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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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Did you know summer reading loss is responsible for 80% of the achievement gap?

We caught a young reader who is preventing that “summer slide!” She added a favorite book to the little free library. From kindergarten to 12th grade, search various titles and eBooks today! 📚

...•AEA Statewide Digital Resources: check out all of the digital resources available 24/7 (https://bit.ly/3L9Cvl9)
•BookFLIX: paired popular fiction and nonfiction texts that engage readers and support literacy (https://bit.ly/4bvxK03)
•MackinVIA: read audiobooks and ebooks from any device (https://bit.ly/3Y6qN2z)
•PebbleGo: easily accessible, kid-friendly database (https://bit.ly/4cmKCH9)

Visit the link in our bio to access the full list of Media Resources. Need a username/password? Email reservations@centralriversaea.org.

#EveryDayAtAEA #CRAEA #iaedchat #summerreading

Some of our Early ACCESS Educators took part in the Operation Threshold Parenting Fair at Kittrell Elementary in Waterloo. The fair allowed families to learn about community resources while enjoying snacks. 🙌

Our booth provided information about Early ACCESS services, what we offer, and... how to make a referral. With 17 agencies present, our staff loved the opportunity to network with other organizations! 👏

#EveryDayAtAEA #CRAEA #iaedchat

Another annual #ConnectingtheDots conference is complete! Last week, around 200 educators, administrators, consultants and staff focused on "Thinking Again" through various activities and learning sessions. 🧠 💡

They explored accessibility/inclusivity, assessment, building ...strong relationships, classroom management, curriculum design, effective teaching, grading and feedback! 🙌

Thank you to our special guest speakers, Pete Hall and Jared Sliger, for sharing valuable insights with our educators, administrators and staff! 👏

#EveryDayAtAEA #CRAEA #iaedchat #ThinkAgain

That’s a wrap on the 2024 Contextual Learning Training!

Over the past four days, teachers dove into building projects and practical exercises, experiencing the same courses their students will in the classroom! 🙌

This hands-on, immersive approach aims to equip teachers with ...the skills and confidence to deliver these innovative courses. Our goal is to ignite a passion for math in students, inspiring them whether they head straight into the workforce, a trade, or college. 👏

A couple teachers shared their excitement about taking their new knowledge from the training back to their schools.

“Many of our students, especially in rural areas, enter the skilled trades after high school. It's crucial to introduce them early to different career paths. Integrating practical skills, like shop class, into geometry helps students see how math applies to real-life situations. Even small efforts can greatly enhance a student's ability to understand and apply abstract concepts in everyday life.” -Jennifer, math teacher at Wapsie Valley CSD

“Focusing on projects rather than quizzes makes learning interactive and engaging. It helps students demonstrate their knowledge and apply it outside the classroom. Having accessible Career and Technical Education (CTE) and wood-shop classes broadens skills and removes barriers. Even if you've never built anything before, it becomes approachable and exciting.” -Niki, math teacher at Scio CSD in Oregon

#EveryDayAtAEA #CRAEA #iaedchat #teacherdevelopment #STEM

Around 30 teachers from various Iowa school districts, including Central DeWitt, Union, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Wapsie Valley, Western Dubuque, Newman Catholic, and Martensdale-St. Marys, are spending the week exploring new methods to teach math!

This four-day "Contextual Learning ...Training" offers an innovative approach designed to make math more engaging and exciting for students. 👏🙌

#EveryDayAtAEA #CRAEA #iaedchat #teacherdevelopment #STEM

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

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."