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 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 2, 2015: 2015 Together We Can Conference; Supporting Each Other Through Change and Transition.  A state wide conference for individuals with disabilities, their families, and the people who serve them.  Free for families, $20.00 for professionals. 

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.

2015 Mini-Conference Series; PLANNING FOR SUCCESSFUL Transitions Preparing Youth for Adult Living, Learning and working A FREE MINI CONFERENCE FOR PARENTS, YOUTH (13+) & PROFESSIONALS. May 16, 2015 Cedar Rapids Human Services,  June 13, 2015 Waterloo Clarion Inn. REGISTER ONLINE! 

June 2 & 3, 2015: Great Prairie AEA, Ottumwa.  The University of Iowa College of Education’s Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research (ICATER) will host four Assistive Technology Summer Institutes to address assistive technology issues in education.  The institutes will provide unique hands-on learning opportunities. ICATER will create onsite AT labs showing how to successfully use software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking, Kurzwell 3000, Read and Write Gold, and Clicker 6 in the classroom setting. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events.

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 



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.