Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


In This issue:


Welcome, New Grant Wood AEA Staff
How GWAEA Communications & Creative Services Can Help You
Behavior Round Table Discussions
Meeting Room Reminders
School District Special Elections
Our Condolences
Thank You
PEP News Bulletin, Aug. 2014
iPad App Orders
GWAEA Staff Technology PD- Palooza
iPad2s in the SDC
GWAEA joins Healthiest State walk, Oct. 8
Have you signed up to join the Blue Zones Project™?
GWAEA Especially for You Team
Join TEAM Lori
Holiday Shopping in Chicago
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


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.

Welcome, New Grant Wood AEA Staff



Amber Bridge
Technology Consultant
M.A., Graceland University

Amber served as an 8th grade science teacher at Mid-Prairie Community Schools, 2004-2014.




Carol Cassells
Curriculum Consultant
M.S., University of Iowa

Carol was a math and science teacher at Taft Middle School, 1990-1996, and a K-12 science, social studies, and curriculum facilitator, 1996-2011.




Andrea Compton
Curriculum Consultant
M.S., Kansas State University

Andrea's background includes positions as a grade 1, grade 3 teacher with Sacramento City Unified School District, Calif.; as a kindergarten teacher, St. Rose School, Great Bend, Kan.; as a reading teacher, Great Bend USD, Kan.; and at Green Hills AEA, Osceola, IA.




Cheryl Cook
Consultant, Iowa Reading Research Center
M.A., Colorado State University

Cheryl has held positions as a third-grade teacher, instructional coach, and as a principal at Garfield Elementary, Thompson School District, Loveland, Colo.




Emily Doolittle
Speech-Language Pathologist
M.S., Portland State University




Stephanie Fahey
Speech-Language Pathologist
M.S., Western Illinois University

Stephanie was a speech-language pathologist at
West Prairie CUSD #103, 2012-2014.



Watch for additional new staff features in future issues of The Bulletin Board.


How GWAEA Communications & Creative Services Can Help You

Grant Wood AEA makes a remarkable impact on the education of students in our area, and it's important that the communications from our organization be shared in a similar voice and style.  The marketing of Grant Wood AEA is facilitated through two departments, Communications and Creative Services. Below are a few tips on how this team can help you tell the story of our AEA:


Internal Communications

Each week we share information with our own GWAEA staff through The Bulletin Board.  If you have information to share internally, please submit it to Renee Nelson or Valerie Taylor Hill in the Communications Office.  Approved content submitted by close of business on Wednesday will be included in the Thursday edition of the Bulletin Board: content requiring additional editing and approvals will be held until the following edition.


Communications also manages content on our internal web pages.  Please email 
Valerie Taylor Hill
 if you have updates that you'd like to have made on your web pages.

External Communications

Do you have a story to tell to external audiences?  Please send your request for communications assistance to the Communications Office for review and consultation. The Communications Office will review for style, content and make recommendations related to publicity/social media, and will partner with our Creative Services team for layout and design work.  


The Grant Wood AEA name and logo have been in existence for decades, and we can protect the image of our organization by properly using the name and logo. Communications and Creative Services are collaborating on an updated graphics and standards guide that will clearly outline how to use our name and logo in communications. Stay tuned to see a colorful plan that supports our great organization.

Flyers, Note cards, Brochures, Posters and more! 

Our Creative Services team is a fantastic internal resources for Grant Wood AEA.  The Creative Services designers work alongside Grant Wood AEA Communications, and employees may be asked to obtain Communications Department approval before submitting requests directly to our Creative Services designers.  We hope this extra step will allow better service to you as we work together to design and create the most effective communications for your program or service.

Special Note on Social Media and Google Sites Usage  

The agency's social media guidelines apply to all social media sites and Google Sites created by Agency staff in which the agency logo or the name Grant Wood AEA, AEA10 or any other kind of title that implies sponsorship or affiliation with the agency is stated or implied.

For more information, contact Renee Nelson or Valerie Taylor Hill in GWAEA Communications.

Behavior Round Table Discussions

The Challenging Behavior Support Team is providing AEA staff members regularly scheduled informal consultation support this year. Round tables will occur twice per month, once at the Cedar Rapids office and once at the Coralville office. Staff can sign up for a one-hour time slot. Consultation will be provided on behavior data collection and analysis, designing behavior intervention plans, and the FIE process for behavior.


Sign up on the website:

Meeting Room Reminders

Below is a recap of the expectations of the maintenance crew and of Grant Wood AEA staff regarding conference room set-ups throughout the agency.  

  • The Winter, Spring, Autumn, Revere and Stone Rooms are the only rooms that the custodial staff will set up in different configurations and with different tables per the room setup sheet. The time on the setup sheet is critical as that’s the time the room will be setup. It should be at least 30 minutes before you start your class.

  • The Board Room and Victorian Rooms do not allow reconfiguration of the rooms under any circumstances.


  • Any changes to the room setup must be made online and by noon the day before the reservation. Changes after that time must be made through a Marsden staff member directly and may or may not be accommodated based on their staffing levels that particular day.

  • All other agency rooms in all three buildings allow staff to setup per their meeting needs. However, the expectation is to return the rooms to their original configuration at the close of the meeting.

  • All support materials (markers, scissors, pencils, etc) need to be returned to the cabinets where found at the end of your reservation. Kits and power reels are labeled with their room assignments.


  • For any of the small conference rooms (Turner, Iowa, Jones, etc.), kits and reels can be checked out from Tech Support.

  • All power reels need to be unplugged and stored. This is especially important as the fire marshal cited Grant Wood AEA last year for reels plugged in when classes were not being held.

  • Please remove/recycle leftover handouts, paper, etc. rather than store in conference room cabinets.

  • The conference room cabinets should be locked after putting away supplies, reels, etc. The receptionist has the keys.

School District Special Elections - Sept. 9, 2014

The Cedar Rapids, Solon and Springville school districts are planning special elections on Sept. 9. On the ballot will be the following:


Cedar Rapids - Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL)


Solon - Bond issue for a new middle school and a new Center for Performing Arts, and renewal of the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL)


Springville - Bond Issue and proposed elementary renovations


Visit the Linn and Johnson county auditor's websites for sample ballots, polling locations, voting times, and the district websites for additional information.


If you live in one of these communities, please make time in your day to vote in these important elections.

Our Condolences

  • to Karen Harper and her family on the passing of her mother, Luana M. Beidelman, on
    Thursday, Aug. 21. Services were held on Monday, Aug. 25 in Panora. Karen is a
    GWAEA special education consultant.

Thank you...


Thank you to my friends and colleagues at Grant Wood AEA. Your thoughts, prayers, emails, kind words, and hugs have been wonderful during this time of celebration and memorial of my mother’s life and death.                                   

Karen Harper

PEP News Bulletin, August 2014





Grant Wood AEA's PEP News Bulletin, Aug. 2014, features the following articles:

- What is PEP?


- The PEP Resource Library's move to the Grant Wood AEA Media Center


- Upcoming professional development and scholarship opportunities for parents


For information, contact Sara Kane,
Liz Hooley or Erlene Spicer in the
PEP Program

iPad App Orders - App Order Form Opens Friday, Aug. 29

We are opening the Agency iPad App Order for paid iPad apps on Aug. 29. Please be sure to select no more than seven apps, be responsible and only order apps you will need. The order form will close on September 8 at 5 p.m.


You must be signed in with your GWAEA Google Account in order to view and fill out the form.

Link to the form


In order to get your apps, please make sure these steps are completed.


We are transitioning into distributing agency purchased apps in a new and more efficient way. In order to receive agency purchased apps from this point forward, you must add your device to the Meraki system and authorize an Apple ID for us to send the apps to. (The nice thing is it can be your personal Apple ID, so less to remember).

In preparation for our next agency app order you will have to complete the two steps 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 Stacy Behmer ( or Jonathan Wylie ( for more information.



Resources from last week's PD Palooza can be found at


iPad2s in the SDC

In response to staff requests, there are 20 blank iPad2s in the SDC that staff may check out and use. Staff is responsible for returning the blank devices back to factory settings when they turn it in.


There are also 20 different iPad2s in the SDC with Tier 2 apps installed for Grant Wood AEA staff to trial before purchasing or recommending for students. A list of the devices and specific apps can be found in the SDC catalog or on this document. Additional iPads and apps may be added.

Grant Wood AEA joins Healthiest State Walk, Oct. 8

12 Minutes to a Healthier Iowa


Got 12 minutes? Then you’ve got time to help Iowa on its mission to become the healthiest state in the nation. We have been working hard since 2011 to improve our rankings in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®.


Since we started our journey, we’ve jumped from the #19 spot to the top 10, and we hope to be #1 by 2016.


Join GWAEA staff on Oct. 8 as we participate in the Healthiest State Walk, where we will be joining thousands of Iowans across the state to walk 1  kilometer (0.621371 miles) in support of the Healthiest State Initiative

Please click the registration link to add your name to the walk list.

Walk Time: Oct 8, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Walk Location: 4401 6th Street SW Cedar Rapids (parking lot) (twice around the parking lot path)
registration link:

Walk Location: 200 Holiday Road Coralville (front of building) (6 min. each way)
registration link:

Walk Location: 1120 33rd Avenue SW Cedar Rapids (front lobby) (6 min each way)
registration link:


For information, contact Kim Martin, ext. 6710, or Valerie Taylor Hill, ext. 6824.

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.


Thank you to the 193 staff who have signed up to join the Blue Zones Project with the GWAEA organization code!  In addition to signing up, please remember to identify on the Blue Zones web site one or more actions you would like to pursue to support your well-being!  Once you complete an action, check the "I Did It!" button next to that action to get credit.  Every action counts towards the Agency's designation as a Blue Zones Worksite.

Available on the Blue Zones web site:  Vitality Compass
How old are you really? Find out how your body's age compares to your actual age and how your lifestyle makes a difference. Take this short quiz to learn more!  The Blue Zones Vitality Compass® can provide you with some eye-opening information (and counts as completing an action to support your well-being!). Take five minutes to answer a few easy questions and you’ll find out your body’s age, your life expectancy, your healthy life expectancy, and more. If you’re not satisfied with the numbers you get, you can follow some of the personalized tips to get your health back on track.

Registrations due Thursday, Sept. 4

Grant Wood AEA Team - Especially for You® Race Against Breast Cancer, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014



Who: Women, Men and Children are welcome
What: Women’s and Men’s 5K Run / Family Fun Walk
When: Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014

Opening ceremonies at 7:45 a.m.
Registration Fee: $30.00 adult / $20.00 youth

5K Run begins at 8:00 a.m.; 5K Walk & Family Fun Walk immediately following


Where: Start at Mercy Medical Center - 10th Street SE at the Hall-Perrine Cancer Center

This year, a brand new course route takes us through Czech Village and Newbo, and ends with a party in Greene Square Park. See the attached course map.


GWAEA will register a team for this race. Each participant will need to turn in a registration form to Kim Martin or Stacy Murphy no later than Thursday, Sept. 4. A blank form is attached. Please note a separate registration form is now available to register up to four individuals on one form. Copies of the registration forms are also available in the break rooms.


This year a "logo team" must have a logo printed on every shirt. We have members of our team who prefer to have a shirt without a logo so this year we will not offer the logo option.

Your race packet will be available for pick up at a GWAEA facility on Oct. 2. We welcome you, your family members, or friends to join our team. You are more than welcome to walk at your own pace with your group.

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.


Holiday Shopping in Chicago

Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014


Get a head start on your holiday shopping or check out the fantastic museums and local sights of downtown Chicago (Water Tower Place, Michigan Avenue) on Saturday, Nov. 15. Leave Cedar Rapids/Lindale Mall at 6 a.m., and return by 11:00 p.m. Cost is $65 per seat on a Cedar Valley World Travel charter bus. Contact Michelle Tressel at 319-431-5647 to sign up. Sponsored by Preceptor Delta Kappa.

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.

Buy, Sell or Trade

For Sale: We have whole frozen chickens for sale again this year. $2 per pound. Kids had the Grand and Reserve Grand Champion broilers at the Iowa State Fair this year, so they have to be good. Call or email Marty Van Roekel 319-461-4601 or


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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