Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


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



In this issue:

2013 Iowa Teacher of the Year
Costco reception on Sept. 20
United Way Campaign nearing halfway point on goal
iPad Update
GWAEA Transition to GMail
New Autism Referral Form
21st Century Learning Institute
Google Docs/Drive
PowerSchool Early Warning System
Road to Discovery
Impacting Lives newsletter for Iowa AEAs
AYSO Region 1112 begins a VIP program
Kids on the Block
Welcome, New GWAEA Staff!
Community Health Charities webinar
Thank you
Donations Needed
Recycling with Rick
GWAEA on Facebook, Twitter
CPU to welcome Dr. Paula Kluth on Oct. 11
GWAEA Webinars
TQ Professional Development dates
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
Buy, Sell or Trade


Past Issues

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





Gov. Branstad announces 2013 Iowa Teacher of the Year

Tania Johnson of Cedar Rapids receives state’s top teaching honor

Tania Johnson, a teaching veteran who has worked to make a difference for generations of students and fellow educators, is the 2013 Iowa Teacher of the Year, Gov. Terry Branstad announced on Wednesday in Cedar Rapids.


Johnson spent most of her 22-year teaching career in Cedar Rapids kindergarten classrooms before she accepted a teacher leadership position in the school district this fall. A Cedar Rapids native who was inspired by her own teachers to pursue a career in education, Johnson is best known for going above and beyond her work in the classroom and the hours in a school day.


“Today, teaching cannot be done with the door closed,” Johnson wrote in her Teacher of the Year application. “It is a team sport. Everyone must work together to accomplish the goal of learning.”


The Iowa Teacher of the Year award was established in 1958. The annual program is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Education through an appropriation from the Iowa Legislature. Honorees serve as ambassadors to education and act as liaisons to primary and secondary schools, higher education and organizations across the state. To read more about Johnson's honor, visit the Iowa Department of Education website.

Costco reception planned Sept. 20

Costco, 2900 Heartland Dr., in Coralville, will hold a special reception for Grant Wood AEA employees on Thursday, Sept. 20, from 6-8 p.m. Bakery goods to sample will be available as well as special price membership discounts. See the flyer for details.

United Way Campaign nearing halfway point on goal



Contributions so far are $9,854 -- $9124 for the United Way of East Central Iowa (UWECI) and $730 for the Johnson County United Way. All UWECI contributions submitted by Sept. 25 will be entered in the United Way’s drawing for some very nice prizes! All contributions – no matter how modest – are welcome and accepted!


The 2-1-1 call for help number was used 56,210 times last year. This service is supported by your United Way dollars and helps direct individuals to appropriate service providers (including Grant Wood AEA) in our area.


Our goal this year is $20,500. Please consider helping this worthy cause! If you’ve lost or misplaced your pledge sheet, we have extras! Contact George Held in the communications office ext 6714 if you need one.

iPad Update

The first agency app ordering period is finished. Apps are being ordered and you will be notified when they are ready. Staff who already have an agency Apple ID will get an email with their new redeem codes and staff who do not yet have an agency Apple ID will be notified when they may come in and pick up their apps and agency Apple ID.


Grant Wood AEA Transitioning to Gmail

by Stacy Behmer
Coordinator of Digital Learning Technology


We are continuing to transition staff to the Gmail web client. Sign up for one of the workshops to get transitioned over to the new email system. At the workshop you will begin using the new interface. Please visit the Gmail transition site to get signed up!

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!

NEW Autism Referral Form (for children attending a school or center-based program)

Referrals made to the agency's autism team will go through the GWAEA personnel assigned to each building.  This is a change from previous practice in which teachers would contact the autism team directly.  The form may be found  on the Autism Team webpage at Please bookmark the page for reference.




Completed forms may be emailed to Lisa Becker, regional secretary, at and she will forward to the consultant assigned to the building/district. Personnel are encouraged to contact the autism consultant assigned to their region or district if there are questions about the form or process.  


Please note that Early ACCESS referrals (and referrals for children not attending preschool) will continue to be made by calling 1-800-332-8488 x6746 (Erlene Spicer).

21st Century Learning Institute

Sign up ASAP if you are interested in attending the GWAEA Staff cohort for our 21st Century Learning Institute. This course is intended to build knowledge of the Iowa Core Curriculum technology literacy skills while creating a collaborative community of learners. Participants of this institute go on to mentor colleagues in integrating technologies in their position.


Please let Stacy Behmer, know if you have questions about the institute and see the GWAEA Professional Development site to get registered for this year’s cohort. (Course number 4356-12-03)

Google Docs/Drive

Google Docs is changing names to Google Drive because you can store more than just documents, you can treat it like a hard drive! So, if you are prompted to change it you may, just click through the prompts and you don’t really need to install the software (that is for advanced users who want to use it like Dropbox). Once you get to drive, just go to MORE-->ALL ITEMS and you will see your documents and folders/collections. There will be workshops coming on how to use Google Drive and some of the new features. If you would like to learn more here is the Overview of Drive.

PowerSchool Early Warning System 

The high school dropout problem in the United States has been called a national crisis.  About 25% of all high school students leave the public school system before graduating (Snyder & Dillow, 2011.)  To provide our schools with a data system to identify students who are at risk of dropping out, Grant Wood AEA has created an early warning system through PowerSchool

Examples of early warning indicators used in this system include information about student attendance, grades, office referrals, and performance on assessments such as DIBELS, ITBS and ITEDS. Once students have been identified as at risk for dropping out, the PowerSchool intervention system then allows teachers to set up targeted inventions and enter results of student progress. Districts and schools can also use data from this system to examine school-level patterns in the current school year and over time in order to address systemic issues that may be impeding a student’s ability to graduate. 

This new PowerSchool system (Learning Supports module) is being piloted by the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City districts this fall. Once the testing of this system has been completed, we plan to role it out to all of our PowerSchool users. More information will be shared with staff later this fall.

Road to Discovery: Transition to Adult Living, Learning and Working modules


  • Families and Caregivers of 7th - 12th graders with IEP’s

  • Students age 14 and older

  • Educators and other professionals who work with students with disabilites

Mark your calendars for these free workshops. See flyer for details.


Module #2

Road to Discovery: Transition to Adult Living, Learning, and Working

Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.


Module #3

Exploring and Preparing for Work as an Adult

Thursday, October 18, 2012, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.


Module #4

Taking the Next Step: Planning for Success in Postsecondary Education

Monday, October 29, 2012, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.


Location: Grant Wood Area Education Aency Northern Facility • 4401 Sixth St. SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Registration is required. Contact Deb Johnson at 319-399-6777 or

Impacting Lives Newsletter, September 2012


Visit to read the latest edition of "Impacting Lives." The blog newsletter is a statewide effort to communicate AEA success stories and services across the state.

This issue includes:



Iowa's AEAs recently launched AEA Digital Library, which offers streaming video content provided by the leading producers of curriculum resources.


Iowa educators and their students may access AEA Digital Library 24/7 using their school username and password for Iowa AEA Online. See the flyer for details. For information, contact Kathleen Goslinga, ext. 6582.

AYSO Region 1112 begins a VIP program

The AYSO Very Important Players (VIP) program provides a quality soccer experience for children and adults whose physical or mental disabilities prevent them from successful participation on mainstream teams. AYSO VIP players get the unique opportunity to be part of a soccer team for a full season. All VIP games will be played at the Tuma Soccer Complex (at the intersection of C Ave. extension and County Home Road, Marion/Cedar Rapids). Practice/game sessions will start at 4 p.m. The fee is $80 per player.

Please visit the website for information about the Fall 2012/Spring 2013 season:

  • Go to the eAYSO website at for complete information.

  • Follow the on screen instructions. (When asked to select a region, enter "1112.")

  • On the "Player Information" page, check the checkbox for "I'm interested in a VIP program"

  • Send an email to Craig Collins, VIP Program administrator at or call 319-899-9573 to let him know that you’ve registered a VIP Player. Please include player name and any additional information you would like to share about your player.

  • Volunteers are needed to help set-up and run the VIP program. All volunteers (buddies, coaches, referees, etc.) must register and take AYSO’s Safe Haven course. Contact Craig Collins, VIP Program administrator, for information, 319-899-9573 or


The Kids on the Block

Grant Wood AEA needs puppeteers for “The Kids on the Block”.  See article in the Sept. 7 issue of The Bulletin Board for information.


Welcome, New GWAEA Staff!


Jackie Shaw
Teacher: Off-Site Programs


Catrina Miiller
School Social Worker

M.S.W. - St. Ambrose University

Catrina has held positions with University of Iowa Hospital, Mennonite Voluntary Service and Four Oaks.


Heather Mouckka
Special Education Consultant
M.A., Education

Heather worked as a special education teacher in the CRCSD for the past 11 years.


Alissa Mullikin
Speech-Language Pathologist
M.A., Speech-Language Pathology, UNI

Alissa was a SLP at Heartland AEA from 2009-2012.


Stephanie Olson
School Social Worker

M.S.W.,, St. Ambrose University

Stephanie's positions include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Tanager Place, and University of Iowa Hospital.


Mike Porter
School Psychologist

Ed.S., University of Missouri - St. Louis
Mike's background includes positions as a YMCA camp counselor, a para for children with autism, and a school psychology practicum.


Nicole Shillington
Speech-Language Pathologist

M.A., Speech-Language Pathology, UNI


Monica Ryan-Rausch
Autism Consultant

M.S.W., University of Iowa; Autism degree from Penn State

Monica was employed at Four Oaks for 18 years and held a variety of positions at this agency.


Laura Savicki
Speech-Language Pathologist

M.A., Speech-Language Pathology, University of Iowa
This is Laura's first speech position since graduating in May 2012. She worked as a research assistant in a lab studying communication following brain injury.


Kathy Schultz
Curriculum Consultant

M.A., Science Education
Kathy's background includes 24 years of classroom teaching, the last 12 years teaching sixth-grade science at Regis Middle School.


Special Webinar Series...Sept. 18: Alzheimer’s Disease: Know the 10 Signs – Early Detection Matters”

Community Health Charities, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, is offering the following FREE webinar:


WHAT: Alzheimer’s Disease: Know the 10 Signs – Early Detection Matters”

WHEN: Monday, Sept. 18, 11:00 am to noon (CST)

WHERE: Via webinar

To learn more and to register go to:

Thank you

Thank you to Gloria Swann at the North SuperTarget who has once again donated 20 boxes of Back to School leftovers to the agency.  The donations will be divided between the Parent Education Consortium and the SPEL team for distribution to area teachers.


Priscilla Polehna

Donations needed

A parent with children moved here from another area due to domestic violence. They have found a place to rent and are in immediate need of any household items you might be willing to provide to them. Items include dishes, pots and pans, silverware, lamps, inflatable beds, kitchen table and chairs etc.

Cathy Nelson, at the front desk, has graciously agreed to accept items dropped off to her.  Please let me know if you leave items with her, so I can get them to the family right away.

Thank you for your consideration and support. 


Sidney Lutz, School Social Worker

ext. 6548.

Recycling with Rick


This week's "Recycling with Rick" includes two requests for items and housekeeping reminders regarding meeting rooms:


  • Bring in your used manilla envelopes
    (9" x 12" or 10" x 13"). Boxes are located at each mailbox area to gather the envelopes. Staff will then use them for interoffice or large group mailings.

  • Susie Green is in need of boxes (paper box size and larger) for the "Open Minds, Open Doors" conference to be held at Coe College on Oct. 16.  If anyone has extra boxes, please e-mail Susie at or call ext. 6775. Box collection is planned through Oct. 8. Thank you!

  • Please remember to return the meeting rooms to the condition that you found them when beginning your meeting so they are ready for our colleagues that are next scheduled to use the room.

  • Per the fire marshal, please unplug the electric power cord reels when not in use.

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

CPU to welcome Dr. Paula Kluth on Oct. 11

Center Point-Urbana Schools will welcome Dr. Paula Kluth ( to the district on Oct. 11 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 pm at CPU High School in Center Point (with 1 hour lunch). CPU Administration would like to extend the invitation to see Dr. Kluth at $60 per guest. If interested in this opportunity, please contact Jennifer Burkhart at by Sept. 21. See flyer for details.

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. Like us on Facebook to follow along as with the Grant Wood AEA timeline.

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 – September 2012



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

Professional Development Announcements – October 2012



Multi-Modal Communication Strategies for Children Who Have Complex Communication Needs - PODD Communication Books Introductory Workshop, Linda Burkhart


Implementation Strategies and Building Fluency with PODDs, Linda Burkhart


Brief Functional Behavioral Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plan Training, Beener


Teaching and Learning for Today’s Diverse Learning Community, Dr. Tyrone Howard

Professional Development Announcements – November 2012



Hands On Equations, making Algebra Child’s Play


Using Wraparound for Students with Behavioral/Emotional Challenges, Dr. Lucille Eber


STAR Autism Program Training, Arick and Gill


Links Curriculum Workshop, Arick and Gill

19124 -12 -01

Designing a Rigorous ELA Block, Walpole and McKenna


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

"Ongoing Silent Epidemic: Brain Trauma in Education"

On October 29, the Brain Injury Resource Team of Grant Wood Area Education Agency is hosting a class presented by the Center for Disabilities and Development as well as a representative of the Epilepsy Foundation. More and more students in our schools have had an injury due to concussion, stroke, car accident, seizure disorder, or other trauma to the brain. This class for AEA staff, LEA staff, and parents will be able to provide you with some background regarding the issues that the students and families face.


Ongoing Silent Epidemic: Brain Trauma in Education


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:
2002 Honda Odyssey.  Good battery.  $3000.00 Contact Sara Kane 319-929-3786


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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