About Tempe High School


History: Tempe High School (the original building is shown above) was the first high school in Tempe and is one of the oldest high schools in Arizona. It was established by a vote of the people of Tempe and the surrounding agricultural region in the fall of 1907; Arizona did not become a state until 1912. The need to establish a high school was based on news that the Normal School in Tempe, now Arizona State University, would no longer be enrolling students with only 8th grade diplomas. The original campus closed after more than 40 years of use, and the current Tempe High School site opened to classes in 1953.

Location: Tempe High School is located one block south of Arizona State University’s main campus, and two blocks south of downtown Tempe. Our school is within walking distance to the Tempe Center for the Arts, Gammage Auditorium, Tempe’s government buildings, Tempe Town Lake, and to public transportation sites including light rail locations and bus stops. It is also a short distance from Tempe Public Library, the Tempe History Museum, the Tempe Community Center, the Phoenix Zoo, and the Desert Botanical Gardens.

Academics: We offer a variety of academic options for all grade and ability levels. Our mathematics program includes both IB and AP courses. In the natural sciences, students may study Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy, and Sustainability; Biology and Chemistry can be studied at the IB level. Our Social Studies and English departments also offer honors level and IB courses. For vocational programs, we offer courses in Business, Culinary Arts and Computer Technology. So that students may study other languages, Spanish, Chinese, and American Sign Language are available. We also believe that the arts are an important part of every student’s education; therefore, we offer courses in Music, Visual Arts, Dance, and Theater. To complete a well-rounded education, students also take courses in physical education.

Inclusion: We feel strongly that all students should have the opportunity to participate in all of our programs. Through our wide range of available academic classes, through our special programs, and with the special support of our teachers, administrators, counselors, and other staff members, we address the special physical, cognitive, linguistic, and emotional needs of our students. To include more students in our most advanced academic program, both the full IB Diploma Program and IB course certificates are offered. 

Special programs:  In addition to IB, Tempe High School offers special programs such as  HOPE, AVID,  and Dual Enrollment. HOPE, the Health Occupation Preparatory Education Academy, is a partnership between Tempe High, Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital and Mesa Community College and presents core courses (Math, Science, Social Studies, and English) with a medical focus.  AVID is a college-prep curricular program for students in the academic middle in which students take an elective class held within the regular school day that provides support, academic monitoring, and tutoring. In addition to the AVID elective class, each AVID student is required to take at least one honors or IB course. Dual Enrollment is offered as a partnership with Maricopa Community Colleges; students can take college level math, science, and English courses that will count both for high school and college credit.

Extra-curricular activities: Tempe High School offers clubs, athletic programs, dance, and musical performance groups. We offer more than 60 clubs, including Robotics, Key Club, Student Council, National Honors Society, Math Club, Dance Performance, Fashion Club, Gay Straight Alliance and Best Buddies. As for athletics, our sports teams include American football, soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball, wrestling, tennis, badminton, track and field, cross-country, swim, cheer leading, golf  and basketball. For musical performance groups, we offer orchestra, chamber music, marching band, jazz band and mariachi.