Paradise Valley Unified School District is the seventh-largest school district in Arizona, with 31 elementary schools, eight middle schools and six high schools. This district’s schools are located within an 98-mile area in Phoenix and North Scottsdale, from 7th Avenue east to Pima Road, from Jomax Road south to Northern Avenue. Given the large size of the district, the tax base for the schools is larger. The 2014 Auditor General’s report indicates that PVUSD schools outperform the state average and the district average for the percent of funds spend in the classroom.
PVUSD is also known for many programs, some of which are exclusive to this district. For example, four different elementary schools offer gifted preschool programs: Fireside, Desert Trails, Desert Cove and North Ranch elementary schools. These accelerated curriculum and tuition-based programs target 4-year old students who have been identified as gifted on an IQ test.
Foreign language immersion is featured at two different schools in Paradise Valley Unified. Sandpiper Elementary focuses on Spanish immersion, while Whispering Wind Academy centers on Mandarin immersion. Three schools offer a K-12 IB (International Baccalaureate) program: Quail Run Elementary, Vista Verde Middle School and North Canyon High School. The popular CREST (Center for Research, Engineering, Science and Technology) program is offered at Paradise Valley High School.
Finally, for those fifth-twelfth grade students who are interested in focusing on the performing and visual arts, the North Valley Arts Academy is offered at Desert Cove Elementary, Shea Middle School and Shadow Mountain High. This program combines the arts with a rigorous academic curriculum.
Even if you don’t live within the PVUSD boundaries, open enrollment gives your student an opportunity to attend any of the schools. Applications are typically accepted in the district office until January 21st of the previous school year, with Early Bird applications due by December 1st.