Grant Wood AEA logo  
The Bulletin Board

In This issue:

GWAEA PRIDE: Proudly Recognizing Innovation, Dedication & Excellence
- Regional CTE RPP
- Beginning Teacher Network
Welcome, New GWAEA Staff
Education Directory Update
All Agency Inservice Buttons
FYI: Literacy Screening Window Changes
Child Find Site has Moved
Security Awareness Training Surveys Coming Out to GWAEA Staff 
All Agency Calendar
AEA Special Education Procedures Manual Update
IPERS Retirement Planning Sessions
Discovery Education STEM Leadership Symposium, Oct. 5
Feed the Need Lunchbox Fundraiser
Discounted Football Tickets
Improve Your Student Loan Situation
GWAEA Health Screening/Fight the Flu
GWAEA GROW News/Upcoming Events
GWAEA Professional Development Opportunities
Buy, Sell or Trade


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

- Regional CTE (Career and Technical Education) Planning Partnership (RPP)

- Beginning Teacher Network

The Regional CTE (Career and Technical Education) Planning Partnership (RPP) is a collaborative group of AEA, community college, community representatives and school district representatives that have been tasked with planning for the efficient and effective delivery of high-quality secondary CTE programming in our region.


RPP district support is provided by Chad Blanchard, GWAEA school improvement consultant and Keith Stamp, GWAEA regional administrator. Donna Alger provides administrative support for the RPP.



The Iowa Department of Education defines career and technical education (CTE) in Iowa as including organized educational programs offering a sequence of courses which are directly related to the preparation of individuals in employment in current or emerging occupations.

Grant Wood AEA PRIDE


The vision of the RPP is to ensure students have consistent and equitable access to high quality Career and Technical education programs. The RPP serves as a catalyst for bringing together educators around a topic where we are philosophically already aligned.


Grounded in data from our region, one of the first RPP tasks has been to understand the current state of CTE in districts. A survey of every district in our region found that most districts had no staff licensed to provide work experience learning for credit within their building. 


During summer of 2017, the Region 10 RPP provided training that licensed 32 regional teachers so they will be available to offer maintenance of certification (MOC) learning. This will help districts engage in planning this fall, and as a result, an increase in work-based learning courses available for students is anticipated.

Grant Wood AEA Beginning Teacher Network

The Grant Wood AEA Beginning Teacher Network welcomed more than 100 first and second-year teachers to the first session of the year on Sept.6. The focus of the session was on building relationships.


The Beginning Teacher Network will meet four times during the course of the school year. Follow the Grant Wood AEA Beginning Teacher Network on Twitter: #gwBTN.

Welcome, New GWAEA Staff



Emily Logan
Curriculum Consultant - Math

M.A., University of Northern Iowa

Emily's background includes positions as a math teacher at Marion High School for nine years, and an 8th grade math teacher at Vernon Middle School for five years.




Rachel Manternach
School Social Worker

M.S.W. , University of Northern Iowa

Rachel was a therapist with Tanager Place for 14 years.




Samantha McVancel
School Psychologist

Ed.S., University of Iowa

Samantha's background includes positons as WISE Mentoring Program Coordinator at the Unversity of Iowa, June 2012-June 2017; and math teacher positions at Marana High School, July 2011-May 2012, and at Aprende Middle School, July 2009-May 2011.




Kathy Meisgeier
Special Education Consultant

M.A.E., University of Northern Iowa

Kathy held positions as a special education teacher at West Delaware, 1991-2017, and at Maquoketa Valley, 1988-1991.




Dana Merfeld
Curriculum Consultant - Math

M.A., Viterbo University

Dana held positions with the Monticello Community School District, 2000-2017, and with Aquin Elementary, 1993-2000.




Amber A. Miller

A.A., Kirkwood Community College





Laura Musser
Curriculum Consultant - Science

M.A., Buena Vista University

Laura has held positions as a science teacher for seven years and as a TAG teacher for five years.




Katie Petersen
Special Education Consultant

M.A., University of Iowa

Katie's background includes 13 years as a special education teacher with the College Community Schools.




Ami Proctor
Curriculum Consultant - SPEL

M.A., Graceland University

Ami held positions as a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade teacher and Title 1 reading/math teacher with the Cedar Rapids Schools for 18 years.

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

Education Directory Update


There are two ways to access information about our LEA partners. You can access details:


1.  Through this map on our website, which has been updated with this year's information, or 


2. Access the 2017-18 Education Directory. This data has been updated and is current for the year. We no longer printing large quantities of this document, but will coordinate hard copies for staff who would like one. You can make requests for the directory here.

All Agency Inservice Button

Interested in a button for your All-Agency Inservice collection? Please contact 
Cathy Nelson
, 6544 or click here  to place your button order by Friday, Sept.8, 2017.


FYI: Literacy Screening Window Changes

A message from the Department of Education Thursday shared that the fall screening window ahas shifted as the DE adjusts from using Iowa TIER to the FAST application for the state's early warning data system.

FastBridge Learning, in partnership with the Department, has worked as quickly as possible to get their system ready for the fall screening window. However, there are still some districts that are not ready to begin screening on Monday when the fall window opens. The Department has decided to extend the fall screening window by two weeks for all districts and schools. The fall screening window will now run from Sept. 11 through Oct. 20. 

Child Find Site Has Moved

The Grant Wood Child Find Site has been updated and now is available! 

The new site houses information about Child Find and also Child Found. There are special education resources for both completing the child find process as well as working with special education teacher and IEP resources. Included are such favorites as IDM docs and now the IEP binder of resources we give out to all new special education teachers. The site is available to all GWAEA staff at the following tinyurl: Please bookmark this resource!  

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. 


All Agency Calendar

Ever wonder who is having a region meeting or when your next discipline meeting may be? The agency has an All Agency Calendar you can subscribe to and layer it with your calendar. Here is a link with directions on how to add it to your Google Calendar.


AEA Special Education Procedures Manual Update

Attached you will find an ADDITIONAL update to the July 2017 Release Notes regarding FBAs and BIPs. This contains new information and some changes from what was originally released in the July 1 Release Notes.

AEA Special Education Procedures graphic

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.)


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.

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.


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.

Feed the Need Lunchbox Fundraiser

Join us for the September Lunchbox Fundraiser being offered Sept. 19, 20, and 21. Businesses, organizations, and individuals can order lunches for only $12 and have them delivered. $6 of each meal goes directly to help feed adults who are homebound and area children in need. To order for yourself, your group or your event contact Cathy Nelson,
ext. 6544. To order for a Southern Facility delivery on Sept. 21, contact Sue Heath, ext. 1137.

Send your choice and payment (cash or check made payable to Horizons Lunchbox) to the attention of Cathy Nelson, Sixth Street front , or Sue Heath for Southern Facility.)


Orders need to be submitted in advance so please use the following schedule to assure you get a lunch on the day you choose.


To get a lunch on Tuesday, Sept. 19 order by 4:00 p.m., Friday, the 15th

To get a lunch on Wednesday, Sept. 20 order by 3:00 p.m., Monday, the 18th

To get a lunch on Thursday, Sept. 21 order by 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, the 19th 


Discovery Education STEM Leadership Symposium, Oct. 5

Discovery Education is hosting TWO STEM Leadership Symposiums in early October. Dr. Cindy Moss, vice-presidentof Global STEM Initiatives, brings a wealth of knowledge—and passion—in the area of STEM. Target audience: Superintendent, District Level Administrators, or Building Leaders with a passion for STEM.

Iowa City
Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

*Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided.

Location: Liberty High School, 1400 S. Dubuque St. North Liberty

Click Here for Information and to RSVP for Iowa City. A tour the new Liberty High School is planned after lunch on Oct. 5.

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.

Deadline to Register: Friday, Sept. 8, 2017

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,


Are you looking for recycled surplus office supplies? 
Please donate items that no longer bring you joy to your favorite charity (i.e., coffee mugs, t-shirts, outdated books)

recycle sympol

Reuse or Recycle the following items:

Sixth Street facility: Shelf in the hallway between Van Distribution and the Dock for:

  • surplus binders

  • rubber bands

  • interoffice envelopes

  • desk organizer

Contact: Rene Van Gerpen, ext. 6743,


Creative Services area in the Sixth Street facility

  • green hanging folders (8.5x11 and 8.5x14)

  • plastic tabs (long and short) and inserts / surplus tabs should be separated into long/short and remove insert

  • paperclips (standard and large, separated)

  • scratch paper and pads

  • 3-ring binders - binders will be sorted/surplus binders available on

  • surplus shelf in hallway

  • pocket folders

  • manila folders

Contact:  Hope Runge, ext. 6435,

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.


Join members of the GROW committee to celebrate the American Diabetes Association’s National Healthy Lunch Day.

Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Sixth Street: Autumn room
Room 500
33rd Avenue:
Staff lunch/break room

Grant Wood AEA staff, bring a healthy dish to share at the National Healthy Lunch Day potluck at one of the three facilities.


Check out the Healthy Swaps Tips


Why is National Healthy Lunch Day so important? Most of us are uncertain about what’s best to eat, what’s healthful and what’s not. Often our food choices are full of calories, yet lack the vitamins and minerals that we need for energy and to feel our best. Our wellness goal is to promote good nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle and help everyone make better food choices.


Check out 4 easy lunch recipes to inspire you for National Healthy Lunch Day

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 Sept. 13. Contact Sue Heath for the registration link.

Live Healthy Iowa: The Next Step Challenge

Take steps to a healthier you!  Register today!

How it works
Teams of 2-10 Iowans compete in an active competition tracking the number of steps accumulated. Through an online dashboard, members report their step count in effort to move their team up the challenge leaderboard. Participants have the ability to connect with Fitbit devices and Under Armour apps for easy tracking and reporting. 

Live Healthy Iowa The Next Step Challenge

For just $10, each team member receives:

  • Live Healthy Iowa pedometer

  • Personal online dashboard with the ability to sync devices and apps

  • Weekly motivational messages

  • Unlimited access to online tools and resources

  • Opportunities to win team and individual prizes

Additional benefits...

  • The first 1,000 registrants will receive a free issue of Iowa Outdoors Magazine

  • All registrants can enjoy a FREE Hy-Vee Supermarket Tour! Enjoy an aisle-by-aisle tour to discover healthy new food choices. Perfect for groups of 2 to 12 people.

    Register here.

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

News from the YMCA

For information on the following, contact our YMCA Corporate Contact, Deanna Haddy, ext. 6762.

YMCA logo

GWAEA Try the Y for Free
Sept. 5-12, 2017

Try the Y for FREE during GWAEA week at the Y during Sept. 5-12.  If you join the YMCA during this week, the JOIN FEES will be waived saving you $50-$75.

YMCA Be Good to Yourself flyer

New GWAEA Employee

Use this link to print the New Employee Voucher. Use this within 30 days of your hire date to sign up for a YMCA membership and we'll waive the JOIN FEE. That's saving you $50-$75.

YMCA New Employee flyer

Everyone Belongs Here!!

Find out the Benefits of a YMCA Membership here to learn about the 15% discount membership rates.

YMCA Corporte Membership

Join a Family

Find out about the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Area and the five Y locations.

YMCA information

Grant Wood AEA Book Club to meet Oct. 10, 12

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.

Shoe Drive to Benefit
Friends of the Shelter


Friends of the Shelter is hosting
a shoe drive through Oct. 15.


Donate gently worn, used or new shoes.
The collection box will be in the breakroom.


See contact Stacy Murphy for details.


Shoe Drive to Benefit Friends of the Shelter

See flyer for details.

Grant Wood AEA Seminar Series 2017-2018

GWAEA Seminar Series

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

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

Blended Learning for School Teams


September 2017

GWAEA Behavior Professional Development

GWAEA Behavior PD Courses


Leadership for Continuous Improvement

2017-2018 Leadership for Continuous Improvement: Building Collective Efficacy

GWAEA Assistive Technology

GWAEA Assistive Tech


GWAEA Child Find Courses

2017-2018 Grant Wood AEA Child Find Courses

Document Based Questions (DBQ) Project Workshop Sept. 26, 2017

Document Based Questions (DBQ)

Project Workshop

Sept. 26, 2017

Mindfulness 101

Mindfulness 101: Changing Your Relationship with Stress

October 2017

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshops 2017-2018

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshops


Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshops

The Write Stuff Workshop

Oct. 27, 2017



January 2018

Teaching Transparently

Teaching Transparently

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



April 2018

Teaching Transparently Support Workshops

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

Buy, Sell or Trade

Free - you haul. Pioneer TV 53" - In working condition. Contact Kathy Resewehr,


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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