District Facts

The District serves approximately 6,900 students in its 10 schools, which include a preschool program, 6 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, and 2 high schools. Located in the southern part of Santa Cruz County, our students and families bring to our school community a rich cultural background that reflects life on both sides of the border.

  •  Wade Carpenter Middle School was named one of the two Title I Distinguished Schools to represent Arizona in the 2012-2013 school year.
  •  Francisco Vasquez de Coronado Elementary was one of five schools in the state of Arizona selected to apply for the National Blue Ribbon Schools award for the 2012-2013 school year.
  •  Francisco Vasquez de Coronado Elementary, Robert Bracker Elementary, and Mary Welty Elementary were named as finalists for the Title I Distinguished Schools award for the 2012-2013 school year.
  •  Challenger Elementary School, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Mary Welty Elementary, Robert Bracker Elementary, and Wade Carpenter Middle School were named as Reward Schools for the state of Arizona for the 2012-2013 school year.
  • The Arizona Department of Education nominated Robert Bracker Elementary in both 2004 and 2006 for the Title I Distinguished School Recognition.
  • Francisco Vasquez de Coronado Elementary teacher, Sophia Gamez, was a finalist for the Arizona Teacher of the Year in 2011-2012.
  • Robert M. Bracker Elementary School was named as a No Child Left Behind 2007 Blue Ribbon School.
  • NUSD teacher, Laura Ibarra, was named 2007-2008 Arizona Rural Teacher of the Year.
  • NUSD teacher, Alfonsina Tapia, was named 2008-2009 Santa Cruz County Rural Teacher of the Year.
  •  In 2005 the Arizona Department of Education awarded Robert M. Bracker Elementary School a Spotlight of Success Award for demonstrating measurable academic achievement.
  • In 2007 the Arizona Department of Education presented Desert Shadows Middle School and Challenger Elementary School with a Spotlight of Success Award for demonstrating measurable academic achievement with English Language Learners.
  •  Nogales High School and Pierson Vocational High School received accreditation from the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI). Through this process, they have each demonstrated that they have met the criteria to earn the label, quality school.
  • For the seventh consecutive year in 2007, the Nogales High School Air Force ROTC received the Distinguished Unit Award. Additionally, in 2007 they received a Distinguished with Merit rating following their headquarters inspection that year, which was the first year this recognition was given.
  • Our high school music program, particularly the marching band and mariachi as well as the orchestra, regularly demonstrate their talents at a variety of competitions held throughout the state. During these competitions, our students have earned the very highest ratings and honors for their performances.
  •  The bands and orchestras at both Desert Shadows and Wade Carpenter Middle School have received outstanding honors and ratings at state competitions at which they participate annually.
  • The district has developed a strong athletic program, particularly at the middle and high school levels, in sports such as football, soccer, basketball, volleyball, cheer and poms, and in track to name just a few. Over the years, our teams have captured both state and local titles in their respective sports, bringing attention to the athletic ability of our students and teams.

  • Nogales High School boasts an International Baccalaureate (IB) program. It is in addition to the Advanced Placement and Honors programs, which are also in place. Students can enroll in the IB program to challenge themselves by earning the IB Diploma as well as college credit. We are one of only a small number of schools in Arizona, which offer this program.
  • NUSD offers a comprehensive K-12 music program. General music instruction is provided to all students in grades K through 5, but a variety of band, orchestra, mariachi, and choir courses are also available to students beginning at the elementary level.
  • NUSD provides gifted education program for students in grades 1 through 12. All students in grades 1 and 2 receive gifted instruction, with formal identification for program qualification occurring by the beginning of grade 3. We offer gifted classes for students in grades 3-5, with honors and advanced classes available for the continuation of gifted education for students in grades 6 through 12.
  • Implementation of the Reading First Program in 4 of the 6 elementary schools. Through this program, the elementary schools have increased reading scores and adopted a Response to Intervention (RTI) model of instruction in an effort to move all students to reading proficiency.
  • Participation in the University of Arizona’s Math, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA) by three of the secondary schools. For those students involved in this program, MESA provides hands-on activities and instruction to increase both academic skills in math and science as well as to increase student interest in pursuing career and college education in those content areas.
  • NUSD offers a full special needs program, from preschool through grade 12. Our program provides services to our preschool students who have been identified as having special needs, which we address at the early age of three. Once in our K-12 programs, our services include a wide variety of supports, which enable our students to reach their full potential. This includes transition programs to assist students moving from middle to high school and then to the workplace. We also provide extended school year services and work closely with local resources/agencies to meet student needs.

Data Highlights


  • Please click through the slides below to view our students' accomplishments on the AIMS test over the last five years.

Student Demographics

Asian: 0.36%
American Indian: 0.17%
Hispanic: 98.24%
African-American: 0.12%
Caucasian: 0.12%


  • NUSD currently employs 670 fulltime staff members, 277 of which are classified employees and 443 of which are certified staff members.
  • NUSD is a district which is rich in culture and community and employs staff members who are dedicated to ensuring the success of our students. As a team, we work collaboratively with parents and students to continuously increase the level of academic achievement through adherence to three core principles: high expectations, accountability, and no excuses. For more information: www.nusd.k12.az.us or call (520)-287-0800.