Empire High School

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Empire High School
10701 E. Mary Ann Cleveland Way, Rita Ranch

Coordinates32°05′17″N 110°45′49″W / 32.088166°N 110.763737°W / 32.088166; -110.763737Coordinates: 32°05′17″N 110°45′49″W / 32.088166°N 110.763737°W / 32.088166; -110.763737
TypePublic High school
MottoCulture-Rich, Innovative, Challenging
School districtVail Unified School District
PrincipalMatt Donaldson
Enrollment803 (2015-16)[1]
Color(s)Black and Red         

Empire High School, also known as EHS, is a public high school in the Vail Unified School District in Tucson, Arizona. It is the first public high school in the United States to use all-wireless laptop technology and fully digital (no textbooks) curriculum resources.[2]


Empire opened to students in August 2005 as the first one-to-one laptop, textbook free, comprehensive high school in the nation.[3] Empire graduated its first class in 2007.


Use of laptops[edit]

When the school opened in 2005, the school used Apple iBook G4's. In 2007 Apple discontinued the G4's and freshman received MacBook's. In 2010, they switched to HP netbook computers. In 2011, they discontinued using HP netbooks and switched back to Apple MacBooks. In 2013, the freshman class received Google Chromebooks.

Filtering software[edit]

When the school opened, iPrism filtering software was installed to protect for district liability. However, in 2013, there was a flaw found in the filtering system and the district switched to using Bloxx filtering software. Security software such as LanSchool and Securly have been used to moderate student internet activity.

Wireless internet[edit]

On the school grounds, the entire campus has been furnished with wireless internet to allow students to access the internet during class; the teachers have a separate Wi-Fi network that allows them to access sites such as YouTube for class use. There is also guest Wi-Fi available for visitors to the school.

Teacher blogs[edit]

Teachers originally used individual blogs to communicate with students and their parents to keep them up to date with what is going on in the classroom, however, in the 2017-2018 school year, a platform called Schoology has been implemented in place of the blogs.


Empire High School uses a service called Turnitin to check for plagiarism; this service can be used also by the teacher for grading.


Empire High School was named an "Apple Distinguished School" for the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 school years. In the 2010-2011 school year, Empire was distinguished as an A+ school, it earned that title again in the 2014-2015 school year.


Empire hosts a wide variety of athletics, including football, track and field, baseball, softball, golf, volleyball, cheer, soccer, basketball and cross country. In the 2009-2010 school year, Empire's baseball team went on to the state finals; the baseball team was also able to go again to the state finals during the 2012-2013 school year. Starting in the 2012-2013 school year, students from Andrada Polytechnic High School began to compete in athletics as members of Empire's teams, moving most of Empire's teams up in divisions. In the 2014-2015 school year, Empire's softball team became the Arizona State Champions in their division which was the first time in Empire history one of their sports teams earned that title. In 2017 Empire won the state softball championship, for its second title in that sport and second overall for the school.[citation needed]

Fine Arts[edit]

Empire's fine arts programs include classes and extracurricular activities focusing on guitars, choir, pop symphony, art (including an AP class on drawing), steel drums, photography, ceramics, theatre, and technical theatre; the fine arts programs at Empire has been recognized as some of the top programs in the state.

The Empire Drama Department has won countless superior awards in a variety of categories at competitions across the state, and has earned the chance to go to Nationals for their one act in the 2013-2014 school year, they were named the State Champions in One Acts, took 4th place for their category at the Musical Theatre Competitions of America in California, and also won the award for Best Musical in Tucson for their performance of Urinetown all in the 2014-2015 school year.


  1. ^ "Empire High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  2. ^ "Look, Ma, No Schoolbooks!". Wired. 2005-08-18. Archived from the original on 2009-02-07. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
  3. ^ "About EHS." Ehs.vail.k12.az.us. Empire High School, n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2013. <http://ehs.vail.k12.az.us/index.php?option=com_content>.

External links[edit]