Chapter 273.9 of the Code of Iowa provides authority for the State Board of Education to set standards and procedures for the accreditation of AEAs. These standards and procedures are contained in Chapter 72 of Iowa Administrative Code.

The central purpose of the accreditation process is to help Area Education Agencies (AEAs) improve the quality and focus of their services, which will in turn assist schools and school districts to improve learning for students.  Iowa’s AEAs are a critical part of the support structure for schools and ultimately for children. With so much at stake, maintaining high standards or quality in programs and services is a top priority. 

Planning Documentation

Additional Accreditation Documentation

Annual Progress Reports are completed each year for the Iowa Department of Education. They are due on Feb. 1 of the following year after a completed school year:


Comprehensive Improvement Plans (CIPs) are completed every five years for the Iowa Department of Education:


State Performance Plan:

The reauthorization of the Individual's with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 2004 required all states to develop a six-year Performance Plan for improvement of educational results for student's with disabilities.  Northwest AEA must collect and submit data for 34 indicators, addressing such issues as academic performance of students with IEPs, Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), and graduation and dropout rates. Iowa's six-year State Performance Plan (SPP) can be accessed through the Department of Education's website at