Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


In This issue:


All-Agency Inservice, Aug. 11
A Message from Joe Crozier: Breaking Down Iowa' s Withdrawal from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium
GWAEA PRIDE: Celebrating Staff Contributions
Important Reminder for Contracted Staff
Have You Joined the GWAEA Blue Zones Initiative?
Our Condolences
Improvements Coming to Google Drive
E-Mail Tip
Install Meraki
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities


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 on Wednesdays at noon. 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.

All-Agency Inservice held
Aug. 11, 2014

Visit the following link to the 2014 All-Agency slideshow.




Grant Wood AEA on Facebook facebook logoand Twitter twitter logo

Were you one of the 1,600+ people checking out our inservice pictures on the Grant Wood AEA Facebook page?  Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and watch these two channels (and future editions of The Bulletin Board) as we showcase more photos like this in a new feature called GWAEA "Faces from the Field."  We'll highlight our staff as we work together throughout the year,and include highlights from our historical archives as we celebrate the 40 years anniversary of Iowa's AEAs. For questions, contact the GWAEA Communications Office.

A Message from Joe Crozier, GWAEA Chief Administrator

Breaking Down Iowa's Withdrawal from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

On Tuesday morning, Grant Wood AEA employees may have heard media reports about the state's withdrawal from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.  

This week's announcement didn't come as a surprise for the state's AEAs.  We have been closely following state activity in this area since 2013 when the Iowa legislature created a task force  to explore the state's assessment options beyond the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.  The Iowa Assessment Taskforce is studying the state’s assessment options beyond the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, and will release its recommendations by Jan. 1, 2015.

Grant Wood AEA, along with the other AEAs across the state, is committed to working closely with this legislative task force, and ensuring that the assessment tool selected is in alignment with the Iowa Core and our agency's mission. This week's announcement does not change the focus of our agency, but instead underscores the importance of involving our staff in legislative affairs (as I shared with you during Monday's All-Agency meeting).  We can help our legislators learn about the needs of our LEAs, and ensure their decisions help advance education efforts in our schools.

If you have additional questions about this week's announcement, please reach out to me directly: I'd love to hear from you.


Grant Wood AEA PRIDE: Celebrating Staff Contributions


Staff at Grant Wood AEA are humble in their approach to their work, but it’s important to celebrate the contributions of staff that support our agency mission.


With this in mind, we introduce a new campaign to highlight the contributions of GWAEA employees. Every other month, we’ll highlight the PRIDE of the GWAEA: Proudly Recognizing Innovation, Dedication and Excellence. Staff will be able to read about the agency’s successes, learn about innovative approaches to daily work activities, and how staff and agency are working toward positive outcomes.

Learn more about PRIDE at GWAEA by visiting a display during PD-Palooza August 14-15 at the Sixth Street facility, and watch for more information in future issues of The Bulletin Board.

Important Reminder for Contracted Staff:  

The 2014-15 contract year consists of 27 pay periods rather than the usual 26.  Due to the extra pay period, the gross pay on each bi-weekly paycheck for 2014-15 may appear comparable to or less than the gross pay on the bi-weekly paychecks for 2013-14.


To see the total increase in your annual contract salary for 2014-15, you may log-on to the Employee Self-Service (ESS) System at, select Job History under the “my information” section and compare the total pay column for the 2013-14 contract year with the total salary amount for 2014-15.

Have You Joined the Grant Wood AEA Blue Zones Initiative?

Members of the agency's GROW Committee (below) hosted an information table at the All-Agency In-service on Monday, Aug. 11. GROW Committee members assisted staff with registering for the Blue Zones Project as a GWAEA employee. To date, 186 staff have registered! Staff who previously registered for the Blue Zones Project received a water bottle as a thank you.



Have you signed up to join the Blue Zones Project™ movement?

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 GWAEA code: GWAEA) and take the personal pledge. And, receive a water bottle for signing up.


With the help of Blue Zones Project, you can support your healthy lifestyle goals. Over time, these small changes will make a big difference in your health, happiness, and even longevity. Join us in this exciting movement to build a better community for all of us.


Watch upcoming issues of The Bulletin Board as agency well-being events are announced.


Contact a member of the GROW Team for more information.

Save the Date... Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014

GWAEA Team - Especially for You® Race Against Breast Cancer

Watch for registration information in future issues of The Bulletin Board.



Our Condolences...

  • to Lisa Lohman and family on the passing of Lisa’s grandmother on July 22. Lisa is a Computer Services consultant.

Join TEAM Lori - Iowa City Miles for Myeloma, Oct. 5

Grant Wood AEA staff are forming a team to walk in the Iowa City Miles for Myeloma walk on Oct. 5, 2014, at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area in Iowa City.


A Grant Wood AEA team is forming
TEAM Lori, in memory of Lori Hilmer, GWAEA school social worker in Early ACCESS, who died on June 21, 2014.


To register, visit


For information about how to register for TEAM Lori, contact Amy Grahs at


If interested in a TEAM Lori T-shirt, contact Amy.


See flyer for details.


Cedar Rapids HOPE Walk

Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014

Ellis Park/Robins Lake – Lakeview Pavilion

Check In begins at 8 a.m.; Walk Starts at 9:30 a.m.


Sponsored by Foundation Two Crisis Center


Katy Lee, GWAEA school social worker, is organizing "Team Mork" in honor of Robin Williams. The walk benefits the Foundation Two Crisis Center, an organization that partners with the GWAEA Critical Incident Stress Management Team to train CISM team members in suicide prevention and intervention.


Anyone interested in joining "Team Mork" may contact 


GWAEA Try the Y for Free

Aug. 25-31, 2014


For more information, contact our YMCA Corporate Contact Deanna Haddy,


Five metro branches:

Helen G. Nassif YMCA -- 366.6421

Marion YMCA -- 377.7361

Stoney Point YMCA -- 390.3488

YMCA at Mercy Health Plaza -- 378.5955

YMCA at Marion Independent Schools -- 730.0070




See flyer for details.

Orange Leaf Fundraiser


Date: Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014


Time: 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.


Location: Orange Leaf

2300 Edgewood Rd. S.W., Cedar Rapids


On Aug. 20, Orange Leaf and Horizons are teaming up. Orange Leaf will donate 20% of all sales to Horizons. Just mention Horizons at checkout.


Horizons is an agency with which Grant Wood AEA partners for Early ACCESS.


Improvements Coming to Google Drive

GWAEA staff can access an enhanced version of Google Drive over the upcoming weeks. Employees can click on the settingsSettings menu and choose Experience the new Drive to experience a new look and better performance for their Google cloud storage system. The new Google Drive works faster, and has been designed to respond to more of the functions you're used to on your computer. You can:

  • Create, add, or upload a file with a single button.

  • Find and add files shared with you more easily.

  • Single-click a file to select it and double-click a file to open it.

  • Drag-and-drop files and folders just like you do on your desktop.


Read more about the changes to the mobile apps and other improvements on the Google Drive Blog or view the video below.


Email Tip

Remember if an email looks questionable, it probably is! Better be safe than sorry and double check with the sender before clicking any links or forwarding it on. Do NOT give out any passwords online. If something is shared with you they only need your username, not a password.

Install Meraki

In preparation for our next agency app order, you will have to complete the two steps below from your iPad or you will be unable to receive agency purchased apps.


Step 1:

Install the Meraki MDM Profile on your device - iPad Air users did this when they picked up their new devices. Everyone else can follow the instructions below:



Step 2: Authorize Meraki to install apps - You will receive an email from a CISCO Meraki email address and must tap the link in the email and authorize an Apple ID for agency apps to be assigned. This can be your personal Apple ID if you would like or one you create.

Fill out this form to have the authorization email sent to you, then follow the directions in the video below to authorize your Apple ID.



If you have any questions about this process, please do not hesitate to contact
Behmer ( or Jonathan Wylie ( for more information.

New TQ Dates 2014-2015

Sept 10, Nov. 10, 2014; 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.



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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