Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board

In This issue:


Best Place to Work Survey Launches Monday
Second Floor Redesign
Reminder - Employee Background Checks for All GWAEA Staff
Legislative Luncheon at the Capitol
Introducing the IRRC
Potato Fest
Our Condolences
2014 Horizons Meals on Wheels
The GWAEA Daily
Like Us on Facebook and Twitter
TQ Professional Development dates
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
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.

Best Place to Work Survey Launches Monday

We are participating in an online survey for best places to work in Iowa, which is sponsored by The Des Moines Register. We would like to hear how you feel about working at Grant Wood Area Education Agency. Here’s how it will work:


You will receive an email with a link to an online survey within the next week.  Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and provide us with your feedback.


The survey is being conducted by WorkplaceDynamics LLP, an independent research company.  To protect your confidentiality, WorkplaceDynamics will not disclose your individual responses to agency management. The survey is broken down into only the largest agency work groups – classified, contracted, salaried, management support and management. Please be aware that managers will see any written comments you may provide on the final page of the survey.  If you wish to make a comment you may want to avoid writing anything that will identify you personally.


Please note:

  • If you do not receive the survey email within the next week, then please check your spam or junk email for a message from "Workplace Survey." To open the survey invitation, you may first need to mark the email as not spam.

  • If you accidentally delete the survey email, you will receive a reminder email a few days later that will allow you to take the survey.

  • Please do not forward the survey email to a colleague, as each email has a unique code to prevent multiple responses from a single person.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact WorkplaceDynamics directly at (800) 405-8381 or reply to your survey email. Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey.

Second Floor Redesign

The Organizational Leadership Cohort is in the process of collecting feedback for the second-floor redesign. (See the Jan. 23 issue of The Bulletin Board for details.)


Please share your thoughts using this survey question link.


 A GWAEA Design Google Community has been created for sharing of thoughts and ideas. Join the Community at the link here.


Reminder -- Employee Background Checks for All GWAEA Staff

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

a.   Fri, Feb 28, 7:30am-4:30pm, Cedar Rapids 6th St
b.   Wed, March 5, 7:30am-4:30pm, Coralville


You may refer to the January 23 Bulletin Board for more information regarding this new requirement.

Legislative Luncheon at the Capitol

Last week, 22 superintendents from the Grant Wood AEA service area went to the capitol along with our Chief Administrator Joe Crozier, to meet and talk with state senators and representatives. Many of the legislators representing constituents in our service area attended the session and some even took a moment to pose for pictures with superintendents whose districts are in their electoral districts. 














Introducing the IRRC

The Iowa Reading Research Center (IRRC) team members are thrilled to be housed at Grant Wood AEA and appreciate the hospitality we have been shown here. Grant Wood AEA is the fiscal agent for the AEA system although we operate under the auspices of the Iowa Department of Education. We wanted to take a moment to introduce ourselves and to provide you a little background on the IRRC.


Meet the IRRC team:

  • Director, Michelle Hosp, Ph.D.

  • Communications Liason, Sara McInerny, Ed.D.

  • Secretary, Therese York

  • Consultant, Tracy Donohue

The Iowa Reading Research Center (IRRC) was funded by 2012 legislation with continued appropriations in the 2013 legislative session. We are hoping to have continued funding this current legislative session. The purpose of the IRRC is to apply current research for the development of literacy practices across Iowa so every child achieves reading proficiency. 


The Iowa Reading Research Center is:


Supporting an Early Warning System through Assessments

  • FAST (Formative Assessment System for Teachers)

  • IGDIs (Individual Growth and Development Indicators)

Supporting Statewide Database

  • Iowa TIER (Tools for Innovation in Educational Results)

Working with National Experts to identify Instructional Strategies and Evidence-based Interventions


Building a collaborative network across educational leaders, practitioners, and community partners across the state of Iowa


Supporting efforts for intensive summer literacy programs


Supporting efforts for professional development to support literacy development


Stay Connected
Please help us support reading in Iowa by staying connected with the IRRC. You can like us on Facebook, follow our blog, follow us on Twitter, and check out the IRRC website.


Click for flyer

Our Condolences...

  • to Karen Michalec and family on the passing of Karen's mother, Marian (Maisie) Villhauer, on Feb. 2. Visitation will be Thursday, Feb. 6 at Oak Hill Lensing Funeral Home in Coralville from 4-7 p.m. Services will be held Friday, Feb. 7, at 10 a.m., at St. Mary's Church, 228 E Jefferson St. in Iowa City. Condolences may be directed to Karen and her family at 633 36th St. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403.

  • to Kathy and Christopher Terrington and family on the passing of their daughter, McKenna, on Jan. 27, at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., following complications from a bone marrow transplant. Services were held on Thursday, Feb. 6, at Trinity Lutheran Church. Kathy previously worked as a GWAEA vision screener.

2014 Horizons Meals On Wheels Lunchbox fundraiser at Grant Wood AEA

Revised Dates: Feb. 11 and Feb. 13, 2014


The 4th Annual Horizons Meals On Wheels Lunchbox fundraiser is planned for the week of Feb. 10-14, 2014.


We would like to offer GWAEA staff two opportunities to participate in this worthy cause. Group orders will be taken for delivery at the GWAEA Northern Facility on Tuesday, February 11, and Thursday, February 13.  The lunches may be picked up at the receptionist desk any time after 11:30 a.m.


The Lunchbox costs $10, $5 of which will feed you, while the other $5 benefits Horizons Meals On Wheels as the organization continues to help older adults and persons with disabilities meet their daily nutritional needs.


Lunchbox sandwich choices: 
1. Larry’s Favorite Roast Beef - $10 – Fresh marble rye roll stacked high with shaved roast beef and crispy coleslaw. Served with kettle chips and apple slices with caramel dip on the side.
2. Turkey Club Focaccia - $10 – Fresh herb focaccia bread layered with smoked turkey, bacon, and sun dried tomato basil mayonnaise. Served with kettle chips and apple slices with caramel dip on the side.
3. Mediterranean Salad - $10 – Mixed romaine and baby greens prepared with fresh veggies and topped with slices of fresh mozzarella and rosemary lemon vinaigrette on the side. Served with a garlic breadstick and apple slices with yogurt dip on the side.
4. Chef Mike’s “CR” Delight - $3 each – Decadent chocolate cake with rich chocolate mousse and raspberry topping. Treat yourself or share with your sweetheart!


Celebrity Cookbooks are also being sold for $15 each. They include recipes from over 100 celebrities. Order 5 or more at $10 each. If interested check with Cathy and she will put orders together to qualify for the discount.

Send your choice of sandwich etc. and payment (cash or check made payable to Horizons Lunchbox) to the attention of Cathy Nelson, Sixth Street front desk, no later than Friday, Feb. 7.


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.

New TQ dates 2013-2014

Feb. 26, 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.



Supporting Brain Functioning in the Classroom

Participants will gain an awareness of the GWAEA Brain Injury Resource Team. Content will include discussion and interactive learning that includes parts of the brain and their executive responsibilities. Additionally, participants will learn about the potential classroom impacts of brain injuries with a primary focus on classroom strategies to support individuals with brain injury and support universal learning for all students.
Number: 19212-13-02
Date/Time: 02/11/2014 8:30 AM-11:30 AM

Selecting Writing Accommodations for Struggling Students

Join us as we introduce to you the Written Productivity Profile (WPP) for use with struggling writers as a means to determine the most appropriate accommodations for written expression. The updated version of the Written Productivity Profile is to be released by this fall via the Don Johnston website. Participants may be encouraged to download this tool (for a small charge) prior to attendance. There will be opportunity for you to observe step-by-step administration of this tool. In addition, we will introduce additional free writing assessments and low cost AT supports that enable teachers to closely examine the writing process for ALL students including those with mild to significant disabilities.
Participants are asked to bring a laptop with them to the training and if possible to download the updated Written Productivity Profile from the Don Johnston website.


Number: 19201-13-04


Date/Time: 02/17/2014 8:30 AM-11:30 AM


Audience: K-12 General and Special Education Teachers, Reading Support, Social Workers, Speech Language Pathologists, Psychologists, OT/PT, Consultant



Grant Wood AEA Northern Facility
4401 Sixth Street S.W.
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

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: 19202-13-04


Date/Time:02/17/2014 12:30 PM-3:30 PM


Audience: K-12 General and Special Education Teachers, Reading Support, Social Workers, Speech Language Pathologists, Consultants



Grant Wood AEA Northern Facility
4401 Sixth Street S.W.
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Staying the Course:
Sustaining Your School Improvement Focus with
Steve Ventura

Feb. 17, 2014 • 8:30 AM-3:00 PM


Audience: PreK-12 Administrators, Special Education Teachers, Media Specialists, Counselors


South Slope Community Center
980 North Front St
North Liberty


Course Number: 19219-13-01

Fee: $60



See flyer for details


Registration Deadline: Feb. 10, 2014, 6:00 a.m.

Steve Ventura from the Leadership/Learning Center has served as a school leader at the elementary, middle and high school levels. This professional learning session will provide participants overview skills to implement the data team model which will provide school teams skills to analyze current student performance, select high leverage instructional practices, create a plan of action and monitor the plan of action.

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: 19205-13-03
Date/Time: 02/25/2014 8:30 AM-11:30 AM

The Conversation is the Relationship - Intro to Fierce Conversations

Number: 4602-13-01

02/18/2014 8:30 AM-4:00 PM
Grant Wood AEA Northern Facility
4401 Sixth Street S.W., Cedar Rapids

04/01/2014 8:30 AM-4:00 PM
Grant Wood AEA Southern Facility
200 Holiday Road, Coralville

05/05/2014 8:30 AM-4:00 PM
Grant Wood AEA Northern Facility
4401 Sixth Street S.W., Cedar Rapids


See flyer for details.

The course will provide an introduction to the concept of "fierce conversation."


Participants will begin to build a foundation of the four conversations models with "Fierce."


During the three class meetings conversation models will be shared, inside and outside classroom time will be used to develop and practice the tools:

Team Conversations - Engage teams in frictionless debates that interrogate multiple, often competing realities, resulting in the best decisions for the organization, enthusiastically implemented.


Coaching Conversations - Engage individuals in conversations that increase clarity, improve understanding and provide impetus for change - resulting in professional development, a bias for action, and accelerated results.


Delegation Conversations - Clarify responsibilities and raise accountability, ensuring that each employee has a clear path of development, action plans are implemented, goals are achieved, and leaders are free to take on more complex responsibilities that confront and resolve attitudinal, performance, or behavioral issues, while also enriching relationships.

Confrontation Conversations - Engage individuals and teams in conversations that confront and resolve attitudinal, performance or behavioral issues, while also enriching relationships.
With the focus on these four conversations, participants will be supported in their implementation through a professional learning community providing coaching and feedback.

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


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

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.

Buy, Sell or Trade

Wanted: A good home for one adult cat and two kittens. Can take one, two, or all. 319 395-9262.


For Sale: Girl Scout cookie sales begin Feb. 8th! Jane Harney’s daughter is selling cookies this year, so if you’d like to place an order - you may call, email or stop by & see Jane starting Monday, Feb 10. (x6520).


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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