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Grant Wood Area Education Agency

The Bulletin Board logo

In this issue:

Mark your calendars!
Automated Emergency Alert System Test – Dec. 14
Grant Wood AEA Adds EduVision Link to Web
The Live Healthy Iowa 100 Day Wellness Challenge- Dates of Challenge: Jan. 14 – April 29, 2011
Visit the revised Grant Wood AEA Iowa Core website
Grant Wood AEA to Present Sarah Brown Wessling, National Teacher of the Year, Dec. 14-15
Grant Wood AEA Charitable Giving Opportunities
Going Google - Upcoming Training Sessions

New Books In The PEP Library
Upcoming TQ Professional Development proposals submission dates for the 2010-2011 school year
Chair Massages
Buy, Sell or Trade
Wanted: Pink Yoplait lids
Grant Wood AEA Professional Development opportunities

Grant Wood AEA Webinars
Grant Wood AEA Online Resources Webinars
Vacancies, Dec. 10, 2010

Mark your calendars!

Dec. 14, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.


Holiday Potluck - Sixth St.

Dec. 15, 5:30 p.m.


GWAEA Board Meeting

Dec. 20, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.


Holiday Potluck - Coralville

Dec. 23, 3 p.m.


Agency closes at 3 p.m. for Winter Break

Dec. 24


Winter Break - Agency closed

Dec. 31


Winter Break Ends

Automated Emergency Alert System Test – Dec. 14

We will once again test the agency's automated emergency alert system on Tuesday evening, December 14, at 7 p.m. Some staff have provided both home and cell phone numbers. The system will call all of the numbers we have input for you. If you don't receive a call, please contact George Held in the Communications Office. Also, please let us know if you encounter any specific problems with the message system. One frequent problem is the way answering machines receive the message.
The system automatically detects whether a call is answered by a live person or an answering machine. Upon answer by a machine, the system will wait until the greeting stops and then will play the message which will be recorded by the machine.
If you are experiencing partial messages being left on your Answering machine, there is most likely a 'pause' in the answer machine greeting which is triggering the system to deliver the message early. Make sure the greeting is clean and precise to remedy this issue.
If the messages are not received by the answering machine, ensure that it is set to answer after no more than FOUR rings.

Grant Wood AEA Adds EduVision Link to Web

As part of a statewide initiative, Grant Wood AEA now has a Web site on Click on the "Agency Video"s link in the right-hand column on the agency Websitet to get to the EduVision link. We have 60+ videos that have been provided to us that focus on various aspects of the Iowa Core. Also, we have a brand new video about Speech Language Pathologists that is now available for public viewing on this site at We plan to add even more videos to this site featuring some of our other largest employee groups and most significant services.

The Live Healthy Iowa 100 Day Wellness Challenge

Dates of Challenge: Jan. 14 – April 29, 2011


The Agency Advisory Council expressed interest in exploring the possibility of forming a team to join a weight loss competition. The Live Healthy Iowa 100 Day Wellness Challenge is a fun, easy and affordable way to engage Iowans in healthy behaviors. This team-based physical activity, nutrition and weight loss program is designed to promote positive changes leading to a healthier lifestyle.

If you are interested in participating in this challenge, please send your name to Jane Yock at Jane will coordinate the registration of the teams. Participation cost is $20 per person, paid by each participant. There are two areas of competition: (1) weight loss and (2) healthy activity. Teams may compete in one or both of the categories.

The participation fee includes a training t-shirt, weekly health and nutrition tips sent via e-mail, chances to win monthly incentives, Access Card, free entry into the Winter and Summer Games Fitness Walks, weekly motivational emails containing activity, nutrition, and recipe tips. As a paid registrant, a one year subscription to a lifestyle magazine is included with the program.

You will have a personal dashboard, which includes an online daily journal to help you track your weight loss or physical activity, an online messaging center that will allow you to communicate with your teammates to support each other in your progress, and gives you the ability to see your team's ranking on the leader board.

For more information and an FAQ, visit

Visit the revised Grant Wood AEA Iowa Core website


The site features information categorized by the six Outcomes.

Also featured is a list of Grant Wood AEA Iowa Core professional development opportunities with links to registration information.

For information, contact:

Myra Hall, Iowa Core Curriculum Facilitator
ext. 6820.

Grant Wood AEA to Present
Sarah Brown Wessling, Dec. 14-15


Grant Wood Area Education Agency will host Sarah Brown Wessling, 2010 National Teacher of the Year, on Dec. 14 for AEA staff from 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., from 5:30-7:30 p.m., and Dec. 15, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the agency’s facility located at 4401 Sixth St. S.W. in Cedar Rapids.

Wessling is a high school English teacher at Johnston High School in Johnston. She was recognized as Iowa’s Teacher of the Year and is the recipient of the 2010 National Teacher of the Year award. Wessling accepted the award from President Barack Obama during a ceremony held at the White House on April 29, 2010.

The session during the day on Dec. 14 with Sarah Brown Wessling is for AEA staff only and will focus on the Iowa Core and Outcome 4 and 6 - teaching meaninful content effectively - and make Iowa Core accessible to all students.

The evening session on Dec. 14 is planned as learning and conversation with Wessling for community members, area educators and administrators, school board members, and others who are interested in learning more about the Iowa Core and exemplary instruction.

The vision for the Iowa Core is to ensure the success of each and every student by providing a world-class curriculum. The core is designed to improve achievement of all students, preparing them for the world of work and lifelong learning.

The 2008 legislative session, through Senate File 2216, requires all school districts and accredited nonpublic schools to implement the Iowa Core by July 1, 2012 for grades 9 through 12 and 2014-15 for kindergarten through 8th grade.

The evening session will provide information to deepen the understanding of the intentions of the Iowa Core. Participants will have the opportunity to better understand and appreciate how the Iowa Core looks when implemented, and the possibilities for improving teaching and learning for all.

Registration information:

To register for Ensuring Success: Iowa Core in Action on Dec. 14, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (AEA staff only), visit the Professional Development section of the Grant Wood AEA website at and register for course number 9726-10-02.

To register for Iowa Core with National Teacher of the Year on Dec. 14, visit the Professional Development section of the Grant Wood AEA website at and register for course number 9728-10-01. There is a $10 fee for the workshop, which includes a light dinner. The registration deadline is Dec. 10, 2010.

On Dec. 15, Ensuring Success: Iowa Core in Action is a full-day professional development session planned for educators, administrators, and Iowa Core team members. To register, visit the Professional Development section of the Grant Wood AEA website at and register for course number 9726-10-01. The cost of the workshop is $25. The registration deadline is Dec. 8, 2010.

Grant Wood AEA Charitable Giving Opportunities

While we recognize the needs of all charitable organizations, this year the Agency has selected the following four organizations to channel our holiday giving.  Please consider participating in one or more of the opportunities listed below between Monday, November 22 and Friday, December 17.
The Linn Community Food Bank – donation box in Administration Area (6th Street, 1st floor)
Canned goods – pork and beans, green beans, soup, corn, peas, tuna, fruit, applesauce
Mac and cheese, peanut butter, saltine crackers
Box items – pudding, jello, muffin mix, pancake mix
Toilet paper, bar soap
Vinton Animal Shelter – cash donation or sponsor a pet – pet ornament tree located in IMS area (6th Street, 2nd floor)
Adopt Local Families in Need – details regarding specific gift items and/or cash donations at Jan Baburek’s desk, NE Region Secretary (6th Street, 2nd floor)
Salvation Army Johnson County – cash donations to be sent to Barb Aanonson in the Coralville facility

We appreciate your support!

Going Google - Upcoming Training Sessions

As we prepare to "Go Google" in January, we are ramping up training for staff. In 2011, we will be hosting two 1/2 days Google Apps sessions every other week through March. Space is limited, so please get signed up today. Sessions are focused on Docs, Sites, or Calendar. Here is the schedule:

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: 6503-10-02 Cancelled
Dates/Time: Dec. 8, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Number: 6503-10-03
Dates/Time: Jan. 12, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Number: 6503-10-04
Dates/Time: Feb. 7, 1-4 p.m.
Number: 6503-10-05
Dates/Time: Mar. 2, 1-4 p.m.


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"!

Number: 6501-10-01
Dates/Time: Jan. 18, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Number: 6501-10-02
Dates/Time: Feb. 22, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Number: 6501-10-03
Dates/Time: Feb. 22, 1-4 p.m.
Number: 6501-10-04
Dates/Time: Feb. 24, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Number: 6501-10-05
Dates/Time: Feb. 24, 1-4 p.m.


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 know any code!

Number:6500-10-01 Cancelled
Dates/Time: Feb. 7, 1-4 p.m.
Dates/Time: Feb. 7, 8:30-11:30 a.m.


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.

Dates/Time: Mar. 2, 8:30-11:30 a.m.


Not available for a face to face training? No worries. You can access or for some online tutorials on Google Docs, Sites, and Calendar. Contact Andy Crozier for username and passwords for or log in directly when you are at GWAEA @

Previous articles in The Bulletin Board:
Going Google - New Features in Google Sites (Nov. 5, 2010)
Grant Wood AEA moving to Google Apps Domain
(Oct. 29, 2010)
Grant Wood AEA - Going Google Apps (Oct. 1, 2010)


New Books In The PEP Library

The PEP Library has several new books on the topics of behavior and mental health.

Books on ADHD/Difficult ehavior:

Empower ADHD Kids-Practical Strategies to Assist ADHD Children in Developing Learning and Social Competenciesby Becky White

This book helps children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD learn who the are, how they can “belong”, and how to become a competent learner and friend.
For children with ADD/ADHD, the need to understand their ADD/ADHD behaviors, personalities, and how ADD/ADHD impacts their life is critical. They will need to be self-advocates, communicating their problems, strengths, and goals. Children and youth with ADHD must learn to be more focused, self-reflective, and be able to monitor their own personal effectiveness to become a productive and happy student and citizen.

Transforming the Difficult Child-The Nurtured Heart Approach by Howard Glasser and Jennifer Easley
Transforming the Difficult Child Workbook-An Interactive Guide to The Nurtured Heart Approach For Parents, Teachers, Practitioners, and All Other Caregivers by Howard Glasser, Joann Bowdidge, and Lisa Bravo

These two books explain why normal parenting styles are not working with those children who have more intense, challenging behaviors. These books offer specific strategies designed to address those challenging behaviors and turn non-compliance, intense emotional reactions to events, and anger into cooperation, intensity used in creative outlets, and more even moods throughout the day. The workbook offers concrete tools for putting the Nurtured Heart approach in place within the home, school, and/or theraputic settings. 

Mental Health:

The Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide-Everything You Needed To Know About Living With PPD by Alexander Chapman, Ph.D., and Kim Gratz, Ph.D.

For the person who is living with BPD or has a loved one with BPD, this book offers answers and insights into Borderline Personality Disorder. The book provides information on the nature of BPD, how long does it last, what are co-existing problems for people with BPD, common treatments and medication. The last section of the books deals with the most difficult symptoms of BPD, managing emotions, suicidal thoughts, and strategies for coping with this disease.

Addressing Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Substance Abuse Treatment-A Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP)-U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The first part of this book covers background information on suicide and substance abuse, risk factors and warning signs for suicide, and a four-step process for addressing suicidal thoughts and behaviors in substance abuse treatment.
Part 2 offers information for treatment program administrators to provide support for programs and counselors as they work with the specific needs of persons who have warning signs for suicide.
Part 3 gives analysis of available literature on this topic, an annotated bibliography, and a bibliography of other available literature. Part 3 is also available online at

Social Skills for Persons with ASD:

Preparing For Life-The Complete Guide For Transitioning to Adulthood for those with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome by Dr. Jed Baker
Consider this book a toolbox of social skills young people with ASD will need post high school. Social skills issues such as perspective-taking, nonverbal communication skills, conversational skills, and stress management are dealt with in this book. The books also explains the laws and services that provide assistance, offers options and resources, and encourages and emphasis on the students’ strengths for meeting social goals.

Building Social Relationships-A Systematic Approach to Teaching Social Interaction Skills to Children and Adolescents with ASD and other Social Difficulties  by Scott Bellini, Ph.D.
The purpose of this book is to present a five-step model which will show teachers and parents where and how to implement a social skills program. The model will show how to organize and make sense of the many social skill strategies and resources currently available. This “guide” will use the programs, books, and strategies teachers and parents are using now and synthesize them into a comprehension program. This book strongly encourages teachers and parents to tailor programs to meet each child’s unique needs.

Click here for a link to the PEP Bulletin, December 2010.

To check out any of these books, call Liz Hooley, ext. 6719 or e-mail your request to


Congratulations to Monique Smith and her husband, Roy, on the birth of William "Will" Harrison Smith. Will was born on Dec. 3 at 1:12 p.m.  He weighed 8 lb. 4 oz. and is 20” long. Will was welcomed by big sister, Elise. Monique is a speech-language pathologist. Congratulations!

Support for online contest needed by Dec. 10

Former GWAEA employee Stacey Snyder is asking everyone to support her children’s school in an online contest offered by State Farm. The school, Tripoli, is participating in a national contest, and up until Wednesday they were in 3rd place. The district would win $5000 for a third place finish. Unfortunately they have slipped to 4th. Voting ends at the end of today (December 10); so timing is critical. If you are willing to help, go to: and vote for "Tripoli Panthers Game Winning Touchdown."  The quarterback in the play (#12) is Stacey’s son.

Professional Development Office Reminders:

Weather cancellations for workshops and courses will be posted to the "Cancellations" link on the Grant Wood AEA homepage and listed with KCRG.

If you find you are unable to attend a workshop or course for any reason, please contact the Professional Development Office as soon as possible.  We often have waiting lists of participants for our training sessions.  We appreciate being able to offer them the opportunity if you find you are unable to attend. Please email or call Connie Russell at 399-6517, Sherry Sines at 399-6517 or Tammy Carolan at 399-6771.

Refund Policy: Registration and material fees are refundable up to one week prior to the start of the course or workshop. A $10 administrative fee will be retained. In an emergency situation, which necessitates dropping a class less than one week prior or after it has started, it is the discretion of the Professional Development Coordinator to approve a refund or credit voucher for another class. All refund requests must be submitted in writing to the Professional Development Office within two weeks of the class conclusion. Failure to officially withdraw from a course will be treated as nonattendance and a failing grade will be assigned.  In cases where Grant Wood AEA cancels a workshop due to weather or low enrollment a full refund will be issued. 

Upcoming TQ Professional Development proposals submission
dates for the 2010-2011 school year:

- February 10, 2011
- April 28, 2011

The proposal templates and directions are on the GWAEA Staff Portal under the Teacher Quality Committee link.

Chair Massages

Terri Nicol, LMT, will provide chair massages on Thursday, Dec. 16, 9:20 a.m. - 1:20 p.m., in the Cedar Conference Room, Sixth St. Facility. The chair massages are 15 minutes long and cost $10. E-mail Stacy Murphy at to schedule an appointment time.

Buy, Sell and Trade

For Sale: 2003 Nissan Altima 3.5, 104,000 miles, purchased in AZ. Very clean. Runs great. Call 319-321-4514 and ask for Jeff.

For Sale: 2008 Honda Civic LX with 26,000 miles for $13,000 OBO. Call 319-431-1503.

For Sale: used games for the PS3.  All are in great shape and would be a great Christmas gift!
Prototype, $15; Metal Gear Solid 4, $15; Killzone 2, $20; Infamous, $20; God of War 3, $25. Wireless keyboard, mouse combo for sale, $30. Originally purchased for $80, have used 6-7 times only.
Please call 361-3004 for more info.

Free: I have five trunks available for free. They are about 30”x15”x12” made from hardwood plywood with metal trim. They have metal hinges and 3 metal closures, one of them with a lock. A key is included. Four are in good shape, one needs repair. Stop by the 6th Street front desk to have a look or call Cathy Nelson for more information at extension 6544.

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. A collection container is available in the break room of the Sixth St. facility. Staff may also send the labels to Stacy or contact her at ext. 6888.

Grant Wood AEA Professional Development opportunities

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

Grant Wood AEA Webinars

Archives of Grant Wood AEA Webinars and Assistive Technology Webinars.

Grant Wood AEA Online Resources Webinars

Webinars featuring information about the online resources.

Vacancies, Adobe PDF logo Dec. 10, 2010

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