Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


Nov. 23, 3 p.m.

Agency closes at 3 p.m. in observance of Thanksgiving


The Bulletin Board resumes publication
Friday, December 2, 2011


Dec. 7, 2011  Flexible Spending Account enrollment forms for 2012 plan year due into the Business Office


Dec. 14, 2011
GWAEA Board Meeting, 5:00 p.m.


Dec. 13, 2011

Holiday Potluck Lunch – Coralville Office
11:30 to 1 p.m.


Dec. 20, 2011
Holiday Potluck Lunch – Sixth Street Office
11:30 to 1 p.m.


In this issue:

Server outage planned Nov. 25
Universal Precautions/Bloodborne Pathogens
EAP Reminder
From the Payroll/Benefits Desk...
The Bulletin Board...
iPad Update
The Linker, Winter 2011 is online
"Impacting Lives" blog
GWAEA on Facebook, Twitter
TQ Proposal Application Date - Feb. 15
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
GWAEA Webinars
Buy, Sell and Trade
Vacancies, Nov. 18, 2011


Past Issues

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




Iowa's AEAs launch new website and video




Iowa’s AEAs are pleased to announce the launch of our new and improved website. Visitors will find a clean look, improved navigation and easier entry points to valuable resources.


Become an Advocate: View the new “Iowa’s AEAs -Touching Lives Every Day” video to see how AEAs impact Iowa schools and children. You’ll then have the opportunity to share this video with others via, Twitter, Facebook, or email.

Please share this site with others. When you do, you ensure that Iowa’s AEAs will be there to provide support and leadership for years to come. If you have any questions about the video, please contact Val Taylor Hill or George Held in the communications office.

Server Outage planned Nov. 25

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 25, from 6:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., we will be reconfiguring our server room. This will result in outages to all servers housed at GWAEA. Mail, Finance, TimeClock, BSO, IMS, IEP, I-Plan, GEI, Assessment System, GWAEA Web Sites including School Sites, SEMS, PowerSchool, MediaNet.


Specific times and duration for the server outages will vary so it is inadvisable to be logged in and working with critical data while this work is going on. We are sorry for the inconvenience.  This reconfiguration is necessary due to the increased heat generated by the new servers and the change in the air conditioning flow.

Universal Precautions/Bloodborne Pathogens

To promote a safe working environment and prevent and control the transmission of communicable diseases, employees are to use universal precautions in the delivery of services.  Universal precautions are identified in the Agency’s exposure control plan for bloodborne pathogens, which is reviewed on an annual basis. Key components of the plan are summarized here for employee information and reference.


Wallet-sized cards outlining these procedures have previously been provided to all staff.  If you need additional cards, have questions or would like more information, please contact the Human Resources Office, ext. 6703.  Thank you.

EAP Reminder

The Agency provides an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to support staff and family members.  This program is provided through Mercy EAP Services and includes professional and confidential counseling and referral services for a variety of personal issues.  The goal of the program is to assist employees in effectively identifying and resolving personal concerns in a proactive manner before they affect job performance.
All clinicians with Mercy EAP are licensed mental health counselors and are experienced in assisting individuals in meeting the challenges of today’s busy lifestyles.  The EAP is confidential and easy to use – just call 319-398-6694 or 1-800-383-6694 to schedule an appointment.  There is no cost to employees for initial discussionsup to 3 sessions per employee family member per year (July 1-June 30) are provided.

A variety of personal situations can complicate one’s life at home and on the job.  The Employee Assistance Program provides counselors who can talk with you or your family about a problem and assist you in solving that problem.  Whenever necessary, you will be referred to another resource that can best serve your needs.  In most cases, your insurance may be used to cover the cost of additional help.  If you need help that is not covered by insurance, the counselor can recommend services that are based on ability to pay.

It is hoped employees and families always lead happy and healthy lives, however if problems do occur and additional support or assistance would be helpful, the Agency is pleased to provide this valuable resource through the EAP.  If you are ready to try a new approach to addressing challenges in your life, please remember Mercy EAP Services.


If you have questions or need additional information, feel free to call the Human Resources Office at ext. 6703, refer to the EAP brochure that will be distributed with paychecks on November 23, or visit

From the Payroll / Benefits Desk ……

Flexible Spending Accounts – 2012 Benefit Plan Year

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) materials for the 2012 benefit plan year have been distributed to all employees.  Employees only need to complete an election form if enrolling in a health and/or dependent care flex account.  Please submit enrollment forms to
Cathy Kearns, Grant Wood AEA Business Services, by December 7, 2011.


What is a Flexible Spending Account?

A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a tax-free account that allows you to pay for health care expenses that are not covered, or are partially covered, by your medical, dental and vision insurance plans; or pay for child/dependent care expenses.  When you enroll in an FSA, you decided how much to contribute to the account for the entire plan year.  The money is deducted from your paycheck pre-tax (before Federal & State income taxes and FICA taxes are deducted) in equal amounts over the course of the plan year.  After you incur expenses that qualify for reimbursement, you submit claims (reimbursement requests) to ASI Flex to withdraw from your FSA to reimburse yourself for these expenses.


Our FSA program runs on a calendar year basis, January 1 through December 31.  Participants must re-enroll in the FSA program each year, even if you don’t want your election amount to change.


ASI, our flex benefits administrator, offers many features including:

  • Daily Reimbursements – Once a flexible spending claim is processed, reimbursement will be made to participants the following day!  Claims are typically processed within two days of receipt.

  • Online Access – Participants have password protected access to account information, including balance available and reimbursements made.  Website:

  • Direct Deposit and E-mail Notifications – If you choose, there is an option available for direct deposit into your bank account for reimbursements and e-mail notifications of your account transactions.

  • Customer Service Center – Calls are answered live, and the Customer Service Center has extended hours:  7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.  Telephone:  1-800-659-3035

Questions can be directed to Cathy Kearns, Grant Wood AEA Business Services, at or 319-399-6706  or by contacting ASI Flex using the phone number listed above.

The Bulletin Board...

...will resume publication on Friday, Dec 2. Happy Thanksgiving!

iPad Update 11/18/11

by Stacy Behmer, Coordinator of Digital Learning

All of the iPad orientations have been completed! Thank you to everyone who attended! Remember to use the GWAEA iPad Project Site for resources and to get new information and check out the help desk hours if you need assistance. Information will be sent out through the iPad user group as well. One final orientation will be held Thursday, December 1st from 12-1:30pm.


Using PD Money to Purchase Apps:
You may use PD dollars to purchase apps under your own iTunes/Apple Account. You do NOT need prior approval to purchase apps. There is an explanation of the process to purchase apps on the iPad Google Site.

App of the Week:
This week's App of the Week is the free PBS Lunch Rush App, recommended by Jonathan Wylie. This innovative app takes advantage of the latest augmented reality technologies to project virtual images onto your screen. Read more about it at our GWAEA iPad Site.


Do you have an app that you would like to feature as our app of the week? Email to tell us which one it is, and why you like it so much!

Now, since all of the iPads are out, we are moving on to Phase 2 of the roll out! Be looking for the survey to find out what your specific professional development needs are for using the iPad the first part of December. We are also preparing the “order form” for agency purchased apps (this will be similar to core materials). If you have an app you would like to see on the order form, please submit your recommendations here.

The Linker, Winter 2011 is online

The Winter 2011 issue of Grant Wood AEA's

newspaper, The Linker, is available for viewing and download at along with archival copies. Printed copies have been distributed to staff mailboxes.


Included in this issue...

"Developing leadership capacity to improve teaching and learning"

"Professional Learning Communities support student achievement" - Cedar Rapids School District PLC

" New Teacher Center: Developing teacher leaders and instructional coaches"



The Linker, Winter 2011

"Lee recipient of 2011 Iowa School Social Worker of the Year"

"GWAEA Corridor STEM Initiative After-School Grants"

"2011 Open Minds, Open Doors Conference"

"Professonal Development opportunities"

"The Media Center announces TrueFlix"

"GWAEA Media Center starts the move to DVD and digital"


This is the 31st year of publication for The Linker, which is distributed to all area educators, school board members, legislators, libraries, and professors of education. For information or to suggest an article, contact Valerie Taylor Hill in the Communications Office, ext. 6824.

See How Iowa's AEAs are “Impacting Lives”


Visit to read the newest edition of "Impacting Lives." The blog newsletter is a statewide effort to communicate AEA success stories and services across the state. The newsletter is sent to all school administrators, legislators (in-session) and AEA staff in Iowa.

This issue includes:

Grant Wood AEA on Facebook facebook logoand Twitter twitter logo

Are you connected with Grant Wood AEA? The agency has a presence on both Facebook and Twitter. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For questions, contact the Communications Office.

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.


Teacher Quality Update – Professional Development Dollar, September, 2011

Grant Wood AEA Professional Development opportunities

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


Upcoming opportunities for Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Site, and Advanced Google Sites training:  


Google Calendar-Let's Get Started
This workshop will cover the basics of using Google calendar. Participants will utilize the calendar tool with their Google account and set up their own calendars during the workshop. We will learn how to set up multiple calendars, share them and customize calendar settings. Participants will need to bring their own laptops.
Number: 6503-11-05
Dates/Time: Dec. 5, 1-4 p.m.
Number: 6503-11-06
Dates/Time: Dec. 12, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Location: Grant Wood AEA, 200 Holiday Road, Coralville
Google Docs
Want to learn how to collaborate online with word processing docs, spreadsheets, and presentations? What about creating forms to collect data? Google docs allows you to do all of these things from the "cloud"! Participants are asked to bring their laptops.
Number: 6501-11-04
Dates/Time: Dec. 5, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Location: Grant Wood AEA, 200 Holiday Road, Coralville
Number: 6501-11-05
Dates/Time: Dec. 9, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Number: 6501-11-06
Dates/Time: Dec. 16, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Location: Grant Wood AEA, 4401 6th Street SW, Cedar Rapids
Google Sites
Participants will learn how to use Google sites to create a dynamic web presence that you can enhance communication and collaboration. Google sites allows you to easily integrate many web tools without knowing any code! Participants are asked to bring their laptops.
Number: 6500-11-03
Dates/Time: Dec. 9, 1-4 p.m.
Location: Grant Wood AEA, 4401 6th Street SW, Cedar Rapids
Number: 6500-11-04
Dates/Time: Dec. 12, 1-4 p.m.
Location: Grant Wood AEA, 200 Holiday Rd, Coralville
Google Sites-Beyond the Basics
Are you looking at going to the next level with Google Sites? this half day workshop will cover more advanced features in building high quality Google Sites. Our Google Apps Certified Trainer will focus on embedding objects, improving navigation, and how to customize your site to meet your exact needs. Participants are asked to bring their laptops.
Number: 6504-11-03
Dates/Time: Dec. 16, 1-4 p.m.
Location: Grant Wood AEA, 4401 6th Street SW, Cedar Rapids



If you have received a notice that you are required to complete Bloodborne Pathogens and/or Mandatory Reporter training, please do so at your earliest convenience.  After completing the training, you will need to submit your certificate of completion to the Professional Development office.  The Bloodborne Pathogen certificate can be printed.  The Mandatory Reporter certificate will be mailed to you by AEA PD Online.  If you have questions, please contact Tammy Carolan, ext. 6771, Connie Russell, ext. 6767, or Sherry Sines, ext. 6517 in the Professional Development office.

Grant Wood AEA Webinars

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


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


Lost and Found:

A brown suitcase with a pull handle and wheels was found in an upstairs conference room and has been there for a few months. Please claim at the front desk.

Vacancies, Adobe PDF logo Nov. 18, 2011


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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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