The biggest change in Marana schools for 2010-'11 may be what didn't happen over the summer.

Last spring the district faced the possibility of making more than $10 million in budget reductions. It evaluated the possibility of increasing class sizes by as many as four students in each room.

After voters passed Proposition 100 in May, MUSD's budget cut became $5.6 million. As a result, class sizes for 2010-'11 are being increased by one student on average.

Class sizes are approximate, the district said in a release. Class sizes vary based on grade level enrollment at each school site.

This year, kindergarten classes are expected to average 22 students; first grade, 21 students; second grade, 27 students; grades 3-6, 29 students; and secondary levels, 31 students.

Full-day kindergarten has also survived the budget knife. It continues, at no additional cost to parents, at all MUSD elementary schools this year. There is a class size increase, as well as a reduction in the number of kindergarten aides.

MUSD activity fees are being increased. Participation in middle school sports is going from $30 to $60 per student, and in high school sports from $35 to $70. No student will exceed a cost of $180 at the middle school or $150 at the high school, and no family shall incur athletic fees of more than $350 per year. Only athletic fees have increased, according to MUSD spokeswoman Tamara Crawley.

MUSD continue to offer before- and after-school care for elementary school children. Learning, Enrichment and Play centers offer programs through licensed facilities at each MUSD elementary school. They run from 6 a.m. to the start of school, and from the end of the school day to 6 p.m., for students in grades K-6. Activities include games, sports, creative arts, dramatic play, quiet games, activities, socializing and enrichment classes.

People may call 616-4509, or visit http://maranausd.org/elo">maranausd.org/elo.

MUSD parents urged to sign up for 'Connection'

Parents of students in the Marana Unified School District are being encouraged to register for MUSD Connection, a web-based tool that provides secure viewing of student information such as assignments, grades, attendance records, health and discipline information from any computer, 24 hours a day.

Parents receive a user activation key from their child's school. They may use that key to register through the district website, www.maranausd.org, clicking on the MUSD Connection link.

Available information includes current student class assignments such as homework or take-home tests/quizzes; current student grades including the teacher's grade book and all report cards; student course history including AIMS test scores, district graduation requirements and completed high school courses; student course requests and health information, such as immunization records and nurse's visits.

MUSD spokeswoman Tamara Crawley said MUSD Connection has had 10,365 total parent activations since it was implemented Aug. 3, 2009.

Parents can also register their e-mail addresses in the "Notify Me" section of the MUSD web site. Notify Me allows schools and district administration to send communications electronically to parents. The district has had 14,621 individuals registered with Notify Me.

And the district has an "Alert System" service that notifies parents should a critical or emergency situation ever arise in the area or on campus while school is in session.

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