Upcoming Courses:

#189907 CR – Universal Supports for Students on the Autism Spectrum

This workshop around the universal supports for students on the autism spectrum will include the following topics: Autism Characteristics, Medical reports and diagnosis, National Standards Project and research based interventions, Structured Teaching, Communication Needs and Supports, Positive Behavioral Supports, and State and Community Resources. The current plan is that it will be offered face to face in the Clear Lake, Cedar Falls and Marshalltown offices. 

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FAQ’s Related to Using the SABERS

Districts may have signed up to give the SAEBRS screening tool, but now may have questions about how to give it if they are providing virtual services. This document is designed to address the questions that might arise. It will also be shared with school leaders.

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Inspired Mentorship & Student Centered Coaching update

We wanted to let you know based on the decision to not have any F2F training in August — we have updated the Student Centered Coaching and Inspired Mentorship flyers and are asking that you continue to communicate this information with our school partners.

We are currently offering Inspired Mentorship via zoom and have also created this virtual option for our August offering.  Please notice we have added a morning session on August 5, 2020 to eliminate being on zoom for a full day and to ensure we are able to have processing time for the content we have planned for Day 1 of Inspired Mentorship.  Day 2 is diving deeper into the process of mentoring and working with our learning focused conversation templates – so we feel a little more confident about that being a full day of learning within the zoom platform.

Student Centered Coaching will also be virtual in August.  Please click on the link to the flyer to see more details about that course. Please note the Required Text from Corwin:  The Essential Guide for Student Centered Coaching ISBN: 9781544375359.

To aid in the deepening & transfer of learning – we are asking that participants have the book read before the first day of class. 

We know districts might be in the midst of hiring for administrative, teaching and teacher leadership positions and we wanted to share with you these learning opportunities to support those that will be supporting others and ask that you please share this information with your administrators and others you think might be interested in knowing about this Student Centered course and/or our Inspired Mentorship Training.  

Thanks again for helping us spread the word about these learning opportunities.  If you have any questions about any of this, please let me know.  We are excited to continue to find ways to meet your needs and learn with you and the schools you support.

Take care,

Jo Prusha


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Self-care and Answering our Why – Aug. 6

As our CRAEA Counseling Advisory Team met thru-out the summer, we determined we will have two networking opportunities during the 2020-21 school year.

Our first one entitled “Self-Care & Answering our Why” will be on 8/6/20 and our second will be on 2/21/21.  Below, please find a draft of our outline for our 8/6 session via zoom.  We are super pumped that Raegan North, author of Motivational Interviewing will be joining us for part of the morning session.

We are also hoping you might be able to share this document with others whom you work with:)  The focus is on Wellness for each of these Wednesday sessions and they are being led by members of our CRAEA Well-being team – a group with much knowledge and many skill sets.

Draft agenda for  8/6/20 (9:00 – 11:00 a.m.):

  • Zoom link:  https://centralriversaea.zoom.us/j/92208074529
    • 9:00 – 9:05  Welcome
    • 9:05 – 9:40 Breakouts into grade alike teams
      • Elementary facilitators:  Megan Bowden & Christie Litterer 
      • MS facilitators:  Pete Drury, Becky Lins & Teresa Kenser
      • HS facilitator:  Rochelle McGarvey 
    • 9:45 – 10:30 Motivational Interviewing – Raegan North
    • 10:30 – 11:00 Whole group to gain input & share for next steps for 2020-21 

Please let us know if we need to add anyone’s email address to our listserv (counselors@centralriversaea.org).  We are all about connecting those who may be serving in a role within districts of supporting students – no matter their official title:)  

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SDI at a Distance

Many teachers and direct service providers will be providing Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) virtually this fall. This document, SDI at a Distance, was created to support those providing SDI virtually.  Please use this document as a reference AND share it with teachers, coaches, administrators, and others who are responsible for delivering SDI or support those who provide SDI to students virtually.  A deeper dive into the document will be coming at your August 18th discipline meeting.

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Return to Work Zoom Meetings with Amy Knupp.



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Training Date Adjustment Update:

August 13th: Special Education Law Summit is postponed. This day will now be held for training on Virtual Evaluations. Be watching for a calendar invite from your discipline lead. 

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Iowa Idea Information (i3) platform:

The Iowa Department of Education and Iowa’s Area Education Agencies (AEAs) are announcing the launch of a new early intervention and special education guidance system, known as Iowa IDEA Information (i3). It was developed collaboratively with local districts and with input from parents and partner agencies from across Iowa.

The launch of i3 means the phasing out of the current Iowa IDEA Info site, including AEA Special Education Procedures. The i3 system will bring with it enhancements that will prove to be invaluable to users, such as:


  • A one-stop shop for IFSP and IEP procedures and resources
  • User-friendly formatting for easy site navigation
  • Increased options for searching content and resources
  • Ability to allow for real-time updates with built-in options to clearly communicate updates to users
  • Translation options


“The vision for a new way to access special education procedures and guidance began with the AEA Directors of Special Education. The resulting guidance system accomplishes this vision and more. I am confident this user-friendly platform will support all educators and families as we implement the intent and regulations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA),” said Barb Guy, state director of special education, Iowa Department of Education.

Currently, training opportunities and materials are in development and the Department and AEAs will partner with local districts to ensure the information on i3 is available to families. There will also be training on navigating the site to find information you need. The Procedures Manual will be housed on this site, as well as the Special Education Documentation Guide.  You will no longer be using the PDF of the previous Procedures Manual as there have been changes.

Also in the works is the new IEP/IFSP system, which will be known as ACHIEVE. ACHIEVE will be aligned with the i3 system once it is released during the 2021-22 school year. These two aligned components, when complete, will position Iowa’s educational professionals to continue to provide the highest quality support for students with disabilities well into the future.

The i3 system is available at https://iowaideainformation.org/.

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Reimagining the Future of Music Education: Virtual Teaching and More

This is a series of weekly informal 30-minute get-togethers/workshops/socials where members share tools and techniques they have found helpful during this time of “teaching from a distance.” 

  • Tuesdays, 4:00-4:30 PM through Zoom
  • First one – JUNE 23, 2020
  • Cost: Free
  • Open to anyone. IMEA members and non-members 
  • Not limited to a specific grade level or teaching area.
  • Those who share don’t have to be an expert on what they share.  
  • Shares are short. 10-15 minutes with time to ask questions
  • Anyone can share or suggest someone to invite to share. 
  • Would you like to share? Contact Brandon Waring or Dan Black
  • For schedule, visit our website
  • Register
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Learning in the Area of Wellbeing!

Here are some wellbeing opportunities for AEA staff who might be interested. Please visit with your RA if you have any questions.

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