School Details

Cortez High School

8828 N. 31st Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85051
(623) 435-6000

(out of 10)

Public Grades 9-12 1159 students 18 students/teacher (AZ avg is 21)

Test Scores by grade


Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS)

In 2011-2012 Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) was used to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona's learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.
  • This school in 2014
  • Glendale Union High School District average
  • Arizona state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

Cortez High School is a public high school in Phoenix. The principal of Cortez High School is Reid Chitwood. 1,159 students attend Cortez High School and identify mostly as Black, non-Hispanic; Asian; and American Indian/Alaskan Native. 12% of the Cortez High School students have "limited English proficiency." 65% of the 1,159 students here get reduced lunch prices. The student to teacher ratio at Cortez High School is 18:1. West-Mec - Cortez High School is one of the nearest high schools.

Extracurricular activities


  • Band
  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Dance
  • Drawing painting
  • Orchestra
  • Theater drama

Languages Taught

  • French
  • Spanish


  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • P.E. classes
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Black, non-Hispanic 9% 8%
Asian 8% 3%
American Indian/Alaskan Native 7% 3%
Asian/Pacific Islander 7% 4%
Native American or Native Alaskan 5% 2%
Hispanic 48% 51%
White, non-Hispanic 29% 34%
Multiracial 2% 1%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.2% 0%

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 65% 52%
Limited English proficiency 12% 2%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (6 months ago)

    I've been a teacher here for over 15 years. They have the best staff and students. Did you know Cortez is the only school in the Glendale district without a security guard? Our kids are so well behaved we don't need one. Cortez takes students from C ranked middle schools and raises them to an A ranked high school. Very few other high school achieve this.

  • (7 months ago)

    As a graduate of Cortez High School and a teacher on this campus for over 10 years I cannot say enough about the hardworking staff and levels of student achievement. Due to the small size students can participate in multiple clubs and sports with increased attention from the staff and administration. Students are not just a number in a crowd but individually greeted by a team of teachers that can work collectively to meet their educational needs. Honors students are able to work within a close-knit group that share many courses and struggling students are provided with the intervention and extra instructional time that is needed.

  • (5 years ago)

    Awesome school! Great teachers! Friendly Environment I strongly suggest you send your kids here!

  • (6 years ago)

    I could not have asked to have graduated from a better high school in the Phoenix area. After graduating in 2007 I have realized what a great education I had received by comparing my education to other students in my University. The teachers are not just there to teach. They are there because they care about their students and want them to have the highest education possible.

  • (6 years ago)

    My son is a senior at Cortez. Sending him to Cortez has been the best decision of his education so far. Cortez is a school where a student can thrive and provides an environment to be all they wish to be. I can say that the experience has been awesome. The admin staff the teachers and the students make this an exceptional school!

  • (6 years ago)

    The best school on this side of the Mississippi as Mr. Hernandez our old principal would say. It's an amazing school many friendly people more than safe enviroment and staff that are willing to run the extra mile to push teir students to succeed. I'm proud to be a cortesian =D

  • (6 years ago)

    Thiz is my first year at cortez h.S.And so far it been awesome all my teachers are great help...They will make your future easier and faster...Im a freshman and im really excieted to be in this h.S im proud of cortez... Go colts!!!!....Woo hoo=]

  • (6 years ago)

    I love Cortez! I'm am so glad that I had the opportunity to transfer when I did. My teachers are amazing and make me think they are there for me individually. I'm in all accellerated classes and have a great gpa. I owe all that I have accomplished through my high school career to Cortez and its outstanding staff!

  • (8 years ago)

    I'm very happy that my daughter attends Cortez. I had a feeling before she started that it was a ghetto school and I have found an undeserved reputation. I will proudly send my elementary age son to Cortez.

  • (8 years ago)

    My child has been a student at cortez high school for three years. In that time I have seen a great decline in the overall feel of the school. I find the staff to be very harsh. Particularly principal hernandez.Parents if you have a child at this school please become involved. Know what is going on at the campus! If you are contemplating having your child attend my best advice is don't.

  • (8 years ago)

    In defense of the administration I work for another school in the dist. The admin at Cortez is doing right for our kids. The admin not into parental approval for their performance paychecks like other schools. They are into what is right for the kids....discipline morals learning & values...things parents should be teaching their kids but aren't so the admin has to do it. Be glad you have an admin that is more concerned about the education safety and morality of your child than reaching the 90% parental approval for their perfomance paycheck twice a year! I chose Cortez for my kids and will continue to choose Cortez for my younger kids in elem. As long as Hernandez is prinicpal...he has their best interest at heart. I have seen what other schools are concerned glad your child is at Cortez.

  • (8 years ago)

    My son is a Cortez freshman this year and has achieved straight A's for the first time in his life! This is due to caring and encouragement from administration faculty and staff. The learning center is a big plus and students can get academic help if they need it. The campus is clean and safe; the kids are well groomed and well behaved because they know the expectations. My son is also involved in extracurricular activities which has made his whole Cortez experience better. I am impressed with the Principal and his philosophy of promising the kids success in life if during their time at Cortez they are on time involved prepared and respectful. What a great school with a tremendous leader! I picked Cortez for my son rather than Centennial or Peoria High where we live. The students and their success is a priority for everyone involved at Cortez.

  • (8 years ago)

    Students are expected to work when they come to school. Although Cortez is an inner city school they are tuff on discipline and have very strict rules for the students to follow.

  • (9 years ago)

    Cortez is an excellent school it has an undeserved rep as a 'ghetto school'. I almost didn't enroll my child here because of it. Very impressed with the respect & behavior of students (check out other schools!). Due to strict guidelines & high standards expected and enforced by Principal & staff. Great advanced classes Mrs. Yanez especially. Extra help is available to students emphasis to succeed. Cortez sports teams are moving up. Cross Country Coach Hutch named 'Coach Of The Year' by Skyline Region.

  • (9 years ago)

    We transferred our child to Cortez from a Peoria high school. (The Peoria school was overcrowded the children were rough and all this hurt the attitude of our child and the teachers.) At first we were reluctant to transfer to Cortez. It was a more urban environment and we thought the children would be even rougher and the academic programs would be weaker but our child had friends there. It turns out that we were completely wrong. The kids were and are great and the academic environment is actually stronger. I think that the principal is a good leader and has been positive for the school (and for teaching the children basic decency and morality). If he's not perfect to some parents I've yet to know a principal who is. For our own youngster the racial diversity of Cortez has replaced fear with understanding and entusiasm. Whatever they're doing it works.

  • (9 years ago)

    October 2005 I have my 3rd child at Cortez with 1 more to go. We choose Cortez which is not our 'assigned' school for a variety of reasons. The staff is receptive and welcoming to parents especially the Principal. The students are treated as individuals and receive as much help as needed to succeed. It is like a small community environment where people support each other and try to help. My oldest earned an academic scholarship to ASU which to a large part is due to the gentle pushing by her teachers at Cortez. The academic programs have improved even more as has the parental and community involvement. Availability of extracurricular activities and sports is good and encouraged. I wouldn't send my kids anywhere else.

  • (9 years ago)

    Relocated here from out of state very pleased with school teachers my child is doing well here.

  • (9 years ago)

    My oldest son just graduated from Cortez. My other son a senior is about to graduate and is well off academically and is involved in sports. He speaks highly of Mrs. Yanez. Its teachers like her that keep students interested in learning. I've spoken to the principal and have not been impressed with his attitude towards what a parent has to say to say the parents have a lack of involvement need only to look at the principle and ask why...

  • (9 years ago)

    Cortez is ok academically with a few shining star teachers. Extra curricular is fair with some weaknesses in music theater and some sports. Special needs/disabilities - run away fast. Principal wants no input from parents. In general the school is not much worse than those around it. It's definitely not better.

  • (9 years ago)

    Fair school. The dance teacher gives a great review huh? There are some really good teachers here. There are some really poor teachers here. Not much different than most schools. Dance program is very strong but other art areas are pretty weak compared to other schools in the community. Some of the clubs are pretty good. I will agree with other reviews about administration particularly the principal. He is definitely does everything he can to suppress parental involvement that does not in any way agree with him. They've had some parent meetings to discuss closed campus uniforms etc but pay no attention to the input. Parents are not welcome in this school.

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Overall score

(based on 36 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement


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