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One School. One Community. United!



For the purpose of providing the highest quality learning environment and continuity between grade levels, Picture Rocks Intermediate and Desert Winds Elementary united in fall 2016 to serve preschool and K-6 students in the Picture Rocks community.

PRI United Campus.pngUniting Desert Winds K-3 and Picture Rocks 4-6 provides a seamless and rewarding K-6 experience where students do not have to change schools after third grade. Eliminating an unnecessary transition will result in enhanced student learning, and both social and emotional growth.  

On Friday, December 4, 2015 students, staff, parents, community, Governing Board members, and Senior Leadership enjoyed a fun-filled groundbreaking celebration. Students shared their excitement about the unification by singing a very special song “This school was made for you and me.” View video. Tawnya Caldwell, principal of united school campus and current principal of Desert Winds Elementary, was presented with a golden shovel to commemorate the groundbreaking. View the album of photos from groundbreaking ceremony. View Groundbreaking Ceremony Invitation

Construction/renovations of classroom learning environments and age appropriate facilities began on the campus of Picture Rocks Intermediate in December 2015. The beautiful Desert Winds campus will be maintained to potentially expand community services, in collaboration with resource providers, to residents in the Picture Rocks area.

On October 15, 2015, the Marana district Governing Board approved the selection of Mrs. Tawnya Caldwell as principal of the new school. Mrs. Caldwell is currently the principal of Desert Winds Elementary School.  

During the 2015-2016 school year, committees consisting of students, parents, staff, community will form to plan for the new school including selection of school name, mascot, colors, etc.


For the purpose of providing the highest quality learning environment and continuity between grade levels, on Thursday, April 9, 2015, the Marana Unified School District Governing Board voted to approve the closure of Desert Winds Elementary School for the purpose of uniting Desert Winds Elementary School and Picture Rocks Intermediate School, beginning the 2016-2017 school year. This decision was made following discussions, analysis, parent input, and public meetings.  

Parents and community members were invited to attend Parent Information Meetings in February 2015 and an MUSD Governing Board Public Meeting on Thursday, March 12, 2015. At the public meeting, in accordance with ARS 15-341: Section 33, the school district Governing Board was available to hear reasons for or against the recommendation to unite Desert Winds K-3 and Picture Rocks 4-6 to one K-6 elementary school, resulting in the closure of Desert Winds Elementary K-3 school. The meeting was held at 6:30pm at the Marana Municipal Complex, 11555 W. Civic Drive in Marana, AZ. If parents were unable to attend the Governing Board Public Meeting, information could be shared by emailing Board Members or providing a written statement to either school principal.

Desert Winds Elementary was built in 1983 to serve K-3 grades. As the school reached capacity, the school district did not have the option to expand. State dollars were only allocated for new construction at that time, not for expansion. The district had to build a new campus - Picture Rocks Intermediate- in 1996 adjacent to Desert Winds Elementary.   

To view the material presented at the Parent Information Meetings February 11 and February 12, click here. Additional parent/community/staff meetings were held in September, 2015, view material presented

Made possible through the voter approved 2014 School Improvement Capital Bond. Learn more about bond projects.  

This Webpage will continue to provide updated information.

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Marana News:
MUSD breaks ground on new school expansion
December 9, 2015