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GreatSchools Rating

Catalina Foothills High School

Public | 9-12 | 1708 students

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 4 ratings
2013:
Based on 4 ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 4 ratings

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45 reviews of this school


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Posted November 11, 2014

All things considered, Catalina Foothills is a pretty good school. Sports/extracurriculars are pretty good such as the Speech and Debate team, Science Olympiad, etc. Academics are average, however. Some departments are better than others and of course, quality of teachers vary. The math department is ok, with the Calculus BC teacher being outstanding (99.9999% of students that took the AP test have scored a 4 or higher, only one student has ever gotten a 3). Although the administration isn't the best, overall, CFHS is a pretty good school considering it is public and has no entrance requirements.
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 4, 2014

This school has gotten progressively worse since my freshman year. The security has increased by tenfold this year even though it's completely unnecessary. A fence now surrounds the school. Former students and parents are no longer allowed to visit teachers. It is a completely closed off campus. Security is constantly patrolling and monitoring students. Everyone must have their ID with them at all times in order to enter campus. If you forget it, you have to pay $5 to get a new one for the day (no exceptions). The school uses an absurd rubric to grade homework that is complicated and confusing (4.0-A+, 3.0-B, 2.5-C etc) instead of the standard, straightforward letter grades. Most people go to an in-state school (a number of them get scholarships). Only a handful go to private colleges (a few even go to top-tier schools). The only reason that more students from this school go onto prestigious schools is because the people who live in this district are wealthy. The teachers are okay and the academics are not especially exemplary. The administration is power-hungry and it's gotten so strict under the current principal. Thankfully, I'm a senior and will be graduating this year.
—Submitted by a student


Posted May 22, 2014

This latest poster is so uninformed. Most of the students from CFHS do not go to in state schools. There is a high % of the class of 2014 going out of state to some of the most outstanding universities in the country including ivy leagues.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 20, 2014

Catalina Foothills is a school that claims outstanding academics but bury themselves with appearance and money. Foothills is more focused on dealing with security forces than improving academic programs. The education you get is pretty average it is just in an upscale community. Extra curricular activities and specific departments such as math are weak but the district does not care to recognize that. Everyone seems to enjoy lying to themselves and blaming the state for lack of funding. They would rather hire more security staff with a student body that is 70 percent White....Catalina Foothills gets more credit than it deserves because of the lack of education standards in the state of Arizona. Go outside of Arizona, and this school is quite average. That is why 70% of kids end up at a state college because it is essentially a free ride. Arizona state colleges are required to admit just about anyone and everyone a resident of Arizona. I see these problems transferring from a stronger school system out of state. This is the best public high school in Tucson because you don't have a lot of choices. Do not expect amazing support here. This school is descending quite quickly.
—Submitted by a student


Posted September 4, 2013

We just spent the last ten years at CFHS as our three children went through the school. The teachers were top notch and the curriculum challenging and relevant. The depth and the breadth of classes, programs, and activities are unrivaled in Tucson. The entire staff and administration care about the students, and parents are very involved in supporting the school. Students are engaged in learning as well as the numerous extra-curricular activities and events. The campus and the views of the surrounding area are beautiful.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 19, 2013

The school has excellent students and teachers, particularly in Math and English. The quality of Science teachers have declined markedly- the best ones have moved on. Some of the best teachers have been reallocated against their wishes- from subjects they taught extremely well to assignments they are unhappy about these remaining quality teachers will inevitably leave and add to this continuing decline. The Board needs to step in.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 19, 2013

The school has excellent students and teachers in Math and English. The quality of Science teachers has declined markedly- the best ones have moved on- as shown by declining test scores. The academic focus over the last year or two in particular has markedly diminished, with the departure of quality teachers. Some of the remaining excellent teachers have been reallocated apparently against their wishes- from subjects they taught extremely well to assignments they are unsuited to and are clearly unhappy about these remaining few first-rate teachers will inevitably leave and add to this continuing slide. Standards are clearly slipping and there appears to be a lack of leadership- the Board needs to step in and fix the rot. My son has just graduated this year and I will watch for positive developments in the immediate future, but am not optimistic- we may be forced to send our younger child to a different school in the future. The District Board needs to step in.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 6, 2013

Changing demographic of student population due to increase in open enrollment has made this school feel less safe and friendly--fights, kids with piercings, crowded classrooms. Lots of teacher turnover in Math and Science. Some excellent teachers and beautiful campus. This school seems to be trending downward and will probably soon become average. Too bad--was once a great school and a nice community.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 6, 2012

Most beautiful campus in Tucson, as well as a challenging and diverse education. Without saying, Foothills has the most beautiful campus in Tucson. The curriculum here is without doubt the best in Tucson as far as public education goes. You also have a wide variety of choices when it comes to picking classes (6 english courses are available per grade). The teachers are very engaging in class and are always willing to assist with anything from academics to personal issues. The administration is also very experienced and credible, and keep the school together. The only negative about the school is that most students do unfortunately act the typical Foothills stereotype. Most people are white and rich, but they are mostly friendly and very nice. Foothills also has the most expansive, credible, and highest achieving fine arts program when compared to any other high school in town. The band is the largest in Arizona, and has traveled the world; traveling to Disneyland, the Beijing Olympics, Australia, Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, Prescott, and more. The theatre program is very well known in Tucson as well.
—Submitted by a student


Posted August 24, 2012

Not the best, not the worst. This school is constantly crying poverty while its administrators spend loads on "educational trips"
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 25, 2011

This is obviously a good nice school. The facilities are and building are great, the kids are smart, the teachers seem very engaging. On the downside, language programs have been cut. For example, you can take Chinese but not French for entering freshmen. But Chinese is too difficult for most students to do well in. The sports program (for girls at least) seem to be in need of cash all the time. Finally, there is of course the appeal to snobbery. One of the "selling" points of the school is that the students generally come from privileged homes... so they have better material to work with ... something a teacher told me. This implies that we live in a pure meritocracy and that people who are poor are so because they lake certain mental gifts. I think that attitude is prevalent but misguided at CFHS. Try to get beyond the snobbery and send your child here anyway... it will be a good experience.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 28, 2011

Academically, CFHS is an excellent school. I have taken both standard and honors level classes, and in every subject except for Math, I have had amazing teachers who have provided me a plethora of information and useful skills. Unfortunately due to budget cuts and retiring teachers, the extracurriculars has taken the worst blow. If your student is art driven, do not enroll them at CFHS. AP Art has been cut, Ceramics is always packed, and CFHS fails to offer orchestra. However we do have one of the best band programs in the nation. In terms of other extracurriculars, there are few PE classes offered. If you have a child who struggles in such courses, do not enroll them at CFHS. Socially, I find CFHS to be much like a small community. It is true, most of us students have known each other since kindergarten, and it's sometimes difficult to merge into such a place. However, there is a spot for everyone and anyone, and most people are open and friendly. In terms of drugs, yes, there is a problem especially with weed and prescription drug abuse. However, the only way for someone to stay out of trouble is simply to practice self control. Drugs are a problem everywhere, not just at CFHS.
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 31, 2011

Catalina Foothills High School is a great school for all students. There are courses offered to challenge every student. There are AP classes, Honors classes and Standard classes. Each student can choose how much they want to challenge themselves. This school is non-selective, yet competes with schools that choose their students by their academic ability. This school and the district are top notch.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 6, 2011

This place is good. No drugs, everyone helps. Good classes, nice principle, nice parents. I think it is a great place to students.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 23, 2010

This was once a great school, unfortunately the changes made by the principal who took over in 2007/08 school year, it has progressively gone downhill. The ego of the community, due to a higher income level, believe it is still a good school. The good teachers have all left. My older child graduated in 2006 when the school deserved its high rating, my youngest child who will graduate this year-2011, left for another district high school and is receiving an excellent senior year! We are grateful to be out of this ego inflated district.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 7, 2010

In a recent post, a person claimed that CFHS has a drug problem. As a senior of this school, i will say that this is absolutly not the case. Like any area, drugs are available to those who seek them out. Due to my upbringing and the attitudes of my freinds, i have never been in a situation where drugs are present. I have had several parents and new students ask me about my experiences at this school, i tell them all the same thing, who you hang out with and what you do will determine how good your high school career is. On a seperate note, the class sizes are getting larger due to some teacher layoffs (budget cuts), but the numbers remain average and the teachers are generally very good at what they do. The school district also has excellent special needs services (7th grade younger sister).
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 8, 2010

School is overcrowded - this means classes are not always available [my daughter had to repeat a class she got an 'a' in because nothing else was avail] and they are large - with 30 in a class not unusual. The administration is stressed as well as the teachers. The overcrowding has diluted a once great school. Don't rely on this schools' past reputation. Things have changed.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 14, 2009

i have mixed feelings about CFHS. On one hand, they truly do have a good academic system and the band program is amazing. However, drugs(mainly marijuana) are everywhere. But a lot of high schools have that. Still. Also, everybody, and i mean 90 percent of the population, have grown up together since they were in elementary school. Very clique-y so its hard. Overall though, academically its good. Just the students need to be more accepting
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 4, 2009

This schoool does not have an orchestra or support for students of string instruments.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 16, 2009

As a student here I can say that this school is amazing. Its open aired campus and high-quality teachers makes it feel more like a college than a campus.
—Submitted by a student


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 64% in 2014.

2014

 
 
87%

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
84%

2011

 
 
86%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 86% in 2014.

2014

 
 
97%

2013

 
 
95%

2012

 
 
96%

2011

 
 
97%
Science

The state average for Science was 39% in 2014.

2014

 
 
62%

2012

 
 
55%

2011

 
 
62%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 74% in 2014.

2014

 
 
93%

2013

 
 
91%

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
92%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

  • In 2010-2011, this school was designated "Excelling".
  • In 2009-2010, this school was designated "Excelling".
  • In 2008-2009, this school was designated "Excelling".

About the tests


Arizona uses AZ LEARNS Achievement Profiles to indicate schools' overall performance each year. For elementary and middle schools, the profiles are based on current and historical aggregated AIMS results, MAP results and whether or not the school made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). For high schools, AIMS results, AYP status and graduation/dropout rates are used. Schools are identified as Excelling, Highly Performing, Performing Plus, Performing, Underperforming, Failing to Meet Academic Standards or Pending.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2013-2014 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 69% 42%
Hispanic 17% 43%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 6% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 3% 5%
Two or more races 3% 2%
Black 2% 5%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 7%N/A47%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Music teacher(s)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by school officials and community members.

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Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Music teacher(s)
Music
  • Jazz band
Performing and written arts
  • Drama

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Cantonese)
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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School basics

Fax number
  • (520) 577-5094

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Core knowledge
Level of special education programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Cantonese)
  • Chinese (Mandarin)

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Music teacher(s)
Extra learning resources offered
  • Career/college counseling
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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Sports

Boys sports
  • Football
Girls sports
  • Golf

Arts & music

Music
  • Jazz band
Performing arts
  • Drama
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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4300 E Sunrise Dr
Tucson, AZ 85718
Website: Click here
Phone: (520) 209-7500

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