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This site provides resources for the multi-tiered system of supports for social, emotional, behavioral health – sometimes referred to as safe, supporting, and sensitive schools. 

mental health images

We offer many resources in our  to support social, emotional, behavior, and mental health.


Self-Care Tips for Educators

Educators tend to put others' needs before their own. They are born helpers, providers, supporters, and nurturers. Being there for others, for their students, is often a number one priority. ​We have some tips to share with you.

Self-care Tips for Educators

MTSS for SEBH (Social, Emotional, Behavioral Health) Updates from Keystone

Get the latest updates

Social Emotional Behavior Health (SEBH)

Mental Health Spotlight: Powerful Ted Talk titled "Every Kid Needs a Champion"


Teacher Resources for MIndfulness:  Link to Mindful Teachers Website that includes various resources for building mindfulness in schools.


Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) for Educators: Link to an edwebinar titled "Better Together: Integrating Social-Emotional Learning into Your Academic Instruction."


Upcoming Trainings at Keystone: List of Keystone-provided trainings related to SEBH-related topics.


Parent Resources: links for parent resources for building SEL.


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Read More about Social Emotional Behavior Health (SEBH)
Social Emotional Behavior Health (SEBH)

Highlights: Informative resources for educators to expand their knowledge and skills around supporting SEBH for students.


Upcoming Trainings at Keystone: List of Keystone-provided trainings specific to SEBH-related topics

SEBH Community Collaboration: Outlines various local community organizations across the Keystone area supporting youth and family SEBH.



  • all others
  • dbq
  • teacher update
Read More about Social Emotional Behavior Health (SEBH)


Please contact a member of your district's Navigator Team or refer to our specialized services directory

KPEC - Keystone's Premier Education Conference

KPEC 2020 – Keystone's Premier Education Conference
June 23-24, 2020
Grand River Center, Dubuque


KPEC 2020 (Keystone's Premier Education Conference) attendees will connect with peers, hear keynote addresses from nationally-recognized speakers, and choose from dozens of breakout sessions. 

The conference will feature hands-on sessions on leadership, technology, curriculum content, special education, and social-emotional behavioral health. Recertification credit is available. 

Learn more.

Behavior / Classroom Management



Please select a topic from the list below to access strategies, resources for check-out, and additional online tools.  

Universal Supports (Well Managed Classroom)

These six practices impact academic learning time and ultimately student achievement while ensuring a positive learning environment. Implementing these evidence-based practices has been shown to maximize learning for all students while minimizing discipline problems. These materials can be utilized in small or large facilitated groups.

Modules can be utilized individually or as a six module series. Each module will take 30-45 minutes to complete (with times variable based on length of discussions, etc.). In each module, you will find:

  • Presenter slides: There are detailed notes for slides with resources listed and links within the notes of each slide. Videos are embedded and can be accessed by clicking on links.
  • Supporting documents: Activities and handouts for each module. Facilitator may want to print these off prior to the session.
  • Action plan: The action plan is a comprehensive document that can be utilized throughout the series or for an individual module to facilitate implementation of the practices.


Module 1: Relationships and Classroom Structure

Teacher-student relationships provide an essential foundation for effective classroom management—and classroom management is a key to high student achievement. Classroom management and organization are intertwined. While rules and routines influence student behavior, classroom organization affects the physical elements of the classroom, making it a more productive environment for its users.

Module 2: Classroom Expectations and Rules

Teaching expectations is not a one-time task on the first day of school. If requires re-teaching, practice, and consistent enforcement.

Module 3: Procedures and Routines

Clear procedures, taught and consistently enforced are the most critical tool to create a functional and productive learning environment.

Module 4: Encouraging Expected Behavior

When we focus our praise on positive actions, we support a sense of competence and autonomy that helps students develop real self-esteem.

Module 5: Discouraging Inappropriate Behavior

If we have consistent, respectful and instructional responses when students do not follow our classroom rules and procedures, MOST students will stop misbehaving and will follow the classroom rules and procedures.

Module 6: Active Supervision

Active supervision allows us to move and scan effectively and interact frequently.

Module 7: Multiple Opportunities to Respond

Increased rates of responding and subsequent improved learning tend to increase the amount that can be covered. In addition, on-task behavior and correct response increase while disruptions decrease.

Module 8: Activity Sequencing and Choice

Activity Sequencing includes thinking about and altering the manner in which instructional tasks, activities or requests are ordered in such a way that promotes learning and encourages appropriate behavior.Offering Choice includes providing options in activities such as the type, order, materials, who, where and when they occur to engage in or complete activities.

Module 9: Task Difficulty

Work assignments that are too difficult for students or require them to use skill sets that are challenging for them, commonly result in problem behavior. Addressing task difficulty may reduce the frequency of behavior.

Resources for Checkout

We offer many resources in our lending library to support classroom management.


DeAnne Blanchard

Special Education Consultant

Anne Britt

School Social Worker
West Union

Jill Hageman

School Social Worker

Shelley Schafer

School Psychologist




Targeted and Intensive Supports (Challenging Behavior)


The Keystone Behavior Resource Team is a multi-disicplinary team of special education support staff with expertise in assessment and intervention for students with challenging behaviors. 

The Keystone Behavior Resource Team provides consultation to school teams to assess behavior and to plan behavioral interventions for students identified for special education services or students within the general education setting. These consultation services are tailored to meet the needs of the referring school team.

On-site consultation services, for school teams who refer students, might include:

  • List of resources for you to access as you search for answers to your questions
  • Training for AEA staff who work in your school buildings
  • ABC observations
  • Preference analysis
  • Functional analysis
  • Concurrent operant analysis
  • Data analysis
  • Launching a behavior intervention plan

In addition, we provide professional development to LEA and AEA staff on Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plans.

Anne Britt

West Union

Joleen Doyle


Jill Hageman


Emily Hosch


Annette Hyde


Angela Raddatz


Sarah Remakel-Henkels


Cole Trimble


Maggie Winkel


Mental Health


Please select a mental health topic from the list below to access strategies, resources for check-out, and additional online tools. 




Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.

People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat. (Adapted from the Encyclopedia of Psychology)

Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:

  • Feeling nervous, restless or tense

  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom

  • Having an increased heart rate

  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)

  • Sweating

  • Trembling

  • Feeling weak or tired

  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry

  • Having trouble sleeping

  • Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems

  • Having difficulty controlling worry

  • Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety

Several types of anxiety disorders exist:

  • Agoraphobia (ag-uh-ruh-FOE-be-uh) is a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and often avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.
  • Anxiety disorder due to a medical condition includes symptoms of intense anxiety or panic that are directly caused by a physical health problem.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder includes persistent and excessive anxiety and worry about activities or events — even ordinary, routine issues. The worry is out of proportion to the actual circumstance, is difficult to control and affects how you feel physically. It often occurs along with other anxiety disorders or depression.
  • Panic disorder involves repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks). You may have feelings of impending doom, shortness of breath, chest pain, or a rapid, fluttering or pounding heart (heart palpitations). These panic attacks may lead to worrying about them happening again or avoiding situations in which they've occurred.
  • Selective mutism is a consistent failure of children to speak in certain situations, such as school, even when they can speak in other situations, such as at home with close family members. This can interfere with school, work and social functioning.
  • Separation anxiety disorder is a childhood disorder characterized by anxiety that's excessive for the child's developmental level and related to separation from parents or others who have parental roles.
  • Social anxiety disorder (social phobia) involves high levels of anxiety, fear and avoidance of social situations due to feelings of embarrassment, self-consciousness and concern about being judged or viewed negatively by others.
  • Specific phobias are characterized by major anxiety when you're exposed to a specific object or situation and a desire to avoid it. Phobias provoke panic attacks in some people.
  • Substance-induced anxiety disorder is characterized by symptoms of intense anxiety or panic that are a direct result of abusing drugs, taking medications, being exposed to a toxic substance or withdrawal from drugs.

Other specified anxiety disorder and unspecified anxiety disorder are terms for anxiety or phobias that don't meet the exact criteria for any other anxiety disorders but are significant enough to be distressing and disruptive.

Behavior Management

Behavior management promotes positive behavior and reduces opportunities for poor behavior. Each mental health disorder has its own set of emotional and behavioral symptoms. By understanding the behavior,  then developing and using a set of intervention strategies on a regular basis, emotions and behavior can be effectively managed and changed in the classroom.


  • Many students with mental health challenges have difficulty regulating their emotions and behaviors, often becoming inflexible and oppositional, disengaged or disruptive.

  • Students with anxiety or other mental health challenges may demonstrate inconsistent performance and behavior, which may fluctuate with their emotional state.

  • Most students with mental health challenges exhibit small behavior changes (wiggling in their seats, speaking loudly, or putting their heads down) before they become overwhelmed, act inappropriately, or stop working.

The Flexible Classroom



Depression is a disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It is more than just a bout of the blues, it isn’t a weakness that can be simply “snapped out of”. With depression a child may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living. Depression may require long-term treatment but most people feel better with help.


Although depression may occur only one time during your life, usually people have multiple episodes of depression. During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may include:​

  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness

  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as hobbies or sports

  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much

  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort

  • Changes in appetite — often reduced appetite and weight loss, but increased cravings for food and weight gain in some people

  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness

  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements

  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself for things that aren't your responsibility

  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things

  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide

  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches


For many people with depression, symptoms usually are severe enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships with others. Other people may feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.

Depression symptoms in children and teens:

Common signs and symptoms of depression in children and teenagers are similar to those of adults, but there can be some differences.

  • In younger children, symptoms of depression may include sadness, irritability, clinginess, worry, aches and pains, refusing to go to school, or being underweight.

  • In teens, symptoms may include sadness, irritability, feeling negative and worthless, anger, poor performance or poor attendance at school, feeling misunderstood and extremely sensitive, using drugs or alcohol, eating or sleeping too much, self-harm, loss of interest in normal activities, and avoidance of social interaction.


Executive Function

Executive Function

Executive functioning skills are generally described as deficits that impact an individual’s ability to organize and act on information.  The eight common sets of skills are: impulse control, emotional control, flexibility, working memory, self-monitoring, planning and prioritizing, task initiation, and organization.  We often see these deficits in our students through their struggles with initiating tasks, using class time appropriately, difficulty making decisions, and task completion.


Formal Definition

“The executive functions are a set of processes that all have to do with managing oneself and one's resources in order to achieve a goal. It is an umbrella term for the neurologically-based skills involving mental control and self-regulation.”

Primary Executive Functioning Skills

  • Organization

    • The ability to keep track of things physically or mentally.

    • Individuals who struggle with this aspect of executive functioning can often lose their train of thought, lose items, or lack the ability to impose order.

  • Impulse Control

    • The ability to think before acting.

    • People who have poor impulse control are often impulsive which may take the form of blurting out inappropriate things or at inappropriate times.  This may also take the shape of engaging in risky behavior (i.e. not considering consequences).

  • Emotional Control

    • This ability to regulate one’s emotions or keep them “in check”.

    • Individuals who struggle to control their emotions may overreact or have difficulties accepting criticism or disappointment.

  • Flexible Thinking

    • Being able to adjust to the unexpected.

    • People who struggle with flexible thinking are often rigid in their thought processes.  This can be seen through an individual’s struggle to “roll with the punches” or problem solve.

  • Working Memory

    • The capacity to retrieve needed information from one’s memory.

    • Working memory deficits can take the form of an individual’s difficulties with remembering directions or accessing information that has been taught previously.

  • Self-Monitoring

    • The ability to evaluate oneself.

    • Individuals who have a hard time with self-monitoring may be surprised when given a grade or feedback because it might not match up to their perceived performance.

  • Planning and Prioritizing

    • The ability to decide on a goal and make a plan to meet that goal.

    • Students who struggle with planning and prioritizing often do not know where to start a project or how to choose which aspects may be the most important.

  • Task Initiation

    • The ability to begin a task or activity.

    • People who have weak task initiation skills often don’t know where to start on a task.  Once one step is done they may not recognize the need to move on to the next step or to follow plans through to completion.

These 8 primary executive functioning skills help individuals lead productive lives and deficits in any of these areas may have an impact that varies from minimal to extreme.  Some individuals may struggle in only one skill area while others may have needs in many; however, it is important to note that executive functioning can be improved through the targeted instruction and practice of specific strategies.


Suicide / Self Injury

Suicide/Self Injury

Suicide, taking your own life, is a tragic reaction to stressful life situations — and all the more tragic because suicide can be prevented. Whether you're considering suicide or know someone who feels suicidal, learn suicide warning signs and how to reach out for immediate help and professional treatment. You may save a life — your own or someone else's.

It may seem like there's no way to solve your problems and that suicide is the only way to end the pain. But you can take steps to stay safe — and start enjoying your life again.

(Taken from Mayo Clinic Symptoms and Causes)

Suicide warning signs or suicidal thoughts include:

  • Talking about suicide — for example, making statements such as "I'm going to kill myself," "I wish I were dead" or "I wish I hadn't been born"

  • Getting the means to take your own life, such as buying a gun or stockpiling pills

  • Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone

  • Having mood swings, such as being emotionally high one day and deeply discouraged the next

  • Being preoccupied with death, dying or violence

  • Feeling trapped or hopeless about a situation

  • Increasing use of alcohol or drugs

  • Changing normal routine, including eating or sleeping patterns

  • Doing risky or self-destructive things, such as using drugs or driving recklessly

  • Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order when there's no other logical explanation for doing this

  • Saying goodbye to people as if they won't be seen again

  • Developing personality changes or being severely anxious or agitated, particularly when experiencing some of the warning signs listed above

Warning signs aren't always obvious, and they may vary from person to person. Some people make their intentions clear, while others keep suicidal thoughts and feelings secret.​

When to see a doctor:

If you're feeling suicidal, but you aren't immediately thinking of hurting yourself:

  • Reach out to a close friend or loved one — even though it may be hard to talk about your feelings

  • Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone in your faith community

  • Call a suicide hotline

  • Make an appointment with your doctor, other health care provider or mental health provider

Suicidal thinking doesn't get better on its own — so get help.

For immediate help

If you think you may attempt suicide, get help now:

Trauma Sensitive Schools (TSS)

Trauma Sensitive Schools

Children and adolescents vary in the nature of their responses to traumatic experiences. The reactions of individual youths may be influenced by their developmental level, ethnicity/cultural factors, previous trauma exposure, available resources, and preexisting child and family problems. However, nearly all children and adolescents express some kind of distress or behavioral change in the acute phase of recovery from a traumatic event.


Many of the reactions displayed by children and adolescents who have been exposed to traumatic events are similar or identical to behaviors that mental health professionals see on a daily basis in their practice.  

American Psychological Association

These include:

  • the development of new fears

  • separation anxiety (particularly in young children)

  • sleep disturbance, nightmares

  • sadness

  • loss of interest in normal activities

  • reduced concentration

  • decline in schoolwork

  • anger

  • somatic complaints

  • irritability

Complex Trauma:  Facts for Educators

Seven Ingredients of Resilience for Parents

Training / Resources

Monthly Updates

Mental Health Learning Opportunities

Mental Health Team Update
Each month the Mental Health Team puts together an update that includes information on what we are reading, listening to and watching, as well as our 2018-2019 Mental Health Professional Development Opportunities. 


Additional Resources



In this video participants will:

1.  Learn the definition and of positive psychology.
2.  Understand how to take a based versus deficits based approach to intervention.
3.  Learn simple strategies to implement in the schools based on the principals of positive psychology.
4.  Be exposed to evidence-based programs and interventions that utilize the tenants of positive psychology.

In this video learners will:

1. Understand what Adverse Childhood Experiences are and the landmark study that researched them.

2. Learn about the questions on the original ACEs study and , expanded questions in a recent large-scale study.

3. Review parts of the brain that are impacted by trauma and how these changes impact children at school.

4. Explore and understand how ACEs and trauma impact not only future health, but learning, behavior, and relationships for children in school.

In this video learners will:

1. Be exposed to practical educators strategies that research has found to be effective with students exposed to trauma.

2. Learn about a framework that can be taken back to leaders in schools to help make your district trauma-informed.

3. Explore programs that have promising results for students exposed to traumatic experiences.

4. Learn about additional online resources to further learning.


Please contact a member of your district's Navigator Team or refer to our specialized services directory


Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support (PBIS)


Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support (PBIS) is a multi-tiered continuum of supports for improving behavioral outcomes at the universal, targeted, and intensive levels.  PBIS provides schools with the framework and organizational plan to promote and maximize academic achievement and behavioral competence for all students.

The main logic behind PBIS is that behavior support in schools begins by investing in building a positive social culture.  PBIS schools systematically and intentionally define and teach behavioral expectations, monitor and acknowledge appropriate behavior, provide corrective consequences for behavioral erros, and use data to make decisions about their systems and practices. 

Keystone AEA, in partnership with the Iowa Department of Education, provides training and coaching to assist schools to develop, implement, and sustain PBIS in their building.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

PBIS Assessment

PBIS World


DeAnne Blanchard

DeAnne Blanchard

Special Education Consultant


Nonviolent Physical Crisis Prevention (CPI)

cpi logo

The Nonviolent Physical Crisis Intervention Program, developed by the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI), not only teaches staff to respond effectively to the warning signs that someone is beginning to lose control, but also addresses how staff can deal with their own stress, anxieties, and emotions when confronted with these challenging situations. The program trains participants to recognize changes in behavior that could be cues to escalating behavior and then teaches them appropriate responses to attempt to deescalate it. The training emphasizes staff awareness of verbal and nonverbal behavior and how it can either escalate or deescalate a situation. The training then teaches the staff about keeping themselves physically safe in dangerous situations and how team intervention is preferable to solo intervention. Finally, staff is instructed in the safe, non-harmful use of physical restraint only as a last resort.

If a district has 20 or more staff members to get trained or recertified in Nonviolent Physical Crisis Intervention, Keystone trainers will bring the training to your district.  Please check out the CPI Training Schedule below to see where there is a training near you.  Participants can register through the AEA Professional Learning System link.


CPI Training Schedule

Region 1: Anita Fay, 641-394-2162   DeAnne BlanchardCarissa OttoLanette Pint

Region 2: Michael McMahon563-922-2299   

Region 3: Cynthia Ehrlich563-556-3310   Shelby Schumacher


Chapter 103 Seclusion and Restraint Information



School Safety

Crisis Response

Tiphanie Keefe

Tiphanie Keefe

School Psychologist
Suzanne Maas

Suzanne Maas

School Psychologist
Sara Kluesner

Sara Kluesner

School Social Worker

Select your role


During a critical incident:

The CRT should assemble prior to the staff meeting to: Share updated factual information, preview staff meeting format and discuss procedures for day.

Sometime between the initial telephone contact and the morning teachers' meeting, some specific logistics need to be agreed upon. Initially, to what extent does the "full-blown" response plan need to be implemented? After this is resolved then:  Items listed below are part of the agenda for the CRT meeting set by the principal.

  • Who will be present in selected/all first period classes?
  • Who will address teachers' meeting before school?
  • Who will staff the counseling center?
  • Who will cover other locations in building (library, cafeteria, gym, hallways)?
  • Schedule after school and continuing meetings for all.

Step 1

  • Verify factual information with the appropriate authorities. Work up a fact sheet to be shared with building personnel. Review information with parents, as appropriate, prior to sharing information with others.
  • Inform necessary school personnel (Superintendent, building principal) that a critical incident has occurred.
  • Consult Crisis Communication Guidelines

Step 2

  • Contact the AEA and school-based Crisis Response Team (CRT) to set up a time for the CRT to meet before the early morning staff meeting.
  • Act as or designate a contact person for the media and/or community agencies.

Step 3

  • Contact staff members via phone tree. Only share as needed information (event that occurred, when the meeting will be, and consider sensitivity to staff members.
  • Brief secretary in handling calls and requests for information.
  • If appropriate, determine what school resources (buses, school gym, etc.) can be used in the event according to board policy.

Step 4

Create an agenda for CRT meeting. Remember to cover facts of the event, determine how information will be shared with students and families sample letter homesample letter #2sample letter #3, create an announcement for students, discuss funeral and memorial arrangements, and removal of student possessions. Other topics are also included in this sample agenda.

Step 5

Lead the early morning staff meeting. Topics to cover may include sharing facts about the event, discussing the school day schedule, how to handle media, and review procedures for first hour of the day. Other topics may be included in this sample agenda.

Step 6

Designate an appropriate person to contact family to offer support.

Step 7

Schedule an informational meeting at the end of the day for staff to share experiences, reactions and other important information from the day’s events.

Step 8

  • In the days following the event, begin to bring closure by encouraging teachers to resume regular classroom activities as quickly as is appropriate. Teacher tips
  • Encourage teachers and other staff members to refer students who may still be at risk to a support network which could include guidance staff, peer groups, family or religious affiliation. Grief response resource


Step 1

Attend all mandatory staff meetings and review all important information taking all direction from administrators and CRT​​​​​​​

Step 2

Announce facts and explain, using accurate information, "to the best of our knowledge” at that time. They may be read from a statement distributed at the teachers' meeting  Addressing Grief: Tips for Teachers, How to: Help Students Deal with Grief and Loss

Step 3

  • Contact a CRT member for assistance in response to students’ needs
  • Announce to students there will be support available  
  • Pay added attention to students who may be at risk due to close relationships with those involved in the incident; who have experienced similar incidents in the past; or students who seem particularly upset, agitated, or withdrawn

Step 4

Consider adjusting lesson plans and daily routine.

Step 5

  • Allow yourself an opportunity to process what has happened during the day
  • Utilize a support system yourself

Step 6

Following the event be aware of students who still may be at risk and share concerns with the administrators



Crisis Response Team Member

The CRT should assemble prior to the staff meeting to: Share updated factual information, preview staff meeting format and discuss procedures for day.

Sometime between the initial telephone contact and the morning teachers' meeting, some specific logistics need to be agreed upon. Initially, to what extent does the "full-blown" response plan need to be implemented? After this is resolved then:  Items listed below are part of the agenda for the CRT meeting set by the principal.

  • Who will be present in selected/all first period classes?
  • Who will address teachers' meeting before school?
  • Who will staff the counseling center?
  • Who will cover other locations in building (library, cafeteria, gym, hallways)?
  • Schedule after school and continuing meetings for all.


  1. Assign CRT lead.
  2. Attend all mandatory meetings.
  3. Serve as a resource to staff members who may need assistance in conducting their classroom discussions or have questions of their own (Resource: Varied responses to grief by age group).
  4. Assign roles; e.g., first period class discussion, assistance in crisis center, hall patrol, media contact, etc.
  5. Assist in identifying high risk students and staff (either present at school or absent) who may need immediate support.
  6. Follow up with students identified as high risk, contact parents as necessary.
  7. Work with small groups or individually with students and staff.
  8. Determine if more resources are needed.
  9. Follow up within one week of incident to assess need for further support.

Violent Intruder


About the Family & Educator Partnership

fep logo

The Family & Educator Partnership, started in 1984, provides a unique opportunity for parents and educators to build partnerships to improve educational programs for children and young adults with special needs. Previously, the program was known as Parent and Educator Connection (PEC). Modeling an effective collaborative partnership, the FEP is staffed by a family coordinator who brings the perspective of a parent with a child having special needs and an educator coordinator who brings the perspective of an educator. Each of Iowa’s Area Education Agencies (AEAs) employs these staff to guide the program within the AEA. They collaborate directly with parents, local education agencies, and agencies outside the educational system. 

The goal of the Iowa Family & Educator Partnership is to support successful outcomes in the areas of living, learning and working for individuals with disabilities ages 0-21, the Family & Educator Partnership will operate within a tiered system of supports across Iowa with intentional coordination, consistency, and continuity through partnerships between families and educators.    Learn More

FEP Resources and Services for Families and Educators

  • Facilitate understanding of special education, including family/student rights and responsibilities
  • Support families and educators through personal, phone, email contact, including attending Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP)/IEP meetings
  • Assistance preparing for IFSP/IEP meeting
  • Information and support regarding transition from IFSP to IEP and post secondary transition
  • Support communication between home and school to enhance family and educator partnerships
  • Link family and educators to services within the AEA and the community
  • Provide information and understanding regarding educational processes


Brooke Gassman

Family and Educator Partnership Coordinator