Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


April 18, 2014
Agency closes at 3 p.m.


May 8, 2014

GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet

The Longbranch Hotel and Convention Center, Cedar Rapids


Aug. 11, 2014 (morning)

All-Agency Inservice

Linn-Mar High School auditorium


In This issue:


Employee Registration for GWAEA Blue Zones, April 7-11
Celebrating 25 Years
GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet
Top 10 Professional Reading List for Educators
Remote Worksite Program 2014-2015
Zoom and Distance Communication
Procedural Safeguards Manual for Parents
Second Floor Redesign
April is Occupational Therapy (OT) Month
Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Features Engineering is Elementary
Thank You
The GWAEA Daily
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.

Employee Registration for GWAEA Blue Zones, April 7-11

The GWAEA Blue Zones project launch is set for
April 7-11, 2014.


Check out the registration area in each facility for registration information and a thank you each day.  


Each employee registration counts toward the agency’s Blue Zones Worksite designation when including the GWAEA organization code: GWAEA. See the March 27, 2014 issue of
The Bulletin Board for links to registration information.

Questions? Contact any member of the agency’sGROW Committee.
And, watch for updates in future issues of The Bulletin Board.


GROW Committee Members


Job Title

Agency Center


Nicole Clymer


6th St


Karalee Cole

Speech-Language Pathologist



Connie Dvorak

Executive Assistant

6th St


Julie Foltz

Curriculum Consultant, Science

33rd Ave


Peggy Gingerich

Speech-Language Pathologist



Mike Hauer

Network Administrator

6th St


Valerie Taylor Hill

Public Information Specialist

6th St


Kim Martin

Board Secretary

6th St


Kelli Robertson

Autism Consultant

33rd Ave


Jackie Schreder

Human Resources Coordinator

6th St


Cathie Stutsman

School Social Worker



Deanna Weber

Media Specialist

6th St


Help Kick Off the Blue Zones Project Marion

April 15, 2014, 5:00-7:30 p.m.


Where: Linn-Mar High School

Main Gym and Cafeteria, Door #10, 3111 North 10th St. - Marion


Join your friends, family and neighbors in a community-wide celebration April 15 to kick off the Blue Zones Project in Marion. Enjoy cooking demonstrations and food tastings, kid's activities and a YMCA-supervised Kids Zone (ages 2 - 10), a photo booth and entertainment by Marion Independent and Linn-Mar students.


Dan Buettner, New York Times best-selling author of The Blue Zones and Thrive will share his secrets to living a long, healthy life.

Celebrating 25 years of the Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet

2014 event planned Thursday, May 8




All employees with 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 or 40 years of employment with
GWAEA, retirees, and persons nominated and selected by agency staff will be honored.

The Longbranch Hotel and Convention Center, Cedar Rapids

90 Twixt Town Rd NE
Cedar Rapids


Social Hour: 5:30 p.m.
Dinner: 6:00 p.m.


GWAEA Board Members and Employees: $12

Spouses, Friends and Retired Staff: $22 per person


Reservations Due: May 1, 2014


Groups may reserve a table. Please submit all reservation requests to Cathy Nelson at Sixth Street, ext. 6544.

Click to access the banquet invitation. Printed copies are available if needed. See Cathy at the front desk. Include cash or check (payable to Grant Wood AEA).

The “Top 10” Professional Reading List for Educators • 2014

For the past 12 years, GWAEA Chief Administrator Joe Crozier has published a “Top 10” professional reading list for educators.


The 2014 "Top 10" list is available on the Grant Wood AEA website.


Remote Work Site Program (2014-15)

This program is available for eligible Contracted and Salaried staff who are based in any of the Agency Centers (6th St, 33rd Ave and Coralville).
Details about this program, including a program overview and employee application form, are attached for your information and reference. Please note:
1)       Eligibility for the program will be determined on an individual basis at the supervisor’s discretion.  Employees are to submit an annual application to participate in the program and supervisors will determine if such an arrangement is appropriate for an employee using criteria that are outlined in the overview.
2)       Dedicated work space in an Agency Center will not be provided for employees who participate in the RWS program, however participating employees will have access to Agency facilities including temporary work space.
3)       The program is not available for hourly employees (due to the legal requirements for monitoring the work time of hourly staff).
4)       Employees must apply for program participation each year.  Completed application forms are to be submitted to the supervisor by May 1 for the upcoming work year.  
5)       Clear guidelines and requirements related to employee schedules, work hours, Agency resources, safety, security and liability are provided in the overview document.
If there are questions or more information is needed regarding this program, employees may contact their supervisor or the Human Resources Office. This program is available to help ensure effective and efficient Agency services and a productive work environment for Agency staff. This program will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and changes may be made as needed. Employees are invited to provide feedback about what’s working well with the program and/or suggestions for improvement. Feedback may be submitted to the Human Resources Office.

Educators Zoom ahead with distance communication

Two government agencies have pooled their purchasing power to provide low-cost distance communication tools. Each of Iowa’s Area Education Agencies and the Department of Education has purchased Zoom licenses for their employees.


Zoom is a cloud-based, video conferencing service that can be accessed from computers, mobile devices and room conferencing systems.With this tool, a host can invite up to 25,100 or even 1,000 participants to connect via video conferencing. It also includes screen sharing, annotation, chatting and recording functions.  


The Iowa Educators Consortium (IEC), an initiative of Iowa’s AEAs, coordinated the bidding process which led to drastically discounted pricing for the next five years. The IEC is also working to make licenses available for schools, colleges and universities.

“Zoom will save thousands of dollars which are put back into providing services for kids,” said Brent Siegrist, AEA Executive Director. “This distance communication platform will be used by all of our peers across the state making communication seamless. The cost savings also translate into fewer miles traveled and lessen travel time for our staff.”

Describe Your Work in One Word

The AEA system is working on a branding project. One of the first steps is to create a brand promise. Please share ONE WORD that describes the work that you do. No phrases, please. Just one word. Click here to add your word.

Procedural Safeguards Manual for Parents

The Procedural Safeguards Manual for Parents is now available in multiple language on the GWAEA Special Education Forms website. The Procedural Safeguards Manual for Parents is now available in the following languages:  Arabic, Bosnian, Laotian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Please download and print the Procedural Safeguards Manual for Parents in the various languages as you need them for meetings with parents. Copies of the Spanish version of Procedural Safeguards Manual for Parents have been printed and are available in Central File at the Cedar Rapids and Coralville offices. For questions, contact Melissa Tandy.

Second Floor Redesign

The Organizational Leadership Cohort received intial feedback from the Agency's Advisory group during a recent meeting, and will continue work on the design during cohort meetings on April 9 and 16.


The draft design will return to the gallery wall after April 16 for the next round of suggestions and feedback.


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


April is Occupational Therapy (OT) Month


A day in the life of an OT can include:

  • Direct service to students

  • Travel between schools

  • Documentation and paperwork

  • Arranging student support to increase learning independence and participation in everyday routines

  • Consultation with teachers and building level teams

See poster for additional information.


Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Features Engineering is Elementary

The February 2014 issue of monthly news from the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council features an article on Engineering is Elementary. EiE is a research-based, standards-driven, and classroom-tested curriculum that integrates engineering and technology concepts and skills with elementary science topics. Christopher Soldat, GWAEA curriculum consultant, is the contact.



Tuesday, April 29, 2014
4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Education Leadership and Support Center (ELSC)
2500 Edgewood Road NW, Cedar Rapids


Event Hosted by the Cedar Rapids Community School District and
Kirkwood Community College.




Parents and students can attend a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) ROCKS event to focus on free college credit courses that will enrich their children’s experience while in High School.


Registration is FREE and open to all parents, guardians, caregivers and family members.  Registration information is available at

Thank you

Thank you for your kind words and thoughts during the time when I lost my beloved mother-in-law! Thank you to the staff at Southern Facility for contributing to the memorial fund! Your support has meant a lot to me and my family.


Ying Liu

Speech-Language Pathologist

AEA Family,
Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers during my mom's passing. The cards and messages I received were greatly appreciated and I plan to share them with my dad this weekend.  I was overwhelmed by the expressions of condolences to Cheryl and I.  Although sad we all had a chance to say our good-byes and celebrate her wonderful life. Thanks!

Paul Kiburz
Regional Administrator


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!

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, 6-8:30 p.m.
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. Early registration for parent night results in entrance into the door prize drawing for Hon furniture.

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

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. 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

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.


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.


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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