Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board


Holiday Potluck Dates

6th Street

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015
Autumn/Revere/Stone Rooms
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.



Friday, Dec. 11, 2015
Rm. 500
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.


Dec. 24, 2015, 3 p.m.
The agency closes for winter break and will reopen on Monday,
Jan. 4, 2016, at 7:30 a.m.

In This issue:


GWAEA Staff Share National Presentations at AESA
GWAEA to Support Districts New Smarter Balanced Assessments
GWAEA Celebrates a Season of Giving Through United Way
Agency Holiday Potluck Dates
Registration Deadline Extended to Dec. 10 for Grant Wood AEA Job Readiness Fair
DE School Leader Update and Each and Every Child
Staff Distribution Center (SDC) Available 24/7
iPad Refresh
Remembering our Children: A Candlelight Vigil
Digital Learning Tech Tip- How to Use Slide Over & Split View on the iPad
GWAEA GROW News/Upcoming Events
  - Walking Desk at Sixth St.
  - Bike Rack Installed
  - "Lunch and Learn" Dec. 10
  - Weight Watchers, Sept. 22, 2015 - Feb. 2, 2015
  - Yoga
  - Mindfulness 101:  Stress Reduction and Wellness
Animal Angel Tree
Third Annual Cropping 4 Kids
What's My Line?
Secondary MTSS for School Leaders
Assistive Technology Services for Challenged Learners
Elementary Principals and Leaders Workshop to Review Early Literacy

Building Bridges 2016
Special Education Staff Fall Opportunities to Retool and Refresh
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.


GWAEA Staff Share National Presentations at AESA


Congratulations to the following GWAEA staff who completed national presentations during the 30th AESA Annual Conference held Dec. 2-5 in New Orleans.


"Leveraging Technology to Create a Culture of Self-directed Learners" - Lisa Wilson, Gina Rogers, Stacy Behmer
"Google Apps Meets Marzano" - Stacy Behmer
"Creating 21st Century Service Agencies with Research and Analysis" - Stacy Behmer (panel)
"Creating Culture and Accountability in Your Agency" and " AESA Executive in Residence Program" - Joe Crozier
"Supporting STEM Instruction through Inquiry-Based Learning" - Bart Mason, Kathy Schultz, Christopher Soldat


The Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA) is a professional organization serving educational service agencies (ESAs) in 45 states; there are 553 agencies nationwide with hundreds of thousands of staff members.

GWAEA to Support Districts New Smarter Balanced Assessments


The State Board of Education has voted unanimously to adopt a new state assessment to replace the current state tests in math and reading starting in the 2016 – 2017 school year.
A committee must review the rules once more before they can take effect. If the committee adopts this assessment, the AEA system will be partnering with the IDE to develop resources and professional development opportunities to ensure successful implementation of the new tests.


Preliminary plans for providing implementation support to district personnel have been drafted by the IDE and reviewed by the AEA Educational Services Directors. GWAEA will partner with other agencies to provide Smarter Balanced professional development through face-to-face trainings and webinars.

GWAEA Celebrates a Season of Giving Through United Way


The Grant Wood AEA United Way campaign wrapped up in time for staff to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday this year.


Staff donated more than $10,000 to local service organizations through the agency's campaign, and more donations continue to come in. Additionally, a total of $125 was raised from the United Way Chili Cook-Off on Nov. 23, 2015.


The cook-off winners included:

No bean chili- Hope Runge
White chili - Kelly Varnum
Spicy chili- Stacy Craft

Spice aroma - Linda Decker
Vegetarian - Jayne Kamberling
Classic- Jean Grewe

Riverside Casino overnight stay and lunch buffet - Amy Cameron


Thanks to Nicole Clymer for sharing the event photos below. Congratulations to all!








Agency Holiday Potlucks


Please join us for good food, good friends, good fun. Bring a dish to share.

Sixth Street Potluck

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015

11:30 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.

Creative Commons/Media Commons

Coralville Potluck

Friday, Dec. 11, 2015

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Room 500

Please share with high school special education teachers
Registration deadline extended to Dec. 10; Informational letter

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.


Please share the attached informational letter with high school special education teachers.



2015 Job Readiness Fair flyer


Informational letter for HS special education teachers





In the December 2015 issue of School Leader Update, Director Wise talks about two big pushes in the state – the Iowa School Report Card and Differentiated Accountability. Attorney Nicole Proesch reminds you to keep the holiday in (legal) perspective. And read about the 2016 Teacher of the Year.



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 December 2015 issue, visit the team at Pocahontas Elementary in north central Iowa. Educators are embracing Universal Design for Learning, or UDL, something they find helps individualize classroom work for each and every child – and enables a deeper understanding of content.

Staff Distribution Center (SDC) Available 24/7


* Have you ever needed something from the Staff Distribution Center (SDC) for tomorrow but couldn’t get to the Agency during business hours to pick up the item?

* Have you asked Judy to pull an SDC item for you which you planned to pick up but your schedule changed and you couldn’t get into the SDC when it was open?

* Would you like to browse the SDC collections at a time that is convenient for you?

We thought so! The SDC is available 24/7 for you to browse, check out, and pick up items.


Accessing the SDC After Hours, Including Weekends

1. Use your security badge to enter the building through the back door on 6th Street. (This is the outside door located near the mail room and elevator.)
Note: If you don’t have a security badge for the back
door, contact Heath Ayers at

2. Enter the Media Center through the double doors by the elevator. These doors will be unlocked, yet closed.



Note: Once you are inside the Media Center, the light switch is on the right-hand side of the door.

3. Use the self-check system when you are ready to check out items or pick up items that have been left for you in the designated cabinet.

Note: If you have never used the self-checkout system, contact Judy or Jodi for a quick “tour” prior to coming into the SDC after hours.


Leaving the SDC

1. Keep the self-checkout computer turned on for the next person.

2. Turn off the light switch on the wall by the Media Center doors.
Note: Some lights will remain on at all times.

3. Shut the doors behind you.


Contact Judy Bibeau, ext. 6752 or Jodi Flynn,
ext. 6552.

iPad Refresh

We are ready to refresh the last round of iPad 2s, 3s & 4s. This will be the third year of our three year refresh cycle and will be refreshing approximately 130 iPad2 (16GB) with the current model, iPad Air2 (64GB).  


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.


To determine eligibility for this round the same criteria were applied:

1)  Age of the device

2)  Usage of iPad

3)  Contributions to required data collection

4)  Participation in shared learning

5)  Job category

Employees who will receive a new iPad Air2 will need to sign up for a time to trade their current device and set up the new one.  They will also need to order a new case, which will be done at the same time. Details will be emailed to individuals who will be refreshing this round within the next week and you will need to sign up by 5:00pm on December 4th. Following is the list of employees who will receive iPads during the this refresh cycle.

Plans will be made to repurpose many of the devices for staff check-out and use.  If you have any suggestions for other ways in which they might be repurposed, please email Stacy Behmer,

Digital Learning Tech Tip- How to Use Slide Over & Split View on the iPad

A quick and easy tutorial on how to use the new slide over and split view modes on the iPad in iOS 9.

Remembering Our Children: A Candlelight Memorial Vigil


Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015

7:00 p.m.



Marion First United Methodist Church

8th Ave. & 12th Street

Marion, Iowa


See flyer for details


GROW News/Upcoming Events

- Walking Desks at Sixth St.
- Bike Rack Installed

- "Lunch and Learn" Dec. 10

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

- Yoga Club to Meet at GWAEA

- 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.

Walking Desks at Sixth St.


Virginia Smelser demonstrates one of the agency's new walking desks.


There are now three walking desks in the 6th St Building for staff to use. 

  1. 1st floor Administration common area by the west building entrance

  2. 2nd floor in the southeast corner of the building in a small cubicle at the top of the stairs by the math consultants 

  3. 2nd floor in the northwest corner of the building outside of the Jones Conference Room

All three are available for staff to use while doing work. The desks adjust up and down with the push of a button and the speed can be varied up to 2 mph. The desk in the southeast corner has a phone for work or conference calls along with a wireless headset. All tread desks are currently first come first served, but please limit your time to 30 minutes if someone else would like to use the machine. Also be aware they are to be used while doing agency work only and if you want a workout or just want to walk for pleasure, please use the treadmill in the wellness room or use the new sidewalk outside. Also, use gym shoes or soft soled work shoes while using the machines.

Take your computer and try it out. It's great for checking email while you keep moving. We're currently in the test phase of these machines so if you have any suggestions, please email either Dave Brousard ( or a member of the Grow Committee.   

Bike Rack Installed

Installation of a bike rack has been completed at the Sixth St. facility.


The bike rack is located in the back of the building, protected by the bunker bollards and underneath the security camera.


For information,
contact Dave Brousard.



Lunch and Learn on Dec. 10

Date: Dec. 10, 2015

Time: 12:00-12:30 p.m.

Location: Linn/Johnson Room

Join Mercy EAP Coordinator Lisa Lahr for a session on managing holiday stress.



See flyer for details

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/

Yoga Club at
Grant Wood AEA

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


Yoga club meets 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.

Mindfulness 101:  Stress Reduction and Wellness

Location: Grant Wood AEA Southern Facility
2301 Oakdale Blvd., Coralville

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.

Animal Angel Tree

Grant Wood will again host the Animal Angel Tree in the NE/NW/Central File mail area.


This year the tree will sponsor cats from the Vinton Friends of the Shelter, which is now a cat-only facility, as well as sponsoring the dogs at the Last Hope Shelter in Cedar Rapids.


You may donate any items of your choice or pick an “angel” off the tree and bring it in a Christmas gift with their tag attached.


If you need ideas, past popular items are cloths, towels (for bathing/kennel cleaning), toys, treats, toys, leashes/harnesses, toys. (Did I mention toys?)


Thanks to everyone on behalf of both shelters for your continued support!     


Stacy Murphy


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.


Leadership for Continuous Improvement Learning Sessions

See flyer for presenters, dates and fees.



What's My Line?

Multi-disciplinary Team Roles in K-1 Students with Language Challenges

When young students are experiencing challenges with language what assessment procedures help to determine the most appropriate supports and interventions? This workshop will describe issues related to language competency in the early grades including developmental trajectories, assessment procedures, and intervention strategies within a multi-tiered system of support.


Target Audience: Grant Wood AEA PreK-Elementary Speech-Language Pathologists, Early Childhood Staff, Psychologists, Consultants


January 7, 2016

8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.


Kirkwood Regional Center at the University of Iowa

Room 118, 2301 Oakdale Blvd. Coralville, IA

Registration code: PFHNLI OR


January 8, 2016

8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.


Grant Wood AEA, 4401 Sixth Street SW Cedar Rapids, IA Registration code: XQMUXF




See flyer for details



Download Form:

Register Online:

Registration deadline: December 7, 2015 at 6:00 a.m.


Secondary MTSS for School Leaders

Jan. 26, 2016

9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

(includes luncheon presentation)


Location: Kirkwood Community College
Linn County Regional Center, 1770 Boyson Rd., Hiawatha, iowa


Target Audience: Middle/High School Administrators, General and Special Education Teachers, Counselors, Social Workers, Psychologists


Course Number: 19411-15-01

Credit: None Fees: $20 (lunch is provided)

Registration Deadline: 6:00 a.m. Jan. 19, 2016

Instructors: Keith Stamp, JR Kuch


See flyer for details

Assistive Technology Services for Challenged Learners

Jan. 26, 2016

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


Elementary Principals and Leaders Workshop to Review Early Literacy

Jan. 26, 2016

11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.


Location: Kirkwood Community College
Linn County Regional Center, 1770 Boyson Rd., Hiawatha, iowa


Target Audience: Elementary Administrators, General and Special Education Teachers, Counselors, Reading Specialists


Course Number: 19412-15-01

Credit: None Fees: $20 (lunch is provided)

Registration Deadline: 6:00 a.m. Jan. 19, 2016

Instructors: Keith Stamp, JR Kuch


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

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

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.


2015 - 2016






December 2015

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:

For information on any of these items, please see Cathy at the switchboard,, ext. 6544.




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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