Originally Published: March 7, 2016 6 a.m.
I am very appreciative of this opportunity to introduce you to the Humboldt Unified School District. I am also very appreciative to the Daily Courier for the opportunity to enhance the relationships and partnerships between the area district schools and our community. I am a strong believer in the importance and vital role that district schools play in their communities. Traditional district schools have always been the anchors of their communities, for the Humboldt Unified School District this has been the case since 1906. Today, our schools continue to represent our communities and serve as gathering places for community events.
In 1906, the Humboldt School District opened with 43 children in a one-room schoolhouse by Chaparral Wash near the Iron King Mine in Humboldt. Fast forward to today, the Humboldt Unified School District serves approximately 5,800 students pre-k through high school and is the largest school district in Yavapai County. District boundaries encompass over 300 square miles throughout Prescott Valley, Dewey-Humboldt, and the surrounding areas. With 700 employees, including 290 teachers, HUSD is the largest employer in the Prescott Valley/Dewey-Humboldt area.
Not only do we enjoy a rich history, but we have many things to celebrate today:
• Our focus on community and statewide partnerships is evident in our adopt-a-school program in which each of our schools have been adopted by a local business and local church in an effort to strengthen local relationships.
• Free, full-day kindergarten has been approved beginning in the 2016-17 school year.
• HUSD is one of 10 unified school districts in Arizona that has achieved System-wide AdvancED Accreditation. Including the AdvancED Circle of Excellence Award.
• Through our partnership with Arizona State University, our students have applied to ASU’s Barrett’s Summer Scholars Program, a residential program that invites students to live on campus, engage in college-level coursework, and participate in a community of peers from across the state over the summer.
• Humboldt Elementary School is not only a National Title I Award Winner, but was featured on George Lucas’ Edutopia documentary, “Schools That Work.”
• Coyote Springs Elementary School received the 2015 Golden Bell Award for its 21st Century Education Model.
• Bradshaw Mountain High School students have earned over $12 million in scholarship money the past two years. Today, students in the Advanced Placement Academy and on the high school campus have access to 14 different Advanced Placement courses.
• Granville, Humboldt and Mountain View Elementary schools were named Arizona Department of Education Reward Schools for their high academic achievement.
• Glassford Hill Middle School, Bradshaw Mountain Middle School and Bradshaw Mountain High School are certified AVID schools. AVID is a college readiness program impacting more than 800,000 students in 44 states and 16 other countries/territories.
• Through our Signature Program Initiative, students at Liberty Traditional School enjoy a traditional and classical educational experience while students at Lake Valley Elementary participate in a Gifted Cluster Model.
While we are very proud of our current successes, there are some challenges that lay ahead. Arizona continues to lag behind the rest of the country in funding for education. This is a situation that is exacerbated in rural Arizona. While the percentage of our dollars to the classroom is much higher than state averages, the actual dollars are much less. The number of unfunded mandates continues to increase, placing a greater burden on our classroom teachers.
However, there are many reasons to look forward to the future. If Proposition 123 passes in the May 17 election, we will be able to put additional dollars directly into our classrooms. This will also allow us the opportunity to restore some of the programs that have been cut or reduced during recent budget cuts. We are committed to providing a comprehensive, world-class education for ALL students. This includes high standards for academics, expansive opportunities for co-curricular activities, and individualized signature programs that offer a variety of unique learning experiences for our students. I expect this, not only as the superintendent, but also as a parent of two children in our district.
Dan Streeter Humboldt Unified School District Superintendent