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Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency's Learning Supports Proposal

October 28, 2005

The Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency has been selected by the Iowa Department of Education to host a presentation by Drs. Adelman & Taylor (Center for Mental Health in the Schools – UCLA). The intended audience is LEA administrators, curriculum coordinators, and selected Mississippi Bend AEA staff. The MBAEA Learning Center has been reserved for the presentation on December 13, 2005.

The presentation will focus on how AEA Nine can create Learning Supports programs and practices that result in Effective Schools. Research indicates that Learning Supports have been shown to improve student achievement and physical, social, emotional, and behavioral health. The presentation will highlight the role of the AEA staff as change agents in school districts. The Iowa Learning Supports Initiative enables schools to develop full continua of school and community programs and services. The vision of the Iowa Learning Supports Initiative is that every school and every school district will have a resource management team (ultimately multi-agency) that carries out the functions detailed in the Iowa concept paper, Developing Our Youth: Fulfilling a Promise, Investing in Iowa’s Future.

Drs. Adelman and Taylor served as project consultants during the design phase of the Learning Supports Initiative in Iowa. They are working in states across the country to help schools and school districts develop systems of learning supports.

A sample agenda for the day could include the following:

  • The role of AEA Nine as a Change Agent
  • Mapping: Resources, Mechanisms, and School Level Learning Supports Activities
  • Structure and Functions of Learning Supports Teams and Councils
  • Rethinking Roles and Functions
  • Capacity Building by and for the AEA

AEA Nine current projects that are aligned with the Learning Supports Initiative are:

  • AEA Nine Essential Foundations
  • Poverty Training
  • Olweus Bullying Prevention Program
  • The Mentoring Center demonstration grant
  • Elementary School Counseling demonstration grants
  • Safe Schools/Healthy Students demonstration grant
  • Character Education

The Learning Supports Initiative allows AEAs to analyze current programs and resources they have (school and community) that would meet student needs, determine gaps and redundancies and select research-based practices that contribute to safe and effective schools. The long-term intent is that the right service can be delivered to the “right” students, at the right time.

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