Skip To Main Content

Our History

Yuma Union High School District #70 was organized on July 1, 1909, to serve the secondary needs of elementary school districts in Yuma County. The first school to open in 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 school logo (the head of 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 student growth led YUHSD to open its second high school, Kofa, in 1959. Kofa stands for the “Kings of Arizona.” The school was named after the nearby Kofa mountains, which included The King of Arizona Mine. The KHS mascot is the King. Thanks to Yuma County voters approving a bond in 2005, KHS received a much needed $24 million renovation. The construction took place over three years, adding three main two-story buildings to the site, as well as the Ernest F. Rillos Gymnasium. Additionally, further renovations were completed in 2018 as part of the 2015 voter-approved "Yes! Yes! Your High Schools" Bond. These renovations included the construction of a new science-research building, a new auxiliary gymnasium, and Career & Technical Education (CTE) labs. 

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 Seven Cities of Gold. 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. The school also opened a new science-research laboratory, culinary arts lab, life skills classroom, and concession in 2017. 

Vista High School opened in 1991 on Virginia Avenue in Yuma to serve students. Students have celebrated many successes over the years thanks to the innovative campus. The Vista mascot is the Lobo. In 2018, Vista and Strategies for Success students moved to a newly constructed campus located on the corner of Avenue A and 32nd Street. The school houses more than 300 students. In 2023, the school partnered with Southwest Technical Education District of Yuma (STEDY) to house a state-of-the-art cosmetology laboratory. 

San Luis High School opened in 2002. 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 the state. The mascot is the Sidewinder. San Luis is home to a beautiful Performing Arts Center that seats more than 1,000 patrons, thanks to the 2005 YUHSD bond. The school opened a childcare center in 2020 as part of a larger-scale renovation of multiple CTE facilities and labs, including film and TV, digital photography, agriculture science, and engineering. 

Gila Ridge High School opened in 2007 in the Yuma foothills near 24th Street and Araby Road. The mascot is the Hawk. GRHS was built with the vision of the high school as a professional learning community. The campus was funded through Students First funds, but was augmented with a Performing Arts Center with a capacity of more than 1,000, thanks to the 2005 bond. 

Somerton High School is YUHSD's newest school. It opened its doors to freshmen during the 2023-24 school year. The mascot is the Toro, as selected by a community-wide vote in 2022. The school's construction was funded by the 2015 bond as well as supplemental funds through the Arizona School Facilities Board. 

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. We look forward to showing you the wide range of opportunities open to our more than 11,000 students.