Helios Invests $3.9 Million In YUHSD To Advance College & Career Readiness of Yuma Students

Posted on: June 13, 2012

“Ready Now Yuma represents a cultural shift in the way we prepare students to compete and succeed in a global economy,” said Vince Roig, founding chairman of Helios Education Foundation. “Every YUHSD student, regardless of past academic performance or post-high school aspirations, will now receive a world-class education which prepares them for every future opportunity and puts them on-par with their national and international peers.”

Nearly 3,000 9th grade students and 100 teachers, counselors and administrators participated in the initial planning and pilot of Ready Now Yuma during the 2011-2012 academic school year. Ready Now Yuma moves into district-wide implementation beginning this fall, where every 9th and 10th grade student in the district will participate in the high expectations curriculum. All 11,000 YUHSD students will benefit from the college-going and career-readiness culture being fostered within the district’s six high schools as well as student-centered counseling, inquiry-based instruction and additional academic supports.

The investment comes at a pivotal time for Yuma students as YUHSD, along with school districts across Arizona, are required to begin implementing the nationally and internationally-benchmarked Common Core State Standards. Arizona, in addition to 46 other states and the District of Columbia, adopted the higher-bar standards to improve the academic performance and college and career-readiness of students to meet the higher expectations and needs of colleges and employers. For example, according to the Arizona Board of Regents, nearly half of Arizona’s graduates do not qualify to enroll in the state’s public universities. Since full implementation of the Common Core State Standards is not required until 2014, Yuma students who embrace Ready Now Yuma will have a competitive advantage over their peers and will be leading the way to academic excellence in Arizona.

“Helios’ leadership and investment in Ready Now Yuma will profoundly impact our students, YUHSD and the Yuma community overall,” commented Toni Badone, superintendent of Yuma Union High School District. “Our goal is to equip every student with the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in college, career and life. By doing so, we will demonstrate that Yuma is a viable business environment with a stable and talented workforce pipeline.”

In addition to the high expectations curriculum, the various reforms and improvements being implemented within YUHSD as part of Ready Now Yuma include supporting teachers to actively engage students in a learning model that emphasizes critical thinking, inquiry and problem-solving; focusing on student mastery of skills and knowledge by providing authentic learning experiences and high-bar assessments; enabling personalized, future-oriented conversations with students and families that reinforce the importance of postsecondary education for every student; offering additional academic supports to ensure mastery of skills and knowledge by all students; and providing multiple pathways to college and career success including advanced placement, dual enrollment, and career and technical education.

The Class of 2015 will be the first group of graduates to reap the full rewards of Ready Now Yuma by having participated in the high expectations initiative for their entire high school career.


Category: College and Career Readiness

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