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Therapeutic Classroom Grant


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The Therapeutic Classroom Grant provides competitive grants pursuant to Iowa Code 256.25 to public school districts to establish therapeutic classrooms for learners ages 3 to 21 whose emotional, social, or behavioral needs interfere with their ability to be successful in their current educational environment. Districts applying for the grant may seek funds to establish new classrooms and/or install critical components into current classroom/programs that they are developing into therapeutic classrooms.

Distribution of funds is dependent on funds being obligated for fiscal year 2022.


Date Activity
March 12 Grant Application Questions Due
March 19 FAQ Released for Grant Application Questions
April 30 Applications Due
May 31 Awards Announced
No later than August 1 Funds Distributed

Application Information

Districts may apply using the below Application Portal. Prior to submitting your application, it is recommended you are prepared to submit all portions of the application by using the Application Package and Worksheet.


Grant Specific Resources



Social-emotional-behavioral health (SEBH) affects how we think, feel, communicate, act, and learn. These contribute to resilience, how we relate to others, respond to stress and emotions, and make choices. See the SEBH definition and rational for more information.

Within a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS), universal, school-based social-emotional learning can prevent a range of school-related SEBH concerns, but are not sufficient to support the range of student needs. Supplemental and intensive therapeutic social-emotional supports are effective at reducing social-emotional concerns including such things as anxiety, depression, self-harm and post-traumatic stress disorder.

School-based therapeutic classroom supports are part of the continuum of SEBH supports schools may offer through MTSS.

Therapeutic classroom supports can include a range of services across a variety of educational settings and/or learning spaces and are not necessarily a stand-alone or isolated classroom.

Therapeutic classrooms are intended:

  • For students whose emotional, social, or behavioral needs interfere with the student’s ability to be successful in the current educational environment, with or without supports, including students who have co-occurring poor academic work habits or need academic supports, due to social-emotional behaviors that interfere with learning;
  • To be time limited and geared to support students in successfully returning to their educational environment, with or without supports; and
  • For a small percentage of learners who are unable to function or make acceptable progress with services and/or program options available in less restrictive environments.

Therapeutic Classroom Framework

The Therapeutic Classroom Framework provides a foundation for districts to build-on as they are establishing therapeutic classroom supports. The Therapeutic Classroom Implementation Rubric is a tool districts may use to self-assess and prioritize therapeutic supports and components and is required for applicants of the Therapeutic Classroom Grant.

Supports for Therapeutic Classrooms Support for Qualified Committed Professionals: Team-based design, implementation and decision-making.
Professional learning and support to implement effective classroom instruction. Knowledge and skills in crisis response and trauma-informed care.
Supports and leadership for adult social-emotional learning (SEL). Development of Therapeutic Classroom Supports: Understanding of characteristics and experiences of students with SEBH concerns. Knowledge and skills to assess and teach social-emotional competencies. Knowledge, process and supports for Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavior Intervention Planning. Knowledge and development of supplemental and intensive school and/or community-based mental health supports. Family and Community Supports: Supports for school and community awareness of mental health issues and school-based supports. Supports to develop community and family understanding of the therapeutic classroom. Family support for student related needs (e.g., parent training, community-based supports for basic needs, respite, etc.). Therapeutic Classroom Components Therapeutic Intervention System Therapeutic supports developed based on student needs, aligned to school-wide expectations for SEBH and monitored for effectiveness. Behavior Intervention Plans crafted based on a Functional Behavior Assessment and the learner’s unique context.
Structure and process to diagnose, design and deliver targeted and/or intensive therapeutic supports. A team-based approach to examine and adjust therapeutic supports. Program-Wide Components Consistent schedules and routines, clearly state rules and behavioral expectations with immediate and positive feedback. Regular assessment and instruction of social-emotional competencies. Supports for enhancing positive childhood experiences. 
Environmentally sound learning environment: organized, suitable for learning, age-appropriate activities and adult supports, and furnishings. Structured academic supports that provide grade-aligned expectations with high rates of academic success, clear expectations for learning, individual considerations for instruction and opportunities to develop independence necessary for age/grade tasks.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on August 03, 2021 at 5:40pm.