The foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains

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Academics Overview

The Catalina Foothills School District (CFSD) provides comprehensive and rigorous academic programs that are recognized nationally for preparing students well for postsecondary education. From early childhood through high school graduation, CFSD's wide array of programs and learning experiences equip every student with the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the challenges and opportunities in a global society.

While academics are at the core of a comprehensive education, CFSD also embraces the obligation to graduate students who are self-directed and have the skill-set for lifelong learning. This set of skills-the capacity to see problems in new ways, think critically, design innovative solutions, and collaborate and communicate in diverse settings- enables our students to engage in deeper learning; that is, to go beyond the mastery of content knowledge to applying what is learned and transferring it to new situations or contexts. We are committed to fully engaging students in their learning and evaluating program results to ensure they move on from their PreK-12 education confident that they are well prepared to flourish in future studies, careers, and in life.

CFSD has four elementary schools: Canyon View, Manzanita, Sunrise Drive, and Ventana Vista, all of which offer a variety of educational experiences for students. Sunrise Drive offers a dual language Chinese immersion program and Spanish immersion is offered at Ventana Vista. At each school, students engage in a challenging curriculum that fosters a love of learning. Students continue their education through the middle school years with a rigorous and comprehensive program at Esperero Canyon or Orange Grove. Students are equipped with the necessary strategies and tools that prepare them for success in high school. At the high school, students are given more flexibility to customize their schedule based on their interests and passions, graduation requirements, and postsecondary endeavors. Students are offered over 150 rigorous college preparatory courses, including 23 Advanced Placement (AP) courses; an array of electives; 10 Career and Technical Education programs; robust arts programs; and an extensive roster of athletics, clubs, and activities. At all levels, students are challenged to think critically and engage deeply with the content under study. The achievements of our students demonstrate a long-standing pattern of excellence.

The links below provide additional information about CFSD's high school program.

2024-2025 Course Guide (English)  |  2024-2025 Course Guide (Spanish)  |  Advanced Academic Programs  |  Honors Credit

Click on any of the subject areas in the menu below and you will find the K-12 grade- and/or course-specific standards and learning goals that are used for planning and instruction. This Student Support Services link will provide specific information about other educational and health-related services available for students. 

CFSD Contact for K-12 Curriculum:

Sheryl Castro
Executive Director of Curriculum and Assessment ​​​​​

21 Century Globe

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           Academics Overview

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Profile of a CFSD Graduate

The "Profile of a CFSD Graduate" is a collective vision that articulates the district's aspirations for all students. It reflects the qualities that make our graduates unique and prepared for success in a competitive world. We are excited to show you what this educational experience looks like in action.

Curriculum Revision & Adoption

Through collaborative efforts with educators and administrators, the Catalina Foothills School District (CFSD) renews and/or designs its K-12 curriculum standards and programs on a rotating basis. CFSD standards are articulated from kindergarten through high school and align with Arizona's Academic Standards and related national standards. A formal and comprehensive process is used to design system-wide K-12 educational programming that enables all students to learn at challenging levels. We strive to offer high quality curriculum resources that support evidence-based instructional practices in our classrooms. All standards and programs are approved by the governing board

How does CFSD make this work visible?

CFSD focuses on learning for transfer and the development of six "deep learning proficiencies" (DLPs), in addition to the academic knowledge and skills expected of all CFSD students. Every PreK-12 student is provided with multiple opportunities to demonstrate growth toward appropriately challenging learning goals, and to transfer their learning by addressing novel or non-routine tasks and problems.

Transfer Goals highlight the effective uses of understanding, knowledge, and skill that we seek in the long run; i.e., what we want students to be able to do when they confront new challenges - both inside and outside of school. CFSD created a small number of overarching, long term transfer goals in each subject area and for each deep learning proficiency. These goals are some of the most important long-term performance outcomes for our students.

CFSD Disciplinary Transfer Goals (PDF)  Text Version (PDF)

CFSD DLP Transfer Goals (PDF) Text Version (PDF)

CFSD's six "deep learning proficiencies" are Citizenship, Communication, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Collaboration, Creativity and Innovation, and Systems Thinking. The district developed a set of rubrics (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12) for each "proficiency" with specific performance areas and indicators that are used for teaching and measuring the development of these skills. The rubrics provide a common vocabulary and a continuum of performance across grades K-12.