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Grant Wood Area Education Agency

The Bulletin Board logo

In this issue:

Mark your calendars!
Tornado Preparedness - Do You Know Where to Go?
Please share your innovative IDEAS!
Staff Update
2011 Staff Recognition & Partnerships Banquet, Thursday, April 14, 2011

PODD Gala planned April 11
IPERS & Retirement Planning Seminar
Iowa AEA Online 2011-2012 – Register now for April webinars!
Ph.D. in Special Education
Retirement Reception
Literacy Intervention Fair, June 7
Core Fitness coupon
Upcoming TQ Professional Development proposals submission dates for the 2010-2011 school year
Grant Wood AEA Professional Development opportunities

Grant Wood AEA Webinars
Grant Wood AEA Online Resources Webinars
Vacancies, April 8, 2011

Mark your calendars!

April 14, 2011


Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet
Longbranch Hotel and Convention Center, Cedar Rapids

April 20, 2011, 5:30 p.m.


GWAEA Board of Directors - April Regular Meeting

April 22, 2011


Agency closes at 3 p.m.

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, The Concert Hall at College Community

Tornado Preparedness - Do You Know Where to Go?

The week of April 4-8 is tornado preparedness week. The agency did not conduct a drill this week; however, we strongly encourage you to be aware of the safe zones in whatever building(s) you work.

Take a minute today or early next week to find out where you should go in case of a tornado warning. Sometimes only seconds may lapse between when a tornado alert occurs and when the storm actually hits. Knowing where to go in such cases can be critical to your safety.

In the agency facilities, look around for maps on the walls. They are located throughout the buildings, and show the tornado safe places. Identify where you would most likely go if a storm hits.

Please share your innovative IDEAS!

On the afternoon of May 2, the agency will hold an informal event featuring various innovative projects or work agency employees have initiated. The event will be much like a science fair with individuals hosting a table at which they will talk about what they have been doing.

We invite staff to participate in the event. If you have an idea or practice you would like to share, please contact George Held in the communications office by no later than April 18.

The table presentations may include flip cam video you have taken, posters, sample workbooks, materials – whatever you want to use to show what you have done or are doing. Visitors will be invited to wander among the tables to talk with staff and learn about what innovations our staff has introduced in the schools.

We will invite school administrators, teachers, legislators, members of the public, and news media to come and see what's happening. Among the showcase participants, we hope to see such things as adaptive PE, autism work, 21st Century Learning, VREP, the VAST Center, EduVision, etc.

The event will be promoted as:
The Grant Wood AEA DREAM Event
Inspiring the transformation of education through innovation: A Showcase of Talents

Staff Update

Since the last update provided on 3/4/11, 4 additional contracted employees have been notified of recall opportunities.  For one job category (SLP), all reduced employees in that category have been provided recall opportunities.  The number of SLP’s who have resigned or retired, however, has now exceeded the number of staff available for recall in this job category, so SLP vacancies have begun to be posted as needed.  At this time, 11 contracted staff and 4 classified staff remain eligible for recall to their original job category or to other job categories for which they may be qualified.

There have been questions raised as to whether action by the legislature that could result in 0% Allowable Growth (AG) for FY 12 might mean additional staff reductions.  The Agency’s comprehensive budget planning review has already taken into account that 0% or 1% AG was a very possible scenario for next year, and so the reductions announced in February included that as one of many factors considered.  There are no plans for further staff reductions tied to the final AG decision.  

With the exception of funding uncertainties related to other grant funded positions such as Empowerment, we anticipate no additional reductions will need to be made for next year.

Once AG is established and decisions are made regarding proposed budget cuts to the AEAs, Agency administration can then re-evaluate staffing levels to determine whether it may be fiscally appropriate for any FTE to be restored.

2011 Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition & Partnerships Banquet,
Thursday, April 14, 2011

Congratulations to the honorees and Grant Wood AEA staff who will be honored during the 2011 Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet on Thursday, April 14.

Click for a list of honorees and the 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years of service awards and retirees.

Longbranch Hotel and Convention Center
90 Twixt Town Rd NE., Cedar Rapids

Social Hour: 5:30 p.m.
Dinner: 6:00 p.m.

Grant Wood AEA Board Members, Retiring Staff, and Employees: $5

Spouses, Friends and Retired Staff:
$27 per person

All employees with 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, or 35 years of employment with Grant Wood AEA, retirees, and persons nominated and selected by agency staff will be honored.




See attached banquet invitation.

PODD Gala planned April 11


See attached for information.



Monday, April 11, 2011
Grant Wood AEA Conference Center
7:00-8:30 p.m.

Join us for a night of celebration as we share our
continued efforts to provide a comprehensive picture language system (the PODDs) to our students with
complex communciation needs.

All individuals interested in learning more about
the PODD communication system and our
Grant Wood AEA efforts are welcome to attend.

For information, contact Julie Freed, ext. 6546.

Iowa AEA Online 2011-2012 – Register now for April webinars!

The official start date for the new 2011-2012 Iowa AEA Online resources is August 1, 2011

All of the new companies have agreed to provide trial access to Iowa teachers beginning April 1! This will allow GWAEA staff to explore the resources, review the tutorials and support documentation, and begin planning to integrate these resources into their 2011-2012 planning. 

The AEAs have scheduled “Iowa Only” welcome webinars during the month of April for each new product. Most of the resources also have ongoing webinars (for all states) that GWAEA staff can attend. 

To see a complete listing of webinars and register go to:

April 2011 Webinar Summary
NOTE:  All times listed are Central Standard

Monday,. April 11
Tuesday, April 12
Tuesday, April 12
Thursday, April 14 
Monday, April 18 
Tuesday,. April 19
Wednesday, April 20 
Thu. April 21st
Thu. April 21st  
Tue. April 26th 

3:30 p.m.
11:00 a.m. 
3:00 p.m. 
3:30 p.m.
3:30 p.m. 
12:00 p.m.   
3:30 p.m.
10:00 a.m. 
3:00 pm
4:00 pm

Teen Health & Wellness
Teen Health & Wellness

Product information, trial access URLs, “Iowa Only” webinar registration information, ongoing webinars, tutorial information and more is now available on the Iowa AEA Online website. To view this information go to:

  • Iowa AEA Online website at

  • Click on “2011-2012” tab in upper right corner.

  • All information will be on this page or linked to the buttons on the left.

To obtain login information for the trial access, please contact Grant Wood AEA Media Center Customer Service at 1-800-642-4107 or (319) 399-6754 or via e-mail at

This information is not listed on the Iowa AEA Online website and should be kept confidential and distributed only to teachers and support staff.  Log in information should not be posted on any public website or displayed in public. 

Note: Student access will not begin until August 1. Please do not share the trial sites with students.

Thank you for your support of the Iowa AEA Online Resources!

Ph.D. in Special Education

The University of Iowa Special Education program is looking for individuals who have a career goal of earning a Ph.D. in Special Education from a renowned university so they can assume a career as a faculty member in a college or university. See the attached flier for information or contact John Hosp or Bill Therrien, co-directors, Special Education Leaders for Iowa (SELIA), associate professors, Department of Teaching and Learning at or

IPERS & Retirement Planning Seminar


See attached for information.


Presented by: Leverentz Insurance & Financial Executives and your AEA

A service for AEA employees and spouses only

April 18 or 21, 2011, 6-8 p.m. Cost: free.

April 18 - Coralville Facility
April 21 - Sixth St. Facility

Topics will include:

- Understanding changes in IPERS
- Planning your retirement to maximize your IPERS
- Increasing the efficiency of your retirement plan
- Social Security and Healthcare as they pertain to
retired educators

SPACE IS LIMITED to 30 people. Call 319-248-3546 or email at to reserve your space today. The deadline for registration is April 15. Private consultations may be scheduled after the seminar.

A retirement reception for GWAEA Early ACCESS/Early Childhood Staff

Dianne Garber, Bonnie Locker and Peg Maher

Thursday, April 28, 2011, 3:30 p.m.
Winter and Spring Rooms
Please stop by to wish our colleagues well on their retirement.  

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

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 flyer for information.

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.

Core Fitness coupon

Core Fitness, 1555 S. 1st Avenue, Iowa City and 1395 Jordan St., North Liberty offers a one week free trial.
Click here for the coupon and information.

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 8, 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