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Bulletin Board


Feb. 8, 2012
GWAEA Board Meeting, 5:00 p.m.


In this issue:

What if...
Grant Wood AEA Innovation Grants
Iowa Students Sought for State Advisory Group
Halibut! America's Favorite!
iPad Update
From Payroll/Benefits
Professional Leave Reimbursement
ACS Daffodil Days
Horizons Meals On Wheels Fundraiser
Willis Dady Benefit Concert
GWAEA Webinars
TQ Proposal Application Date - Feb. 15
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
Buy, Sell and Trade
Vacancies, Jan. 27, 2012



Past Issues

January 20, 2012

January 13, 2012

January 6, 2012

December 16, 2011

December 9, 2011

December 2, 2011

November 18, 2011

November 11, 2011

November 4, 2011

October 28, 2011

October 21, 2011

October 14, 2011

October 7, 2011
September 30, 2011

September 23, 2011

September 16, 2011

September 9, 2011

September 2, 2011

August 26, 2011

August 19, 2011

August 12, 2011

July 29, 2011

July 15, 2011

July 1, 2011

June 17, 2011

June 3, 2011

Archive issues of The Bulletin Board




What if... Innovation is everyone's job at Grant Wood AEA

As part of the LOFT process, we learned that staff was interested in the opportunity to create teams who are presented with challenging work, have opportunities to teach and learn from colleagues, have opportunities to innovate, and are able to see the impact of their work.
A subcommittee emerged to look specifically at how we can create integrated teams to advance learning. That team discovered that there were many opportunities within the agency for continuous learning to occur, but that the agency did not have a well defined process to build capacity for creativity and innovation to occur at a grassroots level. This led to a question posed by members of Grant Wood AEA staff: "What if innovation is everyone's job at Grant Wood AEA."


Check out the information below to learn how Grant Wood AEA is creating opportunities to innovate.


Grant Wood AEA Innovation Grants




Last week we announced the availability of of $25,000 for innovation grants to keep the agency on the path of excellence and creativity. We are beginning to receive applications for these grants, which are due Feb. 14. As a reminder any Grant Wood AEA staff member may apply for funds to be used for added work days and materials and resources.


Information and the application form can be found at


Selected applicants will be expected to present their innovation plans at the next Grant Wood AEA Innovation Day, which will be held the afternoon of April 2, 2012.

Iowa students sought for new state advisory group

Iowa students are invited to apply for a seat on a new state advisory council formed by Iowa Department of Education Director Jason Glass.


The Learning Council, which will be made up of 15 students, complements efforts by the Branstad-Reynolds administration and Director Glass to get input from various stakeholders across the state on transforming Iowa's education system. The administration will release a comprehensive education package on Friday that focuses on three key areas: highly effective educators, high expectations for all students with fair measures for results, and innovation that boosts learning.


"Students deserve a seat at the table in discussions about the future of their schools," Glass said. "I look forward to hearing their input and ideas."


Students enrolled in grades 8-12 from public and nonpublic schools in Iowa may apply for a seat. Meetings will take place in March, May, September and December. Council members also will communicate via e-mail.


Applications can be found here and must be returned by Jan. 31. Students who are chosen to serve on the council will be notified by Feb. 10.

Iowa AEA Online resources and the Iowa Core

Halibut! America's Favorite!

The next session is planned Feb. 6

Three workshops for AEA staff on the Iowa AEA Online resources and Iowa Core:

  • Support Reading

  • Concept Learning and Research

  • Increase Opportunities to Learn

Open the GWAEA website, click on PD, scroll to learning for GWAEA staff - and that is where the workshops are posted. Log in and sign up.



See attached flyer for dates and registration information.

Please bring your laptop!


iPad Update 1/27/12

by Jonathan Wylie, Technology Consultant


Agency Purchased Apps Update
All the redeem codes for Tier 1 apps have been sent out to those that ordered them. If you have not received yours yet, check your email for a Google Doc that was shared with you. The redeem codes were all in that document. Otherwise, email and I will take a look at your account. If you have not yet redeemed your codes, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU REDEEM THEM USING YOUR AGENCY APPLE ID!

Tier 2 Apps
We are currently reviewing the submissions we got for Tier 2 apps. Once the approval panel has gone through all these requests, I will be able to start issuing codes for these apps. So, look for those in your email in the next week or so. They will be added to the Google Doc that was shared with you for Tier 1 apps.

App of the Week



This week’s App of the Week is Educreations. It is a free screencasting app that lets you record audio and annotations on your iPad to create video how-tos and other visual projects from screenshots, photos, or your own drawings. It would be a great tool to use with students to help encourage them to explain their thought processes for a given topic. Read more here, and remember that we welcome submissions from all staff that would like to recommend an App of the Week. All published reviews will be rewarded with a redeem code for a Tier 1 app!


The GWAEA iPad Website
The website we use to communicate and store our GWAEA iPad information has undergone a minor makeover recently, but all the same information is still there. The homepage has a new look to it and we have switched to a horizontal navigation bar. Check it out at and remember to sign up for the GWAEA user group, if you haven’t already. There are lots of valuable resources, tips, stories and discussions that are pertinent to all educators who use iPads.


Facetime/Messaging Accounts
Remember that we are collecting Apple IDs that people are using for FaceTime and Messaging accounts. If you would like to submit your contact details, fill out the form on the GWAEA iPad website. You can view the people who have signed up already on this page too. This list is only accessible to GWAEA employees.

If you have not yet used FaceTime, but would like to try it out, make sure you check out the video tutorial that we made to help get people started with this useful app. You can view that here. Just be sure NOT to sign up with the account. Use your agency Apple ID or a personal Apple ID.

From the Payroll / Benefits Desk . . .


Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statements for 2011 were mailed to employees on January 19, 2012.

Now is a good time to review your tax withholding status.  If you’ve had a family change (marriage, divorce, birth of child, child no longer a dependent) you may want to update your W-4 tax withholding forms.


For questions regarding your W-2 statement or W-4 tax withholdings, contact Cathy Kearns, Business Services, phone: 319-399-6706 or e-mail:

Reminder for Contracted Staff: Professional Leave Reimbursements

As a reminder, the timelines for submitting professional leave reimbursement forms are:

  • Equipment and materials – no later than March 1, or at least three months prior to leaving the Agency, whichever is first.

  • Other expenses (including conferences, license fees and professional dues) will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis – again the March 1 timeline is an indication for determining an expense is job-related.

These timelines, which apply to all contracted staff, help establish the job-related connection of the expense and improve the likelihood an eligible reimbursement request will be granted.
For additional details on Professional Leave Reimbursement, see the Grant Wood AEA Business Services and Human Resources manual found on the Grant Wood AEA website.


American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days

To purchase bunches of daffodils, and make a contribution towards the fight against Cancer, please see, call, or email Cathy Nelson at the 6th Street Facility front desk.


The options, with a couple of new choices are:

  • Bunches of Daffodils: $10 a bunch

  • Vase & a Bunch: $15

  • Dainty Daffodils: $15. Replantable miniature daffodil bulbs in a container.

  • Bear Hugs for Hope:$25. Comfort a child experiencing cancer with their very own limited edition Boyd’s Bear (given anonymously.)

  • Gift of Hope Bouquet: $25. These bouquets are given anonymously to cancer patients.

  • Bear and a Bunch: $25. This is a Boyd’s Bear and a bunch of daffodils, specially designed for American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days

  • Sunshine Bouquet: $75. A glass vase filled with brilliant yellow daffodils and greenery to thank clients, customers, employees or vendors or decorate an office, lobby or church

  • Full Case of Daffodills: $500

Pictures of these are at the front desk. Orders will be taken from now until February 16, 2012. Flowers can be picked up on or around March 12, 2012. (Please make checks payable to the American Cancer Society.)


Stop by the Northern Facility front desk, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or call Cathy at
Ext. 6544 to place your order. Thank you for contributing.

2012 Horizons Meals On Wheels Lunchbox fundraiser at Grant Wood AEA lunchbox

The 2nd Annual Horizons Meals On Wheels Lunchbox fundraiser is planned for the week of Feb. 13-17, 2012.  
We would like to offer GWAEA staff two opportunities to participate in this worthy cause.  Group orders will be taken for delivery at the GWAEA Northern Facility on Tuesday, February 14, and Thursday, February 16.  The lunches may be picked up at the receptionist desk anytime after 11:30 a.m.


The Lunchbox costs $10, $5 of which will feed you, while the other $5 benefits Horizons Meals On Wheels as the organization continues to help older adults and persons with disabilities meet their daily nutritional needs.


Lunchbox sandwich choices: (sandwich plus chips, package of apples, and a cookie)


1) Italian Ciabatta - spicy Italian Capicola ham/provolone cheese on a ciabatta roll with asiago artichoke dressing;
2) Turkey Club Focaccia – smoked turkey, bacon, provolone & sun dried tomato basil mayonnaise on foccacia bread; or
3) California Veggie Focaccia – havarti cheese, red peppers, onions, broccoli, kalamata olives, banana peppers with basil vinaigrette on focaccia bread;

Send your choice of sandwich and $10 (cash or check made payable to Horizons Lunchbox) to the attention of Cathy Nelson no later than Tuesday, February 7, 2012.

Willis Dady Emergency Shelter Benefit Concert by Carol Montag

Saturday, March 3, 2012, 7:30 PM

Marion Knights of Columbus Hall (5650 Kacena Avenue, Marion)


Doors will open at 6:30 PM. Tickets are $17 and all proceeds will benefit the Willis Dady Emergency Shelter. There will also be a silent auction. See the attached flyer for more information.

Grant Wood AEA Webinars

Visit the link above for a current schedule, registration information, and archives of the
Grant Wood AEA webinars.


The next webinar is Feb. 1: Top 10 Picks in Technology, 19030-11-01.

The next TQ Professional Development proposal application date is Feb. 15

The proposal templates and directions are on the GWAEA Staff Portal under the Teacher Quality Committee link. Please use the updated proposal template from the web.


Teacher Quality Update – Professional Development Dollar, January 2012

Grant Wood AEA Professional Development opportunities

Professional Development Announcements – February 2012

Grant Wood AEA Staff training opportunities:

For a complete listing of all upcoming trainings:


For more information, contact Sherry Sines, Professional Development Coordinator,
ext. 6517.

The Cedar Valley Humane Society has taken in 16 severely neglected dogs from a commercial breeder this week. Some have required surgery and the Humane Society will have to try to absorb this additional cost along with all of their other costs.  If anyone would like to donate some dog food to help defray some of the costs for helping these poor dogs, Rick in our maintenance dept has volunteered to take it to them. I will collect any donations at my cubicle in Central File. Thank you everyone!  


Stacy Murphy

Buy, Sell and Trade

FOR RENT:  4 BR (new updates-older home), 1 Bath, 1600 sq. ft, 2 story home, all appliances included, 2 stall garage, off street parking, fenced yard, $795/Month, 1818 Mallory St SW CR.  Call 573-0897.

Vacancies, Adobe PDF logo Jan. 27, 2012


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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.

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