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|An Educator's Guide to Great Prairie AEA
As an educator in this area, we want you to know about the many resources available to you from Great Prairie Area Education Agency (AEA). Scroll down to learn about:
Download a copy of "An Educator's Guide to GPAEA" from our Communication Tools.
Programs & Services
Great Prairie Area Education Agency (AEA) is a regional organization that provides school improvement services for students, teachers and administrators. The agency is an educational partner with 33 public school districts and 6 accredited, private schools in a 14-county area of southeast Iowa. Great Prairie AEA staff, schools and families work together to help all children reach their potential.
As an intermediate agency, Great Prairie AEA offers equitable and efficient services within individual districts or on a regional basis. Great Prairie AEA’s programs and services are agency-wide focusing on improving student performance.
Click here to view a complete list.
Each year, Great Prairie AEA leaders hold budget workshops for local school districts. Superintendents and business managers typically attend these meetings.
You can earn license renewal and college credit classes through the AEA. Click on the Course Catalog button at http://www.gpaea.org/.
Great Prairie AEA partners with Drake University, Morningside College and Viterbo University to offer advance degrees and Master’s degrees in Southeast Iowa locations to further advance teacher leadership and education.
Great Prairie AEA also offers a Superintendent Network Rounds program. The Network involves an explicit practice intended to build knowledge and skills of participating superintendents, and to provide helpful feedback to their schools.
In addition, AEAs provide leadership services that are based on the Iowa Standards for School Administrators and school needs. Services assist with recruitment, induction, retention and professional development of educational leaders.
Click here to learn more about the opportunities provided for you.
Technology & Print Services
Great Prairie AEA Technology Services focus on consultation, assistance, and professional development opportunities that enhance the integration and use of technology for the 21st Century learner. Support is also provided for the development and management of local and wide area networks including the use of the Iowa Communication Network (ICN) and Internet.
The Great Prairie AEA Print & Production Department provides a full suite of digital and print services to area schools at modest costs. Digital services included CD/DVD duplication, file conversion, Kurzweil and high speed scanning, photo ID badges, digital photo print, digital cut-outs and graphic design. Print services include a full range of copy and color copy, with a variety of finishing and binding options. Items produced include but are not limited to: school carbonless forms, letterheads, envelopes, brochures, newsletters, business cards, handbooks, directories, calendars, yearbooks, certificates, pocket folders, writing journals and other instructional materials including large color posters!
Click here to learn more about the Print & Production Services offered.
How the AEA Works
Unlike school districts, the AEA system has no taxing authority. The agency is funded by a per-pupil assessment designated by the state legislature, by federal funds, various grants and sale of services. Some services, such as Professional Development, are supported by fees charged to participants.
A nine-member board of directors elected by area school boards governs Great Prairie AEA. Board members represent designated segments of the agency’s service area called director districts. They are elected by school district board members.
Click here to learn more about Iowa's AEAs.
How to Contact the AEA
If you need to reach any of your agency service providers, you can always search or download a copy of our directory. Click on the Directory button on the right hand menu to view, search or download the Agency Directory. This Web query helps you to find people by name, by discipline or by agency region. You can then email them or find their telephone extension from this search site.
The AEA is divided into regions, and most agency staff are assigned to specific regions. Some agency specialists provide services to multiple buildings or regions. If you have concerns about a student or about a service, we encourage you to talk directly with your AEA staff person.
The AEAs devote nearly 75 percent of their financial resources to providing services to students with disabilities who need special education. The AEA staff works with school staff and families to identify the needs of children with disabilities and provides for or supplements a wide variety of services to meet those needs.
Some of the needs include direct services to students with disabilities such as speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and teachers of the hearing impaired. In addition, the agency provides staff with specialized skills such as school psychologists, social workers, special education consultants, autism consultants, transition consultants, just to name a few.
The AEAs are also responsible for identifying and serving children birth to age three and their families through Early Access.
The Parent Educator Connection/Partnership (PEP) offers a library of information for parents of students with disabilities. PEP staff are available to serve as a parent liaison throughout the IEP process.
In addition to serving students with disabilities, AEAs work with school staff to support students on 504 plans as well as students who are talented and gifted.
Click here to learn more about Special Education services.
Not every student comes to school ready and able to learn. On any given day, a significant number of students experience barriers (either situational or long-term) which interfere with their ability to fully engage in classroom instruction.
Research from a variety of sources indicates that fully implementing a comprehensive system of supports promotes healthy social, emotional, and behavioral development in all students so that all youth have an equal opportunity to be successful in school.
Learning Supports include a wide range of strategies, programs, services, and practices that are implemented to create conditions and environments that promote student learning from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade. If your school needs assistance in this area, talk with AEA staff in your building about arranging this.
Educators are provided a member username/password by the Media Center. Contact us directly at email@example.com or phone 800-622-0027 x5264 with any questions.
K-12 Online Databases:
Students are provided username/password access for these subscription online databases. All available at school, at home or anywhere else they may have access to the Internet. Check with your teacher librarian or the AEA Media Center for more information.
Iowa AEA Online:
Funded by Iowa’s Area Education Agencies for K-12 students, the following online databases are available from the IAO site – http://www.iowaaeaonline.org/.
Additional GPAEA Online Databases:
PowerKnowledge - Life Science (3-8)
PowerKnowledge - Earth & Space (3-8)
PowerKnowledge - Physical Science (3-8)
OneClickDigital (downloadable teen audio books)
Click here to learn more about the resources available to you.
News happens daily at Great Prairie AEA! Keep up to date by subscribing to GPAEA News or by following us on Twitter and Facebook. The Cornerstone is our flagship publication and delivered electronically monthly to your inbox. Click on News & Information on our website.
Tune into GPAEA TV from our website to view videos that model strategies and initiatives used in southeast Iowa classrooms. New videos are being added daily and GPAEA TV makes it easy to search and find a video to fit your needs.
How will you find out if your AEA class or workshop is delayed or cancelled? Subscribe to GPAEA Alerts to receive email messages about delayed or cancelled classes. Great Prairie AEA does not use local radio or TV stations to communicate delays or cancellations, so visit our homepage and click on GPAEA Alerts to stay informed.