Area Education Agency 267 will provide significant support to the staff of Waterloo East and West High Schools in their participation in the Iowa Safe and Supportive Schools effort. The effort is a federally-supported project designed to measure and improve conditions for learning in selected Iowa high schools. The schools will study issues such as bullying, school safety, attendance, and student engagement over the next four years with support through the U.S. Department of Education’s Safe and Supportive Schools grant.
“The research has long supported that a positive climate in the classroom has a significant impact on student learning,” said Dr. Sara McInerny, Director of Educational Services for AEA 267. “We are dedicating significant resources in staff time to ensuring that these two schools have the professional development needed to succeed in this effort.”
Iowa was one of 11 states to be awarded nearly $3.5 million in federal money this year, and nearly $14 million over the next four years, through the grant program. In total, twenty Iowa high schools have been chosen to participate.
Earlier this year, 60 Iowa schools were randomly selected to participate in the first-ever “Iowa Safe and Supportive Schools” survey of students, parents and teachers. The goal was to measure student safety and student relationships with peers and adults and to determine whether students have adequate resources in their schools. Leaders in 47 of the 60 schools agreed to participate in the survey, which was administered this spring and summer.
Information will be gathered each year for four years. By the fourth year, the final survey will show the nation that Iowa is a leader in improving conditions for learning.
Along with Waterloo East High School and Waterloo West High School, the other high schools selected for funding are:
- Dubuque Senior High School
- Oelwein High School
- Armstrong-Ringsted Middle School/High School
- East Greene High School
- Columbus Community High School
- Davenport Central High School
- Louisa-Muscatine High School
- Iowa Valley Junior-Senior High School
- Olin Junior-Senior High School
- Des Moines Independent East High School
- Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn Community High School
- Sioux City West High School
- West Sioux High School
- Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln High School
- Burlington Community High School
- Keokuk High School
- Ottumwa High School
- Winfield-Mt Union Junior-Senior High School
Area Education Agency 267 serves over 65,000 students. In addition, over 5,000 educators rely on AEA 267 for services in special education, school technology, media and instructional/curriculum support. The agency’s service area reaches 18 counties and nearly 9,000 square miles.