Accelerated learning program to kick off in kindergarten

Murray Siegel Maricopa
Murray Siegel [File]

In recent years, the Maricopa Unified School District has made a concerted effort to improve the assessment of the learning that occurs in its schools.

One recent step in this effort was the hiring of Sheryl Rednor as director of academic services, bringing vast experience and high-powered energy to the district.

Rednor received her undergraduate education at Northern Arizona University and earned a master’s degree at Arizona State University.

After teaching fourth and sixth grades, she moved into supervisory positions, first as a principal in an elementary school and a middle school. Her next step was to become director of curriculum for the Higley Unified School District in Gilbert, followed by her elevation to executive director of teaching and learning at Scottsdale Unified School District.

When Rednor was interviewed at MUSD, she saw an opportunity to apply all she has learned about education in an environment conducive for her vision of how a great school system should function.

She is proud of a district plan to create an advanced class in kindergarten through fifth grade.

The pilot for this program will be implemented during the 2022-23 school year in a kindergarten class at Saddleback Elementary School. The class will be academically accelerated, with above-grade-level delivery of Arizona standards in math and English Language Arts.

Each year in the future, one more grade will be added, until all elementary grades contain this accelerated class.

Rednor pointed to the Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone Program at Maricopa High School.

A previous column detailed the value of AP for college-bound students, and the program at the high school offers a maximum opportunity for students to get a meaningful head start on their university experience. The new high school will enhance the career and technical education (CTE) program there, thus providing wonderful opportunities for students whose future might not include college.

Under Rednor’s direction, MUSD will strive to provide a rigorous education for all students in all grades, continuing to build what was already in place here when she arrived. MUSD schools will offer what is best for students and the community. The high school course guide will be improved to offer more options for high school students. A focus will also be applied to needed professional development for teachers to enhance their success in the classroom.

Rednor is married and has two adult children. She said she is proud her children are successful products of a public-school education.

Murray Siegel, Ph.D., has more than 44 years of teaching experience and volunteers at Butterfield Elementary School.

This story was first published in the April edition of InMaricopa magazine.