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A Message from our Superintendent

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 Picture of MUSD Superintendent Dr. Chestnut

About Dr. Chestnut

Excellent Opportunities Available for MUSD Students

I want to let you know about the excellent opportunities available to your elementary, middle, or high school student(s) in the Maricopa Unified School District for the 2017-18 school year. There are currently 6,900 students in our district and our academic, activity, and athletic programs continue to improve each year. In addition to a basic skills curriculum, for the last two years all schools in our district have added an academic focus, which includes:  

Butterfield Elementary (grades K-5) is a STEAM Academy – the focus is on the subjects of science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) to prepare students for college and future careers. 

Maricopa Elementary (grades K-5) is a Leadership Academy – the focus is on leadership through integrating the principles of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, as well as increasing technology integration, and implementing hands-on and project-based learning to enhance core academics. 

Pima Butte Elementary (grades K-5) is a Traditional Academy/School of Excellence – the focus is on preparing students to succeed in a global society through the use of science, technology and the arts. 

Saddleback Elementary (grades K-5) is a 21st Century Learning Academy – the focus is on learning strategies that keep students highly engaged to ensure the academic success of all.

Santa Cruz Elementary (grades K-5) is an Achievement Academy – the focus is on creating a learning community where staff and students work together to set personal goals. Students set academic goals based upon individual achievement data.  

Santa Rosa Elementary (grades K-5) is a Critical Thinking and Technology Academy – the focus is on project and problem based learning with technology integration to support student achievement through real world tasks. A “blended learning” option is available at grades 4, 5 and 6. 

Desert Wind Middle School (grades 6-8) is a Technology Preparatory Program. The focus is on students taking classes in the STEAM subjects: science, technology, arts, and math.  The school also offers a blended learning program (grades 6-8), which combines teacher-led learning with online instruction.

Maricopa Wells Middle School (grades 6-8) is a Project Based Preparatory Program. The focus is on Project Based Learning for all students who are expected to complete semester assessments with subject based and/or cross curricular projects.  The blended learning program combines teacher-led learning with online instruction. 

Maricopa High School (grades 9-12) – is a “College and Career Preparatory Academy.” The focus is on students learning a comprehensive curriculum based on the arts, humanities, technology, mathematics and science with an emphasis on innovation, critical thinking, creativity and problem solving in all subjects. Students plan their futures in the year-long Freshman Seminar where they write their Career Action Plan which is required for all Arizona high school graduates.


Here is some additional information about MUSD that you need to know:

  • The goal of MUSD is to have every school achieve an “A” grade.

  • All six elementary schools offer free all-day kindergarten.

  • Elementary schools have teacher specialists for visual arts, performing arts and/or technology.

  • MUSD serves students identified as gifted in grades 3-5, with a pull-out program taught by a certified teacher.

  • Elementary students in grades 4-8 participate in school, district and county spelling bees.

  • MUSD provides free after school programs at five schools. Elementary students must be selected for this program based on academic need. MES, Santa Rosa, and Saddleback Elementary Schools provide students with opportunities to improve their academics as well as participate in enrichment activities. Students begin the program right after dismissal with a snack and homework time. The remainder of the day is spent on academic enrichment in reading, math and science. Students participate in art, music, technology or physical activity twice a week. For information on these programs contact Wade Watson at or at 520-568-5100, ext. 1013.

  • MUSD offers “Copa Kids Care,” a fee-based before and after school program which provides a loving, safe, fun, and educational environment. K-6 students are given a variety of well-rounded enrichment activities that meet their developmental needs and interests. Activities include science, homework help, art, music, crafts, creative dramatic play, games, and group projects. Copa Kids Care is licensed and inspected by the AZ Dept. of Health Services. The program is located at Butterfield Elementary and bus transportation is available from each elementary school. For more information contact Coordinator Traci Manoguerra at or at 520-568-5100, ext. 1011.

  • Desert Wind and Maricopa Wells Middle Schools offer honors classes in mathematics and English.

  • MUSD’s “Bring Your Own Device” option allows students to connect personal devices to the district’s network.

  • Students can participate on Vex Robotic teams at these schools: MES, Santa Cruz, Saddleback, Pima Butte, DWMS, and MHS.

  • Two years of free college tuition is available for qualified MHS graduates. The Central Arizona College Foundation sponsors the “Promise for the Future Scholarship” for graduates of Pinal County high schools that have signed and submitted a contract during their eighth grade year. Students must graduate from high school with at least a 2.75 GPA. Recipients receive four semesters of free tuition currently valued at $5,160.

  • MHS offers ten Advanced Placement classes, six honors classes, and four Central Arizona College classes on the MHS campus during the day – English 101, English 102, Mathematics 121 and Mathematics 151.

  • The MHS Class of 2017 received 184 scholarship offers totaling over $6.7 million including: 104 to CAC, 29 to ASU, 12 to U of A, and 27 to GCU.

  • MHS competes in seventeen varsity sports and offers 27 different clubs for students.

We know that parents/guardians may be thinking about where to enroll their children for the second semester of the 2017-18 school year, and we know that there are many options for enrolling students. The second semester of the 2017-18  school year begins on January 9th.  We are inviting you to enroll your daughter or son in the Maricopa Unified School District. Registration forms and information can be found on the school district website at Click on the “Registration” tab at the top of the page. In addition, you can get forms and information from each school. You can also get registration information from Michelle Garcia- Perez at the district office. She can be reached at, or at 568-5133.

If you have any questions or concerns you can reach me on my direct line, 520-568-5104, or you can send me an email at



Dr. Steve Chestnut

 Steve Chestnut, Ed. D.




44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy | Maricopa, AZ 85138 | (520) 568-5100

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