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:


Upcoming Wireless Network Changes
Organizational Leadership Program Applications Due April 1
W-2 Wage and Tax Statements
IRS Form 1095 Distribution
Assignment Change Procedures - Contracted Staff
28 Days of OLLIE
(+1 Bonus Day)
Nominations due March 4 for the Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet
Hope Blooms! It's Daffodil Time!
2016 Horizons Meals On Wheels Lunchbox fundraiser at Grant Wood AEA
GWAEA Teams for Bowl for Kids' Sake
"Paper Tigers" - Trauma-Informed Care Film Screening, Feb. 17
Badging Has Begun!
Strategies, Strategies, Strategies!
GWAEA GROW News/Upcoming Events
  - Blue Zones Project Upcoming Events
  - 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.


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 Regional secretaries will also be provided the new network name and password (the password will not be published online or distributed through email for security reasons).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.

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.  


The Organizational leadership Program exists to cultivate participants for roles and positions of leadership.  This two year program exists to:

  • Develop an understanding of personal leadership styles and skills

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of organizational level issues, contexts and dilemmas

  • Build a foundation of systems theory and change management methodology

  • Participate in networking opportunities to debrief and observe leaders as they tackle real problems and issues

Grant Wood AEA employees desiring to apply for this program must send the application and other required documents, to Lisa Wilson by Friday, April 1, 2016.  Applications and overview for the Organizational Leadership Program can be found here.

Formal interviews will be scheduled in April with selections to be made by May 13, 2016.

If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Lisa Wilson at  

W-2 Wage and Tax Statements

Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statements for 2015 were released to the Employee Self Service (ESS) system January 20, 2016 specifically for those who consented to receiving their W-2 Statement electronically. Paper W-2 Statements were mailed January 21, 2016 for those who didn’t consent to electronic method of delivery. Everyone will be able to view their 2015 W-2 Statement on the ESS system as of January 31, 2016.


Now is a good time to review your tax withholding status. If you’ve had a family change (marriage, divorce, birth of a child, child no longer a dependent) you may want to update your
W-4 tax withholding forms.Your current W-4 status can be found in the ESS system in the
‘Payroll Information’ tab.


Questions regarding your W-2 Statement or W-4 tax withholdings should be directed to
Cathy Kearns, Grant Wood AEA Business Services.

IRS Form 1095 Distribution

As a reminder, Form 1095’s will be distributed each year beginning in 2016.  This form includes information about 2015 medical coverage that was offered to you and your family, if applicable. As part of the Affordable Care Act, Grant Wood AEA is required to provide both you and the IRS with this information.


Note:  Form 1095’s for calendar year 2015 were released to the Employee Self Service (ESS) system January 26, 2016 specifically for those who consented to receiving their Form 1095 electronically.  Paper Form 1095’s were mailed January 27, 2016 for those who didn’t consent to electronic method of delivery. Everyone will be able to view their 1095 on the ESS system as of January 31, 2016.


If you were a full-time employee for at least one month during the 2015 calendar year, you will receive a 1095-C. If you were employed part-time throughout the 2015 calendar year and were covered under the Grant Wood AEA medical plan, you will receive a 1095-C.


If you were not employed any month throughout the 2015 calendar year, but were covered under the Grant Wood AEA medical plan (i.e. retirees or spouses of retirees), you will receive a 1095-B.


If you were not a full-time employee during any month of the calendar year, and you did not enroll in the Grant Wood AEA medical plan, you will not receive a 1095-C or a 1095-B.


Keep this form with the other tax materials you give your tax preparer. If you prepare your own taxes, you may need to refer to this information as you prepare your return.


Questions regarding your Form 1095 should be directed to Cathy Kearns, Grant Wood AEA Business Services.

Assignment Change Procedures - Contracted Staff

Posting has begun for 2016-17 assignment opportunities. As a reminder, each opening is posted for at least 5 Agency days and employees may use the Quick Link for Staff Openings that can be found in the left margin of each weekly issue of The Bulletin Board. More details about Assignment Change procedures were provided in the complete article in the
Jan. 7, 2016, issue of The Bulletin Board.


  • to Eric and Kathleen Goslinga on the birth of their son,
    Dalton Albert, on Feb. 2. Dalton weighed 6 lbs., 14.5 oz. and 21 inches long. He is welcomed by big brother, Daniel. Kathleen is a GWAEA media assistant.



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 beginning on Feb. 1.


Part of the Online Learning for Iowa Educators (OLLIE) series, the community provides educators resources, live events, discussions, sharing and networking with other educators. It is the perfect learning place for teachers looking to add blended or flipped learning to their classroom.


Featured during 28 Days of OLLIE (+1 Bonus Day) will be daily events, activities and even contests with prizes to help acclimate educators to the community.


Educators at all levels and those who support them are invited to participate. The first step is join the community can be completed at


Once registered, participants will receive regular updates about:

  • Webinars

  • Forums on topics related to teaching and learning online

  • Activities

  • Resources

  • Badges

  • And much, much more!

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.


Hope Blooms ... It's Daffodil Time!

Orders no later than Feb. 4, 2016

It’s time to place your order for daffodils! This program sells the flowers along with a few other items to benefit cancer patients and their families. You can visit their website, to see what other ways they help with the fight against cancer.


To purchase bunches of daffodils, and make a contribution toward the fight against cancer, please see, call, or email Cathy Nelson at the Sixth Street facility front desk.


The options are:

  • Bunches of Daffodils: $10 a bunch

  • Bunch 'n a Vase: $15

  • Mini Daffodils: $15. Potted and ready to replant.

  • Monkey 'n a Bunch: $25. This is a Monkey and a bunch of daffodils.

  • Sunshine Bouquet: $75. A glass vase filled with brilliant yellow daffodils and greenery to thank clients, customers, employees or vendors or decorate an office, lobby or church.

  • Monkey Hugs: $25. Comfort a child experiencing cancer with a stuffed Monkey, given anonymously.

  • Gift of Hope Bouquet: $25. These bouquets are given anonymously to cancer patients.

  • Short Sleeve V-Neck Tee, sizes S-XXL for $20

Pictures of these are at the front desk.


Orders will be taken from now until Feb. 4, 2016. Flowers can be picked up on or around March 9, 2016. (Please make checks payable to Gems of Hope.)


Stop by the Northern Facility front desk, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or call Cathy at
Ext. 6544 to place your order. Thank you for contributing.

2016 Horizons Meals On Wheels Lunchbox fundraiser at Grant Wood AEA

The 6th Annual Horizons Meals On Wheels Lunchbox fundraiser is planned for the week of Feb. 8-12, 2016.


We would like to offer GWAEA staff an opportunity to participate in this worthy cause. Because we had so many orders last year, we would like to offer staff the choice of ordering for four days during this week, provided we get a minimum order for your chosen day. The dates offered will be Tuesday through Friday, Feb. 9-12. The lunches may be picked up at the receptionist desk any time after 11:30 a.m. on the day you or your group chooses.


If you or your group would like to order contact Cathy Nelson, 6544 and she will help you.


The Lunchbox costs $10, $5 of which will feed you, while the other $5 benefits Horizons Meals On Wheels as the organization continues to help older adults and persons with disabilities meet their daily nutritional needs.


Lunchbox choices: 


Send your choice and payment (cash or check made payable to Horizons Lunchbox) to the attention of Cathy Nelson, Sixth Street front desk, no later than Friday, February 5, 2016.

GWAEA Teams for Bowl for Kids' Sake



Partner up with your GWAEA colleagues for Bowl for Kids' Sake! Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cedar Rapids invites you to the biggest bowling party in the area. Grant Wood AEA is trying to coordinate teams for two potential dates:


Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016 2:45 - 4:45 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 26, 2016 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.


This is the biggest fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and it annually raises more than $300,000 to help young people in our area. Participating bowlers in this year's event will need to raiser or contribute $90/adult and $40/child to participate. (With supervisor approval, staff can bowl on the Friday date.)


Please indicate a date when you'd like to bowl by emailing Renee Nelson.

"Paper Tigers" - Trauma-Informed Care Film Screening, Feb. 17


A screening of "Paper Tigers" is planned on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 6:00-9:00 p.m. at CSPS, 1103 3rd St. S.E., Cedar Rapids.


The film follows a year in the life of an alternative school that changed the way in which they discipline their students using a trauma-informed approach that seeks to break the cycles of poverty, violence, and disease that their students face.


Iowa BIG - ACES Initiative is the organizer of the
"Paper Tigers" movie screening in Cedar Rapids.


Visit the movie website for a description of the film.

Register HERE to reserve your spot for Feb. 17.


“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!

Communication & Collaboration Badging Underway!

The Digital Learning Team is making the rounds at region meetings explaining the new GWAEA Badging Site (Jedi Badging Academy). These badges stem from our agency goal to support 21st Century learning and assuring staff will be proficient in using online methods to communicate and collaboratively create solutions with team members and people outside of GWAEA.


Feed free to read more about the badges and some basics of how the process will work and get started learning and earning badges. If there is any feedback please let Stacy Behmer,, or a technology consultant know because we have made some tweaks to help make the site more useful.

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

- Chair Massages at Grant Wood AEA

- Coloring Supplies in GWAEA Break Rooms

- Weight Watchers

- Yoga Club at GWAEA

- No Join Fee During January at the Y

- GWAEA Book Club to meet Feb. 8, 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

Chair Massages Schedule February, March

Marcia will be here on Feb 9 (8:40 a.m. first appt, 1:20 p.m. last appt), Feb 11 (8:40 a.m. first appt, 11:40 p.m. last appt) and 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 meet Feb. 8, 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 either Monday, February 8 from 12-12:30 p.m. or Thursday Feburary 11 from 4:00-4:30 p.m in the Media Center Commons. Contact Deanna Weber for further information.


gwaea book club


February 8, 12-12:30 p.m. or

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

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.


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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