TopApril 2014
In This Issue
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April is the Month of the Military Child
Schools and Students Can "Purple Up!" to Show their Support
During April, the Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission (MIC3) along with many other organizations, non-profits, and public entities will underscore the important role children play in military communities.
Military children and families help sustain our fighting force, on whom we depend for the security and safety of our nation's families and communities. It is important to emphasize and recognize the role that military children play while their service member parents are serving the nation.

Across the nation, during the week of April 14-18, most states and communities will be taking a day to "Purple Up! For Military Kids." People are being encouraged to wear purple on that date to show support for our military kids and to thank them for their strength and sacrifices.

Please check for events in your area for the appropriate day to "Purple Up!" and celebrate this month. To read the official letter announcing the Month of the Military Child, click here.

Professional Development Opportunity
Struggling Adolescent Readers with Anita Archer
Middle school is a critical period for students facing reading difficulties. It is in grades six through eight that struggling readers may fall seriously behind their peers, jeopardizing their chances for success in high school and beyond.
Yet, despite the importance of their task, middle school teachers are often forced to use reading curricula that are outdated, impractical, or simply do not work.

During this three-day conference, Dr. Anita Archer will help participants master the most current research-validated strategies for increasing fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and decoding skills.


Dr. Archer serves as an educational consultant to school districts on effective reading and writing instruction, classroom management, and design of effective literacy programs.


She is nationally known for her work on instructional procedures and design, and is the recipient of eight Outstanding Educator awards. In addition, Dr. Archer has taught at San Diego State University, the University of Washington, and the University of Oregon.


Conference Schedule

July 7-9, 2014

8:30 a.m.-4:15 p.m.


Sheraton Phoenix Airport Tempe

1600 South 52nd Street

Tempe, AZ 85281


Register for this conference at the ADE Events Registration page.


For more information about either conference, contact Linda Mosteller.

A Message from Superintendent Huppenthal
Dear Education Stakeholder,  

April is here and with the warm temperatures comes Arizona's annual spring testing season. As Superintendent, I know this time of year places a lot of challenges on students, as well as educators. At the Department of Education, we recognize this and in an effort to be respectful of this added level of stress, we are asking ADE team members to ask themselves, "can it wait?" before making requests of district and charter staff during the AIMS testing window. Of course there will be items that need to be accomplished, but I have asked staff to be selective about what we are asking of schools during this time. I hope that, while small, this gesture will demonstrate our support of your efforts.


Speaking of testing, we are two weeks into the PARCC Field Test. Thank you to everyone who is participating. As with any field test, we know there have been challenges but I hope the overall experience has been a valuable exercise for your students, school, and district.


Here is a recap of the first two weeks:

  • 700 schools, totaling more than 14,000 students, completed Performance-Based Assessments
  • An additional 358 schools started tests and continue to administer them
  • 479 schools have not started testing and we expect them to do so after AIMS

Finally, I want to provide a quick update on planning for next year's assessment. The State Board of Education is responsible for issuing an RFP, evaluating bids and awarding the contract for the next assessment.


ADE does not control the timeline or determine what vendor will be chosen. However, ADE staff are working diligently to create transition plans and tools to help educators execute this next generation test.


Once the State Board adopts a new assessment, ADE staff are poised to provide assistance, information, and resources to schools who will be on a tight timeline to plan for the upcoming school year.


I pledge to you to do what we can to make this transition as smooth as possible, while knowing that the reality of this change will not be easy.



John Huppenthal

Superintendent of Public Instruction

In Focus: Resources for Suicide Prevention and Awareness
Programs Designed to Help Educators and Families Prevent Tragedies
In the afternoon on December 11, 2012, Andy Hull took his own life. LeAnn Hull, Andy's mother, described him as "one of the most well-adjusted 16 year olds she has ever known." Andy was not only a great athlete but he also excelled academically, and most of all, Andy was happy. In fact, Andy's nickname was "sunshine" because that is what he brought to baseball and to the lives of those around him. Sadly, however, Andy began to change in the few months prior to his death. Andy started to lose focus, causing his grades to drop and for him to sometimes get lost while driving. Andy was stressed about the possibility of failing a class, something that would prohibit him from playing on the high school  baseball team and ultimately affecting the possibility of being scouted.


Many attributed Andy's change to him just being a teenager. However, through Andy Hull's Sunshine Foundation - a foundation created in Andy's honor - Mrs. Hull seeks to bring awareness and to provide information to prevent youth suicide. People are encouraged to be aware of the signs and behaviors indicative of suicide risk and to know that this threat can affect all students. Andy's baseball coach previously mentioned to Mrs. Hull that he never thought this would happen to Andy; we all have to be aware that suicide can affect any child. To watch a video interview with Mrs. Hull in which she shares her story, please visit the ADE Youtube channel.


It is widely known that adolescence can be a difficult time for some youth and that mental health issues can surface at this time. Half of all lifetime cases of mental disorders begin by the teen years and suicide is the second leading cause of death among Arizona youth ages 15-19. While it can be difficult for educators and parents to acknowledge that students may be at risk for suicide, it is important to be aware of the resources that can help school staff identify and refer youth for help. In addition to the resources cited in this article, schools should be connected with local behavioral health experts who can assist a student in need.


The 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey provides self-reported data from over 1600 student in 35 public/charter schools in Arizona and results are representative of all high school students in the state. During the past 12 months, almost one in five (19.2%) high school students reported seriously considering attempting suicide and 10.6 % attempted suicide. 17.4% made a plan about how they would take their life.


The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Division of Behavioral Health is providing Arizona schools with free online training to prepare school personnel to identify, approach, and refer students who are experiencing psychological distress and may be at risk for suicide. At-Risk for High School Educators and At-Risk for Middle School Educators are short (one hour) courses that can be completed at the educator's convenience. These are high quality, interactive trainings that provide individualized feedback.


At-Risk for High School Educators is an evidence-based program (NREPP); the middle school program was developed as an adaptation of it. Course fees have been pre-paid by ADHS through June 30, so this opportunity ends July 1. Completion certificates are provided. Courses can be accessed at or using enrollment key az126 . Contact Kelly Charbonneau with ADHS at [email protected] or 602-542-2884, or Lori Janjigian with Kognito Interactive, at [email protected] or 212-675-9234 if you have questions.


Teen Lifeline provides a statewide crisis line for youth. The crisis line uses peer counselors who are prepared to discuss issues ranging from relationships and family problems to suicide. Peer counselors undergo a minimum of 70 hours of training and are supervised by a Master's level clinician at all times. The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with peer counselors available from 3:00 - 9:00pm daily. Teen Lifeline also provides community outreach to schools within Maricopa County.
The organization provides programs on adolescent mental health issues for youth, parents, teachers, service providers at no cost to schools. Last year Teen Lifeline's Community Education Services reached 36,003 people, including students at 72 high schools and 38 middle schools. The crisis line number is 602-248-TEEN (8336), or statewide 800-248-TEEN. For school programs, contact Alicia Celis at 602-248-8337 or [email protected].
Assessment Update

PARCC Field Testing Underway

The PARCC Field Test Performance Based Assessment window has begun. In addition to Pearson Support, we have a team at ADE ready to assist sites that are testing with any questions you have. We also have webinar recordings available on a variety of topics related to the field test.


We are very excited to learn about any challenges and successes you have through all phases of the Field Test. In addition to completing the Field Test survey, please also consider sharing any strategies you used to make the experience more efficient for your schools and students with us by emailing these ideas to [email protected].

Survey Results Show Support for a New Statewide Assessment

A poll conducted earlier this year revealed that when provided with short descriptions of the assessment, 67% of likely Arizona voters supported its implementation, with 38% in strong support. The assessments garner majority support regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, education level, partisan affiliation, or region of the state.


A majority of voters supported implementing the assessment even if test scores drop. Voters were told that students' test scores are expected to drop significantly and will be different compared to previous test scores as the new tests are implemented and students and teachers get used to the level of difficulty required. Upon hearing this information 62% of voters said they favor implementing the tests (with 30% strongly favoring) versus 30% who said they would oppose implementation.


Arizona voters reported the following components of the assessment being most important:

  • Letting students and their parents and teachers know if they are on track for being prepared for college and career (72% very important)
  • Measuring critical thinking and problem solving skills by requiring students to show their work instead of just filling out multiple choice questions (67% very important)

To read more about the poll, please visit Expect More Arizona's website.


Opportunities for Educators
Seeking Recommendations for ADE's Educator Talent Pool

Do you know an outstanding teacher or administrator serving grades K-5 who deserves recognition for their exceptional educational talent? If so, we invite you to submit a recommendation for ADE's 2014 Educator Talent Pool, which is designed to help the Department build a cadre of distinguished teachers and principals.


If chosen for the talent pool, educators will be considered for membership on advisory boards and task forces and as candidates for special recognition programs.


To access this year's recommendation form and submission guidelines, please visit the ADE Educator Talent Pool webpage or contact program coordinator Karla Bravo at [email protected].


Recommendations must be submitted by Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Please not that self-recommendations are not accepted for the Talent Pool.
Nominations Open for the 13th Annual Out-of-School Time Awards of Excellence
Now is the time to recognize an outstanding afterschool program, staff member or leader by nominatng them for an Out-of-School Time Award of Excellence.
Outstanding Out-of-School Time Professional
Outstanding Out-of-School Time Program
Jane Romatzke Leadership Award
Winners receive $1,000 cash and more, so please be sure to submit your nomination by Friday, June 27, 2014.
You can see previous winners, nomination forms and guidelines at If you have any questions, please call (602) 496-3308 or email [email protected].
Opportunities for Students
Arbor Week: Benefits of Trees Poster Contest

The Arizona State Forestry Division is celebrating Arbor Day by sponsoring a Poster Contest and awarding prizes to winners. This year's contest is intended to increase the understanding of the many important benefits trees provide to people, communities and the environment.


Posters will be displayed at the state Capitol Museum Rotunda during Arbor week (April 21-28). Prizes will be awarded at the State Arbor Day Celebration in the Wesley Bolin Plaza the morning of Friday, April 25. Prizes will be mailed to winners unable to attend the event.


The entry deadline for the contest is Wednesday, April 16, 2014. For details, please see the contest flyer or visit the Community Forestry website at

Art Beyond Borders, PostCards From the World Art Competition


Thousands of teachers and students from around the globe are invited to share "My Dream of Peace" by creating small original works of art on postcards. Thousands of entries will be displayed at major international  airports, including JFK, O'Hare and Dulles. Additionally, over 150 winners will receive cash prizes.


The International Museum of Twenty-first Century Arts (TIMOTCA) invites students and teachers to participate in the world's largest international art competition: Art Beyond Borders, PostCards From the World. TIMOTCA is a non-profit organization founded to foster peace and cultural understanding through the universal language of art.


The deadline for Teacher Entry Forms has been extended for Arizona teachers to April 30, 2014. Student entries are due by June 14, 2014.


For more information please visit the TIMOTCA website at

2014-15 Scholarship Presented by the Law Offices of Michael Cordova
The Law Offices of Michael Cordova is proud to offer a new scholarship that will recognize a high school senior in the Phoenix Metropolitan area for academic achievement while displaying determination and the aspiration to succeed.

In June of 2014, the Law Offices of Michael Cordova will present one high school senior a $1000 scholarship award for academic achievement. To be considered eligible, applicants must plan to attend an Arizona community college or an accredited four-year university during the 2014-2015 Academic year with a minimum of 12 credit hours completed for each semester; earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale; and submit a 250-word essay explaining why it is important to pursue higher education.


The deadline for submission of all supporting documents will be May 1, 2014, and the winner of the award will be chosen on June 15, 2014.


To download the scholarship application and to receive information about the scholarship program, please visit


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Success Stories
Arizona DECA Students "Make it Count"
Over 2,500 students, teachers, administrators and business professionals attended the annual Arizona DECA Career Development Conference from March 2-4 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

This year's conference featured competitive events in 44 different areas of marketing, management, finance, hospitality and entrepreneurship. 


Students from 87 different high schools across the state competed for the opportunity to represent Arizona at the annual International DECA Conference where 16,000 students from all over North America, Germany and Guam will compete for $1,000,000 in academic scholarships, awards and cash prizes. In addition to competition, students had the opportunity to attend career development workshops and participate in the first ever Arizona DECA Cash Course. Arizona DECA also awarded $31,500 in academic scholarships at the conference.


DECA is the premier international leadership organization that develops emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management and is currently operating in 96 different high schools and colleges in Arizona with a membership of over 7,500 students, teachers and business professionals. Arizona DECA is housed and funded in part by the Career and Technical Education Section at ADE.


For a complete list of winners, please visit
Sunnyside High School Students Earn Microsoft Office Specialist Industry Certifications
Last month, eleven students in the Business Management and Administrative Services (BMAS) program at Sunnyside High School earned an industry certificate as Microsoft Office Word Specialist. This  achievement comes after spending at least one year in BMAS and using knowledge taken from  classroom experience to prepare for the exam.
The exam itself consists of four tests, each worth 1,000 points and having a 60 minute time limit. The students plan to use their certifications in part- or full-time positions while in college and some are already using their experience in internships. One is working for a Defense Department subcontractor and two others work at the University of Arizona Tech Park. All of them say that the knowledge of business and the tech skills gained in the BMAS program have been extremely helpful in landing and performing their respective jobs.
Camp Verde IT Director Receives Inaugural Technology Award
In front of the Arizona State Board of Education meeting on March 24, 2014, Aaron Moya, the Camp Verde Unified School District Technology Director, received the 2014 Education Technology Award of Excellence.
With the support of the Camp Verde Unified School District Governing Board, Mr. Moya was able to provide wireless broadband to the entire school district and enhance technology capabilities to meet requirements for administering an online assessment. Mr. Moya stands as a great example of what a rural community can accomplish through innovation and a creative and driven technology staff, even with limited resources available.
Upcoming Conferences

Register Now for ADE's Civic Learning Conference

Obtain 8 hours of professional development aligned to Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards. Come together with K-12 teachers and leaders from across the state to discuss how Arizona can prepare its students to be informed and engaged citizens. Additionally, teachers, leaders and experts in civic education will present highly interactive sessions aligned to Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards. 


Highlights include:

  • Keynote speaker Gerda Weissmann Klein, 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Holocaust survivor, Citizenship Counts founder, and proud naturalized citizen
  • Guest speaker John Huppenthal, Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) naturalization ceremony

To learn more about this conference and to register please visit or contact Deb Payne at (602) 542-3034. 

Ninth Annual Great Arizona Teach-In Taking Place Next Month in Glendale

The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) invites you to participate in our Ninth Annual Great Arizona Teach-In on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at the Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel Conference Center. This career fair is offered exclusively to Arizona school districts and charter schools. Be an exhibitor and enhance your recruitment efforts to fill your certified and classified vacant positions.


To help candidates fulfill your hiring requirements, we offer "one stop" assistance at the Great Arizona Teach-In. Arizona Department of Education personnel from the Highly Effective Teachers and Leaders and Certification Units are available to answer questions and issue certificates. Fingerprinting and résumé review services are also available throughout the event.


To register for the Teach-In, simply visit  and follow the prompts for exhibitors. If you need assistance or have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Tracy Faulkner by phone at 602-364-2195 or by email at [email protected].


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Leading Change 2014

We hope you will join us for the 2014 Arizona Department of Education Leading Change Conference. Our theme this year is "Lead the Change, Create the Future," and the conference will provide meaningful professional development in areas such as Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards implementation, educator evaluation, pay for performance systems, and the transition to Arizona's new state assessment.


As we face the challenges of implementing Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards, revised educator evaluations, and increased expectations for early literacy and college & career readiness, we have planned a conference that will provide multiple opportunities to learn from each other, build new professional relationships, celebrate our progress and reflect on our action plans.


For more infomation, please visit To register, please visit our online registration page.

Second Annual Teachers' Institute: "ALL Students, ALL Teachers"

An exciting opportunity for all Arizona teachers, ADE's 2014 Teachers' Institute is tailored to the needs of both general education and special education teachers. This two-day conference will feature nationally recognized educator Dr. Anita Archer, author of Explicit Instruction-Effective and Efficient Teaching, and Dr. Richard Villa, author of over a hundred articles and book chapters regarding inclusive education, differentiated instruction, and collaborative planning.


The Institute will also feature presentations from prominent local Arizona general and special education  teachers who will highlight methods and strategies found to be effective in Arizona schools. Breakout sessions will be pertinent to both general education and special education teachers, as well as cover topics specific to certain special education populations.


Registration for an individual is $199.00. If a general education and a special education teacher from the same school team up, the registration fee will be lowered to $150.00 per person!  To take advantage of this offer, put GROUP in the registration section labeled Payment Number for both attendees.

Conference Schedule

July 10-11, 2014

8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.



Glendale Renaissance Hotel

9495 West Coyotes Boulevard

Glendale, AZ 85305


Register for this conference at the ADE Events Registration page.
April 2014 Calendar of Events



FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America): State Leadership Conference -Westin La Paloma (Tucson)


FEA (Future Educators Association): National Conference (Minneapolis, MN)


FEA: Arizona Diamondbacks FEA Day at the Park (Phoenix)


FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America): State Leadership Conference -
Westin La Paloma (Tucson)


FFA (Future Farmers of America): Arizona Star SAE Finalist tours (Production, Business, Placement, Science, Greenhand) (Arizona)


WebinHour: EQuIP ELA Part I - Overview and Dimensions

SkillsUSA (Student organization for preparing America's workforce): SkillsUSA Arizona Championship (Phoenix)


HOSA (Future Health Professionals): Spring Conference (Tucson)

22WebinHour: EQuIP ELA Part II - Guided Practice
24WebinHour: K-3 Writing - Literary, Informational, and Argument/Opinion
2014 Civic Learning Conference - Preparing Our Students To Be Informed and Engaged Citizens (Phoenix)
Special Engagement: Using Socratic Seminar to Meet Common Core Standards with Diana Green (Phoenix)
28-30FEA: Arizona Diamondbacks Career Day (Chase and Salt River Fields, Phoenix)
29WebinHour: Overview of Arizona's College & Career Ready Standards - Mathematics, HS
30Academic/Argument Writing: Entering the Conversation, Grades 6-12 (Phoenix)


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ADE Office of Communications Staff

Jennifer Liewer, Director of Communications

Ashley Dammen, Communications Officer

Charles Tack, Electronic Communications Manager

Contact us at: [email protected]