Governor Doug Ducey announced this week that one of Arizona’s most respected education leaders, Lisa Graham Keegan, will lead the AZ OnTrack Summer Camp, the initiative to overcome learning loss that occurred during the pandemic.
The Governor also announced applications for schools and community partners to host camp sites open Monday.
“The AZ OnTrack Summer Camp will help our kids reach their full potential and having an education pioneer like Lisa Graham Keegan at the helm will help achieve this goal,” said Governor Ducey. “Lisa and I want all our kids to know that this is far more than just summer school. It’s camp with a purpose. It’ll have activities, games, peer learning and so much more.”
Delivering on a promise from his January State of the State, AZ OnTrack will get students caught up, remind them of the joy of learning and build confidence, as well as reinvigorate teachers and students alike.
Lisa Graham Keegan served as superintendent of public instruction from 1995 to 2001 and as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995. In both roles she was a passionate advocate for educational excellence in Arizona and a champion of school choice.
As chairwoman of AZ OnTrack, she will be the point person for the eight-week summer camp program, which will provide students with a positive, innovative atmosphere where they can get caught up.
“This is not the time to have our children out of school for multiple weeks or months again,” said Graham Keegan. “They need each other, and they deserve experiences that reconnect them with the joys of learning. We all learned how much we value the beauty of a great school, a great youth camp, and of our children being together. This summer offers that again, and I am so grateful to the Governor for making sure that the children who need this the most will have these opportunities.”
Graham Keegan’s accomplishments speak for themselves. As superintendent of public instruction, she was a member of the legendary Fab Five – the first time women were elected to all state leadership positions in U.S. history.
In the Arizona House, she chaired the education committee before getting elected as the state superintendent. She also served as John McCain’s education advisor in his campaigns for president.
“This summer camp is one of my top priorities, and I want to ensure we get it right. That’s why I’m excited for Lisa Graham Keegan to chair this initiative,” said Governor Ducey. “I want to thank Lisa for her long-standing dedication to Arizona’s kids. Our state is a national leader in student-centered education because of all your efforts.”
Schools and community organizations will host camp sites throughout the state, opening opportunities for all families to catch their kids up for the fall. Together, these partners will work to overcome the academic and social losses that kids faced over the last two years.
Schools and families who are interested can find more information at ontrack.az.gov.
In the coming weeks, families will be able to sign their children up for the summer camp location that best fits their child’s needs through the camp provider of their choosing.
Arizona will offer participating teachers and educators best-in-class professional development opportunities, rewarding them for their dedication to the state’s children. This is in addition to providing camps with funding to ensure teachers are offered competitive compensation.
“This camp wouldn’t be possible without our hard-working teachers and staff, so we’re making sure they benefit too,” said Governor Ducey. “We’ll be asking the State Board to offer teachers credits toward certification renewal for participating in the camp.”
Most camps will start in June, but each host has flexibility for timing, programming, transportation and child care to best serve working families.
The Governor is investing an initial $100 million to launch the summer camp, with more available to meet demand.