Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


Nov. 8, 2012 (date change)
Grant Wood AEA Board Meeting
5:00 p.m.
Grant Wood Room



In this issue:

United Way Campaign Closing Next Friday
Open Minds, Open Doors Conference planned Oct. 16
Like Us on Facebook
iPad Update
GMail Update
Google Chrome
Universal Precautions/Bloodborne Pathogens
Emergency Contact Information and Beneficiaries
Reminder to IDEA Users
PEP News Bulletin, Oct. 2012
Our Condolences
Flu Shots cancelled
IPERS & Retirement Planning Seminars
Autism 2012
TQ Professional Development dates
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
Buy, Sell or Trade


Past Issues

Oct. 5, 2012

Sept. 28, 2012

Sept. 21, 2012

Sept. 14, 2012

Sept. 7, 2012

Aug. 31, 2012

Aug. 24, 2012

Aug. 17, 2012

Aug. 10, 2012

Aug. 3, 2012

July 20, 2012

Archive issues of The Bulletin Board





United Way Campaign Closing Next Friday

We will be closing out our United Way campaign next Friday. If you haven’t pledged yet, please take a minute to do so. Even modest pledges make such a difference. If everyone at Grant Wood AEA


gave just $3 per pay period, we could collectively contribute over $35,000 toward helping United Way funded agencies support struggling families and individuals.


Many of the organizations that we work with and which support adults with disabilities receive United Way funding. Your contributions help them provide services to the kids we supported throughout their growing years and who are now adults.


If you lost your pledge sheet or didn’t receive one and would like to contribute, please contact George Held or Val Hill and we’ll get one to you ASAP. Thanks!



Open Minds, Open Doors Conference planned Oct. 16
16th year of STEM conference for middle school girls

Grant Wood Area Education Agency will host the Open Minds, Open Doors Conference for middle school girls on Tuesday, Oct. 16, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The event will be held at
Coe College in Cedar Rapids.


Approximately 500 girls in grades 7-8th grades representing 29 schools will participate in the conference, which encourages girls to pursue career fields with foundations in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).


Professional women working in STEM-related careers will participate as volunteer presenters. Also featured will be presentations by the Coe College Physics Department, University of Iowa Gross Anatomy, and Workplace Learning Connection.


The STEM Expo will feature presenters from Kirkwood Community College, University of Iowa Department of Pathology, Schneider Electric, the State Hygienic Lab at the University of Iowa, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Cedar Rapids Vision in Motion, Indian Creek Nature Center, Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency, Kennedy High School Electric Car Program, iTforTeens, Coe College, Rockwell Collins.


The Open Minds, Open Doors Conference originated in 1996 as an initiative of the Cedar Rapids Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) with support from Coe College. To learn more about the Open Minds, Open Doors Conference, contact Susie Green, GWAEA student programs specialist, Ext. 6775 or e-mail

"Like" Us on Facebook Earns Possibility of $20 Off GWAEA PD

Congratulations to the following who each earned a $20 coupon as part of our "Like Us On Facebook" promotion:

Mindy Nefzger Conaway

Sherrie Collins


For every 20 people who like us, we will hold a drawing and give out one $20 coupon applicable toward any Grant Wood AEA professional development class offered at GWAEA (online classes do not qualify for the discount.)


Like us today at

See the complete article in the Sept. 28 issue of The Bulletin Board.

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.

iPad Update

by Stacy Behmer
Coordinator of Digital Learning Technology


iPad Care
We had an iPad fatality with cracks on all four corners and a sticky screen. So, I just want to remind folks to keep their iPads in cases whenever possible and be careful with handling them. Also,


please make sure hands, especially little hands are clean when handling the iPads. If you need to wipe it use a soft cloth. They were a significant investment by the agency, so remember you signed an acceptable use policy and the purpose and intent was for work related use.


Agency App Order Update
A few people have been asking about when they will receive the agency apps they ordered. Michelle and Jonathan are working on getting them ordered and distributed. Unfortunately they are also busy with our schools and workshops. All the apps have been ordered, so it is just a case of getting codes out to you.

If you are new to the agency, or have not ordered apps before, you will be asked to come in and meet with Michelle, Stacy or Jonathan to redeem your apps for the first time, and to get your Agency Apple ID. There are a couple of steps to walk through the first time, but it will not take long to show you what those are.

Finally, we were informed by Apple that the Silly Numbers app is no longer available on the App Store. Hence, if you ordered this app, you will not be getting a code for it, because it is no longer available for download. This is something that was outside of our control, so this app will be removed from future orders.

Thanks to everyone for your patience. We appreciate your eagerness to get ahold of your new apps, so we will get them to you as soon as we can.

More Gmail News and Updated Resources on the Site!

There has been some very positive feedback and a little bit of a learning curve, but things are going well as we continue to transition staff to the Gmail web client. Sign up for one of the workshops to get


transitioned over to the new email system. At the workshop you will begin using the new interface. Please visit the Gmail transition site to get signed up! There are also a lot of resources on the site to help support you with the new email client, so don’t forget about it when you are taking some time off and need to set that vacation reminder! If there are things you would like to see added to the site please let me know.


A lot of staff have already made the move, just a reminder, once you have moved please fill out the the following form to let us know:  Link to Form
Please let me know if you have any questions! Contact Stacy Behmer, GWAEA Coordinator of Digital Learning,

IC email Glitch
Some people have had their email going to spam folders of Iowa City staff. It isn’t happening for everyone, but if you are not getting responses from Iowa City staff, you may want to follow up. All they need to do is mark you as not being spam. It has to be done at the user level. I would recommend you putting the read receipt on to help notify you for awhile.

Keep Your Browsers Up to Date and Google Chrome

Google is no longer supporting older versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox, so make sure you browsers are up to date! You need to log on as the administrator on your machine to do this.


Another option would be to install Google Chrome as your browser. Because our GWAEA machines have multiple user accounts (admin and you) then there is a special version you can install. Visit the resources page on the Gmail Transition Site to find it.
Gmail Resources Site


It is important to keep your web browsers up to date. Here is a link to the most current version of Firefox. We recommend to have a couple browsers on your computer. You need to login as the administrator on your computer in order to do this install and updates.
Firefox Browser Download

Universal Precautions/Bloodborne Pathogens

To promote a safe working environment and prevent and control the transmission of communicable diseases, employees are to use universal precautions in the delivery of services.  Universal precautions are identified in the Agency’s exposure control plan for bloodborne pathogens, which is reviewed on an annual basis.  Key components of the plan are summarized here for employee information and reference.


Wallet-sized cards outlining these procedures have previously been provided to all staff.  If you need additional cards, have questions or would like more information, please contact the Human Resources Office, ext. 6703.  Thank you.

Reminder to update emergency contact information and beneficiaries

In the event of an emergency, we want to be sure to have accurate, up-to-date emergency contact information on file for employees.  To ensure that this information is current, employees are asked to review this information annually.  As a reminder, in an emergency situation, we will always try to contact a spouse first, if identified, then Contact 1 or Contact 2.

To update:
1)   Go to GWAEA home page, click on Staff Website, click on Employee Self Service (
2)   Enter username (first initial & last name) and your password (click on green box if you have forgotten your password)
3)    Click on Emergency Contacts (found under my information)
4)    Click on the record you wish to update or Add New Contact
5)     Click on Save Changes or Delete this Contact

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the Human Resources Office at ext. 6703.  Thank you for keeping this information current.


Please also remember to update beneficiary information as family changes occur.  Employees designate beneficiaries for the group life and IPERS benefits. Contact Cathy Kearns, Compensation/Benefits, at ext. 6706, to make any beneficiary changes.

PEP News Bulletin, October 2012





The following upcoming workshops are featured in The PEP News Bulletin, October 2012. Learn more about:

  • What is PEP?

  • Resources in the PEP Library

  • LDA-IA Conference, Oct. 21-22

  • AIM Navigator

For more information, contact Sara Kane, Liz Hooley or Deb Johnson in the PEP Program.

The following is a reminder to the Iowa IDEA Users:

The Iowa IDEA applications (IFSP, IEP and IMS) are only supported by the following platforms and browsers:


• Macintosh OS 10.4 or newer:
Firefox Versions


• Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 with:
Internet Explorer
3.6.2 to 3.6.x


These applications cannot run using Safari or Google (Chrome).

Our Condolences the family and friends of Sondra Honsell. Sondra, a former GWAEA speech-language pathologist, died on Sept. 30 in Brevard, North Carolina. She was 73. Her funeral was held on
Oct. 5 at Sacred Heart Church in Brevard. Sondra was a GWAEA staff member from August 1982 – June 1999. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or to the Transylvania Regional Hospital Hospice, 1266A Asheville Highway, Suite #5, Brevard, NC 28712.

Flu Shots cancelled

Due to the low number of registrations, the clinics have been cancelled.

IPERS & Retirement Planning Seminar

Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 - Coralville Public Library, 6-8 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 - Grant Wood AEA Sixth St. Facility

Stone/Revere Rooms, 6:30-8:30 p.m.


Cost: free

The meetings are open to all GWAEA staff. Email Liz Hooley regarding which session you would like to attend.

St. Luke's Witwer Children's Therapy presents: Autism 2012

Nov. 8-9, 2012

Cedar Rapids Marriott


Day 1: Social Awareness Intervention for Asperger Syndrome and Related Disorders


Day 2: What Happens After High School? Timothy P. Kowalski, M.A.,C.C.C. is a licensed speech-language pathologist specializing in social-pragmatic communication deficits and is an internationally known expert on Asperger syndrome.


To register, visit



See attached flyer for details

The 2012-2013 TQ Professional Development proposal application dates are:

Nov. 21
Feb. 27
May 29

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

Inquiry Cycle to Impact Instruction and Learning for Students in Special Education


Are you looking for a way to measure of your instruction/interventions on learning for our students in special education?  If so and you have taken Analyzing Student Work, this innovation project is for you!  Take a look at the flyer and register now! If you have questions, please contact Emily Thomson at



See attached flyer



Professional Development Opportunity (*)

An important factor to consider when designing new models of teaching and learning is how to engage students in the learning process.  To help educators learn how to engage students, we have established a statewide PD opportunity for educators to learn how to personalize learning, which will begin this month.  We believe that this approach, which focuses on individual student learning pathways and adapting technology to provide



See attached flyer


anytime/anywhere learning opportunities has great potential to engage students and provide robust teaching in Tier 1, lessening the number of students needing Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions.  The tools used to personalize learning can strengthen student engagement around the Iowa Core as well as teaching in any of the tiers in the RtI model.  To sustain and extend the learning in this area, we are facilitating the establishment of a statewide community of practice around personalized learning, which begins in November. The PD will be provided by national consultants Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey from Personalize Learning.  Susie Green, our GWAEA student program specialist, is coordinating this project and will serve as the eCoach for the community of practice in our area. The attached flyer provides information regarding registration for the upcoming eCourse and Community of Practice.  This opportunity is being made available to AEA and LEA educators and begins at the end of October so if you or anyone from your staff is interested in registering, please do so as soon as possible.


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 Google site, log into your Google account, click on Sites, and browse sites. 

Professional Development Announcements – November 2012



Inquiry Cycle to Impact Instruction and Learning for Students in Special Education


The Conversation is the Relationship - Intro to Fierce Conversations



11/05/2012 8:30 AM-3:30 PM



See flyer for details

Hands On Equations, making Algebra Child’s Play

In this workshop you will see how the visual and kinesthetic approach of Hands-On Equations demystifies the learning of algebra, thereby providing students with a foundation for algebraic thinking and for a traditional Algebra 1 course. Since algebra is the language of mathematics, success with algebra is essential to the further study of mathematics and science.
iPad Apps are available for this program. 


This content supports younger gifted math students, helps students understand and meet the common core math standards related to algebraic thinking, modeling with mathematics, making use of structure and solving linear equations and word problems.  Teachers with elementary aged gifted students, upper elementary teachers, middle school teachers and high school teachers with students needing additional support to understand algebra will find this workshop very helpful.


Using Wraparound for Students with Behavioral/Emotional Challenges, Dr. Lucille Eber


STAR Autism Program Training, Arick and Gill


Links Curriculum Workshop, Arick and Gill

19124 -12 -01

Designing a Rigorous ELA Block, Walpole and McKenna


Making Challenging Texts Accessible: Support through Vocabulary and Comprehension Instruction, Walpole and McKenna


Ongoing Silent Epidemic: Brain Trauma in Education

19135 – 12- 01


10/30/2012 1-4 PM


See flyer for details

Stewards of Children

Stewards of Children is a child sexual abuse prevention program designed to teach adults:
facts about child sexual abuse
situations in which sexual abuse might occur
simple, effective strategies for protecting children
importance of talking about prevention with children and adults
signs of sexual abuse and how to intervene

Iowa AEA Online Resources webinars iowaaeaonline

Do you wonder which tool might be helpful to research other cultures and traditions? Do you need a refresher on a specific skill set. Then join us on one of the dates and times below to learn how to integrate the Iowa AEA Online Resources into your curriculum. Registration is available through Grant Wood AEA Professional Development.


Iowa AEA Online Resources Webinar Series – Literacy
Wednesday, October 24 at 7:15-8:00 a.m., Number 5703-12-01
Wednesday, October 24 at 3:45-4:30 p.m. (repeat from morning session), Number 5703-12-02


Friday, November 2 at 7:15-8:00 a.m., Number 5703-12-03
Friday, November 2 at 3:45-4:30 p.m. (repeat from morning session), Number 5703-12-04


Iowa AEA Online Resources Webinar Series – Science, Number 5703-12-05
Tuesday, November 6 at 7:15-8:00 a.m., Number 5703-12-05
Tuesday, November 6 at 3:45-4:30 p.m. (repeat from morning session), Number 5703-12-06

Grant Wood AEA Staff training opportunities including Gmail transition workshops:



For a complete listing of all upcoming trainings:


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

Buy, Sell and Trade

FOR SALE: 3 bdrm, 1 3/4 bath mobile home in Iowa City. New vinyl siding and windows. Comes with all appliances including dishwasher, washer/dryer, microwave. Bon Aire mobile home park. No dogs allowed in park. Asking $20,000 or best offer, option for contract sale. Contact Sara Geer at (319) 400-9345 or


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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