TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Students at the Sunnyside Unified School District headed back to the classroom Thursday, Aug. 1.
KOLD News 13 visited Challenger Middle School near Valencia and Sixth Avenue to see how it was preparing for the first day.
The principal, Angelica Duddleston, said this year they plan to focus on expanding their elective options -- from fine arts to engineering.
The school, serving about 700 students, is also starting a mariachi program this year. Duddleston said more electives help students decide their future.
“Especially in middle school. It’s about discovery. It’s about finding yourself, and it’s about being exposed to as many different opportunities as possible so that I can decide, ‘What do I like? What do I not like? What do I want to grow more in?’" she said.
This year, the school plans to focus on its STEM options as well. It now has two 3D printers to train students.
Teacher Tim Glass said it's a way to give students more career options and potentially improving the future workforce in Tucson.
“Historically, we have a problem getting talent in Tucson for a variety of reasons. So if we can train that talent here and they have roots here they’re probably less likely to go somewhere else," he said.