Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board

In This issue:


Note for Contracted Staff
Organizational Leadership Program Applications due
March 21
Education Funding
At the Capitol
Articles posted to DE Website
Second Floor Redesign
IPERS Retirement Sessions
Thank You
iPad App Orders
Google Docs and Sheets
The GWAEA Daily
The Awesome Autism Awareness Art Project Art Show
Volunteer Opportunity
Competency-Based Education Conference
Like Us on Facebook and Twitter
TQ Professional Development dates
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
Trip to Europe
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.

Note for Contracted Staff!

Employment contracts for the 2014-15 work year are scheduled to be issued and mailed to employee home addresses on Monday, March 17.  Annual salary increases for Contracted Staff range from approximately 2-5%, depending on one’s placement on the salary schedule.  The 2014-15 salary schedules for Base Salary and Combined Salary (includes TSS) are available for reference.


**Important Note:  For Contracted Staff, the 2014-15 contract year consists of 27 pays rather than the usual 26.  Due to the extra pay period, the gross pay on each bi-weekly paycheck for 2014-15 may appear comparable to or less than the gross pay on the current bi-weekly paychecks for 2013-14.


To see the total increase in annual contract salary for 2014-15, Contracted Staff may logon to the Employee Self-Service (ESS) System upon receipt of their contract materials, select Job History under the “my information” section and compare the total pay column for the current 2013-14 contract year with the total salary amount on the 2014-15 contract worksheet.


If staff have questions regarding their employment contract, please feel free to contact
(x6703) or Jackie (x6731) in the Human Resources Office.

Organizational Leadership Program applications due March 21

Applications are now being accepted for Grant Wood AEA staff who have completed a minimum of two years service at Grant Wood AEA and are interested in applying for the 2014-2015 Organizational Leadership program.  

The purpose of the Organizational Leadership Program is to cultivate participants for roles and positions of leadership. This two year program exists to:

  • Develop an understanding of personal leadership styles and skills

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of organizational level issues, contexts and dilemmas

  • Build a foundation of systems theory and change management methodology

  • Participate in networking opportunities to debrief and observe leaders as they tackle real problems and issues

Grant Wood AEA employees desiring to apply for this program must send the application and other required documents to Lisa Wilson by March 21, 2014. Applications for the Organizational Leadership Program can be found on the Organizational Leadership Google site at this address:

If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Lisa Wilson at


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 pending legislation that affects education in Iowa.

Education Funding March 10, 2014

Fact of the Week:

Ending Balances and Revenues

Click to access the text.

At the Capitol

During an SAI legislative breakfast this week, Joe Crozier visited with nine legislators. Photos below represent his conversations with Sen. Liz Mathis, Rep. Art Staed and Sen. Bob Dvorsky about education funding and other issues affecting the AEA system. Please write your legislators today!



Articles posted to the
Iowa Department of Education's website:

"Iowa’s high school graduation rate increases for class of 2013"


"Educators like what they see in early literacy efforts"



Second Floor Redesign

The Organizational Leadership Cohort has been gathering feedback for the second-floor redesign. Please see the following for the feedback gathered thus far:

Design Dreams Second Floor


The decision criteria, a link to design specs, patterns that emerged from design specs, and a first iteration will be shared when completed.


Once a preliminary design from the data is completed, the design will return to the gallery wall for the next round of input.


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


Get detailed information about your retirement account. Learn about possible retirement dates, benefit option payouts, and service purchase options.  These retirement planning sessions are an excellent resource if you are thinking about retirement within the next 5 years. See flyer for details.



Residence Inn – Marriott
2681 James St
Coralville IA

Individual Appointments: July 7, 8, 9 and 10, 2014


Pre-registration is needed to attend an individual appointment. To schedule an individual appointment, contact IPERS at 1-800-622-3849.  Appointment times will fill quickly; please do not delay in calling to set up an appointment.

Thank you

I would like to extend my gratitude for all the kind acts and caring words received as condolences for the loss of my mother, Catherine Miller. You have all given me strength and peace of spirit.

Johanna VanderZee


Grant Wood AEA Family,

I want to express my deepest thank you to everyone who sent get well cards, provided meals, gift cards or stopped by for a visit after my accident/surgery/recovery. I don't have the words to express just how much it has all meant to me and my family. Thank you to administration and support staff for all of your support and coverage during my absence. A very special thank you to so many co-workers for being so kind in being my legs and assisting me around the building as I continue to work toward walking. 


My deepest thanks to you all!
Dawn Hrabak


iPad App Orders

We will be doing one more Agency App order this year. If you would like to make a recommendation for an app to be included on that order form please submit the form to do so. We will be opening up the order form in April and in order to receive the ordered apps you will need to get your device registered on our Meraki system. We have been transitioning to this system with the new devices and it will make it easier for us to push apps to devices remotely (no more typing in codes woo hoo!). Keep watching the bulletin board for more information coming!

Some Improvements to Google Docs and Sheets

Check out the Add-Ons that are now available to help do mail merges, add table of contents, highlight and all sorts of other things that are coming! Check out the blog post to learn more or watch the quick overview video.



Link to the GWAEA Daily -

If there is another organization or professional to include in the paper, fill out the Contributor’s Form. This is something that we are sharing with LEAs as well.  Happy reading!

The Awesome Autism Awareness Art Project ART SHOW

Saturday, April 26, 2014

10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Arc of Southeast Iowa Offices

2620 Muscatine Avenue, Iowa City


If you or your child would like to submit artwork to the show, please email your interest to or drop off the artwork at the Arc Offices, 2620 Muscatine Ave., Iowa City, Attn: Chelsey Markle (319-351-5017) by April 10, 2014.  A release form will be provided to to participate in the show. See flyer for details.

Volunteer Opportunity


The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, has multiple volunteer opportunities for their Man, Woman & Celebrity of the Year Gala taking place on Friday, May 2. The event will be held at Bella Sala Banquets & Events in Iowa City. Contact The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society directly for information: Angie Rummel  - or Jenna Sager at   -

Iowa ASCD and the Iowa DE to host

Competency-Based Education Conference


June 23-24, 2014

Iowa Events Center, Des Moines


See flyer for registration information.


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 is now available on the link to
GWAEA Featured PD
on the homepage.



iPad Professional Development

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



"Your Child's Future...
The Possibilities are Endless"

April 8, 2014
Location: West High School
2901 Melrose Ave., Iowa City


Keynote speaker: Lew Montgomery


Mark your calendars now for the "Your Child's Future…The Possibilities are Endless" parent/student transition night.




See flyer for details

This workshop will provide valuable information to parents and professionals about the transition process for middle and high school students who receive special education services. There will be speakers, breakout sessions, and informational booths for parents and professionals to learn a wide variety of services in the area of living, learning and working.


To register, visit the Grant Wood AEA Professional Development website and click on course number 19052-13-01.

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

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: 9185-13-02
Date/Time: 04/14/2014 12:30 PM-3:30 PM
Grant Wood AEA Northern Facility
4401 6th Street S.W.
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

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

Interdisciplinary Vocabulary Development Using the Rule of 3: 1st Grade and Up

Vocabulary development has the highest correlation with school success across subjects. The Rule of 3 is an innovative approach for systematic vocabulary development for ELL and all learners based on 14 years of school research. In 2009 the US Office of Education awarded an innovative grant to Rule of 3 for increasing students' achievement across subjects and grades.
Number: 19198-13-02
Date/Time: 04/24/2014 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
Educational Learning and Support Center
2500 Edgewood Rd NW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52405



See flyer for details on
both workshops

Interdisciplinary Vocabulary Development Using the Rule of 3 for PS and Kdg

The Rule of 3 is an innovative approach for systematic vocabulary development for English Learners and all learners. This workshop will focus on a strategy for developing vocabulary for preschool and kindergarten teachers using materials developed for the Rule of 3.
Number: 19199-13-02
Date/Time: 04/25/2014 9:00 AM-2:00 PM
Educational Learning and Support Center
2500 Edgewood Rd NW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52405


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

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

June 16, 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: 19219-13-02

Fee: $60



See flyer for details


Registration Deadline: June 9, 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.

Every Student Can Learn: Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities to Read, Write & Communicate!

From the very start, children without disabilities spend hours exploring reading and writing. These beginning experiences pave the way for more formal, later literacy development. Students with significant disabilities have profoundly different experiences. These students may be unable to talk, hold a pencil and unable to hold a book. They may also have intellectual challenges. These difficulties pose serious roadblocks to meaningful literacy development. However, exciting research in the past decade has found that with the right instruction and the right tools, students with the most significant disabilities can develop as readers, writers and communicators. this workshop will share the "what" and the "how!" With an emphasis on early literacy development, a wide variety of meaningful reading and writing activities will be shown, along with materials and tools to support student success. Adapted books, "alternative pencils" that don't require hand use, augmentative and alternative communication devices and other forms of assistive technology will be highlighted throughout. Videos and work samples will be shown of real students with the most significant disabilities in elementary and high school. Sample goals and ways of assessing change will be shared. Participants will leave with a long list of activities and strategies to try the first week back at school!

Number: 4690-13-01

06/11/2014 1:00 PM-4:00 PM
06/12/2014 8:30 AM-3:30 PM
06/13/2014 8:30 AM-3:30 PM


See flyer for details.

Project Approach and Inquiry-Based Learning

Instructor: Sallee Beneke

June 19-20, 2014, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Coralville Public Library

1401 5th St.

Coralville, IA 52241


Oct. 14, 2014, 12:15 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Grant Wood AEA

4401 Sixth St SW

Cedar Rapids, IA 52404


Audience: Teachers and all staff members working in Early Childhood/Preschool/Child Care Settings

Course #: 4686-13-01

Registration Deadline: June 9, 2014 at 6 a.m.



  • Total for non-credit $ 90

  • Total for Renewal $ 115

  • Registration is not complete until all fees are paid in full.

Credit: R, CDA - 1 Sem. Hrs.

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.

Two European Trips Planned

Join retired School Psychologist NANCY DEARBORN this summer and fall touring Europe.  Two trips organized by Go Ahead Tours:  Highlights of England, Scotland and Ireland June 30-July 11 and Oktoberfest: Germany, Switzerland and Austria Sept. 23-Oct. 6.  For a complete itinerary, see for U.K. and for Oktoberfest.  For more information, contact Nancy at or

Buy, Sell or Trade

For Sale: 5-piece bedroom set for sale for $200.00. This includes a 8-drawer dresser with mirror, 2-drawer night stand, 3-drawer amoire that can enclose a 30" TV, and a king size bed frame with head and foot board.The finish is a light wood (pine) with straight line design pattern. If interested, please call Su at 319-321-5336.


Wanted:  Packing peanuts. Please send to the GWAEA VAST Center at 33rd Ave. Thank you.
Mary Zobeck


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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