Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


April 11, 2012
GWAEA Board Meeting, 5:00 p.m.


All Agency Inservice

August 13, 2012 (morning)


In this issue:

Grant Wood AEA Innovation Day, April 2
All-Agency Inservice, Aug. 13
Negotiations Update
Joint Insurance Committee Update
Severe Weather Preparations at GWAEA
iPad Update
First Responders
Mobile Site for Web IEP Progress Monitoring
College for Kids Student Staff Positions
Your Child's Future...The Possibilities are Endless
Teacher Movie Night
Halibut! America's Favorite!
GWAEA on Facebook, Twitter
Health Screen Blood Profile
Iowa Core
GWAEA Webinars
TQ Proposal Application Date - April 18
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
Buy, Sell or Trade
Lost and Found
Vacancies, March 23, 2012


Past Issues


March 16, 2012

March 9, 2012

March 2, 2012

February 24, 2012

February 17, 2012

February 10, 2012

February 3, 2012

January 27, 2012

January 20, 2012

January 13, 2012

January 6, 2012

December 16, 2011

December 9, 2011

December 2, 2011

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




Grant Wood AEA Innovation Day, April 2

Inspiring the transformation of education through innovation: A Showcase of Talents

Please join us for an afternoon of exploring new ideas, innovations and teaching techniques being explored and developed by Grant Wood AEA staff.


Monday, April 2, 2012
2 - 5 p.m.

Grant Wood AEA Conference Center


This special event is open to agency staff, school administrators, curriculum directors, elected public officials, etc.


The following are among the innovations and activities that will be on display:

  • Using Social Networking to Share GWAEA Re-sources

  • Turning Materials into ePubs/eBooks

  • Flip a Classroom

  • Blended Learning: Innovating Delivery

  • Inquiry Cycle with special education tools to Close the Achievement Gap

  • Instructional Strategies Video Coaching Tool

  • Supporting Our Rural LEAs in Serving Students with ASD Using 21st Century Tools

  • Tech Connections in Emergent Literacy

  • eBooks in the Media Center at Grant Wood AEA

  • ELL Resource Team

  • The Special Education Literacy or SPEL team

  • Computer Services at Grant Wood AEA

  • Early Childhood Instructional Practices Video Coaching tool

  • Creative Services at Grant Wood AEA

  • GWAEA Assistive Technology: Redesigned


Mark your calendars for the All-Agency Inservice planned the morning of Aug. 13, 2012.

Negotiations Update, March 23, 2012

This joint update is being provided by the Agency/Association teams regarding negotiations.  The team is pleased to report that tentative agreements have been reached for both the Contracted and Classified employee groups.  The Association is making arrangements for a ratification meeting to be held at 4:30pm on Wed, April 4.  All Contracted and Classified Staff are invited to attend the meeting at either the Coralville or 6th St Cedar Rapids Agency Center.  Those employees who are Association members will be eligible to participate in the ratification vote.  The Association plans to distribute to Association membership next Wed, March 28, further details regarding the tentative agreements for information and review prior to the ratification meeting.  If employees have questions at this time please feel free to contact any member of the Association negotiation team:

Marcia Booth........................... 892-5748
Liz Hooley................................x6719
Julie King.................................x6273
Sheila Matheson.................... *6381
Deb Meyer................................x6849
Elizabeth Steffensmeier.......... x6210

Joint Insurance Committee Update

The Metro Interagency Insurance Program (MIIP) is the consortium of six education organizations in the Cedar Rapids area established in 1990 to provide and maintain affordable medical insurance for employees.  All Grant Wood AEA staff are encouraged to read the MIIP Annual Report for 2011-2012 that is attached to this issue of the Bulletin Board.  This is a summary of the changes that have occurred over the last year, and also helps in building awareness and understanding about the MIIP structure, and how it impacts the health benefits provided by the Agency. 


The committee is very pleased to share the following renewal information about health, dental and vision benefits for the 2012-13 year.

Severe Weather Preparations at GWAEA

Tornado Drill planned Wednesday, April 4, at 10 a.m.

On Wednesday, April 4, at 10 a.m., the agency will have a tornado drill to prepare staff for possible severe weather situations we might have this spring.


The agency no longer uses the fire alarms to alert staff of tornados. Instead, an announcement will be made over the phone intercom speakers and strategically located phones throughout the building.


During a drill or during an actual tornado alert, when you hear we are under tornado warning, please follow these steps:

  • Go immediately to the designated SAFE area closest to you.  See maps posted throughout the building and become familiar with the route suggested.

  • Do NOT go outside or try to call home.

  • Once you are in a SAFE area remain there until notified that the warning has been removed or has expired.

  • Secretaries should take their flashlights with them.

A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for a tornado to form.
A Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted in the area. We will alert staff in the building only when a Warning has been issued.

iPad Update 3/23/12

by Jonathan Wylie, Technology Consultant


Passcodes for Protection
Although we may not have talked about it for a little while, I would like to remind staff about the option to have a passcode to lock your iPad. A passcode will help protect any sensitive data that you may have on your device and ensure that you are not compromised in the event of a loss or theft. Student data, Dropbox files, agency email accounts, photos, videos and more will be freely accessible without the use of a passcode. Many people have already added one, but if you don’t already have one, we strongly urge you to consider using a passcode on your device. Click here for a short video that shows you how to set up an iPad passcode.


Data Collection
As promised, data collection forms on how you are using the iPad will shortly be emailed out to all GWAEA iPad users. Given the investment that the agency has made in these devices, we are keen to learn all we can about how these devices are being used. Part of this process will be to look at what apps are being used by each discipline, and it is our intention to share that data with you so that you can see what apps are being used by each discipline. We think that this will be useful information for everyone.


App of the Week


This week’s App of the Week is Sight Words. This is a great FREE flashcard app to help test a student’s recognition of high frequency words. It has over 300 words from the Dolch list and is infinitely customizable so that you can create your own cards, record your own audio, and mix up your own decks. Find out more on the GWAEA iPad Site, and submit your own reviews for App of the Week to


iPad Video Tutorials
Over the next few weeks we hope to add to our GWAEA collection of iPad video tutorials. We are in the fortunate position that we are able to customize these to the needs of our staff. So, if you can’t come in to Sixth Street for a quick lesson, but you would really love to learn how to do something new on your iPad, let us know! :)

I recently did one that is packed full of tips and tricks on how to use the iPad keyboard, and there is another on how to manage and organize your apps. This week I did one on how to set up a passcode for your iPad. So, feel free to email your requests to, and check out all our videos here.

First Responders for Agency Facilities

The following individuals are certified for first responder help if someone at an agency facility is hurt or suffers a heart attack:

Sixth Street Office:
Main Level
·        George Held, Ext. 6714
·        Myka Peterson, Ext. 6478


Second Floor
·        Paul Kiburz, Ext. 6765
·        Karen Michalec, Ext. 6821
·        Stacy Murphy, Ext. 6888

33rd Avenue Facility
·        Laura Swiser, Ext. 6782

Coralville Office:
·        Barb Aanonson, Ext. 6211
·        Elizabeth Steffensmeier, Ext. 6210

All three offices have AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) and emergency first aid kits in cases of an emergency. All of the first responders have been trained to use the AEDs.


If you need a first responder, you can page them by pressing the intercom button on any desk phone in the agency and then dial 1895. State your emergency and the building where you are located.

To ensure that the first responders know where to go, stay on the line and repeat at least twice what building you are in and the location within the building. If it appears that a defibrillator is needed, be sure to say that, too.


Wait for a response to be sure you were heard. Call the front desk, 6544, in case more help is needed, or an emergency vehicle is needed and can then be directed to that area of the building.

Announcing...Mobile Site for Web IEP Progress Monitoring

Updating progress monitoring data in the web IEP has just become more user friendly! Consumers of the web IEP may now update progress monitoring data via an iPad as well as through the full web IEP application.
Information on this new mobile site, including the URL, is posted on in two (2) places:
1.     For the next several weeks, the information will be featured on the front page of

2.     The information will also be available in the section IEP; subsection: Releases and Changes


College for Kids
Student Staff Positions Available - Apply by April 6

Applications are being accepted for two Student Staff openings for the 2012 College for Kids program.  College for Kids dates are June 11-22 and July 9-20, held on the Coe College campus.  Staff hours are 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Anticipated pay is $8/hour. 


Successful applicants are at least 16 years old, have attended College for Kids and conduct themselves in a professional and positive manner.  Student Staff support the daily activities of the College for Kids program including: assisting with program set-up; collecting hourly attendance; directing students on campus; distributing t-shirts; and, responding to instructor/student/program needs as they arise. 


Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume to Susie Green, Student Programs Specialist, at the 6th Street Facility or via email at by Friday, April 6.  For further information call 399-6775.

Parent Transition Night

"Your Child's Future...The Possibilities are Endless"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

6:00-8:30 p.m.
Grant Wood AEA
4401 Sixth St. SW, Cedar Rapids

Mark your calendars now for the first annual transition conference, "Your Child's Future…The Possibilities are Endless." This workshop will provide valuable information to parents and professionals about the transition process for middle and high school students who receive special education services.


The keynote speaker will be Michael Kutcher, twin brother of actor Ashton Kutcher. Michael is an effective national cerebral palsy advocate and a passionate motivational speaker. His personal story of living with CP and his journey to overcome challenges in order to live a typical life is inspirational. Michael graduated from Mount Mercy University with a degree in Business Management and Finance and lives in Cedar Rapids with his son.


There will be speakers, breakout sessions, and informational booths for parents and professionals to learn a wide variety of services in the area of living, learning and working. Door prizes will be presented.


To register, visit the Grant Wood AEA Professional Development website and click on course number 19052-11-01.



See flyer for information




Session information


Sponsored by Pearson and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.


Join us for a free screening of Mitchell 20—an inspiring documentary about teacher quality—and a panel discussion with area educators.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Registration: 5 p.m.

Movie Time: 5:30 p.m.

Grant Wood AEA Conference Center


The registration page below will be active the week of March 26, 2012. Registration will be available at


See flyer for details.


Iowa AEA Online resources and the Iowa Core



See attached flyer for dates and registration information.

Please bring your laptop!

Halibut! America's Favorite!

The next session is planned April 5

Three workshops for AEA staff on the Iowa AEA Online resources and Iowa Core:

  • Support Reading

  • Concept Learning and Research

  • Increase Opportunities to Learn

Open the GWAEA website, click on PD, scroll to learning for GWAEA staff - and that is where the workshops are posted. Log in and sign up.

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.

Health Screen Blood Profile in April

Grant Wood AEA will be facilitating a Health Screen Blood Profile in April.  The cost of the blood profile is $19.00 – the same as last year.  Spouses of employees may also participate at this cost.  Please bring a check made out to Grant Wood AEA that morning.


You do not need an appointment; just leave your name, by phone or e-mail, with the location secretary listed below.  

Please let Barb or Nancy know by March 28 if you plan to participate.


Coralville Facility-Room B
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Barb Aanonson, Ext. 6211

Sixth Street Facility-Grant Wood Room
Thursday, April 5, 2012
7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Nancy Lochner, Ext. 6737

Be sure to fast at least 12 hours before the test.  A light snack will be available after the blood draw.

Iowa Core Learning Opportunities for AEA Staff

The following learning opportunities are available for AEA 10 staff members. Compensation for time beyond contract day will be provided through Iowa Core Teacher Quality funds.  If you have any questions, requests, suggestions… please contact Myra Hall: 319-350-5464 (cell), 319-399-6820 (VM), Contact Jan Baburek to sign up: 319-399- 6851,
Iowa Core in Practice: facilitated 1/2 day learning experience focused on Iowa Core content and implementation of characteristics of effective instruction.
March 23, 2012   8:30 - 11:30
Iowa Core: Alignment of Content-Instruction-Assessment Professional Development - workshop
April 5, 2012   3:30 - 5:30
Iowa Core in Practice: facilitated 1/2 day learning experience focused on Iowa Core content and implementation of characteristics of effective instruction.
April 6, 2012   12:30 – 3:30
Online Modules for Instructional Coaching: Introduction and exploration of state-developed resources for individual or collaborative team learning:
April 9, 2012   3:30 - 5:30

Grant Wood AEA Webinars

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


The next webinar is April 4: Free Online Audio and Video Resources, 19032-11-01

The next TQ Professional Development proposal application date is April 18

The proposal templates and directions are on the GWAEA Staff Portal under the Teacher Quality Committee link. Please use the updated proposal template from the web.


Teacher Quality Update – Professional Development Dollar, January 2012

Grant Wood AEA Professional Development opportunities

Professional Development Announcements – March 2012

Technology Integration Opportunities:


Free Online Audio and Video Resources Webinar  



3:45 PM-4:45 PM 


Technology Tools Team with Teaching Literacy Webinar  



3:45 PM-4:45 PM 


Grant Wood AEA Staff training opportunities:



Using Iowa AEA Online Resources and Iowa Core to Increase Opportunities to Learn  



8:30 AM-10:30 AM 


Using Iowa AEA Online Resources and Iowa Core to Increase Opportunities to Learn  



3:30 PM-5:30 PM 


Social Work Ethics  



12:45 PM-4PM 


How to Support Teachers in Early Childhood Classrooms with Speech and Language Concerns  





All weather related cancellations of workshops and courses will be posted on the Grant Wood AEA webpage and KCRG.

For a complete listing of all upcoming trainings:


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

Buy, Sell or Trade

For Sale:  Wheelchair in good condition.  Approximate weight – 30 lbs. Best offer.  Call 319-389-2293.


Lost and Found:

Lost: 20-30 professional books. Many have Mike Ostlund’s name on the inside cover. Please contact him if you have seen any of these books:

Vacancies, Adobe PDF logo March 23, 2012


back to top


GW logoAEA logo

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.

rss feed logo