Full-day Kindergarten

  • Children with head resting in hands laying on the floor listening to book being readMarana Unified School District provides a full-day kindergarten program, at no cost, for students five (5) years of age prior to September 1 of the current school year. Registration begins in January and parents are encouraged to register early. Parents may pick up a registration packet to complete at home and return to their area school. 

    Entrance Age Requirements for Kindergarten and First Grade
    For admission to kindergarten, children must be five (5) years of age prior to September 1 of the current school year.  If a full-day kindergarten is provided, the parent of a student eligible for full-day kindergarten shall be offered the opportunity to choose either a half-day or a full-day kindergarten program.  The District shall provide an academically meaningful half-day kindergarten program in each District school where the half-day student enrollment is sufficient to fill a class with approximately the same number of students as the District-wide kindergarten classroom average. 

    Children may be admitted to first grade who are six (6) years of age, or shall be deemed six (6) years of age if they reach such age prior to September 1 of the current school year. 

    The Board may admit children who have not reached the required age as prescribed above if it is determined to be in the best interest of the children, and such children must reach the required age of five (5) for kindergarten and six (6) for first grade by January 1 of the current school year. 

    For a child who has not reached five (5) years of age for kindergarten or six (6) years of age for first grade, the determination of whether to admit the child shall be based upon one (1) or more consultations with the parent(s) or guardians(s), the child, the teacher, and the school principal; and the child's ability to demonstrate readiness for kindergarten or first grade based on performance on District-selected screening and evaluation.

K-8 Promotion and Retention

  • Student holding books in hallwayThe Marana Unified School District is committed to providing each student the opportunity to achieve curriculum standards and successfully meet and exceed the Arizona Academic Standards. Criteria have been developed to provide each student with maximum opportunity to succeed in school.  Promotion is based on students achieving competency skills necessary for success at each succeeding level. 

    Students, parents, and the school’s professional staff share the responsibility for academic achievement and regular advancement through the educational process. Promotion from year to year will be based upon the mastery of curriculum standards in reading, written communication, mathematics, science, social studies, and other required areas adopted by the State Board of Education. 

    Parents, students, and school personnel shall be made aware of the promotion/retention decisions-making process.  Arizona Revised Statute 15-521(3) states that every teacher shall make the decision to promote or retain a student in grades K-8. 

    The retention decision should be based on sufficient data, collected over a period of time, so that students will be in a grade where they will be most successful. If a retention decision is made, retention will not be a repetition of the grade without modifications in the instructional program. 

    Student performance on the following items that are known to objectively measure student mastery of the Arizona Standards will receive primary consideration in the promotion and retention decision:

    • Assessment of daily work, tests, quizzes, classroom assessments
    • Standards Reports grades
    • Report card grades
    • AzMERIT assessment results 

     Secondary considerations may include attendance, motivation, conduct, and/or maturity. The final decision to promote or retain will be made on objective data. 

    Arizona Revised Statute 15-342 states that a parent or legal guardian who chooses not to accept the decision of the teacher(s) may appeal the retention to the Marana Unified School District Governing Board through the prescribed appeal process.

Credits and Grades (High School)

  • Students at lockersThe Marana Unified School District is committed to providing each student the opportunity to achieve curriculum standards and successfully meet and exceed the Arizona Academic Standards. Criteria have been developed to provide each student with maximum opportunity to succeed in school.  

    Students, parents, and the school’s professional staff share the responsibility for academic achievement and regular advancement through the educational process. Promotion from year to year will be based upon the mastery of curriculum standards in reading, written communication, mathematics, science, social studies, and other required areas adopted by the State Board of Education. 

    The Course Pass/Fail Determination (Grades 9 - 12)
    Achievement of minimum performance standards shall be determined by the teacher based on the following non-prioritized items:

    • Arizona State Standards.
    • District Assessment results.
    • Assessment of daily work, homework, tests, and quizzes. 

     The data considered in the decision of whether a student passes or fails a course must reflect the teacher's most objective assessment of the student's academic achievement.  Motivation, conduct and maturity are to be considered only as correlates to the achievement level.  The final decision of whether a student passes or fails a course must be made based on the objective data. 

    Per Arizona Revised Statute §15-521, the final recommendation to fail a student in a course shall be made by the teacher.  Consultation with the principal and other staff members and involvement of parents in all steps of the process are vital. 

    Parents of secondary school students, or the student if emancipated, may appeal failing or passing semester course grades. Appeals of failing or passing semester course grades must be made within the semester immediately following the semester in which the failing or passing grade was earned, provided, however, that nothing in this Policy shall permit an appeal requesting that one passing grade be changed to another passing grade. All appeals of failing or passing grades will be submitted in writing to the Governing Board. 

    High School Grade Level Placement
    In order to be classified at the next higher grade within the high school, the student must earn the number of credits listed as specific credits in the required course of study.  The District requires students to complete twenty-two (22) units of credit for graduation. 

    • Freshman.  A student who has completed the eighth (8th) grade and has fewer than five (5) units of credit will be given freshman class standing.
    • Sophomore.  A student who has completed at least five (5), but fewer than eleven (11), units of credit by the opening day of school will be given sophomore standing. 
    • Junior.  A student who has completed at least eleven (11), but fewer than sixteen (16), units of credit by the opening day of school will be given junior standing. 
    • Senior.  A student who has completed at least sixteen (16) units of credit will be given senior standing. 

High School Commencement

  • Students in cap and gown holding diplomasHigh School graduation exercises will be held for qualifying high school students.  A student qualifies to participate in high school graduation exercises if:

    • The student has met all state and district requirements for graduation from high school, or 
    • The student has an IDEA-based Individual Education Plan (IEP) and, in opinion of the students’ IEP, and has reached a level of completion that warrants his or her eligibility to participate in graduation exercise. 

    Participation in high school graduation exercises is encouraged but is not compulsory.

Reading (Elementary)

  • Young girl with pigtails reading book in libraryMove on When Reading ARS §15-701

    Arizona Revised Statute § 15-701 states that if a student scores below the cut score on the reading portion of the 3rd grade state standardized exam, he/she will not be promoted to the 4th grade until sufficient progress is made to demonstrate the student is reading proficiently. 

    There are four good cause exemptions to retention for 3rd grade students who fail to meet the MOWR cut score. These apply if a student:

    • Is an English learner or a limited English proficient student and has had fewer than two years of English language instruction; OR
    • Is in the process of a special education referral or evaluation and/or student has been diagnosed as having a significant reading impairment, including dyslexia; OR
    • Has an identified disability and has an IEP and the IEP team (including parents) agrees that promotion is appropriate;
    • OR Has demonstrated or subsequently demonstrates sufficient reading skills or adequate progress towards sufficient reading skills of the 3rd grade reading standards 

    For students being retained, the school district governing board shall offer at least one of the following intervention and remedial strategies developed by the state board of education. These include:

    • A requirement that the pupil be assigned to a different teacher for reading instruction
    • Summer school reading instruction
    • In the next academic year, intensive reading instruction that occurs before, during or after the regular school day, or any combination of before, during and after the regular school day
    • Online reading instruction  

    Annually the school district will provide parents of kindergarten through 3rd grade students, written notification of the law. 

    Additionally, if a school has determined that a pupil is deficient in reading and may be at risk of falling far below on the reading portion of the 3rd grade state standardized exam, a separate notification shall be provided to the parent of that student. That letter will include specific information regarding the reading services the student is receiving.