Curriculum & Instruction

  • Students smiling

  • When enrolled in a Marana school, students are provided the highest quality education in safe, nurturing, and award-winning learning environments that facilitate and enhance student achievement and success in college, career, and life. The Marana Unified School District is committed to providing each student with the opportunity to achieve curriculum standards and successfully meet and exceed Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards as established by the Arizona Department of Education. 

    Curriculum standards are important because they not only improve what students learn, but how they learn by teaching critical-thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication skills. The standards are more focused on students having conceptual knowledge of something, not mere procedural knowledge. They also better prepare students to compete for the jobs of the future with students from around the world. Promotion from year to year is 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 District believes that students, parents, and school teachers and staff share the responsibility for academic achievement and regular advancement through the educational process. MUSD encourages parents to be active participants and use ParentVUE to enhance their involvement in their child's education. ParentVUE is the tool/app that provides parents and students with the ability to view student information such as class assignments, grades, course history, and attendance.. 

    Instructional Model

    Marana classrooms utilize the Gradual Release of Responsibility Instructional Framework (GRR) which encompasses the theories that students learn best when they know why they are learning what they are learning, as they work together to solve real-world problems in a supportive and engaging environment.  

    This framework, which has existed for over 30 years, focuses on empowering teachers to gradually release responsibility for learning to students in a purposeful manner. GRR is not a script that teachers follow and instead helps teachers increase precision in their teaching. Additionally, a cornerstone of the framework is that students engage in collaborative and productive work in order to produce evidence of their learning. Students are taught how to work together in order to achieve a successful outcome. 

    The four instructional components within GRR include:

    • Focused Instruction: Preparing students for learning by establishing lesson purpose, modeling strategies and skills, thinking aloud, and noticing how students respond.
    • Guided Instruction: Strategically using prompts, cues, and questions to lead students to new understanding.
    • Productive Group Work / Collaborative Learning: Allowing students to consolidate their understanding through exploration, problem-solving, discussion, and thinking with their peers.
    • Independent Learning: Requiring students to use the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired to create authentic products and ask new questions. 

    John Hattie, Visible Learning (2010)

    Fisher and Frey, Structured Teaching for Better Learning (2008)