Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


May 7, 2015

Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet

Bella Sala, 205 S. Park Rd., Tiffin


In This issue:


Now's the Time! Spring Cleaning
IEP FAQ - New IEP Resource
Agency Phone System Update Planned on March 11
Welcome, New GWAEA Staff
Have Student Loan Debt or Going Back to School?
Grant Wood AEA's The Linker, January/February 2015
Registration begins March 1 for the 2015 Grant Wood AEA
College for Kids
Grant Wood AEA Literacy Intervention Fair
A New Look for the GWAEA Media Center Catalog
Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet
Who Would You Like to Recognize?
OLLIE Book Club
33rd Ave Renovation Update
Blues 'n' Buffett Chili Challenge, March 8
Have you signed up to join the Blue Zones Project™?
Blue Zones Project™ Upcoming Events
Weight Watchers at Work
Grant Wood AEA Book Club
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
Shoes for Shelters


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 Mission: To ensure success for all learners.



Now's The Time!

It’s time for a little spring cleaning! Our agency is preparing for a refresh, and we have drafted guidelines to aid staff with this process. Staff should reference these tools to ensure consistency with what we discard/recycle, and how to organize our materials going forward.


Timeline for Cleaning

February - Purge excess files and materials.

March - Purge excess files and materials.

April - On April 17th Coralville RAs will purge unclaimed materials and common areas.

May - Continue to purge excess files and materials. Coralville office continues to pack.

June - June 12th is the last day of packing for Coralville staff. Coralville office furniture will move in/set up through the week of June 22nd - June 30th.


Any loose or boxed items that are unmarked and stacked or stowed in any location other than inside a filing or storage cabinet in each Agency facility after June 15th will be removed from the facility and discarded.

IEP FAQ - New IEP Resource

Writing IEPs and navigating the Web IEP system can generate many questions! To help staff get answers to the many Frequently Asked Questions regarding IEPs, visit the following resource link. If your question is not included, please submit the question using the survey link on the FAQ.


Please share this new resource with the LEA staff you work with. For questions, contact Melissa Tandy (, Austin Beer ( or Hillary Prall (

Agency Phone System Update Planned on March 11

On March 11 starting at 5:00 p.m., a software update will be completed to the Grant Wood AEA phone system. This will cause voicemail and phone outages for 3-4 hours during that evening.

Welcome, New Grant Wood AEA Staff



Milos Draca

Cedar Rapids

B.S., Computer Science, Mount Mercy University

Reminder...Have Student Loan Debt or Going Back to School?

Just a brief reminder. If you are searching for a way to lower your monthly student loan payments or make additional degrees more affordable, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program may be an option for you.


Unlike the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, any full-time staff member may be eligible for the PSLF Program. Additionally, there is no cap in the amount of student loan forgiveness with the PSLF Program.


See flyer for details

Grant Wood Area Education Agency has partnered with Innovative Student Loan Solutions (ISLS) to provide student loan forgiveness expertise and personalized strategies to help you maximize the Program. More information about the program and their services are listed below. You can easily see if you qualify and schedule an initial no-obligation consultation by following the online scheduling link below:


Step 1: Visit:

Step 2: Enter Registration Code AEA10

Step 3: Answer 5 simple questions to find out if you are eligible, then schedule your no-obligation, virtual/phone consultation with a student loan forgiveness expert to get started.


PSLF Program Benefits:

· Immediately lower your monthly student loan payment by up to 88%.

· Eliminate student loan debt – average of $49,000 student loan debt eliminated after PSLF Program completion.

· Significantly reduce the cost of earning advanced degree including Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph.D.


What Could Make YOU eligible?

· Being a full-time employee.

· Having federal loans such as Subsidized Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford, Parent PLUS and Graduate PLUS loans.

· Pursuing an additional degree.

· Private student loans are NOT eligible.


Proven Results of an actual Educator

Before ISLS Strategy:

With ISLS Strategy:

$78,635 (total principal + interest)

$54,271 in student loan forgiveness

$655 per month for 10 years

$98 per month for 10 years


Contact the Innovative Student Loan Solutions team via their online contact form or by phone at 1.866.831.5564. One of their representatives will be happy to assist you.


Learn more about ISLS by visiting


**This program/service is being provided as a courtesy to help staff reduce their student loan debt. Our district is not endorsing this organization.**

Grant Wood AEA's The Linker, January-February 2015


In this issue:

January/February 2015

- School Improvement Consultants Build LEA Capacity Through Teacher Leader Work

- IASL Book Awards Promote Reading

- 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,
319-399-6824 or 800-332-8488.



Registration begins March 1 for the 2015 Grant Wood AEA
College for Kids

2015 Program





Early Bird

"A" Term

June 15-26

8:30-11:50 a.m.

$215 Early Registration

     Received by April 30

$225 Registration

$200 Family Registration


7:45-8:20 a.m.


"B" Term

July 6-17

8:30-11:50 a.m.

$215 Early Registration

     Received by April 30

$225 Registration

$200 Family Registration


7:45-8:20 a.m.



Grant Wood AEA's College for Kids is a summer program offering advanced level academic and fine arts courses in the college setting to eligible talented and gifted students who have completed 6th, 7th or 8th grade. Through the Grant Wood AEA College for Kids experience, students are offered advanced or specialized curricula, and have the opportunity to further explore a hobby or a topic of interest not typically available in middle school general education.


Student nomination information was sent to schools during February. Visit the Grant Wood AEA College for Kids website for the registration link. Registration begins March 1.

Grant Wood AEA Literacy Intervention Fair planned May 11

This workshop is designed to provide participants the chance to view and interact with reading intervention materials for struggling readers. Publishing companies will each have a booth to display their materials. They will also each provide a 30-45 minute presentation highlighting the target for the interventions, how data is gathered and monitored, and research based results.


May 11, 2015

8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Presentations

8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Displays


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

Number: 19008-14-01



See flyer for details or visit the
Grant Wood AEA Literacy Intevention Fair website

A new look for the Grant Wood AEA Media Center Catalog

Check out the new media catalog landing page. The new web page includes an easier search feature, a “Feature” of the month, as well as a book carousel of the most recent additions to the media center catalog.


Visit the Grant Wood AEA Media Center catalog link at For information, contact Deanna Weber,


Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet

Celebrating 40 Years of Area Education Agencies (AEAs) in Iowa




All employees with 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 or 40 years of employment with
GWAEA, retirees, and persons nominated and selected by agency staff will be honored.


Date: Thursday, May 7, 2015


Bella Sala

205 S. Park Rd.



Social Hour: 5:30 p.m.
Dinner: 6:00 p.m.


GWAEA Board Members and Employees: $13

Spouses, Friends and Retired Staff: $25 per person


Reservations Due: May 1, 2015


Groups may reserve a table. Please submit all reservation requests to Cathy Nelson at Sixth Street, ext. 6544.

Click to access the banquet invitation. Printed copies are available if needed. See Cathy at the front desk. Include cash or check (payable to Grant Wood AEA).

Who Would You Like to Recognize?

Nominations for Caring Colleague, Friend of Education, and Educational Partners are due by March 6 for the annual Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet


Saying “thank you” to your co-workers, community volunteers and/or the people with whom you work can be wonderfully uplifting to someone you feel is special – within Grant Wood AEA, in the community or at one of the schools you serve. It can also be satisfying and meaningful to you, personally.  Please consider nominating one or more persons you have worked with or observed as “going the extra mile." The categories you may nominate individuals for are:

  • Friend of Education (usually business and community partners)

  • Educational Partner (usually school personnel)

  • Caring Colleague (GWAEA staff only)

Only Grant Wood AEA staff may nominate people for these awards.  A random group of Grant Wood AEA staff members always comprises the awards selection committee. Click for a list of previous honorees.


Contact Renee Nelson (ext 6714) or Valerie Taylor Hill (6824) or email us your nomination form. Nominations are due by Friday, March 6 in the Communications Office.


  • to Andy Craig, who is a recipient of this year's KCRG-TV 9 Who Care Award. Andy is a volunteer with a variety of community organizations including Unity Point-St. Luke's Hospital, the Johnson County Crisis Center, and Grant Wood AEA's Van Allen Science Teaching Center (VAST).

Book Club



Even though the 28 Days of OLLIE will be ending soon, AEA PD Online will continue to facilitate activities for community members. The March event will be a book club. Learn more at this link.

33rd Ave Renovation Update


Doors are being added to the new entrance.


Framing on the new entry area continues.



Carpet added to the building's south side.

Blues 'n' Buffett Chili Challenge

March 8, 2015

The 15th annual Blues 'n' Buffett Chili Challenge will be held on Sunday, March 8, 2015 at the Cedar Rapids Marriott Hotel from 1- 4 p.m.
All proceeds from this great event will benefit the Community Health Free Clinic and the
H.D. Youth Center


Come out and sample over 25 different chili recipes & vote for your favorite. There will also be a silent auction with lots of great items to bid on.  Advance tickets are just $8 ($5 for Seniors) and can be purchased from Jan Baburek at ext. 6851 or Bart Mason. Tickets will also be available at the door for $10. Come out and help support two great local community causes.  

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.


Blue Zones Project™
Upcoming Events

Don’t let the cold keep you from staying active this winter. Keep improving your well-being by participating in one of the many events coming during February! Visity the following links for lists of Blue Zones Project events in the Cedar Rapids, Marion and Iowa City areas. For additional information, visit


Weight Watchers at Work

Grant Wood AEA 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 293 pounds!  


New Enrollee Opportunity

1. Weekly prorated rate available (8 weeks remain in first session)
2. Weekly meeting offered at GWAEA/Scale Up Classroom every Tuesday at 4:45 p.m.
3. Prefer another location? Take advantage of our reduced rate and attend a weekly meeting at a community location

Contact: Kim Martin, 319-399-6710,

Grant Wood AEA Book Club

March 4, 12 p.m. or 4 p.m.

Media Center Learning Commons



Due to weather issues on Wednesday, Feb. 25, Book Club will now meet on Wednesday,
March 4 at noon or 4 p.m. If you are interested in joining virtually, please email Deanna Weber to initiate a Zoom invite.

New TQ Dates 2014-2015

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.

Shoes for Shelters



For information or to drop-off donations, contact Stacy Murphy, ext. 6888.



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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