This past summer, the Iowa Department of Education and the University of Iowa announced a new partnership aimed to expand mental health supports for students, teachers, and school administrators. The Iowa Department of Education designated $20 million in federal relief provided in the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER II) Fund within the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRSSA) Act to help support the development of the Iowa Center for School Mental Health (ICSMH). This center is housed in the College of Education at the University of Iowa and will provide social-emotional-behavioral health (SEBH) focused training opportunities and resources for education professionals, pre-service teachers, school administrators, and conduct research on the effective delivery of these services.
In addition to the SEBH professional learning and trainings, the ICSMH is in the process of building a crisis response team, offering face-to-face and online crisis interventions, strategic planning support, needs assessment and SEBH program evaluation.
The Baker Teacher Leader Center in the College of Education at the University of Iowa is hosting an Anti-Racism Professional Educator Webinar Series. The goal of this series is to reveal the racism (psychological, social, physical, emotional) in U.S. schools and how it defines the current practices in schooling. We will explore the kinds of changes school personnel must make in their interactions, engagement, and environment to work towards anti-racism. In this series, we will decenter Whiteness and interrogate your positionality within society, but specifically within schools.
Educators who register for and attend all nine sessions in the series will earn one free teacher license renewal credit! Register here for the credit. This credit has been pre-approved for state of Iowa teachers. If you live outside the state of Iowa, please contact your administration or board of educational examiners for approval. If you have missed the first few sessions, and are still interested in earning licensure renewal credit, please contact the Baker Teacher Leader Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kari Vogelgesang is clinical associate professor; edTPA coordinator, El Ed & SpEd; and director, professional development at Baker Teacher Leader Center, College of Education, University of Iowa.