Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


Dec. 12, 2012
Grant Wood AEA Board Meeting
5:00 p.m.
Grant Wood Room



In this issue:

Staff on Special Leadership Assignment
American Education Week, Nov. 11-16, 2012
Coralville Office Visitor Parking
iPad Update
GMail Update
The Second Annual GWAEA Photo Contest
The Linker is online
Save Lids to Save Lives
Like Us on Facebook
TQ Professional Development dates
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
Buy, Sell or Trade


Past Issues

Nov. 9, 2012

Nov. 2, 2012

Oct. 26, 2012

Oct. 19, 2012

Oct. 13, 2012

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





Staff on Special Leadership Assignment

It is with pleasure that Grant Wood AEA announces a new initiative that is intended to create a variety of new leadership opportunities for Contracted Staff.  Staff who are selected to fill these assignments will be called Staff on Special Leadership Assignment. These assignments are designed to correspond to Governor Branstad’s Teacher Leadership Agenda.  Branstad’s agenda advocates the development of non-traditional career tracks that are non-administrative. Specifically, the recommendations from the state’s Task Force on Teacher Leadership and Compensation include:

  • “Create and fund multiple, meaningful and well-designed career pathway opportunities open to all teachers in Iowa.”

  • “Review existing allocations and use these funds strategically to enhance teacher compensation and create leadership opportunities.”

Quality professional services demand various forms of leadership and Agency staff demonstrate these skills on a regular basis in their day-to-day work. In addition, Grant Wood AEA has piloted several assignments that provide more formal leadership supports. To this point, however, these assignments, have not been labeled as Staff on Special Leadership Assignment. Examples include the leadership assignments for assistive technology, special education literacy, and early literacy.  These assignments have been extremely successful in moving the Agency work forward and it is the Agency’s intent to expand this assignment model to other selected teams, projects and/or initiatives.  

These leadership assignments are different from our current Discipline Lead structure.  Discipline Lead work currently focuses on a variety of activities which include planning discipline meetings, participating on hiring committees, and engaging in state-wide discipline work. Lead work is relatively discrete and stable in nature. The Agency will consistently need staff to assist with the above activities and at this time every discipline will continue to have a discipline lead.


Staff on Special Leadership Assignment will focus on identified tasks/outcomes requiring specialized skills to address LEA or AEA need areas.  This work may be more fluid in nature to be responsive and flexible in meeting the changing needs and context.  Staff on Special Leadership Assignments will not be identified in each discipline.  Rather, these assignments will be identified based on specific work that needs to be accomplished.

Staff on Special  Leadership Assignments will have a regular 190-day contract as well as additional days each year.  Because these assignments will require significant leadership responsibilities, it is recognized added days will be necessary to complete the work.  

The Agency will be announcing more Staff on Special Leadership Assignment opportunities in the coming months.  Each assignment will be identified as such when it is announced.  Those interested in these opportunities are reminded to check the Assignment Openings posted online at


In fact, the Agency will soon be announcing a new Staff on Special Leadership Assignment to lead Agency efforts in the area of data. The Agency recognizes that the needs of our AEA and LEA’s in the areas of data analysis and data-based decision making are growing rapidly.  This assignment will assist in the creation of a data team and data system (process, not data base).  

If you have questions about this leadership initiative, please contact Maria Cashman at


American Education Week—November 11-17, 2012—presents all Americans with an opportunity to celebrate public education and honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education. The weeklong celebration features a special observance each day of the week.


For more information about American Education Week, visit


Thank YOU for all you do for children and families in the GWAEA service area!

Coralville Office Visitor Parking

Visitor parking signs have been installed at the Southern Facility. These are for clients visiting for appointments. They are not to be used by staff or those attending Professional Development events. 

iPad Update

Apple released a minor software update for iOS devices yesterday, version 6.01. Although there is nothing in it of any real note, we always advise you to keep devices up to date with the latest software in order to keep your device and apps running as smoothly as possible. So, to update your software, simply go to Settings - General - Software Update, and you can download and install the update. It is only about 39mb, but you may be prompted to plug in if your battery is low.


App of the Week

This week’s app of the week, inDecision, comes from Amy Graber, one of our school social workers. Amy uses this app with students to help them formulate the pros and cons of a decision they may have to make at school or in their personal lives. Check out more about inDecision here. If you would like to submit an app of the week, please email


Upcoming PD Opportunities for November

iPad and SpEd Apps: Support for Reading and Writing - November 16 - Wylie and Freed
iPad Basics: Essential Skills for Educators - November 27 - Wylie and Cowell
Creating Educational Content With iBooks Author - November 30 - Wylie and Doane

New Compose Feature in Gmail!

Some of you may have noticed that Gmail made an optional change this week! They are continuing to make improvements. This is an optional transition now and you can continue to use the old look, but one of the benefits of the new feature is that you can start writing an email and minimize it and come back to it later. Google has more information about the feature on their blog. Watch a quick video showing the new compose feature and how to turn it on and off.


Only 3 Transition Workshops Left!!!

by Stacy Behmer, Coordinator of Digital Learning

We will be transitioning over to the new email system at the end of the month, so if you have not yet attended one of the transition workshops, get signed up! There are only 3 left!  To find out more visit the Gmail Transition Site:

At the workshop you will begin using the new interface. Please visit the Gmail transition site to get signed up! You will need to have your administrative login to your computer and your webmail password for the workshop.

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!

The Second Annual GWAEA Photo Contest

Submissions due Nov. 30


Submit your entries by email to either
George Held or Valerie Taylor Hill in the Communications Office. See flyer for details.


See Oct. 26 issue for details.


The Linker, Winter 2012 is online

"Online resources support learning" is the feature in GWAEA's The Linker, Winter 2012 distributed earlier this week. Included is information about Grant Wood AEA and Iowa AEA Online Resources.


Also included is an article highlighting the increase in both online and media center materials usage at Nixon Elementary - Cedar Rapids SD.


The Linker, is available for viewing and download along with archival copies. Printed copies have been distributed to mailboxes.


This is the 32nd year of publication for The Linker, which is distributed quarterly to all area educators, school board members, legislators, libraries, and professors of education. Articles for the Spring 2013 issue are due Dec. 1. For information or to suggest an article, contact Valerie Taylor Hill in the Communications Office, ext. 6824.



Collect Pink Yoplait  lids for the Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives program. General Mills will donate 10 cents to Susan G. Komen for each lid received.


Stacy Murphy has a collection tub in the staff break room of the Sixth Street building or send to her via van mail.

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


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.


  • to Adam Clemence, GWAEA programmer, whose mother, Sherri Clemence, was one of the area educators honored by the Iowa Children’s Museum and its inaugural Robert E. Yager Active Learning Award. The award honors innovative, engaging educators. An article about the award is available online at Iowa Now.

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 in November, so if you or anyone from your staff is interested in registering, please do so as soon as possible.

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.

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-December



19124 -12 -01 - Nov. 26, 2012



See flyer for details


19123-12-01 - Nov. 27, 2012

Designing a Rigorous ELA Block, Walpole and McKenna

This session will describe an approach to design of an ELA block consistent with the text complexity demands of the Common Core State Standards. The block combines shared reading of a grade-level text, interactive read aloud of a more complex text, and differentiated instruction based on the student achievement data.


Audience :K-6 Administrators, General and Special Education Teachers, Reading Support, Psychologists, Consultants

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

In this session, we will provide the whys and how of supporting young adolescent readers in challenging texts across the content areas. We will focus on a few high-utility vocabulary strategies (semantic feature analysis and concept of definition) and a few strategies that support student comprehension (reciprocal teaching, PALS, reading guides and questioning the author). Participants will learn to plan and use those techniques together.


Audience: K-8 Administrators, General and Special Education Teachers, Reading Support, Psychologists




12/5/2012 1-4 PM


See flyer for details

Creating Digital Rich Classrooms: Teaching and Learning in a Web 2.0 World

Outside of school, today's students are accustomed to a high level of interaction and collaboration. Engage students in solving real-world problems while staying true to standards-aligned curricula. This session provides a research base and practical strategies for using web 2.0 tools to create engaging lessons that transform and enrich content.

Audience: Administrators, General and Special Education Teachers, Media Specialists, Consultants




12/17/2012 8:30 AM -4 PM



See flyer for details

Reading and Writing Accommodations: Evidence-Based Protocols and Tools

As technology becomes more mainstream at home and in the classroom, knowledge of the issues surrounding accommodations is paramount. The day will begin with a current review of the literature of reading and writing accommodations for students with disabilities. Protocols that can be used to develop evidence-based decisons on accommodations will be shared. Online tools and applications that support struggling readers and writers will be presented. Strategies for conducting just-in-time professional development on accommodations will be discussed. Participants will leave this workshop with up-to-date information that can serve as an accommodations guide to stakeholders in their district.

Audience: K-12 Administrators, General and Special Education Teachers, Media Specialists, Paraeducators, Reading Support Staff, Speech Language Pathologists, Psychologists, OT/PT, Consultants




1/18/2013 9 AM -4:30 PM


1/19/2013 8:45 AM - 2:15 PM


4/26/2013 1-4:00 PM



See flyer for details

This workshop will assist participants in developing the skills necessary to use a coaching interaction style in home, community, and early childhood settings to build the capacity of parents, teachers, and other adults in the life of infants, toddlers, and preschool age children with developmental delays and disabilities. The presenters will describe the characteristics of coaching and natural learning environment practices, present the evidence supporting the use of coaching and everyday learning opportunities, and provide tools and techniques for practitioners to use to evaluate their own coaching skills. Participants will have the opportunity to observe the instructors role play various coaching scenarios, analyze videotapes of others using coaching using instruments from the coaching toolkit, and then practice and analyze their own coaching through role play and videotape review.


"Save the Date"

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

January 14, February 26 & April 1, 2013

8:30 am – 4:00 pm

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


See flyer for details

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 or Trade 

For Sale: 2 tickets to TCR presentation of "Meet Me In St. Louis" for Saturday, December 1st at 7:30pm. Face value is $60.00 - offering $50.00.  Please contact Kim at 399-6838.


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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