Grant Wood AEA logo  
The Bulletin Board

Mark Your Calendar:

Friday, Nov. 17, 2017
2018 Flexible Spending Account forms due

 

Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017
Agency closes at 3 p.m. in observance of Thanksgiving


In This issue:

Communicator/Collaborator
Self-Perception Survey
$1,500 Early Notification Incentive Approved by GWAEA Board and Available for All Employee Groups
Welcome, New GWAEA Staff
Flexible Spending Account plan information for GWAEA staff:
Nov. 17 Deadline
American Education Week 2017
Agency Holiday Potlucks
Holiday Early Release Dates
EAP Newsletter, Novembert 2017
Student Loan Relief
GWAEA GROW News/Upcoming Events
5th Annual Cropping 4 Kids
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
Lost and Found

 

Agency Advisory Minutes

Grant Wood AEA Staff Openings

The GWAEA Board Book

The GWAEA Board Minutes

GWAEA GROW

 

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


Communicator/Collaborator
Self-Perception Survey

Deadline extended to Nov. 22

Grant Wood AEA logo

Our responses to the Communicator/Collaborator Self-Perception Survey were lower than anticipated. To allow staff more time to provide their input, the deadline for staff to complete the survey has been extended to Wednesday, Nov. 22.


$1,500 Early Notification Incentive Approved by GWAEA Board and Available for All Employee Groups

Grant Wood AEA logo

At their meeting on Wednesday, November 8, the GWAEA Board of Directors approved a recommendation to offer an early notification incentive for all staff (including contracted, management, classified, management support, salaried positions) to help support a timely hiring process for 2018-19. 

 

To participate in this incentive, interested staff members must complete a full work year of agency service for 2017-18, and must commit to resigning or retiring at the end of this current work year, in writing, to Human Resources between November 9, 2017, and January 9, 2018. If the retirement or resignation is accepted by the board no later than its regular meeting on January 10, 2018, the staff member will receive an incentive of $1,500, payable to them on June 29, 2018 (conditional upon the staff member satisfactorily completing his or her employment obligations for the year).

 

See the complete article in the Nov. 9, 2017 issue of The Bulletin Board.


Welcome, New GWAEA Staff

hintz_d

 

Damon Hintz
Paraeducator
Damon is currently pursuing a degree from the University of Iowa.


Flexible Spending Account plan information for GWAEA staff:
Nov. 17 Deadline

Grant Wood AEA logo

Grant Wood AEA Employees:

We will begin our enrollment period for the 2018 Flexible Spending Account (FSA) plan year.  The FSA program allows you to set aside money from your paychecks on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified health and dependent care expenses. The following documents are available for further guidance and enrollment:

Employees are encouraged to review these materials immediately upon receipt as there are timelines involved to participate.  Employees must complete the ASI Flex Enrollment Form if electing to participate in a health and/or dependent care account for the 2018 plan year.  Please submit the enrollment form to Cathy Kearns, Grant Wood AEA Business Services, by November 17, 2017.

 

Remember:  Our FSA program runs on a calendar year basis, January 1 through December 31.  Participants must re-enroll in the FSA program each year, even if you don't want your election amount to change.

 

New in 2018:  The IRS announced an increase in the health care FSA maximum employee contribution limit from $2,600 to $2,650 for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2018.  Grant Wood AEA has adopted the increased maximum limit for our plan.

 

Payroll deductions for health, dental and vision insurance premiums are automatically made on a pre-tax basis.  An annual pre-tax election for this is not necessary.  Employees who want to have their insurance premiums deducted post-tax are to contact Cathy Kearns prior to November 17, 2017.


ASI, our flex benefits administrator, offers many features including:

  • Daily Reimbursements -- Once a flexible spending claim is processed, reimbursement will be made to participants the following day.  Claims are typically processed within two days of receipt.

  • On-line Access -- Participants have password protected access to account information, including balance available and reimbursements made.

  • Direct Deposit and E-mail Notifications -- If you choose, there is an option available for direct deposit into your bank account for reimbursements and e-mail notification of your account transactions.

  • Customer Service Center -- Calls are answered live, and the Customer Service Center has extended hours:  7:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday.  Phone:  1-800-659-3035   E-mail:  asi@asiflex.com   Web:  www.asiflex.com


The Bulletin Board will resume publication on Thursday, Nov. 30.

Have an enjoyable Thanksgiving!

thanksgiving


Celebrate American Education Week: Nov. 13-17

The National Education Association’s (NEA) 96th annual American Education Week (AEW) presents all of us with an opportunity to celebrate public education and honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring every child receives a quality education.

American Education Week schedule with children in a classroom.

The theme of the 2017 American Education Week is “Public Schools For All.”
American Education Week was first celebrated in 1921 with NEA and the American Legion as co-sponsors. The original goal of American Education Week—to generate public awareness and support for education—continues today.

 

For more information about American Education Week, visit www.nea.org/aew.


poinsettia


Agency Holiday Potlucks

poinsettia

Please join us for good food, good friends, good fun. Bring a dish to share.

Sixth Street Facility
Holiday Potluck

Friday, Dec. 8

11:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m., Revere/Stone Rms.

Coralville Facility
Coffee and Desserts Potluck

Tuesday, Dec. 19

2:00 - 4:00 p.m., Room 500


Holiday Early Release Dates

The three occasions when the Agency will close at 3 p.m. include:

  • Wednesday, Nov 22, 2017 (Wednesday before Thanksgiving)

  • Friday, Dec. 22, 2017 (last work day before winter break)

  • Friday, March 30, 2018 (Good Friday)


Student Loan Relief

IS Loan Solutions logo

Grant Wood AEA 10, in partnership with ISLoan Solutions, will educate you and provide options for forgiveness* and refinancing, that may help lower, or even eliminate, your student loan payment.

 

Join your colleagues who are saving an average of 79% on their monthly payments and are projected to receive an average of $66,271 in tax-free loan forgiveness.

Visit: https://grantwood.myisls.com/register

Enter code: AEA10 to learn more

If loan forgiveness 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

As of Oct. 26, 2017:  

  • More than 22% (1,287) of the 5,800 teachers, counselors, teacher librarians, nurses and paraeducators in our GWAEA area have contacted ISLS and/or scheduled a meeting with an ISLS Advisor.

  • 625 (roughly 48%) qualify for student loan forgiveness. Typically, individuals do not qualify because their debt to income ratios do not align with the program criteria (typical disqualification rates are 32-47%).

Peace of Mind & Savings 
“When I decided to change careers at the age of 32 to become a teacher, I was really nervous about the amount debt I was going to incur. I knew I would qualify for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, but had no knowledge of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Because of ISLoan Solutions, I will save over $40,000 in student loan payments once I complete my 120 payments. This has allowed me to save more money now and for my future, as I am able to contribute more to my retirement accounts. Best of all, they take care of everything for me.  For a fair price, I never had to worry about my paperwork being submitted on time or being sent to the correct place. The peace of mind and savings have lifted a very heavy burden off my shoulders.” Matt O. - Science Teacher

 

*In 2007, Congress established Public Service Loan Forgiveness to help full-time employees reduce their student loan burden and incentivize them to stay in public service. PSLF is available to all full-time employees regardless of position. PSLF is not Teacher Loan Forgiveness.

 
Questions, or trouble logging in? Call 1-513-645-5400, email or visit their website at isloansolutions.com for more information and success stories.


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

GWAEA GROW logo

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.

Free Events - Blue Zones Approved

HAPPIER HOUR
Social get-together at NewBo City Market. Thursdays, through April | 5:00-8:00 p.m. Each week will feature a different activity to engage with friends and family, relieve stress, move more, and discover new things to help us all live with purpose. All are welcome!

 

THE DOWNTOWN CEDAR RAPIDS LIBRARY

  • Merry Tuba Christmas- December 2 | 2:00-3:00 p.m.

  • On Demand- for Teens  | Choose your fun | Mondays, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

  • Parachute Fun- for Pre-K ages | December 4 | 10:00-10:30 a.m.

Visit http://www.crlibrary.org/ for details on these and many other programs offered throughout the week.

 

FROSTY'S WINTER WONDERLAND
Dec. 9 - NW Rec Center 1340 11th St. NW Cedar Rapids | 1:00-3:00 p.m. Visit Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Facebook for more information.


EAP Newsletter - November 2017

Work Life Balance

The EAP Newsletter, November 2017, focuses on support for a creating a Work Life Balance.

mercyeap



Weight Watchers At Work

Weight Watchers At-Work - Session Hiatus

Weight Watchers @ Work Program logo

We will not hold a Tuesday Weight Watcher meeting at Grant Wood AEA until sometime after the 1st of January, 2018.


Watch for registration information for a January 2018 Weight Watchers' session.


Contact Kim Martin (kmartin@gwaea.org) or Elizabeth Gants (egants@gwaea.org) with questions


Apps Promote Wellness and Wellbeing

Thanks to Kelli Robertson, GWAEA Autism Consultant and member of the GROW Committee, for sharing apps that promote wellness and wellbeing.

Momentum

Kelli shared, "Momentum is a Google Chrome Extension. Once you add it and set it up, you will get a scenic view whenever you open a new window, complete with a personal greeting and a motivational quote of the day - as well as a task list of top priorities for the day to focus on and check off. I find it to just be a periodic 'mindful' interruption to breathe and remember my goals for the day."


Chair Massage Schedule

Cedar Rapids: Nov. 30, Dec. 13, Jan. 11 and Jan. 25 . Contact Stacy Murphy to schedule.

Coralville: Contact Sue Heath for the registration link.


5th Annual Cropping 4 Kids

Quota International of Cedar Rapids

Date:

Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, 5:30-9:30 p.m. and
Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

 

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

 

See the information and registration flyers for details and costs. For questions, contact Emily Lee, GWAEA Itinerant Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing.

cropping4kids

Grant Wood AEA Seminar Series 2017-2018

GWAEA Seminar Series


Building Teacher Efficacy Through Professional Learning and Collaborative Conversations

There are four tenets for building a coaching culture: all teachers deserve coaching; every teacher should have a growth plan and growth necessitates feedback; the stronger a teacher becomes the more coaching they should receive; and teacher leaders are the first to request coaching as they work to build the culture. A focus from school administrators and teacher leadership on these four tenets can create a vision and understanding of coaching that increases teacher openness and vulnerability to seek the rewards of coaching for themselves and their students. Steve Barkley will discuss the four tenets for building a coaching culture and ways in which continuous collaborative improvement occurs through the combination of PLCs and coaching supports

 

Dec. 6, 2017, 1:00-3:30 p.m.

 

Location: Grant Wood AEA
4401 Sixth Street SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

 

Number: 19504-17-01

 

Grant Wod AEA Seminar Series. Steve Barkley, Building Teacher Efficacy Through Professional Learning and Collaborative Conversations

See flyer for details.

 

For the past 30 years, Steve Barkley has served as an education consultant to school districts, teacher organizations, state departments of education, and colleges and universities nationally and internationally, facilitating the changes necessary for them to reach students and successfully prepare them for the 21st century.

Target Audience: K-12 Administrators, Teachers, Instructional Coaches, Consultants

 

Registration deadline: 6:00 a.m. on Nov. 22, 2017

 

Fees:

• Participants within the GWAEA area, $40
• Participants from outside the GWAEA area, $65
• Registration is not complete until all fees are paid in full


Grant Wood AEA Summer Leadership Symposium


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.

 

2017-2018

Links to GWAEA Professional Development Courses by Month

July

|

Aug.

|

Sept.

|

Oct.

|

Nov.

|

Dec.

Jan.

|

Feb.

|

March

|

April

|

May

|

June


November 2017

GWAEA Behavior Professional Development

GWAEA Behavior PD Courses

2017-2018

Leadership for Continuous Improvement

2017-2018 Leadership for Continuous Improvement: Building Collective Efficacy

GWAEA Assistive Technology

GWAEA Assistive Tech

2017-2018

GWAEA Child Find Courses

2017-2018 Grant Wood AEA Child Find Courses

2017-18 AEA Teacher Leader Support System (TLSS) in Partnership with the New Teacher Center

2017-18 AEA Teacher Leader Support System (TLSS) in Partnership with the New Teacher Center

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshops

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshops

2017-2018

STAR Autism Program Training, Nov. 15, 2017

STAR Autism Program Training, Nov. 15, 2017

GWAEA Mathematics Professional Learning Courses 2017-2018

GWAEA Mathematics Professional Learning Courses 2017-2018

 


December 2017

Teacher Clarity: Learning Intentions and Success Criteria, Day 1: Dec. 5
Day 2: March 1

Teacher Clarity: Learning Intentions and Success Criteria, Day 1: Dec. 5
Day 2: March 1

Leading the Learning: Enhancing Math Teaching K-5, Dec. 14, 2017

Leading the Learning: Enhancing Math Teaching K-5, Dec. 14, 2017

 

 


January 2018

Teaching Transparently
Jan. 17 & 24, March 6, 
April 5, 2018

Teaching Transparently

Jan. 17 & 24, March 6,
April 5, 2018

Making Math Learning Visible - Elementary Grades

Jan. 24, 2018

Making Math Learning Visible - Elementary Grades

Jan. 24, 2018

Mindfulness 101

Mindfulness 101: Changing Your Relationship with Stress


February 2018

Math Interventions and Assessments for Elementary Students
Feb. 1, 2018

Math Interventions and Assessments for Elementary Students
Feb. 1, 2018

Rigorus Reading

Feb. 15, 2018

21st Century Homework Practices Connected to Grading and Re-Do's
Feb. 6, 2018

The ELL Critical Data Process, Feb. 8, 2018

Using the ELL Critical Data Process in Early Childhood and Preschool

Feb. 9, 2017

The ELL Critical Data Process, Feb. 8, 2018

Using the ELL Critical Data Process in Early Childhood and Preschool

Feb. 9, 2017

Rigorous Reading

Feb. 15, 2018

Rigorous Reading

Feb. 15, 2018

Visible Learning: Using the SOLO Taxonomy for Student Engagement

Feb. 27, 2018

Visible Learning: Using the SOLO Taxonomy for Student Engagement

Feb. 27, 2018

 

 


March 2018

Practical Strategies for Strengthening the Teaching and Learning of Secondary Mathematics
March 27, 2018

Practical Strategies for Strengthening the Teaching and Learning of Secondary Mathematics
March 27, 2018

 

 


April 2018

Meaningful Engagement in the Classroom, School and Community
April 9, 2018

Meaningful Engagement in the Classroom, School and Community
April 9, 2018


Building Bridges Assistive Technology Conference, April 19, 2018

Building Bridges Assistive Technology Conference
April 19, 2018

A Developmental Framework for Evidence-Based Practices for Autism Spectrum
April 25, 2018

A Developmental Framework for Evidence-Based Practices for Autism Spectrum
April 25, 2018


2017-2018 TQ Dates

Dec. 7, 2017
Feb. 9, 2018
May 8, 2018

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 ssines@gwaea.org 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. Visit www.boee.iowa.gov 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.


Lost and Found:

See Cathy Nelson at the Switchboard to claim.

 

key with blue plastic horizontal keyring

 

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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