Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


In This issue:


GWAEA Receives Recognition for Excellence
GWAEA Board of Director Elections
Reminder to update emergency contact information and beneficiaries
Behavior Round Table Discussions
FAST/Iowa TIER Training
Job Changes
Personalized Learning Convening with Jeff Utecht
PEP Professional Development
RESPECT Training
Fight the Flu!
Online Resources Available to Staff, Teacher and Students
SDC Available 24/7
GWAEA 6th Street Location Blood Drive Oct. 24
iOS 8 is Out
Unlimited Space for Google Drive
Team Lori
Especially for You Race
GWAEA joins Healthiest State walk, Oct. 8
Have you signed up to join the Blue Zones Project™?
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities


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.

Grant Wood Area Education Agency Receives Recognition for Excellence

State and National Awards for Chief Administrator and Agency

The Grant Wood Area Education Agency (GWAEA) has grabbed regional and national headlines for its contributions as an educational service agency and as an employer.

Joe Crozier, Chief Administrator for GWAEA, has won the 2014 Justus A. Prentice Award, a prestigious national honor bestowed by the Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA). The award is given to an individual annually for outstanding contributions through executive leadership of regional educational service agency programs at the regional, state, and national levels.


"Joe is an outstanding professional, mentor, teacher and colleague, and is most deserving of this award," said GWAEA Board President Jim Green. "He has personally dedicated himself to the widespread growth of service agencies and the support they provide for children, and he shares his vision with the industry."


Joe Crozier

The Grant Wood AEA instructional technology, business support and PowerSchool teams also were recognized by the AESA.  As winners of the Brian L. Talbott Award, AESA acknowledged the team's contributions in the area of technological innovation and business systems support to local districts and educational service agencies.


 "At the beginning of last school year," says Karl Kurt, Superintendent, North-Linn Community School District, "we lost our Technology Director, and GWAEA became our technology consultant by implementing a purchased service model, essentially employing their services to replace our Technology Director.  Our Board of Education was very happy with the cost savings of this partnership, and I am pleased that GWAEA proposed an innovative program to better support the needs of small school districts like North Linn.  This is a prime example of the support that area schools receive from the Grant Wood Area Education Agency."


Additionally, GWAEA was recognized by the Des Moines Register as one of Top Iowa Workplaces in 2014. These 122 companies were recognized as Top Workplaces based solely on surveys about the workplace completed by their employees.  The agency's employees ranked their employer through an anonymous survey, commenting “I have the opportunity to make the world a better place for children with disabilities," "I feel valued and appreciated,” and "I feel I can bring hope and help in difficult situations.”


"Our agency is staffed with dedicated employees who are committed to improving the learning outcomes for students," said Crozier.  "We have worked hard to cultivate a healthy  environment where they feel valued and supported, and we're proud to see our employees  appreciate the opportunities we provide."

Grant Wood AEA Board of Director Elections


The board re-elected Lynne Cannon as vice-president and Jim Green as Board president during the Grant Wood AEA Board of Directors meeting held on Oct. 8, 2014.

Reminder to update emergency contact information and beneficiaries

In the event of an emergency, we want to be sure to have accurate, up-to-date emergency contact information on file for employees.  To ensure that this information is current, employees are asked to review this information annually.  As a reminder, in an emergency situation, we will always try to contact a spouse first, if identified, then Contact 1 or Contact 2.

To update:
1)            Go to GWAEA home page, click on Staff Website, click on Employee Self Service (
2)            Enter username (first initial & last name) and your password (click on green box if you have forgotten your password)
3)            Click on Emergency Contacts (found under my information)
4)            Click on the record you wish to update or Add New Contact
5)            Click on Save Changes or Delete this Contact


If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the Human Resources Office at ext. 6703.  Thank you for keeping this information current.


Please also remember to update beneficiary information as family changes occur.  Employees designate beneficiaries for the group life and IPERS benefits. Contact Cathy Kearns, Compensation/Benefits, at ext. 6706, to make any beneficiary changes.

Construction Continues on 33rd Ave. Renovation

Work continues on the GWAEA 33rd Ave.location. The wall separating the science curriculum units and the delivery/receiving area has been removed. Work continues on the outside concrete work.



The wall removed from the area of the science curriculum units.

The outside concrete work continues.


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

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 twice per month, once at the Cedar Rapids office and once at the Coralville office. 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 the website.

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.

Job Changes


Job Category


New Assignment


Date Effective

Jane Harney
.5/ Technology Center
Data Service Technician
.75 /PowerSchool
IMS Operator
1.0/ Information Management
1.0/Professional Development




New Materials in the PEP Resource Library - Now a Part of the GWAEA Media Collection

The Parent Educator Partnership (PEP) library is now a collection of Grant Wood AEA's
Media Center.  


To access the PEP Library on-line:

  • You will see the PEP Library resources available for checkout.

  • Make your selection and the client name and password. Educators use their school or GWAEA user name and password

  • Parents: For first-time parent users call the media center at 319-399-6754 or Liz Hooley at 319-399-6719 to sign up for a PEP Library card. Once you have the card, select your resource and enter your client name and the parent password which is "Partnership."

  • The materials will be sent to the child’s school or other arrangements can be made to pick them up if you call Liz Hooley, 319-399-6719.

Visit the PEP Library for new books on executive function disorder, books for students, and books for preteens, teens, and their parents and educators.

RESPECT Training

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


RESPECT is a four-day curriculum designed to teach IEP team members, including parents, special educators, general educators, service providers, and administrators a number of skills to prevent conflict that can typically arise in IEP team meetings. Participants learn to meaningfully resolve differences that arise in ways that build, grow, and preserve relationships. Each session builds on the skills and concepts learned to teach IEP team members how to resolve differences early on, and strengthen working relationships between families and schools. Participants become more comfortable and proficient with conflict resolution at early stages.

The training days are spread out to allow participants time to absorb the material they have learned, complete brief assignments, practice skills and reflect on their practice. Participants are expected to attend all four sessions.

RESPECT Training is FREE of charge. Participant meals and all materials will be provided, and stipends are available:
Parent stipends ($50 per day)
Educator stipends to defray the cost of substitute teachers (up to $100 per day)
Information regarding graduate credit will be announced soon.

Cedar Rapids RESPECT Training
Participants are expected to attend all four sessions. See flyer for details.

HyVee Club Room
20 Wilson Avenue
Cedar Rapids

Each session is from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

CLICK HERE to REGISTER for the Cedar Rapids Training

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,



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:

AEA Digital Library

AEA Digital Library: This library features digital curriculum resources from leading producers of preK-12 content. This collection includes streaming video, still images, and digital documents for: literature, math, earth science, life science, physical science, social studies, health, nutrition, guidance, financial literacy and driver's education.


Previous Online Resources articles included in The Update:

CyberSmarts, Sept. 30, 2014

Tumblebooks, Aug. 19, 2014

Staff Distribution Center (SDC) Available 24/7 Starting on Oct. 8


* Have you ever needed something from the Staff Distribution Center (SDC) for tomorrow but couldn’t get to the Agency during business hours to pick up the item?

* Have you asked Judy to pull an SDC item for you which you planned to pick up but your schedule changed and you couldn’t get into the SDC when it was open?

* Would you like to browse the SDC collections at a time that is convenient for you?

We thought so! Therefore, a new service is being offered by the SDC: Starting on Oct. 8, 2014, the SDC will be available 24/7 for you to browse, check out, and pick up items.


Accessing the SDC After Hours, Including Weekends

1. Use your security badge to enter the building through the back door on 6th Street. (This is the outside door located near the mail room and elevator.)
Note: If you don’t have a security badge for the back
door, contact Heath Ayers at

2. Enter the Media Center through the double doors by the elevator. These doors will be unlocked, yet closed.



Note: Once you are inside the Media Center, the light switch is on the right-hand side of the door.

3. Use the self-check system when you are ready to check out items or pick up items that have been left for you in the designated cabinet.

Note: If you have never used the self-checkout system, contact Judy or Jodi for a quick “tour” prior to coming into the SDC after hours.


Leaving the SDC

1. Keep the self-checkout computer turned on for the next person.

2. Turn off the light switch on the wall by the Media Center doors.
Note: Some lights will remain on at all times.

3. Shut the doors behind you.


Contact Judy Bibeau, ext. 6752 or Jodi Flynn,
ext. 6552.



Grant Wood AEA has teamed up with the U.S. Cellular Center to provide employees with discounts to a variety of entertainment. 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 details.

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.



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.

TEAM Lori - Iowa City Miles for Myeloma, Oct. 5



Grant Wood AEA staff formed TEAM Lori for the Iowa City Miles for Myeloma run/walk on Oct. 5, 2014. The Grant Wood AEA team participated in memory of Lori Hilmer, GWAEA school social worker in Early ACCESS, who died on June 21, 2014.

Grant Wood AEA Team Joins 2014 Especially for You® Race Against Breast Cancer, Oct. 5

Grant Wood AEA's Especially for You team included 29 runners/walkers at last Sunday's event. Congratulations to Deanna Haddy on her race time of 26:08 and placing 304th overall. To access the event times, visit and scroll to the bottom left. Click on
"See Results" for the 2014 race.





Healthiest State Walk, Oct. 8

A total 55 Grant Wood AEA staff at the three agency facilities participated in the Healthiest State Initative "12 Minutes to a Healthier Iowa" walk on
Wednesday, Oct. 8.






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!

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.


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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