The Iowa Department of Education awarded over $2.3 million in grants to 10 school districts statewide to establish therapeutic classrooms for learners whose social-emotional or behavioral needs affect their ability to be successful in the classroom.

“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,” said Gov. Kim Reynolds. “This work is critically important, and we must continue to work collaboratively with schools, community mental health providers, and our Area Education Agencies to support students and their whole health.”

“All students need support and resources that meet their individual needs,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo. “The therapeutic classroom grants help schools build upon their great work to promote the overall well-being of students. I commend this year’s awardees and their community partners for their plans to grow and strengthen a continuum of therapeutic supports so that every student has the support they need to succeed.”

Locally, the Bettendorf Community School District was the recipient of one of the Therapeutic Classroom Incentive Grant for the 2022-23 school year.

The grant was established through state legislation that was signed into law in 2020 and is part of a statewide effort to increase mental health supports for children, youth and families. Therapeutic supports include things like social-emotional skill building, skills to cope with stress and trauma, mental health treatment and crisis intervention and follow-up. This is the second round of funds; six school districts were awarded grants, including the Clinton and Mount Pleasant districts, during the first round of funds for the 2021-22 school year.

Priority was given to competitive district applicants who had applied during the last year and had not received an award. Additional consideration was given to equity across small, medium and large districts, collaborations with other agencies to provide the therapeutic classroom/s and Mental Health and Disability Service (MHDS) Region. Proposals submitted by the ten awarded districts will serve nearly 200 pre-K-12 students and will expand mental health supports for youth across seven of the state’s MHDS regions and seven of the AEA regions. 

Grants will be distributed this fall for implementation during the 2022-2023 school year.

More information about Therapeutic Classroom Incentive Grants is available by clicking here.