Tempe is served by two K-8 school districts – Kyrene and Tempe Elementary, and Tempe Union High School District. Additionally, a wide selection of private and charter schools cater to the needs of its varied residential base. Offering top-notch educational facilities remains one of the driving goals of the city. From preschool and kindergarten to postsecondary education, Tempe is one of the state’s leaders in academic opportunity and achievement.

  • Tempe Union High School District

    d10pg07The Tempe Union High School District’s mission is Excellence in Teaching and Learning. That mission is put into action every day as Tempe Union delivers a high-quality education marked by a commitment to serve the needs of students and their families.

    The district, established in 1908 with one school serving fewer than 100 students, now serves more than 13,000 students, six comprehensive high schools, a rapidly growing non-traditional high school, an academy for gifted students and the International Baccalaureate Program. It encompasses 162 square miles and serves the city of Tempe, the town of Guadalupe, the Gila River Indian Community, the Ahwatukee Foothills area of Phoenix and parts of Chandler.

    Set on park-like campuses, the comprehensive high schools are Tempe High, McClintock, Marcos de Niza, Corona del Sol, Mountain Pointe and Desert Vista. Compadre High School/Evans-Compadre Academy is the district’s non-traditional school, while Peggy Payne Academy, located on the McClintock campus, is home to the district-wide gifted program. Tempe High is the site for the International Baccalaureate Program.

    Tempe Union teachers are dedicated professionals. Two out of three teachers hold a master’s degree or above, and 60 percent have 10 or more years of teaching experience.

    For nearly a decade, the Tempe Union High School District has earned the SchoolMatch What Parents Want Award in recognition of efforts to meet students’ needs and be accountable for results. Its students have earned national recognition in scholastic, athletic and fine arts achievements including the National Merit Scholarship program, where the district continues to lead the state in the number of students named as finalists and Flinn scholarship recipients. The schools meet stringent accreditation criteria from AdvancED. The district has been recognized for financial accountability with the Award of Financial Reporting and Achievement from the Government Finance Officers Association and the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Arizona School Business Officials. Visit

  • Tempe Elementary School District

    The Tempe Elementary School District has served the community for more than 130 years and is known for its small, safe neighborhood schools. Tempe Elementary is a high-performing organization educating more than 12,000 kindergarten through eighth-grade students, who attend 14 elementary schools serving grades K-5, three middle schools serving grades 6-8, two K-8 schools and one pre-school for children with developmental delays.

    Several schools have been recently rebuilt, including Aguilar, Broadmor, Holdeman and Thew elementary schools. Scales Technology Academy, which integrates the best technology solutions in every classroom and across the curriculum, opened in a new building in 2008. Every student in kindergarten through fifth grade is provided with their own laptop computer to use for schoolwork, at no cost to parents.

    ASPIRE Academy, which serves the district’s most academically gifted middle school students, opened in August 2012 on the Connolly Middle School Campus. Students at Gilliland Middle School can opt to take single-gender classes.

    Full-day kindergarten has been provided since 2000, longer than most school districts in the area. The district’s schools use a scientifically researched reading program that was recognized by the Arizona Department of Education, which uses a Tempe Elementary school as a statewide reading demonstration site.

    The staff has received numerous honors. Four Tempe Elementary teachers were recently honored as Rodel Exemplary Teachers, two Tempe Elementary principals have been named Rodel Exemplary Principals, and several Staff members have been selected for the Aspiring Principals program. The district’s fine arts coordinator was named Arizona Art Educator of the Year, and an orchestra teacher was honored as ASU Outstanding Mentor Teacher of the Year.

    The outstanding music programs include instrumental education beginning in fifth grade. During middle school, students have an opportunity to take two music classes daily.

    Tempe Elementary School District has certified nurses at every school. More than 1,800 students choose to attend Tempe Elementary Schools from outside the district’s boundaries.  Visit

  • Kyrene School District

    Formed in 1888 as a rural school district, Kyrene Elementary Schools have maintained a reputation for excellence for more than 120 years. One of the state’s top districts, Kyrene has expanded to include 25 K-8 schools in Tempe, Chandler and Phoenix. The high quality and caring staff partner with involved parents to support your child’s individual development.

    Kyrene Schools are known for nationally recognized technology-enriched curriculum, excellent learning facilities and locations, amazing character education activities, strong summer learning options and an award-winning before- and after-school program.

    Kyrene also offers programs for art, music, physical education, home schooling, gifted and talented students, along with Montessori and preschool options for 3- to 5-year-olds. Visit

  • Tempe Accelerated High School

    Tempe Accelerated High School offers a quality education designed to meet the needs of those who wish to receive their high school diploma in a shortened timeframe. Students can graduate from high school successfully and quickly with their accelerated and flexible day and night class scheduling. Tempe Accelerated High School offers the classes necessary to meet the Arizona requirements for graduation. Students can earn 20 credits for graduation while learning the necessary skills to prepare for college and post-high school work and training. Tempe Accelerated High School is accredited by the North Central Association and offers quality classes taught by highly qualified teachers. Visit

  • Arizona State University

    Ranked as one of the top 100 research universities in the world, Arizona State University is an economic powerhouse, pumping more than $4.4 billion annually into the Arizona economy. In addition to state-of-the-art research, ASU produces a highly skilled, innovative, entrepreneurial workforce for new and existing Arizona businesses, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations and institutions. Its four campuses are configured across metropolitan Phoenix, a region negotiating societal and environmental challenges that anticipate coming trends worldwide.

    Since 2002, ASU has sought institutional transformation in higher education, building a solution-focused institution that combines the highest level of academic excellence, inclusiveness to a broad demographic and maximum societal impact. Although the university is first and foremost committed to educating the students of Arizona, it is equally a discovery organization, focused on contributing to regional economic development through enhanced research and academic programs. This includes major interdisciplinary research initiatives focused on innovative solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. Through both its educational and discovery missions, Arizona State University is producing the nation’s newest national assets.

    ASU’s Tempe historic campus occupies 700 acres in the heart of Tempe. Broad pedestrian malls, subtropical landscaping and imaginative architecture welcome more than 51,000 students representing all 50 states and more than 120 countries.

    It has been designated an arboretum and features a variety of documented and labeled plants and trees that provide a welcoming, park-like setting for the university buildings, many of which have earned architectural honors. In addition to its extensive, high-quality academic programs, ASU provides the community with a rich variety of cultural attractions from internationally known lecturers to widely praised art exhibitions.

    The 324-acre ASU Research Park is also located in Tempe. It brings together researchers and corporate leaders from private industry, governmental agencies and the university to provide a mechanism to integrate technological results from university research into private corporate programs.

    As the only major metropolitan research university in the Valley of the Sun, Arizona State University regards community engagement as an integral part of its mission. In addition to providing quality higher education to its students, the university serves families, business and industry, government and the education communities through 477 outreach programs in 529 locations across the state. Visit

  • Rio Salado College

    Rio Salado College, proud to be located in the city of Tempe, offers educational opportunities to residents throughout Maricopa County while embracing “Learning, Innovating and Partnering.” Rio Salado provides working adults with the right blend of educational opportunities designed for convenience, flexibility and affordability.

    Rio Salado is locally, nationally and internationally known for its innovative approach to higher education. The college does not maintain a traditional campus. Classes are delivered through online learning, hybrid and accelerated formats and customized educational partnerships. Rio Salado has more than 10 locations throughout Maricopa County providing testing services, computer labs, adult basic education classes and other specialized program offerings.

    Rio Salado offers more than 500 online and hybrid classes and a broad range of student services such as registration, tutoring, student support, academic advising, library services and counseling – all just a mouse-click away. In addition, educational partnerships result in certificate and degree programs that are delivered directly on-site at more than 40 corporations and government agencies.
    Rio Salado also gives able and ambitious high school students a head start on college through dual enrollment programs at Tempe high schools and more than 50 other high schools throughout Maricopa County. Rio Salado carries the maximum 10-year accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

    Above all, Rio Salado provides a caring and supportive environment where faculty, staff and students form an inclusive community. This atmosphere, in addition to academic excellence, makes Rio Salado College the success it is today. Visit

  • Mesa Community College

    Mesa Community College began as a small junior college more than 40 years ago with outstanding faculty and tremendous community support and has since transitioned into an institution that reflects sustained high quality and a desire to respond to community needs. Now enrolling more than 27,000 students annually, the college provides instruction in more than 150 degree, career and university-transfer programs.

    Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, Mesa Community College meets students’ educational needs and develops their skills and talents. The college, located just a few miles from Tempe’s border, brings together diversity of thought and ideas, age, background and culture, which helps to create a vibrant, exciting place of learning.

    Areas of study include business, education, engineering, biological and biomedical sciences, communication, psychology, visual and performance arts and the social sciences. Career and technical programs provide career paths in fire science, automotive technology, mortuary science, biotechnology and a full range of certificate and degree programs in nursing and other health care fields. In addition to traditional university transfer and career/technical classes, MCC offers community education, continuing education for practicing professionals, developmental education and English as a second language. Campus clubs and organizations include student government, Phi Theta Kappa, Model UN, Chican@ de Aztlan, Theatre Outback, musical ensembles, art exhibits and MCC’s award-winning student newspaper, Mesa Legend. The athletics program has been nationally recognized for excellence and is a member of the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference and the National Junior College Athletic Association. Visit

  • Educational Options

    EdOptions™ is an award-winning education technology firm located in Arlington, Va., and Tempe. Its premier product, Stars Suite®, has served more than one million students nationwide and features 47 middle and high school courses, as well as Web-based solutions for state test preparation, high school preparation and GED study. Other divisions include Blue Ridge International Academy™, EdOptions High School (EOHS) and Orchard Learning™. Blue Ridge is a fully accredited and NCAA approved online high school; EOHS is an independent public high school in Tempe; and Orchard Learning provides targeted state standards-based instruction, assessment and data management for pre-K-9 in reading, language arts, math and science. Visit

    Other great educational options in Tempe and the Phoenix-metro area include ITT Technical Institute, Collins College, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, Pinnacle Education and the University of Phoenix.