Arizona teachers to receive behavioral health strategy training
PHOENIX – Through a partnership between two state agencies, Arizona teachers will be trained in a program designed to improve student behavior and performance.
The Arizona Department of Education and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) announced plans this week for implementing a practice called the PAX Good Behavior Game.
The program is designed to provide teachers with instructional and behavioral health strategies that improve classroom behavior and educational outcomes.
“Addressing the social-emotional needs of our students is a top priority for my administration,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said in a press release.
“A comprehensive approach to school safety must include a focus on the mental health of all of our students, including those in early grades. The skills provided to teachers through these trainings will have an enormous impact on our state well into the future.”
Studies have shown that the PAX practice reduces stress among teachers and addiction issues among students while increasing test scores and other positive outcomes, according to the release.
“Our scientific colleagues around the world have proven that PAX GBG improves reading and math scores, reduces virtually every addiction over an individual’s lifetime — including from opiates, tobacco or alcohol use — reduces suicide and increases high school graduation, university entry and gainful employment,” Dr. Dennis Embry, president of the Tucson-based PAXIS Institute, said in the release.
The program will be paid for with federal opioid prevention funds.
“In addition to treatment and recovery services, Arizona is focusing federal opioid response funding on evidence-based prevention techniques in order to change the trajectory for future generations,” Dr. Sara Salek, AHCCCS chief medical officer, said in the release.
“The PAX Good Behavior Game is one such prevention program that reduces the likelihood of future opioid use.”