Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board

Mark Your Calendar

May 10, 2016

GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet

National Czech and Slovak Museum, Cedar Rapids

In This issue:


Annual Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet will be
May 10, 2016
Nominations due March 4 for the Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet
Grant Wood AEA Job Readiness Fair
Hope Blooms! It's daffodil time!
2016 Horizons Meals On Wheels Lunchbox fundraiser at Grant Wood AEA
GWAEA Teams for Bowl for Kids' Sake
2016-17 AEGON/Transamerica Foundation Kirkwood Scholarships for Students with Disabilities
Badging Has Begun!
iPad Care Reminder
Tech Tip - Organize Your Folders and Files in Google Drive More Easily
Our Condolences
Strategies for All
info@gwaea, January 2016
Update from the Staff Distribution Center (SDC)
Assignment Change Procedures - Contracted Staff
$1,500 Early Notification Incentive for Contracted, Management Staff  - Notices to be received by
January 29, 2016
GWAEA GROW News/Upcoming Events
  - Blue Zones Project Upcoming Events
  - Coloring Supplies Available in GWAEA Break Rooms
  - Weight Watchers, Sept. 22, 2015 - Feb. 2, 2015
  - Yoga
  - No Join Fee During January at the Y
  -GWAEA Book Club
Third Annual Cropping 4 Kids
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
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 Mission: To ensure success for all learners.


Annual Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet will be
May 10, 2016

At last week's Agency Advisory meeting, staff representing all parts of our organization finalized planning details for this year's Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet.


This year's event will be held Tuesday, May 10 at the National Czech and Slovak Museum,

National Czech and Slovak Museum

1400 Inspiration Place S.W., in Cedar Rapids. Attendees to this year's banquet will be given time to peruse the museum exhibits from 5:00-6:00 p.m., cocktail hour will start at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:00 p.m.


More information on purchasing tickets for this year's event will be available soon. Until then, please save the date!

Nominations due March 4 for the 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 these special people. 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.


Nominations for these awards can be submitted here. The nominations will be reviewed by a selected group of GWAEA staff members in March. Both the nominating individual and those who are selected to be recognized will be notified in April.


The awards will be presented at the Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet, which will be held at the National Czech and Slovak museum on May 10th.

Grant Wood AEA Job Readiness Fair

Jan. 26, 2016, 9:00 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Grant Wood AEA Northern Facility


Forty-two students from seven area school districts will participate in the first GWAEA Job Readiness Fair, a demonstration-based learning event that will apply career education lessons from the classroom.


The students will begin the day with an opening keynote presentation. Guest speakers include Bea Cisler, Hy-Vee; Amy Heinick, Men's Warehouse; and Jonathan Wylie,
Grant Wood AEA.


The students will then rotate through two main activities - workshop presentations and job skill stations. The job skill stations will cover - job applications, phone inquiry, mock interviews, and follow-up thank yous. The day will close with a large group session.


Local employers will be conducting mock interviews including representatives from The Arc, UnityPoint, Goodwill Industries, Hy-Vee, Nordstrom, and MercyCare/Mercy Medical.


"The GWAEA Job Readiness Fair will help to extend the students' classroom learning to real-life career education situations," shared Megan Burke-Brunscheen, GWAEA special education consultant.


Susie Green, GWAEA student programs specialist, said, "We are very excited to be kicking off a new event to support high school students and their development and application of 21st century skills."


For information about the GWAEA Job Readiness Fair, contact Megan Burke-Brunscheen, GWAEA special education consultant, or Susie Green, GWAEA student programs specialist.


Hope Blooms ... It's daffodil time!

Orders no later than Feb. 4, 2016

It’s time to place your order for daffodils! This program sells the flowers along with a few other items to benefit cancer patients and their families. You can visit their website, to see what 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.

  • Monkey 'n a Bunch: $25. This is a Monkey 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.

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

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

  • Short Sleeve V-Neck Tee, sizes S-XXL for $20

Visit this link for pictures of the above items.


Orders will be taken from now until Feb. 4, 2016. Flowers can be picked up on or around March 9, 2016. (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.

2016 Horizons Meals On Wheels Lunchbox fundraiser at Grant Wood AEA

The 6th Annual Horizons Meals On Wheels Lunchbox fundraiser is planned for the week of Feb. 8-12, 2016.


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 9-12. The lunches may be picked up at the receptionist desk any time after 11:30 a.m. on the day you or your group chooses.


If you or your group would like to order contact Cathy Nelson, 6544 and she will help you.


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 choices: 


Send your choice 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 5, 2016.

GWAEA Teams for Bowl for Kids' Sake



Partner up with your GWAEA colleagues for Bowl for Kids' Sake! Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cedar Rapids invites you to the biggest bowling party in the area. Grant Wood AEA is trying to coordinate teams for two potential dates:


Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016 2:45 - 4:45 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 26, 2016 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.


This is the biggest fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and it annually raises more than $300,000 to help young people in our area. Participating bowlers in this year's event will need to raiser or contribute $90/adult and $40/child to participate. (With supervisor approval, staff can bowl on the Friday date.)


Please indicate a date when you'd like to bowl by emailing Renee Nelson.

2016-17 AEGON/Transamerica Foundation
Kirkwood Scholarships for Students with Disabilities

The AEGON/Transamerica Foundation Kirkwood Scholarships is offering two $650 scholarships for students with disabilities who will attend Kirkwood Community College in the fall of 2016.
The scholarships are open to:

  • Seniors with IEPs attending a high school within GWAEA who plan to attend KCC in the fall of 2016, or

  • KCC students currently enrolled in VITAL who plan to continue at KCC after exiting the VITAL program.

These scholarships are not open to students who:

  • are from non-GWAEA school districts

  • do not have an IEP

  • have received this scholarship in the past

Due date for applications and all required material is March 30, 2016.
2016-17 AEGON-KCC Scholarship Application

2016-17 AEGON-KCC Scholarship Template

2016-17 Poster


  • to Lindsay Bascom and husband Ed on the birth of baby boy Lucas Dale on January 19. Baby Lucas, sibling Evan, Mom and Dad are doing great! Lindsay is a GWAEA autism paraeducator.

Badging Has Begun!

The Digital Learning Team is making the rounds at region meetings explaining the new GWAEA Badging Site (Jedi Badging Academy). These badges stem from our agency goal to support 21st century learning and assuring staff will be proficient in using online methods to communicate and collaboratively create solutions with team members and people outside of GWAEA.


Feel free to read more about the badges and some basics of how the process will work and get started learning and earning badges. If there is any feedback, please let Stacy Behmer,, or a technology consultant know because we have made some tweaks to help make the site more useful.

iPad Care Reminder

It’s cold outside and if you wouldn’t want to stay out there neither should your iPad or other technology! We have had some devices returned to the SDC and brought in that haven’t been working or are permanently damaged because they were left in someone’s car overnight or for an extended period of time.  These are $500+ devices and need to be cared


for.  When devices are returned to the SDC please make sure they are in the same condition as when you checked them out and be careful dropping them in the return box (they can get damaged on the drop). If they have been damaged let someone in the SDC know, so they can be repaired quickly before they are sent out or replacements can be ordered.

This is a reminder to be careful with your iPad! Even if it is in a case the devices can’t uphold a lot of weight and pressure or be 100 percent protected if they are dropped. Please don’t leave it out in extreme temperatures, don’t keep it outside of a protective case for extended periods of time,  and keep off the floor. If you do have a damaged device please contact Stacy Behmer,, as soon as possible.

Tech Tip - Organize Your Folders and Files in Google Drive More Easily

There are some nice updates coming to Google Drive to help you organize your files.
Here is part of the blog post with a couple of the updates.


We know how important it is to stay organized at work, so we’re making it easier to move and arrange your files and folders in Google Drive. When looking at Search results or items in the Shared with me, Recent, or Starred views in Drive, you’ll now see one of two options in the toolbar at the top of the screen. If the item you’ve selected is not already located in My Drive, you’ll continue to see the option to Add to My Drive. Clicking on that option will add the item to My Drive and then allow you to move it to various folders.



Alternatively, if the item you’ve selected is already in My Drive, you’ll now see an option to Move to, which will make it easy to move that item to a new or different folder via a simpler, clearer workflow.


Our Condolences...

  • to the family of Gary Nanke, who passed away on Friday, Jan. 15. Services were held on
    Monday, Jan. 18 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids. Gary was a math teacher at Monticello High School for 23 years, a GWAEA math consultant, 2004-2006, and a GWAEA van driver October 1998-June 2002, and 2007-2015.


    • to Virginia Smelser and family on the passing of her mother, Marvel Schmidt, on
    Friday, Jan. 15. Services were held on Monday, Jan. 18 at Cedar Memorial Chapel of Memories. Virginia is a GWAEA records technician.

Strategies For All

"Brain Function in the School Setting and Effective Classroom Strategies"

The use of the brain in the classroom is obviously important. Whether your students have experienced traditional brain trauma or other factors that have affected their learning, this course is for you. Come join the Brain Injury Resource Team as they share strategies that assist students who have had accidents, strokes, seizures, concussions, or students who have executive function skill concerns. Read more about and register for the Grant Wood AEA Professional Development class titled, "Brain Function in the School Setting and Effective Classroom Strategies" by clicking this link.


Please share this information with parents, teachers, and others who may be interested.

info@gwaea, January 2016

info@gwaea is monthly e-newsletter for teacher librarians and educators. Learn more about the resources available to educators in the Grant Wood AEA Media Center.


In the January 2016 issue:

  • Supplement Your Classroom with Curriculum-Related Resources

  • Classroom Ideas for Presidents' Day

  • Black History Month

  • Backpack Setup for MackinVIA

  • "Think, Make, Innovate" - Rube Goldberg Challenge

  • Staff Feature - Judy Bibeau

For information, contact Deanna Weber,



info@gwaea, January 2016

Update from the Staff Distribution Center (SDC)


In an effort to streamline procedures in the Staff Distribution Center (SDC), staff will no longer be required to turn in Core materials (materials assigned to staff for an indefinite period of time) during the Performance Review Cycle of the Professional Development process.

Instead, the SDC staff will email the list of Core materials assigned to the staff person annually. Staff will only need to respond to the email if:

  • an item on the list is missing or lost.

  • he/she is no longer using an item and will return it to the SDC.  

  • an item needs to be fixed, replaced or has lost parts.

If you have any questions about the change in this procedure, contact Judy Bibeau, Kim Novotny or Michelle Tressel.

Assignment Change Procedures - Contracted Staff

Posting has begun for 2016-17 assignment opportunities. As a reminder, each opening is posted for at least 5 Agency days and employees may use the Quick Link for Staff Openings that can be found in the left margin of each weekly issue of The Bulletin Board. More details about Assignment Change procedures were provided in the complete article in the
Jan. 7, 2016, issue of The Bulletin Board.

$1,500 Early Notification Incentive for Contracted, Management Staff - Notices to be received by January 29, 2016

At their December meeting, the GWAEA Board of Directors approved the offering of an early notification incentive to help support a timely hiring process for 2016-17.

The financial incentive is available to Contracted and Management staff for providing the agency with early notification of their pending resignation or retirement. Specifically, Contracted or Management staff would need to commit to resigning or retiring at the end of this current work year, in writing, to Human Resources between December 14, 2015 and January 29, 2016. If the retirement or resignation is accepted by the Board no later than its regular meeting on February 17, 2016, the staff member will receive an incentive of $1,500, payable to them on June 17 (conditional upon the staff member satisfactorily completing his or her contract obligations for the year).


See the complete article in the Dec. 17, 2015 issue of The Bulletin Board.

GROW News/Upcoming Events

- Blue Zones Project Upcoming Events

- Coloring Supplies in GWAEA Break Rooms

- Weight Watchers, Sept. 22, 2015 - Feb. 2, 2015

- Yoga Club at GWAEA

- No Join Fee During January at the Y

- GWAEA Book Club to meet Feb. 8, 11


Contact a member of the GROW Team for information.

Visit these Facebook links for upcoming activities and events:

Cedar Rapids Blue Zones Project

Iowa City Blue Zones Project

Marion Blue Zones Project


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.

Blue Zones Project Upcoming Events

Jed Eichhorn, Engagement Lead, Healthways, provided information about Blue Zones Project upcoming events:

Walk the Skywalk with a Group this Winter

Skywalk Moai (Thursday Evenings)

Jan. 7 - March 11, 2016, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Cedar Rapids Downtown Library, 450 5th Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids

Blue Zones Project has partnered with Cedar Rapids Public Library to offer an opportunity to join a Moai® (group) to walk the Skywalk every week this winter. The Walking Group kickoff is

Thursday, Jan. 7. Meet in the entrance of the Downtown Library, no registration required.

Here are some other Power 9 Principles to help you out:
Move Naturally – Linn Country Trails has snow shoes you can rent
Downshift – Learn Yoga and meditation techniques
Wine@5 – Enjoy one glass of red wine each day
Eat Wisely – Try a new Blue Zones Recipe or attend a Plant Based Cooking Class
Family First – Make a commitment to have family dinner nights on a regular basis
Community – Connect/Reconnect with a religion or volunteer in the community
Right Tribe – Join a Skywalking Moai or a civic organization that aligns with your passions

Coloring Supplies Available in GWAEA Break Rooms

Looking for a break from stress?

Grant Wood AEA's GROW Committee is now offering coloring supplies in the break rooms. Available supplies include coloring sheets, markers, crayons, and colored pencils.


Coloring books for adults are in the news. See the CNN article, "Why adult coloring books are good for you," posted Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, describing the therapeutic potential coloring offers to reduce anxiety, create focus or bring about more mindfulness.


What are you waiting for? Sit down and color your stress away.

GWAEA Weight Watchers At Work Membership Opportunity extended to staff, family and friends


Have you recently noticed Oprah is pitching the new Weight Watchers program called “Beyond the Scale”? Visit a meeting at GWAEA on Tuesdays at 4:45 p.m. to learn about the new points program called Smart Points.


 Contact:  Kim Martin /399-6710/

Yoga Club at Grant Wood AEA

Mondays and Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. 
Media Center (outside the Glass Classroom)

Come join our informal setting as we start the year with Adrianne's 30 Days of Yoga on YouTube. We plan to go through two days per week so it will take us about 15 weeks to complete the 30 days. These sessions are geared to beginning your yoga practice, but Andianne makes suggestions to tailor poses to all levels throughout each session. So bring your mats, blocks and straps if you have them and let's get limber.


There is no fee or sign-up required to join. Come when your schedule allows. Tara Johannsen and Cathy Kearns will facilitate the weekly sessions with the assistance of yoga DVDs and You Tube.


For information, contact our YMCA Corporate Contact Deanna Haddy, 319-399-6762.



Grant Wood AEA Book Club to meet Feb. 8, 11

Our next Book Club selection is "The Girl on the train" by Paula Hawkins. Please join us for conversation and social time with your colleagues on either Monday, February 8 from 12-12:30 p.m. or Thursday Feburary 11 from 4:00-4:30 p.m in the Media Center Commons. Contact Deanna Weber for further information.


gwaea book club


February 8, 12-12:30 p.m. or

Thursday, February 11, 4:00-4:30 p.m.

Third Annual Cropping 4 Kids

Quota International of Cedar Rapids


Jan. 29-30, 2016

Friday, 5:30 - 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Grant Wood AEA,
4401 Sixth St. S.W.,
Cedar Rapids


See the information and registration flyers for details and costs. For questions, contact Emily Lee, GWAEA Itinerant Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing.


Every Learner, Every Day: Tools and Strategies to Meet the Needs of ELLs


Cutting-edge research offers better tools and strategies to meet the needs of ELLS than ever before. Together we will review the basics of language acquisition, move into using CBM data to get good measurements of ELD growth, and finish with strategies for ELLs in the content classroom.



Linn County Regional Center
1770 Boyson Rd
Hiawatha, IA 52233

8:30 AM-3:30 PM


March 31, 2016

Number: 19422-15-01




See flyer for details

Registration Deadline: 03/15/2016 06:00 AM



  • Educators in Grant Wood AEA area, Total for non-credit $ 10

  • Outside of Grant Wood AEA area,Total for non-credit $ 10

  • Registration is not complete until all fees are paid in full.

Target Audience: Elementary and Middle School Teachers, Reading Support, Consultants, ELL Teachers


Credit: 5.75 Contact Hours

Math Interventions and Assessments for Students

Instructor: Karen Karp, Ph.D.


With the focus on multi-tiered systems of support, classroom teachers are seeking successful ways to assess and build instructional interventions for students who struggle in learning mathematics - particularly students with disabilities. This session includes researched-informed, hands-on interventions and assessments in number and operations for elementary students.



Grant Wood AEA, 4401 Sixth St SW, Cedar Rapids

8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.





See flyer for details


March 31, 2016

Course Number: 19417-15-01

Registration Deadline: 6:00 a.m. on March 17, 2016 Target Audience: K-2 General and Special Education Teachers, Psychologists, Consultants

Credit: None



April 1, 2016

Course Number: 19418-15-01

Registration Deadline: 6:00 a.m. on March 18, 2016

Target Audience: Grades 3-5 General and Special Education Teachers, Psychologists, Consultants

Credit: None


Fees: $65 for in Area 10 educators; $90 for outside of Area 10

The GWAEA Assistive Technology Team and the Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research presents…

Building Bridges:

Assistive Technology Conference

April 13, 2016

8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Grant Wood AEA

4401 Sixth St. S.W., Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Keynote Speaker:

Kirk Behnke, M.Ed., ATP
Lead for Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN)


See flyer for details

Audience: K-12 Administrators, General and Special Education Teachers, Media Specialists, Paraeducators, Reading Support, Parents, Social Workers, Speech-Language Pathologists, Psychologists, OT/PT, Consultants


Number: 19018-15-01


Date/Time: 04/21/2015, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Assignment Due: 4/21/2015

Registration Deadline: 4/01/2016 06:00 AM 

Fees: Educators in Grant Wood AEA area, $60; Outside of Grant Wood AEA area, $85

Leadership for Continuous Improvement Learning Sessions

See flyer for presenters, dates and fees.



2015-2016 TQ Dates

Feb. 24 and May 25, 2016
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.


TQ funds are available to support professional learning. All contracted staff in a position that requires educational licensure are eligible. Funds can be used to support learning time and resources for agency-wide proposals, region/discipline/program proposals and individual proposals. During the 2014-2015 school year, 31 proposals were approved to support professional learning in Literacy, Math, Early Childhood, Autism, Behavior, Science, Coaching, Mentorship, Speech Language, ELL, and Leadership Development. The application documents can be accessed on the Staff Portal. Committee members are happy to answer questions about proposal development. Contact Sherry Sines, Terri McGraw,
Lisa Haverkamp, Hillary Prall, Susan Parker, and a member to be determined.

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. Pre-registration is required for all participants including practicum, interns and student teachers.








January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

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.

Lost and Found:

Please see Cathy Nelson at the switchboard to claim these items.




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.

facebooktwitter rss pinterest