RNY Blog

  • Now is the time to fill out your FAFSA

    Posted by Eric Patten on 10/18/2017

    For students across Yuma Union High School District completing all of the necessary steps to get into college can be challenging. However, finding a way to pay for it doesn’t have to be.

    With the window for high school students to fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opening earlier this month, students have a chance to find financial assistance programs that provide grants, loans and work-study options for students attending college or career school. Effectively, by filling out a FAFSA you are applying for aid at the federal, state and school level.

    “Schools and states often use FAFSA information to award non-federal aid, and their deadlines vary, so apply as soon as possible,” Cibola High School Guidance Director Kari Lofton said. “It is important for students to apply for the FAFSA and to apply early because it opens doors to post-secondary education options that might not have been accessible without applying, to include institutional and private scholarships. These funds are sometimes limited and given out on a first-come, first-served basis.”

    It is typical for guidance counselors on each YUHSD campus to offer help filling out FAFSA information on an as needed basis, but several campuses hold FAFSA workshops as well.

    “We have held two FSA ID workshops this year,” Lofton said. “And we hosted our first FAFSA Completion Workshop of the year, with experts on hand, Thursday, October 19, 2017, in the Cibola High School Library.”

    The deadline for seniors to receive priority consideration for federal grant funding is Nov. 15, 2017.

    “There are limited federal grants available to seniors,” Yuma High School Guidance Director Mary Lynn Coleman said. “If they postpone the FAFSA, they may lose out on an opportunity for a federal grant.”

    According to studentaid.ed.gov, Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation. At the office of Federal Student Aid, our more than 1,300 employees help make college education possible for every dedicated mind by providing more than $120 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds each year to more than 13 million students paying for college or career school. We are proud to sponsor millions of American minds pursuing their educational dreams. 

    One former Gila Ridge High School student explained why placing an emphasis on filing out their FAFSA was such an important, and sometimes life-changing, decision: "I wasn't sure that I would be able to go to college because I did not have money to pay for it, but then I found out about the FAFSA and here I am in my third year at college."

    Comments (-1)
  • YUHSD College, Career & Military Fair gives students peek into future

    Posted by Eric Patten on 10/12/2017

    Yuma Union High School District’s annual College, Career and Military Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017 in Yuma High School’s “Old Gym” gave students throughout Yuma County and East Imperial County an opportunity to learn about the post-high school opportunities available for them.

    This year’s event was one of the District’s most successful yet. More than 500 students and parents attended and were able to meet with 43 organizations. Military branches, including the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and Army; colleges and universities, such as Arizona State, Arizona Western, the University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona; and businesses, including the Dental Assisting Institute, Nicklaus Engineering, and Yuma International Airport were all in attendance. 

    “Students from all over Yuma Union High School District attended the fair. Each campus was well represented with guidance counselors, school leadership and other staff members supporting the event,” YUHSD Associate Superintendent Lisa Anderson said at the fair. “It was great to see so many students interested in learning about what options they have in the future.”

    In addition to a browsing session in the gym, there were multiple breakout sessions where students and parents could get information about specific colleges and universities and a workshop for them to fill out Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) documents in the YHS Library.

    The fair rotates between campuses each year. It will be held at Cibola High School in the fall of 2018.

    “Our College, Career and Military fair is all about giving students and parents an opportunity to learn what post-high school opportunities are out there,” YUHSD Associate Superintendent Gina Thompson said. “The fair is really for everyone. College-going culture starts early, so even ninth and tenth graders should be gathering as much knowledge as they can about what doors may open for them in the future.”

    Here is a full list of organizations that attended the fair:

    Air Force Academy
    Antonio Barber Shop
    Arizona State University
    Arizona Christian University
    Arizona Western College
    The Art Institute
    ASU Air Force ROTC
    AWC Financial Aid Dept.
    AWC Migrant Program
    AWC Radiology
    The Citadel
    City of Yuma – Attorney’s Office
    Dental Assisting Institute
    Grand Canyon University
    Lincoln Tech
    National Guard
    Northern Arizona University – Yuma
    Northern Arizona University – Flagstaff
    Nicklaus Engineering
    Prescott College
    Ready Now Yuma
    Regional Center for Border Health
    SHINE Program
    University of Arizona – Air Force ROTC
    University of Arizona
    University of Arizona – Yuma
    Universal Technical Institute
    U.S. Air Force
    U.S. Border Patrol
    U.S. Customs
    U.S. Marine Corps
    U.S. Navy Recruitment Office
    Wells Fargo
    Yuma International Airport
    Yuma County Sheriff
    Yuma Fire Department
    Yuma Police Department
    Yuma School of Beauty
    Yuma Union High School District #70

    Comments (-1)
  • YUHSD offers Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) for CTE

    Posted by M. Buckley on 4/17/2017 5:12:00 PM

    Career and Technical Education in Yuma Union High School District is an excellent way for high school students to get involved. They learn hands on about their chosen career pathways and how to pursue their goals. All six high schools in the Yuma Union High School District have Career and Technical Education courses. By being a part of these courses, the students in their second year of the sequential course are a part of a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO). These student organizations include: SkillsUSA, Educators Rising, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), HOSA, DECA, FCCLA, and FFA.

    Cibola CTSOs went to Regional competition in February and are busy preparing for State competition for SkillsUSA, FBLA, and FFA. In addition, the Culinary section students sell teacher lunches three times a week and have catered three CHS sports banquets and other on campus events. The Auto section and Engineering II students will be competing against each other in the Kinetic King of the Hill Car Challenge after Spring Break. Cibola Digital Photography has submitted 150 photography entries into the Yuma County Fair this year. The FFA CTSO has hosted many activities including a BBQ, their annual plant sale and had members who attended the National FFA Convention and Expo.

    Gila Ridge CTSOs include Educators Rising, SkillsUSA, FCCLA and FFA. Educators Rising students are currently working on field experiences at Desert Mesa Elementary School with K-4th grade students. They also teach 18 preschool students at Little Hawks Playschool. In addition, 32 members will be competing at the State Conference in the following categories: creating a children's Pre-K or K-3 book, ethical dilemma, and theme development. Students are also volunteering at the daycare at MCAS and the Yuma Region Early Childhood Professional Development days at AWC. Gila Ridge SkillsUSA competed in the Regional Conference earning ten medals and are practicing for the State Competition in April. Gila Ridge FFA has been very successful through students participating in mid-winter and spring district competition, state competition and having nine students earn medals at the National Convention.

    Kofa High School has HOSA, FBLA, SkillsUSA and Educators Rising as the CTSOs on their campus. SkillsUSA students earned 28 medals at the Regional Competition and are preparing for the State Leadership Conference in April. Educators Rising will also have students competing in their State Conference. HOSA took over 80 students to the Regional competition in February and have been working on their industry certifications. The Education Professions class volunteers at Palmcroft Elementary School once a week with students in grades K-5. SkillsUSA Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management have volunteered at the annual Art Auction, served teachers and staff, hosted the Arizona School Board Association (ASBA) annual meeting, and canned and sold strawberry and jalapeno preserves. The Welding program is working with the City of Yuma to create a welding sculpture for the entrance into Yuma from Somerton. Kofa High School has 13 CTE programs on their campus to appeal to a variety of students of all interests and career pathways. HOSA took over 80 students to the Regional competition in February and have been working on their industry certifications.

    San Luis High School has several CTSOs including SkillsUSA, DECA, HOSA, FBLA, and Educators Rising. The students have attended many SkillsUSA events including leadership training, competition, and the Downhill Derby. Six welding students placed at the Region 1 Competition and are participating in the State Conference as well. Construction SkillsUSA participated in Habitat for Humanity Recycle Bins to help raise awareness about recycling bottles and cans. The proceeds benefited The Humane Society. Currently they are training for the State Competitions in Team Works and Electrical.

    Vista High School participates in SkillsUSA as their CTSO. Criminal Justice and Culinary Arts programs both had students compete at the Regional and State Competition. The Hospitality Management students completed the program in December. The Education Professions students are attending Amerischools for their Field Experience.

    Yuma High School has Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), SkillsUSA, and FFA. Their programs include Welding, Agriculture, Business Management, Marketing, Law, Public Safety & Security, Digital Photo and Digital Communications. These students participate in leadership training as well as community service.

    Comments (-1)
  • Haz que tus experencias de verano cuenten

    Posted by M. Buckley on 4/11/2017 2:24:00 PM

    Fuente: fairopportunityproject.org

    Este verano es un excelente tiempo para perseguir tus intereses. Escoge cómo pasar tu tiempo deliberadamente para demostrarle a las universidades quién eres y tus intereses.  ¡Los veranos son los mejores! Sé un niño y diviértete, pero también piensa en cómo puedes seguir aprendiendo durante este tiempo. Hay tantas cosas que puedes hacer durante el verano, y estas siguientes son algunas comunes.

    1. Trabajando. El trabajar durante el verano es una gran oportunidad de demostrar buen carácter y responsabilidad. No tengas miedo de incluir tu experiencia laboral en tu solicitud para la universidad. Esto demuestra tu compromiso, responsabilidad y perseverancia.

    2. Observación de profesionales. Al observar veterinarios, oficinas de doctores o cualquier profesión demuestra una excelente oportunidad de explorar tus posibilidades. Llama por teléfono o manda un correo electrónico a las profesiones que te interesan y varias estarán felices de ofrecerte esta oportunidad.  

    3. Escuela de verano. La escuela de verano es una gran oportunidad para aprender más sobre las materias en un ambiente relajado y a la vez puedes incrementar tu GPA.

    4. Trabajo de voluntario. El trabajar como voluntario es una gran manera de ayudar a la comunidad, demostrar interés y pasar tu verano productivamente.

    5. Trabajo de voluntario en el extranjero. Tal vez lo haz visto: fotos de estudiantes ayudando a construir una casa en un pueblo rural localizado en un país tercermundista. Hay mucho mérito en esto, pero la experiencia puede ser menos valiosa de lo que piensas. El departamento de admisiones en las universidades saben que estos programas son costosos y que solo estudiantes con muchos recursos los pueden atender. Los que los atienden no están en desventaja pero si lo estarán si no hacen más que esto durante el verano. Algunos programas ofrecen ayuda financiera y muchos también ofrecen gran oportunidades para viajar y hacer algo valioso.

    6. Programas universitarios. Igual que el trabajo de voluntario en el extranjero, los programas universitarios pueden ser costosos y muchos estudiantes no pueden pagarlos. Pero al tomar o revisar clases universitarias, puedes obtener experiencia de investigación, aprender más sobre ti mismo y distinguir tu solicitud universitaria.
    7. Investigación. Puedes demostrar tu interés académico al perseguir el estudio de investigación en un colegio local o uno en una universidad. Esta es una gran manera de aprender sobre un tema de interés o sobre una carrera que te interesa.

    Comments (-1)
  • Make your summer experiences count

    Posted by M. Buckley on 4/11/2017 2:23:00 PM

    Source: fairopportunityproject.org

    The summer is an excellent time to pursue your interests. Deliberately choosing how you spend your several-month summer break can demonstrate to colleges a lot about who you are and what you like. Summers rock! Be a kid, have fun, hang out with friends and family, but also think about how you can continue learning during your summers. There are endless ways you can spend the high school summers, but here are some common ones.

    1. Working. Working is an awesome opportunity to demonstrate character and responsibility. Don’t be afraid to list your work experience on your application. It shows commitment, responsibility, and perseverance.

    2. Shadowing. Shadowing at the vets, doctor offices, or any profession allows an excellent opportunity to explore your possibilities, is accessible for many, and again is looked favorably upon. Email or call professionals of interest in your area and many would be happy to offer a shadowing experience – whether half a day, a full day, or longer – to a proactive and interested student.

    3. Summer school. Summer school can be a wonderful opportunity to engage with subjects in a relaxed environment while also raising your GPA.

    4. Volunteering. Volunteering at an organization of interest is a great way to give back to your community, demonstrate interest, and productively spend a summer break.

    5. Volunteering abroad. You’ve probably seen it: pictures of a high school student building a house in a rural village in a developing country. There is a lot of merit here, but the experience — and especially those experiences achieved through more formal programs — may be a lot less valuable than they appear to be. College admissions officers know that many of these programs are expensive and only accessible to those with the resources. Students won’t be at a disadvantage for not taking part in a program like this, but will be if they don’t find another way to grow from their summers. That said, some programs offer financial aid and many do offer great opportunities for students to travel and do something meaningful.

    6. College programs. Like volunteering abroad, college programs are typically expensive and many students can’t afford them. However, taking/auditing college classes or getting involved with a professor's research over the summer (email professors) is a fantastic way to get in research experience, find out more about yourself, and distinguish your application.

    7. Research. Demonstrate academic interest by pursuing research at a local college or research institute. This can be a good way to learn about a topic of interest or a potential career path.

    Comments (-1)
  • Shining a Light on Agriculture with Go AG!

    Posted by M. Buckley on 4/10/2017 3:41:00 PM

    The Yuma agriculture industry is driving a new initiative called Go Ag! that is partnering with middle schools, high schools and regional educational institutions. The Go Ag! team is launching a "full speed ahead" unconventional marketing plan using student-focused strategies.

    The World needs students interested in going into agriculture. A report by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Purdue University projects that over 22 thousand jobs in agriculture related fields may go unfilled every year through at least 2020. This is a GREAT OPPORTUNITY for students to start careers in a field that addresses some of the world's most pressing challenges.

    Go AG! is a regional campaign to:

    • Educate students about the opportunities in agriculture
    • Raise awareness regarding the diversity within those opportunities
    • Increase enrollment in agriculture certificate and degree programs.

    The campaign will be geared to reach a diverse group of students. The honor roll student in the front row who dreams big. The student who speeds away after last period to suit up for the game. And, the student who prefers to lay low and play on their phone every minute they’re not in school. They all possess a talent or skill or passion that would fit right in with the agriculture industry. Why? Because the agriculture industry needs gamers who might invent the next app to improve efficiencies, And, the sports fanatic who knows how to put together a winning team. And, the lab lovers who might solve the next threat to row crops.

    The needs are endless and the rewards are huge. If the students aren’t in it to solve a world problem, perhaps they’ll be in it because of the 100% guaranteed placement rate which means higher income leading to freedom to explore the world.

    This program will launch in the Fall, 2017. Watch for us on www.GoAgNow.com! For more information, contact Limelight Creative Group at 928-246-9108. 

    Comments (-1)
  • Preparing for Standardized Tests

    Posted by M. Buckley on 3/11/2017 10:47:00 AM

    From: www.fairopportunityproject.com

    No matter where you want to apply, you’ll likely have to submit test scores for at least one standardized test, such as the SAT and ACT. With thousands of applicants from around the world, standardized tests offer an imperfect way to assess academic ability. Always keep in mind that these tests don’t determine how ‘smart’ you are, just how good you are at taking that particular test, and — as with anything — you’ll get better the more you study. The requirements for standardized tests depend on the school.


    If you’re choosing between taking a prep class or using a book, go book every time as it increases the amount of time you spend actually solving problems. It’s a lot like weightlifting. Sure, you can pay for a fitness coach, but only the number of reps you do will make you put on muscle. Make sure to practice taking timed tests – limited time is one of the hardest parts about the SAT and ACT. That said, if you are stuck on a concept or need a more structured study routine, an SAT tutor or regular SAT study course could help boost your score.

    It is recommend to  use a preparation book written by the makers of the test because those books most accurately reflect the questions and format of the actual tests.

    If purchasing prep books presents a financial challenge, go to a local bookstore or school/public library, and use the preparation books there. Many schools and local libraries have a college prep bookshelf so take advantage of them. You can always ask to borrow books from friends or classmates. You could even create a study pool for the standardized test of your choice. There are tons of online resources for standardized tests as well. Khan Academy and YouTube are two excellent resources for standardized test preparation.

    When you do practice problems or take practice tests, the focus should be on trying to improve. No one needs to know your practice scores, and you aren’t trying to impress anyone. If you are unsure about a question and guess correctly, don’t just forget about it! After each practice test you take, go back and review any questions that you guessed on, got wrong, or had any doubts about. The more you reflect on your practice tests, the more you can identify your weaknesses and do better next time. For example, if you go over your math sections for the ACT/SAT, you might notice that you need to work on geometry more. Focusing your efforts on where you have room to improve will help you achieve the best possible scores.

    Comments (-1)
  • La Preparación para las Pruebas Estandarizadas

    Posted by M. Buckley on 3/11/2017 10:45:00 AM

    Fuente: www.fairopportunityproject.com

    Tendrás que enviar los resultados de aunque sea una prueba estandarizada, como el SAT o ACT, a cualquier universidad a la que quieras atender. Las universidades reciben miles de solicitantes y las pruebas estandarizadas ofrecen una manera imperfecta de evaluar la capacidad académica de los estudiantes prospectivos. Siempre toma en cuenta que estas pruebas no determinan qué inteligente eres, solo demuestra que tan bueno eres para tomar esa prueba en particular. Y no olvides- mejoraras lo más que estudies. Los requisitos para las pruebas estandarizadas es diferente para cada escuela.


    Si no puedes decidir en tomar una clase de preparación o usar un libro, escoge el libro siempre porque tendrás más tiempo para contestar las preguntas y resolver los problemas. Es como el levantamiento de pesas. Aunque le pagues a un entrenador, solo cuenta el número de veces que levantas las pesas tu. Asegurate de tomar pruebas de práctica porque el tiempo limitado es una de las partes más difíciles de SAT y ACT. También un tutor puede ayudarte a mejorar tu resultado.

    Es recomendable que uses un libro de preparación escrito por los fabricantes de la prueba porque esos libros con mayor exactitud reflectan las preguntas y el formato de las pruebas actuales.

    Si la compra de libros de preparación representa un desafío financiero, ve a la librería local o la biblioteca pública y usa los libros que tengan allí. Muchas escuelas y bibliotecas tienen una sección de libros de preparación universitaria. También se los puedes pedir prestados a amigos o compañeros de clase. Puedes encontrar varios recursos en el internet como Khan Academy y YouTube.  

    Cuando tomes pruebas de práctica, enfócate en mejorar. Nadie tiene que saber tus resultados en las pruebas de práctica. Si no estas seguro en alguna respuesta, regresa a ella y refleja después de la prueba. Enfoca tu esfuerzo en mejorar y eso te ayudará a lograr recibir los mejores resultados posibles.

    Comments (-1)
  • YUHSD Testing Season

    Posted by M. Buckley on 3/11/2017 10:44:00 AM

    Our high schools are in that time of year where testing abounds.  Testing is a necessary time for a high school student to show what he or she has learned over the years and through their classes.  Although this can also be a time of extra stress, many of our students rise to the occasion and do very well on college entrance exams, state assessments, and Advanced Placement (AP) course exams.  The testing schedule is as follows:

    AIM Science Exam:  Thursday, March 16th, 2017

    AzMerit State Testing:  Tuesday, March 28th – Friday, March 31st; Thursday, April 20th – Friday, April 21st

    ACT College Entrance Exam for all Juniors:  Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

    Advanced Placement (AP) exam window:  Monday, May 1st – Friday, May 12th

    High School course final exam window:  Monday, May 15th – Wednesday, May 24th

    In order for students to perform their best on these exams, they should get plenty of sleep the night before their exam.  They should also eat a hearty breakfast to ensure their body is fueled and ready to perform. 

    Finally, bringing a snack or bottle water to the testing environment can be helpful if the test allows a break or bathroom time.  These strategies, along with studying all year round in their high school classes, should allow all students to show a level of success on their tests and exams.

    For more information about preparing for tests, please contact your student’s school counselor at the high school he or she attends, or go to http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/testing-tips.html for more testing tips.

    Comments (-1)
  • Engineering Opportunities

    Posted by M. Buckley on 3/11/2017 10:41:00 AM

    For the more than 100 students enrolled in Yuma Union High School District’s engineering classes, there is a point in time where they realize if you can imagine it, you can build it.

    Complete with 3-D printers, robotics, and a host of other tools of the trade, engineering has emerged as one of the district’s most challenging and rewarding elective programs. Each campus offers one engineering course, which replicates the Introduction to Engineering course at the University of Arizona. Students who pass the class and are enrolled in pre-calculus or calculus subsequently earn college credit.

    “Before they go into college they can determine if they want to go into engineering,” Yuma High School math and engineering teacher Nate Jurgens said. “We also try to show what it’s like to be an engineer.

    “The other objective of the class is to show different fields of engineering that [students] might not know about… To show people that might want to go into engineering what they do. They might be like, ‘Oh, that’s what engineers do?’”

    The young engineers in YUHSD schools work on everything from designing a solar oven using thermodynamics to learning about launch angle for construction of a precision catapult.

    “We work on four or five different projects that are the same throughout all of Arizona at all of the different high schools,” Jurgens said.

    That includes work on Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS), a program founded at Purdue University in 1995.

    “Instead of just doing projects for class you do it for your community,” Jurgens said. “One that stood out was when they made charging stations for the triangle (at Yuma High School). It’s really cool because they can see the result of their project.”

    Whether it’s building something that could positively impact the community or environment or merely letting their imagination run wild, there are opportunities to solve real-world problems. And it is another step towards every student graduating from a YUHSD school career and college ready.

    “Teamwork in engineering is a major thing,” said Mario Corrales, a senior engineering student at Yuma High School. “You've got to have a team in order to get the job done. It also gives us hands-on experience, which is exactly how it's going to be in the real world.”

    Comments (-1)