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Sunnyside Unified School District

Our VISION is simple and powerful

We inspire learning so that our students’ greatest abilities will be developed and make possible the discovery and pursuit of their dreams. The SUSD graduate will engage in the lifelong pursuit of academic knowledge as critical and creative thinkers, effective communicators and collaborators who are technologically literate to confidently confront the great challenges of their generation.


The MISSION of Sunnyside Unified School District is to build upon our students’ strengths and ensure that all students are socially, emotionally and academically prepared for College & Career success by creating challenging, meaningful and engaging learning opportunities so that all students thrive and are prepared to contribute to a diverse, rapidly changing, global society.

Sunnyside Unified School District is the second largest school district in Tucson, Arizona with approximately 16,813 students in the 2015-2016 school year.  Sunnyside covers 93.6 square miles and serves the southern part of the City of Tucson and areas adjacent in Pima County, including the San Xavier Reservation.   

District Map Link Click for Large View
Approximately 83% of SUSD students are Hispanic, 8.8% are White, 5.3% are Native American, 2.6% are African American and less than 0.6% are Asian American.
Student Population Link
During the 2015-2016 school year, 14,113 (86%) students qualify to receive free and reduced-price meals, 3385 (21%) of students are classified as English Language Learners and approximately 599(4%) of Sunnyside’s students are identified as homeless. Approximately 13% of the District student population receives Special Education services.

Sunnyside was established in 1921 and serves families with children from birth to grade 12. The nationally recognized Ocotillo Early Learning Center is the District’s high quality, developmentally appropriate early childhood center serving children ages birth to five of all abilities in an inclusive, nurturing, stimulating environment.  Programs include Title One preschool, early childhood special education, Parents As Teachers, Family Literacy and a fee-based pre-school program.

Student Laptops

The Sunnyside District has a technology-rich digital learning environment where every student grades 4 through 12 have laptops assigned for use daily in classes and throughout the school year. Instructional content is primarily online which includes unique and innovative curriculum that is current with today’s learning needs. Of the District’s 12 elementary schools, 10 support kindergarten through grade 6 and one elementary school provides for kindergarten through grade 5. The District hosts two district-wide magnet schools that draw their enrollment from across the district; Gallego Primary School (grade K-3) and Gallego Intermediate Fine Arts Magnet School (grades 4-8). Another unique grade level school is Sierra 2-8 School that partners with Ocotillo Early Learning Center (K-1) to create a sustained learning environment for student enrollment grades K-8.

The District has a Serving Unique Needs (SUN) gifted program serving 988 (6%) who have been identified as having a least an above average ability (7th stanine or above on a group or individual IQ measure); demonstrate high levels of task commitment and high levels of creativity.

Two middle schools in the Sunnyside District provide enrollment for grades 7 and 8. One school enrolls the traditional middle school grades 6-8.  There is one alternative high school, two comprehensive high schools and a virtual high school, Sunnyside Online Success Academy that provides fully online and blended learning environments.  The Comprehensive high schools have a smaller freshman academy and a College and Career “Academy” structure for grades 10-12 that provides a small learning community learning environment.

The College and Career Academies at Sunnyside Unified School District provide innovative, relevant and engaging connected learning opportunities centered on the career interests of students.

The Academies provide an individualized high school experience that allows students to explore a variety of pathways to graduation and college or career. The Academies offered include Aviation and Military Science (AFJROTC), Engineering Sciences, Information Technology /Computer Repair, Mechanical Drafting & Design (3-D), Precision Manufacturing, Sports Medicine, Business Management and Administrative Services, Communications Media and Marketing – Entrepreneurship.

The District’s 4-year graduates in 2014 was 780. This figures reflect graduates from Sunnyside High School, Desert View High School,S.T.A.R. Academy and S.O.S.A.. Data is still pending for 2015. The dropout rate for students in grade 9 through 12 was only 2% in 2013.

All schools in the Sunnyside District are Title I programs and receive funding in accordance with federal programs.

Student Racial/Ethnicity 2015-2016

Hispanic/Latino 13,496
White 1873
Black 442
Asian 99
Native American 903

BUDGET FACTS 2015-2016

In 2016, the District’s total Aggregate School District Budget Limit is anticipated to be $102,134,673. Approximately $79,300,000 million of the total budget is for Maintenance and Operations, $1,313,673 is for capital needs, and $21,521,000 is for federal programs.

We believe in open and accountable governance. For that reason we are committed to fiscal accountability. Sunnyside will be providing our stakeholders with access to updated expenditures.

As part of this continuing process, we are creating a web portal to provide you with more direct access to many of our most important documents. Click here for the most recent information.


There are 1892 District employees which includes teachers, administrators, and classified staff both full-time and part-time.  In addition, the District employs approximately 170 substitute teachers and 32 classified substitute employees.


High Schools (including alternative ed.) 4
Middle Schools 3
Elementary Schools 12
Mixed Grade Level Schools 2


Certified 895
School Site Administrators 34
Central Administrators 22
Classified 868

Sunnyside District Salary

Beginning Teacher Salary $33,000 With BA Degree
  $35,230 With MA Degree

Classified Racial/Ethnicity 2015-2016

Hispanic/Latino 734
White 114
Black 11
Asian 3
Native American 11
Islander 2

Certified Racial/Ethnicity 2015-2016

Hispanic/Latino 421
White 534
Black 32
Asian 11
Native American 11
Islander 8
TOTAL 1017

Languages Spoken

  • Navajo
  • Pueblo
  • Punjabi
  • Sioux
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Swahili
  • Tohono O’odham
  • Vietnamese
  • Yaqui
  • American Sign Language (ASL)
  • Apache
  • Arabic
  • Cantonese
  • English
  • Filipino
  • French
  • Hopi
  • Lingala
  • Maay