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


September 22-24. 2015: The Iowa Transition Conference will be held at the Coralville Marriott in Coralville, Iowa. Participants have the opportunity to attend sessions on transition planning, assessment and services appropriate for parents, students, educators, AEA and agencies living, learning and working with students with disabilities. The conference will also offer an Exhibit Hall to learn more about transition services and products and offer networking opportunities. Costs: Wednesday is a full day for $100.00 and includes breakfast and lunch; Thursday is a half day for $65.00 and includes breakfast with a keynote in the late morning before conference closing. No lunch will be provided.

September 24, 2015: 6:30-8:30 pm. University of Iowa Children’s Hospital Autism Center presents: Understanding Autism: Practical Help for Parenting Children with Autism 2015 Workshop Series Teaching Social Communication Skills to Young Children with Autism

September 25 & 26, 2015: Parents as Presenters. You are invited to apply for “Parents as Presenters”. Deadline extended! The workshop will teach and demonstrate the skills you need to effectively share your story with college students and community providers. You will be learning and working with other parents who have children with disabilities during the workshop.  There are no registration costs for attending the workshop. Participants will be selected through an application process. The applicants selected to attend the workshop will receive a stipend of $375.00 per family to assist with some of the expenses incurred by attending the workshop.  (For example: hotel, meals, costs for travel or childcare).

October 6-7, 2015: 2015 /Mental Health Conference.  Prairie Meadows Hotel and Conference Center, 1 Prairie Meadows Dr, Altoona, IA.  Early Bird Registration fee (by September 22) Full Conference $145 - Online Registration $165- Mailed/Faxed Registration One day only $80- Online Registration $100 - Mailed/Faxed Registration CEU fees $12 - Social Work $24 - Nursing General Registration Information Full conference registration fee includes all scheduled meal functions, breaks and workshop materials.  Participants are responsible for their own sleeping room arrangements. The conference will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities (with advanced notice). 

October 29, 2015: 6:00-8:30pm. University of Iowa Children’s Hospital Autism Center presents: Understanding Autism: Practical Help for Parenting Children with Autism 2015 Workshop Series BE SOCIAL: Practical Tips for Helping Prepare Your School-Age Child with Autism for Social Adventures

Transition Clinic For teens 12 years of age or older.  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

February 15-18, 2016: Learning Disabilities of America, 53rd Annual International Conference Orlando, FL.

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



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).
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