Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board

In This issue:


Support from the GWAEA Assistive Technology Team
GWAEA United Way Campaign Continues Through Oct. 31
33rd Ave Renovation Update
Updating Your Mail Signature
Want to see what you have checked out from multiple buildings in one place? Try this!
Conference Presenters
New Website Helps Iowans Understand, Apply Iowa Core
New Dates Available for RESPECT Training
GWAEA Blood Drive Held Oct. 24
Have you signed up to join the Blue Zones Project™?
Weight Watchers at Work Now Available for all GWAEA Staff
US Cellular Center Discounted Tickets
Second Annual Cropping 4 Kids - Quota International
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.

Support from the Grant Wood AEA Assistive Technology Team

Assistive technology enables children and youth with disabilities to participate more fully in all aspects of life and helps them to access their right to a "free, appropriate public education" (FAPE) in the "least restrictive environment" (LRE).


Although assistive technology is a "tool" or set of "tools" that assist students to benefit from the general education curriculum, it is not solely devices. Assistive Technology services include technical training, trial use and a variety of accommodations.




GWAEA Assistive Technology Team Members:
(front row, l to r: Debbie Mills
, Maggie Pickett.
Back row: Randy Perkins, Julie Freed
, Patty Soldner, Julie King, Sheila Matheson, and John Bethke. Not pictured: Amanda Miller.


Because assistive technology takes many forms, it looks different from student to student. In fact, the provision of assistive technology must be individualized for each student. (adapted from "Assistive Technology: Creating a Pathway")

The Grant Wood AEA Assistive Technology team provides services and support in the following areas:

  • Consultation to IEP/IFSP teams to build their capacity in the consideration and use of appropriate assistive technology

  • Provision of relevant and/or recent Assistive Technology information and resources to families and educators

  • Coordination of a variety of professional development opportunities provided in various formats to meet the AT needs of our families and IEP/IFSP teams including co-sponsorship of our annual Building Bridges Assistive Technology Conference in April and the launch of a hybrid graduate level course entitled “AT Academy for School Professionals.”

  • Oversee the assistive technology lending library maintained by the GWAEA Media Center

  • Utilize social media (Twitter, Google Communities, etc.) and web resources to network and support IEP teams in the provision and use of assistive technology tools and services.

To learn more, contact a member of the GWAEA Assistive Technology Team or view the AT Team website.

GWAEA United Way Campaign Continues Through Oct. 31

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.






33rd Ave Renovation Update


The interior work continues preparing the floor for finishing.

The atrium of the 33rd Ave. facility has been removed.



The entrance to the 33rd Ave. facility is now on the west side under the green awning.


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

Updating your email signature with "Top Workplaces" logo

As we communicated earlier this year, Grant Wood AEA employees have ranked the agency as one of Iowa's Top Workplaces for 2014!


You can help the agency celebrate this accomplishment by adding the "Top Workplaces" logo to your email signature. To do so:
1. Click the 'gear' in the top right corner of your gmail.
2. Go to 'settings'
3. Paste the information below into your 'signature' space, and edit to to reflect your own name, title and contact information
4. Click 'save changes.'


RENEE NELSON, Public Relations Coordinator
Grant Wood Area Education Agency
Phone 319-399-6714 • Fax 319-399-6457
4401 Sixth Street SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404


Grant Wood AEA

is honored to rank as one of Iowa's Top Workplaces.


Want to see what you have checked out from multiple buildings in one place? Try this!

In an effort to make it easier for GWAEA staff who are assigned to multiple buildings, an option has been added to the Medianet catalog system to allow viewing at one time items checked out in multiple buildings.


Here’s how:  (The example we use is a ficticious staff person named Heather Landry)


1. Log into Medianet in your normal way (



2. All of your Medianet accounts will display. Click the radio button in front a Medianet account in which to log in and click SUBMIT.  Note:  It doesn’t matter which account you choose although if you intend to check out items, it is recommended you select that school.



3. Go to the Options Menu.



4. From Display>Bookings, select the (new) feature, Current and Future.



5. Select the radio button for “All your accounts”, change any other filters and click “Search”.



If you need technical assistance in getting this feature to work, please contact Deanna Weber, GWAEA media specialist, or ext. 6454.


Conference Presenters

Congratulations to educators Jodi Swift, Janet Conrad, Chad Hippen, 4th-grade teachers at Lincoln Elementary, Washington CSD, and Christopher Soldat, GWAEA curriculum consultant, on their presentation at the 2014 ICTM-ISTS Math & Science Conference, held Oct. 22 at the ISU Scheman Center in Ames.


The group presented on the Reflective Assessment for Elementary Science (RAES) grant project.


(l to r: Jodi Swift, Janet Conrad, Chad Hippen and
Christopher Soldat)

The RAES grant is a collaborative project between the VAST Center, U of Iowa Science Education department, five local education agencies, and the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley.


The title of the presentation was "Formative Assessment: The Bridge BetweenTeaching and Learning."

New Website Helps Iowans Understand, Apply Iowa Core



Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck recently introduced, a new website created to increase public understanding of the Iowa Core standards and to help educators put the standards into practice in schools statewide.


“Our statewide standards are at the heart of work in schools to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s workforce, and we must do more to help educators, parents and other Iowans navigate them,” Buck said. “ will help bring the standards into focus for all Iowans and will put much-needed resources into the hands of educators who are working to put the standards into practice successfully in schools.” has three components:

  • Explore the Iowa Core enables users to search the Iowa Core standards by grade level (K-12) and subject (math, science, social studies, English language arts and 21st century skills, such as financial and technology literacy) to understand the knowledge and skills that children are expected to master.

  • Parents and Community includes materials that parents and other Iowans can use to understand what the Iowa Core is, what students are expected to know and be able to do, and how parents can help at home.

  • Educator Resources includes a collection of optional classroom resources and materials that educators may use to implement the Iowa Core. More than 8,000 resources are available at no charge in a central, searchable online location called, which is accessible through The materials are adaptable to fit the individual needs of local classrooms.

Iowa lawmakers passed the Iowa Core into law in 2008, with the expectation that schools would fully implement the standards by the end of the 2014-15 school year.


“Having clear statewide standards for what students should know and be able to do from kindergarten through 12th grade is critical not only to their success, but also to our state’s effort to prepare tomorrow’s workforce in a fast-changing economy,” Buck said. “We still have work to do to clarify what the Iowa Core looks like in schools. This new website is a big step in the right direction.” was developed with state funding from the 2013 legislative session.
The website is managed by the Iowa Department of Education. For more information, visit

New Dates Available for RESPECT Training

Recognizing Everyone's Strengths by
Peace building, Empathizing , Communicating and Trust building


There are new dates available for RESPECT training sessions in Cedar Rapids. See flyer for details.

RESPECT is a four-day curriculum designed to teach IEP team members- including parents, educators, service providers and administrators - a number of skills to prevent conflict that can arise in IEP meetings.

Cedar Rapids RESPECT Training is available, free of charge, from 8am-4:30pm at the Wilson Avenue Hy-Vee Club Room on the following dates:
Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014
Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015
Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015
Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015

(Please note these dates have been updated.  Attendees are expected to attend all four sessions.)

To register for these sessions, call Ashley at ASK Resource Center at (515) 243-1713.


Grant Wood AEA Blood Drive held Friday, Oct. 24

Thank you to those who donated during the Grant Wood AEA Blood Drive on Friday, Oct. 24. Congratulations to Donna Claflin as receipient of the $25 gas card. Special thanks to
Cathy Nelson for coordinating the blood drive.

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.


See flyer for details


Soundness with Sayde

Grant Wood AEA Sixth St. facility


Class dates:

Monday. Nov. 3, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 10, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 17, 4:30-5:30 p.m.


Cost: $5 for each session; $15 to attend all four sessions. Bring a yoga mat and blanket.


Weight Watchers at Work Now Available for all GWAEA Staff

Registration Deadline:  Tuesday, November 4, 2014

On Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, staff met with our Weight Watchers' representative, Lindsay, for an informational/registration session.  You still have time to sign up for the GWAEA At Work Weight Watchers' meetings.  To take advantage of this opportunity, you will need to submit a registration card and payment no later than Tuesday, Nov. 4.  Contact:   Kim Martin, GWAEA Northern Facility, or 319-399-6710 

How the Meetings Will Work

Scale Up Classroom, GWAEA Northern Facility
4:20 - 4:45 p.m. - confidential weigh in / 4:45 - 5:15 p.m. - group meeting
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - First Weekly Onsite Meeting
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 19th Weekly Onsite Meeting
(Note: no onsite meetings on 12/23/2014 and 12/30/2014)  

Join your colleagues in the Scale Up Classroom each Tuesday or choose a Weight Watchers' location most convenient for you.  

With At Work meetings, participating employees will get:

  • Practical guidance from an experienced leader who has lost weight with Weight Watchers

  • Weekly on-site meetings that fit perfectly in the busy workday as well as the flexibility to attend meetings at our community locations

  • Proven advantage of group support with co-workers who understand the workplace environment best

  • Free access to Weight Watchers eTools, our Internet weight-loss companion

Payment and Incentive Information
The cost to participate in the program is $186 per person ($9.79 per week).  Payment must be made in advance of the first session on Nov. 4.  This can be a single payment ($186.00) or split payment by writing three checks ($62.00 each) at registration.  The checks are held and deposited on weeks 1, 5, and 9.   

As an additional incentive, Grant Wood AEA participants will receive a $50.00 reimbursement incentive upon verification of attendance at 19 weekly meetings (either onsite or an alternate location).  There will not be onsite meetings on 12/23/2014 and 12/30/2014 so attendance these two weeks is not required to receive the GWAEA participation incentive.  You may, however, attend a meeting at an alternate site during these weeks for no additional cost.



Grant Wood AEA has teamed up with the U.S. Cellular Center to provide employees with discounts to a variety of entertainment options. To purchase discounted tickets, see the attached flyer for the password. This password can be used through any Ticketmaster outlet (additonal convenience fees will apply) such as or charge-by-phone

800-745-3000. Also available at the U.S. Cellular Center Box Office. See flyer for the
World's Toughest Rodeo details.

Second Annual Cropping 4 Kids

Quota International of Cedar Rapids


Jan. 23-24, 2015

Friday, 5:30 - 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Held at Grant Wood AEA, 4401 Sixth St. S.W.,
Cedar Rapids

Cost: $20 Friday, $35 Saturday, $45 both days.


See the information and registration flyers for details.


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.


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.

facebooktwitter rss pinterest