AEA Purchasing facilitates a voluntary purchasing program to help Iowa schools and other eligible entities save time and money. For information, visit

AEA Purchasing : 1

Federal law requires that ALL students with disabilities age 3 to 21 must be provided instruction in physical education. Definition of Special Education

Physical Education and IDEA 2004
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has been amended a number of times in the past 30 years. The law provides a free, appropriate, public education to children ages 0 – 21 and includes instruction in physical education, specially designed if necessary.

Physical Education is defined as the development of:

  1. Physical and motor fitness
  2. Fundamental motor skills and patterns; and
  3. Skills in aquatics, dance, and individual and group games and sports (including intramural and lifetime sports); and includes special physical education, adapted physical education, movement education, and motor development.
  4. Specially designed instruction means adapting, as appropriate to the needs of an eligible child under this part, the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction- (i) to address the unique needs of the child that result from the child’s disability; and (ii) to ensure access of the child to the general curriculum, so that he or she can meet the educational standards within the jurisdiction of the public agency that apply to all children.

Provision of services for children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment (LRE) is a critical component of the reauthorization of IDEA.

SHAPE America Guidance Document, "Answering Frequently Asked Questions About Adapted Physical Education"

What does the law say about physical education for students with disabilities? : 1

Grant Wood Area Education Agency (AEA10) provides support to over 72,000 students and 5,000 teachers in 32 public school districts, 17 state accredited non-public schools, and seven independent accredited nonpublic schools, preschools and daycare centers in Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn, and Washington counties in east central Iowa.

As an educational partner with schools, Grant Wood AEA helps students, school staffs, parents, and communities meet the growing challenges of accountability and student achievement. The agency provides special education support services, media and technology services, a variety of instructional services, professional development, and leadership to promote school improvement. Our staff work alongside school district staff in buildings across our seven county service area.

What does Grant Wood AEA do? : 1

A GWAEA consultant can provide support and links for gifted education in area schools. Please contact your regional administrator for assistance.

Gifted Education : 1

Grant Wood AEA’s adapted physical education program provides support for area physical educators providing physical education services to students with disabilities. See more about our APE program.

Physical Education and Adapted Physical Education Services : 1

School psychologists provide consultation and assessment for students who have school-related learning, emotional, social, and behavioral problems. The emphasis is on intervention and remediation through the team approach.

Psychological Services : 1

Contact Tara Johannsen for a cost estimate.
319-399-6740 or


GWAEA staff have tools and technology available to assist with augmentative communication and adapted computer access and adaptive software for students with physical and communication needs to support learning. Through GWAEA experts, you can access information about assistive technology support options, assistive technology tools and resources, access items available through our assistive tech lending library, find assistive technology professional development, or purchase assistive technology resources. For more information contact or your regional administrator.

Assistive Technology : 1

Reading Recovery is a short-term, one-to-one early intervention program for first-grade students who are potentially at-risk in reading. Teacher training is provided through Grant Wood AEA, the Iowa City School District and The University of Iowa. School

districts pay a fee to participate in the training. For additional information, please contact your regional administrator.
Reading Recovery : 1

Gene Lawson
(319) 399-6724

Jen Fjelstad
(319) 399-6772

Vanessa Raue
(319) 399-6798

Payroll & Financial Accounting- Consulting : 1

Grant Wood AEA’s adapted physical education program provides support for area physical educators providing physical education services to students with disabilities. See more about our APE program.

Adapted Physical Education : 1

EdInsight offers pre-formatted reports, which are designed to answer an educational question quickly, with minimal training. Training and technical assistance are available through

Assessment tools - EdInsight : 1

Call Grant Wood AEA if you have any concerns or questions about your child’s development. We can put you in touch with the right people who can help evaluate such things as your child’s speech, hearing, emotional development, behavior or pre-school readiness. Our internal process is a bit different depending on several factors including the age of your child, if he/she is enrolled in school, and if your child has a known condition, was born prematurely, was exposed to lead or drugs or is in foster care. By calling us directly we can make sure you get in touch with the right person. Our phone numbers are 319-399-6700 or 1-800-332-8488 - or if you prefer, fill out this form and someone will get in touch with you.

How do I get my child evaluated? : 1

Each student with a disability must be provided the opportunity to participate in the regular physical education program available to students without disabilities. The exception to this would be if the student is enrolled full-time in a separate facility, or needs specially designed physical education. [41.108(2)]

To determine if the student needs specially designed physical education, the IEP team must consider the information in the PLAAFP, goals and other services, activities and supports. Data might include:

  • input from: the physical educator, nurse and/or physician (if there are safety/medical issues), physical therapist, occupational therapist, other IEP team members;
  • comparison of student performance with grade level student expectations in physical education;
  • observations in physical education; and
  • physical fitness assessments used by the school (e.g., BMI (body mass index), motor tests, rubrics, curriculum based assessments).

The IEP team uses these definitions in making this determination:

General physical education: The student attends physical education with age peers. No changes to curriculum, instruction, equipment, assessment methods, or support are required for the student to participate, be successful, and make progress in the general curriculum.

Modified physical education: The student attends physical education with age peers, but needs additional supports to participate, be successful, and make progress in the general curriculum. Samples/examples of modifications may include:

  • Individualized warm up routine prescribed by a PT
  • Adapted equipment
  • Instructional accommodations
  • Paraprofessional support
  • Mobility aide (e.g., crutches, walker, mobile stander)
  • Safety or other health needs
  • Attending PE more frequently than other students to support progress in the PE curriculum
  • Attending PE with older peers or peer partner PE class.
  • Modified grading (if specific to PE activities)

If students are not making progress in the general curriculum, specially designed physical education is indicated. A goal is necessary to measure individual student progress. Specially designed instruction requires substantial adaptation of the curriculum or special curriculum development, individualization of instructional strategies, substantial equipment modifications and set up, collaboration with related nine contents service providers. The individual’s PE program and environment is tailored to the student’s needs in the areas of motor development, play, fitness, recreation and lifetime leisure.

How is student placement in physical education determined? : 1

We generally turn projects around in two weeks or less, but we will do what we can to accommodate your deadline.


GWAEA staff can identify hearing service needs through testing, medical referrals and educational planning for students who are deaf or have hearing impairments. Services, recommendations and materials are provided by trained audiometrists, audiologists and itinerant hearing teachers

Hearing Services : 1

Brandon Watson
(319) 399-6569

John Wyman
(319) 399-6504

Network Services and Email : 1

All students are expected to participate in district-wide assessments. Students with disabilities may participate without accommodations, with accommodations or through the state alternate assessment.

Students who meet the eligibility criteria for Iowa's Alternate Assessment in K-11th grades may utilize K-6 Early Literacy Alternate Assessment and 3-11 Dynamic Learning Maps Supports. Guidelines are provided within this website as a resource for educators .
Alternate Assessment : 1

Child Find is a required part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The term “Child Find” refers to the collection of processes that schools and AEAs use to locate, identify, and evaluate children who might need special education.

Child Find has two purposes:

1. To locate, identify and evaluate individuals with disabilities, and

2. To determine the educational needs of individuals with disabilities

The Child Find booklet and the FEP Universal Tier Resources are available on the Iowa Department of Education website.

What is Child Find? : 1

Assistive technology enables children and youth with disabilities to participate more fully in all aspects of life and helps them to access their right to a "free, appropriate public education" (FAPE) in the "least restrictive environment" (LRE).

Assistive Technology : 1