Grant Wood AEA logo  
The Bulletin Board

Mark Your Calendar

June 12-Aug. 11, 2017

GWAEA Summer Hours


The Bulletin Board summer publication dates:

July 27 and Aug. 10, 2017



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:

GWAEA PRIDE: Proudly Recognizing Innovation,
Dedication & Excellence
Welcome, New GWAEA Staff
Staff Reminder: Recycling, Trash
The Big Picture: Facilities Update
Our Condolences
MackinVIA eBook Curriculum Integration Class
Discounted Football Tickets
School Board Elections
Improve Your Student Loan Situation
GWAEA Health Screening/Fight the Flu
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

Student Work-Based Learning Experiences at Grant Wood AEA

Grant Wood AEA staff have a long history of providing supportive work-based learning experiences for students in our community. These experiences positively impact both the students and GWAEA staff.


Mary McWilliams, transition coordinator, College Community Schools, shared the following insights:

Prairie High School's work experience program and Grant Wood AEA have partnered to provide authentic internships for students with disabilities.

The purpose of the program is to provide opportunities for students to learn specific work tasks as well as learn and practice soft skills needed in the workplace."

"Students arrive to work, sign in, put on their name badge and proceed to their work area with their job coach to support the student only as needed while building transferrable skills and independence,” she explained “An example of that support would be providing physical assistance to a person with limited fine motor skills to work as a team to complete a task."

"The AEA really stepped up to the challenge to provide a variety of opportunities for our students," commented McWilliams. "They continued to look for more and more tasks to have the students complete to build their resume of skills." Departments the students worked in were environmental services to perform light cleaning and room organization and set up as well as print services. Students also worked in the media center to stage, photograph and re-shelve student materials used by AEA staff at area schools.”

Grant Wood AEA PRIDE

This year, the AEA's print shop came on board as another worksite to have students package, sort, use die cut tools, and help with printing needs.

'"I can't say enough great things about how the AEA team welcomed our students to the workplace each day. They provided ID badges and included them in the day to day operations just like any other employee."


McWilliams would like to thank everyone at the AEA who partnered with Prairie High School as well as other community employers to open their doors to this opportunity, which supports the ultimate goal for students to gain employment in the community.

The following are among the adjectives that Grant Wood AEA staff used to describe the many work-based learning experiences shared with students from our community:

“I can look back on this experience to see the way we supported the student’s learning and see the growth. It opened my eyes to the opportunities that exist.”

“The student loved working at Grant Wood AEA.”

“Very efficient and conscientious.”

“The experience expanded communication skills.”

“So pleasant to work with, dedicated and on task.”

“I think the students bring joy knowing they learn how to react in a work environment and how they will get a job in the workplace.”

Welcome, New GWAEA Staff


Christine Kullander

B.A., Mt. Mercy University




Julie Jensen
Regional Administrator

Ed.S., University of Iowa

Julie's background includes positions as a program consultant for special education leadership, Iowa Department of Education, 2015-2017, and executive director, Student Services, Linn-Mar Schools, 2005-2015.




Kara Gruber
Speech-Language Pathologist

M.A., Speech-Language Pathology, University of Northern Iowa

Staff Reminder: Recycling, Trash

A reminder to staff to place trash in the garbage cans by desks. Items for recycling, other than cardboard, should be placed in the gray recycle bins. Please breakdown cardboard and place it beside the gray recycle bins.
Thank you.

recycle symbol

33rd Avenue Facility Update

Below are photos of the second floor of the 33rd Avenue Facility, entrance, center area and break room area.

Some staff have temporarily relocated to 33rd Ave. to accommodate remodeling at 6th street.

GWAEA The Big Picture graphic

They will remain at their temporary home during July, and can anticipate moving back to 6th Street around Aug. 1. At that time, we expect to shift the science boxes out of the classroom and into the science office, and our Autism staff can begin the process of unloading materials from the boxes stored in the Autism Classroom and their homes. Again, specific details will be shared closer to August.


The entry area of 33rd Avenue - 2nd floor.


The center section of 33rd Avenue, 2nd floor.



A breakroom area on the 2nd floor will be available for staff and guests.

Our Condolences...

  • to Karla Cigrand and family on the passing of her mother, Margaret L. Cigrand, 98, of Cascade, on Monday, July 10, 2017. Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 13, at Reiff Funeral Home in Cascade, 4-8 p.m.; a wake service will be held at 3:30 p.m. and CDA rosary will be held at 4:30 p.m. Friends may also call after 8:30 a.m. Friday at the funeral home. Services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, July 14, at St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Cascade.


    Karla is a GWAEA special education consultant.

Mark Your Calendar for the MackinVIA eBook Curriculum Integration Class

Pass this on to Classroom Teachers


As you plan your summer schedule, consider signing up for the MackinVIA course. This course was offered last summer and received rave reviews. Credit and no-credit options are available. The course starts on Aug. 8. For details and to register for credit options, go to AEA PD Online. Also, please register your attendance for Aug. 8 face to face session at this site.


For more information on this learning opportunity, please contact Deanna Weber.

Discounted football tickets - Iowa AND Iowa State games


Discounted tickets are available to employees in any AEA and this was offered at NO cost to the AEA system. Tickets are available to seven Iowa games, and the UNI vs. ISU game. 


Thanks to Bravo Sports for this opportunity!


Iowa tickets:


Iowa State tickets:

2017 School Board Elections

The Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) encourages sitting board members to offer their expertise for another term and asks motivated community members to consider serving on their local school board.

IASB needs leaders that care about our children and our communities. 


Visit the IASB website for a toolkit to help interested citizens understand school boards in Iowa and their role, qualifications and steps to become a school board candidate, school election dates and deadlines, FAQs, rewards of school board service, and more. 

As you consider running, IASB encourages individuals to consider what board service means to you. Make a difference for students, your community, and ultimately the future of Iowa. Invest in the future--serve on your local school board. 

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.

GWAEA Health Screening/Fight the Flu

Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017
7:00 - 9:00 a.m.

Sixth St. Facility
Scale-UP Classroom



Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017
7:00-9:00 a.m

Coralville Facility


The GROW Committee would like to offer Blood Profile Screenings and Flu Shots to any interested staff members this fall.


The screening will be a 12-hour FASTING test provided by the Visiting Nurses Association at a cost of $20.00 per person, cash or check is due the day of the screening. VNA will have almost immediate results, which they will go over with you during your appointment, so plan on being here at least 15 minutes.


Flu shots will also be available that day. The VNA will bill your insurance company, so be sure to bring your insurance card with you.


Registration for both events will be announced in August. For information, contact
Connie Dvorak

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.

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

Cedar Rapids: June 28-29, July 26-27. Contact Stacy Murphy to schedule.

Coralville: Appointments will resume in September. Contact Sue Heath for the 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























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


Building Literacy in 
Social Studies

GWAEA Resources for Educators, Parents Working or Living with Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

August 2017

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshops 2017-2018

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshops


Blended Learning for School Teams

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshops 2017-2018

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

September 2017

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshops 2017-2018

GWAEA Behavior PD Courses


2017-2018 Leadership for Continuous Improvement: Building Collective Efficacy

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshops 2017-2018

GWAEA Assistive Tech


GWAEA Behavior PD Courses

Document Based Questions (DBQ)

Project Workshop

Sept. 26, 2017




March 2018

GWAEA Math PD Courses

Teaching Transparently Support Workshops
March 28, May 1, 2018



2017-2018 TQ Dates

Sept. 13, 2017
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 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 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.

facebooktwitter rss pinterest