Summer Schooling, Part 6: Marana Schools Giving Kids the Tools They Need

With summer vacation drawing to a close and school right around the corner, I thought a quick rundown of what is going on with MUSD would be a good topic for this week.  For those of you who live in Gladden Farms area, there is a new elementary school opening up.  It is the first new school in MUSD in quite some time and it has a fantastic new look.  The grand opening and a tour will be offered on July 20 at 4:00pm.  It is one of two schools that will be offering a computer science immersion program that uses Minecraft to create a cutting edge learning environment. MUSD has teamed up with Code to the Future to create this program which allows kids to incorporate computer science in all aspects of their learning environment.   Quail Run Elementary school on Cortaro Road will also be participating in this program.  These two schools will be the first in Arizona to participate in this type of program.

I recently spent some time with the head of Marana Unified School District’s Career and Technical Education program, Cathie Raymond.  I have been a big fan of these programs for a long time now.  CTE programs give kids in high school an opportunity to get working knowledge and experience in career fields.  The goal is always higher education with the understanding that technical and trade schools are still a form of higher education.  Not all kids are going to get a bachelor’s degree or may take some time off before pursuing one, and CTE allows these kids an opportunity to get good paying jobs right out of high school and allows them the freedom to discover exactly what they want to do. 

The CTE program will be expanding into aviation very soon.  I was very glad to hear this for a couple of reasons.  First of all as an Air Force brat and son of an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanic, aviation is near and dear to me, and I will always support it.  I have seen the results of a career in aviation, and it can be a very lucrative career field that does not require a four year degree.  Secondly, the Town has a lot of businesses that are aviation-related and are growing.  Within a short drive there is Tucson International Airport that offers a whole host of jobs and just up the road at Pinal Air Park there are more opportunities in aviation.  This is a fantastic move on the part of MUSD and the CTE program, and I really hope it is widely used and gains the recognition that all CTE programs deserve.

With the first day of school on August 8, it is time to start getting school supplies and this year’s round of clothes and shoes that will be destroyed within the first months of school.  It’s time to start getting them back on a normal routine and getting ready for another year of school.  As a parent, I think MUSD is one of the better districts in the area.   All of the new programs are proof that it is embracing the future and ready to give our kids the tools they need.