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News Releases


For Immediate Release
June 8, 2012

Communications

Grant Wood AEA
1-800-332-8488
319-399-6714


 

Grant Wood Area Education Agency receives recommendation for full accreditation from the Department of Education


Following a review of the services provided by Grant Wood Area Education Agency (AEA), a review team from the Iowa Department of Education has recommended full accreditation for the agency, which serves 32 school districts in the east central Iowa area.


The Department of Education uses the accreditation process to ensure that schools served by the AEA receive quality services, which are aligned and compliant with both state and national laws as well as additional identified requirements. In the report, the accreditation team noted, “Iowa’s AEAs are a critical part of the support structure for schools and ultimately for children. With so much at stake, maintaining high standards or quality in programs and services is a top priority.” It is a high stakes evaluation to determine if the AEA qualifies for ongoing accreditation.

 

The accreditation process involves extensive written and oral documentation, which provides evidence the AEA is meeting all the performance requirements mandated by state law. The AEAs are required to fulfill nine “standards”, which cover

  • Support for diverse learners, which includes special education

  • Media (library) services

  • School leadership development

  • Support for school management

  • Curriculum, instruction and assessment support services

  • Professional development opportunities for educators

  • School-community planning support for school boards

  • School technology support

  • Multicultural, Gender-Fair support, which includes anti-bullying work

The team reviewed the agency’s documentation, interviewed agency staff and administration and held focus group sessions with area teachers, administrators and parents of special education students. The team sought assurances that the agency was

  • Providing its services equitably among all districts and nonpublic schools

  • Properly monitoring implementation of its services

  • Measuring the effectiveness of its services

  • Measures the efficiency of its services, and

  • Routinely assesses its services in relationship to how they affect its agency-wide goals.

The accreditation team identified a number of strengths of the agency in its report, which included:

  • “Multiple LEA [a term the DE uses to describe local schools] and parent interviewees reported that agency staff are professional, respectful and responsive to their needs,”

  • Local schools “appreciate the thoroughness and responsiveness of RAs [Grant Wood AEA regional administrators] to local needs,”

  • The agency “promotes innovation through various initiatives”

  • “Helping LEAs [local schools] identify and analyze student performance gaps”

  • “Assisting administrators and teachers in analyzing multiple assessments and student work to improve instruction.”

The overall report identifies strengths the agency has exhibited in each of the standards for which the AEA is evaluated. It also makes recommendations for possible improvements the agency may wish to implement. In response to the overall report, Joe Crozier, Chief Administrator for the agency said, “We are pleased with the accreditation report. We have made a concerted effort to align our work with the defined needs and objectives of the Department of Education, and that is evident in their findings.”

 

The accreditation review occurs every five years for each of the state’s nine AEAs. The accreditation team includes a team of individuals from the Iowa Department of Education, plus a few area school administrators and representatives from AEAs that will undergo accreditation review next year.

 

Grant Wood AEA provides educational services for 32 public school districts and 22 approved nonpublic schools in Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn, and Washington counties.

 

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Grant Wood Area Education Agency extends equal opportunities in its employment practices, educational programs and services, and does not discriminate on the basis of color, gender, race, national origin, religion, creed, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, veteran status or as otherwise prohibited by law. If you believe you or your child has been discriminated against or treated unjustly, please contact the Agency’s Equity Coordinator, Maria Cashman, at 319-399-6847 or 800-332-8488 or TDD 319-399-6766, Grant Wood AEA, 4401 Sixth St SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.

ADDRESS: 4401 Sixth Street SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
TELEPHONE: 319-399-6700 | 800-332-8488
Fax: 319-399-6457
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