This is perhaps my favorite time of year as students everywhere return to local schools and the excitement and energy in our communities shifts back to education and learning. What you might not realize is that Area Education Agency 267 (AEA 267), as part of Iowa's Area Education Agency system, is an active partner in your local school district's efforts. Often, AEA 267 staff members are working behind-the-scenes to provide leadership and support to local educators in ways in which the public is unaware. Here are five services you may not realize that AEAs provide:
Each student is unique, and many have individual needs that require special support and intervention. AEA 267 offers critical special education support services to help. Our agency employs specialists in speech development, occupational therapy, physical therapy, hearing, and vision. Since most school districts could not afford to employ these specialists on their own, having these services available to local schools is critical. AEA 267 provides screening services for students in kindergarten through second grade. We also screen again for some services in eighth grade to ensure that all students who need these support services are receiving them.
Our agency provides courses and workshops in effective teaching approaches, measuring student learning, technology and much more as part of a full menu of professional development activities for which classroom teachers and school administrators can receive graduate level credit. When you think about where teachers go to learn, think of us!
AEA 267 provides consultation, research, and information services to meet the learning needs of all students and to support local district library media programs. We provide a wide variety of instructional resources, which align with school district needs and support effective teaching. The AEA 267 lending libraries provide PreK-12 and professional materials which include professional books, student books, books with audio support, DVD's, journals, media kits and many other forms of technology devices. If you are a parent, there is a good chance that your child is using some of the materials from our lending library in his/her classroom at many points during the school year.
Iowa AEA Online is a virtual library that provides no-cost access to a variety of high-quality, webbased resources for accredited public and non-public PreK-12 schools. Students and staff have access both at school and at home, which allows for safe searching of the Internet. The web address is www.iowaaeaonline.org (Parents, please bookmark this address on your home computer and ask for login and password information from your local school library media specialist.)
The job of a school administrator today is a complex and challenging one that requires support. AEA 267 partners with groups like School Administrators of Iowa (SAI) to provide critical learning opportunities and support for local school administrators. The agency also employs specialists in areas such as human resources, finances and communication who administrators can turn to for specialized expertise.
As the school year progresses and you think about the efforts of your local school district, please remember the important role Iowa's AEAs play. For more information about AEA 267, please visit our website at www.aea267.k12.ia.us and for more information about the statewide AEA system, please visit the website at www.IowaAEA.org We are pleased and honored as an AEA system to partner with every school district in Iowa to ensure a high quality education for every student!
Dr. Roark Horn, is the Chief Administrator of Area Education Agency 267.