We’re Still Here! ADE Foster Care Education Program Update During COVID-19 Closure

Published: April 6th, 2020

Thank you for all that you continue to do to support our students in foster care. Please be sure to visit the ADE COVID-19 guidance website for updates http://bit.ly/AZED-COVID-19

From the ADE COVID-19 Website Guidance Page


On March 31st, 2020, Governor Ducey and Superintendent Hoffman announced an extension of school closures through the end of the 2019-2020 School Year.

During this time, the Arizona Department of Education encourages schools to continue to provide educational opportunities to students to the best of their ability. We will continue to develop and share guidance to schools regarding instructional time, statewide testing, provision of special education services, school meals, and more.

School closure is NOT a complete shutdown of school operations and instructional obligations to students. During school closures, staff are still expected to engage in work-related activities, and students and families are expected to meet the instructional requirements of their teachers and schools. School leaders, teachers, staff and parents must work together to plan for continuity in education and critical services during this time.

Specifically, during the closure, educators and community leaders are called on to:

  • Continue to deliver educational opportunities to the extent possible through remote learning and independent study, which may or may not include online learning or printed materials, among other options
  • Provide school meals
  • Arrange for supervision of students during ordinary school hours.

Schools will continue to be funded as if they were in session and staff will continue to be paid. If these conditions are met, makeup days will not be necessary, and the Department is working with the Governor’s Office and legislative leaders to provide clarity in the law.

This is a fluid situation and more information on the implications of school closures will be provided through the Arizona Department of Education as it becomes available.




Now more than ever, students in foster care need to maintain school stability. The foster care provisions detailed in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) are still in place during this unique time. Students in foster care still have the right to remain in their school of origin (school attended before entering foster care or if already in foster care, school attended before changing foster care placement).

When it is not in the student’s best interest to remain in their school of origin, then the student needs to be immediately enrolled into a new school.

With distance learning becoming reality for the rest of the school year, the LEA and child welfare agency shared responsibility of transportation to school of origin may look different.

Our students in foster care are entitled to the same educational services as all Arizona students:

  • Reach out to your students in foster care & their care providers to ensure they have access to an online platform if that is what your LEA is offering.
  • If students in foster care do not have internet access, work with your Transportation Department to see if they can deliver educational packets when out delivering meals.
  • Provide educational packets when students in foster care come to the school site to pick up sack lunches.
  • Reach out to community partners to confirm services they are offering.
  • Stay in contact with students in foster care & their care providers. Be sure you have the correct contact information for students in foster care & their care providers.

Be sure to provide families the contact information for your LEA’s foster care point of contact or liaison. Reach out regularly to child welfare agency staff to ensure that the needs of students in foster care are being met.

LEA Foster Care Liaisons

DCS Regional Contacts to Support School Stability

ADE Early Childhood Education Guidance

ADE Exceptional Student Services Guidance

ADE Virtual Learning Hub


ASU & Maricopa Community Colleges Bridging Success Program

ASU Empower (Free online course to support youth in foster care)

First Star Academy ASU

University of Arizona Fostering Success



Currently, most ADE staff are telecommuting. During this COVID-19 school closure, ADE still commits to provide excellent customer service to the State of Arizona. Any missed phone calls should expect to be returned as soon as possible. As always, email is the best form of communication.

Foster Care Education Coordinator

Joey L. Taylor


p. 602.542.3569 | e. [email protected] or [email protected]




We ask that the LEA’s designated foster care point of contact (aka foster care liaison) send a message to [email protected] with the following information-


LEA Foster Care Liaison Name:

Phone Number: 

Email Address:

Work hours during COVID-19 school closure:


How is your LEA continuing to provide education during the COVID-19 school closure (work packets, online platform, independent study, etc)?:


What support does your LEA provide to ensure students will be able to access education?:


How will you ensure students in foster care will receive that same support?:



Students in foster care may also qualify for other services. If you have any questions-

Homeless Education

Silvia Chavez p. 602.542.4963 | e. [email protected]

Migrant Education

MEP Team [email protected]

Office of English Language Acquisition Services

p. 602.542.3072 | e. [email protected]



Arizona Together


Department of Child Safety

In need of support or resources? email [email protected] or call 877.543.7633, Option 3

View all DCS Contacts

Arizona Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

American Academy of Pediatrics

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Disinfecting Products (PDF)

COVID-19 – Caregiver message #5 (PDF)

COVID-19 – CMDP FAQ’s and Resources Information for Caregivers (PDF)

COVID-19 – Message for parents with children in DCS care

Group & Shelter Contracted Providers – FAQ’s (PDF)

Foster and Adoption Support Providers and Therapeutic Foster Agency Providers – FAQ’s (PDF)


Department of Economic Security- To apply for Nutrition, Cash, or Medical assistance, visit https://www.healthearizonaplus.gov/ | p. 855.432.7587


Fostering Advocates AZ Foster Care Resources

Find Help PHX

AZ Helping Hands

Thrive Basic Needs Drive Thru

OCJ Kids

Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation


List of School Sites Offering Free Food

Child Care list- https://azafterschool.org/family-resources-child-care-options/

Think of US

Free Storage for Older Youth in Foster Care https://www.uhaul.com/Articles/About/20625/College-Students-U-Haul-Offers-30-Days-Free-Self-Storage-Amid-Coronavirus-Outbreak/

One Simple Wish (support for students in foster care or former foster youth; including laptops)-



Arizona Broadband for Education has compiled a list of WiFi providers, drive-up WiFi spots, and more.

Cox Communications is helping to get families in need connection to the internet through their Connect 2 Compete program.

Arizona Department of Health Services

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has a website dedicated to COVID-19 that is updated daily.

ADE’s Social & Emotional Resources

School Social Worker COVID-19 Resources

#LOVEUP Foundation

College Board Free AP Material

College Depot