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:


Agency and AEA Supts Advocate for State Funding
Upcoming Wireless Network Changes
“Get Your Bib On” Campaign
Organizational Leadership Program Applications Due April 1
Our Condolences
28 Days of OLLIE
(+1 Bonus Day)
Nominations due March 4 for the Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet
2016 Grant Wood AEA College for Kids
GWAEA Young Writers' Conference
"The EdTech Takeout”
Tech Tips
2016 iPad U
Strategies, Strategies, Strategies!
GWAEA GROW News/Upcoming Events
  - Blue Zones Project Upcoming Events
  - Financial FItness Challenge
  - Chair Massages Schedule February, March
  - Coloring Supplies Available in GWAEA Break Rooms
  - Weight Watchers At Work
  - Yoga
  -GWAEA Book Club
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.


Agency and AEA Supts Advocate for State Funding

Superintendents from the Grant Wood AEA service area joined Chief Administrator Joe Crozier, Board Secretary Kim Martin and Public Relations Coordinator Renee Nelson at the State Capitol in Des Moines on Feb. 4 to host the area's representatives and senators. Much of the discussion during the breakfast open house was focused on supplemental state aid, the funding that supports salaries and programs at schools and the AEA.


Supplemental state aid funding will continue to be debated in both chambers of the legislature this session as legislators try to agree to a palatable funding figure. GWAEA staff who are interested in helping to advocate for funding are encouraged to send letters to their legislators from a personal email or home address and explain to them how this funding helps advance education in Iowa. See the attached for legislator contact information.


Joe Crozier, Rep. Ken Rizer


Rep. Mary Mascher, Dr. Brad Buck


Gary Zittergruen, Mary Jo Hainstock,

Sen. Liz Mathis, Chris Dyer, John Speer


John Speer, Rep. Sally Stutsman,
Mark Schneider


Chad Straight, Sen. Tim Kapucian,
Gary Zittergruen


Joe Crozier, Sen. Kevin Kinney,
Sen. Joe Bolkcom

Upcoming Wireless Network Changes


On Feb. 15, the Agency will be enabling additional security to our guest wireless network as part of our security evaluation process.   

This change will not affect staff who have their computers currently connected to the “gwuser” wireless network (most Agency laptops will not be affected).  This will only affect devices connected to our open “gwaea” wireless network (this is the wireless network that guests in our building use as well as Agency iPads are connected to this network). 


The new network will be enabled on Feb. 15 and will now be called “gwguest.”  To connect any device to this network, a password will be required. Signage will be placed in all conference rooms with the new network name and passwords. Regional secretaries will also be provided the new network name and password (the password will not be published online or distributed through email for security reasons). 


The “gwaea” wireless network will remain active through the end of February for a transition period and will be disabled permanently on March 1. This change will take place in Northern facility, Coralville facility and the 33rd Avenue facility.


Questions? Contact Technology Support, ext. 6738.

“Get Your Bib On” Campaign

People who go to the dentist at least once a year are more likely to feel better about their lives. The Healthiest State Initiative is devoted to making Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. One way they are focused on improving Iowa’s well-being ranking is by encouraging you to visit the dentist and “Get Your Bib On.”


Dental coverage is available as part of the benefits package for GWAEA staff (this coverage is fully paid for all full-time contracted staff and for classified staff who work a regular schedule of 1,330 hours per year). Are you taking full advantage of your dental benefits?


Dental plans offered by GWAEA cover preventive check-ups and cleanings, and you do not have to meet your deductible before taking advantage of these benefits. That means you can save your smile with little or no out-of-pocket cost.


Not only can preventive check-ups save your smile, they can also help you avoid a costly procedure in the future. Regular visits to the dentist can help stop problems from developing into more serious ones, saving you from more complicated dental treatment.


Plus, your dentist can screen for oral cancer at your exam and can also detect signs of other health issues such as diabetes and heart disease. And adults who report good dental health are also more likely to report good or better overall well-being.


So, don’t miss out on a healthy smile! Take advantage of your dental benefits today.


Visit for tips on improving your dental health.


The “Get Your Bib On” campaign is sponsored by Delta Dental of Iowa and The Meyocks Group.

Organizational Leadership Program Applications Due April 1

Applications are now being accepted for GWAEA staff who have completed a minimum of two years service at Grant Wood AEA and are interested in applying for the 2016-2017 Organizational Leadership Program.  See the Feb. 4 issue of
The Bulletin Board
for details.


Our Condolences...

  • to the family of Denese Kromminga, who passed away on Feb. 4. A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, Feb. 14, at the Avacentre Community Room, 100 South Cedar, Solon. Visitation is from 1-3 p.m., followed by a ceremony and refreshments. Denese was a GWAEA school social worker, 1984-2015 and 1977-1978.


Updates from AEA PD Online

Visit the AEA PD Online and AEA K-12 Online websites for current professional development updates. Follow AEA PD Online on Twitter @aeapdonline or on your mobile device by accessing the app at

28 Days of OLLIE
(+1 Bonus Day)

Online Learning for Iowa Educators


AEA PD Online launched the 28 days of OLLIE (+1 Bonus Day) online community for teachers on Feb. 1. To learn more, visit the following link:



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 10.

Registration begins March 1, 2016collegeforkids

2016 Grant Wood AEA College for Kids

Programs, Dates & Locations:          





June 20-
July 1

College for Kids - Session A

8:30 – 11:50 a.m.

Coe College

July 11-22

College for Kids – Session B

8:30 – 11:50 a.m.

Coe College


Grant Wood AEA's College for Kids is a summer program offering advanced level academic and fine arts courses in the college setting to eligible talented and gifted students who have completed 6th, 7th or 8th grade. Through the College for Kids experience, students are offered advanced or specialized curricula, and have the opportunity to further explore a hobby or a topic of interest not typically available in middle school general education.


For information, contact Susie Green, GWAEA student programs specialist,

GWAEA Young Writers' Conference

A celebration of student writing

for 4th and 5th grade students


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

9 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

(check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.)


Location: Coe College

Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Guest Author:

Carol Gorman

Author of award-winning books such as
"Dork in Disguise," "Dork on the Run,"
" A Midsummer Night’s Dork," and
"Stumptown Kids."



See flyer for details.

Learn more about Carol at

Grant Wood AEA is pleased to offer the Young Writers’ Conference for 4th and 5th grade students. Accompanied by a teacher from their school, students will attend an author session, a workshop session, and a sharing session where students will share samples of their own writing. Concurrent learning sessions also available for teachers during the conference. Registration information now available at


“The EdTech Takeout” is Out!

The Digital Learning Team at Grant Wood AEA is always looking at new ways to augment the professional development and work we do with teachers. With that in mind, we have recently launched a brand new way for educators to stay current with the latest technology tools and trends for the classroom - The EdTech Take Out podcast. The podcast can be accessed on smartphones, tablets, Macs, PCs and Chromebooks so teachers can listen to it anywhere, and at any time.


We would love you to join our growing audience! More information about the show, as well as how to subscribe, can be found here:

We think that this could be a great opportunity for you and would be grateful if you could pass this along. If you have any questions, let me know. If you have an agency iPad, download it and listen on a drive or listen on the Digital Learning Blog!


Tech Tips- Commenting in Google Docs

  1. Highlight text in a Google Doc and then the comment button will appear on the right. Click on that and leave a note.

  2. If you simply add a plus sign and start typing someone’s email address they will be emailed a notification that a comment was left for them on the document and the email will include a link to the document, so they can go take a look. For example “” in the comment will email Gina the comment and a link to the doc.  


iPad U: 2016 Show What You Know

July 6-8, 2016

8:45 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.


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


Featured Speaker:

Clay Reisler, Technology Integration Specialist


Featured Speakers:

Sarah Lalk, Instructional Coach

Josh Allen, Technology Integration Specialist


Target Audience: PreK-12 Educators

Number: 4628-16-01

Registration deadline: June 28, 2016, 6:00 a.m.



See flyer for details

The goals of the iPadU are to provide educators with support and training in the implementation of iPad use in the classroom so educators can begin utilizing the device for teaching and learning. This year, there will be a theme to help teachers utilize the iPad with students to “show what you know.” Sessions will connect with the universal constructs of communication, critical thinking, and collaboration.

Strategies, Strategies, Strategies!

"Brain Function in the School Setting and Effective Classroom Strategies," Feb. 22, 2016

Join the Brain Injury Resource Team as they share strategies that assist students who have experienced trauma to the brain or other factors that do not allow the brain to function properly. AEA staff, teachers, parents and others interested in helping students function better in the classroom, this class is for you. You are welcome to come if you are interested in learning something new or just need a refresher on the topic.


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.

GROW News/Upcoming Events

- Blue Zones Project Upcoming Events

- Financial Fitness Challenge

- Chair Massages at Grant Wood AEA

- Coloring Supplies in GWAEA Break Rooms

- Weight Watchers

- Yoga Club at GWAEA

- GWAEA Book Club to meet Feb. 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

Financial Fitness Challenge

Message from Joe Crozier regarding a financial learning opportunity...

I highly encourage you to invest in yourself by participating in the Financial Fitness Challenge.


We are pleased to offer this program to you because we know that increased financial knowledge leads to better financial health. Your participation makes you part of a select group of employees from across the country who are completing this coursework.


After completing this program, it is my hope you will benefit both personally and professionally, and that you will even see the benefits of this program extend to your families, friends, and other associates.



Have fun learning! The program will launch the week of Feb. 22, and you will be invited to participate by email. You will be able to access the program 24/7 from any Internet-connected device. The program is available for 9 weeks and will conclude April 22. You will receive regular updates, and, if you finish the entire program, your name will be entered in a drawing for one of four $25 gift certificates to either a local bookstore or community theatre.


Please see the attached flyer for further details. Thank you for your participation, enjoy the courses, and good luck!

Chair Massages Schedule for March

Marcia will be here March 8 (8:40 a.m. first appt, 1:20 p.m. last appt) and March 10 (8:40 a.m. -10:40 p.m.). We are going to try doing a regular day and a short day every month for massage.  Merging days may be necessary if enough appointments are not scheduled on the short days. 
Please email Stacy Murphy for an appointment.

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.

Weight Watchers At Work

Be Inspired!  GWAEA At-Work Members have lost a collective 650 pounds and 3 members have attained their goal


  • New Weight Watchers At-Work Session:  2/16/2016 – 6/7/2016

  • Membership Opportunity extended to staff, family and friends(you may attend at GWAEA on Tuesdays 4:45 p.m. or any community location)

  • Incentive gift available for anyone who purchases a GWAEA At-Work membership between 2/8 and 2/12.  Gift:  Fresh & Easy Cookbook, Tote Bag, plus 2 Portion Plates. (right)

  • Payment options – payable at time of registration one check or credit card payment in the amount of $186 (made payable to Weight Watchers) or three checks submitted at time of registration in the amount of $62 each.  The checks will be deposited one week 1, week 5, and week 9.



GWAEA Contact:  Kim Martin, 319-399-6710,

Yoga Club at Grant Wood AEA

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

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 YouTube.


Grant Wood AEA Book Club to meets Feb. 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 Thursday Feb.11 from 4:00-4:30 p.m in the Media Center Commons. Contact Deanna Weber for further information.


gwaea book club


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

Our next Book Club book choice will be "One Plus One" by Jojo Moyes. Join us for a relaxing social gathering and great conversation. Please choose to attend either April 5, 12:00- 12:30 p.m. or April 7, 4:00-4:30 p.m. Both meetings will take place in the Media Center Commons. If you have questions, contact Deanna Weber, ext. 6454 or

2016 Linn Area Reads

The Book Thief  by author Markus Zusak

Sunday, March 13 at 5 p.m., Hotel at Kirkwood Center,
7725 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids


The planning committee for the annual community reading program known as Linn Area Reads has selected The Book Thief by author Markus Zusak for the 2016 edition of the program.


Linn Area Reads is a program of the Metro Library Network, which is made up of the Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Hiawatha Public Libraries. All Linn Area Reads events are free and open to the public.


For the 2016 schedule, visit

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.







February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 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 and Trade

GWAEA Creative Services has extra magnet pieces available for staff use.


The magnet pieces are located on the counter outside of the Copy Center Window.


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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