ISPA began its mission to serve the educational and psychological needs of all children and youth on May 13, 1969, at Fort Des Moines. Besides the Executive Board with its officers, the Nominating, Legislative, Membership, and Publication Committees began. Two Representatives served on the Executive Board. During the early 70’s anonymous questionnaires given to all special education directors found one-half favor ISPA recommending parents be advised prior to services, while about one-third favored getting written parent consent prior to school psychologist providing services. A joint meeting of ISPA and IPA committees developed a joint proposal on licensing for psychologists in Iowa. Efforts began for ISPA to propose criteria for university training programs in school psychology. The new school psychology consultant for the state, Jeff Grimes, was invited to the ISPA executive meeting for an interchange regarding services at the state level. IPA and ISPA cooperated on their workshops. In 1975, the Area Education Agencies were created in Iowa to provide more equitable services to children.
In the 1980’s the representative system for the AEAs was changed from 4 to the 15. On February 25, House File 133 (sec 1 & 2) was signed by the Governor and eliminated the terms of emotional disability and chronically disruptive from special education categories. These were replaced by the term behaviorally disordered. ISPA had over 220 members and hired a lobbyist.
During the 1990’s, school psychologists started to focus on a problem solving model instead of the traditional test-place methodology. AEA’s continued to focus on the Renewed Service Delivery System (RSDS). Governor Branstad designated October 20th-26th as Iowa School Psychology Week.
Mergers impacted several AEA’s in the last decade. In 2003, AEA’s 2, 6, and 7 merged to become AEA 267 and AEA’s 3 and 5 merged to become Prairie Lakes AEA 8. In 2006, AEA 4 and AEA 12 merged to form Northwest AEA and AEA’s 15 and 16 merged to become Great Prairie AEA in 2007. AEA’s 13 and 14 are slated to merge in 2009 to become Green Hills. Throughout these mergers, ISPA holds strong and is dedicated to providing support to all school psychologists in the state of Iowa.
ISPA joins with NASP in recognizing school psychologists “as the professionals best able to navigate the social, emotional and academic challenges facing students of the 21st century.”