Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


April 3, 2015
Agency closes at 3 p.m.


May 7, 2015

Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet

Bella Sala, 205 S. Park Rd., Tiffin


In This issue:


Thomson to Represent GWAEA at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Event
Severe Weather Preparations:
Tornado Drill planned Friday, March 27 at noon
Best Place to Work Survey Launches March 30
With the Legislature
Sixth St. Facility Impacts - Standards-Based Grading Conference, March 30
Organizational Leadership Program applications due April 1
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month
Our Condolences...
Now's the Time! Spring Cleaning
GWAEA Parent/Student Transition Night
Literacy Intervention Fair
Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet
33rd Ave Renovation Update
Kirkwood Regional Center Project Update
Join the Y during March and Receive a Month Free
Have you signed up to join the Blue Zones Project™?
Blue Zones Project™ Upcoming Events
At-Work Weight Watchers
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 Mission: To ensure success for all learners.


Thomson to Represent GWAEA at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Event


Mentoring consultant Emily Thomson, induction coach Carrie Klein, and Prairie Edge/ College Community teacher Stephanie Thorne.

Next week one of our GWAEA colleagues will be representing the agency among a select group of educators at an elite meeting associated with one of the world's most influential names: Bill and Melinda Gates.


Mentoring Consultant Emily Thomson is attending the small, invitation-only event hosted by the Gates Foundation on the 30th and 31st at the request of our partner, the New Teacher Center. The Gates Foundation is bringing 25 or so teacher representatives from across the country for the purpose of sharing their insights around teacher engagement strategies (tools, resources, and professional development) as well as sharing ways in which partner organizations, such as NTC, have provided services and connections that support their professional practices and classroom impact.


Emily was asked to attend and represent the teacher leader viewpoint on behalf of the Grant Wood AEA-NTC partnership.


"This is an exciting opportunity," commented Emily. "I love being a voice for what I feel has been the most transformational change in education."


Emily adds, "It is so easy for me to be a voice for this work. I so admire the authenticity of NTC, and believe our work is good for kids, teachers, programs, coaches, and systems. It's a true honor and blessing to be part of this partnership."


Congratulations, Emily, and thank you for representing GWAEA!

Severe Weather Preparations:
Tornado Drill planned Friday, March 27, 2015
at noon


On Friday, March 27, at noon, the agency will hold a tornado drill to prepare staff for possible spring severe weather situations.


An announcement will be broadcast.


During a drill or during an actual Tornado warning, please follow these steps:

  • Go immediately to the designated SAFE area closest to you. See the maps posted throughout the building and become familiar with the suggested route.

  • Do NOT go outside or try to call home.

  • Once you are in a SAFE area remain there until notified that the warning has been removed or has expired.

  • Secretaries should take their flashlights with them.

A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for a tornado to form.
A Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted in the area. We will alert staff in the building only when a Warning has been issued.

Best Place to Work Survey Launches March 30


We will again participate in an online survey for best places to work in Iowa, which is sponsored by The Des Moines Register. We were pleased to learn that our employees ranked us as one of Iowa's top workplaces last year, and want to make sure we have the opportunity to continue giving employees a forum for feedback .

You will receive an email with a link to an online survey on March 30, and the survey will remain open for two weeks. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and provide us with your feedback.

The survey is being conducted by WorkplaceDynamics LLP, an independent research company. To protect your confidentiality, WorkplaceDynamics will not disclose your individual responses to agency management. The survey is broken down into only the largest agency work groups – classified, contracted, salaried, management support and management. Please be aware that managers will see any written comments you may provide on the final page of the survey. If you wish to make a comment you may want to avoid writing anything that will identify you personally.

Please note:

  • If you do not receive the survey email within the next week, then please check your spam or junk email for a message from "Workplace Survey." To open the survey invitation, you may first need to mark the email as not spam.

  • If you accidentally delete the survey email, you will receive a reminder email a few days later that will allow you to take the survey.

  • Please do not forward the survey email to a colleague, as each email has a unique code to prevent multiple responses from a single person.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact WorkplaceDynamics directly at 800-405-8381 or reply to your survey email. Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey.

With the Legislature

Joe Crozier, GWAEA chief administrator, joined legislators and AEA chief administrators for the Iowa Area Education Agencies breakfast reception held at the Capitol on March 19.


From left: Paula Vincent, Heartland AEA; Joe Crozier, Grant Wood AEA; Sen. Bob Dvorsky (D-Coralville); Tim Grieves, Northwest AEA; and Lane Plugge, Green Hills AEA.


Sixth Street Facility Impacts:

Standards-Based Grading Conference, March 30, 2015

The Standards-Based Grading Conference will be held on Monday, March 30,2015, at the Sixth Street facility. More than 200 attendees are expected. Parking, break rooms, and restrooms will be impacted. Remember to hardwire your computer as well as switch the wifi setting to "off." With 200+ people come 200+ devices on the GWAEA network.

Organizational Leadership Program applications due April 1

Applications are now being accepted for Grant Wood AEA staff who have completed a minimum of two years service at Grant Wood AEA and are interested in applying for the 2015-2016 Organizational Leadership program.


The purpose of the Organizational Leadership Program is to cultivate participants for roles and positions of educational leadership.


This two-year program exists to:

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of organizational-level issues, contexts, and dilemmas.

  • Create a foundation built upon systems theory and application to equip future leaders with the tools necessary to understand and influence larger organizations

  • Network future leaders with current leaders

  • Provide opportunities to observe and debrief with leaders as they tackle real problems and issues.

Grant Wood AEA employees desiring to apply for this program must send the application and other required documents to Lisa Wilson by April 1, 2015. Applications for the Organizational Leadership Program can be found on the Organizational Leadership Google site at this address:


If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Lisa Wilson at

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

From Grant Wood AEA's Brain Injury Resource Team - Did you know?


Each year, U.S. emergency departments (EDs) treat an estimated 173,285 sports- and recreation-related TBIs, including concussions, among children and adolescents, from birth to 19 years.


Reference: Gilchrist J, Thomas KE, Xu L, McGuire LC, Coronado VG. Nonfatal sports and recreation related traumatic brain injuries among children and adolescents treated in emergency departments in the United States, 2001-2009. MMWR 2011: 60(39);1337-1342.


Our Condolences...

  • to Gene Lawson on the passing of his father, Herbert Lawson, on March 21. Gene is a GWAEA Computer Services Consultant.


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

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.

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.


Keynote Speaker: Jackie Kuntz




See flyer for information

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

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).

33rd Ave Renovation Update


Painting is underway on the new first floor entry and office areas.


New tables welcome visitors to classes and meetings held on the second floor.


Join the Y during March and Receive a Month Free

Sign-up for membership between March 9-29, save the joiners fee ($50-$75) and no payment for March. The first monthly payment will start April 1. And, receive the15% discount as a GWAEA employee.


For information, contact our YMCA Corporate Contact Deanna Haddy, ext. 6762.


See flyer for details.


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

Keep improving your well-being by participating in one of the many Blue Zones Project events in the Cedar Rapids, Marion and Iowa City areas.

National Day of Walking - Join the Blue Zones Project for a walk on April 1


Take the first step to a healthier life by taking part in the American Heart Association's National Walking Day on the first Wednesday in April. On this day, Americans are encouraged to lace up their sneakers and take 30 minutes out of their day to get up and walk.
Individual walks are encouraged or join the Blue Zones Project for a 30-minute walk on April 1 meeting at the Downtown Public Library at noon, rain or shine. In case of inclement weather, the walk will take place in the Skywalk. Plan to wear something blue or a Blue Zones t-shirt.
Register here, or just show up at the Downtown Library on April 1 at noon.

Mark Your Calendars for Grant Wood AEA GROW events


Lunch and Learn with Master Gardeners

Sixth St. Facility


Brown bag or bring-your-own lunch and learn with the master gardeners on the following dates:


Tuesday, April, 14, 2015, 11:30 a.m. - Victorian Room

Deanna Thursby will present on preparing for spring gardening.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 11:30 a.m. - Grant Wood Room

Steve Bartlett will facilitate a question/answer session on pond gardening.

At-Work Weight Watchers Session Begins April 7


Please join us for an introductory session on Tuesday, March 31. The next 12-week session begins April 7 - June 23, 2015.


How the Meetings Will Work
Scale Up Classroom, GWAEA Northern Facility
Tuesdays - 4:20-4:45 p.m. - confidential weigh in/4:45-5:15 p.m. - group meeting
Join your colleagues in the Scale Up Classroom each Tuesday or attend Weight Watchers meeting at a location most convenient for you

Payment Information
$156 per person for 12-week session / April 7-June 28. Payment must be made in advance of the first session. Options: a single payment ($156.00) or split payment by writing three checks at time of registration ($52.00 each) to be deposited April 7, May 7 and June 7

Contact: Kim Martin, 319-399-6710,


Grant Wood AEA Book Club

April 22, 2015, 12 p.m. or 4 p.m.

Media Center Learning Commons



"Descent: A Novel" by Tim Johnston will be the next book club selection. Come join a discussion on this exciting thriller. Participants will meet on Wednesday, April 22 at 12 p.m. or
4 p.m. in the Media Center learning commons. If you would like to join virtually, please let Deanna Weber know.

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.

Buy, Sell or Trade

For Sale: AKC Norwegian Elkhound puppies - male. Excellent pedigree. For more information, contact Michelle Bendickson.



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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