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Early ACCESS – a partnership with Iowa’s AEAs to the state’s earliest learners

Early intervention can make a difference. No two children develop, grow, and learn in the same way or at the… Continue reading Home

Agency News

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  • Central Rivers AEA math consultants partner with Denver, Nashua-Plainfield & Tripoli Community School Districts to secure incredible results for students with SOAR

  • The Impact of the 2024 Legislative Session on Iowa’s Area Education Agencies: What was cut and how will it impact services?

  • Bridging Languages, Building Futures: How Iowa’s AEAs Support English Learners and Their Teachers

How we help educators, students & families

  • 1


    We provide services to local school districts that they could not afford independently. By working together, we make every dollar stretch further.

  • 2


    Prior to the establishment of Iowa's Area Education Agency (AEA) system in 1974, the Iowa legislature was plagued with complaints about inequitable services from district to district across Iowa. One of our number one objectives is to ensure that all students and teachers, regardless of location, have access to what they need to succeed.

  • 3


    Excellence is not a buzzword at Central Rivers AEA, it's part of our DNA as an organization. We recruit and retain highly qualified team members with a passion for service.

  • 4

    Leadership & Service

    We both respond to district requests and create opportunities never thought of before. Our dedication extends to every last student we serve.

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A few of our school districts were excited to share some data with us... Talk about the impact of collaboration! 🙌

In one school district, some students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) showed outstanding performance on the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress ...(ISAP). One student increased their score by 63 points, while another improved by 22 points. The student with the 63-point increase made progress equivalent to over two, almost three years! 👏

For the past two years, another school’s elementary teacher has been using SOAR with her intervention groups. Her results mirrored last year’s successes – nearly three-quarters are already prepared for the next grade with those considered “at-risk” continuing to gain ground. This data, gathered from the spring 2024 aMath assessments from FastBridge, underscores the long-term benefits of consistent and targeted intervention. 👏

In a third school district, around 20 students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) got extra help in math using SOAR and Specially-Designed Instruction (SDI). Nearly 80% of these students showed growth or proficiency on their 2024 ISASP math tests, with students making more than a year's worth of progress, and some advancing by two or three years. The school has been using SOAR math materials for three years, and several students have completed all the SOAR math levels.

A big thank you to our math consultants for supporting our schools in implementing SOAR into the mathematics curriculum. What's SOAR? This research-based math intervention program guides students through essential math content with clear and systematic instruction, both for school and beyond with great teacher usability.

For more detailed information, check out the full story on our website. The link can be found in our bio.

#EveryDayAtAEA #CRAEA #iaedchat #SOAR

A big thank you to Dustin Zeschke, Dr. Nicole Skaar, Dr. Susan Etscheidt, Katherine Beenken, Carrie Weber, Nina Lorimor-Easley, Sara Hento and Tyler Coverdale for sharing the latest information on special education at our #SpecialEducationLegalSummit! 👏

This free event brought together ...over 200 teachers, directors, administrators, school psychologists, school social workers, special education/school improvement consultants and more from several #CRAEA regions to learn from local and state experts on special education laws and best practices. 🙌

From how to handle chronic absences to creating effective behavior plans, attendees were brought up-to-speed on important issues impacting Iowa schools right now.

#EveryDayAtAEA #iaedchat #specialeducation

Last night after the regular board meeting, the Central Rivers AEA Board of Directors bid farewell to Chief Administrator Joel Pedersen, Executive Director of Special Education Amy Knupp, and Executive Director of Educational Services Jen Sigrist. All three will depart from the agency on June ...30.

Best wishes to each of these incredible leaders! Your presence will be greatly missed. Thank you for your service and dedication to the children, families and educators of our area! 👏

#CRAEA #leadership #service

The River Hills School Portrait of a Learner Team is dedicated to making sure their vision benefits every student who thrives at River Hills! 🙌

Their goal is straightforward: to provide a flexible, student-centered and personalized education that nurtures social, emotional and academic ...growth, helping students discover their place and purpose in the world. 🌎👏

#EveryDayAtAEA #CRAEA #iaedchat #portraitofalearner

Amy May, Principal of A-P Elementary, teamed up with Central Rivers AEA Team Reps Tammy McDermott and Carla Knutsen. 🙌

Together, they discussed the special education needs and supports in the @ap_falcons CSD. 👏

#EveryDayAtAEA #CRAEA #iaedchat

Congratulations to all of our 2024 #CRAEA retirees! This is what 577 combined years of service at Central Rivers AEA looks like!

Thank you all for your years of commitment – your passion & dedication made a difference for our students, families & communities. 👏

Have... a happy retirement & enjoy this new phase of your life! 🎉

What we are proud of

Top Workplace

We are a Des Moines Register Top Workplace.


of local educators say Central Rivers AEA special education services are "meeting or exceeding" expectations.


of local educators say that Central Rivers AEA Future Ready supports are "meeting or exceeding" expectations.


of local educators say that Central Rivers AEA Media and Creative Services are "meeting or exceeding" expectations.

"The AEA staff members who work with my district have been extremely helpful across the board...answering questions specific to content areas, helping with technology implementation, analyzing and using student data, and implementing Social and Emotional Learning structures."