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Iowa Core


Iowa Core Investigations





Iowa Core



Myra Hall
Iowa Core Facilitator



Keith Stamp
Regional Administrator


GWAEA Literacy Team

Melody Cassidy, lead

Jessica Quandahl, lead

Mary Airy

Arlene Brant

Patti Briggs

Heather Feuerhelm

Kate Gardner

Myrissa Gingerich


GWAEA School Improvement Consultants

Brad Colton

Kelly Jones

Karla Ries


Content, Instruction, Assessment and School Improvement - Update

TLC 21

Iowa Core investigations

The state-wide Math and ELA content teams will provide protocols and processes to use with teachers to “unpack” the Iowa Core Standards. Materials will be available to districts after March 2012. For more information, contact your Grant Wood AEA support person.


The DE has posted a paper on RtI on its website. The paper was made available in early January. This document provides information about the purpose and essential components of RtI in Iowa. Additional resources will be available.


The Grant Wood Area Education Agency math consultants partner with teachers to:

  • develop strategies for understanding mathematics

  • meet the needs of all learners by supporting core, supplemental, and intensive instruction of mathematics

  • develop professional learning communities

  • support student assessment and instruction

  • design lessons

  • develop curriculum

  • provide resources to better serve their students

The Grant Wood AEA math team is positioned to support implementation of Iowa Core Mathematics.
Current best practices in math instruction develop mathematical understanding.

  • Mathematics PD offerings:

    • Teaching for Mathematics Understanding: SECONDARY.
      Nine districts are participating in TMU Secondary. Through RtI processes, math consultants support assessment, instructional recommendations and content skill needs for students who struggle or excel.


VAST Center Science Academies begin second round of teacher led inservices on Nov. 29, 2011.

Approximately 43 VAST Center Science Academies for teachers of science spanning grades K-8 will be offered at the Grant Wood AEA 33rd Ave Facility between Nov. 29, 2011 - March 6, 20912.


The goals of each of these 43 VAST Center Level One Kit Inservices are for participants to:

  • become familiar with the unit materials and activities

  • gain ideas on managing hands-on science instruction

  • experience the unit activities as learners

  • become aware of the big ideas of the unit

  • recognize the inquiry approach within the unit.

The VAST Center Science Academies...

"...provide the background needed to effectively implement the elementary science curriculum units. These units are aligned with the expectations of the Iowa Core Curriculum content, assessment and instruction. The workshops will focus on the key concepts in the unit as well as provide hands-on experience with all the unit activities. Practical teacher tips will be offered by experienced teacher facilitators to help with the management of hands-on materials."


For information about inservice dates, visit the Grant Wood AEA Professional Development website and click on VAST Center Academy.


In addition:

  • Bruce Frana, GWAEA science consultant, will visit select middle school science classrooms of those currently experienced in the VAST Center middle school curricula. Invitations wil be extended to teachers to become teacher-leaders as co-facilitators in VAST Center teacher trainings.

  • GWAEA science consultants attended the State Science Leadership meeting in Des Moines to review the newly revised A Framework for K-12 Science Education developed by the National Academy of Sciences.


Our goals this year:

  • strengthen use of data analysis systems

  • create literacy network teams for professional learning

  • increase instructional coaching skills

  • advance learning in use of technology and the Iowa Core

Planning and Implementing Explicit, Rigorous Small-Group Reading Instruction

K-3 and 4-5

  • Support is being provided for two professional development days for LEA staff and one working day for GWAEA staff with Sharon Walpole. The sessions will present a model of small group instruction based on Walpole and McKenna's "How to Plan Differentiate Instruction."

  • The team participated in two workshops sponsored by the Iowa Department of Education to the work developed by the Wisconsin Department of Education.

School Improvement

  • SINA workshops focus on implementing a continuous improvement process. Contact one of the SI consultants for information.

  • Iowa Core Leadership Academy upcoming dates include Jan. 17, 24, 31, and May 8, 15 and 22.

  • A Consolidated plan (C-Plan) is being developed by the Iowa Department of Education. The C-Plan project streamlines the collection of reports, starting with the following:

    • Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP)

    • Annual Progress Report (APR)

    • Iowa Core Implementation Plan

    • District Developed Service Delivery Plan (DDSDP)

    • Schools in Need of Assistance/Districts in need of Assistance Plan (SINA/DINA)

  • The Iowa Department of Education is currently developing a proposal for an ESEA Flexibility Waiver. If approved, it may lead to changes in the way the AYP is defined and measured.

Iowa Core

Legislated Due Dates

  • Iowa Core Implementation Plans submitted to state will be included in the Consolidated Plan (C-Plan), which includes the APR, DDSDP, SINA/DINA/iowa Core, CSIP), which will go live mid-year 2012.

  • As of December 2011, the current legislated requirements remain in effect regarding the Iowa Core requirements.

  • July 1, 2012 - Implementation plans due for all accredited public and non-public schools, K-8.

  • Cognitive Complexity - Iowa Core provides all students opportunities to learn and engage in higher order and critical thinking. Range of cognitive complexity and depth of knowledge achieved through instruction of the Iowa Core standards is under review. Blooms Taxonomy and Webb's Depth of Knowledge frameworks are being applied at this point.

2012 Iowa Core Learning Opportunities for GWAEA staff

Compensation for time beyond contract day provided through Iowa Core Teacher Quality funds. Details will be communicated in The Bulletin Board.

  • Halibut! Iowa Core and Iowa AEA Online Resources: three different two-hour workshops each offered twice

  • Iowa Core Office Hours: Individualized or small group Q & A and hands--on exploration of resources

  • Iowa Core Support for Teachers of Students Who Struggle: 1/2 day workshop

  • Exploring the Core: C-I-A resources for Iowa educators: 1/2 day workshop

  • Instructional Coaching: Introduction and exploration of state-developed online learning modules for individual or collaborative team learning

  • Iowa Core in Practice: Facilitated 1/2 day learning experience focused on Iowa Core content and implementation of characteristics of effective instruction

  • Iowa Core Inner Circle: Alignment of C-I-A and PD


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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. Grant Wood AEA, 4401 Sixth St SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.

ADDRESS: 4401 Sixth Street SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
TELEPHONE: 319-399-6700 | 800-332-8488
Fax: 319-399-6457
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