Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


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


Dec. 13, 2011

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


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


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

In this issue:

Agency Closings - Winter Storm Advisories
iPad Update
Dear GWAEA Colleagues...
United Way
GWAEA Photo Contest
MDA Fundraiser
Lunch and Learn
Herbert Hoover Museum
Live Healthy Iowa
Chair Massages, Dec. 15
GWAEA on Facebook, Twitter
Grant Wood AEA Angel tree
TQ Proposal Application Date - Feb. 15
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
GWAEA Webinars
Buy, Sell and Trade
Vacancies, Dec. 2, 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




Agency Closings - Winter Storm Advisories

When severe winter weather comes, staff is urged to make the decision whether or not to go to their assigned work site or leave work early, using the following criteria:

  • Is/are my school(s) closed?

  • Is there work I could be doing at my agency center?

  • Is it endangering my safety for me to travel?

Here is how the agency will respond to winter storm conditions. As a general rule, if a school remains open during a winter storm, the Agency will likely remain open.  If most of the schools are closed, it’s possible one or more of the agency centers may also close.



Most of the agency staff have the flexibility to make adjustments to their calendars to respond to bad weather situations.


Staff who work in the schools should pay close attention to morning school announcements for any announced closures or late starts. In the instances where the schools have closed for the day, staff serving those schools need to consider the circumstances. In some cases, the schools ask staff to report to the buildings. If this is productive time for you to be in the building so that you can meet with staff, you are encouraged to go in – as long as you feel the driving conditions are safe for you to travel.


If staff are not asked to report or the road conditions are not passable for you, consider making a calendar change and take a non-work day. When a school or Agency Center closes, staff members may see a need to work from home for all or part of a work day, in which case the staff member is to provide advance notice of this schedule change to their supervisor and receive prior approval of the intent to work from home.  This communication best serves all involved and provides clear understanding regarding staff schedules and time worked.  (As a general rule, hourly staff are not authorized to work from home.) Staff need to be the judge of what is safe or not safe driving conditions in your area. 


In the event an Agency Center closes, a voice mail message will be sent to all staff via the SchoolReach system. We will also do an all agency voice mail system message. If the decision is made to close one or more of the Agency Centers, the communications office will also contact the news media (KHAK, WMT, KGAN-TV and KCRG-TV) and place information on the agency Web site. Through the all-call voice message, staff will be informed regarding (a) which centers are affected, (b) when the center(s) will close, (c) when the agency anticipates reopening the center(s), and (d) when the next employee update will be available.


Employees scheduled to work during the time an agency center has been closed will be required to make up the work time missed while the Agency Center was closed. The primary options for making up the work time include: calendar change, emergency leave, personal leave or leave without pay (please see your Master Contract or terms and conditions of employment for additional options that may be available). Employee calendar and leave requests are subject to supervisor approval, so please work with your supervisor to determine the option that is appropriate for your situation.  In the event an employee performs assigned or approved work during a closing, the amount of time spent performing such services will be recognized and considered as work time.


When a staff member is not scheduled to work during an Agency closing because the closing occurred on a non-work day or other leave was scheduled to be used at the time of the closing (such as personal, illness/disability, vacation, etc.), these schedules are not affected by the Agency closing and are reported as usual.


As always, be smart, pack appropriate emergency supplies in your car, and plan ahead for bad weather.  If you have any questions about how you should respond to a weather delay or cancellation, talk to your supervisor before the weather turns bad to confirm how you should plan to act in such an emergency.

iPad Update 12/1/11

by Stacy Behmer, Coordinator of Digital Learning


iPad Professional Development

Many of you have hit the ground running with your iPads, just remember there will be a learning curve and we are here to support you moving forward! We are starting to prepare for professional development and are asking you to please fill out a short survey to let us know what your needs are and we will plan accordingly. We are hoping to start offering workshops and webinars beginning in January.

iPad Professional Development Needs Survey

Getting Agency Purchased Apps

Today is the day you can start filling out a request form for agency purchased apps. We need to have the order forms completed by Friday, December 9, so we may make the purchases and distribute your agency iTunes account and redeem codes. We know you don’t have ALL the information about the apps and it would be nice to try some before you order, but we have links to reviews and have only included apps on the form that have been recommended by agency staff. We have two tiers of apps you may select from, prior to placing your order please read about the two tiers and the differences on the GWAEA iPad Site. A link to apps on each tier and a link to the order form are included on this page as well. After the order deadline (Friday, December 9), we will contact those making orders with the list of times they may come in and pick up their agency iTunes account login and redeem codes. Please remind people of this deadline because we aren’t going to be doing another order until March.

App of the Week!


This week's App of the Week comes courtesy of Heather Marolf, one of our esteemed School Psychologists. Heather wrote a great review of observation app ABC Data, which is available for $4.99 from CBTAonline. (This is an app you may wish to add to your order form).

Dear Grant Wood AEA Colleagues and Friends:

As many of you have probably heard, today is my last day at Grant Wood AEA. I have accepted the position as Director of Community Building at SourceMedia Group in Cedar Rapids. I wanted to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt “thank-you” to each of you I’ve had the honor and privilege of working with during my nearly 9 years at the Agency. The work done by you for the benefit of children, teachers, and education at-large cannot be overstated. That I have been able to work alongside you on enjoyable and important projects and work has been a true blessing for me. I have learned and developed much over my tenure at Grant Wood and for that I’m grateful. Thank you for welcoming me into the “family” and for the friendship and professionalism over the years. You truly make a difference! You have my best wishes.
Trace Pickering

Email effective Monday, Dec. 5:

Personal email:

Last Thoughts about Giving to the United Way for 2012

As our annual GWAEA United Way campaign comes to a close, some of your GW colleagues would like to pass along some of the reasons they contribute to the United Way:

Reasons to Contribute to United Way at Work:
"Donating to the United Way at work provides a ready answer when I am asked for donations at the grocery store, convenience store or on the phone. I just say, 'No thanks.  I contribute to the United Way through my work.' AND…  I feel good about that!"
"Interacting problems that exist within the GWAEA context:
·         Growth of low socio-economic groups
·         Steady decline of student population in the smaller outlying districts
·         Rapidly diversifying ethnic population."

"I know that my contributions to the United Way are helping our community, and, in a way, all of us at GW."
"I never miss the money!  It’s taken out of my paycheck, and I don’t give it a second thought… well, until tax time rolls around! "

Announcing the Grant Wood AEA Photo Contest

If you’ve looked around agency facilities, you may have noticed there’s not a lot of interesting pictures on many of the walls. We’d like to change that. And just for fun, we’d like to make it an agency-wide effort. We want to see pictures from agency staff that celebrate where we live and work.


See attached flyer
Entries by email are due Dec. 23, 2011

To that end, we are launching our first annual photography contest. The theme of this year’s contest is "Living and Working in GWAEA."

We want to see pictures from every county we serve – Linn, Johnson, Iowa, Benton, Cedar, Washington and Jones. The photos can be anything you wish to submit – as long as the photos portray a positive image of life in our area, and would receive a “G” rating from the motion picture guild. Beyond this, we are not limiting the subject matter of the photographs. Family members may also submit photographs for the contest.

They can be anything…

• Landscapes
• Buildings
• People (If recognizable people are shown, photo releases must accompany the submission)

• Animals


• Special Interest (close-up pictures of tools, items, teaching materials, etc.)
• Visuals related specifically to Grant Wood – his workshop, places he painted, Stone City, etc.
• School/Education scenes

Please see the attached flyer for contest guidelines. The entries may be submitted using the attached Google form. Entries are due by Dec. 23, 2011 and should be submitted by email to either George Held or Valerie Taylor Hill in the Communications Office.

We’re going behind bars for "GOOD"




See attached flyer

Your donation is our key to freedom!  
Be proud of the fact that together we're providing help and hope to kids and adults served by MDA in our community.  

Because of your support, MDA is able to continually provide help & hope to hundreds of thousands of children and adults living with neuromuscular disease. Donations from the Lock-Up will support local families and guarantee that MDA can continue its mission to find treatments and cures, as well as provide vital services.


Online donations:
Thanks for making a difference!

Tina Hoffman and Carmen Dixon

Lunch and Learn

Protect Yourself While Shopping Online
Friday, Dec. 16, 2011
Noon - 1 p.m.

Grant Wood AEA
Sixth St. Facility


To register, sign-in to the online Grant Wood AEA Professional Development and register for course 5564-11-02.


online shopping

See attached flyer

Seating is limited to 20. Free pizza and beverages will be served. See attached flyer for information.


Protect Yourself While Shopping Online is offered as a community outreach program by Linn Area Credit Union. Participants are not charged anything, and there is no requirement for participants to be a member of LACU or to join the credit union as a result of this class.

Charles Dickens
"A Christmas Carol"
Readers’ Theatre

Saturday, Dec. 3, 7:00 p.m.
Hoover Presidential
Library Auditorium

210 Parkside Dr., West Branch


Join Main Street West Branch, the Herbert Hoover Museum and the National Historic Site for the annual Christmas Past Celebration Dec. 2-4. The activities are free, however visitors are encouraged to bring a canned good for the local food pantry.



See attached flyer

The Live Healthy Iowa 100 Day Wellness Challenge

Dates of Challenge: Jan. 23 – May 1, 2011



Last year, GWAEA staff teams participated in The Live Healthy Iowa 100 Day Wellness Challenge. Live Healthy Iowa 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.


Watch next week's issue of The Bulletin Board for registration via the agency's Google site. For more information and an FAQ, visit or contact Connie Dvorak or Stacy Murphy.


  • to Bob Neilly's daughter, Laura Olson, who is featured in the December 2011 issue of Each and Every Child, an e-newsletter by the Iowa Department of Education’s Bureau of Student and Family Support Services. The article, "There is no 'I' in 'team'," highlights the importance of building a team approach to student success. Laura is an educator at Brubaker Elementary in Des Moines. Bob is a GWAEA computer consultant.

Chair Massages

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

Help a shelter animal have a Merry Christmas! 

The 3rd Annual Grant Wood AEA Angel tree is located between Central File and NE/NW region offices.  Pick either a cat or dog “Angel” from the tree and purchase something for Christmas and attach it’s picture tag.  It doesn’t have to be huge, you can spend whatever you want.  I will take everything out to the shelter on December 22.  Thank you for all the support we have received in the past two years.  The Vinton Animal Shelter is a no-kill shelter run by volunteers. Thank you and have a Merry Christmas!

Stacy Murphy

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: 6503-11-06
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: 6501-11-05
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

Vacancies, Adobe PDF logo Dec. 2, 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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