Welcome to Nogales Unified School District!

NUSD #1 is located about an hour south of Tucson in the beautiful mountains of Southern Arizona. The City of Nogales is a fantastic place to live and work. It is a progressive city that has successfully maintained its small town charm, rich traditions, and vibrant culture. The city is the county seat for Santa Cruz County and shares the international border with Nogales-Sonora, its sister city in Mexico.

Our school district serves approximately 6,200 students in 10 schools which include a preschool program, six elementary schools, two middle schools, and two 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.

Most importantly, Nogales is the type of city where “a kid can be a kid.” Far removed from the hustle and bustle of big city life, Nogales is a place where parents can feel safe with nurturing schools and caring neighbors. Come join us here at Nogales Unified School District #1. We can’t wait to meet you!


Dear NUSD Team, 


I hope that everyone is doing well and has started the New Year in full health and with appreciation for everything we have.  


We are appreciative and proud of the profession we all have chosen teaching and learning directly with our students or working for our school communities within many capacities in the best interest of our students. 


I want to begin by congratulating our Governing Board for their recognition by the Arizona School Board Association (ASBA) for the Total Board Award and their selection as the Lou Ella Kleinz Excellence in Governance Award, the highest honor bestowed by ASBA.


Additionally, I want to congratulate all of our teachers, support staff and principal, Dr. Joan Molera who will be retiring at the end of the school year. Many of our retirees have served NUSD for decades. Your loyalty and dedication to our students and school district is very much appreciated--thank you for your service! 


I would also like to congratulate two of our excelling teachers who have recently been selected VFW/Veterans of Foreign Wars Arizona Teachers of the Year. Ms. Vanezza Gallego, teacher at Francisco Vasquez de Coronado Elementary School, and Ms. Martha Morgan, teacher at Desert Shadows Middle School, will also be entered into the VFW National contest representing Arizona where VFW recognizes three exceptional teachers nationwide. They will be recognized at the Arizona VFW awards ceremony on February 2, 2019 in Peoria, Arizona. CONGRATULATIONS to both of our teachers, for not only representing the state of Arizona, but NUSD and the hundreds of students they learn with and have taught.


It is exciting to have just been notified that Coronado Elementary School, who has undertaken the tremendous work to apply for recognition as an A+ School, has been selected for the next phase of competition to be an A+ School. As the next step in the awards process, the school will have a visitation from the selection committee this coming February. We are very proud of Coronado and are hoping for great results in the spring, but completing the arduous application process and earning a site visitation are already great accomplishments. CONGRATULATIONS for your continued pursuit of excellence in academic achievement! 


CONGRATULATIONS to both Coronado and Bracker Elementary Schools who once again earned Results-Based Funding for students scoring in the top 10 percent on the AzMERIT assessments. According to the Governor's Office, for the 2019-2020 school year Results-Based Funding will be measured based upon high academic performance and related to school poverty rates. The Governor proposes to alter the formula so that "awards are based on the A-F grading system for schools that now is in place." In his proposal, the funds would not just be based on academic performance but also on how much student achievement has improved and how many students graduate. This plan would also enable high poverty B-rated schools to qualify for Results-Based Funding. If approved by the legislature, this plan would open up opportunities for more of our schools to receive these funds. 


At the last board meeting, we concluded the discussion of academic data presentations and action plans for all of our schools. As we move forward this spring and prepare for the core subject area assessments, it is essential to regroup and refocus our instructional efforts, not deviating from the site improvement plans in place and the strategies to be implemented for academic improvement that were publicly presented. It is our responsibility and obligation to provide the best instruction and academic teaching and learning for all of our students district-wide. The 2019 spring data results will determine the success of our instructional leadership and the classroom instruction/teaching at all levels, including the individual student level academic growth and overall school improvement. 


As you are aware, on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 we celebrated the 100th day of school. On this date, the district enrollment was 5,725 students. The district has decreased in student enrollment count from the 40th day to the 100th day count. We are about 50 less students from the 40th day count, and more than 100 students lower than last year at the same time. We will have a new update in February as we anticipate that the numbers will continue to fluctuate as they have throughout the school year thus far. Please keep in mind that state funding is based on current student enrollment figures and we base our district budget on current year enrollment. Projected student enrollment, based upon current enrollment figures, also determines the budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2020.


I also want to share that the District will be working on identifying the composition of an Override Committee this coming spring. The district will be recommending an Override Election for November 2019. As you know, our current override is a continuation of the previous override and is at a rate of 6.39 percent. Our first step within the process of the initiative is the selection of a committee to be approved by the Governing Board. The committee then reviews and studies the override to proceed with recommendations for consideration by the Governing Board such as a continuation of our current rate or to increase the current percentage. This is a critical initiative for the district as it funds overall student programs, extra-curricular programs (e.g. athletics, music, art, student activity travel/out of town student activities-meal expenses), curriculum and instruction, and  teacher and staff salaries. As we move forward with this initiative we will be providing further updates and communication on the override. (Please note that as we move forward with this process, ALL ELECTION LAWS/PROTOCOL MUST BE FOLLOWED DURING THE OVERRIDE PROCESS AND RESOLUTION.) 


On Wednesday, the district leadership and  Governing Board members attended a public meeting with members of the Governor’s staff to explain and receive feedback on the Governor’s proposed budget. The education proposal included as part of this budget asking for significant money to go into K-12 education, funding a variety of different programs and measures. More than 160 million dollars of the proposed education budget is for teacher salary increases to meet the 20 percent increase over 2017 and 2020 levels. This will include a 5% increase for FY 2020 keeping in mind that every district's percentage is different and based on student enrollment. The more students, the more per pupil funding. The pay plan of 5 % is for teachers only as there is no funding allocated in the proposal for non-teaching personnel. Districts are left with finding other funds within their own budget for pay increase for non-teaching personnel. This is the same allocation process that was followed during the last budget season (10% for teachers) leaving the districts to budget from other funds/allocations to provide an increase salaries for other non-teaching personnel. For FY 2019 the district increased the teacher salaries by almost 15 percent by increasing 301 monies and provided a 3 percent salary increase for all other non-teaching personnel. The district's FY 2019 budget also included 100% coverage for health insurance/benefits for all employees. 


The governor's budget proposal suggests adding $68 million to address and restore other funds taken from schools during the recession. This also includes increasing capital funds. The state is still one of the lowest at per pupil funding and we are not even close to recouping funds lost during the recession that resulted in severe capital funding cuts to schools. 


Last, but not least, please be advised that there is a bill, SB 1014 English language learners; instruction; budgeting, that is being examined. This bill alters the English Language learner (ELL) Program, lowering the minimum amount of time ELL students are required to be in English language development program each day (breaking up the 4-hour block for ELL instruction). If the bill becomes law, the State Board of Education would be required to adopt research-based models for structured English immersion that include a minimum amount of English language. The bill has recently passed committee and is similar to HB 2435 from last year that died on the Senate Floor. Again, please stay up to date on this bill as it is critical for the instruction of our students at NUSD. 


Have a great rest of the week! Continue to do your very best and be the very best in your respective positions serving our students. You make a significant difference in the everyday lives of our students who are in our classrooms each day. Do what is right and provide them with the best academic opportunities for them to grow academically and socially each day that they are under your care, teaching and learning. You have an opportunity to do great things with our students everyday......


Thank you!

Fernando Parra



NUSD board earns top statewide honor

NUSD Board earns top honor

The governing board of the Nogales Unified School District was named this year’s recipient of the Lou Ella Kleinz Excellence in Governance Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Arizona School Boards Association.

The announcement was made at the ASBA conference in Phoenix on Friday, Dec. 14. According to the ASBA, the award is named for its former executive director and “recognizes the Arizona school board that demonstrated the most outstanding education leadership for the year.”  Read more

actualización del superintendente

District Headlines

Welty Students
Be Kind murals going up at two NUSD schools
Over 150 students at Mary L. Welty and Lincoln Elementary Schools in the Nogales Unified School District have completed the first phase of a project to erect Be Kind murals at their sites.
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NHS Student
Nogales High School students honored at governing board meeting
Four Nogales High School students were honored at the Feb. 11, 2020 governing board meeting held at NHS before a packed crowd of admirers.
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Marcia Mendoza
Superintendent Outstanding Award goes to NHS teacher Marcia Mendoza
Nogales High School business education teacher Marcia Mendoza was honored by Supt. Fernando Parra at the Feb. 11, 2019 governing board meeting.
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NUSD Maintenance Dept. honored and student from Challenger Elementary
The Nogales Unified School District governing boardroom was packed Monday, Jan. 14, 2019 as the entire Maintenance Department was honored along with Challenger Elementary School fifth-grader Gregory Kory by Supt. Fernando Parra.
Read More about NUSD Maintenance Dept. honored and student from Challenger Elementary
Board honored
NUSD Governing Board receives another high honor
The Nogales Unified School District governing board received its second recognition at the board meeting Jan. 14, 2019, earning the Total Board Award, presented by Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) Past President Linda Lyon.
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