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Published: October 12th, 2017

The Great Arizona ShakeOut is 10/19

The Great Arizona Shake Out

When is the last time your school had an earthquake drill?

The following information comes to us from our colleagues at the Arizona Geological Survey and the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs. The Great Arizona ShakeOut is a fantastic opportunity for K-12 educators to discuss science and practice preparedness with their students.

Arizona is Earthquake Country! The Arizona Geological Survey and Arizona Dept. of Emergency Management & Military Affairs are kicking off our 2017 promotional efforts for the Great Arizona ShakeOut 2017 earthquake preparedness exercise. This year’s ShakeOut is scheduled for Thursday, 19 Oct. at 10:19 a.m. (that is 10:19 on 10/19) REGISTER HERE!

Why ShakeOut?

Because earthquake faults in Arizona, surrounding states, and northern Mexico are capable of producing damaging earthquakes with magnitudes in the magnitude (M) 6.0 to 7.0 range. Communities in Coconino, Greenlee, Mohave, Pima, Yavapai and Yuma counties may be at greatest risk, but no Arizona community is immune to the ground shaking and damage that accompanies moderate- to large-magnitude earthquakes.

Some recently felt earthquakes in Arizona

  • 4/17/2016 — M3.7 event on the Arizona-Nevada border, part of a swarm of more than 45 temblors in March-April 2016
  • 4/12/2016 — M3.0 an aftershock of the 5.3 earthquake that rattled Duncan in eastern Arizona on 30 June 2014 and produced 100s of aftershocks
  • 11/2/2015 — M4.0 and M4.1 events near Black Canyon City, 35 miles north of the Phoenix Metropolitan area. Hundreds of thousands of people in the Phoenix area felt these events and the Phoenix media reported on them extensively
  • 5/04/2015 — M2.6 felt aftershock between Sedona and Flagstaff. The main M4.7 event of 11/30/2014 was felt widely in central and northern Arizona
  • 6/28/2014 — M5.3 event near Duncan, AZ. This event was followed by dozens of felt earthquakes

What’s involved in ShakeOut?

Drop Cover Hold On
What do you do in an earthquake? Drop! to the ground. Cover! your head and body. Hold On! to something heavy.

The 2-minute ShakeOut Drop, Cover, & Hold-On exercise is elegant in its simplicity, easy to practice and learn, saves lives, and reduces serious injuries.

Online Resources

The Arizona ShakeOut resources page has a suite of resources to enrich your group’s experience, including: audio, video, drill manuals, and ready-to-print flyers and posters. Other online resources are listed below.

Arizona has been ShakingOut since 2012. In 2016, more than 60,000 Arizonans joined 21 million people in the U.S. and 55 million worldwide in ShakeOut.

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Published: October 11th, 2017

Educator Certification: Where Teachers Go On Break

Superintendent Douglas shaking hands with a teacher

One of the greatest mysteries of elementary school is what teachers do when they aren’t teaching. Obviously, they sleep at school, since they are already there when the kids arrive and stay long past the end of the school day. And any first grader can attest to the fact that teachers can’t possibly have lives outside of school. The second graders will say they have heard of teachers being seen in the grocery store, but nobody can verify the claim. Most mysterious of all is where the teachers go when school is closed.

As the state agency over K-12 education in Arizona, it fell to ADE to find the truth about this matter. After years of investigation and a single trip downstairs, our crack ADE communications manager has solved at least part of the mystery. When school is closed, such as for Fall Break, teachers go to…ADE! And we have pictures to prove it!

Each fall, winter, and spring—not to mention summer—ADE is visited by scores of teachers from around the state. They arrive in twos and threes, often accompanied by young family members. And what do they do here, on these days they are free from the responsibilities of teaching? Why, taking care of education business, of course! Yes, when teachers aren’t teaching, they come to ADE to renew their certifications…so they can teach. Once in a while, these hardworking educators visit with Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Diane Douglas. And that is the evidence we present to you, today.

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Published: October 4th, 2017

Read 20 AZ Succeeds at Camino al Exito

Read 20 AZ storytime

Members of the Arizona Department of Education’s communications team spent Saturday morning (September 30, 2017) promoting the importance of reading at Camino al Exito Education Fair. Jointly sponsored by Expect More Arizona, Univision Arizona, and Helios Education Foundation for the sixth year in a row, the Spanish-language fair is held each year on the campus of Phoenix College in downtown Phoenix.


ADE’s focus for this, it’s second year participating, was it’s new Read 20 AZ campaign. The campaign’s purpose is to raise awareness of the need for children of all ages to read (or be read to) at least twenty minutes each day. One ADE staff member even helped a few of the children at the fair meet that goal by holding mini-storytimes at the booth.

To learn more about the importance of reading, visit ADE’s Read 20 AZ website or follow the #Read20AZ hashtag on Twitter.

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Published: September 20th, 2017

Homeless Students Get Tutoring

boys walking

This article was originally published in the SanTan Sun News on September 19, 2017.

Homeless students in Chandler to receive free tutoring

September 19th, 2017
By: Colleen Sparks, Staff

Homeless students in the Chandler Unified School District dealing with the stress and chaos of not having a permanent place to sleep at night will get a boost because of a grant.

The district is one of 32 districts and schools in Arizona receiving grants for Homeless Education Services. More than $1 million in grants will benefit about 30,000 homeless students in urban and rural districts.

The federal money for the program comes from the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2001.

The Arizona Department of Education executes the program, as well as the grant application process, while the Arizona State Board of Education approves the grants.

Homeless students in the Chandler district will receive tutoring from certified teachers after school, as well as over spring and summer breaks, said Monica Romero, district director of federal programs and state initiatives.

These include homeless high school students who do not live with either a mother or father and elementary school children who are homeless.

The Chandler district has 180 homeless students now but expects it will have identified more than 300 homeless students by December, Romero said.

The homeless students will get help in any other subjects in which they need assistance, in groups of no more than five pupils per teacher, she added. Sometimes they will get one-on-one tutoring.

“The students have gaps based on lack of a stable home due to stress, lack of focus and concentration during the difficult times outside of school,” Romero said.

She said many of the homeless students are “couch surfing,” moving around to stay with different people without their own permanent place to stay overnight.

“It may be from many different issues,” Romero said. “Some parents might lose employment. We have students who just get in a bad family situation. There’s so many different scenarios. Some of our kids find amazing Chandler residents who take them under their wing.”

The federal grant is not the only way the Chandler district is able to help homeless students, Romero said.

A volunteer group called Chandler Youth in Transition works with the Chandler district to help support district students who qualify as being either homeless or living on their own.

The program provides the students a monthly stipend and guidance to try to end the cycle of poverty and improve their future.

CYIT is a program of the nonprofit organization Homeward Bound and the Chandler school district administers it while a guidance committee steers it.

Romero said she is also grateful to Fans Across America Charitable Foundation, which operates the FANS Locker Room, through which homeless students can get toiletries, clothes, hygiene products and household items.

Eligible students in need in the Chandler district can get help with medical and dental care through the CARE Center, run by the district and supported by Dignity Health’s Chandler Regional Medical Center Children’s Dental Clinic, the City of Chandler and St. Vincent de Paul.

Romero also said the Pappas Kids Schoolhouse Foundation teams up with schools to help disadvantaged youths.

Data the Arizona Department of Education Homeless Education Office released identified more than 29,500 children in grades pre-kindergarten through 12th who were homeless and enrolled in public schools in the state during state fiscal year 2015.

“It is important to me that the needs of all of our students are met,” Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas said. “We know that these children are an especially vulnerable population. Not only have we been able to meet the needs of those currently on the program, we have also increased our aid to additional children.”

To learn more about the state’s Office of Homeless Education and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2001, visit

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Published: September 1st, 2017

21st Century Community Learning Center Program Spotlights

AZ Afterschool Awards Banner

Arizona Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) Program Spotlights the following three recipients for being nominated and celebrated during the 16th Annual Out-of-School Time Awards of Excellence at the Fall Conference for Arizona Center for After School Excellence:

    Tami Taylor, 21st CCLC Coordinator from Paradise Valley Unified School District for being nominated for the Outstanding Out-of-School Time Professional Award
    Thomas Bedoya, 21st CCLC Coordinator from Yuma Elementary School District for being nominated for the Melanie McClintock Leadership Award
    Irma Navarro, 21st CCLC Coordinator from Arizona Youth Partnership for being nominated for the Melanie McClintock Leadership Award

These exemplary individuals display their daily dedication and commitment to high quality, out-of-school programs preparing youth for college and careers in their local communities. Congratulations of a well-deserved acknowledgement to the passion you share in serving the youth of Arizona.

The 21st Century Community Learning Center afterschool program is funded by a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the Arizona Department of Education. For more information visit:

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