Grant Wood AEA logo


Oct. 5, 2015

Fire drill at Sixth St. facility

(Oct. 9 as an inclement weather back up date)


Oct. 12, 2015

Flu shot clinics through the
Visiting Nurse Association


In This issue:


GWAEA Rolls Out Enhanced Look and New Graphic Standards
Updating your email signature with "Top Workplaces" logo
Welcome, New Grant Wood AEA Staff
The DE's Each and Every Child and School Leader Update
RESPECT Training
IPERS Retirement Planning Sessions in Cedar Rapids
Thank You
Digital Learning Tech Tip - Reporting SPAM Email
GWAEA GROW News/Upcoming Events
- Weight Watchers at Work
- New GWAEA Yoga Club
Walk at the Whistle, Oct. 7
GWAEA Book Club
Fight the Flu!
- Blue365 Member Discounts
- Core Fitness Member
- Boot Camp Challenge
- Lunch and Learn
lsland Fever, Oct. 3
The Cedar Singers Community Chorus, Nov. 7
Special Education Staff Fall Opportunities to Retool and Refresh
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
Buy, Sell or Trade
- Wanted


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.


GWAEA Rolls Out Enhanced Look and New Graphic Standards

Staff may have noticed the new letterhead and a new design for some of the agency communication materials. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about this change:


What’s this about a new logo? It looks the same to me!

Rather than introduce a new logo at this time, we’ve simply updated the treatment of our existing logo with new complimentary colors and tweaked the design to make it easier to use with today’s technology. There’s a lot of equity in our existing logo, and it’s very recognizable in our community.


Well then, what’s new?

We have updated the look of our identity materials including business cards, letterhead, envelopes, flyers, and will soon be updating more materials like our website, social media pages and other materials.


When and where can I order business cards and stationery?

We would like you to use up as many of your current materials as possible this fall*. All letterhead and envelopes currently in use will need to be recycled at the end of 2015, and we’ll all begin using our new materials January 1, 2016.  *GWAEA staff based in the Coralville office can begin using new materials immediately since the address of our southern facility has changed.


To request business cards: Creative Services site here.


What’s this about a sub-brand?

We want to retain a consistent design structure when we talk about GWAEA to ensure our stakeholders understand the connection between our programs and services. However, we also understand that there are times when we need to have unique brand identities. The best way for us to consistently tell our story is to ensure our programs and services maintain a strong connection back to our organization.

To that end, we have started evolving the individual program logos and images that were created over the years to match a specific sub-brand structure.  For example, our former PEP logo didn’t connect back to the agency (pictured, left.) The new logo is a stylize text that connects PEP with GWAEA.





Communications will be working closely with the leadership team to help design these sub-brands as appropriate. 


What’s next?

Soon, you’ll also have access to our new web elements, web pages, social media guidelines, electronic letterhead, powerpoint templates and other tools through a single location called Brand Central. Watch The Bulletin Board for news on this effort, and please contact Renee Nelson
in Communications if you have questions about this process.

Updating your email signature with "Top Workplaces" logo

As we communicated earlier, Grant Wood AEA employees have again ranked the agency as one of Iowa's Top Workplaces for 2015!


You can help the agency celebrate this accomplishment by adding the "Top Workplaces" logo to your email signature. To do so:

1. Click the 'gear' in the top right corner of your gmail.
2. Go to 'settings'
3. Paste the information below into your 'signature' space, and edit to to reflect your own name, title and contact information
4. Click 'save changes.'

Grant Wood AEA

is honored to rank as one of Iowa's Top Workplaces.


Welcome, New Grant Wood AEA Staff



Naomi Borth

Associates of Applied Science, Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College




Sheryl S. Dolley
SEMS Technician

Cedar Rapids




In the October 2015 issue of School Leader Update, Director Ryan Wise reflects on the the highlights and headlines from the past month. Attorney Nicole Proesch addresses school visitation as seen through the lens of the Department of Human Services. Upcoming conference dates are shared for information.



The Iowa Department of Education's Each and Every Child e-newsletter is designed to inform, educate and challenge those who live and work in the field of special education. In the
October 2015 issue read about a middle school that has borrowed great ideas, and is seeing results.

RESPECT Training

Recognizing Everyone's Strengths by Peace Building, Empathizing, Communicating and Trust Building


RESPECT training is a four-day program focused on training partiipants in relationship buiding and conflict resolution.This training is ideal for family members, educators and other professionals who serve on IEP teams.


Dates: Oct. 20, Nov. 3, Dec. 1, Dec. 15, 2015

Location: Waterloo Center for the Arts, Phelps Pavilion RiverLoop Amphitheatre, Arts Mall, Mark’s Park & Expo Plaza 225 Commercial St., Waterloo, Iowa

Time: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


See flyer details

IPERS Retirement Planning Sessions in Cedar Rapids


Individual Appointments:
October 12, 13, 14 & 15, 2015

See flyer for details.



Residence Inn
1900 Dodge St. N.E., Cedar Rapids

Pre-Registration is needed to attend an individual appointment.


Get detailed information about your retirement account by speaking with an IPERS representative during an individual appointment. Learn about possible retirement dates, benefit option payouts, and service purchase options.


To schedule an individual appointment contact IPERS at 1-800-622-3849.  These appointment times will fill quickly, please call soon to reserve an appointment.

Thank You

Gerry Hamm...a Marsden evening employee, retired on Sept. 30 and shared the following:


I want to thank all the people who worked on making my retirement party a very warm and fulfilling experience.  


I want to thank everyone for the cards, gifts, and warm wishes. Working with you all has been a very blessed time in my life. I will miss you all and pray that you all have joy in your life. 


Lastly, I want to thank Curtis and Rick for the best guys to work with this past 4 years. They have made my time at Grant Wood very enjoyable and fun. 


God Bless You All,

Gerry Hamm

Digital Learning Tech Tip - Reporting SPAM Email

We don’t get spam email too often, but once in awhile one will sneak through and we need to be mindful of this. If you see an email that doesn’t seem quite right, the subject says important or it doesn’t make sense. Best practice is to check with the sender (by sending them another email not replying to suspicious one) to check if you are not 100% sure. If you know it is spam, then please mark it as spam (see the image below). This will help the filter in the future recognize messages like this.



GROW News/Upcoming Events

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

- New Yoga Club to Meet at GWAEA

- Walk at the Whistle, Oct. 7, 2015

- GWAEA Book Club, Oct. 8, 2015

- Fight the Flu, Oct. 12, 2015

- Volunteering - Discover the Benefits of Giving Back

- Blue365 Member Discounts

- Core Fitness Member Discounts

- Boot Camp Challenge

- Lunch and Learn with a Hy-Vee Dietician,
Nov. 9, 2015



Contact a member of the GROW Team for more information.



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. Visit these links for activities and events.

Weight Watchers At Work – Everyone is Welcome to Join


The excitement just keeps growing …

New 19-week session:  9/22/2015 – 2/2/2016 (you may join any time during the session)


Membership Opportunity extended to staff, family and friends

(find a location that works for you -- GWAEA on Tuesdays or any community location)


Payment options – payable to Weight Watchers at time of registration

one check or credit card payment ($186 total for the 19-week session – prorated for remaining weeks) or three checks submitted at time of registration to be deposited - week 1, week 5, and week 9


Contact:  Kim Martin /399-6710/

New Yoga Club to Meet at
Grant Wood AEA

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


A group of GWAEA staff is beginning a new yoga club that will meet Mondays and Thursdays at 
4:30 p.m
(unless the agency is closed) in the
Media Center area outside of the Glass Classroom.


Nicole ClymerTara Johannsen and Cathy Kearns will facilitate the weekly sessions with the assistance of yoga DVDs. Bring your mats, blocks and straps if you have them. There is no fee or sign-up required to join. The sessions began Sept. 28.

Grant Wood AEA's Walk at the Whistle

Oct. 7, 2015, 11:50 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.

The 1 kilometer walk coincides with the outdoor alarm heard at noon in many communities.


The GROW committee will sponsor an indoor walk route this year that will showcase several GWAEA departments in the Sixth Street facility. 


Tour the departments between 11:50 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. or enjoy the virtual route option.


Pick up your passbook at the front desk on Oct. 7 or watch for an email Tuesday, Oct. 6, with a link to the virtual Walk at the Whistle. All entries submitted by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7, will be entered in a drawing for a gift certificate to Scheels or Dick's Sporting Goods.

Grant Wood AEA Book Club to meet on Oct. 8

The Grant Wood AEA Book Club will kick off the year on Oct. 8 with the selection
"The Nightingale: A Novel" by
Kristin Hannah.


Choose either noon or 4 p.m. in the Creative Commons area to come relax and enjoy conversation and social time with your co-workers. If you would  like to participate, but can't be here on site, let Deanna Weber know and she will send you a Zoom invite. See Deanna,
ext. 6494,
for access to print or digital copies.

Fight the Flu

Oct. 12, 2015, 7:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Sixth St. Facility - Grant Wood Room

Coralville Facility

Link to register


Flu Shots planned at Grant Wood AEA through the
Visiting Nurse Association. Bring your insurance information. VNA will direct bill your insurance company.


As a reminder, and for employee reference, the Agency health plans provide flu shot benefits, which includes:

  1. Full 100% coverage, with no co-pay, for shots received through in-network or
    out-of-network providers.

  2. Under the HMO Essential plan, however, individuals must go to an in-network provider for the shot or the shot will not be covered.

  3. If another non-preventive service in addition to the flu shot is performed in the doctor's office, individuals are then responsible for the office co-pay.

If there are questions about your health plan benefits, please contact Cathy Kearns, Payroll/Benefits Specialist, at ext. 6706 or

For information, contact Connie Dvorak,



Volunteering - Discover the Benefits of Giving Back

Aside from the emotional benefits of volunteering, there are significant health benefits associated with giving your time. Studies have noted lower rates of disease as well as reduced healthcare costs among people who volunteer regularly. It seems that volunteers gain as much as they give!


Area volunteer opportunities include:

United Way of East Central Iowa

United Way of Johnson & Washington Counties

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program for Linn & Jones Counties - CASA for Children is a network of 949 community-based programs that recruit, train and support citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities.


See these flyers for additional information: CASA Volunteer, National CASA Infographic.

Blue365 Member Discounts

Individuals covered under the Agency's group health insurance plans with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield are eligible to participate in the Blue365 discount program, which offers savings on products and services for healthy living. Discounts include fitness center memberships, workout apparel and healthy eating programs. Click here for more information and to check out some of the discounts available! The discounts and services are always changing, so please visit the Blue365 website for a list of current vendors.

Core Fitness Member Discounts

Core Fitness, with three locations in North Liberty/Iowa City, offers GWAEA employees a discounted membership of $39 monthly with a $49 one-time enrollment fee. If employees sign-up for a year contract, Core Fitness will waive the enrollment fee for a $49 savings.


All memberships include:

- All group fitness class including: Les Mills, cycling, yoga, ZUMBA, aerobics and aquatics classes
- A FREE fitness assessment with a personal trainer
- Steam room and sauna at all locations
- 24/7 access to the North Liberty location
- Pool and spa access at the Mormon Trek location
- Women's only workout area at the North Liberty location

Core Fitness Boot Camp Challenge, Oct. 12

A Boot Camp Challenge program, exclusive to Core Fitness, is also open to Core members AND non-members so if someone is looking to improve their health and wellness but not quite ready to join a gym, this program may be perfect for you!


Boot Camp Challenge is either a 6-week or 3-week fitness program where campers meet at the same


time 3 times a week and perform cardiovascular training, strength training, and flexibility along with nutritional guidance to guarantee results. Working with the same boot campers for six continuous weeks allows friendships to be made, camaraderie to be formed and boot campers pushing each other to work together to achieve individual goals!


All the workouts in the Boot Camp Challenge program can be modified to fit ALL fitness levels as well as any age so everyone can try it out! A Boot Camp Challenge flier is attached.


Nov. 9, 2015, Noon-12:30 p.m., Linn/Johnson Room, Sixth St. facility

Topic: Healthy food options to make it through the holidays.

Leadership for Continuous Improvement Learning Sessions

See flyer for presenters, dates and fees.





Saturday, October 3, 2015 – 6:00pm to 11:30pm

Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, Coralville

Benefiting: Eastern Iowa Honor Flight, Operation Backpack & Team Breast Friends

Visit the website for details. For information, contact Bart Mason,


Due to the generosity of a number of corporate sponsors, complimentary tickets for this special charity event are being made available to agency employees, family members & friends. Complimentary tickets can be obtained from Cathy Nelson at the Sixth Street facility or from Susan Heath/Stephanie McKenna at the Coralville facility.   

"I Am In Need of Music" presented by
The Cedar Singers Community Chorus, Nov. 7, 2015

The Cedar Singers Community Chorus presents its first annual fall concert...


"I Am In Need of Music"

Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015

7:00 p.m.


Westminster Presbyterian Church

1285 3rd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids


Performers include GWAEA staff Susan Parker, Shirley Wellington-Bruegge, and former GWAEA employee Connie Kent.




See flyer for details.

Special Education Staff Fall Opportunities to Retool and Refresh

The following workshops are available for special education staff as an opportunity to refresh your skills and knowledge. Please review and discuss these opportunities with your supervisor.  Additional professional learning workshops with national, regional and agency presenters and courses for credit are listed under the professional development listing below and on the professional development webpage

2015-2016 TQ Dates

Dec. 2, 2015, 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.






October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

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:

Wanted: 8 to 24 ounce plastic containers with lids for the GWAEA VAST Center. Containers from yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, and margarine would be ideal. The containers will be used to ship red worms to teachers who are teaching the Animals 2 x 2 and Living Systems units. Please send to the
VAST Center via van mail.


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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