Author Archive

Letter from the Principal: Co-founder and Dean of Students, Eve Rifkin, announces departure

Greetings Families,

I’m sharing some big news with you: Eve Rifkin will be stepping down as Dean of Student Life and School Culture to pursue the next phase of her career in higher education.

As a co-founder of City High School, Eve has had a tremendous impact on the lives of young people and the educators she has worked with over the last fifteen years. Eve, along with Carrie Brennan, and I, began dreaming and making plans for City High School several years before opening in Fall 2004. Those dreams and plans for a school turned into reality with a lot of teamwork, community support, and determination.

Since our opening fifteen years ago, Eve has played a number of critical roles at the school, including teaching Humanities, overseeing the academic program, managing the senior internship program, leading the professional development program, serving as the school principal, and serving in her most recent role as Dean of Student Life and School Culture. Eve’s legacy at City High School reaches to every aspect of our educational program, including to the ongoing community partnerships that enrich the learning experiences for all of our students.

I have posted the job opening for the new Dean of Student Life and School Culture and am already receiving applications from excellent candidates. The hiring team will be starting its work in the next week and is eager to engage in a rigorous and thoughtful process that will result in the hiring of a new Dean of Student Life and School Culture.

While we know that change can be challenging, we are excited about this opportunity to expand our community at City High School. Our teachers and staff have created an environment in which students are able to thrive and be recognized for the unique and incredible humans beings they are. Quite simply, we love our students and our families at City High School, and I could not be more proud of what we created here.

We will greatly miss Eve and all of the energy and passion she has brought everyday to her work at City High School. We wish her well in her next endeavor.

Brett Goble, Principal

Dye-namic Community in Color, April 26

The Restorative Program at City High School and Nonviolence Legacy Project invites Tucson families to come celebrate the importance of community and non-violent practice. Dye-namic: Community in Color is an event that seeks to create awareness around the impact of nonviolence practices within Tucson’s families. This event highlights and embraces all forms of family and community connections. Join us for an evening of music, food, and tie dyeing. Dye-namic Community in Color will be on Friday, April 26 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at 37 E. Pennington Street.

Admission is $5 for a family and $3 for a single person. Bring your own white shirt. Our own Becca Dillon will be the DJ. We’ll have food at no cost, including gluten free and vegetarian options. Bring two additional people and enter a raffle for a $50 visa gift card. Contact the Restorative Program Coordinator, Marisol Badilla, with questions.

AzMERIT Testing in April

April in Arizona means it’s AzMERIT testing time. Grades 9, 10, and 11 will be testing on various days throughout the month. The AzMERIT is one important indicator for how students are making progress in English, Math and Science. Please encourage your students to do their best on the test in order to get accurate information on their academic progress.

Below is a grade-level breakdown of when students will be testing. All of this information is also available on our on-line events calendar. AzMERIT tests are course-specific, so if your student is in an out-of-cohort class (for example, a Sophomore in Algebra 2), they will take the AzMERIT test for the class they are currently in.

On testing days, please make sure your student is well-rested, fed, and at school on time to begin testing. We will have some snacks available. All AzMERIT tests and the AIMS Science test are computer-based. Students are encouraged to bring their own headphones to use for the test. Cell phone use is not allowed during any of the testing sessions.


  • Wednesday, April 10: AzMERIT Writing
  • Friday, April 12: AzMERIT Reading Parts 1 & 2
  • Thursday, April 18: AzMERIT Algebra I Parts 1 & 2


  • Monday, April 8: AzMERIT Writing
  • Monday, April 15: AIMS Science
  • Tuesday April 16: AzMERIT Reading Parts 1 & 2
  • Tuesday, April 23: AzMERIT Geometry Parts 1 & 2


  • Thursday, April 11: AzMERIT Writing
  • Wednesday, April 17: AzMERT Reading Parts 1 & 2
  • Wednesday, April 24: AzMERIT Algebra II Parts 1 & 2

More information about AzMERIT can be found here:

Pennington Street Showcase: STEM Edition, April 4

The Pennington Street Showcase STEM edition is happening on Thursday, April 4 from 5-7 pm at City High School. Student will present project work related to the subjects Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). All families are invited to attend.

The Pennington Street Showcase will feature DNA experiments using CRISPR kits, WWII-themed periodic tables, probability games, a giant, interactive Rubik’s Cube mosaic, and so much more!

This event is a public demonstration of student learning.  The Pennington Street Showcase allows students from Paulo Freire Freedom School -University, Paulo Freire Freedom School -Downtown, and City High School to show their rigorous, authentic, and real-world learning and understanding in front of a meaningful audience.  Come join us for an engaging and fun evening of student excellence.

School Board Approves Calendar

The City High School Board approved the 2019-2020 school year calendar at their meeting on March 5, 2019. Download a copy at this link: School Calendar 2019-2020

CITY Center for Collaborative Learning Hiring Fair, March 1

Join us for a hiring fair-happy hour combo. Drinks and light fare will be served. All educators (actively looking for positions or not) are welcome to attend.

CITY Center for Collaborative Learning‘s Hiring Fair will take place on March 1st, from 3:30-6pm, in our 37 E. Pennington St. space. Hope to see you there!

Somos Familia: February 16 at Las Milpitas Community Farm

City High School’s Family Association invites the Tucson community to come celebrate the importance of community and family love.

Somos Familia is a community event that seeks to refocus the energy of St. Valentine’s Day back to the importance of family and community solidarity. This event highlights and embraces all forms of family and community connections.

Join us Saturday February 16 from 4:00-7:30 p.m.  for an evening of music, food, and dancing at Las Milpitas de Cottonwood Community Farm! $5 per person or $15 for a family. Live music by Jamie’s Gang, and City High student performers, and DJ Humble Lianess. Food will be available for purchase (cash only) from La Indita. Proceeds go toward future Family Association events.

Las Milpitas Community Farm is located at 2405 S Cottonwood Lane, on the banks of the Santa Cruz River.

Family Association Meeting, January 24

parent volunteer 1

Join us Thursday night, January, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. for a meeting of the  City High Family Association. The aim of the Family Association is to encourage sustainable and effective partnerships between all members of the school community, including teachers, families, and students. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

All parents of a City High School student are welcome and encouraged to attend. We will be discussing our plans for family events for the Spring semester and will be seeking your input. Questions? Contact the Family Association Co-Chair, Marisol Badilla. We hope to see you there!

Student-Led Conferences for 10th & 12th Grade Students, January 9, 10, and 11

Sophomores and Seniors have been preparing for their Student-Led Conferences, happening January 9, 10 and 11, the week after Winter Break. The Student-Led Conference , a City High School tradition, is facilitated by the student’s Advisor and attended by parents, peers, and other teachers. Students discuss their development and mastery of City High School’s Habits of Heart and Mind by presenting evidence in the form of work they have done over the course of the fall semester. They also set and discuss goals as well as discuss their understanding of the social-emotional skills we’ve started to focus on this year.

Parents of Sophomores and SeniorsOnline sign up for Student-Led Conferences is now live! Thirty-minute conference time slots are available Wednesday, January 9 from 1:30-4:30 p.m.;  Thursday, January 10 from 8:30-11:00 a.m. and 4:00-7:30 p.m.,  or Friday, January 11 from 8:30-11:00 a.m.

To schedule a conference for your City High student, please click on the following link:

Click on your student’s Advisor to select a conference at a time that is convenient for your family. You will only schedule ONE conference with your student’s Advisor. Please do not schedule more than one conference, or schedule a conference with another teacher. If you run into problems scheduling a conference online, please call us at (520) 623-7223 or email We look forward to seeing you at your student’s Student-Led Conference!

The school will operate on special schedules on January 10th and 11th to accommodate the conference schedule:

THURSDAY, January 10th

11:00 a.m. Building opens to students

11:40 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Lunch served

12:05 p.m.-12:45 p.m. PER 1

12:50 p.m.-1:30 p.m. PER 3

1:35 p.m.- 2:15 p.m. PER 5

2:20 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ADVISORY

Students dismissed at 3:00 p.m.


FRIDAY, January 11th

11:00 a.m. Building opens to students

11:40 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Lunch served

12:05 p.m.-12:45 p.m. PER 2

12:50 p.m.-1:30 p.m. PER 4

1:35 p.m.- 2:15 p.m. PER 6

2:20 p.m.-3:00 p.m. PER 7

Students dismissed at 3:00 p.m.

Congratulations, KC Engelmann, on Achieving National Board Certification!

KC Engelmann

City High School Math Teacher KC Engelmann achieved one of the teaching profession’s highest accolades earlier this month when she was named a National Board Certified Teacher in the area of Mathematics for Adolescence and Young Adulthood.

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) grants individual teachers National Board Certification following a performance-based assessment of a teacher’s pedagogical skills and content knowledge; the process is lengthy and rigorous, involving numerous essay submissions, videotaping of classroom instruction, and content exams in one’s subject area.

The Board awarded 85 new national board certifications to Arizona educators in December. KC was one of only four high school teachers in the state to achieve National Board Certification in mathematics 2018. KC joins Brett Goble and Eve Rifkin as the third National Board Certified staff member at City High School.