Arizona Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) was a five year project (2010 - 2015) funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to the Arizona Department of Education (ADE). S3 provided $4.8 million in services and resources directly to 26 schools in 14 school districts statewide. The project was designed to improve school climates and remove barriers to learning. The guiding philosophy of the Arizona S3 grant was based on research showing that a school climate leading to student connectedness is a strong predictor of academic success and the prevention of risk-taking behaviors.

  • State, district and school-level leadership provided a vision, promoted the vision, and provided financial support and access to other resources.

  • A strong, representative team with defined roles met consistently to identify goals, examine data, and implement and evaluate programs and strategies.
  • LCT development provided tools for teams, and helped them focus and feel comfortable in their roles.

  • Coaches developed ongoing, working relationships with LCTs and leaders which facilitated progress.

  • Locally generated data and state data (e.g., YRBSS) provided information for planning, monitoring, and evaluation.

  • Programs and interventions were research-based, implemented with fidelity, and were process-oriented to facilitate sustainability.