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Bulletin Board


Grant Wood AEA Innovation Day

May 13, 2014



In this issue:

Wrapping up the United Way Campaign
Integrated Data Management System Will Replace IMS Data System
Agency Closings - Winter Storm Advisories
The Linker, Oct. 2013
Iowa Dept. of Education's Each and Every Child Newsletter
Our Condolences...
Google iPad
AEAsOn Air
Download the GWAEA App
Holiday Shop at Mall of America
Recycle Cell Phones, Glasses
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.

Wrapping up the United Way Campaign

Have you given further thought to giving to the United Way? Even modest pledges, when given by lots of people, can make a difference!


Currently, the giving to this year’s campaign is significantly below what it has been in previous years. Please see the graph below:




If you want to give, but haven’t filled out a pledge form yet, you can find the form at: Or call the Communications office for a form. We’ll get one to you ASAP! If you just want to write a check or charge a payment to your credit card as a way to support the United Way, we will happily accept that, too!


We would like to have all pledges submitted to the Communications Office by Friday, Nov 8.

Integrated Data Management System Will Replace IMS Data System

Collaborating for Iowa's Kids will proceed with the development of the Iowa TIER integrated data system.  This data system will be expanded to include the IEP/IFSP and IMS data system.  This integrated data management system will assist all Iowa educators to increase instructional effectiveness.


The main criteria used in making the decision to move forward with Iowa TIER as opposed to maintaining our current Iowa IDEA system was:  special education data needed to be fully integrated into the new Iowa TIER system in order to provide one data system for the state where all data could be stored and accessed.

Three committees have been initiated involving AEA, DE, and LEA staff to support the development of the system:  

  • IEP/IFSP Practitioner Task Team will define the requirements for an updated IEP and IFSP, recommend how to integrate these requirements into a new data system, and help test and provide feedback as the data system is programmed.

  • Data System Group will translate the needs of the practitioner group into the technology, define state and federal reporting, and help test and provide feedback as the data system is programmed.

  • The Oversight Group will make recommendations on policy issues and will follow the work of the other two work groups.

It is currently unclear when the new special education data system will be ready to launch.  We encourage all users of the current Iowa IDEA system to continue using that system until further notice.  Periodic updates will be provided as necessary.  


If you would like further information, please contact Janell Brandhorst at the DE (, Maria Cashman at Grant Wood AEA (, or your AEA Special Education Director.

Agency Closings - Winter Storm Advisories

When severe winter weather comes, staff is urged to make the decision whether or not to go to their assigned work site or leave work early, using the following criteria:

  • Is/are my school(s) closed?

  • Is there work I could be doing at my agency center?

  • Is it endangering my safety for me to travel?

Here is how the agency will respond to winter storm conditions. As a general rule, if a school remains open during a winter storm, the Agency will likely remain open.  If most of the schools are closed, it’s possible one or more of the agency centers may also close.



Most of the agency staff have the flexibility to make adjustments to their calendars to respond to bad weather situations.


Staff who work in the schools should pay close attention to morning school announcements for any announced closures or late starts. In the instances where the schools have closed for the day, staff serving those schools need to consider the circumstances. In some cases, the schools ask staff to report to the buildings. If this is productive time for you to be in the building so that you can meet with staff, you are encouraged to go in – as long as you feel the driving conditions are safe for you to travel.


If staff are not asked to report or the road conditions are not passable for you, consider making a calendar change and take a non-work day. When a school or Agency Center closes, staff members may see a need to work from home for all or part of a work day, in which case the staff member is to provide advance notice of this schedule change to their supervisor and receive prior approval of the intent to work from home.  This communication best serves all involved and provides clear understanding regarding staff schedules and time worked.  (As a general rule, hourly staff are not authorized to work from home.) Staff need to be the judge of what is safe or not safe driving conditions in your area. 


In the event an Agency Center closes, a voice mail message will be sent to all staff via the SchoolReach system. We will also do an all agency voice mail system message. If the decision is made to close one or more of the Agency Centers, the communications office will also contact the news media (KHAK, WMT, KGAN-TV and KCRG-TV) and place information on the agency Web site. Through the all-call voice message, staff will be informed regarding (a) which centers are affected, (b) when the center(s) will close, (c) when the agency anticipates reopening the center(s), and (d) when the next employee update will be available.


Employees scheduled to work during the time an agency center has been closed will be required to make up the work time missed while the Agency Center was closed. The primary options for making up the work time include: calendar change, emergency leave, personal leave or leave without pay (please see your Master Contract or terms and conditions of employment for additional options that may be available). Employee calendar and leave requests are subject to supervisor approval, so please work with your supervisor to determine the option that is appropriate for your situation.  In the event an employee performs assigned or approved work during a closing, the amount of time spent performing such services will be recognized and considered as work time.


When a staff member is not scheduled to work during an Agency closing because the closing occurred on a non-work day or other leave was scheduled to be used at the time of the closing (such as personal, illness/disability, vacation, etc.), these schedules are not affected by the Agency closing and are reported as usual.


As always, be smart, pack appropriate emergency supplies in your car, and plan ahead for bad weather.  If you have any questions about how you should respond to a weather delay or cancellation, talk to your supervisor before the weather turns bad to confirm how you should plan to act in such an emergency.

Grant Wood AEA's The Linker, October 2013

Grant Wood AEA's The Linker has transitioned to become an online publication.


In the October 2013 issue:

- Collaborating for Iowa's Kids

- Download the GWAEA App

- Professional Development courses

- Online Resources

- New in the Professional Library


The PDF features interactive links to professional development offerings, sites and videos.


Distribution is by email link to a PDF. A minimal number of printed copies will be sent to school buildings on request.


For information, contact Valerie Taylor Hill in the GWAEA Communications Office, 319-399-6824 or 800-332-8488.



The Linker, is available for viewing and download along with archival copies.

Iowa Department of Education's Oct./Nov. issue of Each and Every Child

The Iowa Department of Education’s e-newsletter,

Each and Every Child, is aimed at the special education community, and is distributed to over 12,000 Iowans.


In the Oct./Nov. 2013 issue, learn about Ankeny Northeast Elementary and the school's high achievement among students on IEPs.

Each and Every Child is available on the Iowa Department of Education website. Email address changes may be sent to


Our Condolences...

  • to the family, friends and AEA colleagues of Richard Hansen, 86, of West Union, who passed away on Oct. 28. Mr. Hansen was the original administrator at Keystone AEA, retiring in 1989. An obituary is available in The Gazette.

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.

AEAs On Air

Iowa's AEA technology integration consultants will be teaming up to provide a series of mini-webinars this year. These short sessions will run at various times throughout the day and will cover the topics around themes listed below. These Hangouts on Air will only be 10-20 minutes and run throughout the day. Visit the website to check out the hangout schedule! The hangouts will be recorded and posted on the page with resources, so if you can't attend live you can always go back and watch later. Mark your calendars the first one is Nov. 7 with an English Language Arts theme.


Follow the hashtag #aeatech


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,

Here is an overview of the Agency App and what is there. Turn your notifications on, so you will be notified with important events and reminders.

Holiday Shop at Mall of America


A few seats remain for a bus trip sponsored by Preceptor Delta Kappa
Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. $55.00 per person - transportation by Cedar Valley World Travel only – meals on your own. Times/locations for pick up will be emailed and/or mailed prior to the excursion. Contact Michelle at 319-431-5647 to reserve your seat.


Recycle Used Phones and Eye Glasses


The social concerns committee at St. Patrick’s Church in Cedar Rapids is collecting used cell phones and eyeglasses. The phones will go to the domestic violence shelter and the eyeglasses to the Lions Club. If you have items you’d care to donate, please bring or send them to Mary Van Voltenburg in the agency/s Media Center. 

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.



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.

Registration available through 6 am on 11/4

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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