Grant Wood AEA logo


Oct. 12, 2015

Flu shot clinics through the
Visiting Nurse Association


In This issue:


Grant Wood AEA Ranks High Among Iowa's Top Workplaces
New Directory for GWAEA, LEA Available
Educational Rounds
Reminder to Update Emergency Contact Information and Beneficiaries
Special Education Staff Fall Opportunities to Retool and Refresh
Digital Learning Tech Tip- How to Upload iPad Photos and Videos to Google Drive
iPad App Orders Closed
Networking Event for Students
Fight the Flu!
Mindfulness 101: Stress Reduction and Wellness
Grant Wood AEA Book Club to meet Oct. 8
Have you signed up to join the Blue Zones Project™?
Blue Zones Project™ Upcoming Events
Request from the GWAEA Vast Center
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.



Grant Wood AEA Ranks High Among Iowa's Top Workplaces

Wednesday afternoon several Grant Wood AEA staff attended a luncheon in Des Moines for a special preview of the results from this year's survey.


Read more about the results of this survey through the most recent blog post here.




GWAEA Board President Jim Green with GWAEA staff Marcia Booth, Peggy Gingerich, Maria Cashman,
Joe Crozier and Renee Nelson at the Top Workplace Awards Luncheon in Des Moines on Wednesday.

New Directory for GWAEA, LEA Available

Which SLPs support Novak Elementary in the Linn-Mar district? Which RA supports the Midland district? This information is now available through a new program on our website.


This is how it works:
Go to and click on 'schools'. From here you can click on a district to see LEA information for our partners.


Now, by clicking the (+) sign next to a school in the listing that appears, you will also be able to see which GWAEA staff are assigned to each building. Also, when you click on a staff person's name you'll be able to see more specific contact information for each GWAEA staff person.


This tool was designed to help GWAEA and LEA staff easily access information about the AEA staff assigned to each building in our service area and was developed by Greg Bickal with help from Jackie Schreder, Amy Cameron and Renee Nelson. You can preview the new directory here.


The Grant Wood AEA Child Find Team would like to support you and your teachers by offering individualized support through Educational Rounds. See flyer for details.

What are Educational Rounds? Our intention is to help AEA staff problem-solve challenging cases through individualized conversations. Similar to when medical professionals collaborate together to solve challenging problems, Educational Rounds will be an opportunity to meet with agency speciality teams to share data and investigate additional resources, strategies, and options to support student needs.  

The Format: Each Educational Rounds event will begin with individualized support from 8:00-10:00 a.m. focusing on Child Find Procedures. These discussions will typically be brief, but offer a chance to discuss the child find process.

From 10:00 a.m. - Noon, specialty teams will support your individualized case.  

Special Education Literacy Consultant: Concerns with reading and writing

Autism Consultant: Concerns with social skills or behavior for children with Autism or Autism characteristics

Math Consultant: Concerns about math

Behavior Team Consultant: Concerns about a student with behavioral issues

ELL Consultant: Concerns about how English Language is impacting the child

Language Consultant: Concern about young child (Preschool-2nd grade) and their overall language development.

Interested?  To register for the Educational Rounds you must complete the Google form to indicate what type of support you will need.  

Register HERE

To select a time slot, please sign up for a time:  SCHEDULE


Round Table #1:  Sept. 23, 2015

Round Table #2: Nov. 13, 2015

Round Table #3: Jan. 21, 2016

Round Table #4: March 3, 2016


8:00 -10:000 a.m. - [Optional] Schedule time with Hillary Prall or Austin Beer if you would like general child find support.


10:00 a.m. - Noon - Schedule a time for educational rounds support with a specialty team.
(typically 30 minutes)


Rounds are intended to be short, about 30 minutes of targeted discussion for your individual case. You are welcome to only attend during the time slot you sign up for, limiting the time out of your buildings.

Reminder to Update Emergency Contact Information and Beneficiaries

In the event of an emergency, we want to be sure to have accurate, up-to-date emergency contact information on file for employees.  To ensure that this information is current, employees are asked to review this information annually.  As a reminder, in an emergency situation, we will always try to contact a spouse first, if identified, then Contact 1 or Contact 2.

To update: 


Go to GWAEA home page, click on Staff Website, click on Employee Self Service


Enter username (first initial & last name) and your password (click on green box if you have forgotten your password) 


 Click on Emergency Contacts (found under my information) 


Click on the record you wish to update or Add New Contact 


Click on Save Changes or Delete this Contact

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the Human Resources Office at ext. 6703.  Thank you for keeping this information current.


Please also remember to update beneficiary information as family changes occur.  Employees designate beneficiaries for the group life and IPERS benefits. Contact Cathy Kearns, Compensation/Benefits, at ext. 6706, to make any beneficiary changes.

Special Education Staff Fall Opportunities to Retool and Refresh

The following workshops are available for special education staff as an opportunity to refresh your skills and knowledge. Please review and discuss these opportunities with your supervisor.  Additional professional learning workshops with national, regional and agency presenters and courses for credit are listed under the professional development listing below and on the professional development webpage

Digital Learning Tech Tip- How to Upload iPad Photos and Videos to Google Drive

After PD Palooza there were some tips the digital learning team wanted to share, so each week we will have a share a tip. Here is a quick and easy tutorial that shows how to upload photos and videos from your iPad to Google Drive in order to make more space on your iPad for apps and other media.



For more tips and support visit the Digital Learning Team Blog and our YouTube Channel.

iPad App Orders Closed

The ordering window is closed. We are in the process of getting apps ordered and distributed. If you ordered apps, you will be sent an email in the next couple weeks to let you know the apps are available in your account.


Networking Event Planned for High School/Early College Age Students

An invitation is extended to all area high school/early college age women and men to attend and network with professional women from Corridor Women Connect member companies.


Sponsored by Corridor Women Connect and the Power of She, the event is planned Thursday,
Sept. 17, 2015, 3:30-5:30 p.m., The Hotel at Kirkwoood Center, 7725 Kirkwood Blvd. S.W., Cedar Rapids.


Panel discussions and tabletop networking is planned. See flyer for presenters and details.



See flyer for details

Fight the Flu

Oct. 12, 2015, 7:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Sixth St. Facility - Grant Wood Room

Coralville Facility

Link to register


Flu Shots planned at Grant Wood AEA through the
Visiting Nurse Association. Bring your insurance information. VNA will direct bill your insurance company.


As a reminder, and for employee reference, the Agency health plans provide flu shot benefits, which includes:

  1. Full 100% coverage, with no co-pay, for shots received through in-network or
    out-of-network providers.

  2. Under the HMO Essential plan, however, individuals must go to an in-network provider for the shot or the shot will not be covered.

  3. If another non-preventive service in addition to the flu shot is performed in the doctor's office, individuals are then responsible for the office co-pay.

If there are questions about your health plan benefits, please contact Cathy Kearns, Payroll/Benefits Specialist, at ext. 6706 or

For information, contact Connie Dvorak,

Registration Deadline: Sept. 15

Mindfulness 101:  Stress Reduction and Wellness

This nine-week opportunity is supported through the agency's GROW Committee. The class is designed to help you cultivate your inner resources through mindfulness meditation practices to respond more skillfully to stress and find greater ease and peace of mind.


Research suggests that mindfulness practice can positively affect stress resilience, physical and mental health, interpersonal skills, academic skills and promote overall well-being.

This class is based on a model developed by Jon Kabat-Zinnm, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and will be led by GWAEA retiree Christine Allen as the instructor. This model has been used with diverse groups around the world including corporate employees, CEOs, educators, students, attorneys, judges, prison inmates, health care professionals, teachers and professional atheletes.


Christine has practiced mindfulness meditation for many years, received training in MBSR for health care professionals from Jon Kabat-Zinn, Saki Santorelli and staff at the Center for Mindfulness, and has attended several extended mindfulness meditation retreats. She has taught Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction courses at University Hospitals and Clinics since 2004 and helped develop and teach a credit course on mindfulness meditation for undergraduates at The University of Iowa for several years.

These links include video clips that provide more information.

Anderson Cooper - "60 minutes Reporting on Mindfulness"

Jon Kabat-Zinn - "What is Mindfulness"

Andy Puddicombe - "All it Takes is 10 Mindful Minutes"

Dan Harris of ABC News - "Changing Your Life Through Meditation"

Class dates are Sept. 22, 29, Oct 5, 13, 20, 27 and Nov 3, 10 and 17 from 5-7 p.m. The Nov. 3 class will meet from 5 – 8 p.m. Registration fees are $125, a reduced fee through the support of the agency's GROW Committee. License renewal credit is available. Register on the Grant Wood AEA PD website.

Grant Wood AEA Book Club to meet on Oct. 8

The Grant Wood AEA Book Club will kick off the year on Oct. 8 with the selection
"The Nightingale: A Novel" by
Kristin Hannah.


Choose either noon or 4 p.m. in the Creative Commons area to come relax and enjoy conversation and social time with your co-workers. If you would  like to participate, but can't be here on site, let Deanna Weber know and she will send you a Zoom invite. See Deanna,
ext. 6494,
for access to print or digital copies.

Have you signed up to join the Blue Zones Project™?

Participants have access to an online well-being community available at no cost. See the May 8 issue of The Bulletin Board for a list of well-being community activities. Sign up today at (remember to use the Grant Wood AEA code: GWAEA) and take the personal pledge. And, receive a Grant Wood AEA water bottle for signing up.


Contact a member of the GROW Team for more information.

Upcoming Events


Nov. 9, 2015, Noon-12:30 p.m., Linn/Johnson Room, Sixth St. facility

Topic: Healthy food options to make it through the holidays.


Blue Zones Project™
Upcoming Corridor Events

Through the efforts of many staff members, Grant Wood AEA earned designation as a Blue Zones Worksite during a ceremony held on Feb. 11, 2015.


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. Visit these links for activities and events.

Weight Watchers at Work


The excitement just keeps growing …

- New session: 9/22/2015 – 2/2/2016 (you may join at any time)

- Membership Opportunity extended to staff, family and friends
- (You may attend at GWAEA on Tuesdays or any community location)

- Incentive available for new GWAEA staff enrollees: The GROW committee is offering new enrollees a GWAEA participation reimbursement incentive of $50.00. To be eligible at the end of week 19 (Feb 2, 2016), you will need to provide your WW record books showing you attended a weekly meeting for 17 weeks (excluding the holiday weeks—Dec 21 and Dec 28).

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.


Contact:  Kim Martin /399-6710/

Request from the GWAEA VAST Center

Wanted: 8 to 24 ounce plastic containers with lids

The GWAEA VAST Center is collecting 8 to 24 ounce plastic containers with lids. Containers from yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, and margarine would be ideal.


The containers will be used to ship red worms to teachers who are teaching the Animals 2 x 2 and Living Systems units.


Please send these plastic containers to the VAST Center via the van mail.Thank you for your assistance!

Kathy Schultz, VAST Curriculum Consultant

Leadership for Continuous Improvement Learning Sessions

See flyer for presenters, dates and fees.



2015-2016 TQ Dates

Sept. 16, Dec. 2, 2015, 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.







September 2015

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

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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