Media Toolkit

Communications & Media Relations Department
Tucson Unified School District’s Communications & Media Relations Department is responsible for all media requests and for providing information to the public. The department also handles internal and external communications.

Media Toolkit (in PDF) 
Media Requests
The Communications Department works hard to provide requested information in a timely manner.

Deadline: When you are requesting information, please include your deadline, so we can work to meet that. If possible, we would like to have at least 24 hours notice on a request for information, but we understand that with breaking news, that is not always possible.

Who to Contact: Send routine requests by email to Karla or Media or call 520-225-6101.

FOIA: For requests that require extensive effort and research, please submit a Freedom of Information Act request via email.

Coverage Requests: If you would like to cover an event or interview principals or teachers, please contact Leslie Lenhart in advance.

Education Research: If you are interested in conducting research in Tucson Unified School District, please contact our Assessment and Program Evaluation Department

Media and Children: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) dictates how the District handles certain information about children. All children who are photographed or filmed on school property must have parental permission on file. Please contact the Communications Department ahead of time to ensure the children you wish to film or interview are cleared.

B Roll: If you would like B roll from an event, please let us know. We will be happy to make every effort to supply it to you.

Press Releases: If you would like to be added to our list to receive press releases and announcements, please send an email with your contact information.
Internet and Social Media
Information About Emergencies
Tucson Unified School District works hand-in-hand with law enforcement agencies in case of potential or real emergencies.

The district’s school safety officers typically inform parents of safety issues via Parentlink, an automated call and email service. Some of the terms they use are:
  • Soft Lockdown: In a soft lockdown, the campus is closed so that no one new can enter the environment. Instruction continues as normal. A soft lockdown is put into place in situations such as police activity in a neighborhood nearby.  
  • Hard Lockdown: In a hard lockdown, the campus is closed, and movement throughout the school is limited. A hard lockdown is put into place when there is a possibility that someone or something harmful could be on campus.
  • Shelter in Place: This term is used when a site may be experiencing a chemical- or weather-induced emergency.
  • Drop, Cover and Hold: This is used in case of earthquakes.
At Tucson Unified School District, the most common measures are the soft lockdown and hard lockdown. One of the most important messages for parents during an emergency situation is to stay away from the school—even though it might be their instinct to rush over. Having additional people on site makes it harder for law enforcement to assess situations and find potential threats.

If an evacuation or early release is necessary, School Safety notifies parents and works with law enforcement and school staff to conduct these activities in the best way possible. On rare occasion, you may hear about a “reverse evacuation.” That simply means all children are moved indoors. This can happen in case of lightning, a bee swarm or someone potentially harmful in the neighborhood.

The Communications team is always ready to work with the media in cases of potential or real emergencies to ensure the public gets correct and timely information. Please do not hesitate to contact us.
Ashley Wallinger
Digital Copywriter Editor
Posted/Revised Date
Information about how to get in contact with the Tucson Unified Communications & Media Relations Department.
article, 2022-2023, schools, tucson, communications, media relations