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Grant Wood Area Education Agency

Mark your calendars!

Nov. 11, 5:30 p.m. (2nd Wednesday)

GWAEA Board meeting

Dec. 1, 4 p.m


PRIME Benefits meeting, Autumn Rm.

Dec. 8, 11:30 a.m.


Sixth St. Holiday Potluck

Dec. 9


Flexible Spending Plan Election Forms for Year 2010 due
into the Business Office

Dec. 16, 5:30 p.m.


GWAEA Board meeting

Dec. 18, 11:30 a.m.


Coralville Office Holiday Potluck

From the Payroll / Benefits Desk . . .

We will soon get started on the re-enrollment process for the upcoming 2010 flexible spending plan year IRS Section 125 pre-tax benefits! 

  • If you are currently enrolled in Grant Wood’s group insurance and are paying a portion of the cost by payroll withholding, it is a great way for the payroll deduction to become a non-taxable benefit.

  • Flexible spending accounts allow employees to set aside a specific dollar amount, before taxes are calculated, for out-of-pocket medical expenses and/or dependent care costs. 

 Additional flex plan features include:  1.) eligible medical expenses expanded to include over-the-counter (non-prescription) drugs and medicines and 2.) direct deposit into your bank account for reimbursements.

 The following timeline has been set up for this enrollment process:

Nov. 13 – Employees will receive flexible spending plan materials with their paychecks.

Dec. 1 – An informational meeting for employees at 4:00 pm in the Autumn Room, Sixth Street Facility.  A representative from Prime Benefit Systems will be available to explain flexible spending accounts and answer questions.

Dec. 9 – Election forms due from ALL employees.

Everyone must return their election forms even if you decide not to participate in year 2010.   Thank you!

For questions, contact:
Cathy Kearns, Compensation / Benefits
Grant Wood AEA Business Services
(319) 399-6706

United Way Update

A number of employees responded to the United Way update last week. As a result, giving for the East Central Iowa campaign increased to 41 individuals and a total of $10,443. We’re still down by about 27  percent in pledged or given dollars and one-third fewer staff who have participated compared to last year – 65 staff/$14,224.

The Johnson County campaign is also down by 27 percent in the number of staff giving but it’s approaching the same dollar amount of giving as last year. So far, 11 employees have contributed a total of $5,342 to the campaign. Last year, we had 15 employees give $5,898.

As you may know, the agency does not pressure staff to contribute to the United Way. Some individuals prefer to give directly to specific charities. Others look at the United Way as a convenient means for one-stop giving to support a lot of social agencies in the area – many of which we work with in various ways. The payroll deduction program allows you to deduct a small amount out of each paycheck, which adds up to a generous contribution over a year’s period of time.

We plan to conclude the campaign prior to Thanksgiving. If you’d still like to contribute but didn’t get a pledge card (or lost the one you received), please contact George Held in the communications office. He’ll send you a new one right away.

Agency Servers and Web Will Be Down for A Day

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, November 27th at 7:00AM, Grant Wood AEA will be installing new equipment and reconfiguring our existing routing for the servers. The install will result in the total loss of connection to the Grant Wood AEA servers (Mail, Accounting, IMS, IEP, BSO, SEMS, Powerschool, Web, and Network Storage), hosted domains, and Internet connection. Please plan on a worst case scenario of the outage lasting 36 hours. If nothing unforeseen occurs, the servers will be restored by the evening of the 27th. This service interruption is being performed to create a more robust, secure and stable environment on the agency’s servers.


Grant Wood AEA Professional Development opportunities

Click on the link above to access Professional Development opportunities for October.

For more information on any of these listings, contact Sherry Sines, Professional Development coordinator, Ext. 6517.

Grant Wood AEA Webinars

Webinars to feature information about NetTrekker, Google Docs, Digital Images in the Classroom, Twitter, and Moodle.Click on the link above for registration information.


The Linker distribution completed

The Winter 2009 issue of The Linker has been distributed to staff. The Commications Office has received requests for additional copies of this issue, which features a cover article about the Iowa Core Curriculum.

If you have a copy to share, please drop off in the Communications Office.


Welcome, New Staff!

Leisa Breitfelder, has joined the agency as an Inclusion Resource Specialist. She has her BA from Loras College and an MMS from Nova Southeastern University. Prior to joining the agency, she served as a kindergarten teacher and also an early childhood special education teacher for the Linn-Mar district.



Patricia Briggs is a new Reading Consultant. She also has is a Loras College grad, receiving her MA from that institution. She taught first and second grade for nine years, and was involved in developing reading and writing curriculum during those years. She comes to us from Starmont where she taught 7th and 8th grade for 8 years.



Nicole Hall now serves children in our area as a Physical Therapist. She has her master’s degree in PT from Clarke College. She worked in Illinois schools as a PT and also at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics as a pediatric inpatient PT.


Pat Lussenhop has joined us as a school psychologist and works out of the Sixth Street office. He earned his MAE from UNI in educational psychology, and is currently an EdS candidate.



Stephanie Lyman is working as an occupational therapist at the agency. She has her masters of occupational therapy from Texas Woman’s University. She worked at the Via Christi Regional Medical Center in Wichita for 7 years, and then moved on to Edward Hospital in Naperville for four years.


Megan Matthews has taken the assignment of School Social Worker for the agency. She has her MSW from the University of Iowa. Her work prior to joining the agency was as a family support worker for United Action for Youth.





Wanted: Pink Yoplait yogurt lids

Stacy Murphy, IMS operator, is collecting pink Yoplait yogurt lids to support the annual "Save Lids to Save Lives" drive for breast cancer research. Collection containers will be available in the break rooms of the Cedar Rapids and Coralville facilities or contact Stacy, Ext. 6888.

Vacancies, November 13, 2009

The Bulletin Board is published and distributed weekly to all GWAEA staff and Board members. Buy, Sell or Trade items are run for 2 consecutive issues, unless we are notified to remove an item. If you wish to submit items, please do so by Wednesday of the week you wish the item to be posted. Send items via email to George Held in the Communications office (

Please note: The Bulletin Board is also posted on the agency's Web site and is publicly accessible. We recommend you use your office or voice mail phone number instead of your home telephone number for any items listed in this newsletter.

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 1-800-332-8488 or TDD 319-399-6766, Grant Wood AEA, 4401 Sixth St SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.

The Bulletin Board is the official employee information publication of Grant Wood Area Education Agency, 4401 Sixth Street, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404