Parent-Educator Connection - Great Prairie Area Education Agency

Parent-Educator Connection

The Parent & Educator Connection works to develop and sustain effective partnerships between families, educators, and community providers to promote the success for all children and youth with disabilities.

PEC coordinators work with parents, educators, and local school districts to provide PEC programs, services, and activities; they are also parents of children or young adults with special needs. Please call your PEC coordinator for more information about what the PEC can do for you.

Training Opportunities


April 8 & 9, 2015:  Secondary Transition Family Planning for Educators and Parents in Burlington at Great Prairie AEA, Burlington, IA.  This FREE two day workshop is intended to help teachers and parents learn how to assist families in their understanding of the special education transition process in Iowa and how to participate effectively. Participant meals and all materials will be provided.  Graduate and recertification credit is available.  To Enroll go to

April 9, 2015: 6:30-8pm “Caregiver Wellness and Stress Reduction Techniques”. Understanding Autism: Practical Help for Parenting Children with Autism 2015 Workshop Series by the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital Autism Center.  Dr. Suzanne Bartlett, board certified integrative medicine physician and parent of a child on the autism spectrum, will address the subject of caregiver stress and its effects on our health and life expectancy.  To register for a workshop email: or call: 319-467-5658.  Please indicate whether you would like to attend the workshop at the Center for Disabilities and Development or by Webinar on your computer.

April 20, 2015: 6:00-8:00 p.m. The Behavior doctor, Dr. Laura Riffel, is coming to the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center for a FREE behavior training on Positive Interventions and Effective Strategies for Parents.  This session will cover; Overview of Positive Behavior Supports, Increase appropriate behavior by 80% just by doing ONE thing, Sticking with it! Learn the magic formula for how long to stick with an intervention, Learn Interventions you can take back and use tomorrow, at home, The best sentence to use when you are calling the school, to ask them to sit down and talk about a behavior, Main components of Applied Behavior Analysis, Maximizing proactive strategies rather than reactive actions with a Question & Answer Session to Follow.  To register please go to .  

April 21, 2015: 8:30 - 4:00 p.m. The Behavior Doctor, Dr. Laura Riffel, is coming to the Fairfield Arts and Convention center to present a FREE behavior training on Positive Intervention and Effective Strategies for Classroom Management.  This session will cover; Learn skills for basing interventions on the function of behavior rather than the emotional reactions, Step-by-step instructions for implementing the use of interventions including primary (classroom), secondary (targeted groups) and tertiary (intensive individual), - Rewiring the Hardwire: Proven steps for overriding the reactive behavior of adults, Discover interventions that leave children with no chance to argue, Proactive strategies and research based methods that increase applied behavior analysis and a continuum of supports for children with target behaviors.  To register go to .

April 25, 2015:  8am-Noon Painting Burlington with Autism Awareness Walk at Great River Medical Center, Lake Side.  Rain or Shine.  Kids carnival games, auction, bake sale and vendors.  Contact Heidi Swenson, 319-457-7944  

May 7, 2015: 6:30-8pm “Understanding Autism Through the Lens of Genetics”.  Understanding Autism: Practical Help for Parenting Children with Autism  2015 Workshop Series by University of Iowa Children’s Hospital Autism Center Although autism is a condition that emerges from a variety of risk factors, perhaps the most well-established are genetic variations that affect brain development and organization.  To register for a workshop email: or call: 319-467-5658.  Please indicate whether you would like to attend the workshop at the Center for Disabilities and Development or by Webinar on your computer.

Driving Study at the University of Iowa involving individuals on the Autism spectrum between the ages of 151/2 and 29.  We are in great need of participants.  There is a stipend that the participants will receive.  They must have a learners permit and must be able to visit the University 15 times over a 3 month period.  If you have a child that needs additional driver's training please contact us.  

Transition Clinic For teens 12 years of age or older.  We will work together to develop action plan based on family goals to promote teen’s independence, develop  portable medical summary, collaborate with education/work transition plans, discuss future plans, activities of daily living and physical activity, guardianship and living arrangements, health insurance coverage, life in the community after high school, nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices, relationships and sexuality.  Clinic visit with the healthcare transition team that may include: Social Worker, Nurse Physician/Nurse Practitioner and/or Employment Specialist.  An order/referral from a physician is not needed.  Center for Disabilities & Development 877-686-0031 or 319-353-6900 or

Every Tuesday: Parent Circle Groups meet at ISU Extension: 127 N. Main Mount Pleasant IA 

2015 Transition Mini2015 Mini---Conference SeriesConference Series; March 28 Davenport Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, 5202 Brady StApril 18 Council Bluffs Iowa Western Community College, 2700 College RdMay 16 Cedar Rapids Human Services Campus, 317 7th Ave SEJune 13 Waterloo Clarion Inn University Plaza, 5826 University AveREGISTER ONLINE! 



Parent & Educator Connection brochure

Materials or Information available from PEC staff:
Parent Support Groups:

The PEC Library contains many resource materials on special education and disabilities that parents and educators served by GPAEA may check out free of charge. GPAEA has two main offices one in Burlington and one in Ottumwa. Materials may be checked out from either office. Resource materials include: Videotapes, Books, Children's books, and IBI/Success 4 Kits.



Annette Clarahan
Parent Educator Coordinator
641-682-8591 or 800-622-0027 Ext. 5517

Districts Covered:  Albia, Cardinal, Centerville , Chariton, Davis County, Eddyville-Blakesburg , Fairfield, Fremont, Keota, Maharishi, Moravia, Moulton - Udel, North Mahaska, Oskaloosa Christian, Oskaloosa, Ottumwa, Ottumwa Juvenile Shelter, Ottumwa Seton Catholic School, Pekin, Seymour, Sigourney, Tri County, Van Buren, Wayne.


Kelly Wallace                                                                                                                                                     
Parent Educator Coordinator                                                                                                                              
319-385-9005 or 800-382-8970 Ext. 3034    

Districts Covered: Burlington, Central Lee, Danville, Ft. Madison, Harmony, Keokuk, Mediapolis, Morning Sun, Mt. Pleasant, New London, Waco, Wapello, West Burlington, Winfield/Mt. Union.


Kim Kirchner
Regional Special Education Director
319-753-6561 Ext. 2115 Burlington Office


Related Links & Documents


Each and Every Child, Iowa Department of Education

Iowa COMPASS Newletter


Procedural Safeguards for Parents

Parents have rights, known as procedural safeguards, which apply to every aspect of the special education process. State and federal laws and regulations outline what needs to happen to ensure that children with identified disabilities and on an Individualized Education Program (IEP) receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE).
© 2015 Great Prairie AEA. All Rights Reserved.