Connections, communication vital for education in Tempe

By City Councilmember Robin Arredondo-Savage

Tempe’s schools are the foundation for our children, the backbone of our neighborhoods and essential to a healthy and vibrant community. As chair of the Education Partnerships Council Committee we are driven to help civic leaders, business partners, community members and organizations, as well as students and parents, work together, share resources, and prepare for opportunities and unexpected challenges. This type of collaboration will allow us to efficiently and effectively use resources, foster the development of new ideas and maintain the high standard established by Tempe’s educational system.mittee, my committee and I are dedicated to providing a platform for members and organizations to come together for the benefit of Tempe schools.

With the goal of supporting and enhancing quality education for all community members, our committee has identified four areas to focus our efforts:

Communication – We are developing and distributing Education Matters, a first-ever, quarterly e-newsletter to inform and engage the community. The first issue launched earlier this month and can be viewed at

Shared Resources – We are leveraging the resources and ideas available to Tempe schools in the areas of professional development, procurement, plant operations and program development.

Engaged Community – We are researching and identifying best practices to communicate with parents and the community. We will develop standards and indicators to gauge community involvement.

Standardized Emergency Response Plan – We are working with East Valley public safety agencies and school districts to develop a standardized emergency response plan for all schools. The plan is vital to helping all participants coordinate effectively during a crisis situation.
Significant input from all areas of the Tempe community has resulted in Tempe’s nationally and internationally recognized educational institutions. Continuing this critical dialogue will ensure that we will have an exemplary educational system to serve our entire community for the foreseeable future.

Several organizations should be thanked for their involvement in the Education Partnerships Council Committee including: Arizona State University, City of Tempe, First Things First, Kyrene School District, Rio Salado College, Tempe Elementary School District and Tempe Union High School District.
We’d like to hear your ideas on how we can continue to improve educational opportunities in Tempe. The committee’s work plan is available at

We invite you to watch the September edition of Community Focus on Tempe 11 (  and read Education Matters to learn more about our educational institutions and their programs, as well as what the Education Partnerships Committee is working to achieve. Please feel free to call me at 480.350.8792 or e-mail me at