The Iowa BEST: Behavioral, Equitable, Social-Emotional, Trauma-Informed Health in Schools Summit is designed to highlight our collective need to bolster support and care across our educational system, and to build our shared capacity to get there. Iowa BEST is for Iowans who want to be part of solutions to creating a safe, healthy and supportive learning environment that promotes the success of all Iowa learners. This two-day event will provide attendees with valuable information, resources, and practical solutions around social-emotional-behavioral health.

Registration now open.

When: November 2-3, 2021

Where: Iowa Events Center, Des Moines

Register Now


This event is sponsored by the

Iowa Department of Education

and the University of Iowa's

Iowa Center for School Mental Health.


Participants can receive one Iowa Licensure Renewal Unit for attending the summit and completing all readings and discussions via the online course platform through the Baker Teacher Leader Center.  To register for ILRU credit, go to the TLC registration site and click on "Enroll" after completing registration for the summit.


Focus Areas for Iowa BEST:

Social-Emotional-Behavioral Health

This strand is focused on providing strategies and evidence-based practices around social-emotional-behavioral health (SEBH) for all learners and stakeholders in an MTSS Framework. Sessions include trauma-informed care, suicide prevention, building resiliency, well-being and quality of life and more!

Family and Student Voice

This strand is focused on providing rich learning in order to improve and sustain family and community engagement to benefit all learners, birth-21, and engage student voice within an MTSS framework. Sessions include student/school panels around what works/what doesn’t to engage students/families, family/student engagement practices - and role in suicide prevention and bullying/harassment prevention and more!

Accelerated Learning

This smaller strand is focused on providing strategies and evidence-based practices around accelerating learning and closing achievement gaps for all learners in an MTSS framework. Sessions include equitable instruction, accessing learner needs, TNTP, accelerating learning, microteaching strategies and more!

Iowa BEST 2021 seeks to:

  • Raise awareness of – and build a comprehensive plan around – mental health needs and best practices in schools.
  • Strengthen leadership teams around safe, healthy and caring learning environments that support accelerating learning;
  • Support implementation of multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS);
  • Build educator and practitioner knowledge, awareness and skills in social-emotional-behavioral health (SEBH) for all learners; 
  • Build educator knowledge, awareness, and skills in Social-Emotional Learning and accelerating learning;
  • Increase knowledge of family and community engagement best practices;
  • Increase understanding of best practices in early childhood, with an emphasis on social-emotional learning and well-being; and
  • Provide information to attendees about current law and requirements in early intervention, special education, and SF2310.


Intended Audience: 

  • University faculty who support preservice educators;
  • Policy-makers;
  • Administrators;
  • Building leadership teams;
  • PK-12 educators/providers (birth-3, preschool, elementary, and high school);
  • AEA personnel supporting SEBH and accelerating learning;
  • AEA personnel supporting specific subgroups (e.g., special education, preschool, English learners);
  • Teachers, school counselors, paraeducators; and
  • Community partners including mental health providers, primary care physicians, Children’s Behavioral Health System Board members, and state medical association members.

Contact Us

For more information, contact Daniel L. Clay, Dean of the UI College of Education, at 319-335-5380 or