Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


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:

Have You Written Your Legislators?
Agency's Paraeducator Program Receives State Board Approval
April is Autism Awareness Month
Joint Insurance Committee Update
Negotiations Update
Staff Assignment Changes
GWAEA Professional Development Wants Your Feedback
GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet
Mercy Cedar Rapids - Webinar
Share Your iPad App Recommendations
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







Have You Written Your Legislators?

If you write to your state legislator about the Governor's proposed budget cut to the AEAs, would you please share a copy of your message with George Held in the communications office? It's spring break for many folks, but the legislature isn't taking the week off, and your messages about the importance of the work we do is urgently needed. Please take time to write on behalf of your agency. 

Agency’s Paraeducator Program Receives State Board Approval

On March 28, 2013, the State Board of Education granted an approval for the paraeducator program of Grant Wood Area Education Agency through March of 2018. The Iowa DE intends to have all paraeducator preparation programs meet program standards, strive for continuous improvement and reflect up-to-date practices. The AEA10 paraeducator generalist program covers individuals working in Prekindergarten through grade 12.

April is Autism Awareness Month


The sixth annual World Autism Awareness Day was April 2. Grant Wood AEA's Autism Services shared a display in the lobby of the Sixth St. facility. Stop by to learn more or contact a member of the Autism Services Team.


As part of Autism Awareness month, each year the AEA collects prevalence data from our schools regarding a count of the number of children with a medical diagnosis of autism or ones who meet the education definition without a medical diagnosis. These data help the Autism Services Team align resources and provide support to children, teachers, and families.  

Joint Insurance Committee Update

The Metro Interagency Insurance Program (MIIP) is the consortium of six education organizations in the Cedar Rapids area established in 1990 to provide and maintain affordable medical insurance for employees.  All Grant Wood AEA staff are encouraged to read the MIIP Annual Report for 2012-2013 that is attached to this issue of the Bulletin Board.  This is a summary of the changes that have occurred over the last year, and also helps in building awareness and understanding about the MIIP structure, and how it impacts the health benefits provided by the Agency. 


The committee is very pleased to share the following renewal information about health, dental and vision benefits for the 2013-14 year.

Negotiations Update

This joint update is being provided by the Agency/Association teams regarding negotiations.  A bargaining session was held Tuesday evening, April 2, and the group is pleased to announce that tentative agreements have been reached for 2013-14 for both Contracted and Classified Staff.
Information on the tentative agreements will be provided to staff at a ratification meeting, which has been scheduled for 4:30pm on Monday, April 8.  Further details regarding this meeting are being communicated by the Association.

Staff Assignment Changes


Job Category


New Assignment


Date Effective

Elizabeth Steffensmeier
1.0/Iowa City

June 2013

GWAEA Professional Development Wants Your Feedback

If you have taken or taught one of the agency's professional development classes in the last two years, we would appreciate your feedback for the agency's PD department. Please click on the following link to participate in their department's survey:

FYI... this survey is totally confidential, and cannot be linked back to an individual participant unless you provide your name in one of the comments.

2013 Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition & Partnerships Banquet,
Thursday, May 2




All employees with 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 or 40 years of employment with
GWAEA, retirees, and persons nominated and selected by agency staff will be honored.

The Longbranch Hotel and Convention Center, Cedar Rapids

90 Twixt Town Rd NE
Cedar Rapids


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


GWAEA Board Members and Employees: $10

Spouses, Friends and Retired Staff: $20 per person


Reservations Due: April 19, 2013


Groups may reserve a table. Please submit all reservation requests to Cathy Nelson at Sixth Street, ext. 6544.

Click to access the banquet invitation. Printed copies are available if needed. See Cathy at the front desk. Include cash or check (payable to Grant Wood AEA).


For many years the agency's "pop fund" supported the entire cost of the banquet. Now, with no more pop money being applied to the fund, we have limited resources for the banquet. Thus, the agency's Advisory Committee agreed that a cost of $10 per staff person  would be reasonable for a nice dinner.  

Grant Wood AEA's The Linker, Summer 2013 is online

Move planned to an online publication with the Fall 2013 issue

In this issue:

- The GWAEA Special Education Literacy Team

- The GWAEA Emergent Literacy Initiative

- The Top 10 Professional Reading List for Educators

- Summer professional development partnership: WPLC and GWAEA

- Young Writers' Conference

- College for Kids

- Connect to Your Future

- Parent/Student Transition Night, April 9

- GWAEA Professional Development

- 2013 Media Center Needs Assessment

- New and improved library media centers featuring North-Linn Elementary


The Linker, is available for viewing and download along with archival copies. Printed copies have been distributed by van mail to area schools.



Beginning with the Fall 2013 issue,
The Linker will move to an online publication with a link sent by email.

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.
For information or to suggest an article, contact Valerie Taylor Hill in the Communications Office, ext. 6824.

Mercy - Cedar Rapids: Webinar on April 11

Helping Kids Cope: Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) are traumatic childhood experiences, such as exposure to family violence, abuse or substance abuse, that can lead to health and social problems into adulthood. Alyssa Drury, counselor at Mercy Family Counseling, will identify common ACEs and explain why they can be so damaging later in life. Tune in live to learn what our community can do to break this damaging cycle. Submit your own questions during the live webinar.



Helping Kids Cope: Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences


Date: Thursday, April 11, 2013

Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT

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:

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:

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 – April 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 Amy Cameron 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.

2013 Parent/Student Transition Night

Your child's future...the Possibilities are Endless!




See flyer for details


This workshop will provide valuable information to parents and professionals about the transition process for middle and high school students who receive special education services. There will be speakers, breakout sessions, and informational booths for parents and professionals to learn a wide variety of services in the area of living, learning and working.




4/9/2013 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM


2013 Transition Night Program


The GWAEA Assistive Technology Team and the Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research presents…


Building Bridges - Eastern Iowa Assistive Technology Conference (A)


April 16, 2013
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Iowa Memorial Union, Iowa City
See attached flyer for information




Audience: Preschool-12th grade Special Education Teachers, K-12 General Education Teachers, AEA Support Staff, Curriculum Directors, Administrators, Iowa Core Lead Team Members, Parents

Registration: apps/ProfDev/user/signon.cfm


Registration: onsite at workshop location/no lunch guaranteed

Workshop Number:
Registration Deadline:
March 29, 2013
Workshop Fees:

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




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



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.



7/11/2013-7/12/2013 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM



iPadU: Slide to Unlock Learning

Grant Wood AEA will be hosting a conference to celebrate and expand upon innovative classroom integration strategies for the iPad. Join us for two days for workshops that will guarantee exciting, hands-on learning experiences that you can use to enhance teaching and learning in a K-12 classroom. This WILL BE offered for recertification credit! This is a change, check back next week to register as it is being added to the system!


See flyer for details.

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.

For Sale:

2003 beige Toyota Echo 4-door sedan with 135,000 miles. VERY economical and gets 30 city and 38 highway MPG. Automatic transmission, A/C, and cruise control, and has an mp3 and memory card capable sound system. Asking price is $3,750 OBO. Call 319-270-1968 for inquiries.


Needs a good home: Kelly Varnum is looking for a good home for a six- year-old Dorkie (Dachshund/Yorkie) small dog due to her daughter's upcoming move. Call 551-1060.


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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