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:


Electronic W-2 Delivery Consent
Welcome, New GWAEA Staff!
Brian L. Talbott Award Reception
DE Web-Based Survey
Kids on the Block
Get Well Wishes
GWAEA Brain Injury Resource Team PD Session
Our Condolences
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
Purpose Moai
Weight Watchers at Work
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.

Electronic W-2 Delivery Consent

The Grant Wood Payroll System has the functionality to distribute Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statements electronically to employees who give proper consent.  By giving electronic W-2 delivery consent, this means you will not receive a paper W-2 Form in the mail.  Instead, you would receive an email indicating that your W-2 Form is available to view and print on the Employee Self Service (ESS) site.  


This option is available and can be made within the Employee Self Service site.  Log in with your username and password.  Under the ‘my information’ column select the W-2 History menu item.  Read through the Electronic W-2 Delivery Consent bubble to give your consent.




Staff who consented to electronic W-2 delivery last year will receive electronic delivery again this year unless the staff member removes the consent.  Staff wanting to receive their W-2 statement with this earlier electronic delivery option should make their consent by January 12, 2015 to secure this delivery method.  Staff not consenting to electronic delivery will receive a paper W-2 in the mail no later than January 31, 2015.


Contact Cathy Kearns, Compensation/Benefits, with any questions about W-2 Forms and/or electronic delivery consent. 

Welcome, New Grant Wood AEA Staff



Cathy Angel
Curriculum Consultant

Drake - Elementary Administration

Cathy's background includes teaching positions with the Mount Vernon, Harlan, Charles City, Pella, Carroll and Howard Winn. school districts.

Brian L. Talbott Award Reception Planned on Jan 14



Last month representatives from Grant Wood AEA attended the
Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA)
awards ceremony and accepted the AESA Brian L. Talbott award. As we have shared with you, the Brian L. Talbott Award acknowledges an individual or agency for contribution in the area of technological innovation and support to local districts and educational service agencies.


Please join us on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 4 p.m. in the SCALE-Up Classroom as we celebrate the Grant Wood AEA staff members who are the 2014 recipients of this award.


DE Offers Web-Based Survey for Parents of School-Age Children Receiving Special Education Services

Survey Closes Jan. 15

The Iowa Department of Education is interested in learning about partnerships between Iowa schools and parents of school-age children who receive special education.  


Parents with a child who receives special education services in Iowa are invited to complete the 25-item survey. The results will be compared to national findings and used to identify areas of success and those in need of improvement.
The survey will close Jan. 15. Here is the link:



In the January 2015 issue of School Leader Update, Director Brad Buck writes about what to look for in 2015, while attorney Nicole Proesch outlines how to effectively manage food allergies in the school. Also, meet Clemencia Spizzirri, the 2015 Teacher of the Year.



Each and Every Child is an e-newsletter by the Iowa Department of Education designed to inform, educate and challenge those who live and work in the field of special education.


The January 2015 newsletter contains the article, "A personal journey into special education: Jason Volmer’s life from student to teacher." Volmer is the coordinator for special education at the Urbandale Community School District.

Kids on the Block Performance

Thank you to Cathy Nelson, Lu Jackson and Chuck Hatz, a GWAEA retiree, for making time for a recent  Kids on the Block puppet performance. 



Get Well Wishes...

• to Becky Hays, GWAEA speech-language pathologist, who is recovering from surgery on Dec. 19.

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.

Our Condolences...

  • to Cheryl Mills Kelly and family on the passing of her mother, Marjorie Mills, 88, on
    Dec. 22, 2014 in Emmetsburg, Iowa. Services were held on Dec. 27 in Emmetsburg. Cheryl shared that Marge was immensely proud of her 100% Irish background, and lived her Irish heritage to the fullest. Cheryl is a GWAEA speech-language pathologist.

  • to the family of Pamela Nelson-O'Neil, who passed away on Dec. 18, 2014. Pamela was employed as a GWAEA school social worker from 1979-1990.


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


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

See flyer for details.



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

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.

33rd Ave Renovation Update


Construction work continues on the new building entry.

Contractors are beginning the process of installing carpet and tile.



Work continues preparing the new loading dock area.


iPad Refresh Coming

After board approval, 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 devices. iPad2s will be refreshed with the current model, iPad Air2 (64GB).  


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 for sign up times and a list of staff who are refreshing devices will be in next week’s bulletin board.

To determine eligibility for this round the same criteria was applied:

1)  Age of the device

2)  Usage of iPad

3)  Contributions to required data collection

4)  Participation in shared learning

5)  Job category

Plans are being made on how to continue to repurpose many of the devices for staff checkout and use.  If you have any suggestions for 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 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 12 - Meditation with Noelle
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

GWAEA At Work Weight Watchers' meetings are held Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m. Since the launch on Nov 4, 2014, the group has lost a collective total of 186 pounds!  



Weight Watchers' Open House - Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015 at 4:30 p.m.


More information will be available the first few weeks of January.  GWAEA Contact:
Kim Martin, GWAEA Northern Facility, or 319-399-6710. 

Blue Zones Project Hosting Purpose Moai


The Blue Zones Project is hosting Purpose Moai launches for those living or working in
Cedar Rapids. Purpose Moais are small groups of individuals who meet together and support each other’s quest for purpose. They typically meet once a week for 10 weeks, utilizing materials provided to facilitate the discussion. Each weekly session has four parts:
o  READ—a short narrative completed prior to each week’s meeting

o  DO—exercises completed prior to each week’s meeting

o  DISCUSS—questions to start the conversation each time the group meets

o  REVIEW—a short overview of the next week’s assignment

Dates, times and RSVP's for the Purpose Moai launches are available on the Blue Zones website. Feel free to invite a friend!  At the meeting, your group will discuss the best time and place to meet on a weekly basis that works with everyone's schedules.

Living with purpose is rarely done alone. Most of us live purposefully with others who nurture and encourage us. In Okinawa, Japan, a Blue Zones community where people live longer, healthier lives, they create small groups called “moais.” A Moai® is a circle of friends who support and encourage each other through life. Purpose Moais are a chance to create a group to support you and help you find and live with purpose.


Webinars Focus on Health Issues

Mercy - Cedar Rapids offers archive webinars on a variety of health-related topics. The webinars are available online at

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.

Watch for order information in next week's issue of
The Bulletin Board.




Thank You


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Thank you to all who participated to the annual Angel tree for the Vinton Animal Shelter!  We pulled in many items for the cats and dog there and it is very much appreciated by me and all the members of the Friends of the Shelter! 

Stacy Murphy


Below is a thank you Stacy received from the Vinton Animal Shelter:
Thank you again for doing the Angel tree!  We look forward to the goodies each year!  The cats all love their beds and toys and of course the good food!  PJ is a gentleman and even shared his treats with the other dogs (PJ was only dog on the tree this year, the other dogs came in the week before Christmas). 
Thank you very much!

Peyton, Taylor, Donita and Julie

Thank you all who saved their pink Yoplait lids for breast cancer research.  We received 170 lids and the codes have been submitted on line with $.10 for each donated by Yoplaiit.  Thank you all!

Stacy Murphy

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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