Superintendent Larry Weeks encourages all members of our district to immediately  “SEE SOMETHING. SAY SOMETHING” should they see anything that seems suspicious.  His letter sent to parents and staff outlines the measures we take to ensure safety, yet reminds that we must all be vigilant and report anything suspicious immediately to school or department leaders.  Those leaders will bring the information immediately to his attention.  Thank you for bringing any questions you have to the attention of campus or department leaders in the district or the Superintendent’s office at or 602.257.2912.

Please remind everyone you know – SEE SOMETHING. SAY SOMETHING.

AzMERIT Testing Begins in April

Students in grades 3-8 will begin AzMERIT testing in April.
For more details regarding AzMERIT and Move on When Reading, please see:

AzMERIT Letter for Parents of 3rd Graders

AzMERIT Letter for Parents of 4th – 8th Graders

You are invited to a Community Forum March 6

February 20, 2018

Dear Whittier Wildcat Families and Community,

At Whittier, we value regular and timely communication. This letter serves to keep you informed on an update that impacts our school community. I have had the privilege of serving as proud principal of Whittier School for the past four-and-a-half school years. Next year, my family will embark upon a new adventure. We plan to relocate to my husband’s hometown of Accra, Ghana in West Africa. While I will miss Whittier greatly, I am excited for this opportunity and all the future holds.

We need your support in ensuring Whittier continues to excel academically and social-emotionally both in the 2018-19 school year and for years to come. Please join us on Tuesday, March 6th from 4:30-5:30 for a community forum. At this event, you will have the opportunity to hear principal candidates respond to interview questions. You will also have the opportunity to provide written feedback to the hiring committee. Your voice matters as we work together to select the strongest candidate to serve as Whittier’s 2018-19 principal. We hope to see you there!

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to let me know.


Clare R. Okyere

20 de febrero de 2018

Estimadas Familias y Comunidad de Whittier Wildcat,

En Whittier, valoramos la comunicación regular y oportuna. Esta carta tiene el objetivo de mantenerlos informados sobre una actualización que impacta a nuestra comunidad escolar. He tenido el privilegio de servir como orgullosa directora de la Escuela Whittier durante los pasados cuatro años y medio. El año próximo, mi familia iniciará una nueva aventura. Planeamos trasladarnos a la ciudad natal de mi esposo, Accra, en Ghana en África Occidental. Aunque voy a extrañar enormemente a Whittier, estoy muy entusiasmada por esta oportunidad y por todo lo que depara el futuro.

Necesitamos su apoyo para asegurar que Whittier continúe sobresaliendo tanto académicamente como social y emocionalmente en el año escolar 2018-19 y en los años por venir. Por favor únasenos el martes 6 de marzo de 4:30 a 5:30 en un foro de la comunidad. En este evento, usted tendrá la oportunidad de escuchar a candidatos a director responder a preguntas en el proceso de la entrevista. Usted también tendrá la oportunidad de proporcionarle comentarios por escrito al comité encargado de la contratación. Su voz es importante mientras trabajamos juntos para seleccionar al mejor candidato para servir como director de Whittier en el 2018-19. ¡Esperamos verlos ahí!

Si usted tiene cualquier pregunta o preocupación, por favor siéntase en libertad de hacérmelo saber.


Clare R. Okyere

Download Letter Here

We have exciting news to share!

We have some exciting news to share about what’s happening at school and want to invite you to join us to celebrate. How’s this for cool news?

  • We are ranked a B school by the Arizona Department of education for our high levels of student growth and increasing levels of student proficiency! We are outperforming many of the schools in our area.
  • We are the FIRST elementary school in Phoenix named a No Place for Hate School by the Anti-Defamation League for our commitment to providing a safe, inclusive, and positive learning environment for all students.
  • We are committed to developing students that have the academic and social-emotional foundation needed to make our school, community, and world a better place.

We are going to have a PETER PIPER PIZZA PARTY on October 27th from 4:00-7:00 pm to celebrate our news. There will be a costume contest and a variety of games and raffles. Come on out for some food and fun! You can call to RSVP for the party at 602-257-2890 or email us All are welcome! Feel free to invite any family or friends.

We can’t wait to see you and share all of our great news! Student learning is soaring at Whittier. Our staff is on fire with ideas and programs to engage students, and we are always here to support our students and families!

Please share our great news with family and friends. We have room for more students to join our great school!

Clare Okyere
Proud Principal of Whittier School

August is Attendance Awareness Month

Phoenix #1 proclaimed August “Attendance Awareness” month because we understand the strong relationship between good attendance at school and student achievement.
In fact, studies show that students with poor attendance in the early years tend to struggle with achievement throughout the rest of their school years. And, good attendance leads to high school graduation!

For more information, please read here about the effects of poor attendance.

Partnering to Test the Drinking Water on Our Campuses

May 11, 2017

Dear Phoenix #1 Families & Community;

At Phoenix Elementary School District #1, we have been working with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to conduct screening programs to determine if there is a presence of lead in school drinking water. ADEQ is coordinating with multiple state and local agencies, public water systems and public schools to proactively conduct these screening tests.

Whittier School drinking water was tested. There were no samples obtained that indicated a presence of lead in the drinking water above 15 parts of lead per billion parts of water (15 ppb). This is the level that is in compliance with federal drinking water standards.

We are pleased with these results. We will continue to work with ADEQ to insure the drinking water on our campuses is safe for students and staff. The safety and health of our students and staff is our number one priority.

Should you have further questions regarding this topic, there is information available at or you can speak to Principal, Mrs. Clare Okyere or call my office at 602-257-2912.


Mr. Larry Weeks,
Superintendent, Phoenix Elementary School District #1


Download Letter from Superintendent (English & Spanish)

17 de noviembre de 2017

Estimadas Familias y Comunidad de Phoenix #1;

En el Distrito Escolar Primario #1 de Phoenix, hemos estado trabajando con el Departamento de Calidad Ambiental de Arizona (cuyas siglas en inglés son ADEQ) para llevar a cabo programas de investigación para determinar si hay presencia de plomo en el agua potable de las escuelas. ADEQ está coordinando con varias agencias estatales y locales, sistemas públicos de agua y escuelas públicas para llevar a cabo proactivamente estas pruebas de detección.

Se revisó el agua potable de la Escuela Whittier. Ninguna de las muestras obtenidas indicó la presencia de plomo en el agua potable superior a 15 partes de plomo por mil millones de partes de agua (15 ppb). Este es el nivel que cumple con las normas federales del agua potable.

Estamos satisfechos con estos resultados. Seguiremos trabajando con ADEQ para asegurar que el agua potable en nuestras escuelas es segura para los estudiantes y el personal. La seguridad y la salud de nuestros estudiantes y personal es nuestra prioridad número uno.

Si usted tiene más preguntas sobre este tema, hay información disponible en o usted puede hablar con el Director, el Sra. Clare Okyere o llamar a mi oficina al 602-257-2912.


Sr. Larry Weeks,
Superintendente, Distrito Escolar Primario #1 de Phoenix

Whittier’s Student of the Week 2017!

Meet Gabriel, the Univision Student of the Week from Whittier. Way to be an outstanding student, Gabriel!

Invest Your Tax Dollars: Developing Tolerance & Management Skills in the Future


Tax credit donations are so valuable to the students of our district. According to Dr. David Garcia, an assistant professor at Arizona State University, schools with more Latino students receive far less tax credit donations. In his article, he points out that “In 2013, schools that were at least 75 percent Latino received an average $12.65 per student in tax-credit donations, while schools with low Latino populations received an average $87 per student.”

Leaders of Phoenix

Seventh and eighth grade students at Whittier School in downtown Phoenix hope to discover “The Disney Way” and the management skills used to lead a cast of thousands.  The students learn to overcome obstacles and engage in exercises designed to reinforce courage, curiosity and constancy and the confidence to set goals and accomplish their dreams at a Disneyland Leadership Workshop in May 2017.


While in Los Angeles, the students will also visit the Museum of Tolerance.  The museum is a human rights laboratory and educational center dedicated to challenging visitors to understand the Holocaust in both historic and contemporary contexts and confront all forms of prejudice and discrimination in our world today.



The goal of this trip is for the seventh and eighth grade students at Whittier to embrace and better understand diversity in our society and to gain a glimpse into the creativity and communication and management skills of Walt Disney World to drive their personal growth.


Value to Students

Many of our inner city students never have the chance to leave their neighborhood. Exposing these students to The Disney Way and The Museum of Tolerance, as well as travel and staying in a hotel, are life-changing experiences that build dreams and goals for a bright future.


How to Donate

Please consider making a tax credit donation today! You can donate at Whittier’s front office or online HERE.

  1. On the right-hand side of the page click “donate online”
  2. Click the “tax credit donation” box
  3. Select the school you would like to donate to (Note: select the school with current tax year)
  4. Under Program select which program you would like to donate to. (Note: if you would like to donate to a specific club, select “other” and write the club name in the text box)
  5. Write in the amount you want to donate
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 if you would like to donate to multiple clubs or schools
  7. Click “Continue” and follow directions to enter personal information


Don’t understand AZ Tax Credits?  Not a problem. We have a quick little video that explains the opportunity.


Whittier Elementary School

2000 North 16th Street

Phoenix AZ 85006