Grant Wood AEA logo  
Bulletin Board

In This issue:


A Message for Our Staff: Understanding the Proposed SSA Funding Level
Organizational Leadership Program Applications Due March 31
GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet, May 3
Banquet Nominations due March 4
Welcome Mike Jorgensen to GWAEA Board
Assignment Change Procedures
W-2 Wage and Tax Statements
Looking for the SDC website or the SDC catalog?
Email Notifications Pushed to You When SDC Has New Materials
Horizons Meals On Wheels Lunchbox fundraiser at GWAEA
AEA PD Online's 28 Days of OLLIE
News from the YMCA
Thank You
GWAEA GROW News/Upcoming Events
- Weight Watchers at Work
- Chair Massage Schedule for February
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
Lost and Found


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.


A Message for Our Staff: Understanding the Proposed SSA Funding Level

Thursday morning I was joined by more than 150 superintendents, AEA administrators and representatives from School Administrators of Iowa in sharing information with legislators about the importance of supporting Iowa's students. In particular we spoke to Republicans and Democrats alike about the proposed 1.11 percent increase to K-12 education funding. Each of us wore a yellow button touting #keepingthepromise, a reference to our statewide Promise of Iowa public education campaign, and asked them to remain focused on the promise of offering prosperous learning opportunities for our kids.

I want our AEA staff to know that we conservatively evaluated several scenarios for school funding as we prepared for our upcoming year. While we did not anticipate that Supplemental State Aid (SSA) would be proposed as such a low level, we are adjusting our figures to ensure we're prepared to continue supporting our staff and students in the event that this proposal is passed. We do want to remain transparent, however, that funding at this level will impact our organization. Our annual expenses related to programs and services are a supported through a complicated funding stream that's very much dependent on the SSA support from our state. While our growing enrollment provides additional funding to us and our districts and cushions this impact for us, I know the increases in our local attendance centers also increases the demands placed on our staff. 


These are the challenges we shared with legislators this week. We continue to engage with legislators on SSA and other important topics like the extension of the SAVE tax to help districts address facility names. We have expressed opposition to the proposal of vouchers or other state plans that would negatively impact funding levels for Iowa's public schools. We have asked for continued support of the AEA system so we can continue to support students and their growing needs. And we will continue the discussions. 


I encourage you to do the same.

Joe Crozier






Organizational Leadership Program Applications Due March 31

Applications are now being accepted for Grant Wood AEA staff who have completed a minimum of two years service at Grant Wood AEA and are interested in applying for the 2017-2018 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, March 31, 2017. 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 8, 2017.

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

Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet, Wednesday,
May 3, 2017

The 2017 Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet is planned Wednesday, May 3, at Bella Sala near Tiffin.

Bella Sala, 3232 Jasper Ave. N.W., Iowa City*

*Address for more accurate GPS navigation

Social Hour: 5:30 p.m. - Dinner: 6:00 p.m.

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

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 2017 Grant Wood AEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet is planned Wednesday, May 3, at Bella Sala near Tiffin.

Welcome Mike Jorgensen to the
GWAEA Board of Directors

We swore in a new board member during our last board meeting and welcomed former Washington Superintendent Mike Jorgensen to our Board. Jorgensen is the Board of Director for District 6 which serves all of English Valleys CSD, Williamsburg CSD, Mid-Prairie CSD, Washington CSD, Highland CSD, and Lone Tree CSDs, and Iowa City 10, 12, 15, Liberty Pleasant Valley, Sharon, Union, and Wes Lucas Precincts within the Iowa City CSD.


Mike Jorgensen

Assignment Change Procedures


Assignment Change Procedures - Contracted Staff
As a reminder, contracted staff wishing to be considered for a change in assignment, to work in another region, may access on the Agency’s website the Procedures for Assignment Changes within a Job Category.  The procedures can be found in either the Business/HR section of the Staff Website or on the Business/HR Google site at: Assignment Change Procedures - Contracted Staff.


Please note: These procedures are followed only when a contracted staff member wishes to be 1) considered for an assignment to work in a different region, 2) within their current job category. These are not the procedures followed when 1) staff assignments are realigned within their current region or 2) when staff is interested in applying and being considered for a different job category.


Assignment Openings (all employee groups)
Also, as a reminder, assignment information is updated on a daily basis, as openings become available, and this info is posted online at Staff Openings.  Each opening is posted for at least 5 Agency days.
Since assignment postings may change on a daily basis, employees interested in actively seeking other opportunities within the Agency are advised and encouraged to:

  1. Check the posting at least one time each week, on the same day of each week, in order to be certain a timeline is not missed to apply for the opening;

  2. Bookmark the Staff Openings page for regular access;

  3. Set up a Google calendar reminder to check the Staff Openings page on a weekly basis; and/or

  4. Use the Quick Link for Staff Openings that can be found in the left margin of each weekly issue of the Bulletin Board.

The newest or most recent openings will appear first in each employee group listing (Contracted, Classified, etc.)

W-2 Wage and Tax Statements


Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statements for 2016 were released to the Employee Self Service (ESS) system January 17, 2017 specifically for those who consented to receiving their W-2 Statement electronically.  Paper W-2 Statements were mailed January 18, 2017 for those who didn’t consent to electronic method of delivery.  Everyone will be able to view their 2016 W-2 Statement on the ESS system as of January 31, 2017.


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.



  • to Karen Michalec on the birth of her first grandchild. Angela and Travis welcomed Gavin Eugene Salter on Jan. 26. Gavin weighed 7 lbs., 5 oz. and 20" long. Karen is a GWAEA Secretary for the Cedar Rapids region.


Looking for the SDC website or the SDC catalog?

Click here for directions to access the SDC catalog and SDC website links as part of

Email Notifications Pushed to You When SDC Has New Materials

Are you interested in receiving monthly email updates, right to your inbox, for new materials added to the Grant Wood AEA Staff Distribution Center? Click here to learn more.

2017 Horizons Meals On Wheels Lunchbox fundraiser at Grant Wood AEA

The 7th Annual Horizons Meals On Wheels Lunchbox fundraiser is planned for the week of Feb. 13-17, 2017.


We would like to offer GWAEA staff an opportunity to participate in this worthy cause. We will 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, February 14-17. 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 $12, $6 of which will feed you, while the other $6 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 10, 2017.

Credit Options for AEA PD Online's
28 Days of OLLIE: Powering Up Personalized Learning Participants

The 28 Days of OLLIE: Powering Up Personalized Learning is underway. See the full article in the Jan. 26, 2017 issue of The Bulletin Board.

10th Annual TrivYa Night

Join us for a fun evening of trivia, costumes, Y games, food and fun!  Get your friends together to dress up as a theme and put your table in the running for winning our costume contest and great prizes. If you're not a trivia master, you can purchase answers to help your team get an advantage. Hosted by "Trivia Masters"
Eric Hanson and Ric Swann.


Friday, February 17, 2017
Opens at 6:00 p.m.
Trivia starts at 7:30 p.m.
Hotel Kirkwood
7725 Kirkwood Blvd. SW
Cedar Rapids


To sign up, contact Sadie Range:  
319-366-6421 x124 or

Click for flyer

Thank You

Stacy Murphy shared the attached thank you received from Last Hope Animal Rescue for the angel tree donations contributed on Dec. 23:


"Thank you so much for thinking of our animals during the holiday season! Your generosity is very much appreciated."

Kathy Condon
Last Hope Animal Rescue

GROW News/Upcoming Events

Visit the GWAEA Grow website for the following:

- Adult Coloring Books

- Book Club
- Chair Massages

- Community Events

- Financial Fitness

- Gardening

- Healthy Food

- Lunch and Learn

- Mindfulness Class

- Treadmill Desks

- Walking Events

- Weight Watchers

- Wellness Challenge

- Yoga Club


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.

Weight Watchers At Work


Accepting Mid-Session Membership Applications

Membership Opportunity extended to staff, family and friends (you may attend at any community location or at GWAEA on Tuesdays. Tuesday’s meeting weigh-in is available at 4:30 p.m. and the meeting begins at 4:45 p.m.). You are not required to attend Tuesday’s meetings, you can go to any other community meetings that suit your schedule.


Payment options: Payable at time of registration one check or credit card payment. You can also pay 3 checks, which will be deposited during different weeks of the session. If joining mid-session, cost will be pro-rated for remaining weeks.

Weight Watchers for Diabetes

Weight Watchers for Diabetes

Contact Kim Martin or Elizabeth Steffensmeier with questions or to sign up.


Weight Watchers Small Group Meetings (no weigh-ins):

2/11 at 11:00 a.m. / Blairs Ferry location
support group open to anyone with 50+ pounds to lose 


2/12 at 12:30 p.m. / Blairs Ferry location
support group open to men only


Contact Kim Martin or Elizabeth Steffensmeier with questions

Apps Promote Wellness and Wellbeing

Thanks to Kelli Robertson, GWAEA Autism Consultant and member of the GROW Committee, who will be sharing apps that promote wellness and wellbeing.

Breathe2Relax - Free; available as iOS app and Android app. This app has a calming visual scene with a visual meter to help drive slower/extended breathing. Great for a few minutes of purposeful/mindful breathing!

Chair Massage Schedule for January/February

Coralville: Feb. 22, 1:00-4:15 p.m. A link to a shared doc is available from Sue Heath to register.

Cedar Rapids: Feb. 8-9. Contact Stacy Murphy to schedule.

2016-2017 Grant Wood AEA Assistive Technology
Professional Learning Opportunities

See flyer for course offerings, dates and registration information.




See flyer for dates and details

2016-2017, Child Find Courses

See flyer for course offerings, dates and registration information.

Grant Wood AEA Math PD Courses, 2017-2018

See flyer for course offerings, dates and registration information.




GWAEA Math PD Courses 2017-2018

Strategies for Improving Reading


Each workshop will focus specifically
on strategies supporting instruction
for one of the five Components of Reading – Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary and Comprehension.


Participants will engage in demonstrations, practice and application of learning, including an emphasis on:

• Core instruction (whole group and differentiated)
• Assessments (including FAST screening and diagnostic)
• Interventions
• Iowa Core Standards



Strategies for Improving Reading
dates and registration information

2016-2017 Grant Wood AEA Seminar Series

National presentations brought to you locally by Grant Wood AEA

Building School 2.0:
How to Create the Schools We Need

As we thrive to provide learning that is equitable and personal for all learners, there is a growing desire to re-examine education and learning. Educators use the phrase “school 2.0” to think about what schools will look like in the future. Moving beyond a basic examination of using technology for classroom instruction, Building School 2.0: How to Create the Schools We Need is a larger discussion of how teachers and school leaders can change student education, learning and our physical school spaces to reflect the changing nature of our lives brought on by new technologies.

March 1, 2017
, 1:00-3:30 p.m.


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


Number: 19450-16-01


Target Audience: K-12 Administrators, General Education and Special Education Teachers, Teacher Librarians, Consultants


Grant Wod AEA Seminar Series. Zac Chase, Building School 2.0: How to Create the Schools We Need

See flyer for details.


Zac Chase is a thought-leader on combining pedagogy and technology for teaching and has led schools and systems in Canada, Kenya, Malaysia, South Africa, and Pakistan to consider the intersection of learning, inquiry, reflective pedagogy, technology, and project-based learning.

Registration deadline: Feb. 15, 2017 at 6:00 a.m.



• Educators in Grant Wood AEA area, Total for non-credit $40
• Outside of Grant Wood AEA area,Total for non-credit $65
• Registration is not complete until all fees are paid in full.


See flyer for 2016-2017 dates and registration information.

Literacy Leaders Workshop

About These Workshops
Geared for secondary administrators, instructional coaches, and building leaders, this workshop is designed to increase school leadership skills, knowledge, and action to accelerate students’ literacy achievement grades 6-12 in ELA and across the content areas.


Target Audience:
Middle and High School Administrators, Teachers, Consultants, Instructional Coaches


Instructional Strategies to Encourage Surface, Deep and Transfer Learning
February 14, 2017 • 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Course Number: 19491-16-01


Using Differentiated Accountability
and Collaborative Inquiry to Design PD
March 7, 2017 • 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Course Number: 19492-16-01


Address the CIQ/DI Instruction Pillars to Identify Areas of Strength and Areas of Improvement: Examine Data Use in PLC and MTSS Structures

April 11, 2017 • 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Course Number: 19493-16-01

See flyer for dates, locations


Discuss Building a Culture of Literacy as Related to School Improvement Plans and Goals: Examine Requirements of Smarter Balanced Assessments
May 9, 2017 • 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Course Number: 19494-16-01

Trauma Informed Care, Schools & Your Approach to Students/Yourself

This training will assist school personnel in looking at how traumatic experiences may be affecting student behavior and also may be impacting their own behavior and health. It will provide staff the opportunity to discuss ways to connect to students and understand the meaning of those connections to building resiliency in themselves and in students.


March 27, 2017, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.


Grant Wood AEA

4401 Sixth St. SW

Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Target Audience
K-12 Administrators, General and Special Education Teachers, Paraeducators, Nurses, Counselors, Social Workers, Psychologists, Consultants


Trauma Informed Care, Schools & Your Approach to Students/Yourself workshop


Trauma Informed Care, Schools & Your Approach to Students/Yourself

Number: 19487-16-014



• Participants within the GWAEA area, $25
• Participants from outside the GWAEA area, $50
• Registration is not complete until all fees are paid in full

Every Learner, Every Day

Instructors: Jennifer “Rita” Platt and
John Wolfe

Cutting-edge research offers better tools and strategies to meet the needs of ELLs than ever before. Together, we will review the basics of language acquisition, move into using CBM data to get good measurements of ELD growth, and finish with strategies for ELLs in the content classroom.


March 30, 2017, 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.


Grant Wood AEA

4401 Sixth St. SW

Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Target Audience
Elementary and Middle School Teachers, Reading Support, Consultants, and ELL Teachers

Trauma Informed Care, Schools & Your Approach to Students/Yourself workshop


Every Learner, Every Day

Number: 19422-16-01

Registration Deadline: 6:00 a.m. on March 17, 2017.
Credit: None
Fees: $15, includes lunch

Standards-Based Grading Conference 2017
with presenter
Dr. Doug Reeves

April 6, 2017
8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

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


This conference is designed to support practicing educators to learn how to effectively develop, design and implement a standards-based grading system that aligns with a vision for improved instruction, assessment, and grading and reporting practices that supports
the Iowa Core Curriculum.


See flyer for details

Classroom practitioners will have the opportunity to share resources and practices that have led to successful implementation. Additional breakout sessions will be offered by area practitioners experienced in implementing SBG in their schools.


Number: 19272-16-01


Audience: K-12 Administrators, Teachers, Consultants


Registration Deadline: March 31, 2017, 06:00 AM 



  • Educators in Grant Wood AEA area, total for non-credit $150

  • Outside of Grant Wood AEA area, total for non-credit $175

  • Registration is not complete until all fees are paid in full.

Expanding Expressive Language Workshop


See flyer details

April 6, 2017

Grant Wood AEA
4401 Sixth St. SW

Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Target Audience:
PreK-6 Speech-Language Pathologists, General and Special Education Teachers, Reading Support, Early Childhood Staff


Number: 19464-16-02


Building Bridges:

Assistive Technology Conference

April 25, 2017

8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Grant Wood AEA

4401 Sixth St. SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Keynote & Featured Speaker
Mark Coppin, Director of Assistive Technology at the Anne Carlsen Center in Jamestown, N.D.


Featured Speaker
Dan Herlihy, Private consultant from Hoosick, N.Y., providing Assistive Technology training and professional development to educators.

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: 19018-16-01


Registration Deadline: 6:00 a.m. on April 7, 2017



• Participants within the GWAEA area, $75
• Participants from outside the GWAEA area, $100
• Registration is not complete until all fees are paid in full.

Grant Wood AEA Summer Literacy Symposium

June 20, 2017 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and
June 21, 2017 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Grant Wood AEA, 4401 Sixth St. SW,
Cedar Rapids, Iowa


National presenters include:

Richard Allington

Jim Burke

Antonio Fiero

Laura Justice

Dave Kilpatrick

Tim Rasinski

Deb Reed

Tim Shanahan

William Van Cleave


The Literacy Symposium is designed
to provide area educators with an opportunity to hear from national literacy experts whose research focuses on effective practices that support early readers, struggling readings, writing, and the integration of literacy instruction across content areas. The symposium will engage participants in learning that supports the implementation of research-based effective practices that lead to a strong core literacy program.


Fluency, Early Literacy, Secondary Literacy, Vocabulary, Reading-Writing Relationship, Handwriting, Dyslexia

GWAEA Summer Literacy Symposium


Target Audience
PreK-12 Administrators, General and Special Education Teachers, Counselors, Reading Specialists, Speech Language Pathologists, Early Childhood Staff, Consultants


Number: 19485-16-01


Registration Deadline: 6:00 a.m. on June 9, 2017



Grant Wood AEA Summer Leadership Symposium

June 27, 2017 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

300 E 9th St.
Coralville, Iowa


This symposium will provide educational leaders with an opportunity to participate in engaging learning sessions with national experts. The sessions will focus on how to lead school-wide efforts that are cohesive and collaborative resulting in educational equity and increased student learning. Sessions will be hosted by nationally known experts including Doug Reeves, Andy Hargreaves, Ken Williams,
John Almarode
, Kristin Anderson,
Trudy Arriaga
, and George Couros.


Leadership strands will include the following:


• Leaders as a Collaborator
• Leader as an Influencer
• Leader as a Synthesizer


Target Audience
Administrators, Teacher Leaders


Number: 19496-16-01

GWAEA Summer Leadership Symposium



• Participants within the GWAEA area, $125
• Participants from outside the GWAEA area, $150
• Registration is not complete until all fees are paid in full.


Registration Deadline: 6:00 a.m. on June 12, 2017

2016-2017 TQ Dates

Feb. 15, 2017
May 3, 2017


Visit the new TQ Google site.


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 Ambre Bernards,
Lisa Haverkamp
, Susan Parker, and Sherry Sines.

Iowa Board of Educational Examiners

BoEE Update

Please take a moment now to visit the BoEE website and update your contact information. Go to and click “update my information” in the left column. The “Search for a license” tool is helpful to see your license type and expiration date. The FAQ page replaces the old BoEE handbook and has the most current and relevant information for educators in a user-friendly format. For BoEE updates, please review the August newsletter. 


You can subscribe to the BoEE Quarterly Newsletter from the BoEE webpage. 


Grant Wood AEA Professional Development Opportunities


Information for Professional Development National Speakers available on the link to
GWAEA Featured PD
. Pre-registration is required for all participants including practicum, interns and student teachers.


























March 2017

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, Fierce Conversations and iEvaluate. A letter from the DE/BOEE is attached. Please contact GWAEA Professional Development for questions.

Lost and Found

Found in the Linn-Johnson Room.
Claim at the front desk.


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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