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Camino Montessori

Curtis Cardine is a fellow with the Grand Canyon Institute and a retired educator with 45 years of experience in public and charter schools. Photo by Jeff Kronenfeld

Camino Montessori — which closed earlier this month — is hardly unique in the challenges it faced as a charter school in Arizona.

Of the 427 charter schools to have closed since charters were first granted by the state in 1994, 66 shut on short notice during the school year, according to data from Curtis Cardine, a fellow with the Grand Canyon Institute and a retired educator with 45 years of experience in public and charter schools.

“I worked for two charter groups out here and left them both in disgust because of what’s allowed financially,” Cardine said. “They’re paying so much debt they can’t meet their obligations. That’s what’s happening to your company that’s down there.”

Proceeds from the sale of the school’s assets, including a 3.06-acre property purchased on March 3, 2017, for $445,400, will first go to pay back the school’s debts. The primary debt holder is the Community Investment Corporation (CIC), which provided the loan for the property’s purchase.

Initial attempts to finance the purchase through a bond ended unsuccessfully, which led the school to taking out the loan and incurring additional costs related to escrow payments during the several month delay, according to Judy Webster, CEO and board president of the school.

“My whole motive and vision was to bring Montessori education to people who couldn’t ordinarily afford it,” Webster said. “I just wanted to make it work, and it didn’t.”

Located near the intersection of Smith-Enke and Porter roads, the property is currently listed for sale at $700,000 by NAI Horizon. No potential purchasers had contacted the company as of Oct. 25, according to Logan Crum, an associate with NAI Horizon.

Webster said that she and her husband, Kevin, are also debt holders, having extended roughly $120,000 to the school. She said the school had defaulted on the repayment. This was corroborated by the school’s tax filings. She does not anticipate ever recouping this debt, as she believes there will not be enough money left over once CIC and other debts are paid off.

If there are any remaining assets after creditors are paid, they would need to be transferred to another nonprofit, according to Anne Byrne, professional-in-residence with ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation.

By reviewing Cardine’s data and speaking with Webster, a more complete picture of the events leading to the school’s sudden closure is possible. As stated in previous articles, the school had been losing money for several years. The school was losing $308 dollars per student for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Cardine said some of the larger networks of charter school providers were losing equal or larger amounts per student, such as BASIS losing as much as $330 per student. Due to their greater financial resources, growing enrollment and multiple campuses, they were more able to weather these costs and shift money around.

Cardine noted other problems indicated by Camino Montessori’s tax filings, such as taking out short-term loans and using credit cards to deal with cash-flow problems. Between 2013 and 2017, the school did not meet the Arizona State Board of Charter Schools (ASBCS) financial performance expectations for three of the four years.

Webster also confirmed, as reported in a previous article, that the school had reached an out-of-court settlement with the family of a student, though she disputed that this was an admission of guilt regarding accusations she delayed the evaluation and provision of services for the disabled student.

“I think small charter schools like us face similar challenges in a system as regulated as this,” Webster said.

Cardine said for small charters, the costs for implementing individualized education plans for even a few students could make the difference between profitability. District schools spend 12 percent on special education overall, while charters spend just 5 percent, despite receiving the same amount for special education students. Charter schools are not allowed to discriminate based on whether students have special education needs or not, though he noted that many do attempt to avoid having too many of the students enrolled through informal means.

Cardine said as many as 20 other charter schools around the state could be in danger of closing on short notice, though none of these are located within Maricopa. He further noted the charter industry throughout the state as a whole had more debt than money coming in currently, which he said would be explained in more detail in an upcoming report from GCI.

Due to a change in the law passed last legislative session, the ASBCS is now able to close charter schools it oversees for financial reasons. Cardine believes they should have shut down the school earlier based on its financial difficulties. He reported when he initially approached the ASBCS about the problems with charter schools throughout the state, they responded that the charters’ practices were legal.

“This is going to burn you guys, you better get ahead of it,” Cardine said he told the ASBCS. “I’m not trying to sandbag you; I’m just trying to say, ‘danger, Will Robinson, if you don’t take care of it, you’re going to have these closures,’ and they were shocked. They didn’t even have a handle on how many had been closed.”

Cardine did note that newer leadership in ASBCS is taking the problem more seriously. The ASBCS did not respond before the publication of this article.

Both candidates for state superintendent of public instruction stressed the need to improve oversight of Arizona’s charter schools.

“First, we need to do everything possible to ensure that our schools, charter and traditional, do not close,” said Kathy Hoffman, the Democratic candidate. “We need to eliminate the corruption found in Arizona’s charter school policies. It’s unconscionable that there are elected officials and private interests that are making millions of dollars off of public dollars via charter schools.”

Hoffman also argued for the need to ensure students’ academic data follows them to their new school. She said policies need be enacted to require more notice before a school shuts its doors.

Frank Riggs, her Republican opponent, echoed many of her sentiments, but also argued that the majority of Arizona’s charter schools were doing good work, especially in serving predominately minority and low-income students.

Riggs argued the ASBCS, in concert with the superintendent and the Arizona Department of Education, should have receivership over charter schools for worst-case scenarios such as the closure of Camino Montessori. He also argued for reforming standards for charter school boards to ensure all members have the necessary training and that there aren’t potential conflicts of interest that could impact their oversight function.

“The State Board for charter schools on which the superintendent of public instruction sits needs to be more proactive in interceding with poor performing charter schools or charter schools that are putting up red flags,” Riggs said.

Judy Webster runs Camino Montessori in Maricopa. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

An open letter to the Maricopa community

By Judy Webster

As many of you are aware, Camino Montessori closed its doors at the end of the school day on Oct. 5. This was a gut-wrenching decision, and I am absolutely brokenhearted about it. It was my dream to bring affordable Montessori education to a community that did not have it. I have poured my heart and soul into this dream for the past nine years, and even two weeks after we closed our doors I continue to grieve over the closing. It is not something I ever dreamed would happen.

I feel terrible for the staff that gave their all to make this a successful school. I feel terrible about not being able to continue the mission of bringing Montessori education to the Maricopa community. Above all else, I feel terrible anguish for letting down the children and families that called Camino their school.
I totally understand the anger that some people have expressed about the closing and especially about the very short notice that was given. If we could have found any way to move forward without closing or if we could have found any way to keep the doors open longer (end of October, end of semester, end of the year) we would have pursued it. The fact of the matter is, we ran out of money.

Many may say that Camino must have known that there were money problems. The answer to that is yes, we knew it was going to be very tight. We lost a lot of enrollment during the second semester last year but managed to make it to the end of the school year. We were convinced that by adding enrollment over the summer, we would be able to continue to keep the doors open. During the summer we did indeed increase the enrollment to a number that would have supported the school but unfortunately on the first day of school, many of the new enrollees did not show up.

Through August and September, we looked at many options to keep the doors open including but not limited to the hiring of a management company to take over operations, combining classrooms, reducing staff, selling the property we had purchased, etc. In the end, we did not see a way to continue without building excessive debt. My husband and I have put a great deal of our own money into this school (our choice) but the well dried up, we did not have funds to meet the needs to continue the school. We seriously doubt we will ever recoup that money. We also understand that this is a risk of running a business.

There were other dynamics to the financial issues that I will not go into in this letter as we adhere to strict confidentiality when it comes to personnel, students, business and potential business partners. I will not “throw anyone under the bus.” Needless to say, all of it related to enrollment or, more fitting, lack of enrollment. The bottom line is, I was the charter holder, I was the director of the school and I accept responsibility.

It is very important for me to let everyone know that the school complied with all legal requirements for students. We alerted staff and families the day after the Board voted to close the school. Understanding that the abrupt closing was going to be difficult for the children and their families we tried to do everything we could think of to help make the change as seamless as possible. We gave families a list of charter, private and public schools along with contact information and provided a handout about home schooling. The day after we let the families know we were closing, we contacted nearly every school on that list to let them know that we were closing and got information about openings they had. We shared that information with the families as well. I offered to meet one on one with any families that wanted help finding new schools. We made copies of all student records and made them available to families on the last day so that they would have the information to give to their child’s potential new school. The staff and I did everything we could think of to make the last couple of days at Camino as positive experience as possible.

I would like to thank the Maricopa community for the incredible support you have shown for Camino Montessori. From government officials to businesses to the wonderful families and children, I will never forget you. I truly hope that someday you will find it in your heart to forgive Camino for the abrupt closing.

Very Sincerely,

Judy Webster
Camino Montessori

Michelle Bowman was among parents who had to scramble to find a new school for her daughter Abigail when Camino Montessori shut down unexpectedly in the middle of the semester. Photo by Jeff Kronenfeld

 

Next, InMaricopa looks into how the school’s remaining assets, including a three-acre parcel of land currently listed for sale at $700,000, will be disposed of and explore similar problems with charter schools throughout the state. 

As Camino Montessori officials and board members continue to avoid questions about the school’s closure on Oct. 5, one thing has become clear: the possibility of closure was kept from parents and employees from a week to several months.

Camino Montessori Director Judy Webster writes an open letter to the community

School officials also appear to have been less than forthcoming about its financial situation. According to the school’s annual filing with the IRS as a nonprofit, known as a 990, when its expenses were subtracted from its revenue the school showed negative $87,957 for 2015 and negative $22,474 for 2016.

The Arizona State Board for Charter Schools (AZBCS) was informed that a closure vote was imminent on Sept. 27, according to statements from AZBCS Quality Assurance and Accountability Manager Rachel Hannah.

Plans to transfer control of the school to The Charter Management Group (TCMG) apparently fell through sometime in August. The company is run by partners Doug Pike and Bil Zeleny, who currently operate three charter schools in Arizona, according to its website. Fountain Hills Charter School, one of those operated by TCMG, recently received an F grade, the lowest possible, in its most recent assessment by the AZBCS. Their other schools received D and B ratings.

At a school board meeting on June 29, a motion to accept the resignation of Judy Webster as CEO and board president passed with three yes votes and three abstentions. Motions appointing Pike as president and CEO and Zeleny as corporate secretary and treasurer also passed, though they were not implemented. Other votes saw Pike prepared to replace Webster as the school’s authorized representative with the AZBCS.

TCMG pulled out of the deal sometime in August, possibly at the school’s board meeting that month. Notes from that meeting have yet to be made public. However, when interviewed, Pike said, “I think that you can surmise that our interest was not in something that was significantly underwater.”

DJ White, a former teacher for the school who was hired in 2017 and terminated in January of 2018, claimed to have been aware of financial difficulties from “within the first four hours I was there.

“The school was starting year five and had many signs of a struggling school, in my opinion,” White said via email. “[There were] no playground structures or fenced area for kids to play, technology that was antiquated or did not work, no health insurance for employees beyond Aflac, which is supposed to be supplemental insurance.”

White claimed to have regularly spent $200 a month on school supplies, that few if any classes were at capacity and that Webster did little to no fundraising.

“All of these were red flags,” White said.

He also said the turnover rate for teachers was unusually high and the performance of students on assessment tests was poor. According to information from the Arizona Department of Education, the results for combined fall 2017 and spring 2018 state assessment tests showed only 3 percent of the school’s tested students passed in math and 38 percent for English.

White claimed Webster delayed or failed to provide evaluations or services for students with disabilities so they could obtain individualized education programs, known as IEPs, which are written plans for accommodating disabled students. He said, “the school took a huge hit financially because of having to settle a lawsuit for failure to provide services as required by law.”

Ada Marie Plaza Nieves, who taught at the school and whose son attended it, alleges Webster denied her son an evaluation for an IEP on multiple occasions. She corroborated White’s account.

“I also know the family that ended up suing the school for not providing services to their autistic child,” Plaza Nieves said in a Facebook messenger communication.

According to the most recent documents, Camino Montessori had 66 students enrolled. Parent Michelle Bowman, who called the workings at the school “fishy,” said she was able to enroll her daughter Abigail in Sequoia Pathway after the sudden closure.

Joshua Babb, another parent of a student at the school, was preparing to join the board and was surprised by its closure.

“Through the period of time leading up to the closure, Judy Webster gave no indication to myself – as someone applying for the board – that they were in any danger of closing,” Babb said.

He was not surprised by the board’s reluctance to comment.

“Most of the board are close friends of the Websters,” Babb said.

White also cited Webster’s personal ties to the school’s board as a conflict of interest.

“Judy was taking a salary of over $61,000 and did almost zero fundraising,” White said. “Any board not stacked with friends and family would have canned her for that alone, years ago.”

Webster declined to comment for the story, citing the advice of an unnamed attorney. The members of the school’s board also declined to answer questions about the cause and timing of the closure, citing non-disclosure agreements.

Camino Montessori took parents by surprise when it closed its doors Friday.

For parents of Camino Montessori students, this fall break has been anything but a vacation. The local charter school closed on Friday.

This is the first in a series about the Camino Montessori closure.

Families were first informed about the closure through an email sent on Wednesday, only two days prior.

The sudden end took many parents by surprise, as they were under the impression the school was not only doing well financially, but was planning to expand. The school purchased land in early 2017 with plans to construct a building on the 3.06-acre property next to the library.

“This whole time, we were told that they’re expanding, they bought a property, they’re going to start building sometime this year,” said Chad Youngdale, whose daughter attended the school. “I think a lot of parents feel like they were lied to.”

The school began offering free full-day kindergarten at the beginning of this school year.

“This year, we were told they were in a good financial situation so they could take on the hit of offering full-day kindergarten,” Youngdale said. “That was obviously another lie.”

Incorporated in November 2009, the school opened its doors in 2013. According to an interview with CEO and Board President Judy Webster by InMaricopa in 2015, the school served pre-K through third grade. The school had expanded to serving pre-K through sixth grade by the time of its closure.

“Last night, after an emotional and heart-wrenching discussion of Camino’s current operational status and weighing the financial consequences should we remain open through the end of the year, close at semester break, or close sooner, the school board voted to surrender our charter effective immediately,” Webster wrote in the email announcing the closure.

Though the letter cited “unforeseen consequences,” which made continuing the school “financially impossible,” many parents want more answers about what caused the sudden closure and when the school knew the closure might be imminent.

Webster and Camino Montessori did not respond to requests for comment from InMaricopa.

“It’s kind of fishy, a lot of the stuff that’s been going on,” said Michelle Bowman, whose daughter attended the school.

The closure was decided by a unanimous vote of its board last Tuesday, according to publicly available minutes on the school’s website. However, Bowman believes the school’s property was listed for sale prior to this meeting, seeming to indicate the ball was already rolling on closure.

The notes from the Aug. 21 board meeting, the meeting prior to the closure vote, are not available online. Nearly all other notes from board meetings are available on the website.

Bowman also noted the board had its membership changed several times over the last year and questioned whether these changes were conducted properly. At the moment, parents are hearing more rumors than answers.

“I feel like this educational opportunity has been ripped away from our children because of arrogance of the school board and poor financial management,” Bowman said. “I feel like we’re now left with literally no opportunity to choose what to do for our children.”

Whatever the reasons for the closure, parents are now scrambling to find schools for their children on short notice. However, many nearby charters have wait lists, forcing some to consider driving their kids to school far from Maricopa or with radically different education styles than the Montessori students are used to.

The school leases space in Stagestop Marketplace on Maricoa-Casa Grande Highway. Owner Will Dunn said school officials signed a new, three-month lease a day ahead of the closure announcement to have time to remove Camino Montessori property.

In school ratings released Friday by the state’s Education Department, the charter received a C.

Judy Webster runs Camino Montessori in Maricopa. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

By Ethan McSweeney

Soon, buses will be rumbling down Maricopa street,s and students will crowd sidewalks on their way to the first day of classes for the 2016-17 school year at district and charter schools.

Here’s what to expect:Youth-Back-to-school-MUSD

Maricopa Unified School District

With school starting Aug. 8 for MUSD schools, some district-wide changes affecting students include an expansion of before and after-school programs at elementary schools and the district’s blended-learning program, Superintendent Steve Chestnut said.

MUSD school buses will transport 3,600 students to and from school each day this school year.  Keeping buses cool for the first month can be a challenge when temperatures exceed 100 degrees, particularly on the afternoon routes. All MUSD buses have air conditioning, but the air conditioning units are only designed to drop the temperature in the bus 10-15 degrees. MUSD does not provide water to students on buses. Parents are asked to provide a bottle of water for the bus ride home in the afternoons. Another option would be to provide a reusable container that students can fill with water before boarding the school bus. Parents and community members are reminded to exercise caution when driving near schools.


Blended-learning, which teaches students through a combination of laptop-based learning and traditional instruction, will expand its enrollment capacity at Maricopa High School, the middle schools and Santa Rosa Elementary School.

MUSD is expecting 6,500 students this school year. Registration information can be found on the district’s website or at each neighborhood school.

About 25 new staff members will be added across the district following voter approval of Proposition 123, which allows Arizona to tap into the State Land Trust to give K-12 schools $3.5 billion over 10 years.

Chestnut will also be continuing in his role as superintendent of the district through at least 2018. The MUSD Governing Board approved a two-year extension of his contract last year with an annual salary of $147,000.

Maricopa High School

MHS welcomes two new administrators and a few new classes. Principal Renita Myers said a new assistant principal (Stephen Ybarra) and dean of students (Brian Winter) bring years of experience with them to the high school.

A fifth college class through Central Arizona College is added with Biology 181, and each student will have advisory time. “It’s an opportunity to look at their four-year plan,” Myers said. “And it provides more opportunity for kids to connect with their advisers.”

Another new class being offering German, the first time MHS has had a foreign language other than Spanish, Myers said.

Maricopa Elementary School

Maricopa Elementary will continue to work to instill good character habits in its students this year, Principal Jennifer Robinson said. MES teaches students character traits based on the popular book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” each morning beginning with a daily reflection question, she said.

Maricopa Elementary will also be a national board development site for teachers to obtain certification and reflect on their teaching. The certification, Robinson said, is one of the highest a teacher can obtain.

Pima Butte Elementary School

At Pima Butte, Principal Randy Lazar said he’s looking forward to another year with a continued focus on science, technology and the arts. He added they are looking for volunteers to help around the school and at school events.

Pima Butte students have been focusing on developing character traits, including caring, which Lazar said he hopes to show with a food drive during Meet the Teacher Night on Aug. 4. Cans of food and non-perishable food items will be donated to the local food bank, F.O.R. Maricopa.

Saddleback Elementary School

Saddleback plans to maintain the programs it’s been implementing in the past few years, which also include a focus on character development. “We believe that good character is one of the most valuable things our students should possess,” Principal Felicia Williams said in an email. “This seamlessly ties into parental involvement.”

Williams said Saddleback will continue with its mission of exposing students to technology throughout the day in the learning environment, and implementing its 21st Century Community Learning Center program in September.

Santa Cruz Elementary School

Santa Cruz will offer after-school programs this year, including drama, choir and color guard, for its fourth, fifth and sixth grade students, said Loraine Conley, the school’s principal. “We’re really trying to beef up our after-school opportunities,” Conley said.

Conley said she hopes to improve on communication this year at the school and to make Santa Cruz a better user of its technology. She’s excited about the growth Maricopa is experiencing this year with new families coming in. The school has also added a fourth-grade classroom.

CHARTER SCHOOLSYouth-Back-to-school-camino

Camino Montessori

Camino Montessori adds fifth and sixth grades this year following approval from the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools, said Judy Webster, founder and director of Camino Montessori. With the increase in enrollment, the school is also actively searching for land and financing for a new campus, Webster said.

School starts Aug. 10.

Leading Edge AcademyYouth-Back-to-school-LE

Leading Edge is finishing construction on a two-story, 18-classroom building, including a gymnasium, on its campus to accommodate its growing enrollment. Principal Mat Reese expects 700 to 725 students this year, up from 430 last year.

The growth at the K-12 charter means the school will be nearly doubling its staff, including teachers, assistants and special education employees. Leading Edge is also be adopting a new curriculum, Reese said. School starts Aug. 9.

Legacy Traditional SchoolYouth-Back-to-school-legacy

A new principal, Amy Sundeen, will be taking the reins at Legacy Traditional School for its 10th year in Maricopa. Sundeen said the new administrative team at the school has several years of experience in Maricopa, and the charter school plans to strengthen its sports programs and work to be more involved in the community.

The first day of school is Aug. 3. Back-to-School Night is Aug. 1. Legacy is also now a fixed stop on COMET, City of Maricopa Express Transit, so students that didn’t have transportation before can now use the bus, Sundeen said.

Sequoia PathwayYouth-Back-to-school-SPA

Sequoia Pathway is undergoing major changes as it restructures its administration to have principals at the elementary, junior high and high school levels as enrollment grows. Rachael Lay is the elementary principal, Diane Silvia the junior high principal, and the high school principal is Nate Lamma.

The charter school is expecting around 1,160 students this year, up from just below 1,000 last year, with students wait-listed to get enrolled. Sequoia Pathway will adopt a new math program for grades K through nine that is more aligned with AzMERIT, and it plans on increasing Advanced Placement class offerings.

On the athletic side, Sequoia Pathway will have 11-man football this year, a change from 8-man football, and the elementary school will offer intramural sports.

Its Meet the Teacher Night is scheduled for Aug. 4. School starts Aug. 8.


This story appears in the August issue of InMaricopa.

Judy Webster runs Camino Montessori in Maricopa. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

By Raquel Hendrickson

From Air Force brat to innovative educator, Judy Webster has been a life-long learner. She founded Camino Montessori in Maricopa in 2009. The school now serves pre-K through third grade.

Born in New York, Webster bounced around a bit as a child of the military. Her family moved to Arizona in 1969, and she lived in Litchfield Park until the late ‘70s when she moved to Tempe. She’s lived there ever since.

“I consider Tempe as my hometown, and Maricopa is within my circle of community,” she said.

Webster’s husband Kevin is an area manager for a local human services agency that provides services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Their only child, Alex, works at the University of Phoenix and is engaged to a teacher, Mindy, “whom we love and adore,” Webster said.

Judy estimated she is three-quarters of the way through a master’s degree in education, with the emphasis in Montessori. She also has “countless hours of training” from workshops, seminars and coursework, including Montessori whole-school management and Common Core Standards and Arizona Career and College Ready Standards.

She said choosing education as a career “was a natural outcome of my initial experience from becoming a parent myself. I was constantly in awe and intrigue watching my son grow and thrive. Eventually, this developed into my current passion and desire to do what I can to affect positive change in the field of education. The best way to do that was to become an educator, and go from there.”

Webster saw Maricopa as a diverse community in need of a Montessori option. She said “old teaching buddy” Carol Hoover and her husband of the Legacy Montessori preschool were instrumental in her decision to establish a school in town.

Camino Montessori was incorporated in November 2009 and had its first classes in 2013. It operates as a charter and is nearing its capacity of 80 students.

Judy Webster
Executive director of Camino Montessori
Born: Glen Cove, New York
Residence: Tempe
Education: Bachelor’s in psychology, post-baccalaureate in Education, Montessori teaching certificate, working toward master’s in Education
Family: Married to Kevin for 31 years; son Alex; mother and sister live nearby
Past teaching positions: Fifth grade at Osborn School District in Phoenix, Montessori classes at Mesa Public School District, Villa Montessori Charter School, private Montessori school in Ahwatukee
Years in education: 20
First job out of college: I was a ‘live in’ group home manager for a local nonprofit agency that provides services to people with developmental disabilities. I lived with six adults who had previously spent all or most of their lives in the state institution in Coolidge.
Hobbies: I love to read and have several books going at the same time. I also love hiking, gardening, photography and hanging out with my family.
Favorite subject when you were in elementary school? I always loved math (if teachers were supportive) and really enjoyed history and social studies.
What is your favorite part of being an educator? Easy! Any and all direct contact I have with the children.
What are the biggest challenges facing Maricopa students today? Maricopa was hit hard during the economic crisis that erupted in 2009. Because of this and the fast growth over the past decade, there remains a need to continue to develop a strong infrastructure and sense of community in Maricopa. Although improving, we still have work to do.
What was the best advice you received about your own education? My grandfather told me to always follow my passion in both education and career. I think he planted the seed of a “purpose-driven” life for me.
What advice do you give parents of elementary schoolchildren? To remember that from birth through the elementary years children need to be just that, children.

By Adam Wolfe

The summer season might be at its peak, but summer vacation is coming to a close as all schools within the Maricopa Unified School District will start classes on Monday.

For some, the new school year will bring fresh starts in new schools, and for others, it will provide a much needed return to a regimented schedule. Parents may finally have time to relax and enjoy the quiet, while others may return to work. Either way, the time has come to bring back the sack lunches, replenish the notebook stash and return to school.

There have been some changes in leadership in the district. Former Desert Wind Middle School Principal Renita Myers is now principal of Maricopa High School. Former MHS Principal June Celaya takes Myers’ place at DWMS. Brand new to the district is Loraine Conley, new principal at Santa Cruz Elementary.

For families who have recently moved to the area or forgotten to register their children in classes, MUSD registration is still available.

“All Maricopa parents and guardians are invited to enroll their children in MUSD for 2015-16, and it is not too late to register,” MUSD superintendent Steve Chestnut said in a statement. “Registration forms and information can be found on the school district website at www.musd20.org.”

Parents and guardians can either go to the website and click on the “Registration” tab at the top of the page or pick up the registration forms and information from their neighborhood school.

In order to register, parents and guardians will need to provide the school with their student’s birth certificate, immunization record, picture ID of parent or guardian registering the student, proof of residency (utility bill, rental agreement, etc.), and records, transcript and withdrawal slip from the student’s previous school.

Sequoia Pathway Charter School also begins classes on Monday at 7:45 a.m.

Legacy Traditional School gets out of the chute before everyone, starting Thursday, July 30.

Leading Edge Academy begins Aug. 4.

Camino Montessori starts class on Aug. 10.

MUSD Schools:

Maricopa High School

  • Grades 9 – 12
  • 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave. Maricopa, AZ 85139
  • (520) 568-8100
  • Principal: Renita Myers – rmyers@musd20.org
  • In class 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Desert Wind Middle School

  • Grades 7 – 8
  • 35565 W. Honeycutt Road Maricopa, AZ 85138
  • (520) 568-7110
  • Principal: June Celaya – jcelaya@musd20.org
  • In class 9:10 a.m. – 4:10 p.m.

Maricopa Wells Middle School

  • Grades 7 – 8
  • 45725 W. Honeycutt Ave. Maricopa, AZ 85139
  • (521) 568-7100
  • Principal: Rick Abel – rabel@musd20.org
  • In class 9:10 a.m. – 4:10 p.m.

Butterfield Elementary School

  • Grades K – 6
  • 43800 W. Honeycutt Road Maricopa, AZ 85138
  • (520) 568-6100
  • Principal: Janel Hildick – jhildick@musd20.org
  • In class 8:35 a.m. – 3:35 p.m.

Maricopa Elementary School

  • Grades K – 6
  • 18150 N. Alterra Parkway Maricopa, AZ 85139
  • (520) 568-5160
  • Principal: Jennifer Robinson – jrobinson@musd20.org
  • In class 8:10 a.m. – 3:10 p.m.

Pima Butte Elementary School

  • Grades K – 6
  • 42202 W. Rancho El Dorado Maricopa, AZ 85138
  • (520) 568-7150
  • Principal: Randy Lazar – rlazar@musd20.org
  • In class 8:35 a.m. – 3:35 p.m.

Saddleback Elementary School

  • Grades K – 6
  • 18600 N. Porter Road Maricopa, AZ 85138
  • (520) 568-6110
  • Principal: Felicia Williams – fwilliams@musd20.org
  • In class 8:10 a.m. – 3:10 p.m.

Santa Cruz Elementary School

  • Grades K – 6
  • 19845 N. Costa Del Sol Maricopa, AZ 85238
  • (520) 568-5170
  • Principal: Loraine Conley – lconley@musd20.org
  • In class 8:35 a.m. – 3:35 p.m.

Santa Rosa Elementary School

  • Grades K – 6
  • 21400 N. Santa Rosa Dr. Maricopa, AZ 85138
  • (520) 568-6150
  • Principal: Eva Safranek – esafranek@musd20.org
  • In class 8:35 a.m. – 3:35 p.m.