Hello!  I am pleased to continue my support with (enter district) as your GWAEA Regional Administrator this year.  My goal is to build and maintain collaborative partnerships with your district and GWAEA in order to effectively meet the needs of all learners.  I work closely with district administration to align district/building goals with GWAEA’s services.  On behalf of the entire dedicated team from GWAEA, we are excited for 2015-16!  Let us know how we may help!


Janel Lesan


A Few GWAEA Notes for Benton CSD Staff

  • School Improvement and Professional Development Support

    - GWAEA partners with Benton to provide support in the areas of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.  Teachers will participate in the Learning for Continuous Improvement (LCI series at GWAEA throughout the year and Common Formative Assessment (CFA) workshops throughout the year. School improvement consultant, Myra Hall, works closely with principals, Curriculum Director, Jo Prusha, and the teacher leadership team to support this important work.


  • I-STAR (Iowa’s System To Achieve Results)

    - Benton’s special education teachers will enter compliance-related data from Individual Education Plans (IEP) in late February/early March 2016.  Transition consultant, Megan Brunscheen, will provide coaching and support to secondary teachers on the third Tuesday of each month beginning in September. A Corrective Action Plan (CAP) will be developed after data-entry and results are provided by the Iowa Department of Education.

  • Early Literacy Implementation (ELI)

    - Our goal is to assist your district in the successful implementation of best practices in the area of literacy, including development of effective teaching practices within a multi-tiered system, support with universal screening (FAST) and progress monitoring of students K-6, and ensuring the core curriculum is viable. Components of ELI:  Iowa Code section 279.68. Arlene Brandt, GWAEA general education literacy consultant, is available to support teachers in this important work.

  • Special Education Literacy

    - There is a significant achievement gap between students without disabilities and those requiring special education services through an Individual Education Plan (IEP). Our goal is to support the implementation of research-based practices to eliminate that gap in the area of reading. Kari Miller, GWAEA special education literacy consultant, provides support to Benton’s special education teachers at the elementary level. Kathy Curphy, GWAEA emergent literacy consultant, supports preschool teachers.  

  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

    For information, contact your external coach, Melody Williams, GWAEA School Social Worker.  

    - New Teacher IEP Training:  Writing quality IEPs is an essential skill for all LEA and AEA staff working with special education students. It is the responsibility of the AEA to provide training and support to ensure all staff understand the basics of the IEP and the expectation of quality IEPs. If you have questions please contact me.  The dates/times/course numbers for the half day face-to-face follow-up training are:
    Monday, Sept. 21, 2015 8:30-11:30 a.m., 19371-15-01
    Monday, Sept. 21, 2105 1:00-4:00 p.m., 19371-15-02
    Monday, Sept. 28, 2015 8:30-11:30 a.m., 19371-15-03
    Monday, Sept. 28, 2015 1:00-4:00 p.m., 19371-15-04


    - Professional Learning Communities

    The district will continue to refine their work in Professional Learning Communities with the support of GWAEA. In addition, GWAEA will be hosting a couple of professional learning opportunities in September centered around PLC’s. For more information please click on the GWAEA Featured Events and Professional Development link for details.  



GWAEA Programs/Services


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Grant Wood Area Education Agency extends equal opportunities in its employment practices, educational programs and services, and does not discriminate on the basis of color, gender, race, national origin, religion, creed, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, veteran status or as otherwise prohibited by law. If you believe you or your child has been discriminated against or treated unjustly, please contact the Agency’s Equity Coordinator, Maria Cashman, at 319-399-6847 or 800-332-8488 or TDD 319-399-6766, Grant Wood AEA, 4401 Sixth St SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.

ADDRESS: 4401 Sixth Street SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
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