Grant Wood AEA logo  
Bulletin Board

In This issue:

Relationships Will Allow GWAEA to Persevere: A Message from
Joe Crozier
The "Big Picture" at GWAEA
20 Days 'Til Spring Wellness Challenge
2nd Floor Redesign - GWAEA 33rd Avenue Facility
Building School 2.0: How to Create the Schools We Need with Zac Chase, March 1
Organizational Leadership Program Applications Due March 31
Our Condolences
Reminder for Contracted Staff:
Professional Leave Reimbursements
Retirement Investors’ Club 403b Plan – Annual Eligibility Notice
IPERS Retirement Planning Sessions
GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet, May 3
Banquet Nominations due March 4
info@gwaea, February 2017
AEA PD Online's 28 Days of OLLIE
Project Blue Light Comes to Cedar Rapids, March 4
GWAEA GROW News/Upcoming Events
Apps Promote Wellness and Wellbeing
- Weight Watchers at Work
-Lunch and Learn, Feb. 23
- Chair Massage Schedule for February/March
- Drawing Results
- Calling All Book Club Participants
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.


Relationships Will Allow GWAEA to Persevere: A Message from Joe Crozier


Last week we shared news that our Board ratified a three-year agreement with our staff, a process that we expedited due to legislative work on collective bargaining laws. Our contract provides some stability for our staff, and allows us to continue working together to understand the new law, options for a new contract, and what we might consider for new work rules as we move forward.


Our contract is a very important document that has helped establish clear work rules for staff, but a contract is still just a piece of paper. We believe the strength in our contract is tied to our working relationships and the trust that exists between our employee groups and our management team. In fact, as we prepare to participate in an organizational health survey again this year - the one that regularly ranks our staff feedback and places our AEA among the top places to work in Iowa - we are more proud than ever of the health of our staff and our organization.


While we were so pleased to share news of our agreement, it feels like it's in stark contrast to the sentiment that seems to be resonating in the capitol each day. Earlier this session the Iowa legislature established Supplemental State Aid at 1.1 percent, and there are still many items on the landscape that may impact the AEA and our school districts yet this session. We'd like to share the impact of the work of the legislature as we know it today:


Impact of Legislation Going Forward

  • Our negotiations, the increase in student enrollment in our AEA, the conservative fiscal operations of our AEA and recent budgetary realignments will serve us well in the near future. We'll be watching the March Revenue Estimating Conference to watch how those estimates play out for AEAs.

  • We're closely watching the voucher legislation that has been discussed in Des Moines this week. While we are supportive of parent choice in selecting a school for their children, we feel that open enrollment provides that option for parents in a way that minimizes the financial impact for public schools. The AEAs will closely watch this legislation for the potential impact on the funding needed for public schools and AEAs.

  • There are continuing discussions among legislators related to inequities related to transportation and per pupil funding. We would support equal per pupil funding at the LEA and AEA level, and attempting to levelize the transportation costs for our districts, and both issues closely align with our mission of supporting student learning for all our students.

We appreciate the good relationships we enjoy at Grant Wood AEA, and as management and staff, we will continue to stay focused on engaging with legislators in positive dialogue on the issues going forward. We often talk about the quote, "Everything that works at Grant Wood AEA is because of the relationships of those involved. Everything that doesn't work at Grant Wood AEA is because of relationships of those involved." This seems to be more important to our agency's success now than at any other time in our agency's recent history.

The “Big Picture” at
Grant Wood AEA

Key Dates for Next Year

GWAEA The Big Picture graphic

All Agency Meeting

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 is the tentative date for All-Agency In-service. This meeting will likely be in the new Solon performing arts center, which just opened this month.

PD Palooza

Technology PD Palooza will take place after the All Agency meeting. At this time we're looking at holding this event Thursday-Friday, August 17-18, 2017.

20 Days 'Til Spring Wellness Challenge

As we enter the last stretch of winter, the GWAEA GROW Committee encourages participation in the
20 Days 'Til Spring Wellness Challenge.


To participate, all you have to do is complete one wellness activity for the 15 days (Mon-Fri) from 2/27 through 3/17. The activity choices are based on four of the categories of the Blue Zones® healthy lifestyle habits: (A) Move Naturally, (B) Right Outlook, (C) Eat Wisely, (D) Belong. 

You will record your wellness activity on a Wellness Tracker. Copies are available at the front desk in each building. You may also print a copy of the Wellness Tracker using the attached pdf copy.


The completed Wellness Challenge tracker should be turned in to Kim Martin, GWAEA Administration. Send the original form or scan and email it to  All entries must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 20, 2017 to be eligible for the drawing. The winners will be announced in The Bulletin Board on Thursday, March 23.


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

2nd Floor Redesign - GWAEA 33rd Avenue Facility

Drywall continues as the reconstruction work proceeds on the second floor of Grant Wood AEA's 33rd Avenue facility. The redesign includes four new conference rooms as well as a new Structured Teaching classroom and office space for both science and autism.


The following photos are from Feb. 17, 2017.

GWAEA 33rd Avenue second floor construction and open area photo with walls removed.

GWAEA 33rd Avenue second floor construction and open area photo with walls removed.

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 extended: 6:00 a.m. on Feb. 27, 2017



• 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.



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  

Our Condolences...

  • to Nonalee Gardner and family on the passing of her father, Leander "Lee" H. Pape, on Feb. 20, 2017 in Sheldon, Iowa. A funeral mass was held on Thursday, February 23, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Sheldon. Nonalee is a GWAEA audiologist.

Reminder for Contracted Staff:
Professional Leave Reimbursements

 As a reminder, the timelines for submitting professional leave reimbursement forms are:

  • Equipment and materials – no later than March 1, or at least three months prior to leaving the Agency, whichever is first.

  • Other expenses (including conferences, license fees and professional dues) will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis – again the March 1 timeline is an indication for determining an expense is job-related.

These timelines, which apply to all contracted staff, help establish the job-related connection of the expense and improve the likelihood an eligible reimbursement request will be granted.


For additional details on Professional Leave Reimbursement, see the Grant Wood AEA Business Services and Human Resources manual found on the HR & Business Office page of the
Grant Wood AEA website.

Retirement Investors’ Club 403b Plan – Annual Eligibility Notice

Did you know that Grant Wood AEA offers a supplemental retirement savings plan?

Grant Wood AEA employees have the opportunity to save for retirement by participating in a voluntary 403b plan offered through the Iowa Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC).  You may participate by making pre-tax contributions and Roth post-tax contributions, to one of the RIC core investment providers.

See flyer for details

What do I have to do to start a 403b retirement account?

To start your contributions, you must first open an account with one of the four approved core investment providers and submit a completed RIC Salary Reduction Form to the Grant Wood AEA payroll office.  Provider contact information is on the RIC website at  The provider can send you enrollment information, or if you prefer, a provider representative will schedule an appointment to help you with the enrollment process.     


What if I’m already contributing?

Take full advantage of the benefit!  Consider increasing the amount you are saving for retirement (up to the maximum limits listed below).  If you wish to change the amount you are contributing, simply complete and submit an RIC Salary Reduction Form to the Grant Wood AEA payroll office. 


How much may I contribute?

In general, you may contribute up to $18,000 in calendar year 2017.  This amount may be adjusted annually if declared by the IRS.  If you are age 50 or older, you may contribute an additional $6,000.  Also, you may be able to make further catch-up contributions (up to an additional $3,000) if you have at least 15 years of service with your current employer, Grant Wood AEA, and have not exhausted your eligibility.   


How can I receive more information about the plan?

Information is available at or by calling an RIC provider (contact information available at or by visiting  You may also contact RIC toll-free at 1-866-460-4692 option #1 or Planwithease at 1-855-464-6928 for more information about this employee benefit. 

IPERS Retirement Planning Sessions

Get detailed information about your retirement account. Learn more about possible retirement dates, benefit option payouts, and service purchase options.


May 1–4, 2017


Location: Kirkwood Regional Center at U of I, 2301 Oakdale Boulevard, Lower Level, Coralville

Individual Appointments - May 1, 2, 3, 4, 2017


May 8–11, 2017 Full

Aug. 21-24, 2017


Location: Kirkwood Linn County Regional Center, 1770 Boyson Rd., Hiawatha   

Individual Appointments - May 8, 9, 10, 11, 2017 Full

Individual Appointments - Aug. 21, 22, 23, 24, 2017


Pre-Registration is needed to attend an individual appointment.


Visit the IPERS website for a complete listing of the Statewide Individual Counseling Sessions.


To schedule an individual appointment contact IPERS at 1-800-622-3849. Appointment times will fill quickly. Please do not delay in calling to set up an appointment.

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, 205 S. Park Rd., Tiffin

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.

info@gwaea is a monthly e-newsletter for teacher librarians and educators. Learn more about
the resources available to educators in the Grant Wood AEA Media Center.


In the February 2017 issue:

  • Make, Learn, Succeed, Building a Culture of Creativity in Your School

  • Lesson Idea: Using Research in the Creativity Process

  • Beginner Workshop: Professional Ebooks

  • Ideas from The Work Center

  • Cyberbullying Advice

  • Think, Make, Innovate

  • and much more!

For information, contact Deanna Weber,

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. Visit their website for details.

Project Blue Light Iowa Comes to Cedar Rapids

Saturday, March 4, 10:00 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Cassill Motors/Theisen's Parking Lot

16th Avenue & Williams Blvd. SW

Cedar Rapids


Blue light bulbs will be given away to be placed in porch lights in honor and support of our women and men in law enforcement.

Drive up and you will be given a free blue light bulb, courtesy of Project Blue Light Iowa.


This is a service project of the sixth grade class from Central Lutheran School, Newhall.

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.

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.

Stop, Breathe & Think - (free; available for Android, Apple, or web-based)

"I've been loving this app. It takes a 'baseline' of your emotions/stress-level and then recommends meditations for you to complete that 'match' your state. Guided meditations vary in length; most are 4-7 minutes. You get positive reinforcement for completing meditation minutes and the app has a data board ("My Progress") to give you numerical feedback and graphing of your emotions, meditation minutes, and favorite meditations. Enjoy meditations for stress release, body tension awareness, family meditations (with the kids!) and more. There are 'premium' meditations that cost to download, but there are plenty of free ones that are great!"

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.

Lunch and Learn

Date: Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017

Time:11:30 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.

Location: American Gothic Room

Join Brian Globokar and Mark Ahlers from Hills Bank for a session focused on financial wellness.
See the flyer for details.


Chair Massage Schedule for February/March

Cedar Rapids: March 8-9. Contact Stacy Murphy to schedule.
Coralville: March 22, 1:00-4:15 p.m. A link to a shared registration doc is available from Sue Heath.

Drawing Results

Congratulations to everyone who shared works of art with the GROW Committee.


A random drawing of winners of the Barnes & Noble gift cards includes:

Andrea Castek

Jodi Flynn

Robin Robbins

Calling All Book Club participants!

Deanna Weber would like your input on the next selection for Book Club. Please email Deanna at with your suggestions.


gwaea book club

GWAEA Professional Development Workshops

Grant Wood AEA Professional Development offers a variety of workshops as well as courses for credit throughout the year.  Please check our website for a complete and updated list of
courses and workshops.


Below is a highlight of the 2016-2017 PD workshops with national and regional presenters. 
Please register electronically  or complete a registration form. Payment is due at the time of registration.



Links to GWAEA Professional Development Courses by Month
























Literacy Leaders Workshop

Differentiated Accountability
Feb. 28, March 21, 2017

Next Gen Iowa Core Science Standards

Next Gen Iowa Core Science Standards
See flyer for dates, locations

2016-2017 GWAEA Assistive Technology

2016-2017 GWAEA Assistive Technology

LCI Learning Sessions

LCI Learning Sessions


March 2017

Strategies for 
Improving Reading

Strategies for
Improving Reading

March 2, April 13, 2017

Instructional Coaching

Instructional Coaching

March 3, 2017

Literacy Leaders Workshop

Literacy Leaders Workshop
Mar. 7, April 11, May 9, 2017

Developing and Assessing Basic Fact Fluency

Developing and Assessing Basic Fact Fluency

March 24, 2017

Substitute Authorization

March 24, 25, 26, 2017

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

Trauma Informed Care

March 27, 2017

GWAEA Autism Team

GWAEA Autism Team 2016-2017

Every Learner, Every Day

Every Learner, Every Day

March 30, 2017


April 2017

Standards-Based Grading

Standards-Based Grading Conference

April 6, 2017


English Learner Leadership Institute

April 12, 2017


Building Bridge Assistive Technology Conference

April 25, 2017

June 2017

Building Literacy in Social Studies for Grades 6-12

Building Literacy in Social Studies for Grades 6-12

Year 1 - June 8-9, 2017

Year 2 - June 13-14, 2017

Building Literacy in 
Social Studies

Building Literacy in
Social Studies

June 22-23, 2017


GWAEA Summer Literacy Symposium

GWAEA Summer Literacy Symposium

June 20-21, 2017

Full/Waiting List Only


GWAEA Summer Leadership Symposium

GWAEA Summer Leadership Symposium

June 27, 2017



July 2017

GWAEA Math PD Courses

Grant Wood AEA
Math PD Courses



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. 

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.


Buy, Sell or Trade

For Sale: Drone Phantom 3 Standard, $400. Brand new never been used.

Tall "Pool table chairs" set of three, $300. Like new and in great condition

Reese Trailer hitch (2 inch ball) and Bike rack (fit for 4 bikes) $50. Contact Stacy Craft.


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.

facebooktwitter rss pinterest