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:


School Improvement Consultants Build LEA Capacity through Teacher Leader Work
W-2 Wage and Tax Statements
Speed, Caution in Agency Lots
Behavior Round Table Discussions
Strategies for All
Public Input Sought on Science Standards
GWAEA Media Center Update
2015 Horizons Meals on Wheels Lunchbox Fundraiser
Daffodil Days
Koch Presentation at Coe College March 24
33rd Ave Renovation Update
iPad Refresh Coming
Have you signed up to join the Blue Zones Project™?
Where is the Wellness Room Located?
Cedar Rapids Skywalk Walking Program
Weight Watchers at Work
Grant Wood AEA Book Club
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
Buy, Sell or Trade
Lost and Found


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.

School Improvement Consultants Build LEA Capacity through Teacher Leader Work


Earlier this month Grant Wood AEA held an orientation training for our recently-awarded Year 1 TLC districts. Of the 171 districts that applied, 125 were chosen for grants: 74 for the 2015-16 and 51 for 2016-17 school years. Thirteen of these were first year recipients from the GWAEA service area, a number that speaks to the work of districts and our school improvement teams.


“The districts adopted similar, multi-disciplined approaches to writing the grant application to secure the TLC funding,” explained Regional Administrator Bart Mason, “but the common thread between each effort was the contribution by our school improvement consultants. They were embedded with the grant writing effort and did a lot of work up front with districts to help make this happen.”


Last year’s TLC grant recipients included Cedar Rapids, Linn-Mar and Benton Community and has expanded to included nearly all of the schools in our agency’s service area. “It’s a great model which allows teachers to learn from the practices of top colleagues,” adds Regional Administrator Kim Owen.


In the past year the GWAEA staff supporting TLC work has had a two-fold focus for its districts:
1. Building the skills of the LEA’s teacher leader. “What many of the first year teacher leaders found,” said Kim, “is that it’s much different to be a coach to a fellow teacher and an adult learner compared with a student learner. Some of the skills are transferrable, but it takes some specialized training and support that we are offering here at GWAEA to be successful in this new role."


2. Bringing skills together as a team to move efforts together in systemic manner. “This is where our school improvement consultants became even more valuable for our LEAs,” added Bart. “We demonstrated how to apply their skills to get the outcome they wanted as we collectively worked toward continuous improvement.”


Now the team that supports our TLC districts are looking ahead to a very different horizon. “With a broader base of schools receiving the grant money, we’re looking at what we can do at the state level through regional support and training,” said Bart, “and how we can incorporate what we’ve learned from the first year to make this next year even better.”


2015-16 TLC recipients

Center Point-Urbana
Clear Creek-Amana
College Community
Iowa City
Iowa Valley
North Cedar
West Branch

2016-17 TLC recipients

Central City
Lone Tree

W-2 Wage and Tax Statements

Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statements for 2014 were released to the Employee Self Service (ESS) system Jan. 19, 2015 specifically for those who consented to receiving their W-2 Statement electronically.  Paper W-2 Statements were mailed January 21, 2015 for those who didn’t consent to electronic method of delivery.  Everyone will be able to view their 2014 W-2 Statement on the ESS system as of Jan. 31, 2015.


The Affordable Care Act requires employers to report the cost of employer sponsored health coverage on Form W-2’s. This reporting is for informational purposes only and it is the aggregate employee/employer cost of your health plan. Employees see this figure as Code DD in Box 12a of the W-2.


Now is a good time to review your tax withholding status. If you’ve had a family change (marriage, divorce, birth of a child, child no longer a dependent) you may want to update your W-4 tax withholding forms. Your current W-4 status can be found in the ESS system in the ‘Payroll Information’ tab.


Questions regarding your W-2 Statement or W-4 tax withholdings should be directed to
Cathy Kearns
, Grant Wood AEA Business Services.

Speed, Caution in Agency Lots

Several employees have noted individuals - both staff and visitors - rolling through the stop signs or not driving an appropriate speed in the agency parking lot at the Sixth Street location. Please use caution to look out for your colleagues and the visitors at our facilities, especially since many young children visit our office and could unexpectedly dart into harm's way.


Behavior Round Table Discussions

The Challenging Behavior Support Team is providing regularly scheduled informal consultation support for AEA staff members this year. Round tables will occur regularly at both the Cedar Rapids office and Coralville offices. Staff can sign up for a one-hour time slot. Consultation surrounding behavior data collection and analysis, designing behavior intervention plans, and the FIE process for behavior will be provided.


Sign up on our website:

Strategies For All

The use of the brain in the classroom is obviously important. Whether your students have experienced traditional brain trauma or other factors that have affected their learning, this course is for you. Come join the Brain Injury Resource Team as they share strategies that assist students who have had accidents, strokes, seizures, concussions, or students who have executive function skill concerns. Read more about and register for the Grant Wood AEA Professional Development class entitled, Brain Function in the School Setting and Effective Classroom Strategies by clicking this link.


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

Public input sought on science standards

On Wednesday, Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck announced he’s seeking input from Iowans on a preliminary proposal to update Iowa’s science standards.Vist the DE website for a link to the survey as well as a schedule of public forums planned during Feburary. The survey will be open through Friday, Feb. 27.


Grant Wood AEA Media Center Update

Staff in the GWAEA Media Center continue to create efficiencies through a physical realignment of their work areas.


 As the cubicles come down and space permits, parts of the Work Center will be moved to its new location outside of the Media Center's Learning Commons. Individual staff moves are planned Feb. 4-6. Repair and painting of the wall behind the journals is planned, as well as other minor paint and electrical updates.

During the fall, the browsing collections were moved closer to the front entry to build areas for collaboration, and to integrate the technology consultants into a new work area.

The DVDs were moved to the back for easier access by the van drivers.

And, the PEP Library was integrated into the Media Center and is located near the Learning Commons area.

If a collection is not where it normally was, please ask a member of the Media Center staff for assistance.


The PEP library will remain in the same location.

Waiting for new shelving for parts of the Professional Library.


New home of the instructional technology consultants.

Future home of the work center.



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

28 Days of OLLIE during February

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


The learning during Feb. 1-9 includes the following:

Day 1 - Learning the Online Community Landscape
Day 2 - What is a Connected Educator?
Day 3 - Mark Your Spot! Using Diigo (Part 1)
Day 4 - Annotating with Diigo (Part 2)
Day 5 - Collaborating through Community Forums
Day 6 - Why Teach Online
Day 7 - Let's All Sing with the Birdies - Tweet, Tweet, Tweet (Part 1)
Day 8 - Let's All Sing with the Birdies - Tweet, Tweet, Tweet Hashtags (Part 2)
Day 9 - Personalized Learning

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.


• to Sara and Austin Beer on the birth of their son, William "Liam" on Jan. 23, 7 lb. 9 oz. and
19 inches long. Austin is a GWAEA school psychologist.

2015 Horizons Meals On Wheels Lunchbox fundraiser at Grant Wood AEA


The 5th Annual Horizons Meals On Wheels Lunchbox fundraiser is planned for the week of Feb. 9-13, 2015.


We would like to offer GWAEA staff an opportunity to participate in this worthy cause. Because we had so many orders last year, we would like to offer staff the choice of ordering for four days during this week, provided we get a minimum order for your chosen day. The dates offered will be Tuesday through Friday, February 10-13. The lunches may be picked up at the receptionist desk any time after 11:30 a.m. on the day your group chooses.


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: 
Smoked Turkey Club - $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.


Spinach and Strawberry Salad - $10 - Zippy lemon vinaigrette dressing and feta cheese pair with glazed walnuts and fresh strawberries for a tasty salad that can fit into your healthy eating plan. Served with a breadstick, apple slices and yogurt dip.


Horseradish Beef - $10 - Tender shaved beef and cheddar cheese on marble rye bread topped with a robust creamy horseradish sauce to wake up your taste buds. Served with kettle chips and apple slices with caramel dip on the side.


Chocolate Raspberry (CR) Delight - $4 - Decadent chocolate cake with rich chocolate mousse and raspberry topping. Treat yourself or share with your sweetheart!


Cookbook - $15 - Recipes from over 100 celebrities. Order five or more for only $10 each!

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, February 6, 2015.


Hope Blooms ... It's daffodil time!

This year, daffodils will be sold by an organization called Gems of Hope. They will sell the same choices at the same prices and use the profits for cancer patients and their families. You can visit their website, to see other ways they help with the fight against cancer.


To purchase bunches of daffodils, and make a contribution toward the fight against cancer, please see, call, or email Cathy Nelson at the Sixth Street facility front desk.


The options are:

  • Bunches of Daffodils: $10 a bunch

  • Bunch 'n a Vase: $15

  • Mini Daffodils: $15. Potted and ready to replant.

  • Lion 'n a Bunch: $25. This is a Lion and a bunch of daffodils.

  • Sunshine Bouquet: $75. A glass vase filled with brilliant yellow daffodils and greenery to thank clients, customers, employees or vendors or decorate an office, lobby or church.

  • Lion Hugs: $25. Comfort a child experiencing cancer with a stuffed Lion, given anonymously.

  • Gift of Hope Bouquet: $25. These bouquets are given anonymously to cancer patients.

  • A new option this time is an aqua, short sleeve v-neck tee, sizes S-XXL for $20.

Pictures of these are at the front desk.


Orders will be taken from now until Feb. 6, 2015. Flowers can be picked up on or around March 11, 2015. (Please make checks payable to Gems of Hope.)


Stop by the Northern Facility front desk, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or call Cathy at
Ext. 6544 to place your order. Thank you for contributing.

Matan Koch to speak at Coe College, March 24

Coe College is pleased to announce a presentation by Matan Koch, Tuesday, March 24 at
7 p.m. in Dows Theater. A graduate of Yale and Harvard Law, Matan went on to become a disability rights attorney, and has served the last three years for President Obama on the National Council on Disability.


This event will focus on disability rights, awareness, and inclusion. The public is welcome to attend. There is no cost, and a small reception will follow his presentation. More information can be found at Please contact Becky Stonawski at 319-399-8577 or if any special accommodations are needed.

33rd Ave Renovation Update


Tile and carpet have been installed, the walls and ceiling painted, all the doors replaced, and the dock door installed.

VAST is relocating to the north side of the building in preparation for work to begin on the building's south side.


iPad Refresh Coming

Remember if you are getting your iPad refreshed in this cycle your orientation is next week. Please see the email confirmation you were sent to make sure you have the device backed up to iCloud and are ready to set up your new device. Here is the list of staff, their scheduled appointment time and case selection.


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.

Where is the Wellness Room at Sixth St.?

Thank you to those who completed the recent survey about the wellness room. Survey feedback included a question about where the wellness room is located. The Sixth St. facility wellness room is located in the hallway outside of the Media Center's SDC, next to the GWAEA mailroom.


wellness room



Yoga with Sayde

Grant Wood AEA Sixth St. facility

4:30-5:30 p.m.


Class dates:
Monday Jan 26
Monday, February 2
Monday, February 9
Monday, February 16
Monday, February 23


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 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. This session runs through Feb 5. 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. a Weight Watchers At Work meeting is held in the Scale Up Classroom for employees? Weight Watchers can help you make the changes you need to reach a healthier weight … in a supportive environment … conveniently at work.
What have you got to lose?


New Enrollee Opportunity

1. Weekly prorated rate available (8 weeks remain in first session)
2. Weekly meeting offered at GWAEA/Scale Up Classroom every Tuesday at 4:45 p.m.
3. Prefer another location? Take advantage of our reduced rate and attend a weekly meeting at a community location

Contact: Kim Martin, 319-399-6710,

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

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.

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.

Buy, Sell or Trade

For Sale: 2 Tickets to Brad Paisley at US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids - Section 107 Row C Seats 5 & 6 (great lower seats in arena circle). Face value = $69.90 per seat. $120 or Best Offer for both tickets. Contact Bart Mason.


For Sale: 2010 JEEP LIBERTY SPORT 4x4. Automatic, 3.7L 6 Cylinder, ABS (4-Wheel), Air Conditioning, AM/FM Stereo, U-Connect hands free phone, Anti-lock Brakes, Cloth Seats, Compact Disc, Cruise Control, Daytime Running Lights, Dual Air Bags, Power Brakes, Power Steering, Power Windows, Rear Defroster, Roof Rack, Tilt Wheel, Tinted Glass, Traction Control, 69K miles. $14,800.00 OBO. Call Jeff at 319-361-0409 cell.


Lost and Found:


- Various earrings and a coat button. See photo.

- A red “leather” three-piece photo gift set is at the front desk. Found in the Winter Room before winter break.

Please see Cathy Nelson at the switchboard to claim.




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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