The school district serves students within a 220 square miles (570 km2) area of Phoenix, and 27,761 students are enrolled within its 20 schools. Its boundaries are largely coextensive with what was the city of Phoenix prior to the 1960s.
The school is a minority-majority district, with 81.7% of its students being identified as “Hispanics”, and 52.4% of its students speaking Spanish at home. In all, 71 languages have been identified as primary home languages.
The district employs 2,777 people, with 1,617 of them being teachers.
The school district has no elementary or middle schools, and as such, it has identified 13 elementary school districts as its Partner Elementary Districts, with students who enroll with those districts being fed into PUHSD’s high schools.
The school district’s roots lie with the opening of Phoenix Union High School in 1895. In that same year, Arizona’s Territorial Legislature passed a law that allowed districts with at least 2,000 residents to form high schools.
Phoenix Union High School first opened with four classrooms and 90 students, on the second floor of an elementary school building, but eventually moved into its final location, near 7th Street and Van Buren. The school campus was a former mansion, and was chosen at the time because it was located in a residential area, bordered in part by two arterial streets. PUHS also affected later developmental patterns in the area.