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MUSD Blended Learning Receives State Award Community Education

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Maricopa Wells, Desert Wind and Santa Rosa Blended Learning Receives State Award


On December 14th, the K-8 blended learning program of the Maricopa Unified School District was presented with the 2017 Arizona School Board Association’s “Golden Bell Award” for excellence in education programs. MUSD’s blended learning program was one of three school district programs in the state of Arizona that was recognized.

The presentation was made in conjunction with the ASBA Annual Conference. The outstanding work of all eighteen blended learning teachers from Maricopa Wells Middle School, Desert Wind Middle School and Santa Rose Elementary were recognized by this award, including: Erin Bell, Jennifer Cameron, Nicole Cantrell, Rebecca Drury, Jackie Hahn, Janell Hudson, Kyrie Hughes, Shannon Hull, Amy Hunt, Brittany Parsons, Robyn Rice, Jennifer Szoltysik, Joe Szoltysik, Laura Tietz, Jennifer Titus, Kasey Turik, Jacque Witte, and Mindy Ma.


In addition to being recognized at the awards luncheon, teachers from the blended learning program were asked to present a 50 minute informational session for conference attendees that afternoon. Teachers making the presentation included: Nicole Cantrell, Shannon Hull, Amy Hunt, Robyn Rice, Jen Szoltysik, and Joe Szoltysik.


MUSD began the blended learning program in 2012 for 50 students in grades 6-8 at Maricopa Wells Middle School. Since then the program has increased in size at MWMS to 180 students and six teachers. Desert Wind Middle School has an almost identical program with 135 students and four teachers, so there are now 315 middle school students enrolled. In addition, all classrooms at Santa Rosa Elementary School in grades 3, 4, and 5 serve 169 students in blended classrooms. For 2017-18, the total number of students in grades 3-8 enrolled in blended learning is 484. All MUSD schools use some blended learning, but these three schools have emphasized it the most.


In blended learning classrooms students experience personalized learning. Much of their academic work is done on a personal laptop completing teacher-made lessons and using online curriculum materials. Students receive large and small group instruction with an emphasis on project based learning.


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