Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


Dec. 24, 2014, 3 p.m.

The agency closes for winter break and will reopen on
Jan. 2, 2015 at 7:30 a.m.


In This issue:


Grant Wood AEA Parent/Student Transition Night
Welcome, New GWAEA Staff
Electronic W-2 Delivery Consent
$1,500 Early Notification Incentive for Contracted, Management Staff Approved by GWAEA Board
Universal Precautions/Bloodborne Pathogens
Reminder to Contracted Staff Approved to Work Added Days this School Year
Setting Up Audio for Zoom Meetings
Education Director Pens Note to Parents
Iowa Department of Education to Stop Granting Waivers
GWAEA's The Linker,
Nov-Dec 2014
Online Resources: Support Teachers and Students
Thank you
Our Condolences
The Bulletin Board publication schedule
33rd Ave Renovation Update
Have you signed up to join the Blue Zones Project™?
Yoga and Meditation
Cedar Rapids Skywalk Walking Program
Grant Wood AEA Indoor Walking Maps
Weight Watchers at Work
Refrigerator Cleaning Planned
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.

Please share with Parents and Teachers...

Mark Your Calendar!

Your Child's Future...the Possibilities are Endless

Grant Wood AEA Parent/Student Transition Night

April 30, 2015, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. - Grant Wood AEA, 4401 Sixth St. S.W., Cedar Rapids

Visit Grant Wood AEA Professional Development to register for Number 19052-14-01.




See flyer for information

Welcome, New Grant Wood AEA Staff



Monica Jamison
Teacher: Off-Site Programs

B.S., Cornell College

Monica's background includes positions as a classroom and substitute teacher, para and youth service worker at Tanager Place, and as a level 2-3 BD teacher at Washington High School, Cedar Rapids.




Rebecca Newton
Science Center Technician
B.A., Wartburg College

Rebecca has held positions with hibu and facilitated the Tobacco and Care for Yourself grant programs for Butler County Public Health.




Melissa Potter
Program Associate, IRRC

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. 

$1,500 Early Notification Incentive for Contracted, Management Staff Approved by GWAEA Board 

Please see a copy of the full article in the Dec. 11, 2014 issue of The Bulletin Board.


In summary:

  • The GWAEA Board of Directors has approved a $1,500 early notification incentive for Contracted and Management staff who provide early notification of their retirement or resignation.

  • This incentive is available for Contracted and Management staff.

  • Staff who are eligible for this incentive and who intend to resign or retire at the end of the 2014-2015 work year must notify HR in writing before 4:30 p.m. on January 30, 2015 (email notice is acceptable).

  • If the retirement or resignation is accepted by the Board on or before its regular meeting on February 11, 2015, the staff member will receive an incentive of $1,500, to be payable on June 19 (assuming the staff member's contract obligations have been satisfactorily completed).

Staff with questions about the incentive are encouraged to speak with their supervisor or the HR office.

Universal Precautions/Bloodborne Pathogens

To promote a safe working environment and prevent and control the transmission of communicable diseases, employees are to use universal precautions in the delivery of services.  Universal precautions are identified in the Agency’s exposure control plan for bloodborne pathogens, which is reviewed on an annual basis.  Key components of the plan are summarized here for employee information and reference.


Wallet-sized cards outlining these procedures have previously been provided to all staff.  If you need additional cards, have questions or would like more information, please contact the Human Resources Office, ext. 6703.  Thank you.

Reminder to Contracted Staff Approved to Work Added Days this School Year

Contracted staff are reminded to submit added days time cards on a weekly basis as the work is performed.  If added days have been approved and worked during the current school year, it is important you are up-to-date in submitting these time cards.

This ensures timely payment for the work completed and also allows supervisors to have more accurate and current financial data for budgeting purposes.  

Help for setting up audio for Zoom video conferencing meetings

Do you need a reference tool for setting up audio meetings using Zoom?  Check out this Google doc from GWAEA Technology Support Program Lead Heath Ayers. The information includes testing settings prior to joining the meeting, and what option to select when joining the meeting.


Education Director Pens Note to Parents

In an open letter to K-3 parents posted on Dec. 9, 2014,
Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck addressed the importance of a statewide effort to improve children’s literacy skills. The letter is available on the Iowa Department of Education website along with a link to a copy of the letter in PDF format.


Iowa Department of Education to Stop Granting Waivers

The text of Dr. Buck's letter to Iowa school leaders informing them that waivers to the school start date requirement would no longer automatically be granted can be accessed here.

Grant Wood AEA's The Linker, November-December 2014


In this issue:

November/December 2014

- A Common Platform for Addressing Special Behavior Challenges

- Kaldenberg shares GWAEA's Online Resources with students at Solon

- GWAEA Professional Development

- Instructional Media/School Technology


The Linker, is available for viewing and download along with archival copies.


For information, contact
Valerie Taylor Hill in the GWAEA Communications Office, ext. 6824.




Online Resources: Support Teachers and Students

Grant Wood AEA currently provides 23-online resources at nocost to our accredited public and non-public pre-K-12 schools.


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


For information, contact
Kathleen Goslinga,



This week's featured resource:

Featured Resource: Britannica

Britannica Digital Learning offers an extensive collection of reference and learning materials that are curriculum aligned and age-appropriate which support student research and classroom instruction. Teachers have the option to set up an individual account which gives them the opportunity to search by standard, subject, grade level and lesson plans. Additional featured areas include: Britannica Learning Zone PreK-2, New York Times, interactive world atlas, compare countries, animal kingdom, image and video library.




Read the newest issue of info@gwaea, December 2014, and how Washington High School, Washington Community, is using the online student resource
Student News Net (SNN) in the classroom.


For information about Grant Wood AEA's Online Resources, contact
Kathleen Goslinga,







Thank you

The Olin Elementary fourth-grade class would like to say thank you for your donations for our personal hygiene health unit. We received enough donations to keep deodorant, lotion, a comb, toothbrush, and toothpaste in each of our lockers. We also have extras that we are welcome to use during this school year and for the upcoming fourth-graders.


We are so grateful, thankful, and proud of the health items we received from you. Thank you for caring about us and making this possible.


Ms. Vroegh's fourth-grade class

Olin Elementary

Our Condolences...

  • to the family and friends of Joe Rayer, who passed away on Nov. 5. Joe began his career at Grant Wood AEA in September 1979 as a GWAEA technology consultant, retiring in June 2000.

The Bulletin Board will publish on
Dec. 18 and resume publication on Jan.

Have an enjoyable winter break!


33rd Ave Renovation Update


Construction work continues on the former atrium entry (right) and the new entry (left).

The wall separating the VAST Center has been removed.



Work continues preparing the new loading dock area.


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.



Cost: $5.00/ session or $15.00 for all four weeks. Bring a yoga mat and blanket.

Yoga and Meditation

Grant Wood AEA Sixth St. facility

4:30-5:30 p.m.


Class dates:
Monday Dec 22-Yoga with Sayde


Monday Jan 5 - Yoga with Sayde
Monday Jan 12 - Meditation with Noelle
Monday Jan 19 - Yoga with Sayde
Monday Jan 26 - Yoga with Sayde

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.


For additional upcoming events, visit the
Blue Zones Project® website,


GWAEA Indoor Walking Routes

Indoor walking route maps are now posted on the 1st and 2nd floors of the Sixth Street building at the "start" position which is located at the stairway in the hallway between the Scale-Up Classroom and the east entrance to the media center. The distance for the first floor walking path is 9 times around equals 1 mile. The distance for the second floor walking path is 13 times around equals 1 mile.



See map above

We encourage you to use the indoor walking routes during inclement weather. Please be mindful GWAEA is a place of business and the indoor route should be used in a safe, considerate manner.


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. 

Refrigerator Cleaning Planned

Hello and season’s greetings to everyone. Guess what?  Yep, it’s that time of year again. While you are gone enjoying your time off for the holidays, the Marsden elves will be hard at work keeping things tidy.  That means clean carpets in the conference center and some hard hit areas around the building, and our bi-annual refrigerator clean out and sanitizing. 


If you want to save condiments, salad dressings, etc., please take them home on or before Dec. 24 otherwise they will be tossed out.  You can bring them back on Jan. 2 when you return from your holiday vacation. 


Have a great Winter Break!

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.

Buy, Sell or Trade

For Sale: CR/Marion HyVee coupon books available. $10 per book with a $10 coupon inside.  Great stocking stuffer or last minute gift!  Contact Amy Keller at or 319-321-3986.


For Sale: Black Dansko shoes for sale, new, size 42, $50 Contact Marcia Booth, 929-1329 if interested.


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.

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