Grant Wood AEA logo

In This issue:


United Way Campaign Kicks Off Next Week
Network Upgrade Planned Nov. 5
Interested in the Maker Movement?
GWAEA The Linker, Oct. 2015
Education Directory Update
AEA/DE Customer Satisfaction Survey
The DE's Each and Every Child and School Leader Update
Standards-Based Grading Conference with
Dr. Thomas Guskey
Your Child's Future... The Possibilities are Endless - Monticello 
Grant Wood AEA Job Readiness Fair, Jan. 26, 2016
Digital Learning Tech Tip - Uploading a Document to Google Drive
GWAEA GROW News/Upcoming Events
- Weight Watchers at Work
- New GWAEA Yoga Club
- Blue365 Member Discounts
- Core Fitness Member

- Lunch and Learn
- Mindfulness 101:  Stress Reduction and Wellness
Special Education Staff Fall Opportunities to Retool and Refresh
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.


United Way Campaign Kicks Off Next Week


This year Grant Wood AEA 's agency-wide United Way campaign will coincide with the Thanksgiving holiday.  All GWAEA staff will receive an email from the United Way of East Central Iowa on Friday, November 6th inviting them to learn more about how donations impact Eastern Iowans, and providing staff with a link to make an online contribution. Staff will be able to use this single portal to make a donation to either the United Way of East Central Iowa or the United Way of Johnson and Washington Counties.

This year, GWAEA staff will have the option of also supporting Iowa Shares in addition to United Way. Iowa Shares is a statewide federation of Iowa nonprofit organizations that support social  change, environmental, and cultural nonprofit groups. We will provide donation information for this organization from our website in addition to information about the United Way.

All staff are asked to thoughtfully consider a donation this holiday season. Our GWAEA Charitable Giving Committee, which includes Nicole Clymer, Jean Grewe, Lynn Tiemann, Sherry Sines, Deb Scott-Miller, and Renee Nelson, also will be attending many of your regional meetings in November to encourage you to donate.  All gifts will be due Friday, November 20.

Network Upgrade Planned on Nov. 5

A brief network outage is planned on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015 at 6:00 a.m. The outage is expected to last no longer than 30 minutes. For questions, contact Brandon Watson, GWAEA network administrator.


Interested in the Maker Movement?

Nov. 2, Grant Wood AEA, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

On Nov. 2, Grant Wood AEA is opening up the makerspace from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Educators can stop by Grant Wood AEA, (in the Media Center), 4401 Sixth St. S.W., Cedar Rapids, anytime to explore robots, create a prototype, or see how the green screen can be used in classrooms.


Grant Wood AEA's makerspace is a place for educators to learn about the maker movement and experience hands-on with elements and tools that can make up a makerspace. Educators thinking about adding a makerspace at their school, come and get hands-on with the items in our makerspace zones: Hack-It, Video Production, 3-D Printing, Robot Central.

Grant Wood AEA's The Linker, October 2015


In this issue, October 2015 Issue:

- Students Receiving ELL Services Continues to Expand
- AEA/DE Customer Satisfaction Survey
- Education Directory Updates
- The GWAEA Yellow Pages Directory of Services
- Maker Monday, Nov. 2, 2015
- SMART (Communication) Partner Strategy Workshop
- Your Child's Future... The Possibilities are Endless - Monticello 
- GWAEA Professional Development

- info@gwaea, October 2015


The Linker, is available for viewing and download of archival copies.


For information, contact Valerie Taylor Hill in the GWAEA Communications Office,
319-399-6824 or 800-332-8488.

Education Directory Update


There are two ways to access information about our LEA partners. You can access details:


1.  Through this map on our website, which is in the process of being updated with this year's information,


2. Access the 2015-16 education directory. This data has been updated and is current for the year. We are no longer printing large quantities of this document, but will coordinate hard copies for staff who would like one. You can make requests for the directory here.

AEA/DE Customer Satisfaction Survey



The 2015-16 AEA Customer Satisfaction Survey is available through Wednesday, Nov. 25.
The Iowa Department of Education conducts this annual statewide survey. The survey provides us with insight on what the AEA is doing right and what we can do to improve our services.

Educators are invited by email to participate in the AEA Customer Satisfaction Survey.
We ask that you encourage the teachers you work with to participate so that we can gain valuable input about our programs and services.



In the November 2015 issue of School Leader Update, read about Director Ryan Wise’s observations as he travels through the state visiting schools, and Attorney Nicole Proesch talks about student discipline.



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 November 2015 issue: Every school talks about transitioning their students from a school career to beyond, whether that’s a good-paying job, a two-year community college or even a four-year university. But two school districts examined their programs, and found lots of opportunity.

Standards-Based Grading Conference
with presenter
Dr. Thomas Guskey

March 23, 2016
8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Grant Wood AEA Northern Facility
4401 Sixth Street S.W. 
Cedar Rapids Iowa


See flyer for details.

This conference is designed to help educators learn how to effectively develop, design and implement a standards-based grading system that aligns with current instruction and assessment practices, and supports the Iowa Core Curriculum and Iowa's Competency Based Education model. Classroom practitioners will share resources and practices that have led to successful implementation.

Registration fee for educators in Grant Wood AEA, $150.


This year's conference will feature Dr. Thomas R. Guskey. Dr. Guskey is Professor of Educational Psychology in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky.
A graduate of the University of Chicago, he began his career in education as a middle school teacher, served as an administrator in Chicago Public Schools, and was the first Director of the Center for the Improvement of Teaching and Learning, a national educational research center. He will share with participants the key elements to reform assessment, grading, and reporting practices in schools.


Number: 19272-15-01

Location: Grant Wood AEA Northern Facility, 4401 Sixth St. S.W., Cedar Rapids

Audience: K-12 Administrators, Teachers, Consultants

Registration Deadline: 3/9/2016, 06:00 AM 


  • Educators in Grant Wood AEA area, Total for non-credit $ 150

  • Outside of Grant Wood AEA area,Total for non-credit $ 175

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

Your Child's Future... The Possibilities are Endless - Monticello 

Nov. 12, 2015

6:00-8:00 p.m.


Jones Regional Education Center
Monticello, Iowa


Number: 19052-15-01

Registration recommended but not required.


See flyer for details.


Grant Wood AEA Job Readiness Fair, Jan. 26, 2016

Grant Wood AEA will be hosting a Job Readiness Fair, a demonstration-based learning event that will apply career education lessons from the classroom. Registration is open to teams of 10th and 11th grade special education students, accompanied by a teacher from their school.
(See the flyer for complete details.)


During the event students will:

1. Practice completing a job application

2. Participate in a face-to-face mock interview

3. Participate in a telephone or “skyped” mock interview

4. Interact with and receive feedback from area employers

5. Attend informational sessions regarding employment in the 21st century


For information, contact Susie Green, GWAEA student programs specialist or Megan Burke-Brunscheen,
GWAEA special education consultant.



2015 Job Readiness Fair flyer

(Registration deadline: Nov. 30)


Digital Learning Tech Tip- Where does my Google file live?

Quick tech tip to figure out about where your Google file is located in Drive.

iPad Care Reminder

This is a friendly 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% 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.


We understand that accidents happen, but we have run out of spare devices due to a large number coming in damaged this fall. If you do have a damaged device, please contact
Stacy Behmer,, as soon as possible.


Self Perception Survey

We have 400+ of our staff who have completed the survey, but we are looking for those last few stragglers to get theirs completed to help inform our support our agency goal to “Increase student acquisition and application of 21st Century Skills and knowledge (prepared for success in college, career, and citizenship).” If you have not completed the survey please do so as soon as possible.

Communicator/Collaborator Self-Perception Survey Link


Here is a link to a doc for you to look at in advance to see the" I can" statements and scale prior to the survey. The text is kind of small for the scales on the survey link.

GROW News/Upcoming Events

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

- New Yoga Club to Meet at GWAEA

- Volunteering - Discover the Benefits of Giving Back

- Blue365 Member Discounts

- Core Fitness Member Discounts

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

- Mindfulness 101:  Stress Reduction and Wellness



Contact a member of the GROW Team for more 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.

Weight Watchers First Anniversary Party!


Visitors are encouraged to join us for our GWAEA At Work Meeting first year anniversary party!

Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 - Scale Up Classroom/5:15 p.m.

Our current session runs through 2/2/2016 (you may join any time during the session)


Membership Opportunity extended to staff, family and friends

(attend meetings at 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 ($10.84 per week prorated for remaining weeks) or two checks submitted at time of registration to be deposited - first week and week nine


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.



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


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

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

Mindfulness 101:  Stress Reduction and Wellness

This nine-week opportunity is supported through the agency's GROW Committee. The class is designed to help you cultivate your inner resources through mindfulness meditation practices to respond more skillfully to stress and find greater ease and peace of mind.


Research suggests that mindfulness practice can positively affect stress resilience, physical and mental health, interpersonal skills, academic skills and promote overall well-being.

This class is based on a model developed by Jon Kabat-Zinnm, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and will be led by GWAEA retiree Christine Allen as the instructor. This model has been used with diverse groups around the world including corporate employees, CEOs, educators, students, attorneys, judges, prison inmates, health care professionals, teachers and professional atheletes.


Christine has practiced mindfulness meditation for many years, received training in MBSR for health care professionals from Jon Kabat-Zinn, Saki Santorelli and staff at the Center for Mindfulness, and has attended several extended mindfulness meditation retreats. She has taught Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction courses at University Hospitals and Clinics since 2004 and helped develop and teach a credit course on mindfulness meditation for undergraduates at The University of Iowa for several years.

These links include video clips that provide more information.

Anderson Cooper - "60 minutes Reporting on Mindfulness"

Jon Kabat-Zinn - "What is Mindfulness"

Andy Puddicombe - "All it Takes is 10 Mindful Minutes"

Dan Harris of ABC News - "Changing Your Life Through Meditation"

Class dates are Jan. 14, 21, 28, Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25, March 3, 10, 2016. Registration fees are $125, a reduced fee through the support of the agency's GROW Committee. License renewal credit is available. Register on the Grant Wood AEA PD website under the Grant Wood Employee link.

Leadership for Continuous Improvement Learning Sessions

See flyer for presenters, dates and fees.



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






October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

January 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.

Buy, Sell or Trade:

1. Hot tub--$1,200 (new heater and new motor Oct. 2014. Includes steps and some chemicals).
2. 65" big screen tv and solid oak entertainment unit to surround it--$1,250 together or $500 for big screen tv alone.
3. Smaller solid oak entertainment /shelf unit--$275
4.Solid Oak Hutch/ trophy case--$275 Contact Jana Albers,, or 319-521-4224 for item pictures.


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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