Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


In This issue:


DMM - Distance Mentoring Model
Welcome, New GWAEA Staff
Fire Drill, Oct. 7
Construction Continues on 33rd Ave. Renovation
Open Minds, Open Doors Conference
Brain Functioning in the School Setting and Effective Classroom Strategies
Fight the Flu!
Sharing Information About Education
Grant Wood AEA PRIDE
New GWAEA Staff Photo Directory
Online Resources Available to Staff, Teacher and Students
GWAEA Book Club
GWAEA Facebook "Throwback Thursdays"
GWAEA 6th Street Location Blood Drive Oct. 24
iOS 8 is Out
Have You Seen This Message on Your iPad?
Unlimited Space for Google Drive
Unlimited Space for Google Drive
GWAEA joins Healthiest State walk, Oct. 8
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.

DMM – Distance Mentoring Model

Grant Wood AEA places a high value on mentoring programs, and four of the agency's Early Access staff have completed a unique mentoring program.


Pictured (clockwise, top left to right) Patty Holzmiller, Occupational Therapist; Sue Thuma-Rew, Parent Child Educator; Lori McKinnie, Parent Child Educator and Anne Steffensmeier, Speech/Language Pathologist, have just completed a full year of training as cohort 1 of Distance Mentoring Model (DMM.) DMM is a project between the Department of Education, Early ACCESS staff, and Florida State University in which AEA staff members work with a mentor in Florida to improve their skills in coaching parents.


 "The Early ACCESS staff in the AEAs work with parents on interventions for their young children with disabilities," explained Jeanie Wade-Nagel.  "They help parents understand how to embed the skills into their daily routines so the child is getting intervention throughout his or her day.  This program allows them to reflect on their performance with an experienced, outside resource, and has proven to be really valuable to our staff. Grant Wood AEA has additional staff involved in cohort 2 and even more staff gearing up to begin cohort 3 later this month."

The project requires the AEA staff members to videotape themselves as they coach a parent.  They then review the video with their AEA DMM partner and send the videotape to Florida State where it is reviewed by their mentor.  After watching the video clips, the mentor schedules a time to connect electronically with the AEA staff members and provide feedback on how the coaching, and also offer possible suggestions for improvements. 

"This reflective process has proven to be extremely helpful to AEA staff as they grow in their confidence to coach parents" added Jeanie.  "And our parents feel more engaged in the interventions which help their child grow and develop. "

Welcome, New Grant Wood AEA Staff



Sarah Altic
M.S., Purdue University

Sarah has held positions as a speech-language pathologist with Deborah Curlee Communication Consultants and Anderson County Schools, Knoxville Tenn., and with Bonneville School District 93, Idaho Falls, Idaho.


Fire Drill for Agency Offices – Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014

The agency will hold a fire drill at the Sixth Street facility on Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 11:30 a.m.  Please take a minute between now and Oct. 7 to review the map in your building for the nearest exit. When the alarm goes off, plan to exit the building based on the information on these maps.

When you exit the building, please walk to the other side of the parking lot away from the building. In the event of a real emergency, fire and/or police would need quick access to the buildings. A designated individual at each facility will announce an all clear for staff to return to the building following the drill.


Please contact Dave Brousard or Renee Nelson with questions.

Construction Continues on 33rd Ave. Renovation

Work continues on the GWAEA 33rd Ave.location. The reception area is now located on the second floor as work continues on the main level, and signs are up to direct people to this temporary reception area. Additionally, the concrete work outside the building is underway, and the indoor work will start on Monday.  



The VAST Center has relocated to the area near the building's front entry.

Deb Johnson greets visitors in the temporary reception area at the top of the second floor stairs.



The VAST Center's temporary relocation from the back of the building.

The wall removed near the area of the second floor stairway and elevator.



Outside concrete work is underway.

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

Open Minds, Open Doors Conference planned Oct. 14

18th year of STEM conference for middle school girls


Congratulations to GWAEA Student Programs Specialist Susie Green and the planning team preparing for the 18th annual Open Minds, Open Doors Conference on Oct. 14. The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Coe College in Cedar Rapids.

Approximately 523 girls in grades 7-8 representing 32 schools will attend the conference, which encourages girls to pursue career fields with foundations in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Professional women working in STEM-related careers will provide volunteer presentations. Also featured will be presentations by the Rockwell Collins Road Show, LuminAID and the STEM Expo.

The conference originated in 1996 as an initiative of the Cedar Rapids Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) with support from Coe College.

Brain Functioning in the School Setting and Effective Classroom Strategies
(presented by the Grant Wood AEA Brain Injury Resource Team)

October 22, 2014
8:30am - 4:00pm

Interested staff can register through GWAEA Professional Development

Number: 19275-14-01

Grant Wood AEA

4401 Sixth St. SW
Cedar Rapids

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,

Sharing Information About Education


GWAEA Chief Administrator
Joe Crozier and Sen. Liz Mathis met this week to discuss legislative priorities.


You can view a list of the Iowa AEA legislative priorities here.

Grant Wood AEA PRIDE: Celebrating Staff Contributions


Staff at Grant Wood AEA are humble in their approach to their work, but it’s important to celebrate the contributions of staff that support our agency mission.


With this in mind, we introduce a new campaign to highlight the contributions of GWAEA employees. Every other month, we’ll highlight the PRIDE of the GWAEA: Proudly Recognizing Innovation, Dedication and Excellence. Staff will be able to read about the agency’s successes, learn about innovative approaches to daily work activities, and how staff and agency are working toward positive outcomes.


Submit your PRIDE nominations to Renee Nelson or Valerie Taylor Hill, GWAEA Communications.

New GWAEA Staff Photo Directory Now Available

As we told you in last week's issue of The Bulletin Board, we have enhanced the employee directory for GWAEA by including photos of our employees. Beginning today when you use the employee staff directory on to search for an employee, you also will be able to see a photo of the staff member.


All employee badge photos have been added to this directory.  If you want to remove your photo from the directory, you can do so by:
1.  Log into the ESS
2.  Click on "Staff Photo" under Forms Section
3.  Verify the photo thats displayed is you, if not contact Val Hill in Communications.
4.  To opt out of the photo directory, click on the checkbox "I do not want my photo displayed on the Grant Wood Website"
5.  If successful, a message in blue should read "Your Preferences have been saved".



Online Resources Available to GWAEA Staff, Teachers and Students

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


These resources support
student learning across all curricular areas, and are available from school or home 24/7.


Questions? Want to learn more?
Kathleen Goslinga at



This week's featured resource:

CyberSmarts (3-6)

CyberSmarts is an interactive collection for grades 3-6 offering users a safe, simulated Internet experience with hands-on instruction on how to deal with important online safety issues.



Grant Wood AEA Book Club


Looking for a fun and relaxing way to socialize with colleagues? How about becoming part of GWAEA's Book Club? Please indicate on the link form below
your interest and availability.


Book Club Form


For information, contact Deanna Weber, GWAEA media specialist.

apple on books



• to Faigha Warda, GWAEA programmer, who along with her mother and younger sister, became naturalized citizens on Sept. 17, 2014
during a Constitution Day ceremony held at the Herbert Hoover Library in West Branch. Faigha's family moved to Waterloo from Pakistan in 2009.


facebook logoFacebook "Throwback Thursdays" to celebrate 40 years of
Grant Wood AEA and Iowa's AEAs

Iowa’s Area Education Agency (AEA) system turns 40 this year, and there is much to celebrate!


Like Grant Wood AEA on Facebook to see  "Throwback Thursday" memories of
Grant Wood AEA
and Iowa's AEAs.


GWAEA Sixth Street Location Blood Drive Oct. 24

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 Friday, Oct. 24. To schedule an appointment, contact Cathy Nelson.

iOS 8 is Out

There are some changes coming when you update to iOS 8. Take a look at this video from Tony Vincent to learn more.


Have you ever seen this message on your iPad?

“This iPad Cannot be Backed Up Because There is Not Enough iCloud Storage Available. You Can Manage Storage in Your Settings.”

Well, you are not alone. Jonathan has been talking to a lot of people about this recently, so decided to put together a quick guide to help solve this very problem. Read more here.


Unlimited Space for Google Drive

This week it was announced that Google Drive for Education will provide unlimited storage: No more worrying about how much space you have left or about which user needs more gigabytes. Drive for Education supports individual files up to 5TB in size and will be available in coming weeks. See the other added features in the blog post.


GWAEA Staff PD Opportunity - Coaching in the Digital Classroom

We are bringing Jeff Utecht back to present to Grant Wood AEA consultants on Oct. 28, 2014
to support our agency goal of supporting 21st century skills.


Just because the laptops are open does that mean learning is occurring? We need to move beyond doing old activities in new ways to doing whole new activities that lead to deeper more meaningful learning. This session will focus on what to look for in the digital classroom and models that can be used to help coach teachers in a use of technology integration. Using new theories and reflective practices participants will walk away with a greater understanding of how digital tools change the learning landscape and allow for authentic learning experiences.

Registration Information here.

Healthiest State Walk is Oct. 8

12 Minutes to a Healthier Iowa

Got 12 minutes? Then you’ve got time to help Iowa on its mission to become the healthiest state in the nation. We have been working hard since 2011 to improve our rankings in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®.


Please click the registration link to add your name to the walk list.

Walk Time: Oct 8, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Walk Location: 4401 6th Street SW Cedar Rapids (parking lot) (twice around the parking lot path)
registration link:

Walk Location: 200 Holiday Road Coralville (front of building) (6 min. each way)
registration link:

Walk Location: 1120 33rd Avenue SW Cedar Rapids (front lobby) (6 min each way)
registration link:


For information, contact Kim Martin, ext. 6710, or Valerie Taylor Hill, ext. 6824.

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, 9 & 16, 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!

Holiday Shopping in Chicago

Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014


Get a head start on your holiday shopping or check out the fantastic museums and local sights of downtown Chicago (Water Tower Place, Michigan Avenue).  Saturday, November 15.  Leave Cedar Rapids/Lindale Mall at 6 AM and return by 11:00 PM.  $65 per seat on a Cedar Valley World Travel charter bus.  Contact Michelle Tressel at 319-431-5647 to sign up. Sponsored by Preceptor Delta Kappa.

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.



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.

Buy, Sell or Trade


Wanted: 18 oz. peanut butter jars with lids and 1/2 gallon plastic milk/juice jugs.
Please send to the VAST Center/33rd Ave.


Free: Free hostas.  Please e-mail Erin Fishell at if you are interested.


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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