The Iowa Department of Education has awarded over $2.3 million in competitive grants to six school districts to establish therapeutic classrooms for learners whose social-emotional or behavioral needs impact their ability to be successful in their learning environment.

The six districts awarded a Therapeutic Classroom Incentive Grant for the 2023-24 school year are:

  • Atlantic Community School District
  • Bettendorf Community School District
  • Iowa City Community School District
  • Johnston Community School District
  • Newton Community School District
  • Vinton-Shellsburg Community School District

The Therapeutic Classroom Incentive Grant was established through state legislation 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 such things as skill building, support to cope with stress and trauma, mental health treatment and crisis intervention and follow-up.

This is the third round of funds. Sixteen school districts were awarded grants during the first two rounds of funds in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years.

In determining awards, 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 six awarded districts will serve over 200 pre-K through grade 12 students, establish 19 new therapeutic classrooms and will expand mental health supports for youth across five of the state’s MHDS and Area Education Agency regions.

Grants are being distributed this fall for district implementation during the 2023-24 school year.

More information about Therapeutic Classroom Incentive Grants is available on the Iowa Department of Education’s website.

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