Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board

Mark Your Calendar

March 25, 2016

Early Release - Agency closes at 3 p.m.


April 1, 2016

Organizational Leadership Program - Applications Due


May 10, 2016

GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet

National Czech and Slovak Museum
Cedar Rapids


Aug. 17, 2016

GWAEA All-Agency Inservice
9:00-11:30 a.m.

College Community

In This issue:


Have Student Loan Debt or Going Back to School?
GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet, May 10
Contracted Staff – Timelines for Salary Lane Changes
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month
Our Condolences
National Library Week
Financial Fitness Challenge
Organizational Leadership Program Applications Due April 1
"The EdTech Takeout”
Spring Agency App Order Coming
Tech Tips
GWAEA GROW News/Upcoming Events
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.


Have Student Loan Debt or Going Back to School?

Grant Wood Area Education Agency has partnered with the Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA) to provide expertise on student loan forgiveness. While some educators may benefit from the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is for any full-time staff member. The loan forgiveness amount is individually determined and tax-free.

After enrolling in this program, educators in our area have realized an average decrease in monthly payments of 83%. The average potential loan balance forgiven per employee enrolled in the program to date is $61,228! We encourage all full time employees with federal student loan debt to look into this benefit.


It's quick and easy to find out if you are eligible. Click here and enter registration code: AEA10


Answer 5 simple questions, find out your potential savings instantly and schedule your no cost, no obligation consultation today.


You should try this if you have federal student loans and would like to:
  *   Immediately lower your monthly student loan payment.
  *   Reduce your student loan debt.
  *   Significantly reduce your cost of earning additional degrees.
  *   Receive a personal 10-year loan forgiveness plan outlining your savings in the program.


You may eligible if:
  *   You're a full-time employee.
  *   You have federal student loans such as: Subsidized Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford, Perkins, Parent


PLUS or Graduate PLUS loans
  *   You're taking out student loans on behalf of an undergraduate student.
  *   You're pursuing an additional degree.

See success stories here.

After reviewing your plan, if you choose to enroll with ISLS, there will be a one-time strategy and implementation fee for this service.

If you have any questions please call 1.866.831.5564, email or visit the website.

The AESA Student Loan Forgiveness Program is powered by the student loan forgiveness expertise of Innovative Student Loan Solutions, a BBB A+ Rated organization that has helped thousands of individuals across the U.S. maximize the under-utilized Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

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

Request banquet tickets here. (Open in Google Chrome). Please submit the online form or call/email Cathy Nelson, ext. 6544, for assistance.​

National Czech and Slovak Museum

​​Contracted Staff – Timelines for Salary Lane Changes

As a reminder, additional semester hours for advancement on the salary schedule are to be secured by September 1 and evidence of the additional hours is to be submitted to the Human Resources office on or before October 1. To be sure the coursework may be used for lane change purposes, staff are advised to submit lane change application forms before registering for classes. The form available from the Human Resources/Business Office Google site, or with this link​:​
Salary lane change application form


Staff are also encouraged to contact the HR office (x6748) to verify the number of semester hours currently on file, or if you have questions or need additional information regarding these procedures.

Wellmark is Offering Identity Protection Services to its Members

Wellmark is enhancing their value-added benefits by offering identity protection services to eligible members in 2016.  These services continue to support Wellmark’s commitment to protect members’ overall health and financial well-being, and safeguard against the fraudulent use of personal and financial information.  Starting immediately, MIIP health plan members may enroll in identity protection services through their myWellmark account.


Wellmark is working with identity protection services provider ID Experts to deliver a robust list of identity protection services.  ID Experts will provide members with the same level of service they expect from Wellmark.  Eligible members will have access to the following services at no cost:

  • Credit monitoring:  Monitors activity that may affect a member’s credit record

  • Cyber monitoring:  Monitoring the web 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to make sure member information has not been stolen

  • Fraud detection:  Alerts members when activity has been identified and protects them from all types of identity theft

  • Complete identity recovery:  Concierge-style services to help members recover your identity if it has been compromised

  • Reimbursement insurance:  $1 million of identity-theft recovery insurance

MIIP health plan members can enroll in identity protection services through their myWellmark account or over the phone by calling 866-486-4812. Members will need their Wellmark ID card and the enrollment code:  4170999624 — also found on members’ myWellmark account — when they sign up for services


Here is a brochure about the free identity protection service and a Q/A for a reference.


From Grant Wood AEA's Brain Injury Resource Team:

Did you know?

Brain injury is unpredictable in its consequences. Brain injury affects who we are, the way we think, act, and feel. It can change everything about us in a matter of seconds. The most important things to remember: 


• A person with a brain injury is a person first
• No two brain injuries are exactly the same
• The effects of a brain injury are complex and vary greatly from person to person
• The effects of a brain injury depend on such factors as cause, location, and severity


Reference: United States Brain Injury Alliance website (

Our Condolences...

  • to Ronda Hilbert on the passing of her father, Ron Hess, on March 9. Services were held on March 14 in Independence. Ronda is a GWAEA special education consultant.

  • to Kathy Briggs on the passing of her father, Warren Schermerhorn, on March 12, at the age of 92 at Northbrook Manor Care Center in Cedar Rapids. A military service will be held in New York state where he had resided all of his life. Kathy is a GWAEA Technology Center technician.


What's Your Favorite Book and Your Favorite Library Memory?

In celebration of National Library Week, April 10-16, 2016, GWAEA Media Center staff would like to create a video with agency staff answering these questions:


1. How would you describe your favorite library experience?

2. How have libraries transformed your life?

3. What is the title of your favorite book?


If you would like to participate, contact Deanna Weber, GWAEA media specialist, or
Stacy Craft
, GWAEA media/technology support technician before March 25.

Financial Fitness Challenge

As a reminder, this FREE learning opportunity is available for GWAEA staff and your family and friends!


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


2.     The initial Checkup takes only about 10 minutes.  *Important Step:  Remember to enroll in a Learning Plan once you've finished your Checkup!

See file for details

3.     Once you complete the initial Checkup, a specific course will be recommended for you OR you may choose to complete any of the six Learning Plans.  (Each Learning Plan has 5 courses, and each course takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete.)


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


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

o click the icon "Get Started Now"

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

o enter their personal email address. 


6.     To date, 100 staff have completed the initial Checkup, 69 staff have enrolled in a Learning Plan, and 2 staff have completed a Learning Plan!


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


8.     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.


"Financial Fitness Challenge," The Bulletin Board, Feb. 25, 2016


"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.

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 flyer or the Feb. 4 issue of
The Bulletin Board
for details.


“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!

iPad App Orders- App Order form Opens Friday, March 25!

We are opening the Agency iPad App Order for paid iPad apps on March 25th. Please be sure to select no more than 7 apps, be responsible and only order apps you will need. The order form will close on April 4 at 12 p.m. The more expensive apps are on devices in the SDC for you to check out and try and then you may contact us for us to purchase it for you. Once the order closes, we will purchase needed apps and push them to you remotely. You will be emailed when apps have been distributed, so you know to look for them in the App Store under your Apple ID.


You must be signed in with your GWAEA Google Account in order to view and fill out the form.

Link to the form

Technology Tip-Zoom Chrome Extension

Want to start a Zoom meeting right from your Google calendar? Add this Zoom Chrome extension and you will be able to start a meeting within a calendar invite or from a button on your browser.


GROW News/Upcoming Events

- Blue Zones Project Upcoming Events

- National Nutrition Month

- Chair Massages, April/May

- GWAEA Sixth St. Location Blood Drive, April 11

- Strut Your Pup 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.

National Nutrition Month

For more ideas to improve your nutrition—and your health—go to


Links to:

Smart Snacking for Adults and Teens

20 Ways to Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables

Healthy Eating on the Run

Chair Massage Schedule for April and May

Marcia will be here April 6 and 7, and May 3 and 5. 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.

GWAEA Sixth Street Location Blood Drive, April 11

1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Grant Wood AEA – Scale-Up Classroom 


For questions or to schedule an appointment, contact Cathy Nelson at ext. 6544 
or e-mail


Strut Your Pup Challenge

April 18 - May 27, 2016
Registration opens March 21

Cost: $8 per participant

Grab the leash and get moving! Live Healthy Iowa has gone to the dogs! Dog walking is great for your health. Studies have shown that people who regularly walk dogs may benefit from lower blood pressure, have a trimmer waistline and suffer from fewer chronic diseases. Dogs are a great accountability partner; keeping you active and on schedule. See the website for details.

See flyer for details

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 4 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 any community location or at GWAEA on Tuesdays weigh-in available at 4:30 / meeting begins at 4:45 p.m.)

No need to wait until the next session – New Registrations accepted each week

Payment options – payable at time of registration one check or credit card payment ($10.94 per week / prorated for remaining weeks left in 17-week session).


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.

Leadership for Continuous Improvement Learning Sessions

See flyer for presenters, dates and fees.



Only a few seats available.
Pre-registration is required.

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


Registration Deadline: 4/01/2016 06:00 AM 

Fees: Educators in Grant Wood AEA area, $60; Outside of Grant Wood AEA area, $85

Instructional Coaching

Instructors: Jim Knight and Ann Hoffman


Target Audience: Administrators

• How Principals Can Support Coaches and Vice Versa

June 16, 2016

Number: 19350-14-01




See flyer for dates, times, and locations

2016-2017 Instructional Coaching

Instructors: Jim Knight and Ann Hoffman



See flyer for dates, times, and locations


Target Audience: Instructional Coaches, Administrators, Lead/Model Teachers


• Instructional Coaching Seminar

Aug. 15-16, 2016

Number: 19351-16-01


• High Impact Instruction

Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2016

Number: 19353-16-01


• Focus on Teaching, Using Video to Gather Data

March 3, 2017

Number: 19355-16-01


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.

Leading Groups: Effective Strategies for Building Professional Community


Instructor: Bruce Wellman


Group leaders wear many hats at once as they bring positional responsibility, technical knowledge and information to meetings and work sessions. Mindful leaders perform a delicate balancing act by knowing when and how to assert themselves with their groups and when and how to integrate themselves with their groups. Skillful leaders are able to manage three simultaneous agendas with and for their groups; task focus; process skill development; and relational development.



See flyer for details

These sessions explore a leadership repertoire that flexes between the stances of presenting, collaborating and facilitating when communicating important information and to support groups in generating and processing information. Knowing when and how to flex between these stances allows skilled leaders to productively and confidently influence positive outcomes for groups and manage difficult topics and conversations. Flexibility in stance also allows the group leader to preserve a place at the table so his or her voice as a colleague has a space for participation.


July 27 & 28, 2016
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.


Grant Wood AEA
4401 Sixth St. S.W.
Cedar Rapids


Target Audience:
Target Audience: All Educators


Course Number: 9461-16-01
Registration deadline: June 27, 2016 at 6:00 a.m.


Credit: None
• A materials fees of $40 is included in other fees.
• Educators in Grant Wood AEA area, Total for non-credit $210
• Outside of Grant Wood AEA area,Total for non-credit $235
• Registration is not complete until all fees are paid in full.

GWAEA Staff Only

Summer Literacy Institute

The Summer Literacy Institute is designed to provide GWAEA employees with basic literacy information. The session includes information on the Early Literacy Implementation Legislation, Literacy components and strategies for instruction, Iowa Core Standards for Literacy, FAST assessment system, and Collaborative Literacy Supports.


Two days of training:

August 23 & 24, 2016
8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Grant Wood AEA
4401 Sixth St. S.W.

Cedar Rapids



See flyer for details

Target Audience:
K-3 Social Workers, Speech-Language Pathologists, Psychologists, OT/PT, Consultants, Audiologists, Paraeducators, General and Special Education Teachers


Course Number: 19428-16-01
Registration Deadline: August 19, 2016, 6:00 a.m.

2016-2017 AEA Teacher Leader Support System (TLSS)

Purpose: to establish a comprehensive multi-year regional program to develop important teacher leader skills and competencies and build capacity among a network of teacher and district leaders to promote long term system sustainability aligned with the Iowa Department of Education’s TLC Layered Approach for Support.


Fee Structure:
$1200 for District Annual Membership Fee and $750/instructional coach for one year of professional learning sessions.

2016-2017 AEA Teacher Leader Support System,
NTC Professional Learning Sessions Systems of Support for TLSS Districts
, and

Access to Optional Courses




See flyer for details


2015-2016 TQ Dates

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.








March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 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

For Sale: Heavy-duty Spirit SR240 Treadmill. New $2,000 at Northtowne Cycling. 12 years old. Works fine. Asking $100. Call Stuart at 363-8466 or ext. 6718.


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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