MUSD school boundaries

The red portion of this map designates where students would be assigned to attend Maricopa High School, while the yellow zone is for those attending the new Desert Sunrise High School.

MARICOPA — Many local families now have a better idea of where their children will be attending high school in the future.

The Maricopa Unified School District board approved the boundary map for the 2022-23 school year presented by the boundary committee on Jan. 12.

Under the approved map, students for the district’s second high school will mostly come from residences north of Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and east of the Santa Rosa Wash. Those west of the wash and “south of the tracks” will continue to go to Maricopa High School.

Tracey Pastor, MUSD director of administrative services, updated the public with the recommended final high school boundary map decision, as the district prepares for the opening of Desert Sunrise High School this summer.

The boundary committee consisted of parents, students, staff and community members. They met three times in September and October. They established the Guiding Principles of Boundary Work and looked at the demographic reports to make an informed decision.

There were four options to choose from for the boundary map.

The committee received public comments on Nov. 10 and Dec. 2. These meetings allowed for public comments and a chance to discuss changes. Information and the option to provide feedback about this process was on the MUSD website for the public.

The guiding principles/considerations for this committee were to maintain diversity, transportation, plan for future growth and feeder schools. This committee also considered the convenience for families, timeliness, keeping the neighborhoods intact and keeping it easy to comprehend and student-focused.

Some related tasks/questions they considered for the boundary map were future growth, athletics, boundary exceptions, start and end times and career education. They also considered letter grade implications, programs at each high school and a timeline for other boundary work.

The committee unanimously chose the Alternative No. 3 boundary map to recommend for approval to the MUSD board.

Pastor said it’s almost the same as the elementary school boundaries except for one section. That is Cobblestone Farms and Rancho El Dorado, east of State Route 347 and west of the wash. This section is pointed out with a yellow arrow on the boundary map.

It is assigned to the Maricopa High School area.

This map was chosen based on projections that each school would have the enrollment size that would work best for them while balancing the two high school projected sizes. The projection looks three to five years in the future.

President Ben Owens, Vice President AnnaMarie Knorr and member Torri Anderson each thanked Pastor and the committee for their hard work on deciding upon a boundary map.

Anderson made a motion to approve the boundary map with Knorr seconding the motion and all members voting in favor.

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Kimlye Stager covers Maricopa and the surrounding area for PinalCentral, including city, education, business, crime and more. She can be reached at kstager@pinalcentral.com.

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