Office of Education

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"Literacy is essential for success in almost every endeavor, field, career, and industry. In fact, research shows that early-childhood reading proficiency is one of the strongest indicators of a student's likelihood of graduating from high school. Together, we can improve literacy, foster academic success and ensure educational excellence for all Arizona children." 

 Governor Doug Ducey, May 2015 

GOVEROR DUCEY'S 2ND ANNUAL BOOKMARK DESIGN CONTEST (#MYFAVORITEBOOK) WINNERS!
May 18, 2017

Congratulations to Joanna Chen, Celia Goh, and Miana Goodwin - whose designs were selected by Governor Doug Ducey as the winners of the 2nd Annual #MyFavoriteBook Bookmark Design Contest. All three winning bookmark designs will be reproduced and printed for distribution to students touring the Arizona State Capitol Executive tower. Congratulations, Joanna, Celia, and Miana - and thanks to all who participated!

MyFavoriteBook1

MyFavoriteBook1 

MyFavoriteBook1
 

GOVERNOR DUCEY'S 2ND ANNUAL BOOKMARK DESIGN CONTEST: #MYFAVORITEBOOK
February 1, 2017

Governor Ducey launched his 2nd Annual Bookmark Design Contest on February 1, 2017. Arizona children grades K – 6 are encouraged to design bookmarks showcasing a "My Favorite Book" theme. The winners of Governor Ducey’s 2nd Annual Bookmark Design Contest will have his/her design reproduced and printed on bookmarks that are distributed to students touring the Arizona State Capitol Executive Tower. The winners will also be invited to the Executive Tower for a meet and greet with Governor Ducey.

Rules and guidelines for this voluntary contest are included below.

Contest Rules:

    • One winner will be selected from each of the following grade brackets:
      • K-1 Grades
      • 2-3 Grades
      • 4-6 Grades
    • Artwork and information must be completed on the Governor’s Office of Education “Bookmark Template” form (included below).
    • The theme for the 2017 contest is “My Favorite Book,” and all designs must reflect this theme. Participants must include a short description of their illustration, which may be dictated by a parent/teacher if necessary.
    • All artwork must be original.
    • Contestants must be in grades K – 6.
    • Entries should only be submitted on 8 ½” x 11” white paper
    • All artwork submitted becomes the property of the Governor’s Office of Education.

Recognition for Selected Child:

    • The distinction of “creating” one of the official 2017 Governor’s Office Bookmarks, which will be reproduced, printed, and distributed to students touring the Arizona State Capitol Executive Tower from May 2017 through April 2018.
    • Winners will be invited to the Executive Tower for a meet and greet with Governor Ducey.
    • Winners’ names will be printed on the back of the 2017 Governor’s Office Bookmarks.
    • Winners will receive an official plaque commemorating the selected artwork.
    • Winners’ names and pictures will be included in related publicity materials.

Entry Information:

Artwork must be received by April 30, 2017, and must be submitted via mail. The winner of the contest will be notified by May 19, 2017.

Mail to: Governor’s Office of Education
1700 W. Washington St., Suite 503
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Additional Notes:

    • Teachers: Please collect all submissions for your class and mail them in a SINGLE envelope.
    • Teachers, parents, and legal guardians are encouraged to use social media to share designs, photos of children working on designs, etc. Use the hashtag #MyFavoriteBook AND tag our twitter handle - @AZGovEducation - and we will do our best to share out as many designs as possible!

PRINTABLE MATERIALS FOR ENTRY

2017 Entry Packet

2017 Contest Information

2017 Bookmark Template 

#SCHOOLEVERYDAY  - ATTENDANCE MATTERS
September 2016

Attendance Awareness

Too many absences—excused or unexcused—can keep students from succeeding in school and in life. How many are too many? Missing 10% of the school year—that’s 18 missed days or just 2 days a month—can knock students off track.

More than 6.5 million U.S. students, or about 13 percent, miss three or more weeks of school during a single school year, which is enough time to slow their achievement and threaten their chance of graduating. Nationwide, nearly 10 percent of kindergartners and first graders are chronically absent. In some schools it’s as high as 25 percent.

Addressing chronic absence is a key component to improving graduation rates, increasing academic achievement, and giving young people the best chance at success in their adult life. Chronic absence is a problem we can solve when the whole community, along with parents and schools, gets involved in improving attendance.

NEW STUDY EXPLORES CHRONIC ABSENCE IN SCHOOLS
September 2016

Recently, Attendance Works and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University released a report examining the scale and scope of chronic absence. Leveraging the first-ever national data set on chronic absence released in June by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics, “Preventing Missed Opportunity: Taking Collective Action to Confront Chronic Absence” reveals that while chronic absence is widespread and found in almost all states, it is also highly concentrated.

While chronic absence is a significant challenge, “Preventing Missed Opportunity” highlights that it is a solvable problem. The key is collecting, analyzing, and sharing real-time chronic absence data in order to spur collective action, and enlisting support from community partners. The report cites Read On Arizona and its MapLIT interactive mapping tool as an example on page 31.

Read On Arizona is committed to monitoring chronic absence data within the state so it can be used to target school and community resources. This report helps raise awareness that we need to work together to get children—especially our most vulnerable—to school.

Click here to read the report.

NEW REPORT OUTLINES FACTORS INFLUENCING 3RD GRADE LITERACY (READ ON ARIZONA)
September 23, 2016

Given the critical role literacy plays in children’s academic and personal development, Read On Arizona, the state’s early literacy initiative, and its partner organizations are leading a statewide effort to improve literacy outcomes for children from birth to third grade. At Read On Arizona’s recent Literacy Summit, a new analysis of data sets (2011-2014) was unveiled for Arizona schools that identifies school, district, community, and health factors that may affect early literacy. The study is available at. www.readonarizona.org/data-center.

According to Robert Vagi, research consultant at Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and author of the report Factors Related to Early Childhood Literacy, several school-level factors are predictive of third-grade reading achievement, including school-level poverty and charter status. Most notably, two independent measures of student attendance correlated with third-grade reading success.

“Third-grade attendance rates and schoolwide chronic absenteeism are strongly related to third-grade reading scores,” Vagi said. “A 1% increase in third-grade attendance in Arizona is associated with an average increase of 1.5% of students passing AIMS reading. Meanwhile, a 1% increase in chronic absenteeism is associated with a 0.3% decrease in the number of students passing AIMS reading.” AIMS, Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards, was replaced in November 2014 with AzMERIT as the state’s assessment for student achievement in English language arts and mathematics.

Read more...

2016 SUMMER READING TOUR
May 2016

For the second year in a row, Governor Ducey launched a summer reading initiative  encouraging Arizona's youth to stay sharp in their off-time by spending time every day reading and learning throughout the summer months. As part of the summer reading initiative, First Lady Angela Ducey visited several Arizona schools in May 2016 as a Scholastic Summer Reading Ambassador. During her visits, First Lady Ducey read to students and encouraged active reading over summer break, emphasizing the vital home-to-school connection during the transitional summer months. Scholastic Book Company donated books to each school the First Lady visited, putting books directly into the hands of children who otherwise may not have access to new, quality books.

“Making sure Arizona’s students stay mentally engaged and active over the summer months is essential to maintaining educational excellence year-round,” said Governor Ducey. “Research shows that early-childhood reading proficiency is one of the strongest indicators of a student’s likelihood of graduating from high school.”

The summer reading initiative aims to combat “summer slide” – the tendency for students to lose some of the achievement gains they made during the previous school year. Research shows that children who do not read during the summer months can lose up to three months of reading progress, resulting in a cumulative, long-term effect. Reading just six books during the summer may keep struggling readers from regressing. Studies prove that access to books is critical to addressing summer slide, and that children and teens tend to read more when adults in their lives encourage them to read.

“Reading is a great way to spend quality time with your kids and support their academic growth,” said First Lady Angela Ducey. “Our libraries provide terrific resources and I encourage all parents to pick up a book and read with their children for at least 20 minutes a day.” 

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STOP ONE: BASIS Phoenix Central  - May 9, 2016

Governor Doug Ducey and First Lady Angela Ducey launched their summer reading initiative with a joint appearance at BASIS Phoenix Central school on May 9, 2016. During their visit to BASIS Phoenix Central, the Governor and First Lady toured the school, read to students in a kindergarten class, presented book donations, and surprised the 1st Annual #WhyILoveAZ Bookmark Design Contest winner.

Click here to see more photos.

Maryvale Prep


STOP TWO: Maryvale Preparatory Academy - May 12, 2016

First Lady Angela Ducey visited Maryvale Preparatory Academy on May 12, 2016 as part of her summer reading initiative. During her visit to Maryvale Preparatory Academy, Mrs. Ducey toured the school, listened to students recite poetry, read to first graders, and presented book donations.

Click here to see more photos.

 Sunridge El

 STOP THREE: Sunride Elementary School - May 16, 2016

 First Lady Angela Ducey visited Sunridge Elementary School on May 16, 2016 as part of her summer reading initiative. During her visit to Sunridge Elementary School, Mrs. Ducey met with students and staff, read to second graders, and presented book donations.

Click here to see more photos.

Manzo El

STOP FOUR: Escuela Manzo Elementary School - May 19, 2016

First Lady Angela Ducey visited Escuela Manzo Elementary School  in Tucson, Arizona on May 19, 2016 as part of her summer reading initiative. During her visit to Escuela Manzo Elementary School, Mrs. Ducey toured the school, got a firsthand look at the Manzo's fabulous ecology program, read to third and fourth grade students, and presented book donations.

Click here to see more photos.

 

1ST ANNUAL #WHYILOVEAZ BOOKMARK DESIGN WINNER!
June 2016

Bookmark Winner

 

Congratulations to Smriti Sunil - whose design was selected by Governor Doug Ducey as the winner of the 1st Annual #WhyILoveAZ Bookmark Design Contest. On May 9, 2016, Governor Ducey and Mrs. Ducey surprised Smriti, a first grade student at BASIS Phoenix Central, to congratulate her on her amazing design. Smriti's winning bookmark design has been reproduced and printed for distribution to students touring the Arizona State Capitol Executive tower. Congratulations, Smriti - and thanks to all who participated!

Bookmark Winner

Bookmark WinnerBookmark Winner

  

GOVERNOR DUCEY'S 1ST ANNUAL BOOKMARK DESIGN CONTEST: #WHYILOVEAZ
March 2016

Governor Ducey launched his 1st Annual Bookmark Design Contest on March 15, 2016. Arizona children ages 5 – 12 are encouraged to design bookmarks showcasing a "Why I Love Arizona" theme. The winner of Governor Ducey’s 1st Annual Bookmark Design Contest will have his/her design reproduced and printed on bookmarks that are distributed to students touring the Arizona State Capitol Executive Tower. The winner will also be invited to the Executive Tower for a meet and greet with Governor Ducey. 

 Rules and guidelines for this voluntary contest are included below.

Contest Rules:

      • Artwork and information must be completed on the Governor’s Office of Education “Bookmark Template” form (included below).
      • The theme for the 2016 contest is “Why I Love Arizona,” and all designs must reflect this theme. Participants may include a short description of their illustration, but this is not required.
      • All artwork must be original.
      • Contestants must be ages 5 – 12.
      • Entries should be submitted on 8 ½” x 11” white paper.
      • All artwork submitted becomes the property of the Governor’s Office of Education.
      • Children submitting their designs digitally should keep an original hard copy of their design.

Recognition for Selected Child:

      • The distinction of “creating” the official 2016 Governor’s Office Bookmark, which will be reproduced and printed on bookmarks that are distributed to students touring the Arizona State Capitol Executive Tower from May 2016 through April 2017.
      • Winner will be invited to the Executive Tower for a meet and greet with Governor Ducey.
      • Winner’s name will be printed on the back of the 2016 Governor’s Office Bookmark.
      • Winner will receive an official plaque commemorating the selected artwork.
      • Winner’s name and picture will be included in related publicity materials.

Entry Information:

Artwork must be received by April 15, 2016, and may be submitted via mail or email. The winner of the contest will be notified by May 1, 2016.

Mail to:

Governor's Office of Education
1700 W. Washington St., Suite 503
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Scan and Email: [email protected] with the subject line “Bookmark Design Contest.” 

Additional Notes:

      • Teachers: Please collect all submissions for your class and mail them in a single envelope.
      • Teachers, parents, and legal guardians are encouraged to use social media to share designs, photos of children working on designs, etc. Use the hashtag #WhyILoveAZ and tag our twitter handle - @AzGOVEducation - and we will do our best to share out as many designs as possible!

Printable Materials:

PDF iconbookmark_contest_info_sheet.pdf

 PDF iconbookmark_template.pdf

 

READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY
March 2016

Governor Doug Ducey will visit Encanto Elementary School in Phoenix to launch Read Across America Day on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 9 a.m. After his visit to Encanto Elementary, the Governor will join the Arizona Cardinals at the Salvation Army Kroc Center for Read Across America Day. Read Across America Day is an annual celebration that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss.

Find out more about Governor Ducey's Read Across America Day events here.

 

SUMMER READING PROGRAM
June 2015

Governor Doug Ducey launched the Summer Reading Program in June 2015,  encouraging Arizona students to spend time every day reading and learning throughout the summer months.

The initiative, a partnership with Read on Arizona and other organizations dedicated to the cause of childhood literacy, encourages all Arizona children and families to visit their local public libraries and sign up for Arizona's Summer Reading Program.

"Educational excellence should be a priority year-round – not just during the school year," said Governor Ducey. "Research shows that early-childhood reading proficiency is one of the highest indicators of a student's likelihood of graduating from high school. It also shows that summers without quality learning opportunities put our youth at risk of falling behind. Picking up a book for at least 20 minutes each day is an easy, fun way for kids to keep their minds active, prevent learning losses and keep all Arizona students on track for a successful future."

As part of Governor  Ducey's efforts to promote summer reading, First Lady Angela Ducey visited several Arizona schools in May 2015 to visit classrooms, read with students and encourage Arizona students to stay actively engaged in literacy efforts over their summer breaks. 

To view photos from First Lady Ducey's classroom visits, click here.

 

SUMMER READING PSA
June 2015


 
Dear Arizonans,
 
The school year is winding down, and students across Arizona are eagerly counting the days until summer vacation. As you head out with family and friends for a well-deserved break, remember that the learning doesn’t stop when the last bell rings. 
 
In Arizona, we’re committed to promoting educational excellence year-round. During the next few months, it’s vital that students continue to keep their minds active and engaged, improving on what they learned over the past year and preparing themselves for the next.  
 
One of the easiest and most effective ways to stay sharp during the off-season is by reading. That’s why I’m pleased to support Arizona’s Summer Reading Collaborative, a great partnership between Read on Arizona, the Arizona State Library, Arizona Department of Education and other organizations dedicated to the important cause of childhood literacy. 
 
Literacy is essential for success in almost every endeavor, field, career, and industry. In fact, research shows that early-childhood reading proficiency is one of the strongest indicators of a student’s likelihood of graduating from high school. As we continue to work towards high standards and accountability for all Arizona students, maintaining academic progress from year to year is becoming even more critical. A focus on summer reading can prevent learning losses and keep our children on-track for a successful future. 
 
I encourage you to take advantage of the resources offered by local libraries. Putting down the remote control and picking up a book for a little bit each day will help ensure our students are better prepared for the more rigorous standards we’re committed to implementing in Arizona. Finally, encourage those around you to read and share the importance of literacy in our communities and for the future of Arizona.
 
Together, we can improve literacy, foster academic success and ensure educational excellence for all Arizona children.
 
Sincerely,
 
Douglas A. Ducey
Governor
State of Arizona