Polk Alternate Education Center

St. Luke's Emergency Department

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Polk Alternate Education Center (AEC)

2018 Holiday Adoption Program

Polk AEC is looking for some generous Elves to support their students with a holiday adoption program again this year. We have a goal to provide a “want” and a “need” to each student at Polk Alternative, specific lists of items can be provided or we have Elves who will shop with your donations. 

I'd like to make an online donation today! 

About Polk AEC

UnityPoint Connections Program, a Tier 3 Special Education Program at Polk Alternative Education Center (AEC), has been operating with the Cedar Rapids School District for over a decade. There are five youth counselors and one coordinator from UnityPoint Health on site at Polk. The Tier 3 special education setting means students have a need for an individual education plan but there is also a secondary need due to significant intensity related to emotions and behaviors that co-occur. 

Students experience this level of intensity for a variety of reasons, but most commonly include poverty, mental health diagnosis, lack of appropriate community supports, poor medication management and lack of services. UnityPoint Health also extends services to families of the students; most of them are also struggling with duplicating concerns.

UnityPoint Heath youth counselors provide daily instruction in classroom with groups such as Life Skills and Recreation Therapy. Youth counselors teach to a total of 11 classrooms or approximately 70 children on a rotating basis. Youth counselors are trained to provide classroom de-escalation, group management techniques, and have the ability to build trusting relationships with youth who need it most.