As I begin my first column for Copacetic, I want to thank Maricopa Monitor for the opportunity to present a superintendent’s column to inform readers about the MUSD programs, promise and potential and offer insight on educational issues impacting our communities. I am happy to contribute and hope you enjoy reading about our schools.

Maricopa Unified School District offers a wide array of signature programming for families who are interested in advanced academic and specialty coursework. Existing signature programs include: AP Capstone, Career and Technical Education, Dual Enrollment and Blended Learning.

I would like to use my first column to announce the addition of two new signature programs beginning in July: Maricopa Virtual Academy and the MUSD Dual Language Program.

This school year, nearly 4,000 MUSD students chose an at-home distance learning model. Many families realized this model works well for their lifestyle and now have the option to continue the learning-at-home experience next year through Maricopa Virtual Academy (grades 6-12) and Maricopa Virtual Academy Jr. (grades K-5).

Maricopa Virtual Academy program features:

  • Tuition-free K-12 online school
  • District-issued laptop with technical support
  • Certified teachers
  • Rigorous, engaging, structured and research-based curriculum
  • Flexible schedule
  • Open enrollment

The virtual academy is ideal for students who are:

  • Self-motivated
  • Gifted
  • Home-schooled
  • On-the-go

Also on the horizon is the new MUSD Dual Language Program. This program introduces preschool and kindergarten students to the world of bilingualism, biliteracy and cultural competency. Students receive instruction and explore content in English/Spanish or English/Mandarin to develop building blocks that will prepare them to be fluent speakers of a second language.

The program will launch at two locations: Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa elementary schools. We plan to expand the program each year to include additional grade levels. Here’s a sneak peek at what dual language programming can offer early learners:

  • English/Mandarin or English/Spanish programming
  • Certified teachers
  • Research-based curriculum
  • Instruction and assessment in two languages
  • Students communicate in two languages; gain fluency in the second language
  • Planned implementation through grade 5
  • Open enrollment

Note: Preschool is a tuition-based program serving students who are 4 and 5 years old. Kindergarten is a tuition-free program serving students who turn 5 by Sept. 1, 2021.

Benefits of dual language instruction:

  • Higher self-esteem and confidence
  • Improved reading abilities
  • Better problem solving
  • Improved cognitive stimulation
  • Higher levels of engagement
  • Promotion of bilingualism and biliteracy
  • Greater cultural competency

To learn more about these signature programs or to reserve a space, visit www.musd20.org/mva or www.musd20.org/duallanguage.

Thank you for taking a moment to learn about our signature programming. It’s an exciting time in Maricopa Unified School District and we thank our community for their support of our schools.

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