Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


March 1, 2013

Online registration begins for the 2013 College for Kids


March 8, 2013

Nominations due, GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet


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


August 12, 2013

All-Agency Inservice


Concert Hall at College Community



In this issue:

Retirement Investors' Club 403(b) Plan - Annual Eligibility Notice
Negotiations Update, Feb. 28
Staff Assignment Changes
KGAN-TV CBS2 feature on GWAEA iPad Project
Iowa Brain Injury Quick Guide for Schools - Now Available
Each and Every Child Newsletter
AEA Advocacy Letters Needed
Scholastic Book Fair
GWAEA Innovation Day - Call for Presenters
iPad U
Share Your iPad Apps
Instructional Tech - Southern Facility
Blue Zones
Like Us on Facebook and Twitter
TQ Professional Development dates
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
Buy, Sell or Trade


Agency Advisory Minutes

Grant Wood AEA Staff Openings

The GWAEA Board Book

The GWAEA Board Minutes


Past Issues






Retirement Investors’ Club 403(b) Plan - Annual Eligibility Notice

Did you know that Grant Wood AEA participates in the Iowa RIC 403(b) tax deferred retirement savings plan?

Grant Wood AEA employees have the opportunity to save for retirement by participating in a voluntary 403(b) plan offered through the Iowa Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC).  You may participate by making pre-tax contributions and Roth post-tax contributions, to one of the RIC investment providers.


See attached flyer for details.

What do I have to do to contribute to this 403(b) plan?

To start your contributions, you must first open an account with one of the six approved providers and submit a completed RIC Salary Reduction Form to the Grant Wood AEA payroll office.  Provider contact information is on the RIC website at  The provider can send you enrollment information, or if you prefer, a provider representative will schedule an appointment to help you with the enrollment process.      


How much may I contribute?

In general, you may contribute up to $17,500 in calendar year 2013.  This amount may be adjusted annually if declared by the IRS.  If you are age 50 or older, you may contribute an additional $5,500.  Also, you may be able to make further catch-up contributions (up to an additional $3,000) if you have at least 15 years of service with your current employer, Grant Wood AEA, and have not exhausted your eligibility.   


How can I receive more information about the plan?

Information is available at  or at   You may also contact RIC at 1-866-460-4692 option #1 for more information about this employee benefit. 

Negotiations Update, Feb. 28, 2013

Staff Assignment Changes


Job Category


New Assignment


Date Effective

Susan Groff-VanArendonk

Special Education Consultant


Transition Special Education Consultant

.5/ Central

July 2013

Megan Brunscheen

Special Education Consultant


Transition Special Education Consultant

.5/ Central

July 2013

Lauri Jennisch

Career Connections Occupational Therapist

.4 /Agency-wide .6/Southwest

Induction Coach SpEd Occupational Therapist

.4/Agency-wide .6/Southwest

July 2013

Grant Wood AEA iPad project featured on KGAN-TV CBS2

The Grant Wood AEA iPad Project is featured in a KGAN-TV CBS2 story, which aired on Feb. 28 during the 5 p.m. newscast. Nancy Almasi, GWAEA speech-language pathologist and George Held, GWAEA communications supervisor, are interviewed. Click below for a link to the story.


Iowa Brain Injury Quick Guide for Schools - Now Available

The Iowa Governor’s Advisory Council on Brain Injuries has released a Brain Injury Quick Guide for Schools. Developed to better support K-12 educators this guide includes a brain injury overview, description of common challenges, tips for supporting students, and helpful resources.

Please CLICK HERE to visit the Grant Wood AEA Brain Injury Resource Team website to access the Brain Injury Quick Guide for Schools.  

This Guide is a product of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Brain Injuries, the Iowa Department of Public Health, Grant Wood AEA, and the Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa.


A special thanks to the following people and agencies for contributions in developing and writing the material for this project:

  • Governor’s Advisory Council on Brain Injuries Cognitive Rehabilitation  Task Force

  • University of Iowa’s Center for Disabilities and Development

  • Renee Moravec, S.L.P – Grant Wood AEA; Governor’s Advisory Council on  Brain Injuries

  • Geoffrey Lauer & Tasha Retz; Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa

  • Roxanne Cogil; Epilepsy Foundation of Iowa

  • Megan Hartwig; Iowa Department of Public Health

DE's Each and Every Child newsletter features
Cedar Rapids Community School District

The Cedar Rapids Community School District is featured in the Iowa Department of Education's March issue of Each and Every Child Newsletter: "Putting it all together: Cedar Rapids students advance with multi-pronged approach."

The article highlights the district's focus on Response to Intervention, formative assessment, accountability, collaboration and evidence-based instruction. Featured are Holly Reeder, Sara McBride, teachers; Sheila Lehman, executive director of Special Services; along with quotes by GWAEA's Priscilla Polehna and
Julie Grotewold.


AEA Advocacy Letters Needed

Thank you to those of you who have helped to get letters from


parents going into the Legislature over the past few weeks in support of our AEAs. Legislators are receiving the letters and have commented about them to AEA leadership.See the Feb. 21 issue of The Bulletin Board for the original article.

Shelter School plans Scholastic Book Fair, March 4-11

The Shelter School housed in the Foundation 2 Shelter will hold a Scholastic Book Fair in their classroom, March 4-11. The fair is being held to promote the enjoyment of reading and a love of literature.  The classroom will receive books for their classroom.


Books can be purchased during the class open times or during the following Family Night events:

Monday March 4, 4-6 p.m. - Grant Wood AEA Family Night
Wednesday March 6, 4-6 p.m. - Foundation 2 Family Night


The following payment methods will be accepted: cash, personal checks, purchase orders, and debit/credit card payments. For more information, contact Jackie at 319-366-8797 or


Call for Presenters for Grant Wood AEA Innovation Day:

Registration open through March 15

Inspiring the transformation of education through innovation:
A Showcase of Talents

Do you have an innovative practice that you are interested in showcasing?


Call for Presenter registrations are open for the third annual Innovation Day, planned on
May 13, 2013, 1:30 - 4 p.m. in the Grant Wood AEA Conference Center. See flyer for details.


See the Nov. 29 issue of The Bulletin Board for details.


Registration will be available through
March 15, 2013.
Visit the following link to register:


Grant Wood AEA is Hosting iPadU iPadU

On July 11-12, 2013, Grant Wood AEA will be hosting a conference to celebrate and expand upon innovative classroom integration strategies for the iPad, iPadU. Join us for two days of workshops that will guarantee exciting, hands-on learning experiences that you can use to enhance teaching and learning in a K-12 classroom.
Go to the site to register or if you have something to share please sign up here to present. Feel free to share with teachers and administrators who would be interested in attending or have things to present. See flyer for details.

Share Your iPad App Recommendations

Grant Wood AEA is a leader in the state with iPad utilization to support student achievement. We are collecting a list of iPad Apps from AEAs statewide and will be sharing these Apps and resources by content area/discipline.


Information will be shared about what apps are being used and how they are being used. Please fill out this form for Apps you are currently using and would like to recommend for AEA staff and consultants across the state.
Link to the form:

Instructional Technology Help Desk Times in the Southern Facility

Have a Gmail question? Want to know about Google Docs? Having a problem with your iPad? Matt Doane, one of our technology consultants, will be at the Southern Facility on Friday afternoons from 12:30-4:00pm to help answer questions staff may have. Stop by and get some support or schedule a time to meet with him on Friday afternoons!

- return to top -


  • to Molly and James Hackett on the birth of their daughter, Ellenore Jane, on Friday, Feb. 8. Ellenore weighed 8 lbs and 12 oz.., and was welcomed home by big brother, Leo. Molly is a GWAEA school psychologist.

  • The Central Region welcomes Violet Kay Hopp, daughter of Molly and Aaron Hopp, born on Feb. 22 at 7:52 am. Violet weighed 7 lbs, 10 oz, and 21 inches long. Mom and baby are both doing great!  Violet is also welcomed by brothers Henry and Benjamin.  Molly is a GWAEA school psychologist.

  • to GWAEA Media Specialist Melva Starr on the birth of her granddaughter, Charlotte Ann, on Feb. 27 to Melva's daughter and son-in-law, Becky and Zach Bonefas.

bluezones Live Longer, Better


Friends provide more than good times, memories, and companionship - they also share habits. Did you know that if your friends have healthy habits, you are more likely to adopt these same traits? Nourish friendships with people who will support your healthy habits, challenge you mentally, and be there for you anytime.

Maintain and nurture your friendships by showing sincere care and interest in them. Establish a time every day to meet with members of your inner circle, whether it's just to talk, share a meal, or take a daily walk. It's good for your well-being!

Be willing to try different activities that connect you with new people - they may develop into good friends, even best friends. Look for people who are positive and upbeat; make you feel good about yourself, and will accept you for who you are.


Celebrate Cedar Rapids becoming a Blue Zones Project demonstration site.
New BLUEhemia at the NewBo City Market on Saturday, March 2 at 3-6 p.m.

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 date:

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 – March 2013


Added Days Available for June Professional Development:

Assessment for English Language Learners
This workshop will focus on considerations for evaluation of English Language Learners in an effort to build capacity for GWAEA building staff involved in the assessment and identification process.

June 17, 2013 8:30 – 3:30
Eligible staff may be paid through added days.  This includes CONTRACTED staff who managers believe would benefit from the training. Proposed audience:  Consultants, Speech Language Pathologists, Social Workers, School Psychologists.

Staff must register for the session(s) via our Professional Development website (GWAEA Staff Training) by 6 am on May 15, 2013. Professional Development will notify Kelley Martin of registrants who will be included in the added days requests to be approved at the Board meeting. Due to this special process, managers do not need to submit an added days request.

Once added days are Board approved, staff will receive an added days calendar and time card. These are delivered to staff region inboxes. Staff should make special arrangements with their secretary if the added days paperwork is to be sent elsewhere.
Staff should attach a copy of their professional development certificate of attendance along with their completed time card.


If you have any questions, please contact Sherry Sines, Professional Development Coordinator,, 399-6517.



STAR Autism Program Training


4/08/2013 8:30 AM-3:30 PM
04/09/2013 8:30 AM-3:30 PM
05/14/2013 5:00 PM-8:00 PM


The STAR Autism Program teaches children with autism the critical skills identified by the 2001 National Research Council. The ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) instructional methods of discrete trial training, pivotal response training and functional routines form the instructional base of this comprehensive program for children with autism.


Participants will learn the techniques of discrete trial training, pivotal response training and teaching functional routines. They will receive examples of the STAR Autism program lesson plans at each instructional level in order to practice their skills in implementing the program. The course content will include the following: An overview of the three instructional methods (discrete trial, pivotal response training and functional routines) and how they are used in combination to form the STAR Autism Program. A comprehensive how to training on the use of discrete trial training. An introduction on how to implement pivotal response training.


The STAR Autism Program has been used to provide intensive instruction in critical skills for children with autism in both self-contained programs and inclusive education programs. The program provides a structure that allows teachers to implement instruction throughout the child's day through typical school routines and provides techniques to teach the child in short 1:1 instructional sessions. The skills the child learns in the 1:1 instruction can be immediately practiced in the natural environment through the functional routines lessons.


This course will be presented by staff from STAR Autism Support.


Lessons Learned about Engaging the Community in Support for Change

March 6, 2013

GWAEA Conference Center, 6-8 p.m.

Course Number: 19129-12-01


Jamie Vollmer will be presenting as part of the Learning & Collaboration series for school boards and educational leaders.


The presentation is open to the public.


Simplifying Response to Intervention, May 6-7, 2013

The interactive webinar dates with
Mike Mattos specifically for AEA staff are scheduled for the mornings of April 1 and April 18. 


See flyer for details.



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


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


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




3/25/2013 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Registration will be available after March 1.

Strategies to Support Executive Function Skills in Students with Planning, Organization, Emotional Control, Working Memory, and Attention Needs with Jill Kuzma




4/2/2013 8:30 AM -4:00 PM

Grant Wood AEA Northern Facility
4401 6th Street S.W.
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404


K-6 Speech Language Pathologists






4/3/2013 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Educational Learning and Support Center
2500 Edgewood Rd SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404


K-6 Speech Language Pathologists

See flyer for details

Beacons of Best Practice: Sound Articulation Treatment

This session presents an innovative approach for addressing the needs of children with mild articulation disorders in public school settings. Seven years of project data from San Diego Unified illustrate the efficacy of this short-term intensive, general education approach, which strives to efficiently and effectively remediate sound production errors.


Beacons of Best Practice: Sound Articulation Treatment Day Two

This session presents an innovative approach for addressing the needs of children with mild articulation disorders in the public school setting. It will focus on evidence-based intervention practices and will feature videos to demonstrate these research principles, including motor learning theory, current methodologies for treating the /r/ sound and homework.





5/30/2013 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM



Investigating the Standards Overview for GWAEA Staff: Iowa Core English Language Arts K-12


This overview of the structure of the Iowa Core for ELA will use State-developed Iowa Core Investigation professional development materials. The structure of the Iowa Core ELA and K-12 College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards will be studied.

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

For Sale:  Aero Pilates Machine (as seen on QVC)  5-corded machine w/rebounder, exercise chart & two workout DVDs  Originally $420  Will sell for $250. Call Virginia 399-6814.


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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