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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:


Nominations due March 4 for GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet
GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet, May 10
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month
Johnson Joins Literacy Standards Review Team
National Library Week
20 Days Til Spring Wellness Challenge
Financial Fitness Challenge
Organizational Leadership Program Applications Due April 1
"The EdTech Takeout”
Tech Tips
2016 iPad U
GWAEA GROW News/Upcoming Events
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities


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.


Nominations due Friday, 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 included in next week's issue of The Bulletin Board.

Did you know?

More than 95,000 Iowans live with long-term disability from brain injury and more than 2,500 Iowans are hospitalized each year with traumatic brain injury. While brain injury can leave a person with many visibly disabling conditions, many are left with "invisible" cognitive and emotional difficulties making it tough to recognize. Thus, brain injury is often called a "hidden disability."


Reference: Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa brochure

Johnson Joins Literacy Standards Review Team

Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise recently announced the members of a state team that will review Iowa’s academic standards for literacy. Joining this team is Laura Johnson, GWAEA Curriculum Consultant - Reading.


The Literacy Standards Review Team represents the second phase of an ongoing state process for reviewing Iowa’s academic standards, which also covers science, social studies, mathematics and 21st century skills, such as financial literacy.


The first phase of the standards review process ended last August, with the State Board of Education’s adoption of new science standards. The Department also has convened a state team to rewrite Iowa’s social studies standards.


Members of the Literacy Standards Review Team met for the first time on Feb. 24. Joining Johnson on the Literacy Standards Review Team from the Grant Wood AEA service area are Bridget Castelluccio, Cedar Rapids Community School District and Jonathan Rogers, Iowa City Community School District.


Visit the Iowa Department of Education website for information about the Literacy Standards Review Team and Iowa’s state standards.

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.

20 Days 'Til Spring Wellness Challenge

The 20 Days 'Til Spring Wellness Challenge launched on February 29 and ends on Friday, March 11.  Your tracker form may reflect the calendar week of March 14-March 18.  This is spring break so we conclude the challenge on Friday, March 11.  We do, however, encourage you to incorporate these activities into your day following the challenge. 

The completed Wellness Challenge tracker should be turned in to Kim Martin, GWAEA Administration.  Please send the original form or scan and email the form to kmartin@gwaea.orgAll entries must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 11, 2016 to be eligible for the drawing.  Everyone that successfully completes the Wellness Challenge and turns in a tracker form will be entered in a raffle to win one of three gift cards to Dick's or Scheels’ Sporting Goods. The winners will be announced in
The Bulletin Board on Thursday, March 17, 2016

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

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!

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



Learn more.

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

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

- Join the Blue Zones Community Celebration on March 8

- Y March Membership Specials

- 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

Join the Blue Zones Community Celebration on March 8


Congratulations to all for helping Cedar Rapids reach the goal of Blue Zones certification! Please consider attending the family-friendly celebration on March 8 from 4-7 p.m. at the Helen G Nassif YMCA, 207 7th Avenue S.E., Cedar Rapids. Click here for more details.

Community leaders, volunteers and organizations throughout Cedar Rapids made this certification possible. Come celebrate this impressive accomplishment while enjoying free activities, healthy snacks, prizes and well-being giveaways! 


Visit with 40+ organizations to learn about well-being improvements and future plans!
Family friendly activities including: yoga, Zumba, hula-hoop and more! 
Live cooking demos and a hands-on Kids' Cooking Corner, sponsored by Hy-Vee. 

Prizes and giveaways: 
All guests receive FREE Blue Zones Project gear! 
More than $2,500 in prizes! Including: a bike from Northtowne, Cedar Rapids Family Pass, YMCA Membership, $250 Hy-Vee gift cards, Beach Boys Concert tickets and MORE! 
Free healthy snacks! Door prizes every 15 minutes!

Y March Membership Specials


See flyer for details

For information, contact our YMCA Corporate Contact Deanna Haddy, 319-399-6762.


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

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.






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.


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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