The Dr. Marianne Valdez Play and Learn (PAL) Preschool Program is an integrated inclusive licensed preschool providing the highest quality education during the school year to children with identified learning challenges and their non-disabled peers, three years of age until eligible for Kindergarten.
Students enjoy a safe and nurturing environment, small class size, and personalized attention from state licensed teachers and highly trained educational assistants. Developmentally appropriate activities including art, motor skills, and language development, are provided within a structured learning environment where children have the opportunity to build self-esteem and positive social experiences.
The early childhood curriculum is researched based and aligned with our Arizona Early Learning Standards and Head Start. This curriculum is designed to help our young learners build confidence, be creative, and to develop critical thinking skills. Most importantly, this curriculum is all about play! It facilitates exploration, inquiry, and hands-on learning.
PAL also implements a program designed to promote social-emotional learning that is necessary for school success, academic achievement, positive social relationships, and the development of emotional intelligence.
Three year olds attend 3 days a week and four year olds (PreK Program) attend 4 days a week with optional before and after extended care services. Program is in accordance with IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act-Public Law).
The Marana Unified School District PAL Preschool Center is licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services, and is classified as a “Full Day Care” facility. The Department’s local contact information is:
Child Care Licensing Tucson Office
400 W. Congress, Suite 100
Tucson, AZ 85701
Annual Licensing Inspection Reports are available for review in the PAL office.
For students who may qualify for special education services, the Marana Unified School District screens children starting at age 2 years, 10 1/2 months. If screening results indicate that a child may have a disability, a comprehensive evaluation will be necessary to determine the child’s eligibility for special education and related services. A team will meet to begin the process.
Screening and evaluation are free. All information contained in the screening or evaluation is confidential. To schedule a screening, contact Ryan Rosete at the Marana Unified School District Educational Services Office at 520-682-4815.
Peer Model Program
For children who are typically developing, the Preschool Peer Model Program (tuition required) provides an opportunity for children with identified learning challenges and their non-disabled peers to attend the same classroom. Peer models provide an excellent learning model for students demonstrating learning challenges. Peer models also benefit from an experientially rich, developmentally appropriate preschool with exposure to children with personal differences.
Benefits of the Peer Model Program
- Small class size with high staff-to-student ratio.
- State licensed teachers and highly trained educational assistants.
- Developmentally appropriate activities including circle time, art, motor skills, and language development.
- A structured learning environment in which children have the opportunity to build self-esteem and positive social experiences.
- Free developmental screening and evaluation, if recommended.
Peer Model Eligibility
- Residence within the Marana Unified School District
- 3-4 years of age, not yet Kindergarten age eligible
- Toilet trained
- Child demonstrates appropriate modeling in all developmental areas – speech/language, social/behavior, cognitive, adaptive, physical
- Consistent daily attendance
- All languages eligible
For more information about the Peer Model Program at PAL, contact Ryan Rosete at the Marana Unified School District Educational Services Office at 520-682-4815.
PAL Location, Schedule, Peer Model Fee Schedule
- Located at Estes Elementary School, 11280 W. Grier Rd, Marana, AZ 85653
- Pre-K Monday – Thursday, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm*, $200/month
- 3's Program Monday - Wednesday*, $120/month
- AM Session 9:00 – 11:30 am
- PM Session 12:30 - 3:00 pm
- Optional Extended Care*
- Monday – Friday 7:00 am – 3:00 pm
*PAL Center follows the Marana Unified School District school year calendar and is closed when MUSD schools are closed for holidays/breaks. Nutritious snacks provided. Transportation not included.