Our History

A Legacy Of Serving The Underserved.


The Maricopa County Regional School District #509 (MCRSD) is a public (non-charter) school district. It is classified as an accommodation district and is authorized by Arizona Revised Statute § 15-308. Per state statute, the accommodation district is under the authority of the elected County School Superintendent.

In recent history, MCRSD has provided education services to homeless students through the Papas Schools, students in juvenile detention and unaccompanied minors detained in private facilities throughout Maricopa County. The Papas Schools were closed in 2008 and MCRSD turned its focus on educating students in secure care facilities.


In 2016, a traditional public high school was opened in the district to meet the needs of students that struggled to find a fit in their home districts. A year later an elementary school was opened for a similar population. Hope Academy and Esperanza Prep were created to support youth that were at risk or had previously disconnected from school.


Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, Hope Academy and Esperanza Prep are being re-imagined. All schools will become learning communities that foster joyful exploration and discovery in students. Teachers will ignite students’ passions and develop their talents to deeply root them in academic study, community service and civic engagement.