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:


GWAEA Behavior Teams Building for the Future
Welcome, GWAEA Interns
First Responders Training Planned Dec. 12
Agency Holiday Potlucks
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 Book Club
Refrigerator Cleaning Planned
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.

Grant Wood AEA Behavior Teams Building for the Future


Front Row: Teresa Grider-Baker (SSW, Behavior Coach), Kristi Miiller (Behavior Consultant/Challenging Behavior Team), Tammy McSweeney (SSW, Behavior Coach), Amy Graber (Behavior Consultant/Challenging Behavior Team), Nancy Veldhuizen (SSW, Behavior Coach). Back Row: Hannah Stokes (Behavior Consultant, Challenging Behavior Team), Katy Lee (SSW, Behavior Coach), Jake Vitense (Behavior Consultant/Challenging Behavior Team), Marti Hurst (SSW, Behavior Coach), Jill Weigel (Regional Administrator, Behavior Team Link), Susie Dale (Teacher - Offsite Programs, Behavior Coach) (Not pictured: Tammy Beener and
Mary Andres
, PBIS Coordinators


Like a carpenter building a foundation for a home, the deliberate work taking place this year by
Grant Wood AEA’s Behavior Teams will be the platform for future growth in AEA 10 schools


The Behavior Team includes 12 people at GWAEA. This team provides training in the use of school-wide positive behavioral supports for prevention of behavioral issues and to enhance the learning environment, and works in three distinctively different areas:

  • PBIS coordinators - School-wide Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) is based on the research based application of over 18,000 schools currently implementing successful changes in their school environment. School-wide PBIS evolved from valid research in the field of special education. This research indicated that results should be based on data with specific outcomes. GWAEA has two PBIS coordinators who work with LEAs on the implementation and administration of PBIS.

  • Behavior Coaches (also known as Special Ed Behavior Teams) – These six GWAEA coaches support our PBIS coaches, and AEA and LEA staff who are addressing behavior. They are assigned regionally across our service area.

  • We also have four GWAEA Challenging Behavior Specialists who receive in-depth training to address the most challenging student behavior. They are tasked with providing on-site support directly with the students who have the most challenges in this area. They also provide professional development to our staff and LEAs.

The challenge this team is tackling is very fundamental, but not at all simple: create a common, research-based approach to addressing challenging behavior so students receiving special education services have access to the same learning and opportunities as other kids. This approach for many LEAs is PBIS. As a multi-tiered systems of supports model, PBIS applies a three-tiered system of support, and a problem-solving process to enhance the capacity of schools to effectively educate all students.



“We’ve always adopted a data-based approach to behavior,” said Regional Administrator Jill Weigel, “but now more than ever we’re working as a system to ensure we’re using a common language and proven techniques to drive the desired outcomes.”


And the team is very thoughtfully laying the foundation for long-term success. “Our focus this year is on the AEA staff: we’re aligning our practices and ensuring our own consistency. We need to speak the same language and use the same approach to behavior so we can focus on classrooms and LEAs, and then we’ll be closely monitoring our progress to ensure we’re impacting the students positively and reaching our goals,” says Teresa Grider-Baker, one of the AEA’s behavior coaches.


“PBIS is a framework for student behavior, and it looks a little different in every building,” adds Jill. “We’re making great headway in ensuring we are making a measurable, consistent improvement on student behavior. We have no doubt behind our mission, and we’re thoughtfully and purposefully building our program step-by-step.”

Welcome, GWAEA Interns


Before the Thanksgiving holiday, Grant Wood AEA practicum students/interns were invited to attend an executive cabinet meet-and-greet. Pictured are Se-in Kim, Sarah Phillips, Cassie McFarland, Kelsey Arens, Amy Thompson, Heather Lujano and Brittney Haskell.GWAEA is pleased to partner with and support 20 students working in various agency disciplines this semester.

First Responders training planned

Training for agency first responders is planned on Dec. 12

The first responders are GWAEA employees trained to be contacts in situations of medical emergencies or sudden severe illness of employees or visitors on Agency property.


Staff interested in becoming a GWAEA first responder or would like additional information about the upcoming training should contact Renee Nelson, ext. 6714.


Agency Holiday Potlucks


Please join us for good food, good friends, good fun. Bring a dish to share.

Sixth Street Potluck

Monday, Dec. 8

11:30 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.

Scale Up Classroom

Coralville Potluck

Wednesday, Dec. 10

8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Coralville office

33rd Ave Renovation Update


(right) The former atrium entry has been closed and a new entry (left) is under construction.

The section of the wall for the new dock has been removed and an enclosure is being built.



  • to Rachel and Ryan Ronan on the birth of their daughter, Ryland, on Dec. 2.
    Ryland weighed 7 lbs. 15 oz. and 21 1/2 inches long. Ryland was welcomed by sister, Reese. Rachel is an Early Access Service Coordinator with Horizons, and is housed in the Coralville facility.

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 8 - Meditation with Noelle
Monday Dec 15 - Yoga with Sayde
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

Join the Cedar Rapids Skywalk Walking Program


The Blue Zones Project® is hosting a 10-week walking program throughout the downtown Cedar Rapids Skywalk. Come in out of the cold and continue your walking in a controlled environment. This is a great opportunity to walk with friends, co-workers, or simply meet new friends.

Shirley Wellington-Bruegge, GWAEA programmer, will meet the group and help lead the walk on Thursdays from 5:10-5:55 p.m. beginning Dec. 4. The group will meet on the first floor of the downtown public library. If there are no available spots in the library’s parking lot, use your library card for up to two hours of free parking by using the library card number as a “Coupon Code” at the parking kiosk.


After three visits, participants can get a free T-shirt. The group will not meet Dec. 25 or Jan. 1.
Check the Blue Zones website for other walk times.

Grant Wood AEA Book Club

Dec. 16, 12 p.m. or 4 p.m.

Media Center Learning Commons



Want to socialize/ learn with your colleagues? Join us for the Grant Wood AEA Book Club on Dec. 16. We will be discussing "Some Luck" by Jane Smiley.


Select from one of two meeting times to fit your schedule: 12 p.m. or 4 p.m. The book club will meet in the Media Center Learning Commons. Deanna Weber, GWAEA media specialist, will facilitate the discussion. If you would like to meet virtually at one of the times indicated above, please contact Deanna Weber, GWAEA media specialist, who will facilitate the discussion.


Please email Deanna with any questions:

Group Discounted Tickets


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 upcoming events and 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.

Annual Angel Tree for the Vinton Animal Shelter

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Season’s Greetings and Feliz Navidad from the Vinton Animal Shelter and their occupants!  The Angel Tree is set up by the NE/NW/Central File mail boxes and if you would like to “adopt” one of the cats or dogs from the tree and buy it food and/or treat for Christmas, please come and pick one!  The Vinton Animal Shelter is a no-kill shelter and the Friends of the Shelter work continually to help the homeless dogs and cats of Benton County find their forever home.  The shelter can also use old towels, blankets and cat litter.  Thank you and have a wonderful Holiday season!


Stacy Murphy, ext. 6888

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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.

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: 2010 JEEP LIBERTY SPORT. Automatic, 3.7L 6 Cylinder, ABS (4-Wheel), Air Conditioning, AM/FM Stereo, U-Connect hands free phone, Anti-lock Brakes, Cloth Seats, Compact Disc, Cruise Control, Daytime Running Lights, Dual Air Bags, Keyless Remote, Power Brakes, Power Steering, Power Windows, Rear Defroster, Roof Rack, Tilt Wheel, Tinted Glass, Traction Control, 65K miles.

$15,500.00 OBO. Call Jeff at 319-929-7689 cell.


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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