Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


Grant Wood AEA Innovation Day

May 13, 2014


In this issue:

The New Health Insurance Marketplace and Your Health Coverage
GWAEA The Linker becomes an online publication
Welcome, New Staff
Sharing information about education
GWAEA Three in 1 K
Iowa Transition Conference
Download the GWAEA App
Google+ Communities
iOS Update
Agency App Order Opens Sept. 6
Donations welcome
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.

The New Health Insurance Marketplace and Your Health Coverage

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires employers to provide written notice to all current employees by October 1, 2013 with information about the Health Insurance Marketplace.  Attached is the communication developed for Grant Wood AEA employees.

The health plans offered by Grant Wood AEA provide a comprehensive set of benefits that meet or exceed the "minimum essential benefits" of the ACA standards.  Guidelines to participate and/or qualify for Grant Wood AEA health insurance remain the same, per employee Master Contract Agreements, Terms & Conditions of Employment and the Metro Interagency Insurance Program (MIIP) Eligibility Rules.

For more information about the Health Insurance Marketplace, please visit

For information about the health coverage offered by Grant Wood AEA, please contact Cathy Kearns, Compensation/Benefits at

Grant Wood AEA's The Linker becomes an online publication

Publication increases from quarterly to eight issues per year

Grant Wood AEA's The Linker has transitioned to become an online publication. Distribution will occur by email link to a PDF. A minimal number of printed copies will be sent to school buildings on request.


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


Publication of The Linker will also increase from quarterly to monthly (except for December and March), with email distribution planned on or about the 10th of each month.


In the September 2013 issue:

- GWAEA Scale-Up Classroom

- Open Minds, Open Doors Conference

- Professional Development courses

- Online Resources

- New in the Professional Library


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.


This is the 33rd year of publication for The Linker, which is distributed to area educators, school board members, legislators, libraries, and professors of education.

Welcome, New GWAEA Staff


Angela Bauck
Health Alliance Screener
B.A., Business Administration


Tracy Donohue

Consultant, Iowa Reading Research Center
Master's in Reading Education, North Carolina State University

Tracy held positions with the Wake County Public Schools, North Carolina, as a literacy coach/intervention coordinator, a literacy intervention teacher/ math coach and third-grade classroom teacher, as well as a position as an adjunct reading instructor with Scott Community College.


Jamie Forster

A.A., Human Services, Kirkwood Community College

Jamie is currently attending the University of Iowa and just completed an internship with the Heart of Iowa. She is also a self-employed cosmetologist.


Jane Harney


Jane was previously employed as an IT asset administrator with Ernst & Young.


Kari Miller
Curriculum Consultant

Capella University, K-12 Reading and literacy
Previous positions included Elementary and At-Risk preschool teacher in Virginia.


Therese York
A.A., Kirkwood Community College

Therese has held positions as an office clerk and tutor at Kirkwood Community College and as a library clerk at the Swisher Library.

Sharing information about education


(left to right) Brent Siegrist, AEA executive director; Stephen Murley, supterintendent, Iowa City Comm Schools; Sen. Chuck Grassley; Sam Miller, superintendent, Solon Community Schools; Cindy Yelick, Executive Director of Learning & Leadership - Heartland AEA, and
Joe Crozier, GWAEA chief administrator, met this week in Washington, D.C. to discuss education.

While in Washington, D.C., the group also met with Rep. Tom Latham.



Grant Wood AEA Three in 1 K is planned Oct. 9, 10 a.m.
(33rd, Sixth and Coralville facilities)

Grant Wood AEA is again joining the Healthiest State Initiative with a Three in 1 K on Wednesday, Oct. 9.


Walks will originate from the front door of all three agency offices. Do the walk over your break or over the noon hour. For the signup purposes, only the Sixth St. office address is shown at the following link, but all three office sites will be part of the event.


See more and register at:


Watch for more information in upcoming issues of The Bulletin Board or contact
George Held, ext. 6714, Kim Martin, ext. 6710, or Valerie Taylor Hill, ext. 6824,

Iowa Transition Conference

Coralville Marriott


October 9, 2013


General Conference
October 10-11, 2013


Keynote Presentations:

Ako Kambon, Visionary Leaders Institute

Presenters: Rocco Fiorentino, Musician

Patti Vasquez


Register online

(Early registration extended through Oct. 10.)


Scholarships for Parents and Educators
NOW Available! Apply online at


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,

Google+ Communities- How to manage all the notifications!

We are adding Google+ Communities at Grant Wood AEA. What is a community? Check out this video overview.  We will be using private communities to post events, share information and have discussions with people in the community.  As a result of everyone signing up for Google+ and using these communities you may be getting lots of email notifications. This short screencast provides you with some options on how to manage these notifications, so they don’t fill up your inbox!



iOS Update- FYI

On September 18, Apple released iOS 7, the latest version of their mobile operating system. This update is freely available to anyone with an iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4 or an iPad Mini. It is also available for some versions of the iPhone and iPod Touch. The update can be found by going to Settings > General > Software Update.

Before updating, it is always a good idea to back up your data to iCloud. You should also update any apps that you can to ensure that they work properly on iOS 7. Some apps will not work, unless you update them. Also, be aware that you need 3.3GB of free space before you can update. Go to Settings > General > Usage to check free space. If you need to free up more space on your iPad, read this guide on how to manage iPad storage.

The new update has a brand new look, but although it looks different, everything functions pretty much the way it did before. There are some new features, and you can read about those here, or you can sign up for one of our iPad workshops in October where we will go over some iPad basics and take a look at the new iOS 7. You can sign up for those classes here.

If you have any questions or concerns about updating to iOS 7, please contact Jonathan Wylie.

Donations welcome

Bart Mason is collecting jars of peanut butter to donate to Operation Backpack (sponsored by HACAP) and cash donations for the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight.  If you would like to donate a jar of peanut butter or make a contribution to the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight (EIHF), please stop by the NE Region office area with your donation or to get more details. 


When you make a donation to either cause, you will receive a special sticker to acknowledge your support.  For every $20 that is donated to the EIHF, one area Veteran will receive a free ticket to an upcoming fund-raiser (to be held on Saturday, Oct. 12) for the EIHF.  Tickets for this charity fund-raiser are also available in the NE Region office area if you want to purchase one for yourself.  Please contact Bart Mason
(ext. 6793) if you have questions or want more information.   




Stacy Murphy is collecting Pink Yoplait  lids for the Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives program. General Mills will donate 10 cents to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation for each lid received.


Stacy has a collection tub in the staff break room of the Sixth Street building or send to her via van mail.

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.


Updates from AEA PD Online


OLLIE Cohort 7 - Online Learning for Iowa Educators (OLLIE) is a foundational five-course sequence to help individuals become online instructors, whether at the post-graduate level, for professional development, or at the K-12 level.


OLLIE Cohort 7 set up to begin in January. The dates and links for registration are below:

• Technology for Online Instruction - 1/8 to 3/18 -*
• Instructional Design - 3/26 to 6/3 -*
• Online Facilitation - 6/11 to 8/19 -*


Statewide Moodle Server
We currently have over 85 teachers (from over 30 districts) using our Statewide K-12 Moodle server at, and the number is growing. Here are some other updates on the Statewide Moodle Server:

• We currently have 15 district customized themes, as well as all 9 AEAs. We will be adding those upon district request during the year.
• We have installed a new course request feature that allows a teacher to request a new course online, and with a click on a link that comes in an email, we can approve or deny their request and the system does the rest. This speeds up the process of getting a new course for teachers.
• We have also installed a new feature called the Sharing Cart, which allows a teacher to pick and choose individual pieces from other courses (from which they have access) to copy and then paste into their own course.
• We migrated the server from a virtualized server arrangement to a physical server arrangement at the beginning of the year to improve speed and performance.

A flyer is attached for additional information.


MOLLIE: Community Facilitation & the Agora
A special cohort for a course on online community facilitation has been scheduled. This course looks at the theory underlying communities of practice and the skills necessary to facilitate and promote a healthy online community. Participants will have hands-on experience interacting in online teacher communities in both our Agora as well as other teacher communities. This will help prepare them to facilitate their own community within the Agora.

This MOLLIE course starts October 9. Participants interested can register at*

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

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.



Personalized Learning Networks

Rob Mancabelli will share ideas on how to create globally connected classrooms, implement powerful project-based curricula, and introduce students to tools and technologies with transformative potential. He will also share information about the partnership between BrightBytes and GWAEA to collect and analyze information about how technology is being used to impact teaching and learning in your districts.
Number: 19220-13-02
Date/Time: 10/02/2013 6:00 PM-8:00 PM


The Brain Injury Resource Team presents...

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: 19212-13-01
Date/Time: 10/10/2013 8:30 AM-11:30 AM

STAR Autism Program Training

The STAR Autism Program teaches children with autism the critical skills identified by the 2001 National Research Council. The ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) instructional methods of discrete trial training, pivotal response training and functional routines form the instructional base of this comprehensive program for children with autism.


Participants will learn the techniques of discrete trial training, pivotal response training and teaching functional routines. They will receive examples of the STAR Autism program lesson plans at each instructional level in order to practice their skills in implementing the program. The course content will include the following: An overview of the three instructional methods (discrete trial, pivotal response training and functional routines) and how they are used in combination to form the STAR Autism Program. A comprehensive how to training on the use of discrete trial training. An introduction on how to implement pivotal response training.


The STAR Autism Program has been used to provide intensive instruction in critical skills for children with autism in both self-contained programs and inclusive education programs. The program provides a structure that allows teachers to implement instruction throughout the child's day through typical school routines and provides techniques to teach the child in short 1:1 instructional sessions. The skills the child learns in the 1:1 instruction can be immediately practiced in the natural environment through the functional routines lessons.

This course will be presented by staff from STAR Autism Support.
Number: 4549-13-01
Date/Time: 10/10/2013 8:30 AM-3:30 PM
10/11/2013 8:30 AM-3:30 PM
11/04/2013 5:00 PM-8:00 PM

Smart but Scattered: Executive Dysfunction at Home and at School

Youngsters with poor executive skills are disorganized or forgetful, have trouble getting started on tasks, get distracted easily, lose papers or assignments, forget to bring home the materials to complete homework or forget to hand homework in. They may rush through work or dawdle, they make careless mistakes that they fail to catch. They don't know where to begin on long-term assignments, and they put the assignment off until the last minute, in part because they have trouble judging the magnitude of the task and how long it will take to complete it.

Their workspaces are disorganized, and teachers may refer to their desks, backpacks, and notebooks as "black holes." Student with executive skill deficits present tremendous challenges to both parents and teachers who often find themselves frustrated by children whose problems in school seem to have little to do with how smart they are or how easily they learn.
Number: 19223-13-01
Date/Time:10/21/2013 8:30 AM-3:30 PM

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.
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

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. 3, 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.

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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