10 Iowa school districts divide $2.3 million therapeutic classroom grants

(The Center Square) – Ten Iowa school districts have received therapeutic classroom grants that legislators allotted through 2020 legislation, the Iowa Department of Education announced Monday.

The department said it awarded more than $2.3 million to the school districts to aid learners whose social-emotional or behavioral needs impact their ability to be successful in their current learning environment.

Therapeutic Classroom Incentive Grants are intended to increase mental health supports for children, youth and families, the department said. Therapeutic supports include social-emotional skill building, crisis intervention and follow-up, and skills to cope with stress and trauma.

The following districts received a grant for the 2022-2023 school year:

Ballard Community School District.Bettendorf Community School District.Charles City Community School District.Coon Rapids-Bayard Community School District.Council Bluffs Community School District.Decorah Community School District.Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont Community School District.Monticello Community School District.Williamsburg Community School District.Woodbine Community School District.

Schools that applied last year and didn’t receive an award received priority for this year’s grants, the release said. Other factors included equity across small, medium and large districts, collaborations with other agencies to provide the therapeutic classrooms and Mental Health and Disability Service Region.

Combined, the proposals will serve nearly 200 pre-K to 12th grade students across seven of Iowa’s

Proposals submitted by the 10 awarded districts will serve nearly 200 pre-K-12 students across seven MHDS regions and seven AEA regions.

The state will distribute the grants this fall.

“We want our kids to be at their best when they’re in school and this grant supports school districts taking that next step to further support their students so they have every opportunity to be successful,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in the news release.

She said the state should continue to collaborate with schools, community mental health providers and area education agencies to support students and their health.

Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo said all students need resources that meet their needs, and the grants help schools support students’ well-being.

The Iowa Department of Education has more information about the grants on its website.

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