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