Grant Wood AEA logo  
The Bulletin Board

Mark Your Calendar:

April 30

4:00 - 4:30 p.m.

BOAST Autism Seminar Series


May 3
12:00-12:30 p.m.

Eat with us! Embrace Accessible Technologies


May 6

2018-2019 TQ Date


May 24

Early release at 3 p.m.,

Memorial Day


June 10-Aug. 9, 2019

GWAEA Summer Hours


Aug. 6-7 (Tues-Wed) and
Aug. 12-13 (Mon-Tues)

New Staff Orientation


Wednesday, Aug. 14

All Agency Meeting - Solon

Aug. 15-16 (Thursday-Friday)

PD Palooza



In This issue:

On the Road with John Speer - Early ACCESS
GWAEA Summer Hours
Personal wellness goal achieved thanks to Live Healthy Iowa 10 Week Challenge
Corridor Corporate Games
Employee Insurance Benefits
VAST Summer Help
GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet, May 9
Retirement Celebrations
Chair Massage schedule for May
Get Fit Don't Sit Day, May 1
Eat with us! Embrace Accessible Technologies
BOAST Autism Series
GWAEA Professional Learning Opportunities
Buy, Sell or Trade
Lost and Found


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


On the Road with John Speer
A Home Visit with Early ACCESS


On the Road with John Speer - Grant Wood AEA

This month I had the chance to learn a little more about our Early ACCESS services. Service Coordinator Stacie Breitbach arranged for me to join her and other members of the AEA staff on a home visit with a family that has been using Grant Wood AEA’s Early ACCESS services for their son. This meeting was a six month review of services, and our team was discussing transition planning as the little guy was going to turn three in the next month and would move on to preschool.


John Speer, Stacie Breitbach and Pat Boeding discuss Early ACCESS services.

John Speer, Stacie Breitbach and Pat Boeding discuss Early ACCESS services.


This particular kiddo was receiving support from many of our staff. During my visit Autism Consultant De Wagner, Speech-Language Pathologist Hannah Hartlieb, and Itinerant Preschool Teacher
Pat Boeding
worked with Stacie to guide the parent through the transition process.

I think it’s probably pretty typical for a parent to have some apprehension during a time of transition, and to have questions about what might change and how those changes could impact a child’s progress.  Our staff talked very patiently about the process. Our staff asked things like, “What are your dreams for him?” when probing the parent for transitional and ongoing goals for the child. They helped the parent understand the changes she would be seeing in our services as her son transitioned from home-based to school-based supports.

The little guy was running around the backyard while we were having our meeting, and our staff often paused to praise him, engage with him, laugh with the mom, and really seemed to enjoy the meeting. Our staff had seen great progress in their time spent with our little client, which included vocal responses and engaged play that hadn’t been evident when they started working with him.


John Speer joins De Wagner, Stacie Breitbach, Hannah Hartlieb, and Pat Boeding

John Speer joins De Wagner, Stacie Breitbach, Hannah Hartlieb, and Pat Boeding for an
Early ACCESS home visit.

I can't tell you how well our staff worked with the family, and how evident it was that they had built really strong relationships with the mother delivering early access interventions. This was a solid base to work with toward transition to pre-school options.

Grant Wood AEA Summer Hours, June 10 - Aug. 9, 2019

Agency hours during the summer (beginning the second Monday in June through the second Friday in August) are from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a half-hour lunch period. Staff have the opportunity to work a flex-time, 9-hour day Mondays through Thursdays (7:30 a.m.– 5 p.m.) and four hours on Fridays, leaving at 11:30 a.m. However, arrangements must be made for areas to be covered at all times. Any other deviations from the normal work hours will be handled within each program.

Click here to reference Administrative Regulation AR #4190A concerning flex-time and summer hours.


Jonathan Wylie achieves personal goal thanks to
Live Healthy Iowa 10 Week Wellness Challenge

Let's Get Moving 10-Week Wellness Challenge, Jan. 14 - March 22, 2019

Jonathan Wylie, GWAEA technology consultant, used the Live Healthy Iowa 10 Week Wellness Challenge to establish and achieve a personal goal. The goal was to train and complete his first 5K race.


On Saturday, April 13, Jonathan’s goal became a reality when he completed the Live Healthy Iowa 5K (3.1-miles) in Hiawatha.


“This was my first 5K, my first competitive running endeavor,” Jonathan shared. “Participating in the 5K was a direct result of the agency participating in the Live Healthy Iowa 10 Week Challenge.”

Live Healthy Iowa 5K number and award

“My wife was surprised and skeptical when I first told her I wanted to run, but she was proud to cheer me on,” he shared. “I liked setting a goal and having the chance to rise to a challenge.”


Jonathan started off training by walking on his family’s home treadmill. “At the same time, I researched apps, because there is an app for everything. I found Get Running, a couch to 5K training app that had a nine-week fitness regime to help me prepare.”

“The app gradually builds your stamina by starting with short one-minute runs, and they increase each week until you are running 30 minutes or more,” he shared. “I started training on Feb. 9 and ran outside three times a week in order to prepare for the race.”


Jonathan said his plans are to continue running. “I actually enjoyed running once I got over some mental hurdles and realized that I can actually do this,” he said. “I will look at competing in other 5K opportunities in the future.”


Congratulations, Jonathan!

Corridor Corporate Games

Have you created a new dashboard for the
Corridor Corporate Games

Creating a dashboard is easy! This video details the instructions. Thanks to Mary Kray and
Kim Martin
for participating in the video.


One of the Corridor Corporate Games activities is the 2nd Annual Meals from the Heartland Cedar Rapids Hunger Fight, which will be held at the DoubleTree Convention Complex, June 14-15. The goal is to package 300,000 meals, many of which will stay in the area to feed those who are hungry. 

Cedar Rapids Hunger Fight

Yes, I would like to participate. How do I sign up?  

Use the GWAEA Registration link. While the registration is linked to the Corridor Corporate Games, we need a separate Google registration and not through the dashboard for this event only.


May 1 - The packaging shifts will be announced.

Time commitment - two hours

Who can sign up? Register as an individual or a team of friends, family, neighbors, or a church group. Teams of 10 will work together to fill the meal pouches. 


This is a family friendly event:  ages 5 to 105 are welcome!

Employee Insurance Benefits


Annual enrollment is here! And while it can be tempting to keep the same benefits you had last year, you may have even better options available. Fortunately, you also have myWellmark: a tool that can help you make smart benefit choices and save big money — and it’s right at your fingertips.


How does myWellmark work? Choosing health benefits can be overwhelming: There’s lots to think about, and lots of important decisions to make. But with the member portal myWellmark, you can get fast access to all of your benefits information in one secure place. And, you can find tools that help you analyze and plan your spending … all of which can help you choose the coverage that’s right for you.


What tools can help me during annual enrollment? When you log in to myWellmark, you’ll find an easy-to-navigate user dashboard that will point you to a suite of tools for smart choices and savings.

• Generate year-to-date spending reports. Use the reports to see what you and your family have spent on care. You may find that you currently have too much coverage and can select a more cost-effective plan.

• Shop for planned procedures. Does anyone you cover have a medical procedure coming up? You can compare costs from quality local providers, which can help you set aside funds for future spending and pay less overall.

• Check drug costs. Are you or a family member taking any new medications? Do you think you may this year? Review the costs of medications at your preferred pharmacy so you can choose the right coverage and plan for future spending.


What else can myWellmark do? Not just for annual enrollment, myWellmark is a great tool to have at your your fingertips all year round. With myWellmark, you can:

• Access your Wellmark ID card on the go … no more digging through your purse or wallet!
• Find doctors, hospitals and pharmacies in your network
• Track detailed claim statuses
• See how close you are to meeting your deductible and out-of-pocket maximums
• Use fingerprint and facial recognition for easy mobile login


Want more from your coverage? Use myWellmark to choose the plan that’s right for you! Register today at, download the free app, and log in now to explore all the tools and savings. REGISTER NOW


Questions regarding this annual insurance open enrollment / open choice period should be directed to Cathy Kearns in Business Services at or 319-399-6706.

VAST Center Summer Help

Grant Wood AEA VAST Center

The Grant Wood AEA VAST Center may need some additional help this summer. If you know of someone who might be interested in a temporary work assignment (up to 40 hours per week for 6-10 weeks) over the summer, have them contact Kathy Resewehr, GWAEA Human Resources, or call 319-399-6748.

Reservations are due May 2

GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet
Thursday, May 9, 2019

GWAEA Staff Recognition and Partnerships Banquet

All employees with 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 or 45 years of employment with
GWAEA, retirees, and persons nominated and selected by agency staff will be honored.


Congratulations to the following award recipients:

Bob and Rich Butikofer/Volunteers at VAST Center - Friend of Education
Daniel Sackett, Technology Systems Technician - Caring Colleague
Brenda Hayes, Level 2/3 Sp Ed Teacher, North Cedar Community - Education Partner

Cliff Ehlinger, Grant Wood AEA Leadership for Learning


Bella Sala, 205 S. Park Rd., Tiffin

Social Hour: 5:00 p.m.
Dinner: 6:00 p.m.

Register and Reserve a Table Online


The Evening's Menu:
Roast beef, zesty chicken, baked potato, green bean
almondine, Caesar salad, fresh fruit, dinner rolls, coffee,
ice tea & water, and assorted desserts

Cost: GWAEA board members and employees: $13; spouses, friends and retired staff: $25 per person


Checks may be made payable to Grant Wood AEA.​



Retirement Celebrations!

Please join us for a Retirement Celebration in honor of Donna Claflin, Deb Robin, Terri Ford. May 10, 2019, 3-4 p.m., 4401 Sixth St. SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Celebrating the Retirements of Karla Cigrand, Karin McKeone, Jane Meyer, and Debra Robin.


Chair Massage Schedule for April and May

Cedar Rapids: May 1, May 15 and May 29. Contact Stacy Murphy to schedule.

Coralville: A link to a shared registration doc is available from Sue Heath.

Celebrate National Get Fit Don’t Sit Day on Wednesday, May 1

American Diabetes Association

The American Diabetes Association recommends that everyone get up and move at least once every 90 minutes throughout the workday to increase wellness and reduce sedentary activity.


Join the GWAEA GROW team on May 1 to celebrate National Get Fit Don’t Sit Day for a walk as an individual or group at each agency facility:

Sixth St:  

33rd Ave:   


10:30 a.m. - meet in front of the building

12:00 p.m. - meet in back by the tech desk

12:30 p.m. - meet in front of room 500

Eat with us! Embrace Accessible Technologies


EAT with Us! - Embrace Accessible Technologist

The Eat with us! schedule PDF


Mark your calendar:

May 3, 2019 - Self-Advocacy for AT
May 17, 2019 - UDL & the Expert Learner


Join future presentations using Zoom:
Or in Zoom, Meeting ID = 703 027 4197

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


For more information, contact Julie Freed or
Maggie Pickett.

5 Gotta Have Chrome Extensions for the English Learner
April 18, 2019

5 Gotta Have Chrome Extensions for the English Learner 
April 18, 2019

BOAST Autism Seminar Series


The last BOAST Autism Seminar Series presentation for 2019-2020 is scheduled for April 30 on the topic of Transitions. Visit the Google Doc to access session archives. For information, contact Kelli Robertson or Lindsay Swartzendruber.

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.


April 2019

Early Emergent Literacy Instruction for Students With Significant Disabilities and Communication Needs

Feb. 12, 2019 and
March 27, 2019

Early Emergent Literacy Instruction for Students With Significant Disabilities and Communication Needs

April 22, 2019 and
May 30, 2019

Substitute Authorization Class

Substitute Authorization Class


June 2019

BASES Conference
June 10-11, 2019

BASES Conference
June 10-11, 2019

School Garden 101
June 12-14, 2019

School Garden 101
June 12-14, 2019


July 2019

GWAEA Summer Math Professional Learning Courses 2019

GWAEA Summer Math Professional Learning Courses 2019



August 2019

Teaching Writing with Confidence
Aug. 5, Oct. 24, 2019

Teaching Writing with Confidence
Aug. 5, Oct. 24, 2019

Stepping Stones to Switch Access
Aug. 22, 2019

Stepping Stones to Switch Access
Aug. 22, 2019


October 2019

Visible Learningplus 
John Hattie, Peter DeWitt
Oct. 16, 2019

Visible Learningplus
John Hattie, Peter DeWitt
Oct. 16, 2019


Evaluator Approval Information

Professional Administrator Licenses require approved Evaluator Approval coursework as a part of the licenses renewal credits. Various course options are available throughout the state. 
A listing of upcoming courses is available on the AEA Course catalog or on the DE website

Buy, Sell and Trade:

For sale: Troy-Bilt Pony tractor, 7-speed transmission. 3 1/2 years old. Includes 46 'Snow plow blade with wheel weights/chains. PMower deck + twin bagger. $1,200.00. Questions? Call Bernie 319-530-0214.

Lost and Found:

See Cathy Nelson at the switchboard to claim.

gold bracelet  



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.