Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


Feb. 15, 2013

Applications due for GWAEA Innovation Grants


March 15, 2013
Organizational Leadership Applications Due


May 2, 2013

GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet

The Longbranch Hotel and Convention Center, Cedar Rapids


May 13, 2013

GWAEA Innovation Day


In this issue:

Nominations due March 8 for the Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet
Photo contest winners
Gmail iPad App
Making Gmail Your Default Email
Iowa Ed Chat on Twitter
Digital Learning Day
Staff Assignment Changes
Payroll Information
iMedia Center Creates a Learning Commons
Vending Machines Problem
Starr Books planned Jan. 31
2013 Horizons Meals on Wheels
American Cancer Society Daffodil Days
PEP Library is Cleaning House
Live Healthy Iowa
Like Us on Facebook and Twitter
TQ Professional Development dates
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
Buy, Sell or Trade
Lost and Found


Past Issues






Nominations due March 8 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." 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 8 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 The Longbranch Hotel and Convention Center in Cedar Rapids on May 2.

Photo contest winners

We are pleased to share this year’s photo contest winners with staff. Congratulations to Terri Knipper –all three of the top point-earning photos were submitted by her. We had nearly 40 entries submitted. A few photographs were not considered because they did not meet the rule criterion that these were supposed to be photographs of places in AEA10. Other participants whose photographs were recognized this year include Daryl Hanneman, Eric Cleveland, Linda Elliott, Sandra Busta, and Nicole Hall.

All nine of the photographs selected this year will be displayed in the lobby. They also will be available in sets of blank note cards (like last year’s photo contest picks). You may view the award-winning set of pictures at this link.

In March we will announce the 2013 photo contest, and the focus will be on “The kids of AEA10.” Thanks to everyone who participated!

Gmail iPad App

Make your email experience more like the one on your computer with this Gmail iPad App. Go take a look. Get the App Here!

Making Gmail Your Default Email


Here are the steps on how to make Gmail open an email when you click on a hyperlinked email address instead of opening an Outlook email when you click on a link on the Internet . 
Making Gmail Your Default Email


After you do this no matter which browser you use it will open up a Chrome window for you to compose your email and then you can send it and go back to the web. Just like before when you were using the internet and it would pop up Outlook for you to send and then you can go back.


There is also a link to this document on the updated Gone Google Support Site. Thank you to Heath and the tech guys for this!  Let us know if you have questions.



Gmail Workshops- You Don't Just Have Mail, You Have Gmail!

This workshop will cover some functionality beyond sending and replying to email: how to create and manage labels and filters, communicating with talk, searching mail, managing contacts, using browser extensions and customizing your email experience.

January 31, 2013 8:30am-11:30pm (Autumn Room)
February 4, 2013 8:30am-11:30pm (Staff Conference Room)
February 5, 2013 8:30am-11:30pm (Staff Conference Room)
March 5, 2013 8:30am-11:30pm (Coralville)
March 18, 2013 12:30pm-3:30pm (Winter Room)


Iowa Ed Chat on Twitter twitter logo

In case you didn't know every Sunday night from 8-9pm Iowa educators lead a discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #iaedchat. This hour is a great way to engage in conversation with other educators and network. If you have questions about how to get on the chat or would like more information please contact Stacy Behmer

Digital Learning Day is February 6, 2013

Grant Wood AEA and AEA 267 are Teaming Up for Digital Learning Day!
In recognition of Digital Learning Day Grant Wood AEA and AEA 267, technology integration consultants will be teaming up to provide a series of mini-webinars all day long! These Google Hangouts on Air will be held on the top and bottom half of each hour starting at 8am with the last one being held at 4pm. Topics range from Google Apps, to iPad Apps to great web tools! Check out the hangout topics and times and stop back on February 6, 2013 to participate. You can pop in for just one or all! The Hangouts will last from 15-20 minutes and will be recorded and posted on the site in case you miss one. Please register for hangouts you plan on attending and resources and a reminder will be sent to you!

Hangouts will be streamed live and archived from the session's page!
Bookmark this page - - (for AEA Digital Learning Day)

Staff Assignment Changes


Job Category


New Assignment


Date Effective

Jill Ries

Interim Facilitator


Interim Regional Administrator

1.0/ Cedar Rapids

January 2013

Payroll Information:  W-2 Wage and Tax Statements, Tax Withholding Changes in 2013 and Review your W-4 Status

Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statements for 2012 were mailed to employees on January 18, 2013.


The Affordable Care Act now requires employers to report the cost of employer sponsored health coverage on Form W-2’s.  This reporting is for informational purposes only and it is the aggregate employee/employer cost of your health plan.  Employees will see this figure as Code DD in Box 12a of the W-2.


Employees will have viewing and reprint capabilities to their 2012 Form W-2 beginning January 31, 2013 on the Employee Self Service (ESS) System. 


The new 2013 Federal Tax Withholding tables have been loaded into the payroll system and were applicable beginning with employees January 18, 2013 payroll checks.  As another reminder, the employee portion FICA Social Security Tax withholding increased to 6.20% effective January 1, 2013.   


Now is a good time to review your tax withholding status.  If you’ve had a family change (marriage, divorce, birth of a child, child no longer a dependent) you may want to update your W-4 tax withholding forms.  Your current W-4 tax status can be found in the ESS System in the ‘Payroll Information’ tab.


For questions regarding your W-2 statement or W-4 tax withholdings, contact Cathy Kearns, Business Services,  or  319-399-6706.

Media Center creates a Learning Commons

Our Media Center at GWAEA has undergone some restructuring to create a Learning Commons, the new design for school libraries/media centers. The purpose of a Learning Commons is to provide the client with the opportunity to create their own experience whether as an individual, with colleagues, or part of a team meeting. Areas are provided for collaboration, quiet reading and conversation, as well as being easily connected to the digital world.


Grant Wood AEA Media Center

Part of the goal of creating the Learning Commons was to remove barriers and distractions, to create a zone to customize the client’s experience, move the Customer Service area so it is functional from multiple directions, and to unify the area with color and create an inviting atmosphere.

Starr Books planned in the Media Center


Thursday, January 31, 2013
8:00 a.m.
Grant Wood AEA Media Center


Stop by for coffee, treats, and a look at new materials.


See attached flyer for information.


Vending Machines Problem

We are seeking staff feedback regarding the vending machines in the agency offices. If you have had or continue to have problems using these machines, please share those stories/concerns with George Held ( Please let him know by no later than Feb. 1 so that this information can be shared with the appropriate managers at the Iowa Department of the Blind.

2013 Horizons Meals On Wheels Lunchbox fundraiser at Grant Wood AEA lunchbox

The 3rd Annual Horizons Meals On Wheels Lunchbox fundraiser is planned for the week of Feb. 11-15, 2013.


We would like to offer GWAEA staff two opportunities to participate in this worthy cause. Group orders will be taken for delivery at the GWAEA Northern Facility on Wednesday, February 13, and Friday, February 15. The lunches may be picked up at the receptionist desk anytime after 11:30 am.


The Lunchbox costs $10, $5 of which will feed you, while the other $5 benefits Horizons Meals On Wheels as the organization continues to help older adults and persons with disabilities meet their daily nutritional needs.


Lunchbox sandwich choices: 

  1. Larry’s Favorite - Roast beef topped with zesty coleslaw, kettle chips, crisp apple slices, and caramel dip.

  2. The Ranch Hand - A southwestern chicken salad on a roll, kettle chips, crisp apple slices, and savory caramel dip.

  3. The Blue Zones Pit Stop - Veggie favorites with red pepper hummus on a whole wheat bagel thin, puffed potato chips, crisp apple slices, and yogurt dip.



  4. Zins Velvet Elvis - A rich, red velvet cupcake with creamy frosting.for $2.


  5. Made With Love: The Meals On Wheels Family Cookbook  - Celebrity cookbook for $25.

Send your choice of sandwich with $10, and/or cupcake with $2, or cookbook order with $25 (cash or check made payable to Horizons Lunchbox) to the attention of Cathy Nelson no later than (see chart.)



Fri., Feb. 8

Wed., Feb. 13

Tue., Feb. 12

Fri., Feb. 15



American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days

To purchase bunches of daffodils, and make a contribution towards the fight against Cancer, please see, call, or email Cathy Nelson at the 6th Street Facility front desk.
(399-6544, Visit the Jan. 17 issue of The Bulletin Board for details.

The PEP Library is Cleaning House!

Come by the PEP library anytime from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Jan. 31, Feb. 1, or Feb. 4 and select free books and VHS videos on parenting, disabilities, resources for children, parents, families, and educators. Bring bags and boxes, you can’t take too many!


Special offer-Take a video/Take a cookie! There must be SOMEBODY who still has access to a VHS player. Call or E-mail Liz Hooley for more information.


The Live Healthy Iowa 10 Week Wellness Challenge


Dates of Challenge: Jan. 28 – April 5, 2011



Registration for the The Live Healthy Iowa 100 Day Wellness Challenge is available as part of the agency's Google Site under the Category "Agency Wide" and "Wellness." Read more in the Jan. 17 issue of The Bulletin Board. For more information, visit or contact Connie Dvorak or 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 2012-2013 TQ Professional Development proposal application dates are:

Feb. 27
May 29

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

Grant Wood AEA Professional Development opportunities


Information for Professional Development National Speakers for 2012-2013 is now on the Professional Development Google Site.  To access the Google site, log into your Google account, click on Sites, and browse sites. 




iPad Professional Development

There are a series of iPad workshops being offered. See the GWAEA Professional Development site to register.



Professional Development Announcements – January 2013


Simplifying Response to Intervention, May 6-7, 2013

Mike Mattos, Solution Tree Consultant, will be presenting "Simplifying Response to Intervention" at Grant Wood AEA on May 6-7, 2013. Superintendents have received a flyer about this event and registration information. 


We anticipate strong interest in this event. We are working to maximize capacity and provide an equitable opportunity for districts to attend. Therefore, we are developing a staggered registration process for this event.

  • We are encouraging LEA team registration and will accept team registrations through Feb. 28. 

  • After Feb. 28, individuals may register for this event.

To provide customized content specifically for our AEA staff, we are providing a series of two webinars with Mike Mattos.  This will allow you to have background information and support district teams.

The interactive webinar dates with Mike Mattos specifically for AEA staff are scheduled for the mornings of April 1 and April 18.  Please watch The Bulletin Board for additional information regarding specific times and registration for the webinars.



Standards, Assessment and Grading: Teaching Practices to Support Student Learning


Session 2, February 26, 2013
Assessment Practices that Support Common Core

Registration #: 19154-12-01


Session 3, April 1, 2013
Quality Grading Practices
Registration #: 19155-12-01


Target Audience: K-12 teachers, administrators and AEA staff




3/1/2013 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM




See flyer for details

Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders (ADHD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, LD, Sensory Processing, Dysgraphia)  

This workshop will discuss the criteria for diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome and will include an in depth description of all the symptomology. It will also deal with the most common neurological disorders associated with TS, in particular, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dysgraphia, Executive Dysfunction, Sensory Processing Disorder, Auditory Processing Disorder, Learning Disabilities and the impact of all of these disorders on social emotional well-being, classroom performance and behavior. It will include some specific classroom strategies and techniques for working with these children in a variety of settings as well as introduce participants to a Functional Behavior Assessment created for children with all these disorders.

Evaluator Approval Information

Professional Administrator Licenses require approved Evaluator Approval coursework as a part of the licenses renewal credits.  The course options include Assessing Academic Rigor and iEvaluate. A letter from the DE/BOEE is attached for additional information. Please contact the PD office if you have further questions.


Buy, Sell or Trade

Mission style queen or full size headboard and footboard.  Asking 50$.  Also a girls toy holder Disney princess with 9 buckets, 10$.  Buffet light wood color, 40$.  Call for further information or pictures, 319-981-0719.


Lost and Found:

A pink, white and gray pair of baby socks were found in the parking lot.
A mans watch was found in the wellness room.
A wireless rimmed pair of glasses.
A silver Casey's Mug.


A silver dangly earring with a rust colored stone was lost on January 15 around the Linn-Johnson Room or along that path from the front door.


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.

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