Grant Wood AEA logo  
The Bulletin Board

Mark Your Calendar:

GWAEA Fight the Flu
Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018

In This issue:

GWAEA PRIDE: Proudly Recognizing Innovation, Dedication & Excellence - Celebrating GWAEA's Top Workplaces Designation
On the Road with John Speer
The Big Picture: Ethernet Use Requested for Computers, Second Floor Sixth St.
Launching GWAEA Newsletters for Teachers
First Responder & CPR Training
Going Away Party for
Curtis Thomas, Marsden
Reminder to Update Emergency Contact Information and Beneficiaries
Reminder to Update Print Name Information in ESS
A Message for Grant Wood AEA Health Plan Participants
Board Policies Distributed Annually
The GWAEA Education Directory
Grant Wood AEA Staff Serving Districts
IPERS Travel Schedule for Individual Counseling Locations
Hope Walk, Sept. 29
GWAEA GROW Quicklinks
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

GWAEA PRIDE: Proudly Recognizing Innovation, Dedication & Excellence

Celebrating GWAEA's Top Workplaces Designation

Grant Wood AEA PRIDE

Jackie Schreder, John Speer and Maria Cashman accept the 2018 Des Moines Register Top Work Places award Sept. 13 in Des Moines.

The 2018 Top Workplaces award ceremony was held in Des Moines on Sept. Accepting Grant Wood AEA's award were Jackie Schreder,
John Speer, and Maria Cashman.

As Chief Administrator John Speer shared during the All Agency Inservce in August, for the fifth consecutive year, Grant Wood AEA has been recognized as one of Iowa’s Top Workplaces, a designation based on survey feedback provided by the AEA’s staff.


Grant Wood AEA’s leadership team accepted the award during the Top Workplaces awards ceremony in Des Moines on Sept. 13.


“It’s a great honor for our workplace to be recognized with this award,” says Grant Wood AEA Chief Administrator John Speer.


This year the size of the AEA’s employee group topped 500 staff members, which placed the agency into the large employer category. After measuring survey responses submitted by 85 percent of AEA staff against the results for other Iowa employers of similar size, Grant Wood AEA ranked fifth among the large employers in Iowa. Last year’s ranking of the Top Workplaces in Iowa put Grant Wood AEA 16th on its list of mid-sized employers.


“We believe the foundation of a great workplace is built on a strong culture,” added GWAEA Associate Administrator Maria Cashman. “At the AEA, our culture is built around being a service organization that is focused on our mission, ensuring success for all learners, and we work hard to ensure that everyone sees their connection to our mission.

Staff can help celebrate this recognition by adding the email signature below to your agency email.


Updating your email signature with "Top Workplaces" logo.

  1. Open Gmail.

  2. In the top right, click Settings.

  3. In the "Signature" section, add your signature text in the box. If you want, you can format your message by adding an image or changing the text style.

  4. At the bottom of the page, click Save Changes.



Grant Wood Area Education Agency

4401 Sixth Street SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

319-399-xxxx • Fax 319-xxx-xxxx

Grant Wood AEA 

is honored to rank as one of Iowa's Top Workplaces.

Grant Wood AEA email signature


The Top Workplaces computer stickers will be available from the agency secretaries or from
Cathy Nelson at the Sixth St. facility front desk.



On the Road with John Speer

Grant Wood AEA logo

Thanks to everyone who responded to an opportunity to have John Speer, GWAEA chief administrator, join them for a job shadow experience over the next year. We are currently putting together calendars and scheduling the shadow experiences, and look forward to sharing the schedule and our stories in The Bulletin Board throughout the year.

The Big Picture

Ethernet Use Requested for Computers,
Second Floor Sixth St.

GWAEA The Big Picture graphic

For staff working on the 2nd floor of the Sixth St. facility, please plug your computers into the Ethernet to receive internet access whenever possible. Due to issues with wireless connectivity, this will help to alleviate the load on the wireless system.


We are working to resolve the situation, but until hardware can be put in place, please connect into the hardwire Ethernet when possible. Any questions, contact Brandon Watson, GWAEA network administrator,

Launching GWAEA Newsletters for Teachers

Subscribe to GWAEA Communications

Each year the GWAEA communications team conducts focus groups with general education teachers, special education teachers, and other district staff to solicit feedback on our programs and services. Common feedback from district staff over recent years is that they are interested in signing up to receive information directly from the AEA based on their own areas of interest and expertise.

In response to this feedback, last year communications quietly rolled out several newsletters in several content areas, and they were very well received. With very little promotion, we now have growing distribution lists of teachers who want to receive these newsletters.  

Beginning next week, the agency will broadly publicize information on how to subscribe to a larger list of newsletters. Our plan is to send at least quarterly updates in key content areas including digital learning, special education, media center and online resources, autism, school counselor, literacy, mathematics, science and social studies. Here are a few details about how these newsletters will be structured:

  • We know these newsletters will only be a success if they're built with solid content, and the communications team is working with discipline leads to help us ensure we have timely, relevant information available each quarter.

  • In each of these newsletters, we'll help highlight other content areas and resources that might be of interest to district staff. (For example, at the bottom of the newsletter that highlights literacy resources, we might add an article that highlights Building Bridges or a short "Did You Know" article that summarizes our Early ACCESS services. Or, in the autism newsletter, we might choose to highlight an upcoming PD session or media center resources.)   

  • All the articles contained in these individual newsletters will reside in The Linker, a blog that resides on Structuring the communications flow in this manner means any educator can locate content by searching content areas and key words on our website even if they don't subscribe to one of our newsletters. 

Next Tuesday we'll share the ad below with district administrators and then with building staff to help circulate subscription information, and GWAEA staff are encouraged to sign up for any newsletter of interest as well. Thanks for your collaboration as we work with staff to share more information about the great support available through GWAEA staff.

First Responder & CPR Training

This workshop is for GWAEA staff only. CPR certification and first aid training will be provided. First responders are expected to participate to maintain certification. All staff are welcome.


If you are interested in participating in the training and supporting this work, please contact Renee Nelson.

Date: Dec. 12, 2018
9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Sixth Street Facility

Course Number: 168173

Fees: None

Contact GWAEA Professional Learning for information and to register.

Going Away Party for Curtis Thomas, Marsden

Friday, Sept. 28, 2018
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Revere/Stone rooms

Join us as we say thank you and wish Curtis well!

Reminder to Update Emergency Contact Information and Beneficiaries


In the event of an emergency, we want to be sure to have accurate, up-to-date emergency contact information on file for employees. To ensure that this information is current, employees are asked to review this information annually.  As a reminder, in an emergency situation, we will always try to contact a spouse first, if identified, then Contact 1 or Contact 2.


To update:


Go to GWAEA home page, click on Staff, click on Employee Self Service


Enter username (first initial & last name) and your password (click on green box if you have forgotten your password) 


Click on Emergency Contacts (found under my information) 


Click on the record you wish to update or Add New Contact 


Click on Save Changes or Delete this Contact

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the Human Resources Office at ext. 6703.  Thank you for keeping this information current.


Please also remember to update beneficiary information as family changes occur.  Employees designate beneficiaries for the group life and IPERS benefits. Contact Cathy Kearns, Compensation/Benefits, at ext. 6706, to make any beneficiary changes.

Reminder to Update Print Name Information in ESS

When the Agency plans meetings where name tags are printed, or for other general Agency communications, some people prefer to use a less formal first name; and employees have the option to change this information in the Employee Self Service (ESS) System.  If you would like to update your "print name" in the ESS, please use the following procedure:


1)  Go to GWAEA home page, click on Staff, click on Employee Self Service
2)  Enter username (first initial & last name) and your password (click on green box if you have forgotten your password)
3)  Click on Personal Information
4)  Edit your print name if you would like.  For example, if your Legal Name is Kathryn but you prefer to go by Kathy, enter Kathy in the blank Print Name - First


If you have questions or need additional information, contact the Human Resources Office at ext. 6703. 


Thank you for keeping this information current.

A Message for Grant Wood AEA Health Plan Participants

Grant Wood AEA health plan participants, when you're sick or hurt, covered employees and  families could pay $817 for care, or nothing at all. It depends on where you go for treatment. 


Should you choose Doctor on Demand? Your personal doctor?  A walk-in clinic? Or the ER?

Check out the cost breakdown and get smart about your health care spending.


Wellmark Get smart about costs - and save

Board Policies Distributed Annually

Policies related to 1. equity in employment, programs and services, 2. harassment and bullying, and 3. substance-free workplace are distributed on an annual basis. The links below provide access to each policy and administrative regulation.


Policy # 4119 – Equity in Employment, Programs and Services

Administrative Regulation # 4119A - Equity in Employment Programs and Services Complaint Procedure


Policy # 4123 Agency Personnel: Harassment or Bullying
Administrative Regulation # 4123A - Agency Personnel: Harassment or Bullying


Policy # 4175 Agency Personnel: Controlled Substance/Alcohol-Free Workplace
Administrative Regulation # 4175A - Agency Personnel: Controlled Substance/Alcohol-Free Workplace


If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Kim Martin, GWAEA board secretary. For additional policy information, refer to the on-line policy manual accessible from GWAEA home page, Governance then GWAEA Board Policy Manual.

Education Directory Update

Grant Wood AEA Education Directory 2018-2019


The 2018-19 Education Directory has been updated and is now available in PDF format online.


While we no longer printing large quantities of this document, print copies will be available for staff who would like one.


To request a print copy, contact Carla Green.

Grant Wood AEA staff serving districts

The names of GWAEA staff serving school districts is available on the agency's website, This information is currently being updated and will be available beginning in August. Follow the steps below to access the GWAEA staff assigned to buildings. This reminder information will be shared with educators in the GWAEA service area this fall.



IPERS travel schedule for individual counseling locations

Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System logo

lPERS is coming to your area in the near future. We will be meeting with members who are thinking about retirement. These appointments can be helpful for members within about 5 years of retiring. Members will need to call our office to set up an appointment at 800-622-3849. 


Individual Appointments:
October 22 - 25, 2018


Kirkwood Regional Center at the University of Iowa
2301 Oakdale Blvd, Coralville


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.

Hope Walk 2018, Saturday, September 29

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: Sept. 21, Oct. 10, Oct. 31. Contact Stacy Murphy to schedule.

Coralville: The Coralville office will take a summer break and resume in September 2018.
Contact Sue Heath for the registration link.

Senior Appreciation Week

Please join us for Senior Appreciation Week at the YMCA!  Go to the link for a schedule of events and classes or contact Hope Runge, YMCA corporate contact for Grant Wood AEA.


Grant Wood AEA Seminar Series 2018-2019

GWAEA Seminar Series

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.


Eat with us! Embrace Accessible Technologies

EAT with Us! - Embrace Accessible Technologist

The Eat with us! schedule PDF


To Join:


On the specified date/time join the zoom by going to: Or in Zoom,
Meeting ID = 703 027 4197

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

Closing the Achievement GAP with MTSS with author
Dr. Mark Shinn

When: Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Where: Kirkwood Center at the University of Iowa, 2301 Oakdale Boulevard  Coralville, Rm. 118



9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. -  Arrival and breakfast – arrive after 9 a.m. for better parking options
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. -
 “Closing the Achievement Gap with MTSS” - Dr. Mark Shinn

12:00 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. -  Lunch and panel discussion (TBA)

1:15 – 1:30 p.m. -  Closing comments


Registration Link 

This workshop would be appropriate for administrators, instructional coaches, and interventionists. All educators who are interested in the MTSS model, and how to best use it to help to impact achievement. 


For information, contact:

Bill Kearney | Senior Sales Rep K-5i | Iowa
McGraw-Hill Education

Professional Learning Registration

We are pleased to have launched our new statewide Professional Learning registration system.  Key features of this new system include being able to view and register for professional learning opportunities across the state from one site, all courses and workshops completed at any AEA in Iowa will be on one transcript, and the log in is familiar with only one username and password to remember for the training system (for mandatory trainings) and the PL registration system.


We do ask that you 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 continue to use professional learning dollars to cover registration fees (following HR policies).  If your participation is being covered by a region or program budget, please work with your supervisor and support staff to confirm the budget.  You will register into the system 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 and intern 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   Sue Krob 399-6767   Sherry Sines 399-6517

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.


September 2018

Improving Student Achievement through Actionable Feedback

Improving Student Achievement through Actionable Feedback

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

Grant Wood AEA Seminar Series 2018-2019

Grant Wood AEA
Seminar Series

GWAEA Behavior PD Courses

2018-2019 GWAEA Behavior PD Courses

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 Training,2018-2019

Substitute Authorization Class

GWAEA Child Find Courses 2018-2019

GWAEA Child Find Courses 2018-2019



October 2018

Math Interventions and Assessments for Elementary Students

Math Interventions and Assessments for Elementary Students
Oct. 19, 2018




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.


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.