Our History

  • Yuma Union High School District #70 was organized on July 1, 1909, to serve the secondary needs of local elementary districts. The first school to open in the YUHSD was Yuma High School in 1909. The school held classes in the vacated territorial prison for several years beginning in 1910. As a result, the school mascot is a man dressed in a prisoner uniform, and the name Yuma Criminals became part of a long-standing tradition. The Crim mascot is an officially trademarked symbol of Yuma High School. Stones taken from the territorial prison were even used to construct seating for the baseball field. Those seats, known as the “stone bleachers” are still in use today.

    Continued growth caused YUHSD to open its second high school, Kofa, in 1959. Kofa stands for the “Kings of Arizona.” The school was named after the Kofa mountains, which included The King of Arizona Mine. The KHS mascot is the King. Thanks to the voters approving the 2005 bond, KHS received, a much needed $24 million renovation over three years, adding three main two-story buildings to the site, as well as the Ernest F. Rillos Gymnasium. Kofa serves approximately 2,200 students.

    Cibola High School opened in 1988 as the third YUHSD comprehensive high school, built through passage of a bond election. The school was named after the mythical City of Gold and now serves 2,600 students. The Raider mascot is a nod to the Spanish Explorers who sought the mythical city, and the Raider is a likeness of the Spanish Conquistador. The Valley Aquatic Center, located due west of the CHS campus, was collaboratively built between the City of Yuma and YUHSD through funding from the 2005 bond.

    Vista School opened in 1991 on Virginia Avenue to serve students who are at risk of dropping out of school. Students have celebrated many successes over the years thanks to the innovative campus. The Vista mascot is the Lobo and the campus includes an industrial kitchen. Vista Strategies for Success is a separate campus located on 28th Street. Vista SFS serves a unique population of students who need to continue their education outside of the main campuses.

    San Luis High School opened in 2002 and currently serves approximately 2,600 students. SLHS was built as part of the Arizona Students First funding through the Arizona School Facilities Board. SLHS is located 20 miles from Yuma in San Luis, Arizona in the most southwestern corner of Arizona. The mascot is the Sidewinder. San Luis is home to a beautiful Performing Arts Center that seats over 1,000 people, thanks to the 2005 YUHSD bond.

    Gila Ridge High School is the district’s newest campus. GRHS opened in 2007 in the foothills near 24th street and Araby road. The mascot is the Hawk. GRHS serves approximately 1,800 students and was built with the vision of the high school as a professional learning community. The GRHS campus was funded through Students First funds, but was augmented with a Performing Arts Center that seats over 1,000 people, thanks to the 2005 bond.

    All of the YUHSD campuses reflect the mission and vision of the district, but have their own unique personalities and traditions. We welcome visitors, especially on classroom tour days. For more information about our signature initiative, Ready Now Yuma, please visit the RNY section of our website. To become part of our district as an employee, please visit our Human Resources department pages.