Iowa Area Education Agencies

School Improvement Consultants Build LEA Capacity through Teacher Leader Work

March 10, 2015

Earlier this month, Grant Wood AEA held an orientation training for our recently-awarded Year 1 TLC districts. Of the 171 districts that applied, 125 were chosen for grants: 74 for the 2015-16 and 51 for 2016-17 school years. Thirteen of these were first year recipients from the Grant Wood AEA service area, a number that speaks to the work of districts and our school improvement teams.

“The districts adopted similar, multi-disciplined approaches to writing the grant application to secure the TLC funding,” explained Grant Wood AEA Regional Administrator Bart Mason, “but the common thread between each effort was the contribution by our school improvement consultants. They were embedded with the grant writing effort and did a lot of work up front with districts to help make this happen.”

Last year’s TLC grant recipients included Cedar Rapids, Linn-Mar and Benton Community and has expanded to include nearly all of the schools in our agency’s service area. “It’s a great model which allows teachers to learn from the practices of top colleagues,” adds Grant Wood AEA Regional Administrator Kim Owen.

In the past year, the Grant Wood AEA staff supporting TLC work has had a two-fold focus for its districts:
1. Building the skills of the LEA’s teacher leader. “What many of the first year teacher leaders found,” said Owen, “is that it’s much different to be a coach to a fellow teacher and an adult learner compared with a student learner. Some of the skills are transferrable, but it takes some specialized training and support that we are offering here at Grant Wood AEA to be successful in this new role.”

2. Bringing skills together as a team to move efforts together in a systemic manner. “This is where our school improvement consultants became even more valuable for our LEAs,” added Mason. “We demonstrated how to apply their skills to get the outcome they wanted as we collectively worked toward continuous improvement.”

Now the team that supports our TLC districts is looking ahead to a very different horizon. “With a broader base of schools receiving the grant money, we’re looking at what we can do at the state level through regional support and training,” said Mason, “and how we can incorporate what we’ve learned from the first year to make this next year even better.”

2015-16 TLC recipients
Center Point-Urbana
Clear Creek-Amana
College Community
Iowa City
Iowa Valley
North Cedar
West Branch

2016-17 TLC recipients
Central City
Lone Tree

Iowa Area Education Agencies
Central Rivers AEA Grant Wood AEA Great Prairie AEA Green Hills AEA Heartland AEA Keystone AEA Mississippi Bend Northwest AEA Prarie Lakes AEA
All Iowa AEAs are required to adhere to state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination in programs, activities and employment practices. For specific information, contact your AEA.
Iowa Area Education Agencies
Connie Johnson
Statewide Communications Director
Iowa Area Education Agencies
712/335-3588 ext. 2015

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About AEAs
Iowa Area Education Agencies (AEAs) were created in 1974 by the Iowa legislature to ensure equal educational opportunities for all children from birth through age 21. As regional service agencies, AEAs provide special education and school improvement services for students, families, teachers, administrators, and their communities.

© 2017 Iowa Area Education Agencies. All Rights Reserved.

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© 2017 Iowa Area Education Agencies. All Rights Reserved.