Grant Wood AEA logo  
The Bulletin Board

Mark Your Calendar

March 31, 2017

Organizational Leadership Program - Applications Due


April 3, 2017

iPad App Order Form Closes


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Network Outage Planned


April 10, 2017

GWAEA Sixth Street Location Blood Drive


April 13, 2017

Your Child's Future...the Possibilities Are Endless - GWAEA Transition Night


April 14, 2017

Early Release -
Agency closes at 3 p.m.


May 3, 2017

GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet

Bella Sala, 205 S. Park Rd., Tiffin


Aug. 16, 2017

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

Solon performing arts center


Aug. 17-18, 2017

PD Palooza


In This issue:

Network Outage Planned on Saturday, April 8, 2017, 8 a.m.
Best Place to Work Survey Launched March 27, 2017
Save on Student Loans
Did You Know...
Grant Wood AEA Online
Shirt Order
Holiday Early Release
Organizational Leadership Program Applications Due March 31
iPad App Orders- App Order Form Closes April 3
GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet, May 3
GWAEA Sixth Street Location Blood Drive, April 10
Your Child's Future...the Possibilities Are Endless
IPERS Retirement Planning Sessions
GWAEA GROW News/Upcoming Events
Apps Promote Wellness and Wellbeing
Challenge Tracker
- Weight Watchers at Work
- Chair Massage Schedule for March
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 logo

Grant Wood AEA Mission: To ensure success for all learners.

Grant Wood AEA goals

Network Outage Planned on Saturday, April 8, 2017, 8 a.m.

Grant Wood AEA logo

There will be a network outage on Saturday, April 8, starting at 8:00 a.m., which will impact all offices and functionality in the offices (internet, phone, wireless, etc.)


This outage is for upgrades to GWAEA core network infrastructure. For questions, contact Brandon Watson, GWAEA network administrator.

GWAEA PRIDE: Proudly Recognizing Innovation, Dedication & Excellence

LEAP Classrooms featured in the April 2017 issue of Each and Every Child


Educators learn during the LEAP workshop held August 2016.


GWAEA is involved with a two-year project with the DE to do three Early Childhood LEAP replication classroom sites - one in Linn-Mar and two in Cedar Rapids.  We celebrated some of this work in the Jan. 12, 2017 issue of The Bulletin Board, and now the Department of Education is shining the spotlight on this work in LEAP (Learning Experiences: an Alternative Program for Preschoolers) classrooms in Cedar Rapids.


Read more to learn how we're partnering with teachers to focus on engaging children who are developing typically and those on IEPs (especially those who are at risk of being on the autism spectrum) in social relationships.


Best Place to Work Survey Launched March 27, 2017

Survey will close on April 7


Grant Wood AEA is again participating in the online survey for best places to work in Iowa, which is sponsored by The Des Moines Register. We were pleased to learn that our employees ranked us as one of Iowa's top workplaces the previous three years, and want to make sure we have the opportunity to continue giving employees a forum for feedback.

On March 27, staff received an email with a link to the online survey. The survey will remain open through April 7. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and provide us with your feedback.

The survey is being conducted by WorkplaceDynamics LLP, an independent research company. To protect your confidentiality, WorkplaceDynamics will not disclose your individual responses to agency management. The survey is broken down into only the largest agency work groups – classified, contracted, salaried, management support and management. Please be aware that managers will see any written comments you may provide on the final page of the survey. If you wish to make a comment you may want to avoid writing anything that will identify you personally.

Please note:

  • If you do not receive the survey email, please check your spam or junk email for a message from "Workplace Survey." To open the survey invitation, you may first need to mark the email as not spam.

  • If you accidentally delete the survey email, you will receive a reminder email a few days later that will allow you to take the survey.

  • Please do not forward the survey email to a colleague, as each email has a unique code to prevent multiple responses from a single person.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact WorkplaceDynamics directly at 800-405-8381 or reply to your survey email. Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey.

Save on Your Student Loans

To help improve your student loan situation and overall financial well-being, our local education agency, Grant Wood AEA 10, is partnering with an advisory company, IS Loan Solutions, to educate you and provide options, including loan forgiveness and refinancing, that may help lower, or even eliminate, your payment. All employees with student loans are encouraged to find out if this voluntary benefit can help you. Join your colleagues who have reduced monthly payments by 81% (avg), and expect $66,471 in projected tax-free loan forgiveness.

Click this link: enter registration code: AEA10


If PSLF makes sense, you will be able to:

  • Immediately lower your monthly student loan payment

  • Reduce your student loan obligation

  • Significantly lower your cost to earn additional degrees

  • Receive a personalized 10-year loan forgiveness plan outlining your projected tax-free savings

Some of you may be able to lower your payment through the program, Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF is not Teacher Loan Forgiveness*). For those of you who won’t benefit from PSLF, refinancing may work for you.


Contact us: 1.866.831.5564, email or visit for more information and success stories. For those who registered with IS Loan Solutions in the past and were told you would not benefit from PSLF, login to your MyISLS portal, and you will be directed to the refinancing option.

Did you know?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet,  "Get the Stats on Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States:"

Mark is Brain Injury Awareness Month
  • Children aged 0 to 4 years, older adolescents aged 15 to 19 years, and adults aged 65 years and older are most likely to sustain a TBI.

  • Almost half a million (473,947) emergency department visits for TBI are made annually by children aged 0 to 14 years.


    Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website,

If you have questions about the Brain Injury Resource Team, contact Amy Cameron (

Grant Wood AEA Online
Shirt Order

Web Store opening April 1st




Staff have the opportunity to purchase agency branded shirts. Staff can pick from men’s or women’s sizes in two different shirt types, and can select size, color before placing an online order.


Shirt Selection

We suggest staff start their shopping experience by looking at the shirt colors that are available
by viewing the “Logo Examples”
category. Staff will use this page to ensure they are selecting their preferred color on the ordering page.


Sample shirts are available at the 6th Street front desk through Cathy Nelson for staff who would like to check the fit of sizes before ordering. (Sorry, there are no 2x, 3x or tall samples.)


Please note your color choice in ‘logo examples’ to ensure you’re selecting your preferred color when you get to this ordering screen.


Ordering Details

Staff can place an order directly with the shirt vendor through the online portal or print the ordering screen and return a check payable to IMS Branded Solutions to Cathy Nelson at the 6th street office.

Staff will have the option of picking up their shirt from any GWAEA office location through the ordering process.


Orders will be accepted between April 20, 2017.


To order using the online portal, visit

Holiday Early Release Date

The Agency will close at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 14, 2017

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.  

Grant Wood AEA logo

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  

iPad App Orders- App Order Form Closes April 3!

The Agency App Order is open. 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 3rd 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 to purchase 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

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!

GWAEA Sixth Street Location Blood Drive, April 10, 2017

2:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Grant Wood AEA – Scale-Up Classroom 


For questions or to schedule an appointment, contact Cathy Nelson or call ext. 6544.


Please share with MS/HS Special Education Teachers, Parents

Your Child's Future...the Possibilities Are Endless

Grant Wood AEA Transition Night,
Thursday, April 13, 2017


Grant Wood AEA Transition Night provides information to parents and professionals about the transition process for middle and high school students who receive special education services.


The keynote speaker will be Denise Little, who is a successful adult with dyslexia that has spent her life trying to help students so they do not have to struggle through school the way she did. Denise is a Title 1 reading teacher for the College Community School District, director for the Slingerland Institute for Literacy and is currently president of the Iowa Branch of the International Dyslexia Association.


Join us for an evening featuring services in the areas of living, learning and working:


Leadership in Blended and Digital Learning workshop at Grant Wood AEA, March 21-23, 2017.

GWAEA Transition Night

Thursday, April 13, 2017

4:30-8:00 p.m.

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

4:30-5:30 p.m. Breakout Session - Student Panel Self-advocacy/determination
5:00-6:00 p.m. Local service provider booths
6:00-6:45 p.m. Keynote Speaker - Denise Little, Teacher, Dyslexia Specialist and Advocate
7:00-8:00 p.m. Breakout Session - When Students Transition to Adults - Financial aspects


Registration is recommended but not required. On-site registration will be available.

Registration: 19052-16-01

Fees: None


For additional information, contact Su Groff-VanArendonk, 319-358-6278 or

IPERS Retirement Planning Sessions

Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System logo

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


Aug. 21-24, 2017


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

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.

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

Blue Zones Project logo

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.

Here is the #1 adult coloring app - FREE - for iPhone and iPad: Color Therapy Free Adult Coloring Book for Adults.


This app is highly rated and is recently updated. Users like the continual new coloring pages and the images they create. If you aren't able to access the coloring materials in the staff lounge areas and meeting rooms at the GW facilities, this might be a great option for you to de-stress and/or focus more during the work day!


The American Heart Association and the GROW committee invite you to participate in a 4-week activity challenge. Pick up a tracker sheet at the reception desk in one of the buildings or print a tracker sheet by clicking on the word “print”.


How the Activity Challenge Works …

All you have to do is pledge to be active 150 minutes each week for 4 weeks and track your minutes.


Challenge will run from Monday, April 3 to Sunday, April 30.


Everyone that successfully reaches the goal of 150 minutes of activity each week and turns in the Activity Challenge tracker sheet will be entered in a raffle to win one of three gift cards for Paneras. 


Turn in your completed Activity Challenge tracker to Kim Martin, GWAEA Administration, or scan and email it to All entrees must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 1, 2017 to be eligible for the drawing. The winners will be announced in The Bulletin Board on Thursday, May 4, 2017. 

Live Healthy Iowa Strut Your Pup Challenge

Live Healthy Iowa has gone to the dogs! Well, not completely, but we have created a challenge to get you out and active with your pet during Iowa's cool, Spring weather. During this six-week challenge, you and your canine companion can stay active and healthy together by tracking your daily walk, run or play time. Compete with others in your community and across the state!

The challenge kicks off on April 17. Register now at! For just $8, your team receives:

  • A dog waste bag dispenser

  • Weekly email tips with ideas to stay active and healthy

  • Access to a personal tracking page on the LHI website

  • Unlimited access to online recipes, workouts and health information

  • Opportunity to win prizes!

Lunch and Learn

Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Time:12:00-12:30 p.m.

Location: American Gothic Room

Join Alicia Aguiar, Hy-Vee dietician, for a discussion of spring/summer healthy eating.


See the flyer for details.


Weight Watchers At Work


Sign Up, Save Up

15% off the next session! Sign up or renew at the low price of $158.10 for 17 weeks when you join as a new member or renew as a continuing member between now and 3/24/2017 at 3:30 p.m. Next session begins May 9, 2017.


Sign-up information: Payment can be made with Elizabeth or Kim during business hours or you can attend a Tuesday meeting (4:45-5:15 p.m., registration starts at 4:30 p.m.) to pay the WW leader directly. Payment can be made via credit card, one check, or three checks of $52.70 that will be cashed on different weeks during the next session.

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.

Chair Massage Schedule for March/April

Cedar Rapids: April 4, 6. Contact Stacy Murphy to schedule.

Coralville: April 19, 1:00-4:15 p.m. A link to a shared registration doc is available from Sue Heath.

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























April 2017

Standards-Based Grading

GWAEA Behavior PD Courses


Standards-Based Grading

Standards-Based Grading Conference

April 6, 2017

Standards-Based Grading

Expanding Expressive Language Workshop

April 6, 2017

Literacy Leaders Workshop

Literacy Leaders Workshop
April 11, May 9, 2017

2016-2017 GWAEA Assistive Technology

2016-2017 GWAEA Assistive Technology

English Learner Leadership Institute

English Learner Leadership Institute

April 12, 2017

LCI Learning Sessions

LCI Learning Sessions

Building Bridges

Building Bridge Assistive Technology Conference

April 25, 2017

Next Gen Iowa Core Science Standards

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

GWAEA Autism Team

GWAEA Autism Team



May 2017

Substitute Authorization

Substitute Authorization

May 1, 3, 5, 6, 2017


June 2017

Orthographic Mapping

Orthographic Mapping
June 2 & 5, 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

May 3, 2017


Visit the new TQ Google site.


Teacher Quality Professional Development graphic

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: Bowflex Treadclimber TC200 (like new--$1,500 or best offer) and two adult bikes (used sparingly--$50 each or best offer).  If interested, please email and I will send pics, etc:  


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