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Grant Wood Area Education Agency

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In this issue:

Mark your calendars!
Agency DREAM Event Occurring Next Monday
Agency Banquet Survey Results
Retirement Reception
Our Condolences...

"Guardians of the Flame" lunch fundraiser at Texas Roadhouse restaurants in Iowa to benefit Special Olympics Iowa, Friday, April 29
Autism Walk 2011

4th Annual Lace Up for Learning, Saturday, May 7, Kingston Stadium
Literacy Intervention Fair, June 7
Upcoming TQ Professional Development proposals submission dates for the 2010-2011 school year
Lost and Found
Save the Dates!
Professional Development for AEA staff members only
Grant Wood AEA Professional Development opportunities

Grant Wood AEA Webinars
Grant Wood AEA Online Resources Webinars
Vacancies, April 22, 2011

Mark your calendars!

April 22, 2011


Agency closes at 3 p.m.

May 2, 2011, 2-5 p.m.


The Grant Wood AEA DREAM Event

May 11, 2011, 5:30 p.m.


GWAEA Board of Directors Meeting - May Regular Meeting

Aug. 15, 2011, 1-4 p.m.


All Agency Inservice, Concert Hall at College Community

Agency DREAM Event Occurring Next Monday (May 2)

Mark your calendar! On the afternoon of May 2 from 2 to 5 p.m., the agency will hold an informal event featuring various innovative projects or work agency employees have initiated. All agency staff are invited.

Over a dozen different presentations will be set up covering such activities as autism, literacy, technology, science, mentoring, etc. School administrators, legislators, news media and other members of the public will also be invited to come and see what innovative work Grant Wood AEA staff are involved in. 

Agency Banquet Survey Results

We had 210 employees respond to our survey asking them for feedback about the banquet. Out of this total, 93 attended the banquet.

The largest number of those attending (half of the respondents) said the reason they go to the banquet is to honor someone who is retiring. Other reasons selected (from a multiple selection/multiple choice list) and that garnered over 34 percent or more of the responses included

  • Honoring someone getting an award

  • It's a tradition they like to be a part of

  • It's a nice evening out

  • and they like feeling connected to others at the agency

Ratings for the banquet were good – 97 percent rated the facility good or excellent and 91 percent said the food was either good or excellent. The awards presentation, recognition of retirees and recognition of years of service all received an 88 or 89 percent good or excellent rating with one individual rating the years of service video poor.

Attendees had a number of positive things to say about the event. Here are a sampling:

  • This was my first year attending and it was much better than what I am use to through the school system.

  • I thought this year was rushed.

  • It was nice to have it so brief and to the point, enjoyed the evening!

  • I thought it was very well done, especially the video. I think morale may be down with recent RIFs so maybe not as many people came, distance for southern folks may be an issue as well. For new staff, ask mentors to invite mentee to attend together is an idea.

  • I think we should continue to have it at the Long Branch. The staff and facility were great and the food was very good! That is a big crowd to serve and the food was well prepared and very delicious

  • This year's video was exceptional. That is a great tradition. I liked the addition of retirees getting to express thoughts on their years of working at GWAEA.

We always ask staff why they did not attend the banquet. We offer a variety of possible reasons and leave a space for them to provide other reasons as well. The highest number of non attendees said they had other family commitments. The second highest number were "other" responses. Here's a sampling of those comments:

  • Not a positive feeling about agency at this time.

  • I had another social commitment that had been on my calendar for a long time.

  • I don't like staying out late on a work night.

  • Was attending a 2 day PD conference in Des Moines.

A few of the respondents were unaware of how the agency funds this event. By law, we cannot buy food for our staff. Up until this year, we have had an agreement with the vending machine company in which they give us a portion of their profits from the machines. Those funds have been used for  the banquet; however, the Iowa legislature enacted a law that allows the Department of the Blind to provide and manage all vending equipment in state agency buildings. As a result, we no longer receive any of the vending profits. Funding this event will be a concern for the future. That is why we charge spouses and guests what the hotel or banquet facility charges us rather than the reduced price that staff members pay.

A retirement reception for GWAEA Early ACCESS/Early Childhood Staff

Dianne Garber, Mary Lukas, Bonnie Locker, and Peg Maher

Please join with the GWAEA EA/EC staff in honoring our colleagues on their retirement.
 A reception will be held Thursday, April 28 at 3:30 p.m. in the Winter and Spring Rooms.

Our Condolences... Barbara Roberts, GWAEA school psychologist, on the death of her mother, Edna Perry, on March 22 in Independence. A memorial service will be held in San Antonio, Texas on May 7.

"Guardians of the Flame" lunch fundraiser at Texas Roadhouse restaurants in Iowa to benefit Special Olympics Iowa, Friday, April 29

Area law enforcement officers will be serving lunch at Texas Roadhouse on Friday, April 29, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in a fundraising event for Special Olympics Iowa.

The following Texas Roadhouse restaurants will host the benefit lunch:  Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Sioux City, and Urbandale.

The lunch is “free," but participating diners are encouraged to make a donation to Special Olympics Iowa for what they think their meal was worth. The lunch menu includes a pulled pork sandwich, applesauce, rolls and a soda.
For more information, please call 515-986-5520 or visit

Autism Walk 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011
8:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Westdale Mall, Cedar Rapids
See attached flier for information.


4th Annual Lace Up for Learning, Saturday, May 7, Kingston Stadium

An Olympic style finish on the track at Kingston Stadium is one of the unique features of Lace Up For Learning 5K, 10K and mile fun run, Saturday, May 7 at Kingston Stadium. Proceeds benefit the Cedar Rapids Community School Foundation.

The 5K and 10K begin and end at Kingston with the route running through the neighborhoods between the stadium and Jefferson High School. The 5K and 10K races begin at 9:00 am. The one-mile run begins at 10:30 am.  Awards ceremony and door prize drawing at 11:00 a.m.

For additional race information or to register, visit or call 558-2400.

Literacy Intervention Fair, June 7

8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Grant Wood AEA Conference Center
Course: 19008-10-01
Registration deadline: May 25, 2011

Please plan to come at your convenience. For special areas of interest, contact
Deanna Thursby at
for information about presentation time.

This workshop is designed to provide participants the chance to view and interact with reading intervention materials for struggling readers. Publishing companies
will each have a booth to display their materials. They will also each provide a 30-45 minute presentation highlighting the target for the interventions, how data is gathered and monitored, and research based results.

literacyfairSee attached flier for information.

Lost and Found:

Is anyone missing a Mary Kay Lip Gloss found at the Recognition Banquet? If it might be yours and you want it back, call Cathy at the front desk, 399-6544.

Save the Dates! Professional Development for AEA staff members only

Professional Learning for AEA 10 building-based staff members and consultants. Iowa Core Teacher Quality funds will provide compensation for this learning off contract time.

Formative Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning

Whole Group:  June 15, 2011 (6 Hours 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. – 1 hour lunch)  
Whole Group:  August 22, 2011 (6 hours 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. - 1 hour lunch)

Collaborative Learning Team Sessions: 90 minutes each (minimum) 3:00 – 4:30 (location determined by team)
·         9-15-11
·         11-15-11
·         1-16-12  
·         4-16-12

Whole Group:  June 7, 2012  (6 hours 8:30 – 3:30 1 hour lunch)

Outcomes:  Iowa Core #5 (IPDM), #6 (CEI)

  • Improved teaching and learning through effective use of formative assessment/assessment for learning.

  • Understand and apply Iowa Core Assessment for Learning online content

  • Instructional Coaching learning and practices embedded in content and skill development.

Whole group content delivery and facilitated learning
Collaborative Learning Teams will be developed for on-going learning

Credit information and Professional Development Registration link will be available soon.

If you have any questions, please contact Myra Hall, 319-399-6820 or

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

- April 28, 2011

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

Grant Wood AEA Professional Development opportunities

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

Grant Wood AEA Webinars

A schedule of current and archived Grant Wood AEA and Assistive Technology webinars.

Grant Wood AEA Online Resources Webinars

Webinars featuring information about the online resources.

Vacancies, Adobe PDF logo April 22, 2011

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