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The Bulletin Board

Mark Your Calendar

Monday, May 29, 2017
Agency closed in observance of Memorial Day


June 12-Aug. 11, 2017

GWAEA Summer Hours



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:

2017 Organizational Leadership Cohort: The Learning Continues
Getting to Know Your GWAEA Board Members

Sixth St. Conference Center Restrooms Closing Friday, May 19
GWAEA Summer Hours
Staff Assignment/Job Changes
The “Top 10” Professional Reading List for Educators • 2017
The Gift of Communication:
Empowering Families on Their AAC Journey, June 5
Summer Van Delivery
Full Managed Support
info@gwaea, May 2017
Thank You
Greetings shower for
Dean Hartman
Improve Your Student Loan Situation
IPERS Retirement Planning Sessions
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 of
The Bulletin Board


Articles for The Bulletin Board are due end of the day on Tuesdays.
Submit items 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

2017 Organizational Leadership Cohort:
The Learning Continues


The 2017 Organizational Leadership cohort celebrated graduation on May 10, 2017. GWAEA staff included Kathy Schultz, Gina Rogers, Shawn Driscoll, Melissa Grennan, Erin Platner, and Brent O'Rourke. The cohort is joined by Organizational Leadership Facilitators Keith Stamp and Lisa Wilson.


One aspect of the agency's Organizational Leadership Program is the selection and development of an individual culminating project. The goal of the culminating experience is to broaden the participant’s experiences through involvement and/or internships in the organization and larger community. Projects may include opportunities to positively influence decisions on policy, community relations, setting organizational direction, project management (planning, implementing, and monitoring), etc.


The members of the 2017 Organizational Leadership cohort presented their culminating learning projects during graduation on May 10. Cohort members are continuing their learning through their individual projects. Read more about these ongoing projects below.


Erin Platner

Shawn Driscoll


Shawn Driscoll, Computer Services Consultant

Project: Development of a central tracking system for customer inquiries and documentation


The PowerSchool team currently lacks the ability to effectively gather, analyze and track inquiries from customers. In an effort to continue providing excellent customer service, the team will implement a central tracking system for customer inquiries and documentation, eventually providing online training resources avaialble to customer anywhere/anytime.


Melissa Grennan, Speech-Language Pathologist

Project: Video Technology to Improve Clarity of Communication as a Speech-Language Pathologist.


Melissa's project ultized Video Technology to Improve Clarity of Communication as a Speech-Language Pathologist. Two types of video communication were piloted: SeeSaw App and Commericals for SLPs. SeeSaw gives families an immediate and personalized window into their child's school day. Commericals for SLPs is a SLP Work Group formed to create videos demonstratinng strategies and therapy models.  This project was considered an overwhelming success based off data and feedback from parents. Work will continue and be expanded next year on both of these tools to improve communication for Speech-Language Pathologists.


Erin Platner

Melissa Grennan



Brent O'Rourke


Brent O'Rourke, School Psychologist


Project: A draft booklet of supports for parents going through the Child Find process


Brent created a draft booklet of supports for parents going through the child find process. The booklet is being shared with communications to ensure it aligns with our broader communication effort with districts and parents. Our plans will include updating content on the new parent section of our website and printing hard copies of the booklet for distribution in districts.  The hope is the booklet will be used in all schools to distribute to parents so they feel more aware and comfortable about their role as a member of the child find team.


Erin Platner, School Psychologist

Project: How an increase in the number of students who are ELL in our AEA is impacting our Child Find evaluation requirements.


Erin explored how an increase in the number of students who are ELL in our AEA is impacting our Child Find evaluation requirements. Erin researched how our organization currently responds to the needs of ELL students and how we can enhance the skills of AEA staff to implement culturally competent assessment and intervention.  She plans to continue to advocate for on-going professional development in this area and for further exploration of tools to more efficiently analyze student sub-group data.


Erin Platner

Erin Platner


Erin Platner

Gina Rogers


Gina Rogers, Technology Consultant

Project: The design of a professional development course for instructional coaches


Iowa's Teacher Leader System stimulated consideration that led to the development of content specific coaching supports to supplement the core instructional coaching professional learning at Grant Wood AEA. The culmination of the project will result in a course for instructional coaches that will help introduce them to content-specific pedagogical knowledge and coaching strategies and support them in the implementation of this new learning.

Kathy Schultz, Curriculum Consultant - Science

Project: VAST Academy "Gold Star" Trainings


The VAST Academy unit trainings are led by teacher facilitators who have taught the units themselves.  With the new Iowa Core Science Standards, the teacher facilitators are requesting more instruction around the standards so they can be addressed during their trainings. A workshop will be offered to the facilitators that includes instruction about the standards, as well as facilitation skills and strategies.


Kathy Schultz

Kathy Schultz

Getting to know your GWAEA Board members

In celebration of May as School Board Recognition Month, let's get to know these individuals who help provide oversight to our organization:



Marilyn Wirtz represents all of Solon CSD, Coralville 2, 3, 7, Iowa City 1, 6, 16, 21, 22, 23, 24, North Liberty 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and the portions of Newport, Penn and Scott Precincts within Iowa City CSD. Marilyn joined the GWAEA board in 2009. She works with the national SAM Innovation Project, an effort she has supported for nine years. Previously Marilyn served as a principal in the Iowa City CSD.



Pamela Jacobs also joined the GWAEA board in 2009 and represents all of Alburnett CSD, Anamosa CSD, Central City CSD, Lisbon CSD, Monticello CSD, Midland CSD, North Cedar CSD, North-Linn CSD, Olin Co., Tipton CSD, and West Branch CSD. Pam currently serves as the State E-Rate Coordinator for the Iowa Department of Education.  She retired from the American Institutes for Research in December 2016, and previously worked at the Iowa Department of Education as Administrator for Elementary and Secondary Education and Iowa Public Television.

Randy Bauer joined the GWAEA board in 2013 and represents Cedar Rapids 20, 29, 30, 31, 32, 38, 39 40, 41, 42, 43, and 44, and Big Grove, Clinton, Benton/Norway, Jefferson East, Jefferson West, and Walford Precincts within Cedar Rapids CSD and all of College Community. Randy works as Director Asset Strategy at Alliant Energy and has served on the College Community School Board since 2000.




Mary Meisterling joined the Grant Wood AEA Board of Directors in 2005  and represents all of Marion Independent and Cedar Rapids 7, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 23, 24, 25, 26, 35, 36, 37 Precincts and the portions of Marion 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, and 11 within Cedar Rapids CSD. Mary is the Community Relations/Economic Development Manager for Alliant Energy and currently serves on the Cedar Rapids Community School District Board of Education.

Sixth St. Conference Center Restrooms Closing Friday, May 19

The conference center restrooms at the Sixth St. facility will be closed starting Friday, May 19, for approximately one month. Conference center attendees will need to use the restrooms by the Scale-UP Classroom or in Administration.

Grant Wood AEA summer hours, June 12 - Aug. 11, 2017

Agency hours during the summer (beginning the second Monday in June through the second Friday in August) are from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a half-hour lunch period. Staff have the opportunity to work a flex-time, 9-hour day Mondays through Thursdays (7:30 a.m.– 5 p.m.) and four hours on Fridays, leaving at 11:30 a.m. However, arrangements must be made for areas to be covered at all times. Any other deviations from the normal work hours will be handled within each program.

Click here to reference Administrative Regulation AR #4190A concerning flex-time and summer hours.


Staff Assignment/Job Changes

The “Top 10” Professional Reading List for Educators • 2017

For the past 15 years, GWAEA Chief Administrator
Joe Crozier has published a “Top 10” professional reading list for educators.


The 2017"Top 10" list and archival years are available on the Grant Wood AEA website.


Individual titles are available for checkout in the GWAEA Media Center catalog.


“Top 10” Professional Reading List for Educators • 2017


“Top 10” Professional Reading List for
Educators • 2017


The Gift of Communication:
Empowering Families on Their AAC Journey

Monday, June 5, 2017
6:30-8:00 p.m.


The Hotel at Kirkwood Center

7725 Kirkwood Blvd. SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Karen is a mother to six children. She and her family are on a mission to teach their four non-verbal children to communicate. Families, educators and

The Gift of Communication

members of our community are invited to meet Karen Owens, the author of the popular “We Speak PODD” Facebook blog, and learn how her family has successfully captured a vision for using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).


Target Audience: Families, Educators, Community


No advance registration is required for this FREE EVENT, brought to you by Grant Wood Area Education Agency.

GWAEA Summer Van Delivery
June 12 - Aug. 15, 2017

Summer delivery begins Monday, June 12 and ends on Tuesday, August 15.


Please communicate the following to your colleagues:


• Delivery in the summer is to one designated building in the district.
• This building is your district’s designated delivery point.
• Summer delivery occurs every other week.


The GWAEA cataloging system takes into account the delivery schedule when materials are scheduled. Click here to view the Summer Van Route Schedule 2017.

Full Managed Support - Vision, Integration and Technology Management

We have been supporting many of our school districts with aspects of their technology systems for some time, and now are expanding and marketing this support under the umbrella of Full Managed Technology Services. Full Managed Technology Services at GWAEA uniquely partners its Digital Learning and IT Services teams to work and provide districts with the vision, integration and technology management that will lead to success.


Read more....

Full Managed Support


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 May 2017 issue:

  • Preparing Students for Their Futures

  • Online Resources: Digital Literacy

  • Lesson Idea for 6th-8th Graders: Understanding Effective Communication

  • Looking for great professional summer reading?

  • Summer van delivery

  • and much more!

For information, contact Deanna Weber,

Thank You

The Carolan Family would like to thank Tammy's GWAEA colleagues for their support to Tammy and the family throughout her illness and recent passing. The words of encouragement, cards, donations for meals and memorial donations in Tammy's honor were very much appreciated.  

Greetings shower for
Dean Hartman

Greetings planned for 80th birthday


Dean Hartman began his career in education at Bethany Christian High School in Goshen, Indiana, where he taught science from 1959 to 1968.

Having secured his doctorate in science education at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, he moved his family to Cedar Rapids where he served as a consultant with Grant Wood Area Education Agency. Following retirement in 1998, Dean continued to encourage science teachers as a consultant for Drake University.

He recently set aside his love of teaching to care for his first love—his wife Donna. 
His children wish to honor him with a greeting shower for his 80th birthday. Memories and well-wishes may be sent to

Improve Your Student Loan Situation

Innovative Student Loan Solutions

To help improve your student loan situation and overall financial well-being, our local education agency, Grant Wood AEA, is partnering with an advisory company, ISLoan 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 may be able to lower your payment through the program, Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF is not Teacher Loan Forgiveness*). For those who won’t benefit from PSLF, refinancing may work for you.


The Gift of Financial Well-being

"Don’t hesitate to learn about the program. ISLoan Solutions tells you everything you need to know and will not pressure you.  I have complete peace of mind now when it comes to my student loans and can pay off other debts, travel, purchase my own home and save additional money for retirement. Not having that financial burden in my life anymore has been a gift.”

Sarah Tomer, School Psychologist, Ohio

Contact us: 1.866.831.5564, email or visit for more information and success stories.


For those who registered with ISLoan 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.

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.


Congratulations to Pamela Adams, Barbara Van Rheenen, Sally Hartman, and
Pam Watkins
who celebrated during a retirement party held on May 11, 2017 at the
Coralville facility.


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.

Wear Green to Support Mental Health Awareness

The month of May is Mental Health Month and Mercy Family Counseling & EAP has a month full of activities for children, adolescents, individuals and families at each of their clinic locations. To support mental health awareness and recognize Mental Health Month, staff may pick up from the reception area at each GWAEA facility a green ribbon to wear. 

Weight Watchers At Work


New Session is underway!

Our program fits your life! Mid-session applications welcome. Our program fits your life! Join Today!

Membership opportunity extended to staff, family and friends (you may attend at any community location or at GWAEA on Tuesdays. Tuesday’s meeting private weigh-in is available at 4:30 p.m. and the meeting is 4:45 p.m.-5:15 p.m). You are not required to attend the Tuesday meetings, you can go to any other community meetings that suit your schedule.

Weight Watchers for Diabetes

Weight Watchers for Diabetes

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.

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

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.

Kelli shared, "The site (also a free "Unstuck app" - rated 5 STARS!) provides life advice and has great FREE resources that even Oprah has noticed! Even though I started recommending this app/site a few years ago for my high school students and young adults with autism spectrum disorders and other social/emotional challenges (and maybe my husband...), this is not just for them! I enjoy the articles and advice as well! It was developed for adults feeling 'stuck' in their lives and choices. I'm getting feedback from teachers and colleagues I've recommended this to that they find it very helpful for themselves! Find out how you can improve your own mindset! Sign up for a free weekly newsletter OR  explore the site to find self-help articles that can reduce your guilt, ease your anxiety, make you more comfortable with change, find motivation, improve relationships, become goal-oriented, and gain positivity!"

Chair Massage Schedule for May/June

Cedar Rapids: May 31, June 1. Contact Stacy Murphy to schedule.

Coralville: May 17, 1:00-4:15 p.m. Contact Sue Heath for the shared registration link.

Grant Wood AEA Seminar Series 2017-2018

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























June 2017

Orthographic Mapping

Orthographic Mapping
June 2 & 5, 2017
Full/Waiting List Only

Physical Education 2017: New Ideas, New Approaches

Physical Education: 2017

New Ideas, New Approaches

June 5-6, 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

Building Literacy in 
Social Studies

Cognitive Coaching: Planning and Reflecting

July 27-28,
Sept. 18-19, 2017

Grant Wood AEA Seminar Series 2017-2018

Teaching Transparently

July 20-21, Sept. 27, 2017,
Jan. 17, 2018

August 2017

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshops 2017-2018

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshops


Blended Learning for School Teams



September 2017

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshops 2017-2018

GWAEA Behavior PD Courses





March 2018

GWAEA Math PD Courses

Teaching Transparently Support Workshops
March 28, May 1, 2018



2016-2017 TQ Dates

Visit the TQ Google site.

The TQ proposal template and directions are available on the GWAEA Staff Portal under the Teacher Quality Committee link.

Teacher Quality Professional Development graphic

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.


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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