Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


March 14, 2012
GWAEA Board Meeting, 5:00 p.m.


In this issue:

First of Two Accreditation Site Visits Ends
How to Share Your Stories
Severe Weather Preparations at GWAEA
Negotiations Update
Organizational Leadership Applications due March 15
Nominations due for Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet
iPad Update
21st Century Learning Institute
Your Child's Future...The Possibilities are Endless
Halibut! America's Favorite!
GWAEA on Facebook, Twitter
Welcome, New GWAEA Staff
AEA Job Opportunity
Health Screen Blood Profile
Iowa Core
GWAEA Webinars
TQ Proposal Application Date - April 18
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
Vacancies, March 9, 2012


Past Issues


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




First of Two Accreditation Site Visits Ends

The team evaluating Grant Wood AEA began the accreditation process in late January following an overview presentation by Joe Crozier. The presentation featured some general information about the agency and some of the services the agency provides to fulfill the eight standards for which all AEAs are evaluated. The accreditation team then began to read documents provided by GWAEA staff related to these eight standards.


The accreditation process involves the team reading an overview document we provide to them about how we deliver special education and other mandated services. They then examine the documentation to see if this helps to confirm that these services are, indeed, being provided.


The next step is the actual site visit, which occurred this week at the Sixth Street office. The site visit involves numerous interviews, starting with a one-on-one interview with the agency’s Chief Administrator, another interview with the agency cabinet, then with agency managers, followed by multiple breakout groups with additional agency staff.


Some of the breakout groups focused on specific details such as special education Part C or Part B, and staff who provide special education services to the districts. About one out of four agency employees were interviewed in this process. A number of staff members who participated in these interviews have expressed positive feelings about how well the interview went with their groups.


Following the staff interviews, the team then met with a number of small groups of teachers and school administrators from the districts we serve. Nearly 90 educators were interviewed on Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday evening the team met with some parents of special education children. These interviews are also intended to make sure that what was claimed in our original documentation is verified by staff, educators and parents.


A second site visit will occur later this month when the team reconvenes at Grant Wood AEA to write their accreditation report. The report includes recommendations for improvements we could make in our operations as well as noting some of the agency’s strengths. The report is sent to the State Board of Education with a recommendation for full accreditation or conditional accreditation. We are hopeful that the team will make a recommendation for full accreditation following this site visit.


The State Board vote on accreditation usually occurs in the fall – usually at their September meeting. The accreditation team is comprised of Iowa Department of Education personnel, local area school administrators and at least one administrator from another AEA. Each AEA undergoes an accreditation review every five years.

How to Share Your Stories

As you know, we continue to seek stories for how our staff are impacting the lives of students. We haven’t seen many stories lately, and we constantly want them and need them to help illustrate the work that we do. As one writer recently said, “Never underestimate the power of stories!” Below are two different ways of organizing your thoughts to “tell a story.”


Personal narrative:
This one is simple — you just “walk” people (step-by-step) through a painful problem you assisted a student (or teacher) to work through and how you were able to help the student (or teacher) overcome it.


Describe the problem(s) a student had and how it affected him/her in interacting with other children or with participation in the school. Focus on how these problems made the student feel. Then write in as simple a manner as you can (no technical jargon) how you helped the student overcome the problem(s). Last, and most importantly, describe how did this affect the student’s life?


Got a story to share? Please send it to attention Val Hill or George Held in the Communications Department. Thanks!

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, you will hear an announcement over the speakers in the new the phone system 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.

Negotiations Update, March 9, 2012

Visit the link above for a joint message from the Agency and Association.

Organizational Leadership Program applications due March 15

Applications are now being accepted for Grant Wood AEA staff interested in applying for the 2012-2013 Organizational Leadership program.  
Participants will spend two years in the program, developing essential knowledge and skills for leading in an organization and working as a cohort group to learn and apply leadership and systems theory. Each participant is assigned to a Leadership Advisor, who helps provide assignments and projects that expose them to areas different than their usual job.  Participants also participate in field experiences to observe and engage in dialogue with position leaders at work.  
A small cohort of participants is selected each year through an application process. Participants completing their second year in the cohort include Mary Crandall, Barb Hunt, Mark Hartung and Kay Schieffer.  This year Megan Burke-Brunscheen, Lindsay Copp, Ronda Hilbert and Melva Starr began their first year of leadership development.  
Grant Wood AEA employees desiring to apply for this program must complete an application and send it, along with other requested documents, to Lisa Fry, Programs/Services Administrator, by March 15, 2012.  Applications for the Organizational Leadership Program can be found on the GWAEA website at the following address:
If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Lisa Fry at

Nominations due March 9 for the Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet

Saying “thank you” to your co-workers, community volunteers and/or the people with whom you work can be wonderfully uplifting to these special people. It can also be satisfying and meaningful to you, personally.  Please consider nominating one or more persons you have worked with or observed as “going the extra mile” with children, youth or schools in Area 10. The categories you may nominate individuals for are:

  • Friend of Education (usually business and community partners)

  • Educational Partner (usually school personnel)

  • Caring Colleague (GWAEA staff only)

Only Grant Wood AEA staff may nominate people for these awards.  A random group of Grant Wood AEA staff members always comprises the awards selection committee. Click for a list of previous honorees.


Contact George Held (ext 6714) or Valerie Taylor Hill (6824) or email us your nomination formNominations are due by March 9 in the Communications Office.


The awards will be presented at the Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet, which will be held at the Ponderosa Ballroom in Walford on May 3, 2012.

iPad Update 3/9/12

by Jonathan Wylie, Technology Consultant


Important Software Update
There is an update for the iOS on our iPads. To update to iOS 5.1 go to Settings > General > Software Update. You may need to plug in to do this update if your battery is below 50%.
Once the update is done, you will find updates for Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie and Garageband, but you need the latest software update for these apps. Update these in the usual manner, but be aware that you will have to agree to the new iTunes terms and conditions.  (Just don't ask Jonathan what has changed!)

iPad Workshops!
We are offering a few more workshops, so check the PD site to see what is left. If you are interested and the workshop is full, please register anyway because that will give us a good indication of which ones we need to continue to offer.  We will be scheduling additional workshops in the next few weeks, so be on the lookout.


iPad PD Site
If you can’t attend a workshop, but would like to see what was covered or get additional information take a look at the iPad PD Site.




This week's App of the Week - iRewardChart - comes from Dustin Reese, one of our School Psychologists. This app has won Best Parenting App for two years running, but it has some great implications for education too. Click here to read why.


If you are interested in writing App of the Week, please send your entries to We love to hear how our consultants are using apps in creative ways, and believe that it can be very inspiring for others, so PLEASE share! All published app reviews will be rewarded with a redeem code for one of our tier one apps.

21st Century Learning Institute Year 1- GWAEA Staff Cohort



You can now register for the GWAEA Staff Cohort for the 21st Century Learning Institute 2012-13 year! Go to the PD site to register.


This institute is intended to build knowledge of the Iowa Core Curriculum technology literacy skills while creating a collaborative community of learners. Participants of this institute go on to mentor colleagues in integrating technologies in their classrooms and apply innovative teaching practices. They also play leadership roles in technology integration efforts. If you would like to see what is being done in the course take a look at the website:

21st Century Learning Institute Year 3- Flipped Teaching

If you are a Grant Wood staff member who has completed the 21st Century Learning Institute, you are eligible to attend our “Year 3” session. This year’s theme is Flipped Teaching!
This year we will be exploring the concept of Flipped Teaching! Ramsey Musallam, EdD will be coming to talk about and show us how to apply the flipped model and how it can be very successful in your classroom. Ramsey is a high school teacher in San Francisco whose graduate research focused on the flipped classroom. He has put together his findings and application on his website:
Here is more details and information about Year 3
Register for Year 3:

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

April 10, 2012
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. 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.



See flyer for information

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

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.


Welcome, New GWAEA Staff!


Teresa Hepner-Martino
Paraeducator - Autism Team
Iowa State University, BA
Coursework in early childhood special education at Elmhurst College - graduate program

Teresa completed practicums in Illinois in developmental therapy, ABA/VB consulting.


AEA Job Opportunity

Iowa AEA Online Statewide Facilitator
State-wide opening available to current AEA employees only.  Position is .2-.4 FTE.  Application deadline is March 22, 2012. View job description.
Questions or applications can be directed to Harriet Adams,
phone: 712-335-3588 ext 2048,
Mailing address:
Attn: H Adams
Prairie Lakes AEA
PO Box 802
Pocahontas  IA  50574

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 Office Hours: Individualized or small group Q and A and exploration of resources:  
March 13, 2012,  3:30 - 5:30
Iowa Core Support for Teachers of Students who Struggle - workshop
March 13, 2012, 8:30 - 11:30
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:


The Best Free iPad Productivity Apps for Educators  



12:30 PM-2PM 


Core iPad Apps: Using the Safari, Calendar, Mail, Camera apps and more  



2:30 PM-4PM 


iPad 101 - Let's get this thing set up and ready to use!  



10:30 AM-12PM 


Accessibility Features: I didn't know my iPad could do that!  



8:30 AM-10AM 


Using Your iPad for Expanding Your PLN  



10:30 AM-12PM 


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:



Master Your Money  





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.

Vacancies, Adobe PDF logo March 9, 2012


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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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