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Bulletin Board


Grant Wood AEA Innovation Day

May 13, 2014


In this issue:

Hoffman named to Assessment Task Force
Join a Moai
Halloween Blood Drive
Flu Shots Cancelled
Transition IEP Guidance Document
Now Showing: 'Bully'
Book Club at Grant Wood AEA
Volunteers Wanted
Thank you
Autism 2014
Google and the iPad
Google+ Tips and Tricks
Update on Agency iPad Apps
Keeping Your iPad Clean
Download the GWAEA App
Like Us on Facebook and Twitter
TQ Professional Development dates
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities


Agency Advisory Minutes

Grant Wood AEA Staff Openings

The GWAEA Board Book

The GWAEA Board Minutes


Past Issues







Grant Wood AEA


To ensure success for all learners.

Grant Wood AEA Goals:

1. Increase the academic performance of all learners.

2. Increase the percentage of students who perform at the proficient level.

3. Increase student acquisition and application of 21st century skills and knowledge.

Hoffman named to Assessment Task Force

Tina Hoffman, GWAEA regional administrator, has been named to the state's new Assessment Task Force.


On Oct. 23, Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck announced the 18 Iowans who will serve on a task force that will study the state’s assessment needs and will recommend a new state test for public and accredited nonpublic schools. Catherine Blando, a former GWAEA Education Consultant/School Improvement Consultant, was also named as a task force member.


The Assessment Task Force was established as part of House File 215, the landmark education reform bill adopted by Iowa lawmakers. Recommendations are expected by January 1, 2015.


The Assessment Task Force represents a cross-section of education stakeholders, including teachers, school administrators, representatives of state and regional agencies and associations, and parents and business leaders.
The task force will meet for the first time on Tuesday, Oct. 29. The meeting will be held from
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Room B100 of the Grimes State Office Building in Des Moines. Meetings are open to the public.


For more information on state commissions and task forces established as part of 2013 legislation, visit the Iowa Department of Education’s website.

Join a Moai

(from the Cedar Rapids Blue Zones organization)


The notion of moai, which roughly means “meeting for a common purpose,” originated as a means of social, emotional, and financial support in the Blue Zones area of Okinawa, Japan. Moais provide social networks where members experience the stress-shedding security of knowing that there is always someone there for them.


Tonight, Oct. 24, you have an opportunity to join a maoi at our Walking Moai Kickoff! From 5-6:30pm we will be hosting a Walking Moai Kickoff at Meet Me at the Market. So come down to the market to hear the Mayor speak, meet new friends, move naturally, and enter to win prizes. You can even go for a walk with the Mayor!


Or if you like to cook and want to meet new friends we will be hosting a Potluck Moai Kickoff at First Avenue Hy-Vee, Saturday, Oct 26 from 9-11am!

Grant Wood AEA Halloween Blood Drive


Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013

1:30-5:00 PM
Revere/Stone Room

Grant Wood AEA Sixth St. facility


Help keep our blood supply strong. 100% of the blood products used by hospitals in Cedar Rapids come from blood drives like this one.


Sign up by calling:
Cathy Nelson

ext. 6544


Click this link to sign up online.


Last date to donate elsewhere: 09/05/2013



Flu Shots cancelled

Due to the low number of registrations, the clinics have been cancelled.

The GWAEA Transition IEP Guidance document updated

The GWAEA Transition IEP Guidance document has been updated and is now posted on the Transition website. For questions, please contact contact Megan Burke-Brunscheen or Su Groff-VanArendonk.

Now Showing: 'Bully'

If you've not seen the movie documentary "Bully", here's a chance for you to view it. It will "air" Monday evening, Oct 28, at the Sixth Street office, Grant Wood Room, 4:30 p.m.

Book Club at Grant Wood AEA

Interested in joining a book club? Want to socialize and learn more about your colleagues and share in the joy of great literature? Come join Deanna Weber for great reading and conversation. Please complete the form provided if interested in participating in Book Club.


Book Club Form


Volunteer Oct. 26 and receive ticket to Univ. of Iowa vs. Northwestern

The Iowa Farm Bureau, the sponsor of this weekend's game against Northwestern, is asking Hawkeye fans to consider bringing non-perishable food items to the game. The food will go to the Iowa Foodbank Association and the Johnson County Crisis Center.


We are in need of volunteers to help collect the food. We will need 30 volunteers, Saturday, Oct. 26, in two shifts from 6am to 9am and from 9am to 11:30 am. Volunteers should meet at the Krause Family Plaza on the south end. Anyone who volunteers will receive a ticket to the game. This is a great opportunity to support the Hawks, battle food insecurity, and Live United! Click on this link to volunteer.

Thank you

Anne Steffensmeier, SLP - Central Region, and Elizabeth Steffensmeier, Secretary - Off-Site Region, would like to thank everyone for their kind words and support during the illness and death of Anne's father/Elizabeth's grandfather.

St. Luke’s Witwer Children’s Therapy Presents: Autism 2014

April 3-4, 2014

DoubleTree by Hilton, Cedar Rapids



Day 1: Kelly Dorfman, MS LND, author of “Cure Your Child with Food” will discuss “Using Nutrition to Improve the Biochemistry of Development, Learning and Mood.”

Day 2: Cris Rowan, OT, will present “Attachment and Addictions: How Virtual Parenting is Destroying our Children” and “Technology Balance: Connection to Technology is Disconnecting Child Development.”




See flyer for information.

Google and the iPad: The Best of Both Worlds

This workshop will help you discover how to best utilize Google Apps and your iPad to manage your information and workflow. Learn how to transfer information in document, picture, or video form from your iPad for storage and easy access in your Google Drive and Youtube. Register today for this half-day workshop from 8:30-11:30 on December 3rd, Course Number 6922-13-01 or 1:00-4:00 on January 27th, Course Number 6922-13-02, in the SCALE-UP Classroom.

Google+ Tips and Tricks

Hangouts are one on the great features built into Google+.  Hangouts will allow you to video conference with your GWAEA colleagues and contacts at your LEA’s remotely.  Watch this quick how-to video on Google Hangouts.



If you are having trouble with your audio in Hangouts, please see IT.  This is a quick settings fix.

Update on Agency iPad Apps

Be checking your email for your agency iPad App order. Remember you must login with your agency Apple ID and redeem the apps with that account. Thank you for your patience as we get codes to individuals. There is no way to do it in bulk, so it takes some time. If you have questions about installing apps please contact a technology consultant.

Keeping Your iPad Pretty and Clean


As we go deeper into flu season, it is important to remember to clean your iPad, especially if you share your iPad with kids. Here are some tips for keeping your iPad clean and in tip-top shape.


1.  Turn off your iPad


2.  Use a microfiber cloth to clean the screen.  Apply gentle pressure if needed. Be sure to wash your cleaning cloth on a regular basis. *  If you have a really tough spot, you can wet the cleaning cloth with a little water but be careful not to overdo it.



Window or household cleaners

Aerosol sprays






4.  Remove your iPad from the case and clean where the screen joins the back of the iPad and inside of the case itself.


Download the GWAEA app

Grant Wood AEA is introducing a new iPad/iPhone/Smart Phone app. The app features links to the following:


About Us

Information for Educators

Media Center

Professional Development

Special Education


This app is free, and available from the iTunes Store or the Google Play Store by searching for Grant Wood AEA or GWAEA.

For more information, contact Stacy Behmer, GWAEA Coordinator of Digital Learning Technology,

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.

New TQ dates 2013-2014

Nov. 13, Feb. 26, May 28
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 2013-2014 is now on the Professional Development Google Site.  To access the Google site, log into your Google account, click on Sites, and browse sites. 

Mandatory Reporter, Bloodborne Pathogens and/or Chapter 103: Seclusion and Restraint training

Reminder notices are being sent. Please submit certificates of completion to Tammy Carolan in the Professional Development Office.



iPad Professional Development

There are a series of Google and iPad workshops being offered. See the GWAEA Professional Development site to register.



Crisis Prevention Intervention Certification

Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) is a behavior management training program designed to provide safe and secure behavioral intervention. It is a respectful, noninvasive method to use in defusing escalating behavior and safely manage physically aggressive behavior. This approach emphasizes prevention and teaches educators how to de-escalate potentially disruptive or violent situations. Participants also learn how to design school-wide behavior crisis management systems and to create behavior crisis intervention teams. Participants who complete CPI training are certified for one year by the International CPI Association.
Please bring a sack lunch as it is a working lunch.
Number: 9303-13-06
11/01/2013 8:00 AM-5:00 PM

Assistive Technology Consideration and IEP Team AT Resources

This workshop will discuss the requirements for assistive technology consideration during the IEP process and how to include that information on the new Iowa IEP forms. The content of this workshop will also provide tips and methods for carrying out successful AT consideration in an IEP meeting. A form used by many AEAs and highlighted on the Iowa Department of Education website will be highlighted and discussed. Assistive Technology resources and related forms for documentation will also be highlighted. These AT tools and resources are available on the GWAEA AT Website for district IEP teams to utilize as they seek to meet the needs of students with disabilities. Participants are encouraged to bring their own technology device (BYOD) to this workshop in order to access and bookmark web-based resources that are discussed in this workshop.
Number: 19205-13-01
Date/Time: 11/11/2013 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Grant Wood AEA Northern Facility
4401 6th Street S.W.
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

The Zones of Regulation

The Zones of Regulation is a framework and curriculum designed to foster skills in self-regulation, including emotional control, sensory regulation, and executive functions. It is a systematic, cognitive behavior approach that uses four colors to help students visually and verbally self-identify how they are functioning in the moment given their emotions and state of alertness. The model incorporates Social Thinking concepts to help students use perspective taking, to identify how they are thinking and feeling, and understand how their thoughts and behavior impact those around them. Through using the curriculum, individuals become more self-aware and learn tools they can use to regulate to a more expected state.

Books and materials will be available for purchase onsite. Book cost $42, posters $5.

Waiting List

Number: 19222-13-01
Date/Time: 11/05/2013 8:30 AM-3:30 PM

Developing Readers in Disciplinary Literacy

Secondary educators teach in a variety of disciplines, but all are responsible for literacy within their subject areas. The national CCSS standards for Literacy represent a historic shift, requiring that all teachers -- science, technical education, social studies, music, family and consumer education, mathematics, literature, art, world languages, and others -- address reading, writing, language, and speaking/listening standards through disciplinary instruction. Disciplinary Literacy can be understood as the merging of content knowledge, experiences, and skills with the ability to read, write, listen, speak, think critically and perform in a way that is meaningful within the context of disciplinary learning.

During this course, participants will examine literacy practices that boost comprehension as well as mentor students as readers of complex texts as they strive to meet the literacy challenges within the different academic disciplines they study.

Number: 4665-13-01

11/07/2013 8:30 AM-3:30 PM Grant Wood AEA Northern Facility
4401 6th Street S.W.
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404


12/16/2013 8:30 AM-3:30 PM Grant Wood AEA Northern Facility
4401 6th Street S.W.
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404


02/27/2014 8:30 AM-3:30 PM AEA 10 Location
4401 6th St SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404


04/04/2014 8:30 AM-3:30 PM Grant Wood AEA Northern Facility
4401 6th Street S.W.
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Creating Inclusive Environments in Culturally Diverse Classrooms

Diversity in inclusive environments enhances learning. This workshop will provide educators with the basic skills and tools necessary to create inclusive classrooms in this diverse world. Oftentimes we forget that diversity and inclusivity goes hand in hand. By providing an inclusive learning environment teachers will enable their students to excel.
Number: 19236-13-01
Date/Time: 11/15/2013 8:00 AM-1:00 PM
Grant Wood AEA Northern Facility
4401 6th Street S.W.
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Section 504 Plans

Participants will learn about the purpose of Section 504, eligibility requirements, due process requirements, and the process to follow to develop a quality 504 Plan for eligible students.
Number: 9185-13-01
Date/Time: 11/11/2013 8:30 AM-11:30 AM

Curriculum Based Evaluation for Reading and Written Language

This course is recommended for AEA staff and reading support staff. The Decoding, Comprehension, and Written Language Curriculum Based Evaluation (CBE) tools have been designed to gather more in-depth diagnostic information about literacy performance. The information can help teams develop interventions, monitor student progress, and make decisions about identifying and focusing resources and support services. The is a $50 materials fee for non Grant Wood AEA staff.
Number: 4507-13-01
Date/Time: 11/18/2013 8:30 AM-4:00 PM
11/19/2013 8:30 AM-4:00 PM
02/28/2014 8:30 AM-10:30 AM

GWAEA Professional Development Opportunity

Special Education and Iowa Core Mathematics

Dec. 9, 2013 • 8:30 AM-3:30 PM


Registration Deadline: Dec. 4, 2014,
6:00 a.m.


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.


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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