Grant Wood AEA logo  
The Bulletin Board

Mark Your Calendar

Monday, Sept. 4, 2016
Agency closed in observance of Labor Day


In This issue:

All-Agency Inservice, Aug. 16

Network Outage Planned Aug. 21 at 4:30 p.m.
Welcome, New GWAEA Staff
Security Awareness Training Surveys Coming Out to GWAEA Staff 
Solar Eclipse: Through the Eyes of NASA
AEA Special Education Procedures Manual Update
Reminder: FASTBridge K-6 Literacy Training Underway
Thank You
IPERS Retirement Planning Sessions
Discounted Football Tickets
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

All Agency Meeting Brings Together Staff to Kick Off New Academic Year

Twelve Staff Win Autographed Book
"Someone Like Me"

Grant Wood AEA logo

Five hundred and fourteen staff members representing all the programs and services associated with our agency assembled in the new performing arts center in Solon on Wednesday as staff marked the start of a new academic year.


Following opening remarks by Davis Eidahl, Solon Superintendent, Jim Green, Board President, Colin Nies, representing the GWAEA Association, Chief Administrator Joe Crozier used the meeting as a platform to reinforce the 'why' related to the work at GWAEA. 

"The AEA system was created to ensure equitable, efficient services were available for all students, and improving student achievement was an implicit intention of that legislation," said Joe.  "It’s the impetus for our work. And while it's easy to focus on the 'how' related to our programs and services, we need to remember to keep sight of the 'why' we're doing the work that we do."

To help highlight the 'why', this year the agency invited
John Quinn, author of “Someone Like Me”, to share his story of determination and success. Although diagnosed at a young age with cerebral palsy, John developed a strong desire to serve his country. John shared with staff the importance of inclusion, and highlighted how he persevered in life despite pursuing a career that wasn’t inclusive of people with disabilities.

A copy of "Someone Like Me" will be available in the Grant Wood AEA media center, and twelve signed copies of "Someone Like Me" have been raffled to the following staff:


Kristine Warford
Dave Brousard
Audrey Mensen
Kathleen Curphey
Catherine Fettkether
Darcy Schaefer

Erica Jones
Kim Lestina
Katie Pahlas
Theresa Stevens
Chuck Gustafson
Dianna Zumbach

Staff who were unavailable to attend the All Agency meeting can watch this video summarizing our work in our three goal areas.




















topworkplace logo

Top Workplaces Recognition
While we won't formally be recognized as a top workplace until The Des Moines Register announcement in mid-September, staff at the All Agency meeting learned that GWAEA has earned this distinction for the fourth consecutive year. Staff who did not pick up a Top Workplaces laptop sticker at the meeting can get one from the Sixth Street office receptionist Cathy Nelson.

Network Outage Planned on Aug. 21 at 4:30 p.m.

Grant Wood AEA logo

There will be network maintenance work occurring on Monday, Aug. 21, beginning at 4:30 p.m. that will affect ALL personnel working at Sixth St. facility. This work will take several hours. Network, phone, and internet access will be affected during this outage time. 


Wireless access at both 33rd Ave. and Southern Facility as well as phones at 33rd will also be affected during this time.


This outage is for upgrades to GWAEA core network infrastructure. For questions, contact 
Brandon Watson, GWAEA network administrator.

Welcome, New GWAEA Staff



Shauntel Anderson
School Psychologist

M.Ed. and Ed.S., Bringham Young University

Shauntel was employed by Grant Wood AEA from 1993-1998.




Karly Barnard
School Social Worker

Master of Social Work, University of Northern Iowa

Karly's background includes positions as a program coordinator with B & D Services in Independence for one year, and FSRP & BHIS worker with Families First Counseling Services for 1.5 years.




Samantha Bennett
School Social Worker

Master of Social Work, UT San Antonio




Tom Bredfield
Curriculum Consultant - Literacy

Master's in Teaching, Coe College

Tom's background includes teaching positions in 2nd grade for six years and first grade for two years with the Iowa City Community School District.




Amy Courtney
Special Education Consultant

Master's in Teaching/Special Education

Amy's background includes 13 years as director of education with KeBecca Education.




Crystal Davis
Teacher: Off-Site Programs

M.Ed., Teaching & Learning, St. Mary's University

Crystal's background includes positions as a business teacher with the Independence Schools, 2014-2015, and with KeBecca at Tanager Place, 2008-2014.




Channing Doehrmann

OTA Program, Kirkwood Community College

Channing is a recent graduate of Kirkwood Community College. "I am a first-year COTA & excited to join the Grant Wood AEA team. Thank you for having me!"




Stephanie DuRocher
School Psychologist

Ed.S., University of Northern Iowa

Stephanie's background includes positions as assistant executive director with Flicking Learning Center and site coordinator, 2013-2016; school psychologist with AEA267, 2010-2012; and as a social worker serving as a foster/adoption home coordinator with Children & Families of Iowa.

Meet our new staff features will continue in upcoming issues of The Bulletin Board.

Security Awareness Training Surveys Coming Out to GWAEA Staff 

Grant Wood AEA logo

Grant Wood AEA is working with the information security and privacy firm ProCircular to deliver a security awareness training during GWAEA regional meetings this fall.


As preparation for this training, ProCircular would like each training attendee to first complete a 13-question, multiple choice pre-training questionnaire. The questionnaire is anonymous and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Questionnaire results will provide a helpful baseline for tracking training effectiveness.

Staff will receive an email from Renee Nelson inviting them to complete the survey. We appreciate your support in completing the survey as we work on this important initiative. 

Solar Eclipse: Through the Eyes of NASA

Live video streams of the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse, from NASA Television and locations across the country, will be available in the Grant Wood Room and the Creative Commons areas from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Stop in over lunch or an afternoon break to safely view the eclipse.

This show will cover the path of totality the eclipse will take across the United States, from Oregon to South Carolina. The program will feature views from NASA research aircraft, high-altitude balloons, satellites and specially-modified telescopes. It also will include live reports from Charleston, as well as from Salem, Oregon; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Beatrice, Nebraska; Jefferson City, Missouri; Carbondale, Illinois; Hopkinsville, Kentucky; and Clarksville, Tennessee.

AEA Special Education Procedures Manual Update

The AEA Special Education Procedures Manual (aka "red book") has been updated as of July 1, 2017. Please refer to this link for the Special Education Procedures Release Notes - July 1, 2017. (On the GWAEA website, visit Educators, Special Education, Procedures and Forms.)

AEA Special Education Procedures graphic

The Release notes highlight the changes that have been made in the updated manual. The key update topics include: Types of IEP Meetings, Guidelines for Making Changes to an IEP, Unique Placement (including 4+ Programs), Expectations for IEP Goal Monitoring, FBA/BIP Updates, Discipline Flowchart, Medicaid References in the Procedures, Placing Weighted Enrollment Factor Matrices Back in Procedures, Updated Parental Right Summary (Note: Your existing stock of summaries may be used, but the June 2017 version should be used for new print orders).

You may want to download the updated AEA Special Education Procedures Manual to your laptop or iPad for easier access. 

For information, contact Erin Welsh, GWAEA facilitator, Special Education Procedures,
ext. 6806.

Reminder: FASTBridge K-6 Literacy Training Underway

The Department of Education is transitioning to a new statewide data system for K-6 literacy through FASTBridge Learning. To help school districts with this transition, comprehensive training via webinars and regional face-to-face meetings are being offered now through the end of October. These training slots are limited and information needed to register for the training is being distributed to district participants by their principals or superintendents. 


Here are a few key answers to recent questions the DE has received about the training and the transition:

  • The DE has the capacity to train a few people from each school or district, and the expectation is that the people who receive training will use the available resources to help train others in their building.

  • The DE is still considering how to collect screening data from schools not using the FAST system.  

  • The screening windows for 17-18 for all schools (other than the three Iowa year-round schools) are defined by the IDOE and shall not be changed by the district:

Fall: September 11 to October 6
Winter: January 15 to February 9
Spring: April 23 to May 18


The Department will provide ongoing communication and support throughout this important transition. AEA staff who are interested in more frequent updates can sign up to receive regular Early Warning System email updates.

Thank You

I want to share my sincere appreciation to my GWAEA colleagues who sent messages of sympathy and support after the passing of my mother, Kathie Short, this summer. It is truly wonderful to be a part of this GWAEA family and I appreciate the relationships I have here.
Thank you.


Kelli Robertson

IPERS Retirement Planning Sessions

Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System logo

Get detailed information about your retirement account by speaking with an IPERS representative during an individual appointment. Learn about possible retirement dates, benefit option payouts, and service purchase options. These retirement planning sessions are an excellent resource if you are thinking of retirement in the next 5 years.


Aug. 21-24, 2017


Location: Kirkwood Linn County Regional Center, 1770 Boyson Rd., Hiawatha   

Individual Appointments - Aug. 21, 22, 23, 24, 2017


Individual Appointments:
Nov. 27, 28, 29 & 30, 2017


Cedar Rapids

Location: Residence Inn
1900 Dodge Rd NE
Cedar Rapids 

Individual Appointments:
Dec. 4, 5, 6 & 7, 2017



Location: Country Inn & Suites
2571 Heartland Pl


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.

Discounted football tickets - Iowa AND Iowa State games

Iowa AEA logo graphic


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:

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 Screening and Flu Shots to any interested staff members this fall. Click on the previous links to register.


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.


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 registrations accepted each week!

Next session starts August 22, 2017

Weight Watchers @ Work Program logo

Incentive for GWAEA Employees: Any member new to our fall At Work meeting will receive $50 at the end of the session or they can apply the $50 towards the spring session.*


Incentive for New Member: Free item if you join prior to Aug. 23. **


Membership Opportunity extended to staff, family and friends of Grant Wood AEA (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.


*$50 reimbursement incentive will be refunded or used towards next session if you attend 80% of the weekly meetings during the 12-week session this fall
**Free items available while supplies last


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 Gants ( with questions or to sign up.

Chair Massage Schedule

Cedar Rapids: Contact Stacy Murphy to schedule.

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

Save the Date... Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017

GWAEA Team - Especially for You® Race Against Breast Cancer

Early Bird Discount Through Aug. 31
Save some money! The early bird discount deadline is approaching and will expire at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 31. 


Beginning Sept. 1, the registration fee will increase from $30 to $35 for adults. The registration fee for kids 15 and under will remain at $20.


Register online under team Grant Wood AEA


Race packet pick-up at Grant Wood AEA


Especially For You Race

Grant Wood AEA Book Club to meet Dec. 5 or 6, 2016

Grant Wood AEA Book Club will kick off the year with the book "Someone Like Me: An Unlikely Story of Challenge and Triumph Over Cerebral Palsy" by John W. Quinn. Come join your colleagues in a great discussion about this resource.


gwaea book club

Dec. 5, 12-12:30 p.m. or

Dec. 6, 4:00-4:30 p.m.

Oct. 10, 12 -12:30 p.m. in Media Center Commons
Oct. 12, 4:00-4:30  p.m. in Media Center Commons


Please contact Deanna Weber for further information.

Grant Wood AEA Seminar Series 2017-2018


Wake Up Call: Break Down Barriers to High Impact Instruction

A wake-up call is needed in education to ensure that we meet the needs of our students, parents and communities in the digital age. More specifically, there is a palpable need for schools to implement high-impact instructional strategies- leveraging the power of technology to influence instruction. Learn how to build school and district resources to build a
Culture of No Excuses for staff, parents and students.

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


South Slope Community Center
980 N. Front St.
North Liberty, Iowa


Number: 19501-17-01



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


Grant Wod AEA Seminar Series. Michael Meechin, Wake Up Call: Break Down Barriers to High Impact Instruction

See flyer for details.


Michael Meechin is a high school principal, educational consultant, speaker and writer. Michael speaks and writes on topics that include educational
reform, high-impact instructional strategies, grading & assessment, and instructional technology.

Registration deadline: 6:00 a.m. on Aug. 23, 2017



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

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























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

2017-2018 Grant Wood AEA Child Find Courses

GWAEA Behavior PD Courses

Document Based Questions (DBQ)

Project Workshop

Sept. 26, 2017

GWAEA Behavior PD Courses

Mindfulness 101: Changing Your Relationship with Stress

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.

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