Volume 12 Num 2 November 2018
Family & Educator Partnership Newsletter
from Great Prairie Area Education Agency

Service Spotlight
Does your student have an endangered species project to complete, need to make a poster about a country, need photos for a presentation on the Civil War, or just want a good book to read? Great Prairie Area Education Agency provides over 20 dynamic online resources for students in grades PreK-12 enrolled in an accredited Iowa school. Iowa students have access at school and at home (Internet access required), 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round. These online resources give your child access to a wealth of information for assignments, classroom projects, and personal interest.

When accessing these online resources, students use information skills of finding, evaluating and using information; technology skills; and literacy skills in reading, analysis, and problem solving. The online resources are important tools for students to use and understand and will provide them with lifelong skills. Here’s a picture of the resources available:
As you can see, there is a lot to explore. Here are just a few highlights:
  • BookFLIX (PreK-3) - An online literacy resource that pairs fictional video storybooks with related nonfiction books. Read-aloud feature provides accessibility to all readers. Vocabulary feature and interactive games extend student learning.
  • Britannica Digital Learning (PreK-12) - A suite of products designed to support student research and classroom instruction, Britannica Digital Learning offers an extensive collection of reference and learning materials that are curriculum aligned and age-appropriate. When in need of a general encyclopedia, Britannica is a good choice.
  • Learn360 – (PreK-12) - Educational streaming media offering thousands of full-length digital videos, video clips, images, audio files, newsreels, speeches and a comprehensive library of teaching resources from educational publishers.
  • MackinVIA - (PreK-12) A portal for hundreds of titles in eBook and audiobook formats. There are titles for all grade levels, both fiction and nonfiction. A MackinVIA app is available so these books can be used on devices such as cell phones and tablets.
  • Teen Health & Wellness (7-12) - Provides students with nonjudgmental, straightforward, standards-aligned, curricular and self-help support. Topics include diseases, drugs, alcohol, nutrition, mental health, suicide, bullying, green living, online safety, financial literacy, and more.
Students may access these online resources through GPAEA’s SNAP online catalog. Students will need their building login to sign in to SNAP. Once logged in, scroll towards the bottom of the page and there are links for all of the different online resources. If you don’t know your building’s login, please contact your school’s teacher librarian or Jane Frizzell, GPAEA Media Integration Specialist at jane.frizzell@gpaea.org or 641-682-8591, ext. 5265.
Child Find Process
Child Find is the process used to determine if a child needs special education services and supports. In this booklet you will find answers to the following questions: 

  • What is Child Find? 
  • How Does Child Find Get Started? 
  • What Comes Next? 
  • What is Suspicion of a Disability? 
  • When is a Student Suspected of Having a Disability?
  • What Happens Next if a Disability is Suspected?
  • What Happens Next if a Disability is NOT Suspected?
  • How Does the Full Individual Evaluation (FIE) Work? 
  • What Happens at an Eligibility Meeting?
  • What if My Child is Eligible?
  • What if My Child is Not Eligible?

As parents we make better decisions for our kids when we're provided with information that empowers and informs us. Together we can provide the best plan for the child's academic success. This is a great resource to engage parents & educators and build crucial relationships. 

2018 Regional Transition Resource Fair in Burlington

Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation in partnership with Burlington High School would like to invite you to the second annual Regional Transition Resource Fair for students with disabilities. Parents and students can meet area service agencies that specialize in career placement & training, disability advocacy/rights, assistive technologies, independent living, and other resources to with planning successful transition during and after high school.

Wednesday November 28 th from 3:30-5:30 pm
Burlington High School Library 421 Terrace Dr.
Southeast Iowa Link-Regional Funding

D & Z Transportation

Goodwill of the Heartland

Great Prairie AEA

Iowa Department of the Blind

Iowa Legal Aid

ASK resource center

Transition Alliance Program

Iowa Workforce Development


Disability Rights Iowa

University of Iowa Reach Program

Community Action of Southeast Iowa

Easter Seals of Iowa
Family Planning Clinic

Hillcrest Family Services

Optimae Life Solutions

The Nest Parent Ed Family Support Program

Hope Haven

Job Corps

Insight Partnership Group

Van Buren Job Opportunities

Amerigroup Iowa

Port Louisa Transportation

Iowa Intermediary Network- Link


Partners of Des Moines County

Next Step Program

Overview of the Change
  • The Iowa State Board of Education amended Iowa’s special education rules to conform with ESSA-required language related to the graduation of individuals eligible for special education. The definition of regular high school diploma now is:
  • [T]he term “regular high school diploma” means the standard high school diploma awarded to the preponderance of students in the State that is fully aligned with State standards, or a higher diploma, except that a regular high school diploma shall not be aligned to the alternate academic achievement standards described in section 1111(b)(1)(E) of the ESEA. A regular high school diploma does not include a recognized equivalent of a diploma, such as a general equivalency diploma, certificate of completion, certificate of attendance, or similar lesser credential.
  • This amendment makes clear that a regular high school diploma must be fully aligned to State required standards. In Iowa’s case, that would be the graduation requirements set forth in Iowa Code section 256.7(26): four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and three years of science (“4-3-3-3”). To earn a regular high school diploma going forward, a child with a disability must complete 4-3-3-3. 
  • It is no longer permissible to award a regular high school diploma based on IEP goal attainment solely. A child may either graduate based on 4-3-3-3 or based on 4-3-3-3 plus IEP goals.
  • The amendment begins with the 2018 9th grade cohort (Class of 2022).
Implications for District Policies and Procedures
  • Districts retain decision-making authority on the manner in which students who receive special education services may meet the 4-3-3-3 requirements. Iowa Code Section 256.7(26) uses the term ‘years’ to define the amount of time a student will be engaged in learning core content standards for each subject. It does not specify Carnegie Units or specific course work.  
  • The District may establish policies and procedures that permit students receiving special education services to complete 4-3-3-3 requirements in unique, individualized manners. It is essential, however, that Iowa Academic Standards be addressed.  
  • The District may provide a certificate of completion/attendance to those students receiving special education services who do not complete 4-3-3-3. Students who receive a certificate of completion/attendance remain eligible for special education services until they reach maximum age of 21.
  • The District should also consider providing guidance to their IEP teams on the ways in which District policies permit IEP teams to determine how students with IEPs may meet the District’s 4-3-3-3 requirements.
Next Steps                                                        
  • The Iowa Department of Education is working with numerous stakeholders to provide tools and strategies to support Districts and IEP teams. More information will be available at the start of the second semester. Please direct your questions and concerns to Kirsten Lane at kirstenlane3107@gmail.com

Assistive Technology Tips
Learn more about Family & Educator Partnership and access resources at
Great Prairie AEA | 800-622-0027 | www.gpaea.org