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:


Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet
Iowa Department of Education Portal Will Be Off-line April 10-13
The “Top 10” Professional Reading List for Educators • 2015
Best Place to Work Survey Launches March 30
Welcome, New GWAEA Staff
Now's the Time! Spring Cleaning
GWAEA Parent/Student Transition Night
Literacy Intervention Fair
Toomsen Plans CD Release Event April 19
US Cellular Center Discounted Tickets
33rd Ave Renovation Update
Save the Date: Grant Wood AEA Blood Drive
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.


Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet

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

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).

Iowa Department of Education Portal Will Be Off-line April 10-13

The Iowa Department of Education Portal (EdPortal) will be off-line beginning 5 p.m. CST Friday, April 10 until Monday, April 13, 2015. EdPortal will be down in order to upgrade the system and add new functionality. Every effort will be made to return service to normal as quickly as possible. During this time all applications that are accessed through EdPortal will also be unavailable. We apologize for the extended down time and any inconvenience this may cause with DE services.


If you have any problems or questions, please send an email to

The “Top 10” Professional Reading List for Educators • 2015

For the past 13 years, GWAEA Chief Administrator Joe Crozier has published a “Top 10” professional reading list for educators.


The 2015 "Top 10" list and archival years are available on the
Grant Wood AEA website.



Best Place to Work Survey closes on April 13


We are again participating in the 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 .

On March 30, staff received an email with a link to the online survey. The survey will remain open for through April 13. 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 did not receive the survey email, 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.

Welcome, New GWAEA Staff



Jennifer Watkins

Youth Emergency Shelter (YES)
B.A., University of Iowa

Jennifer's background includes experience as a shelter house coordinator.




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

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

Toomsen Plans CD Release Event, April 19

Grant WoodAEA employee Rich Toomsen announces an upcoming CD Release event for his blues/rock band Wooden Nickel Lottery on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at Parlor City in Cedar Rapids from 4-8 pm. The album "On My Way" is available on iTunes, Amazon, and many other streaming and download services - or - see Rich for a CD. Also, tune in and listen to Wooden Nickel Lottery live on KUNI's Live From Studio One on Thursday, April 16 at 7 p.m.




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 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.

33rd Ave Renovation Update


Installation of cabinets is underway on the new first floor entry and office areas.


Work is underway on the new first-floor classroom.



Carpet has replaced the slate near the stairs on the first floor.


Save the Date:

Grant Wood AEA Blood Drive

Monday, April 27, 1:30-5:30 p.m.

Grant Wood AEA Sixth St. Facility


Watch for information in next week's issue of The Bulletin Board.


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.

Health Fair

Saturday, April 11, 2015, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Physicians' Clinic of Iowa Medical Pavilion

202 10th St. S.E., Cedar Rapids

Spring into health at this free event for all ages.

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 Open House at GWAEA


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Scale Up Classroom, 4:45 p.m.


Join us for a lively discussion "Rediscover your Kitchen" and learn ways to reinvent old things, revive fun and creativity. Weight Watchers does not have to mean boring meals. Bring your favorite Weight Watchers' recipe with you to the meeting.

We have a special gift for anyone who joins …
a free starter kit!


Contact: Kim Martin, 319-399-6710,


See flyer

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: Older style scrapbook Creative Memories coversets and pages. Contact Laura Johnson.



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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