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Welcome to Paulo Freire Freedom School -University

PAulo Freire Freedom School's MISSION

Paulo Freire Freedom School is a joyful and just community dedicated to environmental sustainability and social justice that embraces creative, collaborative and compassionate teaching and learning.


CITY Center designs, implements, and advances exemplary practices in teaching and learning that transform the lives of young people and their educators. 


PFFSU Earns an A Grade

The Arizona Department of Education released the school letter grades, and once again our three CITY Center schools stand out. 

Paulo Freire Freedom School-University earned an A grade this year.  City High School and Paulo Freire Freedom School-Downtown earned B grades this year.  

Our schools do not teach to a test. We build meaningful relationships with our students so we understand how to personalize their learning experience. Our students are allowed to be themselves, they feel safe to take risks, and their unique inquiry process is supported by teachers who want them to be the best version of themselves they can be. So while some schools rely on compliance and test prep and call that rigor, our schools are authentic learning communities fueled by curiosity, passion, collaboration, and joy.  

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Dec. 6th: Music Mayhem at Downtown's Rialto Theatre

Join us at The Rialto Theatre on Wednesday, December 6th, for a night of live music performed by the students of CITY Center’s music workshop program. 

In partnership with The Rialto Theatre, we present to you Music Mayhem.  Come out for a fun night at a historic venue in beautiful downtown Tucson!  In addition to being an evening of making life-long memories for our musicians, Music Mayhem also raises money for the music workshop program, providing musical instruments and instruction to students at all three of our schools.  

We are looking for sponsors for this event.  If you are interested in having your company or organization sponsor Music Mayhem, please contact

Tickets for the show are available at the door.  

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Honoring our Deceased Loved Ones

Students and staff worked together in creating our beautiful Ofrenda "Altar" to remember and honor our loved ones that have past.  Students brought in pictures of family members and a snack or drink that they enjoyed.  Connecting to our cultural and family traditions helps all of our students to feel seen and valued for who we are and helps our family feel more connected to our learning community. 

Expeditions Connect Students to the World

Every week, a whole grade level of PFFSU students head out into the community to spend the day on an Expedition. Expeditions allow students to connect with the community, learn from professionals in their field, develop their social skills, expand their curiosity through hands-on learning, and interact with nature.

Students will start the year collaborating with the scientists at the Flandrau Center on the U of A campus.  Flandrau’s intertidal ecology program aligns perfectly with PFFSU’s interdisciplinary curriculum on life sciences and the literature of ecology.  This project-based unit expands the idea of environmental justice to recognize the inherent rights of the environment and amplifies community voices for and from the environment. 

Read More About How Your Tax Credit Supports These Amazing Programs

Join Our Team: Become a Substitute Teacher

Our three schools are recruiting qualified and passionate substitute teachers to join our team.  Our subs earn $25/hour, which is significantly more money than other districts.

A valid Arizona IVP FCC is required. Please complete the substitute application form if you are interested.  We will follow up with a phone call to discuss next steps.

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