It was in 1949 that area residents began the steps necessary to form a local school district. By 1954, the community children attended school in two barracks that had been purchased from Osborn School District and situated on what was to become the first J.O. Combs Elementary School District site.
J.O. and Mamie Combs generously donated 5.42 acres of land and the district was subsequently named after Mr. Combs. However, the school was still a part of the Apache Junction School District and didn't become the J.O. Combs Elementary School District #44 until 1958. Our first Governing Board Members were Mr. J.O. Combs, Mr. Walter P. Gantzel, and Mr. Jack Schnepf.
Over the next four decades, we continued to grow and evolve. In 2006, voters approved unification and we became the J.O. Combs Unified School District #44 serving student in Preschool - 12th grade.
Our district's geographical area covers 68 square miles, bounded by Pecos Road to the north, Moeur/Meridian Road to the west, Hash Knife Draw Road to the south, and extending east to Florence Junction.
Our Core Values
Our Instructional Model: Accelerating Students #Forward
The J.O. Combs Unified School District is committed to empowering its learners in a modern learning experience. Our Instructional Model values a Nurturing Culture, Innovation, Purposeful Learning, and Assessment as the tools through which our students will have the critical skills, knowledge, and understanding that will allow them to successfully participate in a changing global world. #Forward is our district movement towards personalized learning, personalized assessment, and flexible learning spaces for all students. We began this process by developing our Theory of Action, then created our Instructional Model, and identified our initial cohort of teachers to begin the change process towards modern learning experiences for our students. As a result of #Forward, we have made significant changes to our Professional Learning model, including our coaching and delivery processes. We are excited to take our next steps #Forward to a district-wide learner centered culture!
Our Portrait of a Graduate
Through a collaborative process with internal and external stakeholders, the J.O. Combs Unified School District has identified the desired skills, knowledge, and characteristics that we believe all students must possess in order to be successful in today’s ever-changing global community. This is captured in our Portrait of a Graduate.
Our Strategic Plan Goals
For the past several years, the District has worked collaboratively with stakeholders to develop an updated organizational plan. This process has included the creation of the Portrait of a Graduate as well as a new vision, mission and core values for the District. Embedded in this work are the voices of staff, students, parents and community members, with the final result being the roll out of Strategic Plan Goals.
The goals contained within this document were written with a completion target of June 2027. In alignment with each goal are specific objectives and targeted strategies for success. The specific strategies outlined in this document are designed to be completed during 2023-2024 and should be considered stepping stones to reach the ultimate goals for the J.O. Combs Unified School District by 2027.