Concerns about your child? AEA 267 can help

If you have concerns about your child’s development, behavior and/or learning, AEA 267 can help. You may be worried because your child is not walking, talking, playing with others or learning in school. AEA 267 has staff specifically trained to assess these areas and to support you in helping your child grow, develop and learn. Child Find is a part of our service that includes assessment to better understand your child’s needs. AEA 267 partners with other agencies within the community as part of the Iowa Early ACCESS system for helping families with young children from birth through age two. For children three years of age and older, AEA 267 staff work closely with child care providers, preschool teachers and educators within the local school districts to design individual instruction that supports your child’s learning and behavioral growth.

If your child is under the age of three, you can make a referral to Early ACCESS by contacting an AEA 267 office. An early childhood specialist trained in working with young children will follow-up with you and work with you and a team of professionals to identify the best way to help you and your child. If your child is determined to have a developmental delay or at risk of delay, an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) will be developed that describes specific services needed such as hearing screening and evaluation, special instruction, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. These services will be provided using a team approach to support you in addressing your child’s needs within your daily activities.

If your child is three years of age or older, the AEA staff will work closely with the local school district. When there is information to indicate your child may have a disability, an evaluation will be completed with your consent. If the evaluation determines your child has a disability and needs special education services, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be developed. The IEP will document the needed services and how, when and where the services will be provided. The AEA 267 staff will work with you and the school staff to ensure that your child receives the specially designed instruction needed to acquire knowledge and skills for success in school and life.

A summary of AEA 267 services is available on the AEA 267 websiteIf you would like additional information or have questions please contact Dr. Mary Stevens, Executive Director of Special Education. 

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Monitoring your child’s social media use

How much time on a device, computer or television is too much for children two years and younger?  What guidelines are available to assist parents of these children?  What resources are available to help set appropriate expectations for children of all ages? These and many answers may be found in the recently released guidelines for ‘screen time’ by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Just this month the American Academy of Pediatrics softened its “screen time”recommendations for children under the age of two years. As early as 18 months children may be introduced to educational programming with parental interaction. It is important for parents to remember to avoid solo media use with this age group through the age 24 months. While it is not recommended that children under the age of 18 months spend any amount of time in front of screens, there is one exception — video chatting. Video chatting with a facilitator to aid in what they see, allows for appropriate interaction for even the youngest of children.

As with everything, moderation is key. Finding a balance between play, sleep, reading, interaction and screens makes for a well-balanced child. A parent’s own “screen time” has a direct impact on children as well. Parents are encouraged to put down their smartphones when interacting with their children. Taking the time to give a child eye contact and listening not only models appropriate use of technology but also supports social skill development in young children. Using screen time to help create, collaborate, think critically and communicate together builds stronger relationships and enhances healthy relationships. However, nothing replaces face-to-face interaction and active engagement with children.

For more information on how to create a plan with your child(ren) and to set appropriate media expectations, check out this new tool provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics, available in both an English version and Spanish version.

Cari Teske, AEA 267 Integrated Learning Specialist

Cari Teske, AEA 267 Integrated Learning Specialist

For more information, contact Cari Teske AEA 267 Integrated Learning Specialist at 1-800-735-1539.

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Learning with Technology Conference being held in December

The Learning with Technology Conference will be held December 1st and 2nd at the AEA 267 Conference Center in Cedar Falls. This conference is a great way for teachers of all grade levels, regardless of technology access, to learn about the innovative ways their peers are using technology to improve student learning.

This year Mr. Will Richardson will be the keynote speaker on both days. Will Richardson, a former public school educator of 22 years, has spent the last dozen years developing an international reputation as a leading thinker and writer about the intersection of social online learning networks and education.

Register through the agency professional learning system.  

  • Learning with Technology Conference Course #15362
  • Thursday Section #29875
  • Friday Section #29876

Each day will have a unique session and set of presenters. Attendees may register for either day or both days. If you choose to attend both days, you will need to register for each day separately. For registration information and the conference schedule visit our website Registration ends November 23, 2016.

Questions, contact Michelle Cowell, AEA 267 Instructional Technology Consultant.

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Registration deadlines to change January 1, 2017

Effective January 1, 2017, all professional learning offerings will have a two week registration cut-off date prior to the start date of the offering.

For example:  If a professional learning offering begins February 1, 2017, the registration cut-off date will be January 17, 2017.  Please make note of this change in registration deadlines so you don’t incur a late registration fee.

This change is in preparation for AEA 267 transitioning to a statewide professional learning registration system with all nine state AEA’s.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Amy Moine, AEA 267 Director of Professional Learning.

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School Psychology Awareness Week

School Psychology Awareness Week is November 14-18 and this year’s theme, “Small Steps Change Lives” highlights the importance of creating supportive learning environments that enable students take steps socially, emotionally, behaviorally, and academically to thrive in school, at home, and throughout life.

Area Education Agency 267’s School Psychologists support students’ mental and behavioral health in order to ensure their successful learning and well-being. Playing a critical role in creating safe and supportive learning environments, School Psychologists are uniquely qualified team members that support educators’ ability to teach and children’s ability to learn.

School psychologists can provide support in the following areas:

  • Build students’ resilience and ability to meet challenges.
  • Support students’ social–emotional well-being.
  • Promote positive behavior and social skills.
  • Reinforce healthy adult–student relationships and connections.
  • Implement proactive, comprehensive school safety efforts.
  • Provide direct intervention and counseling services to all students.
  • Identify students in need of additional learning supports and/or enrichment
  • Use data to individualize instruction and monitor student progress.
  • Provide staff with relevant job-embedded professional development.
  • Work with administrators to implement multitiered systems of support.
  • Strengthen the family’s engagement in their children’s learning and school lives.
  • Improve school–community partnerships to provide wraparound services.

Visit the AEA 267 website for a list of the School Psychologists serving the area.

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