GPAEA Schools in the News – November 2014

A list of the November 2014 headlines featuring a Great Prairie AEA School District:

Post updated throughout the month. Did we miss something? Send your school news to Note: The articles compiled in this list come from independent media sources who are solely responsible for their content. GPAEA staff did not participate in writing any of these articles and GPAEA does not necessarily endorse the content of the articles.  Some articles may be available only by subscription.

The Cornerstone – November 2014

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Enjoy the November 2014 issue!

Finding His Step… Aiden’s Story

by Deena Recker, Orientation Mobility Specialist

Using his AMD to find the door opening to class.

Using his AMD to find the door opening to class.

I am an Orientation and Mobility Specialist, working with GPAEA since August 2012. My role is to help our students who are experiencing reduced vision or no vision to understand the environment and learn how to move safely within it.

When I began working with Aiden he was 4 years old and not walking or crawling. He struggled to understand the world around him due to his lack of visual information. With the help of his IEP team and paraprofessional, Nancy, who faithfully follows the routines set for Aiden, he has learned to support his body weight using a stander, begin standing alone (with leg braces for support), then walking with support, and now he is able to walk independently and without braces. Using an Adaptive Mobility Device (AMD) and changing it as his abilities have grown, Aiden continues to make tremendous progress. Hopefully within the next year he will be ready to use a long cane for travel.

Aiden attends a regular education class and with the help of teachers, therapists and his paraprofessional, he is learning alongside his peers. The Teacher of the Visually Impaired, Lane Anthony, is instructing Aiden in Braille so he can learn to read and write without vision.

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GPAEA Professional Development Opportunities – Nov/Dec 2014

Businessman with four businesspeople at boardroom table in backgGPAEA has many great professional development opportunities scheduled for this winter! Course categories include behavior, literacy, math, science, autism, early childhood, TAG and fine arts.

Courses are still being added, so please check the catalog in MyLearningPlan for new additions.


  • 11/18/2014 An Introduction to the GOLD Assessment and Reports for Administrators Workshop
  • 12/8/2014 Collaborative Leadership Academy (Burlington, Ottumwa and Albia)

Contact Katie Gavin (Burlington and Ottumwa) at for details.


  • 11/3/2014 Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Initial Training Workshop (Ottumwa)
  • 11/10/2014 PBIS Advanced Tier 2/3 Training (Ottumwa)
  • 11/10/2014 Secondary Transition Planning for Educators and Families (Ottumwa)
  • 11/12/2014 A Behavior Tool Box for Your Classroom (Ottumwa)
  • 11/13/2014 PBIS Advanced Tier 2/3 Training (Burlington)
  • 12/2/2014 Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Initial Training Workshop (Burlington)
  • 12/6/2014 Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Initial Training Workshop (Fairfield)
  • 12/10/2014 Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Initial Training Workshop (Ottumwa

Early Childhood

  • 11/19/2014 Early Childhood Institute—Common Learning 2 (Fairfield)

Fine Arts

  • 11/8/2014 Rug Weaving (Fairfield)


  • 11/13/2014 Iowa LETRS Modules 7-9 (Wapello)
  • 12/8/2014 Iowa LETRS Modules 7-9 (Wapello)
  • 12/11/2014 Iowa LETRS Modules 7-9 (Wapello)


  • 11/10/2014 Ratio and Proportion, Grades 6-8 (Burlington)
  • 11/11/2014 Function, Grades 8-12 (Burlington)
  • 11/13/2014 Ratio and Proportion, Grades 6-8 (Ottumwa)
  • 11/15/2014 Ratio and Proportion, Grades 6-8 (Ottumwa)
  • 11/17/2014 Function Grades 8-12 (Ottumwa)
  • 11/22/2014 Function Grades 8-12 (Ottumwa)

Two Day Instructional Coaching Institute

Jim Knight flier Nov 2014We are pleased to announce a two-day Jim Knight Institute being held at the Coralville Public Library on November 17 & 18, 2014. This institute is for teacher leaders and their administrators and is the first in a series of instructional coaching training opportunities being held in eastern Iowa. Attached you will find registration information and additional details to register teacher leaders and administrators from your district.

This opportunity was offered first to TLC districts, and is now open to any interested district! Registration is closing November 5.

If you should have any questions, please contact the TLC contact in your AEA:

AEA 267: Amy Moine
Keystone AEA: Sue Daker
Great Prairie AEA: Katie Gavin

Jim Knight flier Nov 2014

Celebrate American Education Week – November 16-22, 2014

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American Education Week—November 17-21, 2014—presents all Americans with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate public education and honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education. The weeklong celebration features a special observance each day of the week. They include:

  • Monday, November 17: Kickoff Day
  • Tuesday, November 18: Parent’s Day
  • Wednesday, November 19: Education Support Professionals Day
  • Thursday, November 20: Educator for a Day
  • Friday, November 21: Substitute Educators Day

To help you plan these celebration days, National Education Association has developed this online toolkit with background information, activity ideas, and tips for working with the media, as well as downloadable resources, templates, and promotional materials. Click here to access the online toolkit.

STEM Educator’s Make & Take Festival – January 27, 2015

William Penn Make-and-Take STEM Festivals Flier-1William Penn University and Drake University’s South Central STEM hub is hosting a Make-and-Take night for south central Iowa adults geared towards education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  Our goal is to influence as many adults as possible who will, in turn, share their knowledge with children.

Please visit this link if you would like to attend the festival as a participant. 

Participant Registration Link deadline:  January 5, 2015

The dissemination of information from external organizations by Great Prairie AEA does not infer sponsorship or endorsement of the information. It is being passed on to our stakeholders for its educational value.