Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board

In This issue:


Have You Written Your Legislator?
Education Funding 2-24-2014
Mail Processing
Reminder - Fingerprinting Required for ALL Staff by March 14, 2014
GWAEA Featured PD
Welcome, New GWAEA Staff!
Second Floor Redesign
March 1 Begins Registration for 2014 College for Kids
Thank you
Blog shares information about i3 grant participants
Our Condolences
The GWAEA Daily
Like Us on Facebook and Twitter
TQ Professional Development dates
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
Goodwill Seeks Emily Helms Award Nominations
Buy, Sell or Trade


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.

Have You Written Your Legislator?

We've seen a handful of letters to legislators. We haven't generated enough communications to make any appreciable difference in legislators' opinions about the AEA system. They need to hear from a lot more people for that to happen.


You have stories to tell. Take a few minutes to share with your legislator what you do and/or to tell them a story or two where your work has made a difference for a teacher or for a child and her family.

Please help your legislative representatives "understand" what you do. Our greatest enemy, when it comes to gaining legislative support for the AEAs, is not political parties and their positions. It's legislators' lack of knowledge about what you do and how important this work is in the lives of children, teachers and families. You make a difference in what you do. Now please make a difference in helping to change how our legislators perceive how important your work is! And, please continue to copy your letters to George Held or Valerie Taylor Hill in the Communications Office.


The Joint Education Allowable Growth Group (IASB, UEN, AEAs, SAI, ISEA) developed an action plan to address the declining education funding and the need for consistent growth in annual spending rate (as well as the need to set rate consistent with law). This weekly email is sent to all legislators and the governor. DE Director Buck highlights a pertinent fact about education pending in Iowa.

Education Funding 2-24-2014

Fact of the Week:

Education as a Percent of the State Budget: A Measure of Priority

Click to access the text.

Mail Processing

We are making some changes that affect timelines for outgoing mail for the Agency.  Effective Monday, March 3rd the deadline for outgoing US mail to be in the mailroom will be 1:30 pm.  This change will allow us to return to same-day processing of our outgoing mail.  Our pre-sort vendor closed their local Cedar Rapids office last spring and since then our mail has gone to Des Moines, but was taken to the post office the next day causing some delay in delivery.  A change in pre-sort vendors with an earlier pick-up time will allow for same-day delivery to the post office.  The last mail route for pickup of US mail will be between 1:00-1:30 p.m. and any mail brought in after that time will go out the next day.

Another change that has already taken place is earlier receipt of incoming US mail.  We are now picking up our incoming mail before 10:00 am, rather then waiting for delivery by the postal carrier at around 2:00 pm.  We hope these changes will provide better service for our staff and customers.  If you have any questions about mail processing, please contact Casie Trimble, Mail/Distribution Associate at 399-6873 or

Reminder – Fingerprinting Required for ALL Staff by March 14, 2014

Please remember to sign up for fingerprinting!  Available appointment times include:

a.           Wed, March 5, Coralville
b.           Mon, March 10, Cedar Rapids

If you are not scheduled for any of the on-site fingerprinting dates, please refer to the Feb. 13 Bulletin Board regarding other options to complete your fingerprinting. You may refer to the January 23 Bulletin Board for more information regarding this new requirement.

GWAEA Featured PD

A new link has been added to the agency's homepage sharing upcoming professional development opportunities, including links to PDF flyers and registration information.


The link can be found in the left column of the homepage under GWAEA News.


Welcome, New GWAEA Staff


Patty Powers
SEMS Technician
Cedar Rapids

M.A. in Education

Patty has experiences as a first-grade teacher at Alburnett and Grant Wood Elementary in Cedar Rapids, an assistant accountant, an adjunct professor, and a legal assistant.

Second Floor Redesign

The Organizational Leadership Cohort continues to gathering feedback for the second-floor redesign of the Sixth St. facility.


 Join the conversation as part of the GWAEA Design Google Community.


The remaining open forum (approximately 30 minutes) is planned on

Monday, March 3, 2014, 10 a.m., Autumn Room. Members of the Organizational Leadership Cohort will be available afterwards for questions.



Have you visited the Gallery Wall, second floor near the elevator? Please take a moment to visit and share your thoughts.


Additional information on the second floor redesign will appear in upcoming issues of The Bulletin Board.



Registration begins March 1 -

2014 Grant Wood AEA College for Kids


Programs, Dates & Locations:          





June 16-27

College for Kids - Session A

8:30 – 11:50 a.m.

Coe College

July 7-18

College for Kids – Session B

8:30 – 11:50 a.m.

Coe College


Grant Wood AEA's College for Kids is a summer program offering advanced level academic and fine arts courses in the college setting to eligible talented and gifted students who have completed 6th, 7th or 8th grade. Through the College for Kids experience, students are offered advanced or specialized curricula, and have the opportunity to further explore a hobby or a topic of interest not typically available in middle school general education.


Student nomination information was sent to schools during February.


The following area educators are involved as 2014 Grant Wood AEA College for Kids instructors:




Alburnett CSD

John Secl

Cedar Rapids CSD

Andrew Boone
Brian Reynolds
Dave Stolley
Chris Nelson
Diana Ross
Jennifer Fishwild
Lyn A’Hearn

Central City CSD

Sarah Ritchie

Clear Creek Amana CSD

Kim Meller

College CSD

Amy Jabens
Erin Hoffman
Kristine Sorensen
Lori Danker

Forest City CSD

Katrina Martin

Linn-Mar CSD

Allison Borchers
Charlotte McDermott
Dan Niemitalo
Kyle Becker
Kyle Hoffman
Steve Meeker

Lisbon CSD

Marilyn Pleasant

Marion ISD

Barb Shultz

Mount Vernon CSD

Richard Scearce


Jim Efting



Thank you

We would like to thank the donors of Grant Wood AEA for the blood drive recently held with Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center. Your group provided 16 donations for local hospitals served by MVRBC. Because each whole blood donation can be processed into multiple blood components, your blood drive provided at least 64 products for patients in need.




Amanda Hess

Director, Donor Relations

Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center

Blog shares information about i3 grant participants

The U.S. Department of Education has just published a blog post about our i3 partnership. 

i3 Validation Grant Fosters Continuous Learning in Education Organization Going to Scale
by Cindy Brunswick and Eric Hirsch

Read the blog post at:


Our Condolences...

  • to Johanna VanderZee and family on the passing of her mother,
    Catherine Elizabeth Miller, on Feb.14 in Minneapolis MN.


Link to the GWAEA Daily -

Looking to expand your PLN (Personal Learning Network), but don’t know where to start or who to follow. We have put together a site to get you started! This site is published daily pulling resources from Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other social media. You can select the subscribe button and have it emailed to you. Readers can also easily select a story, video, photo or link and share it with others! All you need is an email address to subscribe to this electronic newspaper!


Resources can be added to our paper, so if YOU are writing blog posts, adding to a Youtube channel or sending Tweets let us know! If there is another organization or professional to include in the paper fill out the Contributor’s Form. This is something that we will be sharing with LEAs as well.  Happy reading!

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.

TQ dates, 2013-2014

May 28, 2014
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. 



iPad Professional Development

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



PAR-ty: Selecting Reading Accommodations for Struggling Students

Big news! There is a tool available that has been making a big difference in identifying the best reading accommodations for struggling readers. This new tool is called PAR (Protocol for Accommodations in Reading) and it is a free download from Don Johnston, Inc. Whether you've never heard of it - or have already downloaded it - this workshop is to help us all get started using this tool the right way. And what better way than with a party? Or rather, a PAR-ty! Come join us to learn more about the tool and get your materials together, along with a chance to practice PAR on a fellow colleague or two.
Participants are asked to bring a laptop with them to the training and to download the PAR guide and to print resource guide prior to workshop.
Number: 19202-13-05

Date/Time: 03/05/2014, 8:30-11:30 am

Looking for Learning in the Digital Classroom

Presenter: Jeff Utecht

Just because the laptops are open does that mean learning is occurring? We need to move beyond doing old activities in new ways to doing whole new activities that lead to deeper more meaningful learning.


This session will help educators learn what to look for in the digital classroom. Using new theories and new standards, you will walk away with a greater understanding of how digital tools change the learning landscape and allow for authentic learning experiences.


See flyer for details.

Search is the skill of our era, a life skill that once mastered opens up all sorts of opportunities. Do we teach search in you classrooms and schools? This session will also focus on the skills and strategies of search. Participants will walk away with plans, ideas and classroom routines they can start using tomorrow in their classroom to teach students the skill needed most in today's connected world.



Number: 19232-13-01

3/5/2014 1:00 PM-3:30 PM

AEA PD Online

Is your district taking full advantage of the services provided by AEA PD Online? GWAEA is providing a hands-on workshop to learn all the administrative features available to you for no cost. In this session, you will learn how to manage the online training system (including pulling up records of completion, assigning trainings to employees, even uploading your own trainings), the K-12 Moodle server (including how teachers can request course shells and access the free e-curriculum), and the different online course offerings your district can run (including site-based, seminars, and self-paced courses).
Number: 19250-13-01
Date/Time: 03/11/2014 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

Using Assessment Data to Plan Developmentally Appropriate Interventions and Specially Designed Instruction for Young Children

This training is intended for AEA and LEA staff who work with programs for children birth to 5 years old. Information will be provided on assessment and how to use data to determine appropriate interventions. Demonstration of how to create specially designed instruction opportunities that can be embedded into existing routines and activities will be provided.
Number: 19248-13-01

Date/Time: 03/13/2014 9:00 AM-4:00 PM

Location: Coralville Public Library, 1401 5th Street, Coralville



See flyer for details.

Sink or Swim: How to Modify High School Curriculum for Learners with Special Needs

This workshop will provide participants a process which will enable them to modify any course content so that students who are included in the general education classroom will be able to understand, know and be able to do the basic requirements for the course.
Number: 19217-13-01



See flyer for details.

Date/Time: 03/13/2014 9:00 AM-3:30 PM

Location: Grant Wood AEA Northern Facility

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: 19236-13-02



See flyer for details.

Date/Time: 04/10/2014 8:30 AM-11:30 AM

Location: Grant Wood AEA Northern Facility


Comprehensive Implementation Training

April 14-15, 2014

8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Check & Connect is a model of sustained intervention for promoting students’ engagement at school and with learning.


See flyer for details.


Register Online. Special needs should be indicated on registration information. Fees: $575. Register by April 6, 2014

Building Bridges: Eastern Iowa Assistive Technology Conference

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Location: Iowa Memorial Union
University of Iowa

Keynote Speaker: Ruth Ziolkowski

President, Don Johnston Incorporated


The “Building Bridges: Eastern Iowa Assistive Technology Conference” is in its third year and will provide an opportunity to see firsthand the latest in assistive technologies (AT), practices and services for children (birth-21) with disabilities. This AT conference will serve as a unique opportunity for professionals, parents, administrators and service providers to exchange and gather information on the current status and assistive technology tools available for consideration.


See flyer for details.

The sessions presented at the “Building Bridges: Eastern Iowa Assistive Technology Conference” are divided into six main tracks, which include:

• Accessibility

• Augmentative and Alternative Communication

• Mobile Devices & Special Education

• District Policy to Practice

• Accessibly Instructional Materials/Universal Design for Learning

• Core Curriculum & Assistive Technology


Participants are encouraged to attend a single track or a wide variety of tracks depending on your conference objectives. Lunch and parking are included with your registration.


Audience: Special Education Teachers, General Education Teachers, AEA Support Staff, Curriculum Directors, Administrators, Parents


Workshop Number: 19018-13-01

Registration Deadline: 04/08/2014

Workshop Fees: $50


The Measures That Matter Most (A)

Presenter Brandon Busteed will share research findings of how schools are increasing student engagement, hope and well-being and why these measures are more important than tests and grades.


This event is open to all educators and members of the public interested in improving education in Iowa.


See flyer for details.


Number: 19221-13-03
5/7/2014 1:00 PM-3:30 PM

Number: 19221-13-04

5/7/2014 6:00 PM-8:00 PM

iPad U: Slide to Unlock Learning

July 9-11, 2014, 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

The goals of iPadU are to provide educators with support and training in the implementation of iPad use in the classroom to begin utilizing the device for teaching and learning.


iPadU is a three-day conference that will offer sessions and a keynote featuring Matt Gomez. Participants will customize their iPad learning and plan or expand how it can be used in an educational setting to enhance teaching and learning.


Join us for a variety of workshops and sessions that will guarantee exciting, hands-on learning experiences that you can use to integrate technology instruction in K-12 classrooms. Lunch will be provided for all participants.


See flyer for details.

Course #: 4628-14-01

Registration Deadline: July 1, 2014 at 6 a.m.



Total for non-credit $100

Total for Renewal $125

Total for Drake credit $200

Registration is not complete until all fees are paid in full. Credit: R, D-EDEX - 1 Sem. Hrs.

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.

Goodwill seeks Emily Helms award nominations

Goodwill of the Heartland is accepting nominations for the annual Emily Helms award through March 7.


The award, given in memory of Emily Helms, is presented to an individual who has a physical, mental, emotional or developmental disability. Individuals 14 years or older with a disability and residing in Goodwill's 19-county service area, are eligible for nomination. For service area map, visit


The purpose of the award is to recognize an individual who has demonstrated outstanding strength of character in coping with or overcoming a significant disability. It recognizes the traits of courage, perseverance, industry, humor, imagination and/or leadership-traits that Ms. Helms demonstrated during her brief life.


To nominate, visit or call (866) 466-7881.    

Buy, Sell or Trade

Wanted: Baby items such as high chair, walker, etc. I am babysitting my 6-month old granddaughter in the evening, and don’t want to buy these new, but will pay a reasonable price for good used items. Nancy/VITAL Program - 319-361-5541.


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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