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Bulletin Board


In This issue:


GWAEA United Way Campaign Starts Monday
FAST/Iowa TIER Training
Welcome, New Grant Wood AEA Staff
Staff Attend DEC of CEC Conference
fSixth Street facility impacts by Common Formative Assessment Workshop Oct. 20 
Constructions Continues at 33rd Avenue
Thank you
Online Resources Available to Staff, Teacher and Students
C.H.A.D.D. Regional Workshops
Fight the Flu!
GWAEA Sixth Street Location Blood Drive Oct. 24
Have you signed up to join the Blue Zones Project™?
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.

GWAEA United Way Campaign Starts Monday

Grant Wood AEA is a supporter of the United Way and will again organize an agency campaign to coordinate donations for them.  This year our agency has set a goal of increasing overall participation in United Way giving, and this year, there's a significant financial benefit for the agencies that receive United Way funding.

In celebration of the United Way of East Central Iowa’s 100 year anniversary, more than 20 local families have joined together and pledged to match new dollars raised in 2014.  This Centennial Matching Challenge means all new donations and all current donors who increase their gifts will have their gifts matched dollar for dollar.


Make your commitment to the United Way by using the pledge form online: you can payroll deduct your contribution or make a single gift, but you're encouraged to participate during our campaign time of Oct. 20-31.  Access addiitonal donor forms and information here.






FAST/TIER Leadership Team Region Presentations

The FAST/TIER Leadership team (see the list below) has begun delivering a presentation at all regional meetings.  The presentation is designed to provide a general understanding of FAST/TIER implementation.  The presentation contains important overview information around early literacy and FAST/TIER for all AEA staff. There will be continued learning opportunities during the year for those staff groups identified as needing a deeper understanding to support the work.  In addition, ​due to the implementation of the new guidance for the Early Literacy Legislation (279.68), there has been an increased interest in content specific questions related to TIER/FAST. The DE is the entity working very hard to prepare answers to these content specific questions.


Questions about the implementation of TIER/FAST coupled with the requirements of 279.68 continues to be the responsibility of the DE as they work with districts to address district specific questions. The DE is working very hard to answer these questions. Please continue to encourage district staff and AEA colleagues to go to the DE Early Literacy Website to view updates, to review the guidance document, and to connect to webinars that are being created to address specific issues. In addition, we should continue to encourage district staff to submit questions through the ticket system that is a part of TIER/FAST.

GWAEA FAST/TIER Leadership Team
Myra Hall, Central Region
Ronda Hilbert, Central Region/SPEL
Debbie Mills, Central Region/SLP
Mary Menon, Northeast Region
Amanda Osborn, Northwest Region
Terry Gorman, Cedar Rapids Region
Erin Welsh, Iowa City Region
Karen Harper, Southwest Region
Tracy Liebermann, RA Iowa City (Psychs/SSW)
Jill Ries, RA Cedar Rapids (SEC)
Melissa Tandy, Facilitator 

FAST/Iowa TIER training for AEA Staff

October 23, 2014, 2:00-4:00 p.m. , Revere/Stone/Autumn Room

  • Looking for more information on FAST Assessments and Iowa TIER? This session will include a brief overview of the assessments in the FAST system and a demonstration on using Iowa TIER to access student data. Participants will have opportunities to explore in Iowa TIER and ask questions about the system.  

  • This training is specifically for AEA staff who have access to Iowa TIER.

Please email Alison West, GWAEA Literacy Consultant, to RSVP: Thank you.


Welcome, New Grant Wood AEA Staff



Hannah Stokes
Behavior Consultant
M.A., University of Minnesota, Duluth

Sarah's background includes positions as an outpatient therapist and family consultant with Mid-Iowa Family Therapy Clinic, and as an interim school social worker with Independent School District #709.



Staff Attend DEC of CEC Conference




(l to r: Jeanie Wade-Nagle, Robyn Robbins, Allyson Wheelan, Kay Schieffer, Marilyn Muhle, Christina Zebuhr, Ryly Farr, Sue Thuma-Rew, Julie Sigwarth, De Wagner, Linnea Starkey,
Anne Steffensmeier, Gail Cook, Carla McMillan, Peggy Daugherty, Pat Boeding and
Melanie Reese


Let's use GWAEA staff members attended the Division of Early Childhood (DEC) of Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) conference in St. Louis from Oct. 7-9.     

These staff members were adding to their knowledge base on coaching, working with children at risk for autism, using technology for providing services, providing evidence based assessments and interventions for 0-3 or 3-5 year olds and networking with people from other states.

Melanie Reese and Kay Schieffer both presented at the conference. The group will gather to assure that the learning they gained is shared with others and implemented into the work they do at Grant Wood AEA.

Sixth Street facility impacts by Common Formative Assessment Workshop Oct. 20 

The Common Formative Assessment Workshop will be held on Monday, Oct. 20, at the Sixth Street facility.  It is anticipated there will be more than 200 attendees. Staff will be meeting in different areas of the building. Parking, break rooms, and restrooms will be impacted. Remember to hardwire your computer or make sure you are on the GWUser network. With 200 people come 200+ devices on the GWAEA network.

Construction Continues on 33rd Ave. Renovation


The interior wall separating the science curriculum units area and the delivery/receiving area has been removed.

Interior walls now open from the area of the science curriculum units.



The outside concrete work continues.


Watch for additional information and photo updates in The Bulletin Board.

Thank you

I have received an incredible outpouring of cards, emails, notes, positive thoughts, prayers, and gifts from my Grant Wood family as I battle ovarian cancer. I cannot begin to express how much each and every kindness has meant to me and how helpful each expression has been in helping me get through difficult days and helping me maintain a positive and determined outlook. Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I am very grateful and appreciate each and every one of you and am overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and kindness I am receiving. I wish I could thank each of you individually but even if you do not hear from me, know that your gift has been appreciated. I miss being at work and I miss seeing you all.


Denese Kromminga Toomey, School Social Worker



Online Resources: Support Teachers and Students

Grant Wood AEA currently provides
23-online resources at no-cost to our accredited public and non-public preK-12 schools.


Students and staff have access both at school and home, 24/7. These resources support student learning across all curricular areas.


To schedule professional development, inservice time, or training, contact Kathleen Goslinga, or 319-399-6582, 800-332-8488 ext. 6582.



This week's featured resource:


This multimedia resource provides streaming of full-length digital videos, video clips, images, audio files, newsreels, speeches and a comprehensive library of teaching resources, Teachers have the option to browse by subject, standard, grade level, media format, publisher, series, copyright, language and closed captioning. 


Previous Online Resources articles included in The Update:

AEA Digital Library, Oct. 7, 2014

CyberSmarts, Sept. 30, 2014

Tumblebooks, Aug. 19, 2014



Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports in the Schools and
Adult ADD/ADHD Open Discussion


Tammy Beener
GWAEA School Psychologist

Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, 9:00-11:00 a.m.
Mercy Medical Center, 701 10th St SE
Cedar Rapids

Training Room B in basement level


Future workshops featuring speakers and consultants from Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency.




See flyer for details.

Fight the Flu

Oct. 28, 2014, 7:15 - 9:15 a.m.

Sixth St. Facility - Grant Wood Room

Coralville Facility - Room A

Link to register


Flu Shots planned at Grant Wood AEA through the
Visiting Nurse Association. Bring your insurance information. VNA will direct bill your insurance company.


As a reminder, and for employee reference, the Agency health plans provide flu shot benefits, which includes:

  1. Full 100% coverage, with no co-pay, for shots received through in-network or
    out-of-network providers.

  2. Under the HMO Essential plan, however, individuals must go to an in-network provider for the shot or the shot will not be covered.

  3. If another non-preventive service in addition to the flu shot is performed in the doctor's office, individuals are then responsible for the office co-pay.

If there are questions about your health plan benefits, please contact Cathy Kearns, Payroll/Benefits Specialist, at ext. 6706 or

For information, contact Connie Dvorak,


Grant Wood AEA Blood Drive, Friday, Oct. 24

Save Someone’s Life, Donate Blood

Only six individuals are currently signed up to participate in the blood drive. Use one hour of your day to save up to three lives! Grant Wood AEA will host a blood drive at the Sixth Street location on Friday, Oct. 24.

Did you know that 19% of blood products transfused go to treat cancer patients. In many 
cases these are routine weekly and monthly transfusions. This means that our local blood 
supply is constantly fluctuating and there may be times when there is not enough blood 
available to meet patient needs. The only thing we can do is continue to reach out to our 
donors and ask them to give a little bit of their time to donate blood. Sign up to donate on 
the 24th and you could be the difference between life and death for a patient in need right 
here in Cedar Rapids.

GWAEA Sixth Street Location Blood Drive, Oct. 24

1:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Grant Wood AEA – Revere/Stone Room 
For questions or to schedule an appointment, contact Cathy Nelson at 319-399-6544 
or e-mail

All registered donors will be entered into a drawing, for a $25 Gas Card.
Last date to donate elsewhere: 8/29/14

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.

Guided Meditation with Noelle Holmes

Thursday, Oct. 16 at Grant Wood AEA - Sixth St. facility, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Guided meditation is a wonderful way to connect with a meditative practice for seasoned devotees and beginners alike. Relax and let go as you follow the facilitator's voice on a journey of healing, exploration, and discovery. The session begins with conversation on the evening's topic of contemplation and continues in guided meditation with the night concluding in final discussion and sharing time. Experts say there is no better way to improve your health than to reduce stress!

Attendance levels will drive the frequency of future sessions.

Interested in Weight Watchers Onsite at Grant Wood AEA?

As part of the GROW Wellness initiative, we are exploring the option of partnering with Weight Watchers to offer an onsite meeting series. With 20 or more interested employees, a weekly onsite meeting would be offered as well as the flexibility to attend meetings at community locations. Give us your feedback on this initiative here.

Blue Zones Project Cooking Class, Saturday, Oct. 18

The Blue Zones Project® is hosting a Cooking Class at NewBo City Market on Saturday, Oct. 18, 9:00 a.m. Foods native to one of the original Blue Zones areas, Loma Linda, California, will be featured.

 Recipes will include dried berry granola and vegan chili with avocado garnish. RSVP here.

Chair Massages, Oct. 23

Terri Nicol will be at the Sixth St. facility for chair massages on Thursday morning, Oct. 23.
Contact Stacy Murphy to schedule an appointment time.

Personalized Learning Convening with
Featured Presenter:
Jeff Utecht


Oct. 27, 2014

8:15 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Grant Wood AEA
4401 Sixth St. SW, Cedar Rapids


Course Number: 19270-14-01

Registration Deadline:
Oct 20, 2014, 6 a.m.


See flyer for breakout session details.


Grant Wood AEA is hosting its first inaugural convening designed to provide time for participants to network, share and learn from best practices around personalized learning. Back by popular demand, Educational Technology Consultant and author Jeff Utecht will be joined by local practitioners to share how they are creating personalized pathways to improve student learning.


Break-out sessions will be offered in the morning and again in the afternoon to allow for deep learning and practice with tools used to create personalized learning pathways. Over lunch, participants will have the opportunity to hear from a group of area students who will share their thoughts and ideas around what engages them in learning.

New TQ Dates 2014-2015

Nov. 10, 2014; 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

Wanted: Stacy Murphy is collecting Pink Yoplait lids for the Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives program. Collection containers are in the Sixth St. facility staff break room or send to Stacy by office mail.


Wanted: An area teacher will be teaching a unit on health, specifically personal hygiene. Donations of health/wellness items such as shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, etc. are welcome. Send items to
Myra Hall
care of Jan Baburek for delivery. Thanks!




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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