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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:


Getting to Know Your GWAEA Board Members

The “Top 10” Professional Reading List for Educators • 2017
Staff Assignment/Job Changes

New VPN Client for Windows and Macintosh Computers
GWAEA Summer Hours
The Gift of Communication:
Empowering Families on Their AAC Journey, June 5
Our Condolences
Thank You
Summer Van Delivery
Full Managed Support
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

GWAEA PRIDE: Proudly Recognizing Innovation, Dedication & Excellence

Detention School Program Earns HyVee Cash for Students

Lu Jackson and Marcia Booth receive Hy-Vee Cash for Students award from Hy-Vee representatives

Lu Jackson, GWAEA paraeductor and Marcia Booth, GWAEA teacher: Off-Site Programs, are joined by representatives from Hy-Vee.

With the help of GWAEA staff, the Linn County Detention School program earned $484.03 in the HyVee Cash for Students program. 


Lu Jackson, GWAEA paraeducator, said, "This means a lot of new books and replacing the well loved favorites for our students. Some of our students get turned on to reading for the first time in their life. Other students read more while they are with us than they have ever read in their life, and what's more, they love it!"

"I want to say a huge thank you to the GWAEA staff that helped to fill the HyVee Cash for Students box in the break room at 6th street with all those wonderful Cedar Rapids and Marion HyVee receipts," Lu said. "Those donations helped us to earn five times what we've earned in previous years. Thanks to all our donors; you're changing lives!"


Staff may continue to bring in receipts as the program is underway for next year. Receipts from April 1, 2017 to
March 31, 2018 will be included in the next collection.

Grant Wood AEA PRIDE

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:




Jim Green is currently Grant Wood AEA Board President. Jim has served nearly 20 years with the Linn-Mar Community School Board from 1992-2001, 2002-2009, and again in 2017. For three of those years he supported their Board as President. Jim’s tenure with Grant Wood AEA started back in 1995. and he serves all of Linn-Mar CSD, Springville CSD, and Mount Vernon CSD and CR 7 and CR 8 within the Cedar Rapids CSD.


Jim has supported educators across the state of Iowa through his support of the Iowa Association of School Boards from 2009-2017. He also represents all nine AEAs in his capacity as chair its Governance and Bylaws Committee.

Dr. Lynne Cannon is Grant Wood AEA Board of Directors Vice-President. Dr. Cannon originally joined the GWAEA Board in 1980 and represents Coralville 1, 4, and 5, Iowa City 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, and University Heights Precinct within the Iowa City CSD. 


After retiring in 2001 from the University of Iowa Department of Chemistry, Dr. Cannon has continued her involvement in educational causes including a board consultant to Learning Disabilities Association of Iowa and by supporting the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation.




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.


"Having been an educator for 30 years as a teacher and administrator in the ICCSD, I was the grateful recipient and partner with GWAEA professionals for all of that time. No task was ever too complicated or too small for these professionals to work with our students, families, staff members, and with me, personally. GWAEA people became part of our school and district families, being there for us with their expertise, guidance, assistance, and caring.

Upon my ‘graduation’ from a full-time career in education, serving on the GWAEA Board of Directors became a natural extension for me to continue my passion and life's work of working with students, families, educators, and the community. It gave me the opportunity to widen my net in education by being in contact with local School Boards, the GWAEA Board, Administration, and dedicated Staff Members. In addition, my educational encore career has been enriched even more by monthly board presentations from the GWAEA professionals in the field, State Conferences, and AESA Conferences. A special treat for me these past years has been the occasional former student who now, too, is a GWAEA professional. I have learned so much as a GWAEA Board Member and look forward, with gratitude, to continued service to our community."

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


Staff Assignment/Job Changes

This ongoing update reflects the new assignment and job changes to date. Additional changes will continue to be shared through future editions of The Bulletin Board.


New VPN Client for Windows and Macintosh Computers

The current VPN will be shut down July 1

Grant Wood AEA logo

The agency is in the process of moving to a new VPN client for Windows and Macintosh computers. VPN is used primarily for the following reasons when staff is offsite from one of the three Grant Wood AEA offices:

  • Avamar computer backups and restores

  • Shoretel Soft-phone software

  • Shared server drive access (Not Google Drive)

The current VPN will be shut down July 1, 2017.  If you utilize any of the above when you are offsite or any other services that require connecting to the VPN, please stop into the technology department to have the new software installed on your computer before July 1.


For questions, contact Brandon Watson, GWAEA network administrator.

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.


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.

Our Condolences...

  • to the family of Rachel Elson-Canfield, who passed away on May 15 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Rachel was a GWAEA speech-language pathologist for 25 years, retiring in 2011. The service will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 26, at Loving Chapel United Methodist Church in Leon, Iowa.

Thank You

From the family of Tammy Carolan:


We would like to express our deepest appreciation for the support that was given to Mom during her courageous battle with cancer. The cards, gifts, and kind words meant so much to her.
She would often go back through the cards for inspiration when she needed it! Thank you! 


We would also like to say thank you for all of the support and generosity during the last few weeks. The support that you all have shown our family has been wonderful and we appreciate it dearly.


Thank you again,


Joe, Shannon, and Nicole

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

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.


  • to Elizabeth and Josh Gants who were married in Las Vegas on May 8. Elizabeth is the former Elizabeth Steffensmeier, secretary for the Off-sites Region and Early ACCESS/Early Childhood; Josh is interim CIO at the University of Iowa Foundation.


Congratulations to Mary Airy, GWAEA early education consultant (above) and to
Susan Askeland, GWAEA autism consultant (below) who celebrated retirement receptions on May 22 and May 24. Congratulations, Mary and Susan!




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.

Chair Massage Schedule for May/June

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

Coralville: Will resume in September. 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, Arlene Brant, Lisa Haverkamp, 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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