MUSD gets high marks from the state in first post-pandemic letter grades

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Pima Butte Elementary School
Pima Butte Elementary, which was the first MUSD school to win a National Blue Ribbon award, received an "A" from the Arizona Department of Education in the state's first post-pandemic evaluation. [U.S. Department of Education photo]

There has been concern about academic progress in Maricopa public schools in the wake of COVID-19, but based on letter grades released this week by the Arizona State Board of Education, the schools have come through the pandemic well.

Maricopa Unified School District’s Pima Butte and Santa Rosa Elementary received grades of “A” in the state’s first scorecard of post-pandemic performance. Santa Rosa’s mark was improvement of a full letter grade.

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Maricopa Unified School District presented a look at its programs and initiatives that benefit students during an October partners luncheon:

Oct 2022 Partners Presentation

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Grades are for the 2021-22 academic year and based largely on data collected by the state board last spring.

Schools have until Nov. 15 to appeal results, but MUSD is unlikely to appeal any of these marks:

  • Maricopa Elementary was less than one point from an “A.”
  • Santa Cruz Elementary also was less than one point from an “A.”
  • Maricopa High School improved a full letter grade to a “B” from a “C.”

Other MUSD scores:

  • Butterfield Elementary School – B.
  • Saddleback Elementary School – B.
  • Desert Wind Middle School – C.
  • Maricopa Wells Middle School – C.

The new Desert Sunrise High is not eligible to receive a score until 2023-24, nor is Maricopa Virtual Academy, according to MUSD.

The 2022 letter-grade system applied the same cut scores as 2019, the last year schools received letter grades. The 2022 calculation heavily emphasized student growth. This calculation recognizes the importance of recovering unfinished learning that resulted from the pandemic.

Letter grades by the education department are required by state law.

More information or to compare results of other schools in Arizona: click here.