Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board

Mark Your Calendar

March 4, 2016

GWAEA Staff Recognition Banquet Nominations Due


April 1, 2016

Organizational Leadership Program Applications Due


May 10, 2016

GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet

National Czech and Slovak Museum, Cedar Rapids

In This issue:


SEMS Name Changes to SubCentral on Feb. 26
20 Days Til Spring Wellness Challenge
Financial Fitness Challenge
Our Children, Our Future
Organizational Leadership Program Applications Due April 1
Nominations due March 4 for GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet
GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet, May 10
Our Condolences
Power Reels Available
"The EdTech Takeout”
Tech Tips
2016 iPad U
GWAEA GROW News/Upcoming Events
  - Blue Zones Project Upcoming Events
  - Financial Fitness Challenge
  - 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.


Substitute Employee Management System (SEMS) Name Changing to SubCentral on Feb. 26

The substitute assignment system's name is changing! On Friday, Feb. 26, the Substitute Employee Management System (SEMS) will now be known as SubCentral.

Grant Wood AEA houses the computerized substitute assignment system utilized by the Anamosa, Cedar Rapids, Center Point- Urbana, Central City, College CommunityLinn-Mar, Marion, Mount Vernon, and Springville school districts, Xavier Catholic Schools, My Iman Montessori, Summit Schools, and the Grant Wood AEA Off-site Programs.


Beginning Friday, Feb. 26, 2016:

- The assignment system website will be (previously

- Assignment system telephone 319-449-3079 (previously 319-366-0039)

- Registration system website will become (previously

- The Help Desk telephone will remain unchanged: 319-399-6761.

- Help Desk email will become


The SubCentral Help Desk is staffed between 7-11 a.m. on school days. For more information, contact Sandy Edwards, GWAEA computer services consultant.

20 Days 'Til Spring Wellness Challenge

As we enter the last stretch of winter, the GWAEA GROW Committee encourages participation in the 20 Days 'Til Spring Wellness Challenge. To participate, all you have to do is complete one wellness activity for the 10 work days from 2/29 through 3/11. The activity choices are based on four of the categories of the Blue Zones® healthy lifestyle habits: (A) Move Naturally, (B) Right Outlook, (C) Eat Wisely,
(D) Belong. 

You will record your wellness activity on a Wellness Tracker. Copies are available at the front desk in each building. You may also print a copy of the Wellness Tracker using the attached pdf copy.

Everyone that successfully completes the Wellness Challenge will be entered in a raffle to win one of three gift cards for Dick's or Scheels Sporting Goods.  

Turn in your completed Wellness Challenge tracker to Kim Martin, GWAEA Administration, or scan and email it to  All entries must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 11, 2016 to be eligible for the drawing. The winners will be announced in The Bulletin Board on Thursday, March 17, 2016.  


If you have questions, please contact Kim, 319-399-6710.

Financial Fitness Challenge

The GROW Committee is pleased to share that this learning opportunity has been extended to family and friends of GWAEA staff as well!  To summarize the program and help you get started today:


1. All GWAEA employees should have received an email from on 2/22/16 inviting you to participate in the Challenge.


2. We are excited to offer this program at no cost to you!


3. The Challenge is confidential - personal information including individual names and scores for each course are not shared with others.


See file for details

4. The initial Checkup takes about 10 minutes.


5. Once the initial Checkup is finished, a specific course will be recommended for you.  You may, however, choose to complete any of the six Learning Plans.


6. The Iowa Insurance Division has granted education employees in Iowa the opportunity to complete as many Learning Plans as desired.


7. Each Learning Plan has 5 courses, and each course takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete over the 9-week time frame that the program is available.


8. You can access the program 24/7 with any Internet-connected device and can start, stop and resume the courses at your convenience.


9. Family and friends of GWAEA staff may participate in the Challenge program by visiting and

    • click the icon "Get Started Now"

    • choose Grant Wood AEA from the employer drop-down list, and 

    • enter their personal email address. 

10. To date, 62 staff have completed the initial Checkup and 33 have enrolled in a Learning Plan.  Remember to enroll in a Learning Plan once you've finished your Checkup!


11. The Fitness Challenge ends on April 22, 2016.


12. The names of all employees who have completed a Learning Plan before April 22 will be entered in a drawing to receive one of four $25 gift certificates to a local bookstore or community theatre.


If questions about this Challenge, please contact Jackie Schreder,, 319-399-6731.


"Ready to Enhance your Financial Fitness?", The Bulletin Board, Feb. 18, 2016.


"Financial Fitness Challenge: Message from Joe Crozier regarding a financial learning opportunity," The Bulletin Board, Feb. 11, 2016.


This education fact is sent to all Iowa legislators and is brought to you by the joint efforts of School Administrators of Iowa, Iowa Area Education Agencies, Iowa State Education Association, the Rural Schools Advocates of Iowa, and the Urban Education Network of Iowa
in support of adequate and timely school funding.

Feb. 25, 2016

Education Funding and the Cost of Doing Business

Click to access PDF

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.


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.

GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet, May 10

National Czech and Slovak Museum

1400 Inspiration Place S.W., Cedar Rapids


5:00-6:00 p.m. - Visit museum exhibits

5:30 p.m. - Cocktail hour

6:00 p.m. - Dinner

National Czech and Slovak Museum

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

Our Condolences...

  • to Rob Mitchell on the passing of his father, Robert "Bob" M. Mitchell, on Thursday, Feb. 18. Services were held on Tuesday, Feb. 23, in Marion. Rob is a GWAEA printing technician.

  • to Mary Ellen Becker, former GWAEA regional Administrator and Great Prairie AEA director of Special Education, on the passing of her mother, Audrey B. Hood, on Feb.19. A memorial mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 3, 2016, at St. Raphael's Catholic Church in Lehigh Acres, Florida.

Power Reels Available for Checkout


The agency offers a number of power reels available for staff to checkout. If staff wish to checkout a power reel (called yellow extension cord in the technology system), contact:
Kathy Briggs, Sixth St. facility

Sue Heath, Coralville facility

Deb Johnson, 33rd Avenue facility


In addition to the power reels available for checkout, they are also available in most agency conference rooms.

“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 - Use your voice to type, format and edit in Google Docs



Learn more.

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.

GROW News/Upcoming Events

- Blue Zones Project Upcoming Events

- 20 Days Til Spring Wellness Challenge

- Financial Fitness Challenge

- Coloring Supplies in GWAEA Break Rooms

- Weight Watchers

- Yoga Club at GWAEA

- GWAEA Book Club to meet April 5 or 7


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

Here are some other Power 9 Principles to help you out:
Move Naturally – Take a walk
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.


What are you waiting for? Sit down and color 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 meet April 5 or 7

The 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. Questions? Contact Deanna Weber,
ext. 6454 or


gwaea book club


"One Plus One" by Jojo Moyes


April 5, 12:00-12:30 p.m. or
April 7, 4:00-4:30 p.m.

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 Thiefby 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

Upcoming Caregiver Events

The Family Caregivers Center of Mercy, 901 8th Ave. S.E. in Cedar Rapids, is now open and serving families throughout Eastern Iowa. There are several opportunities to connect with the Center and other caregivers. If you or someone you know is currently a caregiver, or providing unpaid care for individuals with chronic conditions who are unable to care for themselves, please visit the website for upcoming caregiver events. If you need caregiving help while attending any of these events, please call

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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