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:


GWAEA Designated a
Blue Zones Worksite™
Agency and AEA Supts Advocate for State Funding
With the Legislature
Grant Wood AEA Website Server Maintenance Planned on Feb. 16
Who Would You Like to Recognize?
Welcome, New GWAEA Staff!
Strategies, Strategies, Strategies!
Public Input Sought on Science Standards
GWAEA BrightBytes Clarity Survey
GWAEA PD Online - 28 Days of OLLIE
Iowa Dept. of Education's School Leader Update, Each and Every Child
2015 Horizons Meals on Wheels Lunchbox Fundraiser
Daffodil Days
33rd Ave Renovation Update
Have you signed up to join the Blue Zones Project™?
Blue Zones Project™ Upcoming Events
Weight Watchers at Work
Healthy Smile, Healthy Body
Employee Appreciation Week at Wickwire Chiropractic and Wellness Center
Grant Wood AEA Book Club
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
Buy, Sell or Trade
Lost and Found


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.

GWAEA Designated a
Blue Zones Worksite™


Through the efforts of many staff members, we are excited to announce that Grant Wood AEA has earned designation as a Blue Zones Worksite! The Blue Zones Project is designed to inspire, encourage, and promote actions and lifestyles to create a healthier work environment and community, and Blue Zones Worksites maintain work environments that promote and encourage employee well-being.


Grant Wood AEA gained this recognition through the pledged support of more than 25% of Agency employees, and by completing designation actions in the areas of leadership, purpose, physical environment, engagement, policies and benefits, and well-being solutions. Some of the practices the agency demonstrated to become a designated worksite include an employee-led well-being advisory committee, promotion of walking routes, on-site access to fitness events and equipment, health benefits, vending machines stocked with healthful snack options, as well as weight management, nutrition and chronic condition management coaching. A number of these practices have been in place at the agency for some time and needed to be documented to receive the designation while others were new endeavors for the agency.


“The designation is a great milestone for our agency, and we are very pleased to have Grant Wood AEA join the growing list of Blue Zones Worksites," said Chief Administrator Joe Crozier.


"The support of agency administration and staff, and the hard work and enthusiastic efforts of the GROW Committee were instrumental in achieving this designation," said Human Resources Coordinator Jackie Schreder. "Working with the Blue Zones Project has helped us celebrate our ongoing efforts to support a safe and healthy workplace and also identify areas where we may be able to do even better.”


All GWAEA staff are invited to join a Blue Zones Worksite designation ceremony in the
Grant Wood Room at 4:30pm on Wednesday, February 11.

Agency and AEA Supts Advocate for State Funding

Thursday morning Grant Wood AEA superintendents joined Chief Administrator
Joe Crozier, Board Secretary Kim Martin and Public Relations Coordinator
Renee Nelson at the State Capitol in Des Moines to host the area's representatives and senators. Much of the discussion during the breakfast open house was focused on supplemental state aid, the funding that supports salaries and programs at schools and the AEA.


Currently Iowa ranks 35th in the nation in educational funding per student, which is $1,612 below the national average. Supplemental state aid funding will continue to be debated in both chambers of the legislature this session as legislators try to agree to a palatable funding figure. GWAEA staff who are interested in helping to advocate for funding are encouraged to send letters to their legislators from a personal email or home address and explain to them how this funding helps advance education in Iowa.


Rep. Dave Jacoby, Joe Crozier,
Sen. Bob Dvorsky


John Speer, Dave Benson and Rep. Art Staed


Carol Montz, Rep. Sally Stutsman,
Chris Armstrong, Mike Jorgensen,
Sen. Kevin Kinney, Tim Kuehl


Chad Straight, Rep. David Maxwell,
Alan Jensen


Sarah Pinion, Rep. Ken Rizer


Sam Miller, Rep. Bobby Kaufmann,
Sen. Bob Dvorsky, Kevin Hatfield


Karl Kurt, Rep. Quentin Stanerson,
Chris Anderson, Pat Hocking, Tim Cronin


Dave Benson, Sen. Wally Horn

With the Legislature


Jim Green, GWAEA Board President, met recently with Sen. Liz Mathis at the Capitol to advocate for increased supplemental state aid for schools.


Grant Wood AEA Website Server Maintenance Planned on
Feb. 16

The Grant Wood AEA website and Professional Development registration system will be down for server maintenance on Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, from 4-8 p.m.

Other services on the server such as Business/HR services, and the IEP/IFSP system will not be affected.

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.


The awards will be presented at the Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet, which will be held at Bella Sala, 205 S. Park Rd., Tiffin, on May 7.

Welcome, New Grant Wood AEA Staff



Chris Robertson
Materials Distribution Associate

Northern Facility

Education: Kirkwood Community College

Chris previously held a position as purchasing coordinator with Cornell College, 2002-2014.




Darci Lenaburg

Off-Site Programs

Education: Kirkwood Community College

Darci's background includes positions as a community living assistant with Discovery Living, 2007-present; REM Iowa program coordinator, 2012-2015, and CCO-job coach, April 2012 - Sept. 2012.

Strategies, Strategies, Strategies!

Join the Brain Injury Resource Team as they share strategies that assist students who have experienced trauma to the brain or other factors that do not allow the brain to function properly. AEA staff, teachers, parents and others interested in helping students function better in the classroom, this class is for you. You are welcome to come if you are interested in learning something new or just need a refresher on the topic.


Read more about and register for the Grant Wood AEA Professional Development class entitled, "Brain Function in the School Setting and Effective Classroom Strategies" by clicking this link.

Public Input Sought on Science Standards

On Wednesday, Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck announced he’s seeking input from Iowans on a preliminary proposal to update Iowa’s science standards.Vist the DE website for a link to the survey as well as a schedule of public forums planned during Feburary. The survey will be open through Friday, Feb. 27.


GWAEA BrightBytes Clarity Survey

During the All-Agency Inservice last summer, we shared information about our Agency goal to increase student acquisition and application of 21st century skills and knowledge.

In order to meet that goal we need to understand our own strengths and areas for growth related to technology.  We would like to gather data from our staff to understand the role technology plays in your work, and areas where we can better support our staff in expanding their current skill sets.


Staff have received an email from Stacy Behmer with the link to the survey that will need to be completed by ALL GWAEA STAFF by February 13. It will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The survey information is anonymous and will be used to help us provide targeted professional development and ensure staff has access to training specific to their needs. Thank you in advance for your participation.


Updates from AEA PD Online

Visit the AEA PD Online and AEA K-12 Online websites for current professional development updates. Follow AEA PD Online on Twitter @aeapdonline or on your mobile device by accessing the app at

28 Days of OLLIE during February

Online Learning for Iowa Educators


On Feb. 1, AEA PD Online launched 28 Days of OLLIE, the new online community for teachers. The community provides educators resources, live events, discussions, sharing and networking with other educators. It is the perfect learning place for teachers looking to add blended or flipped learning to their classroom.


Educators at all levels and those who support them are invited to participate. The first step is join the community, which can be done in seconds at


The learning during Feb. 10-18 includes the following:

Day 10 - The Student Personalized Learning System (SPLS)
Day 11 - Spectrum of Online Learning
Day 12 - Blended Learning Basics
Day 13 - Blended Learning Models
Day 14 - Instructor Presence
Day 15 - Instructor Presence: How to Create
Day 16 - Starting a Schoolwide program
Day 17 - Starting a Schoolwide program (cont.)
Day 18 - Moodle

Once you’re signed up, you’ll receive regular updates about:

  • Webinars and other real-time events

  • Forums on topics related to teaching and learning online

  • Activities that you can be part of

  • Resources that are available

  • Badges you can earn

  • And much, much more!

To learn more, visit the following link.



In the February 2015 issue of School Leader Update, read about a literacy push showing promising results within Green Hills Area Education Agency.



The Iowa Department of Education;s Each and Every Child e-newsletter is designed to inform, educate and challenge those who live and work in the field of special education. The February 2015 newsletter contains the article, "Southwest Iowa schools turning heads: Leadership, collaboration and persistence close the literacy gap."

2015 Horizons Meals On Wheels Lunchbox fundraiser at Grant Wood AEA

Orders no later than Friday, Feb. 6 at 3 p.m.

The 5th Annual Horizons Meals On Wheels Lunchbox fundraiser is planned for the week of Feb. 9-13, 2015.


We would like to offer GWAEA staff an opportunity to participate in this worthy cause. Because we had so many orders last year, we would like to offer staff the choice of ordering for four days during this week, provided we get a minimum order for your chosen day. The dates offered will be Tuesday through Friday, February 10-13. The lunches may be picked up at the receptionist desk any time after 11:30 a.m. on the day your group chooses.


The Lunchbox costs $10, $5 of which will feed you, while the other $5 benefits Horizons Meals On Wheels as the organization continues to help older adults and persons with disabilities meet their daily nutritional needs.


Lunchbox sandwich choices: 
Smoked Turkey Club - $10 - Fresh herb focaccia bread layered with smoked turkey, bacon, and sun dried tomato basil mayonnaise. Served with kettle chips and apple slices with caramel dip on the side.


Spinach and Strawberry Salad - $10 - Zippy lemon vinaigrette dressing and feta cheese pair with glazed walnuts and fresh strawberries for a tasty salad that can fit into your healthy eating plan. Served with a breadstick, apple slices and yogurt dip.


Horseradish Beef - $10 - Tender shaved beef and cheddar cheese on marble rye bread topped with a robust creamy horseradish sauce to wake up your taste buds. Served with kettle chips and apple slices with caramel dip on the side.


Chocolate Raspberry (CR) Delight - $4 - Decadent chocolate cake with rich chocolate mousse and raspberry topping. Treat yourself or share with your sweetheart!


Cookbook - $15 - Recipes from over 100 celebrities. Order five or more for only $10 each!

Send your choice of sandwich etc. and payment (cash or check made payable to Horizons Lunchbox) to the attention of Cathy Nelson, Sixth Street front desk, no later than Friday, February 6, 2015.


Hope Blooms ... It's daffodil time!

Orders no later than Friday, Feb. 6 at 11 a.m.

This year, daffodils will be sold by an organization called Gems of Hope. They will sell the same choices at the same prices and use the profits for cancer patients and their families. You can visit their website, to see other ways they help with the fight against cancer.


To purchase bunches of daffodils, and make a contribution toward the fight against cancer, please see, call, or email Cathy Nelson at the Sixth Street facility front desk.


The options are:

  • Bunches of Daffodils: $10 a bunch

  • Bunch 'n a Vase: $15

  • Mini Daffodils: $15. Potted and ready to replant.

  • Lion 'n a Bunch: $25. This is a Lion and a bunch of daffodils.

  • Sunshine Bouquet: $75. A glass vase filled with brilliant yellow daffodils and greenery to thank clients, customers, employees or vendors or decorate an office, lobby or church.

  • Lion Hugs: $25. Comfort a child experiencing cancer with a stuffed Lion, given anonymously.

  • Gift of Hope Bouquet: $25. These bouquets are given anonymously to cancer patients.

  • A new option this time is an aqua, short sleeve v-neck tee, sizes S-XXL for $20.

Pictures of these are at the front desk.


Orders will be taken from now until Feb. 6, 2015. Flowers can be picked up on or around March 11, 2015. (Please make checks payable to Gems of Hope.)


Stop by the Northern Facility front desk, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or call Cathy at
Ext. 6544 to place your order. Thank you for contributing.

33rd Ave Renovation Update


The VAST Center has moved to the north side of the building.

Preparations are underway for work to begin on the building's south side.


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



Yoga with Sayde

Grant Wood AEA Sixth St. facility

4:30-5:30 p.m.


Class dates:
Monday, February 9
Monday, February 16
Monday, February 23


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


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 277 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,

Healthy Smile,
Healthy Body


As part of Iowa's efforts to become the #1 state in well-being, the Healthiest State Initiative has set a priority of increasing the number of Iowans who visit the dentist each year. Currently, Iowa ranks 22nd in the nation for adults who report visiting the dentist at least once per year.

According to a recent publication by the American Dental Association, dental care utilization among adults is in steady decline, with only 35.4 percent of working-age adults visiting the dentist in 2012. Regular dental exams are more important than you might realize offering important clues about your overall health status. Read more...

Employee Appreciation Week at Wickwire Chiropractic and Wellness Center

Wickwire Chiropractic and Wellness Center, 1690 Blairs Ferry Road, is offering Employee Appreciation Week, Feb. 4-18. During this week, Grant Wood AEA staff and family will receive a free case history, examiniation and x-rays (if necessary) at no charge. A report of findings is included. The offer expires Feb. 18, 2015.


Contact Cathy Nelson at the switchboard for a copy of the gift certificate.

Grant Wood AEA Book Club

Feb. 25, 12 p.m. or 4 p.m.

Media Center Learning Commons



Looking for some social time with colleagues? Join us for Book Club on Wednesday, Feb. 25. We will be reading "All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr. Join us at 12 p.m. or 4 p.m. in the Media Center Commons. If you would like to join us virtually, please let Deanna know and she can send you a Zoom invitation. Questions email Deanna Weber at

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 4x4. 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, Power Brakes, Power Steering, Power Windows, Rear Defroster, Roof Rack, Tilt Wheel, Tinted Glass, Traction Control, 69K miles. $14,800.00 OBO. Call Jeff at 319-361-0409 cell.


Lost and Found:


- Various earrings and a coat button. See photo.

- A red “leather” three-piece photo gift set is at the front desk. Found in the Winter Room before winter break.

Please see Cathy Nelson at the switchboard to claim.




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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