Supported by Community

  • Sign showing the opening of school in Fall 2016Made possible through the 2014 voter supported capital improvement school bond, the Marana Unified School District is pleased to announce the design and construction of a new elementary school at Gladden Farms! The new school will relieve enrollment pressures at Estes Elementary as well as meet future growth in the area.

    Scheduled to open fall 2016, the K-6 school will offer an inspiring and enriching academic experience, and an innovative state of the art learning environment.

    The new school will offer programs and services as provided in other Marana district elementary schools including full day FREE kindergarten, before and after school care (LEAP), gifted and special education, full-time Master level school counselor, health services, librarian, music, arts, physical education, and more!

    Following a rigorous design process including input from students, parents, teachers, principals and administrators, field experts, and local law enforcement, construction of the new school will begin in September 2015 on a 10 acre parcel of land located on Tangerine Farms Road and Gladden Farms Drive. 


    Overhead view of campus renderingOptimal Learning Environment

    Effective and Efficient 

    Recognizing the limitations of only 10 acres of land to build the new school, district and school administrators, teachers, and staff representing all areas of service worked closely with architects to design an efficient, effective, safe learning environment where every child is inspired and excited to learn.

    To maximize safety, space, and ensure the new school offers all student services provided at other Marana district elementary schools, the new elementary school design will consist of a state of the art two-story facility.

    As a two-story interior campus, the key elements that make this elementary school designed with safety in mind are site layout, campus fencing, minimal points of entry, reception area security doors, automatic lockdown doors, and an internal student flow. The school will contain one point of entry providing open clear lines of sight aligned with the Safety By Design model. All student flow is internal. Committed to designing and building the safest, most engaging learning space, each wing will have double sets of doors and secured automated lock-down points of entry as well as safe evacuation routes in compliance with local and state security regulations. The property will be enclosed and secured by locked chain link and wrought iron fencing.

    Centralizing classroom space and related student services in one facility will enhance energy efficiency thereby reducing costs associated with heating/cooling and other utility related expenses.

    The exterior of the campus will host multiple student learning areas, several play and athletic areas, shade structures. The site layout incorporates separate traffic areas for parking, parent drop off, and bus delivery areas. These separate traffic areas accommodate safe pedestrian flow to and from the school building or to student outdoor spaces. 

    Overhead view of campus renderingState of the Art and Innovative

    To ensure students have the academic knowledge and skills they need to be successful in college, career, and life this state of the art 21st century learning environment will:

         • provide an architectural and interior collaborative open learning design for group and individual learning,
         • offer quality learning tools, technologies and resources that support teaching and learning,
         • enable educators to collaborate, share best practices, and apply 21st century skills into the classroom.

    Students will be clustered by grade levels. Grades will be grouped by wings on either the first or second floor (younger grades, first floor; upper grades, second floor).

    The innovative classroom setting in this facility will provide students and teachers the opportunity to work collaboratively both within their classroom as well as within flexible learning areas. Each classroom will consist of three permanent walls, providing for state of the art technology resources such as projection and writable walls. The classroom’s fourth wall will be an operable, foldable, and lockable wall made of high quality tempered safety glass. Installing flexible walls in every classroom provides teachers the option to use the space as they see fit, at times releasing responsibility to students to use that space while at other times closing the classroom as they engage in direct instruction or other more focused activities.

    New comfortable movable classroom furniture also supports the district's instructional model, the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) framework, used throughout the Marana district. This furniture provides for easy configurability and supports collaborative learning and instruction. High performance ceiling and floor will consist of noise reduction and sound controlling materials to greatly reduce noise and minimize distractions.

    To ensure students have quick easy access to content-rich non-fiction and high interest fiction materials and e-books for check-out, without having to travel through the building, a Media Room (library) will be strategically located on each level of the facility. Additional enriching print and electronic library resources and materials will also be conveniently located within each wing. Although different than a traditional library, the school will offer the same amount of printed books as other schools in the district while also using technology in the form of Chromebooks and readers for digital material. This method of bringing library services to the student enhances the learning experience in a cost effective, space efficient manner. The librarian will oversee and manage all print and electronic library materials on each level and wing.

    To enhance classroom learning and provide critical skills, students will interact with highly mobile devices (such as Chromebooks, eBook Readers, and/or tablets) to enhance the instruction they receive on a daily basis. The use of mobile devices provides students and teachers the ability to quickly and easily interact and collaborate on content focused skills and activities. 

    Rendering of inside classroomNext Steps

    On Thursday, January 14, 2016, during their regularly scheduled meeting, MUSD Governing Board members voted unanimously to approve the community suggested school name of “Gladden Farms Elementary School.” Over a several month process, input was solicited from families residing in the Gladden Farms community. Parents and students submitted 32 suggestions for school names through an electronic process. Focus groups narrowed the suggestions to the top three favorites. Students and parents then voted on their favorite from the top three. The favored choice for the school name was “Gladden Farms Elementary School.” Families in the community also chose the school colors of Blue and Silver, and the school mascot of Bobcats!   
    Continue to visit this page to learn the exciting news related to the Marana Unified School District’s new K-6 school at Gladden Farms! 

    Rendering of interior steps to second floorParent Input

    Communications received from parents in August 2015: 

    • "I love the Marana school district and I love my community. I only see great things happening for Marana once this school is built."
    • "Thank you for a splendid layout and design."
    • "With the addition of the flexible walls in each class room, I feel it will give the teacher the opportunity to teach the child in both a open environment when desired and close the wall when a more quieter atmosphere is needed. I also support the use of the media center instead of a traditional library, as society moves toward a paperless state, our children need to have the technological skills needed to navigate in this new and exciting times."
    • "I think it is incredible that you have Nancy Paddock as the principle. I know she will continue to do a remarkable job as she has done with Estes."
    • "I cannot tell you how excited I am for my children to be attending this school."  
    • "We appreciate all of the efforts to communicate, partner, and explore changes that are possible and cost effective."
    • "I am extremely impressed with the thoughtfulness that Marana Unified has had with all of the input from teachers, parents, and public safety. I am very excited to watch the school get built and even more excited to have my son attend it. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to consult with public safety specialty to create the safest environment for the children.""I like the new library idea where there is a mini library on each floor geared towards that grade level. I think in today's society you have to grow with technology in order to provide an up to date learning environment while still maintaining a traditional library with paperback and hardcover books."
    • "We are super excited to have our son enrolled at the new school next year. We know our son will benefit tremendously from the new design and flexible concept at the new school." 
    • "As a resident of Gladden Farms, parent of children at Estes Elementary, I would like to extend my support for the new school being built." 
    • "I am extremely pleased with the layout and design of the school especially the fold-able walls. The teachers have the option of utilizing them if they choose to. I support any design of the classroom that the teacher believes will help them perform at his/her best which in turn will allow the children to perform at their best."

    Planning to Progress Bond Logo