Max Ehrmann's Poem "Desiderata" (latin for "desired things") is a prose poem that has an positive message, and was used as the moniker for a unique alternative program that has served Phoenix Union High School District since 1977.

Desiderata Alternative Program serves exceptional students who have needs that are more effectively addressed in a small school environment. Students are referred to Desiderata by their home school campuses. The Desiderata program emphasizes academic achievements and helps to support the social, emotional and behavioral development and growth of students. All students are taught district approved curriculum that meets Arizona Common Core Standards and content specific Arizona Academic Standards. Classroom activities stress student acquisition of literacy and life skills.

Desiderata Alternative Program is housed in a 30,000-square foot facility near 35th Avenue and Thomas and was opened in 2006. The campus is designed to be functional and supportive: there are 11 classrooms, library, fitness center, sports court, cafetorium, group therapy room, instructional kitchen, and assistive technology support.

School News

District News

  • Possible Bus Strike

    This message is for students who take the city bus to school.

    There is a possibility of a Phoenix Public Transit Department bus strike that may affect student transportation to and from school, beginning Monday, October 12.  A strike vote is pending as of Friday afternoon, October 9. We urge students and parents to arrange for alternative transportation in the event of a strike. You can get updates on the strike and if bus service will be affected at Valley Metro’s website,, or by calling Valley Metro Customer Service at 602-253-5000.

    Light rail will not be affected.  The following bus routes would be impacted in the event of a strike: 

    0-Central Ave.; 1-Washington/Jefferson; 7-7th Street; 8-7th Ave.; 10-Roosevelt/32nd Street; 12-12th Street; 15-15th Ave.; 16-16th Street; 19-19th Ave.; 27-27th Ave.; 28-Lower Buckeye; 35-35th Ave.; 39-40th Street North Phoenix; 44-44th St/Tatum; 50-Camelback; 52-Roeser; 60-Bethany Home; 70-Glendale/24th Street; 80-Northern/Shea; 90-Dunlap/Cave Creek; 106-Peoria; 122-Cactus; 138-Thunderbird; 154-Greenway; 170-Bell; 186-Union Hills/Mayo, the SMART (Sunnyslope) and DASH (downtown) circulators and all RAPID commuter routes: Central South Mountain East; Central South Mountain West; I-10 East, I-10 West, I-17 and SR-51.


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  • Our Phoenix Union High School EXPO for 6th 7th and 8th graders is happening on Saturday, November 7, 10 am – 2 pm at Phoenix College! You can meet current students, learn about the many programs, clubs and services offered, see student performances and take advantage of the 1st day to apply to attend for the 2016-17 school year! All students will receive a FREE DRAWSTRING BACKPACK while supplies last! In order to be able to complete the enrollment process, please bring your Birth Certificate, Immunization Records, and Proof of AZ Residency such as a Driver’s License, Utility or Phone bill.

    Visit: for more information in English.

    For Spanish visit:



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  • OPEN ENROLLMENT is Available! Our high schools have it all – more classes, more specialized programs, more support and more opportunities than any other school district.  Make new friends and hang with your old friends; create memories; EXPAND your horizons; EXPLORE your future; EXPRESS yourself and EXCEED your expectations.  This is an exciting time for you.  Our job is to prepare every student for success in college, career and life.  Your job is to take advantage of all Phoenix Union has to offer.  ENROLL with us and you’ll have the EXPERIENCE of a Lifetime.To apply online or download the form, please visit Apply Today!
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  • Connect2Compete
    Cox Communications is offering high speed internet for $9.95 per month for qualifying Phoenix Union Families. To see if you qualify, visit
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2920 N. 34th Dr.
Phoenix, AZ 85017 
602.271.2963  FAX
Principal: Manuel Calderon
Mascot: Sharks
School Colors: Purple and Gray
Year School Opened: 1977

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