Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


Sept. 3, 2012
Agency closed in observance of Labor Day

Sept. 19, 2012
Grant Wood AEA Board Meeting
5:00 p.m.
Grant Wood Room



In this issue:

What is the AEA?
Our Sympathy
iPad Update
Gmail Transition
GWAEA Team - Especially for You Race
Autism 2012
GWAEA on Facebook, Twitter
Recycling with Rick
GWAEA Webinars
TQ Professional Development dates
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
Buy, Sell or Trade


Past Issues

Aug. 31, 2012

Aug. 24, 2012

Aug. 17, 2012

Aug. 10, 2012

Aug. 3, 2012

Archive issues of The Bulletin Board





Members of the AEA Communications Committee will be sharing general information about Iowa's AEAs throughout the coming year. This is the first article discussing why the AEA's exist and the equitable access to education Iowa's AEAs provide.


What Is the AEA and Why Do We Have It?

Congress enacted the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA) in 1974, and Iowa developed Area Education Agencies (AEAs) to provide support services required by the act. Though 75 percent of the AEA budget is tied to special education, the Iowa legislature assigned many other responsibilities to the AEA to provide support to schools. Some of the most frequently used of these services include:
·         Media (books, videos, on-line Websites and curriculum materials)
·         Professional Development
·         Technology (email and access to the Internet)

The AEA system assures families that each child will receive quality educational services and materials regardless of where they live – in a large district or a small one.

The AEA provides specialists who work in the schools in support of teachers and students. These special roles include:
·         Speech-language pathologists
·         Social workers
·         Physical and occupational therapists
·         School psychologists

In smaller districts, the student caseload may require less than a full-time person. AEAs hire these specialists and provide these services to multiple schools and districts.

In larger districts, the AEA provides many behind-the-scene services in addition to providing these same services. The AEA helps districts meet the requirements of public mandates such as No Child Left Behind, the Individuals with Disability Education Act, Common Core, and the Iowa Teacher Quality Initiative.

Currently, Iowa is divided into nine service areas with each one served by an AEA. All public and accredited nonpublic schools receive AEA support services. State law also requires the AEAs to provide services to parents home-schooling their children.



Iowa’s AEAs are impacting lives. Visit to read the "Impacting Lives" blog newsletter, which is a statewide effort to communicate AEA success stories and services across the state. If you have a story to share, contact George Held or Valerie Taylor Hill in the GWAEA Communications Office.

Our Sympathy...

  • to the family and friends of Kirby Leland, GWAEA computer services consultant, who passed away on Aug. 21. A private service and burial is planned for the family on Aug. 24. A celebration of Kirby Leland’s spirit will be held on Saturday, Aug. 25, at 10:30 a.m. at Ivester Church of the Brethren, 25056 E Avenue, Grundy Center, Iowa. The church is a rural church between Eldora and Grundy Center, on the Grundy County/Hardin County line. The church is approximately 9-10 miles from Grundy Center. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Camp Pine Lake, 23008 W Ave., Eldora, IA 50627.

    As a tribute to Kirby and as a way to share with his family his contributions to special education, we are collecting memories and stories that people would like to share about Kirby.  A memory book of these stories will be created and sent to Kirby’s family.  If you would like to contribute to Kirby’s memory book, please send your  memory or story to Michelle Tressel, 4401 Sixth Street SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 or via email at by Monday, September 10.

iPad Update

by Stacy Behmer
Coordinator of Digital Learning Technology


Agency iPad App Orders
Today, we will once again be opening up the order form for paid agency apps. Seeing as it is the beginning of the year, you will be able to choose up to 10 apps from the Tier 1 or Tier 2 list.


The apps on the Tier 2 list generally cost significantly more than those on the Tier 1 list, so you will be required to provide additional information on how you hope to use these apps. We will also pass these requests to RAs or other management staff for approval so that we can ensure that the right people are getting the right apps.

If you are new to the Agency, or have not ordered apps before, please click here to read about the difference between Tier 1 and Tier 2 apps. Descriptions of each app and a link to the iTunes Store can be found on the GWAEA iPad Project Site.

You can access the order form by clicking here or by visiting the GWAEA iPad Project Site. Please note, YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO SIGN IN WITH YOUR GOOGLE ACCOUNT BEFORE YOU ORDER.  The current window for app orders will be open until
Sept. 7, 2012, at which point no further orders will be accepted. Please submit your orders in a timely manner to ensure that you receive the apps you think you will need.

Grant Wood AEA Transitioning to Gmail

by Stacy Behmer
Coordinator of Digital Learning Technology


We will be transitioning this fall from using our current email server (IPSwitch) and Outlook to using the mail server in our Google Apps Domain (Gmail). Your email address will NOT be changing, just the client you use to check your email. There are a lot of features in the new email client that you will like and make your workflow easier! One of the biggest benefits will be the fact your computer, iPad, and smartphone will all sync email!  You will also have a global address book with all agency staff and have the ability to manage your own contacts and create your own groups or list serves.

We will be transitioning ALL agency staff this fall and after the Thanksgiving holiday we hope to have everyone transitioned over to the new system. The transitioning of staff will take place in a two phases webinars and face to face workshops.

Phase 1: I Can Move Myself- Webinars
These webinars will be offered in August and September for staff who feel like they can understand the transitioning steps through a webinar and are comfortable moving themselves independently. There are support resources provided on our GWAEA Transition to Gmail website.

Phase 2: I Need Support to Transition- Workshops
These workshops are for staff who would like to have face to face support in moving their current email and contacts to Gmail as well as getting the basics of Gmail up and running. You must sign up for the Transition Workshops on the GWAEA PD Site.

We have a number of supports and resources in place to help us transition and get going with the new email client. You can always visit the Tech Integration help desk to ask a question during help desk times. In the spring we will be offering more workshops to show some of the added features Gmail has to offer!

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Aug. 29 is last date to register for GWAEA's Team - Especially for You® Race Against Breast Cancer

To register as part of the GWAEA team, registration forms and fees are due by Wednesday, August 29.  For registration forms and/or additional information, please contact Kim Martin , Stacy Murphy, Karen Desmarais, or Elizabeth Steffensmeier.  See the July 20 issue of The Bulletin Board for complete details.



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?


Presenter: 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.


See flyer for registration information.

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 transfer of the GWAEA Historical Timeline continues to Facebook. Did you know...

  • Iowa's 99 county superintendents were at one time housed in county courthouses?

Like us on Facebook to follow along as we share a glimpse of Grant Wood AEA's past and present.

Recycling with Rick

Hello everyone,


I want to welcome back returning staff and to welcome our new staff. Glad you are all here with us this school year.

For those of you who have missed a few back issues of The Bulletin Board, we have instituted another recycling project.


We now collect used pens, pencils, markers for recycling. We have boxes in both downstairs breakrooms at the Sixth Street facility, and there is a box at the 33rd Street and Coralville locations.


As those of you who are returning know, and now the new members of our staff, we try our best to recycle items here at Grant Wood AEA. There are numerous bins around the agency for recycling and most of the secretaries have a box around their areas also. If you need to know your nearest recycle area please ask me. We recycle paper products, plastic (yes even those microwave meal containers as long as they are cleaned), cans, etc. Each recycling bin has a list of what is acceptable. Glass bottles, water bottles, pop can & bottles, etc.. may be put in the bottle/can containers around the building. I usually collect these all once a week and sort them out. The money from the deposits on bottles/cans comes back to the agency and helps defray the cost of the annual dinner held in the spring.


Also, we try to re use items. If you have something that you can no longer use rather than throw it away see if someone can use it. Currently, I am putting things in the staff break room (near the staff conference room) that people have turned in that they can no longer use.


We have an assortment of three-ring binders, hanging files, Manila folders (slightly used), etc., check out the table. And if you have something to put there, please feel free. Also, we have numerous wood pallets on the dock if anyone can use a pallet or two for a home project, etc.


Lastly, if you come across anything else we can do for recycling, re-using, or renewing, let me know.


See the July 6 issue of The Bulletin Board for a list of agency recycling bin locations.

Grant Wood AEA Webinars

Visit the link above for archives of the Grant Wood AEA webinars.

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

Sept. 6
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 – August 2012



Basic Administration, Scoring and Interpretation of Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS-Next)


Advanced Reading Assessment and Instruction


Curriculum Based Evaluation for Reading and Written Language


Leading Groups: Effective Strategies for Professional Community Building


Instructional Practices Inventory: A Process for Analyzing and Improving Student Engaged Learning



iPad Professional Development

There are a series of iPad workshops being offered in the next couple of weeks. See the GWAEA Pofessional Development site to register.




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: Men's Waterfront Venice Keen Sandals. New - never worn. Size 8,
Brindle/Forest Night. $75.00. If interested please call 563-920-9059.


For Sale: Baldwin piano with cherry finish, excellent condition, tuned regularly.  Includes bench. $1750. 319-365-8061.


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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