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The Bulletin Board

Mark Your Calendar:

May 24

Early release at 3 p.m.,

Memorial Day


GWAEA Summer Hours

June 10-Aug. 9, 2019

7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

GWAEA Summer Hours


The Bulletin Board summer publication dates:

June 13, June 27, July 11, July 25, and Aug. 8


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: A Non-Public School Visit
Welcome, New GWAEA Staff
GWAEANowYouKnow campaign to launch May 28
A Note From Business Office/Human Resources
Our Condolences
BASES Conference
Toyota Family Teacher of the Year Award Nominations Now Open
Corridor Corporate Games
Chair Massage schedule for May
Hands Only CPR
GWAEA Professional Learning 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

On the Road with John Speer

A Non-Public School Visit
Here’s my last “On the Road” visit for the school year!


When GWAEA School Psychologist Janine Kane offered to host me for an hour one morning, she suggested that we talk with one of our non-public school’s administrative teams to learn more about work underway in their buildings.

On the Road with John Speer - Grant Wood AEA

John Speer, John Zimmerman, Janine Kane, Zach Zeckser, Jamie Larson, Janet Whitney


Janine and I were joined by Jamie Larson, St. Jude Elementary School principal;  Zach Zeckser,
Holy Family chief administrator and LaSalle Middle School principal; Janet Whitney, associate administrator, and John Zimmerman, GWAEA regional administrator who oversees support services for the Cedar Rapids region. We spent time at both St. Jude Elementary and La Salle Middle Schools, and learned about the different infrastructures and similarities between their buildings, and some of the public schools we serve.

It was great to see so many of Holy Family’s initiatives first-hand. The team highlighted their new PBIS initiative that has gained great momentum for them in the elementary building and described how they modified the program for their middle school students, including successfully starting Tier 2 Check-In/Check-Out interventions. We saw their inspirational wall murals and behavior cards, and learned about the improvements they’re seeing as a result of their PBIS implementation.

In addition, both St. Jude and LaSalle have really been digging into their data. Students from kindergarten through 6th grade have taken FAST reading and math benchmark assessments.
The teams have tapped into Grant Wood AEA resources not only to analyze data, but also to work with literacy and math consultants to design instructional changes. As a result, many of the students’ progress monitoring trendlines have shown positive growth.

Zack Zeckser, who is in his first year of leadership at Holy Family, comes from Minnesota where his school implemented the Top 20 Training. This year, students, staff, and families have begun to learn about Top 20, and as a first step, Holy Family Schools have student greeters in place in each classroom in their buildings, so that all students learn “Four at the Door” - making contact with visitors with their eyes, hands, names, and heart. When we peeked into any classroom, two students who were assigned the greeter role for the week would welcome us, tell us about their work and what they were learning. In one classroom at LaSalle, we encountered a really engaged group of kids enjoying a makerspace project. The students were researching and creating buildings and memorials related to the September 11th tragedies.

We also talked a little bit about the funding the AEA receives to provide special education assistance. Our state utilizes a complicated formula that isn’t always understood. (Here’s a big picture summary of how AEAs are funded.)

The staff and students at St. Jude and LaSalle couldn’t have been more welcoming during our visit. Special thanks to Janine for ensuring I had the opportunity to learn more about this unique aspect of our work.

Coming Next Year: More “On the Road” Visits!

This fall, you’ll see more “On the Road” visits! I’ve really enjoyed my time with our staff during these visits, and there are still a handful of staff who offered to spend time with me, and we just couldn’t get all of them scheduled this year. Other staff will have an opportunity to reach out and schedule time with me, too, if there are staff who are still interested in showing me their work with our students, teachers and administrators.

Thank you so much for your interest. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know more of you this past year!

-John S.


Welcome, New GWAEA Staff


Taylor O'Brien


Taylor O'Brien
Paraeducator Autism

B.A., University of Northern Iowa

Taylor worked at Balance Autism for two years while attending the University of Northern Iowa.


#GWAEANowYouKnow campaign to launch June 1

Grant Wood AEA logo

Summer is approaching, and this is a great time to continue sharing information about agency services with teachers and administrators using social media. 


From June 1 - Aug. 31, GWAEA Communications is planning a #GWAEANowYouKnow campaign on social media. Each day during the summer, GWAEA Communications will share one post to the agency's Facebook and Twitter accounts with agency service information of interest to teachers and administrators.


What would you like teachers and administrators to know about Grant Wood AEA services?We would like to hear your ideas! Please share your information by contacting Renee Nelson or Valerie Taylor Hill in GWAEA Communications.

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.

This is the link to the Administrative Regulation AR #4190A concerning flex-time and summer hours.


A Note From Business Office/Human Resources

In an effort to wrap up Grant Wood AEA’s fiscal year end in a timely manner the
Business Office/Human Resources staff is asking for your help. Please note the
following deadlines.


June 5, 2019 

Final deadline to submit all invoicing requests for the fiscal

year ending (July 2018 – June 2019) invoicing requests.

June 28, 2019

Final deadline to submit all leave forms for the current
work year (July 2018 – June 2019).

June 28, 2019

Final deadline to submit claims for mileage and travel
reimbursement for the fiscal year (July 2018 – June 2019).


Thank you from the Business Office/Human Resources staff.


Our Condolences...

  • to Christina Carlson on the passing of her husband, Brett, on May 20. A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, May 28, from 6 – 8 p.m. at The Legacy Center at Murdoch-Linwood, Cedar Rapids. Christina is a GWAEA occupational therapist.

  • to the family of Cheryl Caspers, who passed away on May 16, 2019. Cheryl was a GWAEA Teacher: Off-Site Programs from 2002 until she retired in 2016.

BASES - Integrating Behavior, Academic, Social and Emotional Supports

June 10-11, 2019

Today’s educators need to cover all the BASES in developing and applying support systems for students. The Grant Wood AEA BASES Conference will highlight ways to integrate behavior, academic, social and emotional support systems for students by presenting best practices and research on student behavior and social emotional support systems.

This event will allow participants to engage with leading experts to develop a system of supports to help all students develop social, emotional and academic skills.


BASES - Integrating Behavior, Academic, Social and Emotional Supports - SAVE THE DATE!

Day 1
Keynote and Breakout Sessions

Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
300 E 9th St., Coralville, Iowa

Kelly Perales
Dr. Terrance Scott,
Dr. Rosemarie Allen

Day 2
Breakout Sessions
• Youth Mental Health First Aid Training
• Behavior Basics
• Positive Psychology Interventions in Schools

Grant Wood AEA

4401 Sixth St. SW, Cedar Rapids


Instructor: Dr. Shannon Suldo

See the conference flyer for registration options.

Registration Information
GWAEA Professional Learning
319-399-6767 or 800-798-9771, ext. 6767 or



Scott Koepke and Marcia Booth
Scott Koepke and Marcia Booth

Congratulations to Scott Koepke who is the recipient of the State ISEA Friend of Education Award. 


Scott provides volunteer support for the students and teachers at the Linn County Detention Center with the garden education program. He will be honored during the State Delegate Assembly planned April 2020 in Des Moines. 


Congratulations, Scott!


Toyota Family Teacher of the Year Award Nominations Now Open

Nominations are now open for the 2019 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year award. Each year, this award recognizes the positive impact of teachers who engage families in school- and community-based educational programming. The first-place winner will receive a $20,000 grant award, and the second place winner will receive

National Center for Families Learning

a $5,000 grant award to expand their program. Information is available on the
National Center for Families Learning website.

Corridor Corporate Games

Corridor Corporate Games First Official Event is June 1

The first official event of the Corridor Corporate Games is the Nature Walk on Saturday,
June 1 at Wickiup Hill Learning Center, 10260 Morris Hills Rd., Toddville.  

In the meantime, now is a great time to log into your Dashboard and declare interest for events!   


Corridor Corporate Games - Create a Dashboard

It's easy! See the video in The Bulletin BoardApril 25, 2019, for how to create. Add Corridor Corporate Games individual events to your personal dashboard.

Burst Your Thirst, June 10-July 19, 2019

Registration deadline: May 28
Burst Your Thirst, June 10 - July 19, 2019

Registration Link for Burst Your Thirst 

Registration deadline May 28, 2019

Meals from the Heartland Cedar Rapids Hunger Fight

Registration Link for Meals from the Heartland |
June 14-15 volunteer event


We appreciate the GWAEA staff who have signed up 24 volunteers!  

Cedar Rapids Hunger Fight

Profile by Sanford

The temperatures are heating up and the days are getting longer!

Profile by Sanford

Click here to take a look at Profile’s monthly wellness newsletter to learn more about nutrition and activity that will help you make this your best summer yet. 

Profile offers half off their regular membership price for our company and, as part of our team, you can schedule a free one-on-one consultation with a Profile coach and take advantage of this offer if you like what you hear. 

We appreciate you as members of our team and hope you are starting out your month with the right foot forward. 

In Good Health, Erica Jordan

Chair Massage Schedule for April and May

Cedar Rapids: May 29. Contact Stacy Murphy to schedule.

Coralville: Will resume in September 2019. Contact: Sue Heath.

Hands Only CPR class

Grant Wood AEA will host a Hands Only CPR class by UnityPoint Health. This will be a 30-minute class on Hands Only CPR, and the signs and symptoms of a stroke or heart attack.

Hands Only CPR is an overview presentation; certification is not available. Please choose one of the dates/times below to attend. No registration is needed.


This course is being offered as a service for general staff. Access does not fulfill requirements for serving on the agency's first aid team.


Cedar Rapids facility - Sixth St.

Wednesday, May 29

12:00 - 12:30 
Winter Room

YMCA May Newsletter

The YMCA May newsletter includes information about upcoming YMCA events including:


  • Summer sports

  • Summer swim team registration

  • Lifeguard training

  • Camp Wapsie open house

  • Program guide for all things YMCA and Camp Wapsie

Contact Hope Runge, GWAEA YMCA corporate contact, with your questions.

Quota Club golf tournament benefits GWAEA Program

Registration deadline is Saturday, July 20; golf tournament, Saturday, Aug. 10

The 17th annual Quota International of Cedar Rapids Charity Golf Tournament will be held on Saturday, Aug. 10 at Wildcat Golf Course in Shellsburg. Check-in at 7 a.m.; start time, 8 a.m.


A portion of the proceeds from this tournament will be given to Grant Wood AEA's itinerant teachers of the deaf/hard-of-hearing to support their mission for children who are deaf and hearing-impaired.


Interested golfers and Grant Wood AEA teams are welcome. The registration deadline is July 20.



Click here for registration information or contact Emily Lee, GWAEA itinerant teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing, ext. 1106.

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.


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

Integrating Career Connected Learning into the Secondary Curriculum

June 18, 19, 20, 2019

Integrating Career Connected Learning into the Secondary Curriculum

June 18, 19, 20, 2019

Exploring Diversity/
Enhancing Equity

June 25 - July 8, 2019



July 2019

GWAEA Summer Math Professional Learning Courses 2019

GWAEA Summer Math Professional Learning Courses 2019

GWAEA Summer Math Professional Learning Courses 2019

Substitute Authorization Class, 2019-2020


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


September 2019

Grant Wood AEA 
Behavior PD Courses

Grant Wood AEA
Behavior PD Courses

Access for All: 
A Planning Framework
for Leaders
Sept. 23, 2019

Access for All:
A Planning Framework
for Leaders
Sept. 23, 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


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.