Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


May 13, 2013

GWAEA Innovation Day


August 12, 2013

All-Agency Inservice


Concert Hall at College Community


In this issue:

Iowa School Board Recognition Month, May 2013
"Building Brighter Futures"
Employee Insurance Benefits
Staff Assignment Changes
2013 Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet
2013 Grant Wood AEA Innovation Day
New in the PEP Library
Retirement Celebration for
Bob Neilly
East Central Iowa Autism Walk
Sharing Information About AEA Services
Global Education Summer Institute for Teachers
Free Webinar on Safe Exercise During Pregnancy
Summer Nanny/Babysitting
21st Century Learning Institute
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






Iowa School Board Recognition Month, May 2013
"Building Brighter Futures"

Volunteer school board members serve thousands of hours each year working to ensure every Iowa student receives a solid education.


School Board Recognition Month, May 2013, is an opportunity to say thanks to the nearly 2,000 men and women who are “Building Brighter Futures ” in Iowa schools.


This year’s theme —“Building Brighter Futures”—recognizes that Iowa’s volunteer school board members are providing leadership, through responsibilities ranging from strong financial



stewardship to ensuring high-quality curriculum, to make sure all students are prepared to “grow and prosper” when they graduate.


A nine-member board of directors elected by area school boards governs Grant Wood AEA. Board members represent designated segments of the agency’s service area called director districts. They are elected for four-year rotating terms by the school district board members in their director districts. The board is responsible for approving AEA policies, programs and budget.


"This year's theme for Board Member appreciation month, 'Building Brighter Futures,' describes the work of Grant Wood AEA board members," said Joe Crozier, GWAEA chief administrator. "Our board members serve to 'Build Brighter Futures' for all students throughout the Grant Wood AEA service area. Thank you for your commitment and passion for improving the education and lives of children in our area."


We would like to recognize and thank the members of the Grant Wood AEA Board of Directors for their commitment and dedication.


Marilyn Wirtz
Director District 1
Joined 2009

Pamela Jacobs
Director District 2
Joined 2009

Lynne Cannon,

Director District 3
Joined 1980

Sue Gates
Director District 4
Joined 2003

Marlene L. Hill
Director District 5
Joined 2002

Robert Schneider

Director District 6
Joined 2002

Jim Green, President
Director District 7
Joined 1995

Morris Greenfield
Director District 8
Joined 2000

Mary Meisterling
Director District 9
Joined 2005

Employee Insurance Benefits


Health, Dental and Vision Insurance
Employees have been provided a packet of insurance materials with health, dental and vision benefit plan summaries and premium costs. May 15, 2013 is the deadline for making changes to your existing health, dental and vision insurance elections.  If nothing is submitted by the May 15 deadline, it will be understood you wish to remain with your current insurance elections.


Life Insurance
CIGNA, our life insurance carrier, is allowing the Agency to offer an open enrollment period this year for our supplemental and dependent life options.  This allows employees who waived coverage when initially eligible, to enroll now without going through the evidence of insurability process (medical underwriting for approval).   Benefit options, premium rates and frequently asked questions were provided in the employee insurance packets.  May 15, 2013 is the deadline for enrolling and/or making changes to your life insurance options. CIGNA also offers the following value-added programs: 

Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance
Prudential, our long-term care insurance carrier, is restructuring their plan offerings and has announced they are discontinuing sales of their group LTC products.  The existing LTC policies are protected and guaranteed renewable.  These policies will continue to be honored and serviced.  However, Prudential will not allow any new enrollees from Grant Wood after June 30, 2013 and there are no other alternative LTC carriers as a replacement for future enrollments after June 2013. Employees are able to review LTC plan features and calculate premiums by contacting Prudential Customer Service at 1-800-732-0416 or visiting their website at: using the following log-in specific to Grant Wood AEA employees:  Group Name:  gwaea10  and Access Code:  gwaea10ltc


Questions regarding the benefit offerings through Grant Wood AEA should be directed to Cathy Kearns in Business Services at  or (319) 399-6706.

Staff Assignment Changes


Job Category


New Assignment


Date Effective

Darcy Schaefer
Teacher: Off-Site Programs
1.0/ Off-Site
Special  Education Consultant
1.0 /TBD

July 2013
Dianna Zumbach
Teacher: Off-Site Programs
1.0/ Off-Site
Special  Education Consultant
1.0 /TBD

July 2013

2013 Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition & Partnerships Banquet, Thursday, May 3

Congratulations to the honorees and Grant Wood AEA staff recognized during the
2013 Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet held on Thursday, May 2
at the The Longbranch Hotel and Convention Center, Cedar Rapids.


Educational Partner awards were presented to The Cedar Rapids Division of Special Services and to Shari Eivins, Communication Coach, Taft Middle School, Cedar Rapids Community. The Leadership for Learning award was presented to Jim Thornton.






Among those honored were 15 Grant Wood AEA retirees with a total of 244 years of service to the agency.




2013 Grant Wood AEA Innovation Day

Please join us for an afternoon of new ideas, innovations and teaching techniques being explored and developed by Grant Wood AEA staff.


Monday, May 13, 2013
1:30 - 4 p.m.

Grant Wood AEA Conference Center
4401 Sixth St. S.W., Cedar Rapids


Visitors will have an opportunity to talk with
Grant Wood AEA staff at each display about the work they are doing.
Please stop by to see some of your AEA's innovations to improve student learning outcomes.




See invitation for details.

New in the PEP Library

Visit the PEP website for a list of new resources received in the areas of ADHD, Autism & Asperger's and Disability Awareness.
For additional information or to access these resources, contact
Liz Hooley
, GWAEA PEP Parent Partner, ext. 6719.


See flyer for details.

Did You Work with the PEP Team This Year?

If so, they would appreciate your feedback. Please click on this link to launch their survey:

Come Help Us Celebrate Bob Neilly's Retirement

Monday, May 6, 2013

3:00 - 5:00 p.m., Autumn/Revere/Stone Room, Sixth St. Facility

East Central Iowa Autism Walk

The East Central Iowa Autism Walk is a day of wholesome family fun to raise autism awareness in Iowa and throughout the United States. The annual walk is the group’s largest annual fundraiser event, raising over $20,000 to help families with the expenses that come with autism.


Michelle Sunner and Monica Ryan-Rousch represented the agency at a table for the agency's autism team this year. Pictured are Michelle and Monica as they greet
State Representative Art Staed at the walk last Saturday


photo1 photo2

Sharing information about Iowa AEA services

Grant Wood AEA Chief Administrator Joe Crozier and AEA Executive Director Brent Siegrist spent time at the Capitol the week of April 22. Key meetings were held with House Education Appropriation Chair, Cecil Dolecheck (R-Mt. Ayr), House Speaker Kraig Paulsen and Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal.


Grant Wood Chief, Joe Crozier, with House Education Appropriation Chair, Cecil Dolecheck (R-Mt. Ayr)

Joe Crozier with Senator Liz Mathis
(D-Cedar Rapids)



Global Education Summer Institute for Teachers
June 10-11, 2013 (A)

The 2013 Global Education Summer Institute for Teachers will be held on the University of Iowa campus on June 10-11, 2013.  The institute is sponsored by the Stanley Foundation and UI International Programs.  This year's participants will earn 1 license renewal credit.

Forty middle, junior and high school teachers will be selected to attend this year's institute and will receive free tuition and housing.


Application deadline is May 10, 2013.


More information and an application form may be found on our website at

Please contact Amy Green at or 319-335-1433 with any questions.

Free Webinar on Safe Exercise During Pregnancy

Community Health Charities of Iowa is offering a webinar titled "Exercising Safely During Pregnancy." It will be held on Monday, May 6 from Noon to 1:00 PM. There is no charge for the webinar. 


To learn more and to register go to

Summer nanny/babysitting

Responsible 17-year-old looking for summer nanny/babysitting job. Has own vehicle and CPR trained. References available. Contact Kathy Resewehr at 399-6748.  

Sign Up for the 21st Century Learning Institute 2013-14

There is space available in the two cohorts of our 21st Century Learning Institute. If you would like to participate please sign up and you will be notified. We will NOT be holding a separate GWAEA cohort this year, but rather including our staff in the the other cohorts. For more information and to sign up please visit the website: The application is on the left. Contact Stacy Behmer for questions.


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. We NEED your recommendations, so please take a few minutes to provide us with your app recommendations. 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 date is 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.


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.

Differentiated Instruction: K-12 Educators


4362 13 01

Day 1


08:30 AM

03:30 PM

Day 2


08:30 AM

03:30 PM

Day 3


08:30 AM

11:30 AM



A course based on Carol Ann Tomlinson's work on differentiated Instruction.  This course is designed to support teachers' rolls in the classroom while complementing existing professional development initiatives and the Iowa Core.  Activities will be structured around the needs of each participant, with time provided to apply the ideas to the unique situation for each participant.  We'll explore the general principles of differentiated instruction.  We'll also examine the concept of "teaching up," so that all students, even our most gifted, are challenged.  Participants will analyze strategies for ongoing assessment and tools for identifying student needs.  Activities will be differentiated to accommodate K-12 teachers from all curricular areas, building administrators or district curriculum leaders.

Participants are expected to have required text for class. 

Text Required:  How to Differentiate in Mixed-Ability Classrooms (2nd edition) ASCD, 2001.
ISBN: 978-0-87120-512-4


Instructors: Mark Brockmeyer and Natalee Thompson

Credit options:  License Renewal $80, Drake EDEX $165

See flyer for details.

Collaborative Instructional Support for English Language Learners

4631 12 01

Day 1


08:30 AM

04:00 PM

Grant Wood AEA Northern Facility

Day 2


08:30 AM

03:00 PM

Grant Wood AEA Northern Facility

Day 3


02:00 PM

4:00 PM

No meeting - Online


Guest presenter:

Dr. Laida Restrepo, Speech Language Pathologist from Arizona State University


Dr. Restrepo will present Day 1 and Day 2 of this course. This course will provide information on improving instruction for English Language Learners through collaboration by preschool and elementary teachers, speech language pathologists, and AEA support staff. Language and cultural issues will be explored and evidence based practices shared day one. Day two will include assessment and intervention principles for working with bilingual students. An online learning opportunity focusing on implementation planning and discussion forums will be completed by July 30th.






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.

Save the Date:

Grant Wood AEA Staff training with Mike Mattos on Sept. 4, in person workshop, 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

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:  Selmer Wooden Clarinet  w/music stand  $200.  Clarinet will need overhaul. Call Virginia, 399-6814.


For Sale:  Small roll top desk for sale $50 and a church pew $100. Please call for more information or for pictures, 399-6509.



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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