DES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Education today awarded over $1.6 million in competitive grants to six school districts to establish therapeutic classrooms for learners whose social-emotional or behavioral needs impact their ability to be successful in their current learning environment.
“This grant supports school districts taking that next step to further support their students being healthy and productive in the classroom,” said Gov. Reynolds. “As we move past the COVID-19 pandemic, Iowa must continue to work collaboratively with schools, mental health regions, and our Area Education Agencies to support students and their whole health.”
“I am proud of the work our schools do every day to expand educational opportunities in new ways to meet the needs of all students,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo. “I commend these schools and their community partners on plans for building and strengthening a continuum of therapeutic supports for students.”
The six districts selected for a one-time Therapeutic Classroom Incentive Grant include:
- Ames Community School District
- Clinton Community School District
- Eastern Allamakee Community School District
- Hinton Community School District
- Mount Pleasant Community School District
- Washington Community School District
The Therapeutic Classroom Incentive Grant was established through state legislation signed into law last year and is part of a statewide effort to increase mental health supports for children, youth and families. Therapeutic supports include such things as social-emotional skill building, skills to cope with stress and trauma, mental health treatment and crisis intervention and follow-up.
In determining awards, equity across small, medium and large districts, distribution across Iowa’s Mental Health and Disability Services (MHDS) regions, the total number of students to be served and planned collaboration between districts, Area Education Agencies (AEAs) and community mental health providers were taken into consideration. Proposals submitted by the six awarded districts will serve nearly 150 pre-K-12 students and will expand mental health supports for youth across five of the state’s MHDS regions and six of the AEA regions.
Grants will be distributed no later than August 1, 2021, for district implementation during the 2021-2022 school year.
More information about Therapeutic Classroom Incentive Grants is available on the Iowa Department of Education’s website.