Curriculum & Instruction
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.
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. To that end, the Marana Unified School District is committed to providing each student 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. Meaning, 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 the school’s professional staff share the responsibility for academic achievement and regular advancement through the educational process. MUSD encourages parents to participate in MUSD Connection to enhance their involvement in their child's education. MUSD Connection, is a secure Web-based tool, which provides parents and students the ability to view student information such as class assignments, grades, course history, attendance, and health information from the convenience of any computer or mobile device, 24-hours a day.
The District takes pride in being recognized for their comprehensive, relevant, and rigorous curriculum.
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 reality based 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. It is intentional, purposeful, and explicit. GRR is not a script that teachers follow. Instead, this framework 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 arrangements 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)