school safety

Published: Published: August 27th, 2019

New School Counselors Money Available for 2020

Dear Educators & Administrators,

Over the past two months, the Arizona Department of Education worked closely with the Governor’s office, State Board of Education staff, and other stakeholders to develop a plan to get $20 million dollars for school counselors, social workers, and school resource officers (SROs) to schools as quickly as possible.


On  Monday August 26, 2019, the State Board unanimously approved that plan and districts will be able to apply for these new funds in the coming weeks. I applaud the Governor, lawmakers, and advocates for prioritizing these issues during the last legislative session, and I look forward to finding ways to build on this work in the months ahead. Our students are counting on us to ensure their mental health and physical safety – we cannot let them down.

Our School Safety Program has published Goals & Requirements and an updated FAQ document detailing the timeline and requirements for the new grant process. The new application will open September 16, 2019 and close on September 27, 2019. Please visit their webpage for more information and resources to help you apply to bring a school counselor, social worker, or SRO officer to your school.


Kathy Hoffman

State Superintendent of Public Instruction

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Published: Published: July 22nd, 2019

ADE and DHS Team Up to Support Immunization

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman and Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ authored the following letter to school administrators and health office personnel about promoting the importance of immunization.

Dear School Administrator or Health Office Personnel,

We write you today to request your continued support in promoting the importance of up-to-date vaccination within your school community. Arizona vaccine coverage among school-age children in Arizona continues to decline, putting our state at increased risk of a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak.

Vaccines are a critical public health tool to keep Arizona children, families, and communities healthy. At the beginning of the 20th century, large numbers of infectious diseases like smallpox, measles, polio, whooping cough, and diphtheria caused thousands of illnesses and deaths, but the availability of vaccines have now made these diseases rare. For their role in preventing needless illness and death, vaccines are recognized as the greatest public health achievements of both the 20th and 21st centuries.

Vaccines are safe and effective. While some parents you encounter may argue against this fact, the science is clear: vaccines are among the most studied medical products in the world and are continuously monitored for safety and effectiveness. When your students (and staff) are fully vaccinated, they are less likely to become ill with a vaccine-preventable disease and thus less likely to spread disease to other students, staff, and families on your campus who are unable to be vaccinated due to their age or a compromising medical condition.

As the new school year approaches, we ask for your support in helping us ensure your students are fully vaccinated. Whether you are a school administrator, school nurse, front office staff, or teacher, there are ways you can help support the health of your school community:

  • Be familiar with and abide by the Arizona laws (Arizona Revised Statute §15-871 – §15-874) and regulations (Arizona Administrative Code Title 9, Chapter 6, Article 7) for school immunization.
  • Support your health office personnel as they work with parents to comply with the laws and regulations, including exclusion of students from school without documented proof of immunity or exemption (Arizona Revised Statutes §15-872(B)).
  • Post your school’s vaccine coverage and exemption rates on your website.
  • Encourage school health offices or front office staff to provide vaccine education materials for parents.
  • Participate in the online Immunization Education Course pilot program.
  • Discourage parents from signing an exemption form out of convenience rather than providing documentation of immunization. Staff can direct parents to their healthcare provider or the Arizona Department of Health Services for a copy of their child’s immunization records.

We greatly appreciate everything you and your staff do to ensure students are safe, healthy, and ready to learn.


Kathy Hoffman, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

Dr. Cara Christ, Director of Arizona Department of Health Services


Further Information:

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Published: Published: March 23rd, 2018

Douglas Lends Support to Glendale’s SROs

Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas was on hand at a press conference today in support of the city of Glendale’s school safety initiative to significantly increase the level of school resource officer (SRO) support at Glendale’s public high schools. Effective immediately, all of the city’s nine public high schools in four different school districts will have a dedicated Glendale police officer on campus.

“I am delighted to lend my support to the city of Glendale and this incredible initiative,” Superintendent Douglas said. “There is nothing more important than keeping our children safe and I hope cities throughout Arizona take a page out of Glendale’s playbook and follow suit. I also could not be more impressed that Glendale is going to have these officers ready to serve on campus immediately.”

Glendale Police Chief Rick St. John, along with Glendale Mayor Jerry P. Weiers and City Manager Kevin Phelps, believe that this initiative is necessary in the current climate of increased violent threats against students and teachers. Should there be any threat or incident, the role of the school resource officer will be to provide rapid response capabilities to every public high school within Glendale Police Department’s jurisdiction.

“I want to ensure the citizens of Glendale that myself, the City Council, our city management and our police department are committed to keeping our schools and all of our citizens safe,” Mayor Weiers said. “Highly trained police officers are exactly what we need in our schools protecting and serving students and staff and that is why we have made the decision to take the lead by taking this action.”

The implementation of this plan will result in a full-time Glendale police officer on every high school campus in the city. A new dedicated SRO will be on the school grounds for Deer Valley High School, Mountain Ridge High School, Apollo High School, Glendale High School and Independence High School. Previous assignments of full-time resource officers at Raymond S. Kellis High School, Copper Canyon High School, Cactus High School and Ironwood High School will continue.

To learn more about this initiative, please visit

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