Grant Wood AEA logo
Bulletin Board

In This issue:


Grant Wood AEA Ranks High Among Iowa's Top Workplaces
Wireless Upgrade Planned
Sept. 16
Victorian Room Remodel Underway
A new still on track
A View from the GWAEA Coralville Facility
Grant Wood AEA Online
Shirt Order
Assessment Courses
info@gwaea, September 2016
IPERS is coming to
Cedar Rapids
Our Condolences
GWAEA GROW News/Upcoming Events
  - The Financial Fitness Challenge is Back, and Even Better!
  - Fight the Flu
  - Weight Watchers at Work
  - Chair Massage Schedule - Oct.
  - GWAEA Try the Y
  - Eastern Iowa Miles for Myeloma
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 Mission: To ensure success for all learners.


Grant Wood AEA Ranks High Among Iowa's Top Workplaces


(left to right: Kris Donnelly, Sue Gates, Renee Nelson, Peggy Gingerich, Marcia Booth, and
Joe Crozier attended the Top Workplaces Awards Luncheon in Des Moines on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016.)


On Thursday afternoon, Sept. 15, Grant Wood AEA staff attended a luncheon in Des Moines for a special preview of the results from this year's Top Workplaces survey.


The survey results will be announced in Sunday's issue of The Des Moines Register. Watch for more information in next week's issue of The Bulletin Board.

Wireless Upgrade Planned Sept. 16

The Grant Wood AEA wireless system will be going through an upgrade on Friday, Sept. 16, starting at
6:00 a.m.  It is anticipated that the upgrade will be completed by 7:15 a.m.




During this upgrade time, wireless access may be unavailable.  If there are any questions, please contact Brandon Watson, Network Administrator, at

Victorian Room Remodel Underway

Staff will soon have an additional room designed to meet their meeting needs at the Sixth Street office. 


Construction begins this week on the Victorian room at the agency. While a small portion of the current Victorian room will still be used for storage as it is now, we are remodeling the remaining space to make the room larger, with


flexible table and seating arrangement options, and open up to the rest of the conference center.
This space will include a green wall to make it ideal for video work, and will be equipped with monitors at both ends to allow for presentations or to hold group Zoom meetings to take place. 


Staff should note that rectangular tables will no longer be available in the ENTIRE conference center effective immediately and throughout the remodeling project. This allows us to move the tables offsite and accommodate the remodeling effort. Staff will again be able to reserve either round or rectangular tables for the conference center once the remodeling effort has been completed.

A new still on track


While the rollout might be a bit later than expected, GWAEA staff should expect to have a chance to preview the new late this fall before it goes live.


As we previously communicated, the organization's website is currently undergoing renovations.
Part of this effort includes designing a portal that staff will use to access business applications, HR information and other information that's specific to GWAEA employees. 


Additional information including a timeline for rollout will be coming in the next few weeks

A View From the Grant Wood AEA Coralville Facility



Sharing a recent meeting at the GWAEA Coralville facility are (l to r) Tammy Beener, GWAEA school psychologist, and Susan Dale, GWAEA teacher: Off-Site Programs.


Our thanks to Karin McKeone, GWAEA school social worker, for sharing these photos for inclusion in The Bulletin Board.






Grant Wood AEA Online
Shirt Order


Staff now 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 August 29-September 23. Shirts will be delivered to the indicated pick up location by October 15.


Next Ordering Opportunity

We plan to open the online store for staff to order additional shirts again the first week of April.


To order using the online portal, visit

Assessment Courses

Are you looking for more assessment tools used to
dig into children’s learning challenges?


Are you looking for ways to make assessments provide more information for the need section of the EER?


There will be opportunities this fall to hear about and work with a variety of assessments that are commonly used in the problem solving process. The goal is to build capacity of agency staff to have a wide breadth of assessment options to chose from when trying to answer specific diagnostic questions.


See the Assessment Courses flyer for information or contact Austin Beer or Hillary Prall.



info@gwaea, September 2016


info@gwaea is 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 September 2016 issue:

  • Announcing Super Search

  • MackinVIA Ebooks for Beginners, Training for Administrators

  • Think, Make, Innovate

  • National Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 23-31

  • Media Center resources and Work Center materials support National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

  • Grant Wood AEA Media Center hours

  • America Reads

For information, contact Deanna Weber,



IPERS is coming to
Cedar Rapids

Individual Counseling Sessions

When: Sept 19-23, 2016

Where: Residence Inn, 1900 Dodge St N.E., Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402


Call early to reserve your time slot. Appointments fill up quickly.


Who should register for an appointment? Anyone nearing retirement with questions on their IPERS accounts.


How to Register: Call 1-800-622-3849. Please have your Member ID, Spouses Date of Birth (if married), and potential retirement dates ready for the Benefits Officer when you call. 


Appointments are 30 min. each and are by appointment only. IPERS will send out estimates prior to the appointment. Please bring those estimates to the appointment.  

Our Condolences...

  • to Linda Decker and family on the passing of her father, James Rollin Butler, on Sept. 2 in Waterloo. Services were held on Tuesday, Sept. 6, at Saint Paul United Church of Christ in Denver. Linda is a GWAEA printing technician.

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.

The Financial Fitness Challenge is Back, and Even Better!

Watch your email the week of September 26 for an invitation from to take the 10-minute Financial Fitness Checkup assessment and the opportunity to learn about personal finance through the Financial Fitness Academy.


What it is: There is no cost to you to participate!
The Financial Fitness Academy is an online wellness program that provides effective instruction in personal finance and investing fundamentals. Whether you just want to brush up on your knowledge or gain better mastery over your finances, you'll find the Academy helpful. 



The Challenge has been enhanced and re-designed in an Academy format, with access to 400+ online tutorials 24/7, and you may complete the tutorials that are interesting to you! When you complete the 10-minute checkup you will receive your Financial Fitness Score and a personalized learning recommendation that can help you improve your unique financial situation. 


The program does not recommend, promote or sell any products or services. Participants can be assured of confidentiality - personal information including individual names and scores for each course are not shared with others.


Why you should participate: Typical results include significant improvement in financial knowledge and better management of finances through budgeting and retirement planning. More than 85% of participants say they’d recommend the Financial Fitness Challenge courses to others. Over 75% of participants indicate they have made or will make financial behavior changes as a result of their participation in the Financial Fitness Challenge!


Your time commitment: You'll participate on your own schedule. You can work at your own pace and complete as many tutorials as you like. Each tutorial takes 15-30 minutes to complete.


Participants who successfully complete a post-test for at least 12 tutorials (total of 2 hours during the 8-week program) and complete the Final Checkup will be entered in a drawing for one of four $25 gift certificates to either a local bookstore, sporting goods store or community theatre. Post-tests may be re-taken as many times as necessary. You will receive weekly, personalized encouragement and program progress update emails from the Financial Fitness Group.


Getting started: Complete the initial Fitness Checkup, then add as many tutorials as you wish.
The Academy program will end November 18, and staff are encouraged to take advantage of this convenient learning opportunity while you can!

Fight the Flu

Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, 7:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Sixth St. Facility - Grant Wood Room



Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, 7:30-9:30 a.m.

Coralville Facility



Flu Shots planned at Grant Wood AEA through the Visiting Nurse Association. Bring your insurance information. VNA will direct bill your insurance company. 


As a reminder, and for employee reference, the Agency health plans provide flu shot benefits, which includes:

  1. Full 100% coverage, with no co-pay, for shots received through in-network or 
    out-of-network providers.

  2. Under the HMO Essential plan, however, individuals must go to an in-network provider for the shot or the shot will not be covered. The Visiting Nurse Association is in the HMO network.

  3. If another non-preventive service in addition to the flu shot is performed in the doctor's office, individuals are then responsible for the office co-pay. 

If there are questions about your health plan benefits, please contact Cathy Kearns, Payroll/Benefits Specialist, at ext. 6706 or

For information, contact Connie Dvorak,

Weight Watchers At Work


New registrations accepted each week! Since November 2014, our total weight loss is 783 pounds! That is the combined size of a welsh pony, average football lineman, and a mid-size microwave!

Weight Watchers At-Work
New Session - 9/6/2016

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

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

Chair Massage Schedule for October

Marcia will be here Oct. 12-13. Please email Stacy Murphy for appointment times.

GWAEA Try the Y


GWAEA employees may join the Y during September and waive the joiner's fee.
That's a savings of $50-$75.

*Helen G Nassif (downtown)
*Stoney Point
*Mercy Health Plaza (along Council St.)


For more information, please contact our YMCA Corporate Contact Deanna Haddy, 319-399-6762.



YMCA: Everyone Belongs Here!


Eastern Iowa Miles for Myeloma kicks off five years of fighting multiple myeloma on Oct. 2, 2016 at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area, 4213 SE Sand Road, Iowa City.


With your help, by year's end we'll have donated over $100,000 to the
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF). Team Lori will once again be walking in honor of former GWAEA employee Lori Hilmer. 


For more information on joining the team or if you’d like to order a
Team Lori T-shirt, contact Amy Grahs, 319-551-7021, or go to for race details.

2016-2017 Leadership for Continuous Improvement
Learning Sessions


Registration is available for non-LCI teams.


See flyer for dates and registration information through Grant Wood AEA Professional Development.



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

See flyer for details

Assistive Technology Academy for School Professionals

AT 101 - Reading/Writing Supports


Dates: Aug. 24-Oct. 26, 2016
Face-to-Face times 4:30-5:30 p.m. on
Aug. 24 & Oct. 26


Target Audience: LEA Special Education/General Education Teachers;
AEA Support Staff


Location: Online class with the first and last meeting face-to-face at Grant Wood AEA
4401 Sixth Street S.W., Cedar Rapids


2016-2017, Child Find Courses

See flyer for course offerings, dates and registration information.

2016-2017 Grant Wood AEA Resources for Educators and Parents Working or Living with Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders


See flyer for course offerings, dates and registration information.




See flyer for dates and details

2016-2017 Behavior PD Courses


Register for 2016-2017 Grant Wood AEA Behavior PD Courses through
GWAEA Professional Development


See flyer for details on course offerings, dates, and locations.





Grant Wood AEA Math PD Courses, 2016-2017

See flyer for course offerings, dates and registration information.






See flyer for dates and details

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


See flyer for dates and registration information.


Overcoming Anxiety and Frustration in Children and Teens

Instructor: Jed Baker, Ph.D.


Sept. 28, 2016
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

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


Target Audience: PreK-12 Administrators, General and Special Education Teachers, Paraeducators, Nurses, Counselors, Reading Support, Parents, Social Workers, Speech-Language Pathologists, Early Childhood Staff, Psychologists, OT/PT, Consultants


Number: 19469-16-01


Fees: Educators in Grant Wood AEA area, $60
Outside of Grant Wood AEA area, $85



See flyer for details

Visible Learning for Literacy

Doug Fisher, Heather Anderson, Aida Allen

Sept. 30, 2016


What if you knew the literacy practices that ensure students demonstrate more than a year’s worth of learning for a year spent in school?

Doug Fisher and colleagues will show you how to use the right approach at the right time to intentionally design classroom experiences that hit the surface, deep and transfer phases of learning.

Participants will apply Hattie’s research to develop practices that are “visible” for teachers and students to see. Because their purpose has been made clear, visible practices are implemented in the right moment in a student’s learning and their effect is tangible.


See flyer for information


Course Number: 19445-16-01
Registration available after May 15, 2016

$150 GWAEA Educators
$175 Non-GWAEA Educators

Visible Learning Foundations

Dr. John Hattie, Steve Ventura

Oct. 10, 2016

DoubleTree Cedar Rapids
Convention Complex

350 1st Ave N.E., Cedar Rapids, Iowa

During the Visible Learning Foundation Day Institute, participants will identify and discuss the most important messages from the Visible Learning research, learn about the five strands of Visible Learning, and know the difference between the influences that ‘do’ and ‘do not’ make a significant difference to student achievement. This Institute provides practical activities and take-away tools and is the first step of the Visible Learning Foundation Series that will help you become a Visible Learning School.


See flyer for information


Visible Learning is an in-depth school change model of professional learning and development based on the research of Professor John Hattie. Through the lens of Visible Learning evidence, you will learn to systematically examine effective instructional practice in order to determine the “impact” on student achievement and learning. By considering the effects of the practices of teachers and leaders, schools will be able to make substantial gains in student achievement.

Audience: All Educators

Course Number: 19440-16-01
Registration deadline: Oct. 3, 2016 at 6:00 a.m.


• Educators in Grant Wood AEA area, Total for non-credit $175
• Outside of Grant Wood AEA area,Total for non-credit $200


From Words to Works - Developing Writing Skills in Elementary Students


From Words to Works - Developing Writing Skills in Middle School Students


Oct. 11 and 12, 2016
8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

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

From Words to Works- Developing Writing Skills in Elementary Students

Oct. 11, 2016 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Location: Grant Wood AEA,

4401 Sixth Street S.W. Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Upper Elementary Administrators, General and Special Education Teachers, Media Specialists, Reading Support, Parents, Speech-Language Pathologists, Psychologists, Consultants


Number: 19466-16-01

Registration deadline: Sept. 27, 2016, 6 a.m.
Credit: None


Educators in Grant Wood AEA area, $40
Outside of Grant Wood AEA area, $65

From Words to Works- Developing Writing Skills in Middle School Students

Oct. 12, 2016 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Location: Grant Wood AEA,

4401 Sixth Street S.W. Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Middle School Administrators, General and Special Education Teachers, Media Specialists, Reading Support, Parents, Speech-Language Pathologists, Psychologists, Consultants


Number: 19467-16-01

Registration deadline: Sept. 28, 2016, 6 a.m.
Credit: None


Educators in Grant Wood AEA area, $40
Outside of Grant Wood AEA area, $65


2016-2017 Grant Wood AEA Seminar Series

National presentations brought to you locally by Grant Wood AEA.


1:00-3:00 p.m.

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


Oct. 5, 2016 - 19446-16-01

Buddy Berry - The Future of Personalized Learning: Reinventing Education


Nov. 2, 2016 - 19447-16-01

Dr. Robert Dillon - How Digital Learning Helps Close the Gap Around Educational Equity


Dec. 7, 2016 - 19448-16-01

Thomas Murray - Creating Schools and Classrooms that are Future Ready

See flyer for dates and registration information.


Jan. 4, 2017 -19449-16-01

Dr. Anthony Muhammad - All Means ALL! Creating Equitable Learning Environments



March 1, 2017- 19450-16-01

Zac Chase - Building School 2.0: How to Create the Schools We Need


Buddy Berry is the superintendent of Eminence Independent Schools in Eminence, Kentucky who has a passion for reinventing the K-12 school experience.

The Future of Personalized Learning: Reinventing Education with Buddy Berry

Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn how schools are being reinvented to personalize learning for students. Join Buddy Berry, superintendent of Eminence Independent Schools in Eminence, Kentucky, to learn about dramatic results happening at his schools. Berry will talk about his school on FIRE (Framework of Innovation for Reinventing Education) model, and how you can bring elements of that model into your classroom.

Oct. 5, 2016, 1:00-3:30 p.m.


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


Course Number: 19446-16-01
Target Audience: K-12 Administrators, Teachers, Consultants


• 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.

2016-2017 AEA Teacher Leader Support System (TLSS)

Purpose: to establish a comprehensive multi-year regional program to develop important teacher leader skills and competencies and build capacity among a network of teacher and district leaders to promote long term system sustainability aligned with the Iowa Department of Education’s TLC Layered Approach for Support.


Fee Structure:
$1200 for District Annual Membership Fee and $750/instructional coach for one year of professional learning sessions.


2016-2017 AEA Teacher Leader Support System,
NTC Professional Learning Sessions Systems of Support for TLSS Districts
, and

Access to Optional Courses



See flyer for details

Designing and Implementing Classroom Assessments To Be Used To Guide Future Instruction


Oct. 14, 2016, Feb. 27, 2017, and April 10, 2017

8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

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


The assessment and instruction class is designed to support classroom teachers and teacher leaders to plan and implement assessments that are aligned to learning targets from prioritized standards. The participants will collaborate with teacher partner(s) to analyze evidence from the assessment to plan and implement instruction that represents the results of the student’s performance on the assessment.


Target Audience: Classroom Teachers, Teacher Leaders

Number: 4839-16-01





See flyer for details


Registration deadline: Sept. 30, 2016 at 6:00 a.m.
Credit: R, D-EDMA, M - 1 Sem. Hrs.

Relicensure - $25
 Drake - $100
 Morningside - $75

STAR Autism Program Training

Instructor: Lisa Kemmerer, Ph.D.,
STAR Autism Consultant


Nov. 3-4, 2016
8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Grant Wood AEA
4401 Sixth Street S.W.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa


The STAR Autism Program teaches children with autism the critical skills identified by the 2001 National Research Council. The ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) instructional methods of discrete trial training, pivotal response training and functional routines form the instructional base of this comprehensive program for children with autism.


STAR Autism Program Training

PreK-6 Special Education Teachers, Speech-Language Pathologists, Special Education Consultants, Psychologists, Parents, Social Workers, Behavior Interventionists


Number: 4549-16-01

Registration deadline: Oct. 20, 2016, 6:00 a.m.

Fees: $185 in GWAEA Educators; $210 outside Non-GWAEA Educators
Registration is not complete until all fees are paid in full.

2016-2017 Instructional Coaching

Instructors: Jim Knight and Ann Hoffman



See flyer for dates, times, and locations


Target Audience: Instructional Coaches, Administrators, Lead/Model Teachers


• High Impact Instruction

Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2016

Number: 19353-16-01


• Focus on Teaching, Using Video to Gather Data

March 3, 2017

Number: 19355-16-01


2016-2017 TQ Dates

Dec. 7, 2016
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 Sherry Sines, Terri McGraw,
Lisa Haverkamp, Hillary Prall, Susan Parker, and a member to be determined.

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. 


AEA PD Online is available for required online trainings and for  online courses for credit. 

Grant Wood AEA Professional Development Opportunities


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

























September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

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
Grant Wood AEA 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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