November 14, 2011

2012 Legislative Day

You’re invited to
Iowa Association of Alternative Education Legislative Day
 Monday, February 27, 2012
in the rotunda of the State Capital, Des Moines
   from 10:30 to 1:30 pm
Pizza will be served from Noon-1pm
The Governor and all State Legislators will be invited
Staff and students from all of Iowa’s Alternative schools and programs
are encouraged to participate.  Those attending should consider creating a
table display showcasing your program, student work, and special activities.
In addition to promoting alternative education and the great work that you do,
the day also serves as an outstanding opportunity for you to talk with your State Legislator.  Please contact them ahead of time, invite them to see your display and
join you and your students for lunch.
Please RSVP to
Rachelle Brown at (319)433-1930,
or Steve Peters at (515)242-7589,

November 07, 2011

Call for Presenters: 2012 IAAE Annual Spring Conference

Innovative Strategies for Supporting Diverse Learners

IAAE Annual Spring Conference
April 12 - 13, 2012  
6111 Fleur Drive
Des Moines, IA 50321
Phone 515-278-4811
Fax 515-287-2400

The purpose of the Iowa Association of Alternative Eduation (IAAE) is the meet the needs of students, parents, teachers, administrators and Iowa's general citizenry through a nonprofit professional organization, dedicated to the improvement of alternative education: to gather and disseminate information to and about alternative education; to assist school districts wishing to establish an alternative school/program; to assist alternative schools/programs and/or districts that are experiencing difficulties maintaining their alternative school/program; and to strengthen public support for alternative education as an important choice in the total education system.

Please join the members and supporters of the Iowa Association of Alternative Education in promoting student success at this annual state-wide conference!  The IAAE is looking for presenters to provide breakouts throughout the day, April 12 and 13. Please consider bringing your promising/best practices and sharing them with colleagues at this state-wide convention.

Breakout presenters are responsible for reduced conference registration fees and their own expenses. IAAE has reserved a block of rooms which are discounted for all conference attendees including presenters. 
  • When you complete the call for presenters form you will be registered for the conference at the reduced rate of $50. Please include payment by check or purchase order.
  • No registration fee is required if you do not plan to attend the conference.
  • Confirmation will be sent by email to confirm receipt of the form. You will receive room and time assignments at a later date, after all presenters have been selected.
To download or print a call for presenters form, click HERE.

November 04, 2011

Impossible to I’m Possible: 2012 IAAE Spring Conference

This year’s annual conference will be held April 12-13, 2012, at the Des Moines Airport Holiday Inn and Conference Center. The theme of the conference is “Impossibe to I’m Possible.” The IAAE is please to partner this year with the Iowa Residential Educators in presenting our conference. In order to provide current and meaningful information to both groups, this year’s conference will include a keynote and breakout sessions that directly relate to issues of behavior, as well as topics related to at-risk youth.

Our Thursday keynoter will be Larry Bell.

Larry is a 25-year veteran educator who spent 15 years in the classroom. Larry taught at Garfield High School, a school with over 3,000 students speaking 36 different languages. He was recognized for innovative classroom strategies that allowed his so called “Tough Kids” as well as his “Gifted and Talented” to excel!

He has provided numerous workshops and keynote addresses to teachers across the country. A Citadel graduate, Larry is now a full time consultant who owns his own company.

His presentation, entitled, “The Power of a Teacher Through High Expectationswill focus on these main points:

  • Research that shows the incredible power of high expectations.
  • Strategies for creating a classroom culture.
  • Strategies that motivate your most unmotivated students.
  • Eight personal techniques that transcend all "barriers."

The Friday keynoter will be Dr. Christopher Okiishi. Dr. Okiishi attended Iowa State University, graduating with a degree in psychology and Spanish. He then went to the University of Iowa, receiving an MD and completing a residency in Psychiatry and a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Currently, he divides his time between several Community Mental Health Centers in Southeastern Iowa and with the Child Health Specialty Clinics of the University of Iowa Health Care Department of Pediatrics. He has won numerous awards and fellowships for his excellence in the field of psychiatry.

Dr. Okiishi will be addressing frequently diagnosed mental illnesses in students and the implications of those diagnoses on educational practices. He will also talk about the perception that mental illness in kids is increasing, and how we can try to help kids combat it. Tentatively, Dr. Okiishi will also present break-out sessions on medications--how they work and what to watch for, and an in-depth discussion on Aspergers.

Look for information and registration materials to be posted here and on the IAAE website soon, and in your mailboxes in the coming months. Click here for a printable flyer to share!

November 03, 2011

Alternative School/Program Administrators' Networking Meeting Announced

The next Alternative School/Program Administrators' Networking Meeting will be held on Thursday, November 10, 2011 from 9:30 - 2:00.  The meeting is a chance for administrators from across the state to update each other on current practices, issues, and happenings in alternative education. The meeting will be on the DMACC Ankeny Campus in the FFA Enrichment Center located at 1055 SW Prairie Trail Parkway, Ankeny, IA 50023 in rooms 114-115.

Please register by emailing Greg McCullough or by calling (515) 965-7348 by November 9, 2011.

Here is the agenda for the meeting:

9:30 - 10:00 AM          Check In

10:00 - 10:15 AM        Welcome and Introductions
                                      Greg McCullough, Consultant, DMACC Youth Consortium

10:15 - 10:35 AM        Education Options in Wisconsin
                                      Rick Carpenter, Director, DMACC High School Programs
                                      Gayle Gosch, Instructor, DMACC High School Programs

10:35 - 10:50 AM        IAAE Events, News and Updates
                                     IAAE Board Members

10:50 - 11:00 AM       Break

11:00 - 12:00               Department of Education News and Updates
                                     Susan Walkup, Consultant for Alternative Education and
                                     At-Risk Programs, Iowa Department of Education

12:00 - 12:30 PM        Lunch-- There will be a $7.00 charge for lunch. We will cater from HyVee. Choice of sandwich (turkey, ham, or roast beef.) Email your selection to Greg by Tuesday, November 8.

12:30 - 1:15 PM          Successful Strategies for Student Achievement
                                     Judy Hintz, Director, Educational Resource Associates

1:15 - 2:00 PM           Networking, General Discussion, Q & A Session

In case of cancellation due to inclement weather, you will be notified by email or you can call (515)965-7348 for a voicemail message.

Sponsored by:
Iowa Association of Alternative Education
DMACC Youth Consortium
Iowa Department of Education

Risky Business Keynoter: Get Involved with Your Students!

Franklin Schargel, Risky Business XXIV Keynoter
The “Risky Business” Annual Conference was pleased to have as a keynoter Mr. Franklin Schargel. He entertained, enlightened, and moved the crowd as he presented his keynote address. The speech opened with a slideshow of many famous people who had failed in their lives, including Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, Harry Truman, Michael Phelps, and many more. Mr. Schargel commented on how if people would have given up on these folks, they may not have been as successful, which translates into the attitude that we should have in the classroom.

Schargel then spoke about the difference between change vs. improvement, and how schools need to change in order to improve the dropout rate. He also noted that educators are responsible for every job in society. We teach the students how to be functional, and they go out and use those skills to be successful in the workforce.

He also focused on how schools need to transition into teaching kids how to think, not just what to think. This is the difference between knowledge and information. Schools should transition from rote memorization to higher level thinking skills, and school personnel should get emotionally involved in the lives of their students.

The audience members appeared pumped up and reenergized after Mr. Schargel’s keynote address. Please check out Franklin Schargel’s web-page for further information.

Mandala: A Call for Submissions

Northeast Alternative Teachers, NEAT, together with the Iowa Association of
Alternative Education, call for submissions for the tenth edition of The
Mandala, an art and literary collection of work by state alternative high
school students.
Submissions of original art will be accepted in the following categories:
• Poetry (.doc)
• Narratives (.doc)
• Photography (.jpg)
• Pencil and/or (black) ink illustrations on white paper, up to 8" x 10"
• Cover Art, a mandala, reflecting the title, for consideration for the cover,
up to 8" x 10".  Cover submissions should include a paragraph on the personal
meaning of the student’s original mandala.

Include student name, instructor name, school name, and school address with
all submissions.  Email word-processed written work (Word format) and
photography files (.jpg format) to  Mail original
illustrations and cover art to:

Rockefeller Alternative High School Program
Northeast Iowa Community College
P. O. Box 400, 1625 Highway 150
Calmar, IA  52132-0400
Entry deadline is Friday, December 16, 2011.
Copies of the first nine editions of The Mandala are available for viewing
through the "Student Activities" link on the IAAE web site.  See

October 26, 2011

New Board Member

The IAAE welcomes Theresa Keeley to the Board! Theresa was appointed by the board to fill a vacancy in the Northeast due to resignation.

Theresa Keeley, Northeast Rep.
Theresa is a returning board member from the 1990's. As a Metro Alternative High School graduate of 1980, and a staff member at Metro since 1988, she truly embraces the intention of alternative education as well as the opportunities it can provide for learning and growth both academically, socially and emotionally. Agraduate of Eastern Illinois University (1985) she returned to Metro in 1988 as a Special Education teacher with a focus on behavior. She recently completed her Master's degree through Graceland University with an emphasis on Glasser Quality Schools. Theresa is involved in numerous aspects of Metro, from being an Outdoor Education trip leader to Theatre and Art classes and co-taught academics. She has 3 daughters ages 20, 17, and 13 that continue to keep her busy and youthful! In her free time she enjoys biking, camping, canoeing and a good conversation about topics related to education.

We thank Theresa for her agreeing to serve the IAAE!

October 24, 2011

Alternative Students Teach Teachers

Student Teachers learning from the experts: Alternative Students!

On October 18, 2011, Carrie Lane High School in Charles City hosted an alternative student-UNI student teacher round table. Rockefeller Alternative High School from Calmar, brought four students, and three students from Carrie Lane were able to talk to fifteen student teachers about a variety of subjects, from daily procedures at the alternative schools, to rules and regulations.
The student teachers were able to gather in-sight and get advice from the alternative school kids. Students advised the future teachers on what makes a good teacher and also what makes a bad teacher. The overall consensus from the students was that good teachers take the time to let the students know that they are important and that the teacher cares about his/her students.
The student teachers were able to see what life was like on the other side of the desk, which will hopefully benefit them as they transfer into their future profession. Also, hopefully, the experience of meeting these alternative school students will turn the student teachers into advocates for young people. A special thank you to Linda Rosulek, UNI Student Teacher Coordinator, Dawn Shattuck, Rockefeller High School Instructor, and Don Betts, Carrie Lane Director.

See a Northeast Iowa Community College story about the event here.

October 05, 2011

Governor Branstad's Blueprint for Education

On October 3, Governor Terry Branstad and Director of Education Jason Glass released a new blueprint for transforming Iowa's education system.

New Logo for Iowa's World Class Education, World Class Workforce

A draft of recommendations stemming from the Iowa Education Summit comprise the plan to return Iowa to the top state for education. Those recommendations include:
  • Attract and support talented educators with an increase in starting teacher pay, more selective teacher preparation programs and improved recruiting and hiring practices.
  • Create educator leadership roles in schools and develop a meaningful peer-based evaluation system that requires annual and multiple evaluations of all educators.
  • Develop a four-tier teacher compensation system with Apprentice, Career, Mentor and Master levels and substantial pay raises for teachers who move up. Add other options for increasing teacher pay, such as work in extended day or year programs.
  • Establish a definition of educator effectiveness and tie job protections to an evaluation system based on this definition.
  • Free up principals from some managerial tasks to lead and support great teaching.
  • Improve and expand the Iowa Core to put Iowa’s standards on par with the highest-performing systems in the world.
  • Develop an assessment framework that includes measuring whether children start kindergarten ready to learn and high-stakes End-of-Course assessments for core subjects in high school. Have all Iowa 11th graders take a state-funded college-entrance exam.
  • Provide value-added measures for all districts, schools, grades and educators that take into account student background characteristics and consider student growth.
  • Seek a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law and work with key education groups and leaders statewide to design a new accountability system.
  • Ensure children learn basic literacy by the end of third grade with high-quality reading programs, supports for schools and students, and an end to social promotion for third-graders who read poorly.
  • Nurture innovation with funding for transformative ideas, greater statutory waiver authority for the Iowa Department of Education and pathways to allow for high-quality charter schools in Iowa.
  • Create a state clearinghouse of high-quality online courses available to any student in Iowa, and back the courses with licensed teachers and the best online learning technology available.
  • Set goals for student outcomes, including a 95 percent high school graduation rate and top statewide performance on national standardized assessments.
To watch a video about the blueprint, or to leave a comment for the Department of Education, visit their website.

News stories about the blueprint for education can be found in:
The Des Moines Register
The Cedar Rapids Gazette
The Sioux City Journal
and more.

Board Meeting Minutes 9/30/11

IAAE Board Meeting Minutes
September 30, 2011
DMACC Ankeny Campus
FFA Building Room 114

  1. Call to Order
    1. In Attendance:  Rachelle Brown, Pam Courtney, Josh Dean, Lisa Demuth, Brett Eubank, Brian Friesner, Lisa Hackman, Bob Howlett, Pat Johansen,  Theresa Keeley, Greg McCullough, Steve Peters, Marlana Schnell, Joel Schutte, Dawn Young
    2. Regrets: Ken Burrington, Jen Duncan, Brian Galusha, Doug Harrold, Robyn Naberhaus, Linda Rosulek, Gina Scheffler

  1. Welcome and introductions

  1. Risky Business Updates
    1. Friday October 21 at Prairie Meadows.  
    2. Viterbo is offering graduate credit for a combination of Risky Business attendance and research.

  1. Treasurer’s Report
    1. Conference expenses (attachment).
    2. $20,000 in the bank.
    3. Motion passed to approve Treasurer’s report as presented.

  1. Motion passed to recognize that minutes from the last meeting were not available.

  1. Board Responsibilities
    1. Web content - Jen, Brett
    2. Journal/newsletter/success stories - Jen, Josh
    3. Legislative Day/legislative issues - Rachelle, Robyn, Steve, Dawn
      1. Monday February 20, 2012

  1. Conference Responsibilities (attachment)
    1. Lisa D. updated the conference duties handout.
      1. Speakers – Marlana, Pat
        1. Marlana has a few suggestions for keynotes.
      2. Registration – Doug, Marlana, Theresa
        1. Northwest AEA cannot manage the registration anymore.  We need someone/group to manage this.
          1. Rachelle Brown will check into this.
          2. Theresa will send a “Save the Date” announcement to Jen to get on the web and the blog.
      3. Entertainment – Jen, Lisa D., Joel
        1. Motion approved to appropriate up to $300 for main door prize.
        2. Board members are asked to bring at least one door prize of up to $10.
      4. Marketing/vendors – Robyn
        1. Reminder to ask any vendors that you deal with throughout the year to be a vendor at the conference.
      5. Printed Materials - Lisa H., Pat, Brian F., Theresa
        1. DMACC can do the printing (Marlana)
      6. Awards and Grants – Pam, Dawn
      7. Conference Chair - Lisa D.
      8. Elections – Brett, Josh
      9. Printing - Marlana

  1. 2012 State Conference
    1. Keynote Speakers
      1. Ideas
        1. Robert Marazano
        2. Bill Cordes - motivational
        3. Charlie Applestein – stay motivated to do the job.
        4. L Horne
        5. Mike Schmoker
        6. Brian Harris
        7. Chris Okiishi – mental health – Theresa will e-mail him to find out topics.
    2. Theme
    3. Breakout sessions
      1. Residential educator strands
        1. Transitioning students back and forth
      2. Technology
      3. Curriculum
        1. Common Core
        2. STEM
        3. 1 to 1
      4. Poverty
        1. Homelessness
      5. Other
        1. Mental health
          1. U of I Child Psych.
          2. Orchard Place
    4. Holiday Inn Details
      1. Number of Rooms – 80 will be held
      2. Number of breakout rooms
      3. Meals
        1. We will keep the meals similar to last year.
      4. Other
        1. $88/night
    5. Mailings and Registration
    6. Other

  1. Website and newsletter content
    1. Cleaning up website
    2. New information added – Legislative day, State Conference, etc.
    3. Greg suggested links to alternative schools/programs from the IAAE website.

  1. Other issues
    1. Administrators Networking meeting dates
      1. Thursday November 10, 2011
      2. Friday February 24, 2012

  1. Adjournment

Next Board meeting: Friday December 2, 2011
Respectfully Submitted:  Dawn Young

September 01, 2011

Risky Business 2011

We invite you to join the nearly 400 educators from across the state who annually attend Iowa’s largest one-day student at-risk conference. Risky Business XXIV will address issues facing educators who serve at-risk students, and diverse learners in at-risk programs and alternative schools. An outstanding morning keynote along with an additional 30 breakout presentations will be available this year!

Who should attend. . . .                         
Teachers, counselors, administrators, social workers, consultants, school board members, parents, business leaders, community members, and legislators who have an interest in at-risk youth, diverse learners, and alternative education and the building of quality educational programs.

WHEN:  Friday, October 21, 2011

WHERE: The Meadows Events & Conference Center   
at Prairie Meadows
One Prairie Meadows Drive
Altoona, IA 50009

All sessions 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM          
Check-in and pick up materials:
7:30 AM – 8:30 AM

Pre-register by mail or fax prior to October 17 by completing this form Registration the day of the conference 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM on space available basis. Pre-registration highly recommended.

$75.00 fee per participant includes lunch, breaks, and all conference activities.

Click HERE for printable registration form!

Meet Our Keynoter

Educator, Author, Motivational Speaker, Trainer and Consultant

Franklin Schargel, a native of Brooklyn, New York now residing in Albuquerque, NM, is a graduate of the University of the City of New York. Franklin holds two Masters Degrees: one in Secondary Education from City University and a degree from Pace University in School Administration and Supervision. His career spans thirty-three years of classroom teaching, school counseling and eight years of school supervision and administration.

As a school administrator, he successfully reduced the dropout rate of an all-minority, Title One School from 21.9% to 2.1%, increased family involvement 1440% in nine months, sent 72.1% of the first generation high school graduates to post-secondary school and raised $5 million dollars for the school.

The 15 strategies developed by the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University in association with Mr. Schargel, have been recognized by the National Education Goals Panel and the United States Department of Education as “the most effective strategies to help solve our school dropout problem”.

He was awarded the Crystal Star Award in 2005 presented by the National Dropout Prevention Center for “Excellence in Dropout Recovery, Intervention and Prevention”.

Today as president of his training firm, The Schargel Consulting Group, Franklin has presented countless workshops for educational, community and business groups throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and Latin America. His workshops are designed to show people how to transform their educational systems into World Class Educational Organizations. The workshops are for administrators, teachers, students, parents, business leaders, policy makers and anyone else interested in building globally competitive schools.

Franklin is the author of eleven well-received books including: From At-Risk to Academic Excellence: What Successful Leaders Do, Creating School Cultures That Embrace Learning, 162 Keys to School Academic Achievement and Best Practices for Educators of At-Risk Students.
His practical, humorous, impassioned and hands-on workshops have been called “outstanding.” The United States Department of Education, Fortune Magazine, Business Week, National Public Radio, Public Broadcasting System and the New York Times have all recognized his work. In addition to his keynote, Franklin will do two breakout sessions.

Some Concurrent Sessions Including
·       Parents Supporting Schools
·       New Assessment Strategies
·       Successful Classroom Strategies
·       Transition from School to Work
·       Mental Health Issues
·       Teacher and Student Resiliency
·       Technology and Online Education
·       Cultural and Diversity Issues
·       IAAE Services and Updates
·       Administrative Round Table
·       Drug & Alcohol Issues
·       Charter Schools
·       Bullying and Mediation
·       Dept. of Ed. Information and Updates
·       Student Motivation and Reengagement
·       Poverty and Homeless Youth
·       DATA Teams in Schools
·       At Risk Program Guidelines
·       Improving School Climate
·       Funding and Resource Issues
         And Much, Much, More……