Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


November 9, 2011 at 5:00 p.m.
GWAEA Board of Directors Meeting


Holiday Potluck Lunch – Coralville Office Tuesday, Dec. 13, 11:30 to 1 p.m.


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

In this issue:

Agency to Restore 7.0 FTE (Contracted Staff)
Payroll Notice for All Employees
iPad Update
EER's, Child Find Process
New PEP Library Resources
Article from The Linker reprinted in national FOSS newsletter
LEAN Process - Mount Mercy University
Tanager Place - Play Therapy
GWAEA on Facebook, Twitter
Agency Craft Show, Nov. 11
TQ Proposal Application Date - Nov. 7
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
GWAEA Webinars
Buy, Sell and Trade
Vacancies, Nov. 4, 2011


Past Issues

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




Agency to Restore 7.0 FTE (Contracted Staff)

Grant Wood AEA will be restoring up to 7.0 contracted staff FTE for 2011-12.  The FTE will include:

Assignment openings to be announced on Mon, Nov 7, for 3.0 FTE:

  • 2.0 FTE Special Education Literacy Team to focus on early language literacy

  • 1.0 FTE Data Coach (to provide .5 support for special education and .5 for general education)

Employees interested in these assignment opportunities are encouraged to call the Assignment Line at x6302 for further details.  Requests to be considered for these assignments are to be submitted in writing to the designated contact before 4:30pm on Fri, Nov 11.  Once these assignments are filled by current staff, the vacancies that will be created as a result of these re-assignments will then be posted and filled before staff are released to begin their new assignments.


Beginning Fri, Nov 4, vacancies will be posted for the following 2.0 FTE:

  • 1.0 FTE Curriculum Consultant (Math)

  • 1.0 FTE Curriculum Consultant (Literacy)

In addition, 2.0 FTE will be restored to the equity formula and within the next few weeks RA’s will be identifying the specific job categories to be posted for this FTE.


The Agency is pleased to commit resources for this restored FTE to support Agency needs and priorities.  These areas were identified by the Agency management team by examining current data and customer needs. 


Some of the reasons we are able to restore FTE at this time include:

  • Last spring a number of positions were reduced due to the budgetary considerations.

  • A number of resources and staff FTE were reallocated to meet current needs.

  • Governor Branstad signed the budget on July 27, 2011, and therefore state funding for 2011-12 was not finalized until after the new fiscal year began on July 1.  Consequently, most qualified applicants were under contract and the beginning of the year was not a good time to hire.  Therefore, plans were made to re-evaluate staffing needs when a larger pool of candidates might be available.  With semester breaks for schools and mid-year college graduations approaching, it is hoped we will be able to find quality candidates in the coming months to join our GWAEA team.

  • The Agency has also welcomed a new Chief Administrator.  Mr. Crozier brings new ideas to our Agency and we are confident that adding these positions at this time is financially manageable and will best serve the Agency’s needs and priorities.

  • We realize it is a distinct possibility the AEA’s will sustain another $10 million reduction this year.  We have accounted for this possibility when identifying the level of FTE to be restored.

This is an exciting time in our agency.  We are working hard to ensure that employees have the materials they need to do quality work and that staffing is allocated effectively to meet school needs.  While the changing context creates new opportunities for our work, we recognize such changes can be a challenge.  Thank you for your efforts to approach your work in new and innovative ways to continue providing the quality services expected from our Agency. If you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact your supervisor, PSA or Maria Cashman.

Payroll Notice for All Employees

Below is the Agency calendar for November and December.  Please note the circled pay dates.  Federal Reserve holiday and Agency holidays require adjusted pay dates.  Contact Cathy Kearns in Business Services with questions.




iPad Update 11/4/11

by Jonathan Wylie, Technology Consultant

Yet more iPads have been distributed to GWAEA staff this week, and we are on schedule to have them all out by November 17, 2011. There have been a few hiccups along the way, but we appreciate the patience and support of all agency staff as we continue to push on with this exciting project.


The feedback we have got so far has been extremely positive, and we are always excited to hear about the ways in which these versatile devices have been used to motivate and inspire the students that you work with. So, please continue to share your stories and make sure you post them on our GWAEA iPad User Group.


Our App of the Week for this week is Wunderlist, An insightful review of this app was written by School Psychologist, Daryl Hanneman. Wunderlist is a task management app that is free, easy to use, and capable of syncing your to-do lists between multiple devices. You can read Daryl’s review on the GWAEA iPad App of the Week page, and submit your own ideas for an app by emailing


Lastly, some people are reporting issues with email not going to both their computer and their iPad, but we may have found a workaround for that. If you are finding this a problem, please check our GWAEA iPad calendar for upcoming help desk times, or email, and make sure you bring your laptop, because there are some settings we may need to tweak on that to remedy this issue.


Remember, all our iPad updates will be right here in The Bulletin Board, so keep checking each week for all the latest news and information. If you have any questions, or need some support, please email

Want some support writing EER’s?  Need a little more information regarding the Child Find Process? 

All staff are welcome to join in discussions on Child Find and the New EER.  The Child Find support team will hold monthlysessions using the following format: 


Hour 1: Open Discussion-bring in information/data on a current case.  We will be available to help identify if there is a need for other pieces of information, how does all this data/information fit together, and what does it all mean?


Hour 2: Focused In Depth Discussion session related to a specific Child Find Topic (such as Looking at Exclusionary Factors In Depth) led by the Child Find Support Team.


Hour 3Open Discussion-bring in information/data on a current case.  We will be available to help identify if there is a need for other pieces of information, how does all this data/information fit together, and what does it all mean?


Sessions will be held in BOTH the North and the South facilities using the Polycom Service.  There will be at least one Child Find Support Team member at each location. Staff are welcome to join in for the whole session, or any part of the session. This is a forum to discuss issues that are impacting the rigor of you evaluations, and to provide ongoing support.


Our 2nd session will be held on November 18th from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at both the 6th Street and Coralville facilities. 


Focused Discussion Topics:  The topics for the 18th will be sent out next Friday November 11th, so please make your calendars.


Upcoming Topics: Exclusionary Factors; Resources for Monitoring Implementation Integrity; Progress Monitoring Tools and Goal Development;

Please feel comfortable bringing in the following materials for review/discussion:

EERs, Screening data, Formative data, Progress Monitoring data, Diagnostic data, Summative data and/or any General Education data being used as part of an evaluation


New Resources for Parents and Educators in the PEP Library

A new DVD (two disk set) on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy has been donated to the  PEP Resource Library.


Disk #1-Understanding Duchenne:
What is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy?
What Causes the Condition?
How Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Affects the Body

Disk #2-Options for Care and Management:
Coordination of Care
Corticosteroid Therapy
Musculoskeletal Management
Respiratory and Cardiac Care
Early Learning


The PEP Resource Library has two new books for parents and educators who are preparing their student for life after high school. These transition materials would be useful for transition planning in the areas of living and earning.


The Job Developer’s Handbook-Practical Tactics for Customized Employment by Cary Griffin, David Hammis, and Tammara Geary.
This guide provides fresh ideas on job development covering these area of employment for people with disabilities:

  • Discovering who the person is and what he or she really wants

  • Ensuring a good fit between employer and employee

  • Finding-or creating-“hidden jobs” in smaller companies

  • Empowering people through resource ownership (i.e. investing in resources that employers need)

  • Skillfully negotiating job duties while managing conflicts that might arise

  • Creatively maximizing benefits using Social Security work incentives

  • Encouraging family support while respecting the individual as an adult

Let’s Cook-Healthy Meals for Independent Living by Elizabeth Riesz and Anne Kissack.

This book, designed by and for adults with special needs, offers recipes, cooking tips, food shopping plans, and more.
The book includes:

  • More than 50, healthy, “I can cook” recipes-in large print written at an early elementary reading level

  • Recipes in and easy-to-follow style of “What I need”, “What I use”, “What I do”

  • Color photos that showcase each recipe

  • Step-by-step preparations that take the guesswork out of what to do

  • Complete nutritional information.

  • Chapters on food safety, food selection, meal portions, and kitchen tools

Wright’s Law: Special Education Law-Second Edition-Peter Wright and Pamela Darr Wright
This June 2008 printing of Wright’s Law: Special Education Law-Second Edition has this disclaimer, “The law is always changing. The information contained in this book is general information and may or may not reflect current legal developments.” ( See full disclaimer on the publication page.)

The chapters include information on:

  • Child’s right to a Free, Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

  • Individualized Education Programs, IEP Teams, Transition and Progress

  • Evaluations, Reevaluations, Consent and Independent Educational Evaluations

  • Eligibility and Placement Decisions

  • Least Restrictive Environment, Mainstreaming and Inclusion

  • Research Based Instruction, Discrepancy Formulas and Response to Intervention

  • Discipline, Suspensions, and Expulsions

  • Safeguards, Medication, Confidentiality, New Procedures and Timelines for Due Process Hearings

Includes Text of Key laws and Regulations:

  • IDEA 2004

  • Section 504, NCLB, FERBA and the McKinney-Vento Act

  • U.S. Supreme Court Decisions

  • Commentary, Analysis, and Interpretation

To checkout any PEP Resource Library material, call Liz Hooley, Ext. 6719 or email Material will be sent by Grant Wood AEA van mail to schools in the GWAEA service area or you can make alternative delivery arrangements with PEP.

Excerpts from article in The Linker reprinted in national newsletter


Excerpts from The Linker’s “Van Allen Science Teaching Center incorporates lean principles” article were reprinted in the national FOSS Newsletter, Fall 2011 at


The article originally appeared in Grant Wood AEA's The Linker, Summer 2011 issue at

Lean Process Improvement in K-12 Schools presentation coming to Mount Mercy University

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

2-4 p.m. Flaherty Community Room


Mount Mercy University is very pleased to host Betty Ziskovsky, Lean in Education expert from Minnesota. Betty Ziskovsky is a national presenter and instructor who specializes in process improvement efforts for K-12 education. She was recently appointed to the faculty of Ohio State University to develop and deliver a Master's of Business Operational Excellence program specifically designed to help educators meet today's financial and performance challenges. Betty will share the remarkable potential that the Lean Process Improvement Approach offers K-12 organizations in reducing costs and improving performance.


For more information, contact Deb Oliver at or 319-363-1323 X1237.

Play Therapy

The Tanager Place Mental Health Clinic offers play therapy. The clinic is committed to providing mental health care to  children and adolescents, while also offering needed supports for each child’s family.  


The clinic has a full array of professionals ready to provide the highest quality of care possible. For information, contact Tanager Place Mental Health Clinic, 2309 C Street SW , Cedar Rapid, 319-286-4545 or

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.

Agency Craft Show, Nov. 11

The Agency Craft show will be this Friday, November 11 from 7:30 am to 3:00 pm in the Autumn/Stone/Revere Rooms. Lunch and other food tables will also be available so stop by to eat and shop!  Any questions, call Erlene at ext. 6746.

A Christmas Carol
Saturday, Dec. 10, 2:30 p.m.
Theatre Cedar Rapids

Enjoy an afternoon of entertainment and charity!  Marion Cares and Marion-East Cedar Rapids Rotary are partnering for the second year.  Funds will be used for the Marion Cares and Rotary program for youth.  $30 per person. Purchase your tickets today to ensure premium seating. Visit for ticket information.

The next TQ Professional Development proposal application date is Nov. 7

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.



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.

Buy, Sell and Trade


Altoid tins. Priscilla Polehna is collecting tins for a literacy project. Please send to Priscilla or
Dawn Hrabak.


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:

Please see Cathy Nelson at the Switchboard for the following:

  • Almost square, 1 inch pewter colored French wired earring with several designs in it, including scrolls in a horseshoe shape. Also has a diamond-like stone it the middle.

  • Copper colored aluminum water bottle

Vacancies, Adobe PDF logo Nov. 4, 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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