Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


May 7, 2015

Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet

Bella Sala, 205 S. Park Rd., Tiffin


In This issue:


Building Bridges: Eastern Iowa Assistive Technology Conference
Reception Held for Brian L. Talbott Award Recipients
Education Fact of the Week
Need Assistance with Classroom Strategies to Help All of Your Students Succeed?
IPERS Coming to Cedar Rapids, Coralville
33rd Ave Renovation Update
iPad Refresh Coming
Have you signed up to join the Blue Zones Project™?
Wellness Room Survey -
Sixth St. Facility
Yoga and Meditation
Cedar Rapids Skywalk Walking Program
Weight Watchers at Work
Grant Wood AEA Book Club
AEA PD Online
28 Days of OLLIE
GWAEA Update on FAST Assessments, Iowa Tier, and Early Literacy Implementation (ELI) Legislation
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








Articles for The Bulletin Board are due end of the day on Wednesdays. Submit your items email to
Valerie Taylor Hill
GWAEA Public Information Specialist.



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 GWAEA Assistive Technology Team and the Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research presents…

Building Bridges: Eastern Iowa Assistive Technology Conference

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Iowa Memorial Union, University of Iowa

25 North Madison Street, Iowa City


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


See flyer for details

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

  • Physical Accessibility

  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication

  • AT & Mobile Devices

  • Universal Design for Learning/Accessible Instructional Materials/MTSS

  • AT & Transition

New this year will be the addition of optional 1/2-day learning blocks on specific topics called "Deeper Water Learning Sessions.". These sessions will discuss relevant AT topics in more depth for those at the intermediate or advance levels of AT implementation. Participants are encouraged to attend a single track or a wide variety of tracks depending on your conference objectives. Lunch and parking is provided with your registration.


For more information, visit the Building Bridges Conference website or contact Julie Freed.

Audience: K-12 Administrators, General and Special Education Teachers, Media Specialists, Paraeducators, Reading Support, Parents, Social Workers, Speech Language Pathologists, Psychologists, OT/PR, Consultants


Number: 19018-14-01

Date/Time: 4/21/2015, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Assignment Due: 4/21/2015

Registration Deadline: 4/06/2015 06:00 AM 


  • Total for non-credit $ 60

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

Reception held for Brian L. Talbott Award Recipients



Thank you to the staff who were able to join us for Wednesday's celebration as we recognized the GWAEA teams who received the
AESA Brian L. Talbott Award.




Education Fact of the Week: Iowa's Per Pupil Funding is Plummeting

Click to access the text.


Brought to you by the joint efforts of Iowa Association of School Boards, School Administrators of Iowa, Iowa Area Education Agencies, Iowa State Education Association, and the Urban Education Network of Iowa in support of adequate and timely school funding. 

Need Assistance with Classroom Strategies to Help All of Your Students Succeed?

Join the Brain Injury Resource Team on Tuesday, Feb. 24 to explore the brain and classroom strategies that will help all of your students learn. Read more about and register for this Grant Wood AEA Professional Development class entitled, "Brain Function in the School Setting and Effective Classroom Strategies" by clicking the following link.


Please share this information with parents, teachers, and others who may be interested.

IPERS Retirement Planning Sessions in Cedar Rapids and Coralville


Cedar Rapids

Individual Appointments:
April 13, 14, 15, 16, 2015


See flyer for details.



Residence Inn
1900 Dodge St. N.E., Cedar Rapids


Individual Appointments:
April 27, 28, 29, 30, 2015


See flyer for details.



Homewood Suites by Hilton - Iowa River Landing
921 E. 2nd Avenue, Coralville

Pre-Registration is needed to attend an individual appointment.


Get detailed information about your retirement account. Learn more about possible retirement dates, benefit option payouts, and service purchase options.


To schedule an individual appointment, contact IPERS at 1-800-622-3849. Appointment times will fill quickly.


  • to Stuart Weinbrenner, GWAEA lead printer, who celebrated 40 years with Grant Wood AEA
    on Jan. 14, 2015.


33rd Ave Renovation Update


Building entrance construction continues.

Contractors are installing carpet and tile.



Work continues preparing the loading dock.


iPad Refresh Coming

We are ready to refresh another round of iPad2s. We are currently in the second year of our three year refresh cycle and will be refreshing approximately 150 iPad2 (16GB) with the current model, iPad Air2 (64GB).  


To determine eligibility for this round the same criteria were applied:
1)  Age of the device
2)  Usage of iPad
3)  Contributions to required data collection
4)  Participation in shared learning
5)  Job category


Employees who will receive a new iPad Air2 will need to sign up for a time to trade their current device and set up the new one.  They will also need to order a new case, which will be done at the same time. Details have been emailed to individuals who will be refreshing this round you will need to sign up by 5:00p.m. on Monday, Jan. 19. Following is the list of employees who will receive iPads during the this refresh cycle. Please check your email.

Plans will be made to repurpose many of the devices for staff check-out and use.  If you have any suggestions for other ways in which they might be repurposed, please email
Stacy Behmer,

Have you signed up to join the Blue Zones Project™?

Participants have access to an online well-being community available at no cost. See the May 8 issue of The Bulletin Board for a list of well-being community activities. Sign up today at (remember to use the Grant Wood AEA code: GWAEA) and take the personal pledge. And, receive a Grant Wood AEA water bottle for signing up.


Contact a member of the GROW Team for more information.

wellness room

Wellness Room Survey -
Sixth St. Facility


The GROW Committee would like to know if the wellness room is meeting the needs of staff. We are looking for your input and suggestions on how we might be able to make it even better. Thank you for taking the time to answer this quick survey at




Yoga and Meditation

Grant Wood AEA Sixth St. facility

4:30-5:30 p.m.


Class dates:
Monday Jan 19 - Yoga with Sayde
Monday Jan 26 - Yoga with Sayde


Cost: $5.00/ session or $15.00 for all four weeks. Bring a yoga mat and blanket.

Walk the Skywalk with
Blue Zones!



The Blue Zones Project® is hosting a 10-week walking program throughout the downtown Skywalk in Cedar Rapids. So come in out of the cold and continue your walking in a controlled environment.


Shirley Wellington-Bruegge leads the Thursday walk that departs from the Cedar Rapids library at 5:10 p.m. A heavy sweater or light jacket is needed as the walk travels between parking garages and building hallways.


For additional upcoming events, visit the
Blue Zones Project® website,


Weight Watchers at Work

Did you know every Tuesday at 4:45 p.m. we host a Weight Watchers At Work meeting in the Scale Up Classroom for employees?

Visit our meeting Tuesday, Jan. 20, to learn more about how Weight Watchers can help you make the changes you need to make to reach a healthier weight … in a supportive environment … conveniently at work. What have you got to lose?

Open House and New Enrollee Opportunity

Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, at 4:45 p.m.

Contact: Kim Martin, 319-399-6710,

20 Cubed Eye Break App

Have you heard of the 20-20-20 rule before? Every 20 minutes you take a 20 second break from your computer and look at an object 20 feet away to relieve eyestrain and rest your eyes. The 20 Cubed add-on for Chrome will automatically remind you to take those breaks so you don't have to set your own timer.


20 Cubed doesn't do anything your phone or a stopwatch can't already do, but if you're busy at work already, it's easy to forget to set a timer or keep an eye out for how long it's been since your last eyestrain break. Once installed, 20 Cubed lives in the Chrome toolbar, and it will prompt you when it's time to take a break. If you're curious, you can click it at any time to see how long until your next break.


It’s a great way to remind yourself to rest your eyes every now and again, especially if you already work in Chrome all the time. Click on this link and it will bring you to a page where you can install the app on your Chrome toolbar.

Grant Wood AEA Book Club

Feb. 25, 12 p.m. or 4 p.m.

Media Center Learning Commons



Looking for some social time with colleagues? Join us for Book Club on Wednesday, Feb. 25. We will be reading "All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr. Join us at 12 p.m. or 4 p.m. in the Media Center Commons. If you would like to join us virtually, please let Deanna know and she can send you a Zoom invitation. Questions email Deanna Weber at


Updates from AEA PD Online

Visit the AEA PD Online and AEA K-12 Online websites for current professional development updates. Follow AEA PD Online on Twitter @aeapdonline or on your mobile device by accessing the app at

Invitation to Participate in 28 Days of OLLIE

Online Learning for Iowa Educators


Starting Feb. 1 and lasting throughout the month, AEA PD Online kicks off its brand new OLLIE online community for teachers. Part of their Online Learning for Iowa Educators (OLLIE) series, the community provides educators resources, live events, discussions, sharing and networking with other educators. It is the perfect learning place for teachers looking to add blended or flipped learning to their classroom.


Featured during 28 Days of OLLIE will be daily events, activities and even contests with prizes to help acclimate educators to the community.


Educators at all levels and those who support them are invited to participate. The first step is join the community, which can be done in seconds at


Once you’re signed up, you’ll receive regular updates about:

  • Webinars and other real-time events

  • Forums on topics related to teaching and learning online

  • Activities that you can be part of

  • Resources that are available

  • Badges you can earn

  • And much, much more!

To learn more, visit the following link.

New TQ Dates 2014-2015

Feb. 18, May 27, 2015
The TQ proposal template and directions are available on the GWAEA Staff Portal under the
Teacher Quality Committee
link. Please submit your proposal electronically to Sherry Sines at by the dates listed above. Proposal reviews are typically completed by the
TQ committee within 7 - 10 days after the due date.

GWAEA Update on FAST Assessments, Iowa Tier, and Early Literacy Implementation (ELI) Legislation

This session will include:

  • Information on accessing data and reports in Iowa Tier

  • Sharing of a protocol for data analysis to use the teachers and/or building teams for improving instructional planning

  • Update on the guidelines of 279.68

  • Question and Answer

  • Number: 5619-14-01
    Date/Time: 01/22/2015 2:30-4:00 p.m.

In order to prepare for the session and to meet your needs, please complete the ELI and FAST Update survey at the following 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.

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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