Saturday, January 22, 2011

Upcoming Meetings about the proposed 20 extra school days

Below you will find Dr. Wilson’s scheduled attendance at upcoming PTO meetings to discuss the proposed extra 20 days to be added to the school year.  Please feel free to contact either the superintendent's office or the particular school to confirm Dr. Wilson’s attendance, correct time, etc.

1:00 PM
Marana Middle School
6:00 PM
Desert Winds Elementary/Picture Rocks 
Intermediate @ Picture Rocks
6:00 PM
Estes Elementary School
7:00 PM
Rattlesnake Ridge Elementary School
6:00 PM
Thornydale Elementary School
6:00 PM
DeGrazia Elementary School
6:30 PM
Twin Peaks Elementary School
11:30 AM
Marana High School

Here is a review written by Jenny Cawley:
"I have been asked to compile this note in reference to MUSD's proposal to extend their school calendar to 200 days.  I intend to share my experience from the Coyote Trail PTO meeting I attended on Wednesday, January 12th. I am encouraging every parent to attend your school's PTO meeting.  Dr. Doug Wilson, MUSD's superintendent, is making the rounds to each district schools January or February PTO meeting.   They are coming up quickly.  I decided to attend CT's meeting despite not being a CT parent because I had received some e-mail communication in regards to the proposal.  I spoke to one of my childrens' teachers at school about the proposal and was concerned about some of the things she said about it. I wanted to get information firsthand as quickly as I could so I could be informed and prepared. I am planning on attending the meetings at each of three MUSD schools my children attend, if possible, to become more educated. The following is what I learned from Dr. Wilson and from observation of other parents and staff that were in attendance.

1. MUSD is starting a dialogue in regards to extending their calendar to 200 days.  There will be no added vacation or holidays. There will no additional staff inservice days.  They will keep 1/2 day Fridays because of teacher contracts. The current MUSD calendar is at 180 days. This will add 20 school days. Vail School District has been used as a comparison but they do not have a 200 day calendar.  They have a year round 180 day calendar. See it here Dr. Wilson used Vail as an example but it was misleading since the number of calendar days are NOT the same.  Dr. Wilson also passed out a sample calendar.  He did say that he created it and it did not come from the committee that is suggesting this proposal.  This 2012-2013 calendar showed the last day of school as May 31st and the first day on July 16th.

2. Dr. Wilson stated that there is an Arizona state law that has been on record for 8 or nine years.  This law gives an additional 5% funding increase to districts that have a 200 day calendar.  There is only one school district in Arizona that has taken advantage of the statute.  It is the Balsz School District in Phoenix.  It is in a low income area near Thomas Road and the Red Mountain Freeway. I googled it and did some reading.  I asked Dr. Wilson why more districts were not taking advantage of this statute.  He replied that it was because people don't like change and eventually all schools will go to a 200 day calendar. This is his opinion.  He said there are approximately 5 schools west of the Mississippi that have a 200 day schedule. Most are 180-185 days. There are no current statistics or studies that say a 200 day calendar shows any increase in academic performance.

3.  I asked Dr. Wilson about the fact that MUSD is currently using a 180 day curriculum and would they being getting any new curriculum or extensions to the current one.  The answer was no.  Teachers are going to be able to enrich the curriculum they currently are using.  There were several teachers in attendance.  Mrs. McGarity from Rattlesnake Ridge was there.  She said that she is on the fence.  She does not feel that her middle schooler and high schooler would benefit from more school days but she sees how other students could.  I thought she was very fair.  Two other teachers spoke for the proposal.  I don't remember specifically what they said.

4.  Dr. Wilson stated that the 5% increase would allow for teacher pay raises in 2012-2013.  I intend to ask at another meeting if this will be a one time increase or if it will be annual.  This was not clear.

5.  The AZ legislature passed three new education laws in the last session.  The first is Move On When Reading which mandates that all 3rd graders must be reading at a 3rd grade reading level to be promoted to 4th grade.  If they don't they will be retained.  The 2nd is Move On When Ready. You can read about it here  Move On When Ready is optional.
The third is a teacher tenure bill that makes teachers more accountable for their students standardized test scores.
Dr. Wilson stated that all of these new directives are a cause for expanding the calendar.

6. Dr.Wilson stated that currently an extended day calendar is not tied to the expiring budget override election in November.  That 10% override will continue some basic services like activity buses.  I am not sure what else is tied into it.  I expect we will hear more on those provisions soon.  However, the intent may be to attach it to the override if or when the School Board approves it.

7.  6-7 parents raised concerns about the extended calendar infringing on the time they spend with their children.They are in essence adding a month of school with weekend homework and projects. Dr. Wilson said that "culture" will have to change. One parent brought up the issue of student athletes that are in club sports.  These athletes participate in tournaments that extend through July or August.  Dr. Wilson said the people will have to make hard choices.  He cited Vail again but the parent rebutted saying that she knows for a fact the Vail students miss school to attend their tournaments. Parents also asked why the district wasn't considering an extended school day, or extended fall and spring breaks.  The answer was they will not get the additional funding.  It has to be 200 days.

This is most of what I took notes on and remember. I'm sure I missed things as well.  That is why I am encouraging everyone to attend any meeting you can."

Marana Elected Governing School Board Members
Mr.John Lewandowski
Ms.Suzanne Hopkins
Ms.Manibel Lopez

Dr. Doug Wilson
Assistant Superintendent,
Carolyn Dumler
Assistant Superintendent
Dr. Jan Truitt
Director of Operations
Dan Contorno

Marana Unified School District
Suite 106
11279 W. Grier Rd.
Marana, AZ  85653

Phone: (520) 682-4774
FAX: (520) 682-2421

Hours of Operation
7:30 am to 4:00 pm

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hurry: $10 for $20 Gift Card to

$10 for $20 Gift Card to

This will go quickly!!!  Listed under Phoenix, Tucson, or Washington D.C..  I <3 Living Social today!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

FREE Couponing Class TONIGHT

Many women locally have been begging me to teach a couponing class.  Tonight (TUESDAY 01/18) I am teaching a FREE class for a women's group at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints building that is located at:

13450 North Lon Adams Road, Marana, AZ

They said that anyone from the community is welcome to attend.  The class will be held in the gym at 6:30 p.m..  You are welcome to bring a friend. 

For those of you who live far away,  here is the information on how I organize my coupons.

Pinching Your Pennies is a free website that lists weekly deals with coupons. Click on the current list. I love that they give the deals STAR ratings. You know that 4 or 5 stars is a great deal.

If you live outside Arizona, click here to see the deals listed by other States!

Click here for information on organizing and couponing in Arizona.

Want to Increase Your Couponing Savings even more?

If you are wanting to seriously coupon, there are websites that charge to see a more intense list of coupons matched with what is on sale. Couponsense is the most used here in Arizona. They have a more comprehensive list for the serious couponer. They teach you how to combine online loadable coupons with manufacturer coupons to get even better deals. Right now they have a promotion for those who want to try it. $4 for the first month and $15 each month after. You can cancel at any time.  

I think I save at least $15 extra each week using Couponsense than I did using Pinching Your Pennies.
I also saved so much time using Couponsense.  Before I was copying and pasting each individual deal I wanted to use from Pinching Your Pennies to make my list.  Then, I'd go by each deal and cut out the individual coupons.  Couponsense cut at least 2-3 hours off my couponing last week.  You click on the deals you want to use, it generates you a shopping list per store and a coupon cutting list that tells you that from this specific Sunday insert, you need these coupons for your deals.  I'm LOVING this.

If you choose to try Couponsense, use the promo code:  enjoy the savings

Select Referred by friend and enter Stephanie Ashcraft.  It should show Andrea VanHorn as your instructor.  She lives here in Arizona and is one of the top 10 couponers in their company.

Newspaper Subscriptions

AZ Daily Star- $4.30 per month for Sunday paper.
AZ Republic- Multiple Sunday Papers available. More expensive. More coupons.
AZ Republic- $1 per week for 1 Sunday paper

Printable Coupon Sources

There are so many ways to get coupons. 

Lately I realized that I am using more printable coupons than coupons from the Sunday paper. You can get printable coupons from so many sources for pretty much everything you need for your family. FYI-Most of these websites reset their coupons and add coupons at the beginning of each month. Some even reset coupons on the 15th so you can print them again.

Monday, January 17, 2011

family/adult doctor

Ok sorry, another request for a doctor..a family or adult doctor for my husband. Does anyone know of a good one? Or has any one been to the new one by doctor Bean's office of Ina..right as you pull into his complex? Thanks!

Friday, January 14, 2011


Any body know of a good podiatrist around this area?

Monday, January 10, 2011

MUSD wanting to add days to school calendar

Hi everyone. I just wanted to make sure that everyone knew that MUSD is contemplating adding 20 more days to the school calendar. Who wants this??? For me, this is not what I want as a mother. I want my children home with me. The school system has encroached on our time with our children cutting summer breaks from 3 months now to basically 2. I don't want to only have a month with them. I want to have time with my children to love them, teach them, instill within them the morals I believe to be important--those of honesty, integrity, wholesome entertainment with family, and the plain simple fact that the family is a very important unit. The school gets them 10 months out of the year. I want them the other 2!!!!

If this is passed, it will also be difficult for my teenagers --and yours too---to secure summer employment where they can learn valuable life lessons, but also importantly, to save for college and missions. I understand that this will come as part of the bond vote, but I am unsure as to when that is exactly. My friend on the PTO at Marana High School, Tina Laulusa, and I will choose to fight this and I will stand up for my time with my family. Please study this, be aware of this, and take action with this.

If you have any questions, please email me or Tina and we will try to help you find answers. Please attend the meetings that will be held at the local schools. Coyote Trail Elementary will be having a meeting on this Wednesday night at 6 pm.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Baby Changing Table for sale

White baby changing table with changing pad for only $20. Needs touched up with paint, but other than that it is in great condition.

Call Stephanie at 407-6364 if you are interested.
Location:  Gladden Farms/ Marana, AZ 

Friday, January 7, 2011

$30 for One Month of Unlimited Zumba Dance Fitness Classes at Pointe of Grace ($60 Value)

  • Pointe_of_grace
Marana/Tucson Deal:

$30 for One Month of Unlimited Zumba Dance Fitness Classes at Pointe of Grace ($60 Value)

Deal ends in 2 days!  The studio is located off the Twin Peaks Exit on Silverbell.  For those of you who hear the moms and teachers at Estes talking about Zumba.  This is where everyone goes.

4 of the Zumba night classes are taught by Kim Aguirre, 3rd grade teacher, at Estes.  She's pretty amazing.  I bought the deal and hope to see some of you there!

Click to see the deal for your city!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

T-ball and Baseball Registration!

If you are interested... Registration for Baseball is Saturday January 8th.  See the website for more details

I must admit we are a soccer family, but I was not extremely impressed with our soccer experience. At least at our son's age (5yrs). 

I really recommend this little league. We had a great experience and my son LOVED it last year!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Just Dance 2

We got this game for Christmas and played it once. Then we sold our Wii. You can buy it new on Amazon for $35. We are selling it for $30. If you are interested please email me at lmichels at gmail dot com.