Volume 15 Num 3 Jan. 2021
Iowa Family & Educator Partnership Newsletter
Learn More About the
IA Family & Educator Partnership
& Access Resources at

What is Your NEED in Your
New Year's Resolution?

Over the years most of my New Year resolutions have included eating better and losing weight. I’m not sure after this year I will ever look at a New Year’s Resolution in quite the same way. We’ve all faced challenges and change. This year I’m looking at what I NEED instead of what I’m cutting out.  

What do I need to help my child/family? I need my family, coworkers & friends just like kids need recess. We need each other. We may not be together physically, but we can still Facetime or Zoom. Even social distancing in our garage, just so we can be together.  

We are learning new ways to reach families effectively that will serve us in the years to come regardless of what goes on in the world.  
As families/educators we’ve risen to the challenge. Most importantly, we need to take time to celebrate our successes...we’ve done amazing work! 

When we all come together children and families thrive.

Looking back on the last year, we want to remind you that we are here for you along with our GPAEA Family & Educator Partnership (FEP) webpage. It’s up to date and ready to help you and your families find useful information. Please visit us at: https://www.gpaea.org/services/iowa-family-and-educator-partnership-fep/

Happy New Year!  
Kelly Wallace & Annette Clarahan
        Evaluations and Eligibility for
Special Education

The Iowa Department of Education, AEA’s, and districts have developed the Iowa IDEA Information (i3) website to provide parents, families, educators, and partner agencies with a one-stop-shop for procedures, guidance, and resources for both early intervention and special education. To access these additional resources, please visit the Resources page within the i3 by clicking here https://iowaideainformation.org/resources/

This year in our bi-monthly FEP Newsletter we will dive into sections of the i3 website to help you prepare to be active participants in your child’s IEP Meeting. In working with frustrated parents, sometimes they feel as if the school is withholding information in regards to their rights, and how the special education system works. i3 is a great resource for schools & parents. It’s important in today’s world, that parents and educators feel connected. We as parents do better when we know better. This time we will take a deeper dive into evaluations and eligibility for special education.


Understanding Evaluations & Eligibility
Step 1: Suspecting a Disability
Step 2: Consent and Initial Evaluation Planning
Step 3: Completing an Initial Evaluation
Step 4: Documenting the Initial Evaluation
Step 5: Determining Eligibility for Special Education
Exiting Special Education Services
Child Find Process in Special Education 3 to 21
Understanding Evaluations and Eligibility Decisions
Step 1: Child Find, Referral, and Initial Evaluations
Step 2: Revaluations
Exiting Early Intervention Services
Child Find Process Birth to 3 yrs. 
Child Find Brochure

Would you like to know more about the FEP program and the service we offer? Click on this link to watch a short, informational video about some of the services we can provide for families & educators.

Hybrid/Virtual Learning
Understanding and Documenting
IEP Team Decisions

The Coronavirus has affected every area of society, including education. This disruption exposed the need for the education system to anticipate a significant interruption of services and be prepared to continue educational services if disrupted in the future.

In order to support changes in the delivery of services so that educational services are not disrupted in the future, IEP teams need to discuss and decide what services and supports a student will need in a variety of delivery models. As families and educators, you will be included in those decisions.

Iowa schools are currently planning for three possible models: on-site (brick and mortar), hybrid, and virtual learning. Virtual learning includes services that are provided through technology such as online, telephone, or hard copy materials/packets. Hybrid learning refers to educational services that are provided as a combination of virtual learning and on-site learning.

While the services listed on page (pg F) will remain the same during on-site (brick and mortar), changes during the period of virtual/hybrid learning will be documented and recorded in the IEP on the additional information page (pg. I). As IEP teams are working to develop and document virtual/hybrid learning plans for students, the following questions will assist families and educators in planning. 

Describe the General Education services and settings for virtual/hybrid learning.
• What are the student’s peers engaged in and receiving for universal general education?

What Accessibility needs are unique to the student for virtual/hybrid learning?
• Description of the services, supports, and activities provided and student access in a virtual/hybrid setting.
• How can a child attend school as provided by the district (virtual/hybrid)?
• Describe the student’s ability to access online/virtual platforms?
• If partial accessibility is available, what can be provided to supplement the rest?

What other needs of the student are unique to the virtual/hybrid setting and his/her/their individual circumstances?
• Describe the needs of the child.
• How are the needs of the child different if/when we move to a virtual setting?
• How will the accommodations and modifications this child is receiving change if/when we move to a virtual setting?

How will Services on the services page (pg. F) be prioritized, adapted, and delivered to the student to make progress in virtual/hybrid learning? What, if any, services will not be delivered in virtual/hybrid learning?
• Describe what services will be provided to the child to make progress in a virtual/hybrid setting.
• What changes in services, supports, and activities will occur during hybrid/virtual learning (e.g., frequency, duration, goal areas)?
• What additions or modifications to the special education and related services are needed to enable this child to meet the IEP goals and to participate, as appropriate, in the general education curriculum during hybrid/virtual learning?
• What services will be provided for this student to make progress in hybrid/virtual learning?
• What supports will this student need to make progress?
• What supports will parents/caregivers need?

What Goals are prioritized by the IEP team and how will Progress Monitoring for these goals be adapted for a virtual/hybrid setting?
• Discussion of goals (baseline, goal, and progress monitoring) for each goal on the IEP
• Are there adjustments in progress monitoring that need to be considered?
Consider other questions as relevant to the unique circumstances of the individual.

Remember, as we continue through this pandemic, the services page (pg F) will continue to reflect the services and activities that will be provided to the individual student on-site (brick and mortar). The additional information page (pg I), will reflect the learning plans to support the student in both a virtual and hybrid learning settings.

For free online educational opportunities from the PACER Center visit http://www.pacer.org/workshops/ 
Look for the live streaming symbol below, to find classes offered on the web.                         

Do you know others that would benefit from this
newsletter? Please forward it to them!

Understanding Special Education
The Iowa Family & Educator Partnership is committed to helping families and educators better understand the special education process. To do this, we offer printed and electronic materials on a variety of special education topics. Click on the documents below to learn more about them.
These bookmarks share shortcuts to locate information in the IEP/ IFSP. The reverse side provides space to list team members contact information.
This brochure will help explain FEP supports and services available to families & educators through the IA Family & Educator Partnership.
This document will help families prepare for an IEP meeting. It offers guidance on what to expect before, during and after the meeting.
Functional Behavior Assessment A Functional Behavior Assessment is a way to help you and the school understand why your child is showing problem behavior. This brochure will help you understand that process.
A Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) is designed to increase (reinforce) positive behaviors and decrease problem behaviors. This brochure will help you understand how and why a BIP is developed for some students. 
Child Find is the process used to determine if a child needs special education services and supports. This brochure will help you understand the what, how, when and more in reguards to the child find process.
All of these documents and more are also available at:
RESPECT Training 
GPAEA Spring of 2021


RESPECT is a free, four-day workshop focused on training participants in relationship building and conflict resolution. The skills and strategies taught at this training workshop can be applied universally when addressing professional and personal conflict. 

This training is offered at no cost, but registration is required. All training materials will be provided. Stipends are available upon request to offset the cost of travel and other expenses associated with attending the training; $50 per day parent stipends paid directly to parents, and $100 per day educator stipends are paid directly to your district. 

When registration and specific details are available, they will be found at: https://www.gpaea.org/services/iowa-family-and-educator-partnership-fep/

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