yuma, which is Yuma Union High School District’s commitment to ensuring all students are prepared for success in college and   career.  Ready Now Yuma is a partnership between Yuma Union High School District and Helios Education Foundation to ensure every student in the District graduates from high school prepared for the future.  Through this partnership, all 11,000 students in the District’s six high schools are being challenged, supported and prepared on the pathway toward college and career success.   

Dedicated to the proposition that the economic prosperity of both Arizona and Yuma are dependent on a highly skilled workforce, the Ready Now Yuma partnership is focused on three demanding goals:

  • Every student graduates and is prepared to succeed in college and career;
  • Every school embeds a college-going culture within the school; and
  • Yuma Union High School District increases the number of students entering and succeeding in postsecondary education. 

During his visit, the Governor met with district leadership, teachers and students.  In one of the classroom visits, the Governor observed firsthand how Cambridge curriculum is being implemented in a Literature classroom.  The use of Cambridge Curriculum throughout the District serves as the cornerstone to preparing all students for college and career.  Cambridge is a rigorous, high expectations curriculum that is used throughout 150 countries in the world.  Many schools in the United States use Cambridge curriculum for their high achieving or college-bound students but every student in Yuma Union High School District takes core Cambridge courses, regardless of past academic achievement or post high school aspirations.

“The implementation of Cambridge Curriculum throughout our entire district was one of the most important changes we have made over the last few years,” said Toni Badone, Superintendent, Yuma Union High School District.  “Our teachers and students are surpassing our expectations with the increased rigor.  They are rising to the challenge and we are already seeing an increase in effective instructional practices by teachers and an increase in the percentage of students who are passing their core courses.” 

In fact, some of the successes to date include:

  • An increase in college-going rates
  • Overall, 4% increase across the district in attendance rates
  • A 33% reduction in suspensions
  • A 46% increase in the percentage of 9th grade students passing all of their core courses (English, math, science and history)

In addition to the above indicators of success, San Luis High School has made significant strides over the past few years.  It has a 79 percent graduation rate which is higher than the state average and a 71 percent college-going rate which places it in the top 25 percent of all Arizona public high schools in the state.  And finally, on average, 95 percent of San Luis students show up for school each day. 
“Helios Education Foundation is proud of our partnership with Yuma Union High School District and the early successes we are seeing as a result of our Ready Now Yuma initiative,” said Paul J. Luna, President and CEO, Helios Education Foundation.  “In addition to the academic gains happening across the district, we’re seeing a change in culture that is focused on preparing every student, regardless of past academic performance or future aspirations, for college and career.  That change toward a college-going culture is what will have a long-lasting impact across the district.”

Category: College and Career Readiness

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