Volume 14 Num 1 Sept. 2019
Family & Educator Partnership Newsletter
from Great Prairie Area Education Agency
IA Family & Educator Partnership (FEP)

The IA Family & Educator Partnership (FEP) would like to share with you the services we offer to help make your year a positive and productive one. The FEP is part of a statewide network of parents and educators working together since 1984 to support educators and families of children and young adults with special needs.

The FEP provides one-on-one assistance to parents and educators when a need for support or information has been identified. The FEP also connects parents and educators to community based resources and supports as requests are made.

One of the primary ways the FEP serves parents and educators is by supporting good home-school communication. This includes providing support to families so that they can more effectively participate in the IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) or IEP (Individual Education Plan) process. This may include:
  • Explaining the IFSP/IEP process
  • Reviewing procedural safeguards/parent rights
  • Helping families organize their thoughts in preparing for a meeting
  • Attending IFSP/IEP, 504 or other school meetings upon request by the school, family or AEA staff

Electronic newsletters, such as this, will be distributed bi-monthly to families of children who have an IEP, kindergarten through high school, school administrators, special education teachers, AEA staff and our community partners. Our hope is that the newsletters are helpful to families, educators and community partners by providing information on topics of interest and activities within GPAEA.

Watch our web site for upcoming training opportunities. As part of the GPAEA website, the Family & Educator Partnership posts newsletters, tips for parents and educators, workshops, events calendar and links to sites of interest to parents and educators at https://www.gpaea.org/services/iowa-family-and-educator-partnership-fep/ . You can also find this site by going to www.gpaea.org , click on the on the parent tab, then on IA Family & Educator Partnership.

If you know of a family in need of assistance, please share our contact information.

Annette Clarahan
Family & Educator Coor.
Ottumwa Office
641-382-8591 Ext 5517

Kelly Wallace
Family & Educator Coor.
Burlington Office
319-753-6451 Ext. 3034

Kathy Achenbach
Transition Coor.
Albia Office
641-932-5017 x 5825

Kim Kirchner
Regional Director
Burlington Office
319-753-6561 x 2115

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. Here you will find a list of some of those materials with suggested times for using them.

  • can be shared with initial meeting notices
  • can be shared wtih re-evaluation meeting notices
  • anytime a family or educator needs additional support or information

  • can be shared with suspicion of disability meeting notice
  • anytime a family or educator needs additional support understanding the child find process
  • Planning for Your Child's IEP Meeting
  • can be shared with re-evaluation meeting notices
  • anytime a family or educator needs additional support to prepare for an IEP meeting

  • Distributed with Procedural Safeguards
  • When there are changes in team members

  • Distributed with Procedural Safeguards
  • When there are changes in team members

All documents are available on the FEP page of the GPAEA website, under related documents or at https://www.gpaea.org/services/iowa-family-and-educator-partnership-fep/
For an Overview of Changes to Graduation Requirements for Students in Special Education See the Documents Below
Iowa Department of Education Seeks Public Input on Use of
Seclusion and Restraint in Schools

DES MOINES -- The Iowa Department of Education today announced six meetings to gather public input on proposed revisions to rules regarding the appropriate use of seclusion and restraint in schools. The meetings run Sept. 24 through Oct. 3.

Proposed revisions  to Iowa Administrative Code chapter 281-103 (“Chapter 103”) were voted down by the State Board of Education in August so that more feedback can be collected on some parts of the proposed rules, including seclusion room requirements, parent notification, and the term “serious physical injury.” (Please see 281-103.7(1), 281-103.7(2), and 281-103.8 of the proposed rules.)

Department leaders will facilitate the statewide meetings, make further revisions to the proposed rules based on feedback, and will take revisions back to the State Board of Education in November.

The public input meetings will run from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Dates and locations are as follows. For more information about the meetings, contact  tana.mullen@iowa.gov .
Written comments about the rules may be emailed to  nicole.proesch@iowa.gov .  

Tuesday, September 24
Green Hills Area Education Agency - Creston
Conference Room 257 Swan St., Creston

Wednesday, September 25
Heartland Area Education Agency - Johnston
Conference Room 152A,152B, and 152C 6500 Corporate Drive, Johnston

Thursday, September 26
Grant Wood Area Education Agency – Cedar Rapids
Winter/Spring Room 1120 33rd Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids

Tuesday, October 1
Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency - Pocahontas
North and South Twin Lakes Conference Rooms 500 NE 6th St., Pocahontas

Wednesday, October 2
Central Rivers Area Education Agency – Cedar Falls
Conference Room B 1521 Technology Parkway, Cedar Falls

Thursday, October 3
Ottumwa Community School District
Media Center 812 Chester Ave, Ottumwa
Learn more about Family & Educator Partnership and access resources at
Great Prairie AEA | 800-622-0027 | www.gpaea.org