Arizona Department of Education Announces Partnership with PAXIS Institute - AZEdNews
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Arizona Department of Education Announces Partnership with PAXIS Institute

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  • Morgan Dick   |  

A Teacher At Black Mountain Elementary School Works With Students During Class September 2019. Photo By Lisa Irish/ AZEdNews

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Education has announced a two-year partnership to provide social-emotional professional development training to Arizona teachers. The PAX Good Behavior Game (PAX GBG) is a powerful, evidence-based practice consisting of proven instructional and behavioral health strategies teachers can use with their students in the classroom. Today’s announcement signals a continued investment by the state of Arizona to bring PAX GBG to schools across the state. A previous partnership between the Arizona-based PAXIS Institute, the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith, and Family (GOYFF) and the Arizona Healthcare Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) trained over 3,800 teachers and community leaders over the last two years. 

The PAX Good Behavior Game is a universal preventive intervention that not only improves classroom behavior and educational outcomes but also provides a lifetime of benefits for every child by improving self-regulation and co-regulation with peers. Children, their families, teachers, schools, and society benefit for decades as a result. The materials and training will be offered to school districts and charter organizations throughout the state. The initiative will be funded using federal relief and recovery dollars. 

“I’m thrilled that the Arizona Department of Education is able to continue and build upon the important work done between PAXIS, AHCCCS, and GOYFF,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kathy Hoffman. “Thousands of teachers and students across Arizona have already benefited from the tools provided by the PAX Good Behavior Game and our continued partnership will allow even more schools the opportunity to implement the groundbreaking, evidence-based strategies available from our partners at PAXIS Institute.”  

“We are honored to partner with the Arizona Department of Education as the first State Department of Education to identify and provide educators with the proven tools to better our world and better the lives of our children,” said Tucson-based PAXIS Institute President and Senior Scientist, Dr. Dennis Embry, who was recently named one of 100 people in the last hundred years to improve the lives of children. 

“In May, we passed HB 2123 which prohibits suspension and expulsion of children in grades K-4.  When making such significant changes to our policies, it is important that we consider how educators will support their students’ success in the classroom,” said Representative Jennifer Pawlik. “I am grateful to the Arizona Department of Education for hearing my concerns and for partnering with PAXIS Institute to ensure that educators have access to this program that promotes self-regulatory behaviors. I am hopeful that this will be a helpful tool for educators and their classes!” 

Replicated studies show that when teachers use the PAX Good Behavior Game in the classroom, it improves standardized test scores, lowers suspension and expulsion rates, and reduces teacher burnout. All this stems from the increase in student self-regulation. The self-regulation from exposure to PAX is proven to increase graduation rates and lifetime income, while reducing opioid and other drug misuse, mental health diagnoses, violent crime, and suicide. Implementing PAX Good Behavior Game can save families and society nearly $10,000 per child from the impact of these outcomes.  

Visit to learn more and sign up for fully-funded trainings in PAX Good Behavior Game.