Open Enrollment into Catalina Foothills District 16 School District – St. Gregory’s Middle School

It used to be that you could not open enroll from TUSD to District 16 school district. Also, it used to be that open enrollment was only from December 1st to the end of February of each year. Both are no longer the case. TUSD is now letting students out to go to District 16 and you can open enroll your children any time during the school year. Of course, there may not be room at some schools: Manzanita is usually full because a lot of Pima Canyon families chose to send their kids to school in District 16 versus Amphi. schools and Manzanita is the closest District 16 elementary school to Pima Canyon. However, I have been told that Ventana Vista Elementary still has plenty of room for more kids. The Ventana Vista campus is beautiful; the library is incredible! Children who attend this school also have a great fine arts program – the schedule runs like this—6 weeks of daily music, then rotates to 6 weeks of daily art and then rotates to 6 weeks of phys ed and then it goes back again. Unlike most schools, 5th graders change classes for each class and only stay in the home room for reading and writing. 5th graders are full of energy and they seem to thrive with this new way of teaching them. There is a great before and after school care program that is well managed, fun and not expensive! The school test scores are consistently the highest in schools in the Catalina Foothills District 16 versus the school scores in almost all the TUSD schools. The main reasons for this disparity is that it is easier to manage a smaller school district and the children who attend District 16 schools tend to come from wealthier and better -educated homes. Sabino Mountain is on the border of the District 16-Catalina Foothills school district so many families can take advantage of sending their kids to schools closer to their homes. Also real estate values will pick up now that this long desired open enrollment policy has been implemented.

I chose to open enroll my daughter into District 16 at Ventana Vista for elementary school, but she will be attending St. Gregory’s for Middle School. St. Gregory’s is expensive, but I feel she will thrive in smaller classes. I need the constant feedback that private school teachers are more apt to give versus public school teachers. I also think that as a result she will be more likely to be better prepared for college and be accepted into more colleges than if she attended public school. I really like the sports program, too. I did not want her to attend a snotty school and I was relieved when I found out 25% of the kids that attend school at St. Gregory’s receive scholarship money.

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