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The Bulletin Board

Mark Your Calendar

Oct. 10-Nov. 2, 2018 -
United Way Campaign


Nov. 2, 2018 - Eat with us!
SETT: Student Case Studies for Reading & Writing, 12:00-12:30 p.m

Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018

Agency closes at 3 p.m. in observance of Thanksgiving


Nov. 27, 2018 - Boast - Holiday Considerations, 4:00 - 4:30 p.m.


Agency Holiday Potlucks

Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.


Dec. 12, 2018 - First Responder & CPR Training, Sixth St.


Agency Holiday Potlucks

Sixth Street

Wednesday, Dec, 19, 2018
11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.


Monday, Dec. 24, 2018, 3 p.m.
Agency closes for winter break at
3 p.m. and will reopen on Tuesday,
Jan. 2, 2019, at 7:30 a.m.

In This issue:

GWAEA PRIDE: Proudly Recognizing Innovation, Dedication & Excellence
Agency Early Release Dates
Diga Know? Iowa’s Digital Learning Plan Is Ready!
Winter Weather Closings
Our Condolences...
A Message for Grant Wood AEA Health Plan Participants
Grant Wood AEA Family AAC-tivity Night
United Way Campaign,
Oct. 11-Nov. 3

Get the Benefit of Student Loan Financial Planning with Fiducius
GWAEA GROW Quicklinks
GWAEA Professional Learning 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


The Iowa Reading Research Center published a blog article on Oct. 23, "Turning to Systematic Improvements to Boost Middle School Literacy Achievement," featuring GWAEA Curriculum Consultants
Wendy Anderson, Chris Klostermann and Laura Johnson.


The article highlights the collaborative work of the IRRC and GWAEA to support middle schools with strengthening their organizational structures and the literacy instruction helping adolescents to be successful.

Grant Wood AEA PRIDE

Kris Donnelly, GWAEA programs/services administrator, shared that the article highlights expanding the agency's support for MTSS implementation into middle school through a partnership with
Dr. Deborah Reed and the IRRC. "The purpose of our partnership is to provide learning opportunities and implementation support for middle schools that are ready to address the needs of all adolescent learners through a Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports model," she said. "We are excited about the opportunity to work with Dr. Reed."


The article includes information about a new cohort planned during the spring of 2019 that will begin the work in schools. Congratulations!

Agency Early Release Dates

Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, Monday, Dec. 24, 2018 and Friday, May 24, 2019, agency closing at 3 p.m.


Historically Grant Wood Area Education Agency has made the decision to close the agency early on three afternoons throughout the year. We will be adjusting one of these three dates as we strive to continue offering some early release times for staff while recognizing our role as a public organization.


Please note that all agency offices will continue to close at 3 p.m. the Wednesday before the Thanksgiving holiday and the day before winter break. The agency will no longer close early on Good Friday, and instead will close at 3 p.m. the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. (These occurrences during this fiscal year include Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, Monday, Dec. 24, 2018 and Friday, May 24, 2019).


When agency offices close at 3 p.m. on these dates, staff scheduled to work their regular full day may plan to end meetings, appointments and other activities at that time and are not required to use paid leave during the time the agency is closed. (As a reminder, for no leave time to be required during the closing staff must be scheduled and present to work their regular, full day on the early release date.  Any missed work time on an early release date, either scheduled leave time or an unanticipated absence, is to be reported as usual and is not affected by the agency closing.)  


Agency centers will close at 3 p.m. on the early release dates and will not be staffed during the closing. 


We hope that sharing this change early will help staff adjust their calendars and plans accordingly.

Diga Know? Iowa’s Digital Learning Plan Is Ready!

Iowa’s Digital Learning Plan, a collaborative effort between the Iowa Department of Education, Iowa’s Area Education Agencies and school districts, is ready to roll!

The Plan includes sections relevant to all educators and administrators:


  • Teaching with Technology

  • Engaging and Empowering Learning through Technology

  • Assessment

  • Infrastructure

Digital Learning Plan Goal

The Plan’s goal is to provide a vision for what digital learning could look like in Iowa with the hope of bridging the gap that exists between islands of excellence around the state.


Through the stories and resources provided, a vision will be created for what digital learning could look like if fully implemented. Interested educators can draw upon the information contained herein to develop a picture of the desired state for their own classrooms or schools.


The effective use of digital learning will help districts address Iowa Core’s Universal Constructs and what is often referred to as the 4Cs. The 4Cs, according to the Partnership for 21st Century Learning (2017), include creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking. The Iowa Core’s Universal Constructs incorporate these four concepts and include flexibility and adaptability, and productivity and accountability. If used planfully, digital learning can aid districts in ensuring that all students are able to show mastery with each of these constructs. Teachers can plan lessons to address one or more of these constructs and use digital learning devices or resources as tools to allow a student to master the constructs being addressed.


Real Classroom Examples

The Plan includes real-life examples of digital learning and videos of teachers modeling instructional practices in their classrooms.


How Do I Get My Hands on the Plan?

Visit the Iowa’s AEAs website to download the Plan. Then reach out to the AEA instructional technology consultant who serves your district for guidance as you bring digital learning to life in your school or classroom!

Printed copies of the plan will be available after Nov. 1, 2018, by contacting Stacy Behmer.

Winter Weather Closings

System test planned on Nov. 1, 2018

Winter weather is around the corner. A test of the ESS system is planned on Nov. 1.
The agency will use the ESS system information that staff updated during August 2018.


As a reminder, if the decision is made to close one or more of the Agency Centers, the communications office will notify staff using the following methods:


  • A voice mail message will be sent to all staff via the SchoolMessenger system. This system will call the numbers that you establish in the Employee Self-Service System (see below.)

  • We will record a message that will be available in all agency voice mailboxes. Through the all-call voice message, staff will be informed regarding (a) which centers are affected, (b) when the center(s) will close, (c) when the agency anticipates reopening the center(s), and (d) when the next employee update will be available.

  • We will include information on the front page of the agency website. 

  • And finally, we will contact KCRG-TV to include it in their list of closings.

Employees must update the following information in ESS to ensure they are notified through the SchoolReach system:

  • Launch ESS

  • Select Personal Information

  • Check the drop down categories available for each phone number listed.  If a number is listed as "agency use" or "Public", it will be called during our test and in the event that we activate the calling system.

Please contact Renee Nelson with questions about this process or the notification system.

Our Condolences...

  • to Julie Jensen and family on the passing of her sister-in-law, Judy Jensen, on Oct. 21.
    Julie is a GWAEA regional administrator.

A Message for Grant Wood AEA Health Plan Participants: 
Where To Get Care, Based On Your Condition

Grant Wood AEA health plan participants, did you know a majority of Americans who choose the ER truly believe their situation is an emergency, when only 20-45 percent of cases in the ER actually qualify?


That means as many as 80 percent of ER patients could save time and money by choosing another place for care based on their medical conditions.


Could you make the right choice?  Find out with this quick-glance chart.

Grant Wood AEA Family AAC-tivity Night

Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018
6:30-8:00 p.m.


Grant Wood AEA
4401 Sixth St. SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Cost: FREE!

Who’s Invited:

Parents/guardians AND children, ages
2-21, who have an identified, individual
Augmentative/Alternative Communication
(AAC) system/device for communication
and language learning.


See the flyer for details and registration information.

Grant Wood AEA Family AAC-tivity Night

United Way campaign Oct. 11-Nov. 2

Almost $10,000 raised; e-Pledge arrived to your agency email on Oct. 12

United Way

Thanks to you, the agency has raised over $10,000 so far for this year's United Way campaign!

The campaign will remain open through Nov. 2. We again offer payroll deduction and one-time giving opportunities for our staff to lend their support to the United Way. On Oct. 12, all staff received an email with an e-Pledge login to access a secure portal to make a donation.


This year there is a matching grant available to help boost the gifts given to the United Way.
The Hall-Perrine Foundation is offering a 1:1 match for all first time donations, and a 1:1 match for any increased gift pledged during this year's campaign. 


Additionally, payroll deductions also are available for staff interested in supporting Iowa Shares, a statewide coalition of social change, environmental and cultural nonprofit organizations. Iowa Shares members give direct services and create progressive, long-lasting resources for children and communities. Online giving is not available for Iowa Shares, but campaign literature is available for staff and can be requested through Renee Nelson in Communications.

Get the Benefit of Student Loan Financial Planning with Fiducius

Trying to understand all the possible ways to better manage your student loans is a daunting task. We are pleased to offer a new Loan Relief benefit from Fiducius (formerly ISLoan Solutions).


With their financial planning approach, the student loan Advisors at Fiducius help you navigate and determine your best option, including forgiveness, refinancing and consolidation. They may help you lower, or even eliminate, your student loan payment.


Your Grant Wood AEA 10 colleagues are already working with Fiducius to reduce their monthly payments by an average of 82% and are projected to receive an average of $73,000 in tax-free loan forgiveness.


It’s easy to get started with this new benefit. You can determine your eligibility and potential savings in just a few minutes and then talk with an advisor on the phone at your convenience, by using the following link:


Visit Grant Wood AEA 10 + Fiducius to register

Enter code AEA10 to learn more


 Fiducius will fully educate you about all available options and provide a personalized Student Loan Financial Wellness Plan at no cost before you decide whether or not to use their services. As with other voluntary benefits, like life insurance, you only pay Fiducius when you choose to use their services.


We encourage you to take a step to improve your financial wellness and learn if Fiducius can help you better manage your student loans.


Questions, or trouble logging in? Call 1.513.645.5400, email or visit their website for more information and success stories.

GROW Quicklinks


Contact a member of the GROW Team for information.

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

- Wellness Challenge

- Yoga Club

- YMCA - Thrive Gym

Check out the GROW Page 

Link to Lunch and Learn Video Library

Live Healthy Iowa Events

Chair massage schedule

Cedar Rapids: Oct. 31, Nov. 28, Dec. 12. Contact Stacy Murphy to schedule.

Coralville: Contact Sue Heath for the registration link.

Blast from Y's past

Employees may join the YMCA during this special offer through Oct. 31!

Discounted prices are good for one year. After the year is up, employees will then receive their corporate discount!


Any new joining member of the YMCA during the month of October will receive the savings as prices have been cut to reflect history in honor of the YMCA's 150th anniversary!


Questions? Contact Hope Runge, GWAEA YMCA corporate contact.

Eat with us! Embrace Accessible Technologies

EAT with Us! - Embrace Accessible Technologist

The Eat with us! schedule PDF


Mark your calendar:

Nov. 2, 2018 - SETT: Student Case Studies for Reading & Writing, 12:00-12:30 p.m.


Join the zoom by going to:
Or in Zoom, Meeting ID = 703 027 4197

Can’t attend live? Recorded webcasts will be posted:

BOAST Autism Seminar Series


Visit the Google Doc with session dates, presenters, and links to slide decks/resources and recordings (after the presentation date). For information, contact Kelli Robertson or
Lindsay Swartzendruber.

Professional Learning Registration

To search for a workshop or course, we recommend using the search bar with the course or section number. If you want to search for a class, we recommend using the Advanced Search option, limiting to the AEA you want to search, then searching by course title, date, subject, etc. 


Please preregister for all professional learning activities. This allows adequate time to prepare for materials and room space so that the professional learning session is comfortable for both presenters and participants. 

You may use professional learning dollars to cover registration fees (following HR policies).  If your participation is being covered by a region or program budget, work with your supervisor and support staff to confirm the budget approval prior to your registration. You will enter payment using directions provided by your support staff. Your support staff will not be registering you unless special arrangements are made. Paper registrations are no longer used by the PL office to preregister.


All participants must register including practicum students and student teachers as this allows us to ensure materials and space is adequate for all events.


Professional learning surveys are available and we would kindly ask for your timely feedback from any professional learning session that you attend. The planners and presenters both value the session feedback.

Transcripts and certificates of completion are available for download or print from your registration log in.

If you have any questions, please contact Lisa, Sue or Sherry in the Professional Learning office.
Lisa Becker 399-6771   Susan Krob 399-6767   Sherry Sines 399-6517

Grant Wood AEA Seminar Series 2018-2019

GWAEA Seminar Series

Teaching Students in Poverty

Presenter: Eric Jensen, Jensen Learning

Nov. 16, 2018

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

Grant Wood AEA
4401 Sixth St. SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Just as the phrase middle class tells us little about a person, the word poverty typically tells us little about the students we serve. We know, for example, that the poor and middle classes have many overlapping values, including valuing education and the importance of hard work (Gorski, 2008).

Teaching Students in Poverty

Presenter: Eric Jensen, 
Jensen Learning

But if children in poverty were exactly the same cognitively, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally as those from the middle class, then the exact same teaching provided to both middle-class students and students from poverty would bring the exact same results.


This session will help you understand how changes in your teaching and school environment can positively impact students in poverty to make a difference in educational outcomes for low income students.


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


Course Number: 167959
Registration Deadline: Oct. 12, 2018

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshop
Better Conversations

Presenter: Ann Hoffman

Nov. 26-27, 2018
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Grant Wood AEA
4401 Sixth St. SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Target Audience: Instructional Coaches, Teacher Leaders and Administrators

This workshop is based on Jim Knight’s book "Better Conversations: Coaching Ourselves and Each Other To Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected" (2016).

Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Workshop
Better Conversations 

Presenter: Ann Hoffman

Participants will engage in an intensive two-day exploration of six Better Conversation Beliefs and 10 Better Conversation Habits that can help anyone communicate more effectively at work and the foundation of the work of teacher leaders.


Course Number: 167708, Section Number: 249563
Registration Deadline: Nov. 12, 2018
Credit: None
Fees: $175
• Educators in Grant Wood AEA area, total for non-credit, $
• Outside of Grant Wood AEA, total for non-credit, $
• Registration is not complete until all fees are paid in full.


GWAEA Professional Learning Workshops

Grant Wood AEA Professional Learning offers a variety of workshops as well as courses for credit throughout the year. Please check the website for a list of courses and workshops. Below is a highlight of PD workshops with national and regional presenters. Please register electronically. Payment is due at the time of registration.


October 2018

2018-19 AEA Teacher Leader Support System (TLSS)
in Partnership with New Teacher Center

2018-19 AEA Teacher Leader Support System (TLSS)
in Partnership with New Teacher Center

2018-2019 GWAEA Principal Leadership Program

2018-2019 GWAEA Principal Leadership Program

Professional Learning
Oct. 2, Oct. 25,
Dec. 6, 2018, March 7, 2019

GWAEA Behavior PD Courses

2018-2019 GWAEA Behavior PD Courses

Grant Wood AEA Seminar Series 2018-2019

Grant Wood AEA
Seminar Series


2018-2019 Student-Centered Coaching

2018-2019 Student-Centered Coaching

2018-2019 Jim Knight Instructional Coaching Workshops

2018-2019 Jim Knight Instructional Coaching Workshops

2018-2019 Pete Hall - Building Capacity to Create a Culture of Reflective Practice

2018-2019 Pete Hall - Building Capacity to Create a Culture of Reflective Practice

2018-2019 Student-Centered Coaching

2018-2019 Teaching Transparently

Improving Social Communication
Aug. 13, 2018

2018-2019 Leadership for Continuous Improvement (LCI) Series

2018-2019 Leadership for Continuous Improvement

2018-2019 Leadership for Continuous Improvement

Substitute Authorization Class

Substitute Authorization Class

GWAEA Child Find Courses 2018-2019

GWAEA Child Find Courses 2018-2019

PBIS - Professional Learning & Coaching Opportunities 

PBIS - Professional Learning & Coaching Opportunities

November 2018

The Science of Learning and the Future of Teaching & School Leadership 
Nov. 7, 2018

The Science of Learning and the Future of Teaching & School Leadership
Nov. 7, 2018

Better Conversations
Nov. 26-27, 2018

Teaching Students in Poverty
Nov. 16, 2018

Better Conversations
Nov. 26-27, 2018

Better Conversations
Nov. 26-27, 2018


January 2019


Mindfulness 101:
Changing Your Relationship with Stress



2018-2019 TQ Dates

Nov 12, 2018, Feb 15 and May 6, 2019

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 Chittenden, Janet Greene, 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 and Trade

For sale: 2008 Hyundai Tucson. New battery 9/18, new tires 5/18, brakes replaced 10/17. Very clean interior, minor cosmetic flaws exterior, no rust or dents. Great student car! Regular maintenance, 216k-mostly highway. $3100. Please text/call  Robyn, 319-343-6252.


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.