Professional Development Opportunities – Fall 2014

Woman in living room using laptop smilingGPAEA has many great professional development opportunities scheduled for this fall!  Course categories include behavior, literacy, math, science, autism, early childhood, TAG, and fine arts.  Also being offered are Paraeducator certification courses, Substitute Authorization courses, and Evaluator III.  Courses are still being added so please check the catalog in MyLearningPlan for new additions.



  • Paraeducator Certification courses (evening classes)
  • Para Educator Certification Level II Generalist with Area of Concentration: Special Needs (Saturday and evening classes)

Substitute Authorization

  • evening classes
  • Ottumwa and Burlington sessions

Assessing Academic Rigor: Evaluator III


  • Bullying Investigation Training
  • A Behavior Tool Box for Your Classroom
  • Developing a Social Skills Tool Box
  • RESPECT: Recognizing Everyones Strengths by Peacebuilding, Empathizing, Communicating and Trustbuilding
  • PBIS Tier 1
  • PBIS Tier 2


  • K-2 Counting and Cardinality/Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Grades 3-5 Number and Operations/Fractions
  • Ratio and Proportion, Grades 6-8
  • Function, Grades 8-12


  • K-12 ELA Curriculum Design
  • 6-12 Content Curriculum Design
  • Iowa LETRS 1-3
  • Ongoing MS-HS Second Chance Reading: 2014-2015


  • HS Science Networks 1 & 2
  • Elementary Science Networks 1 & 2
  • HS Science Networks 1 & 2


  • Professional Learning for Gifted Programs


  • ST-AT 1 Structured Teaching for Autism: Basic Components

Early Childhood

  • Teaching Strategies GOLD Assessment Data Study Group
  • Creative Curriculum for Preschool (3-5) An Introduction
  • Inquiry Based Learning in Early Childhood
  • Teaching Strategies GOLD Assessment

Fine Arts

  • Weaving Class

Workshops and Other Trainings:

  • Collaborative Leadership Academy
  • Iowa Alternate Assessment Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) Training
  • SWIS Training Workshop
  • Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Initial Training

Please visit our online course catalog to register.

GPAEA Schools in the News – Summer 2014

A list of the July/August 2014 headlines featuring a Great Prairie AEA School District:

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.

Out My Window – Connecting Creativity Series

screenshotThe Connecting Creativity series is a learning quest designed with concept and content convergence in mind, supported by meaningful technology integration. Each Connecting Creativity concept is designed so teachers can repurpose the idea to meet the needs of their students and the needs of their curriculum goals. The series will offer support for implementation including a monthly Google Hangout launch and suggested Common Core connections. Teachers can view the video feed live, or catch the recorded video via YouTube at their convenience. When designing and planning for the Connecting Creativity series, action essentials were established: students create/design, students write, and students publish. These elements are at the center of each experience.

We hope you will join Connecting Creativity’s September learning quest: Out My Window. Where poetry, picture, and geography converge to provide an avenue for student voice and creativity while increasing an appreciation of global perspective.  

This quest will begin at 7:30 a.m. (CST) on Sept. 2 via Google Hangout.

If you would like to ensure that you receive monthly updates about all of the learning opportunities, you can sign up here. We look forward to working with you to celebrate and empower student creativity through these new learning experiences. If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments, please feel free to get in touch with Erin Olson and Leslie Pralle Keehn at!

Put the Power to Prevent Bullying in Your Hand


Parents and caregivers who spend at least 15 minutes a day talking with their child can build the foundation for a strong relationship, and help prevent bullying.

KnowBullying, a new mobile app by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), encourages dialogue between you and your children and helps you start a conversation.

KnowBullying by SAMHSA includes:

  • Conversation Starters: Start a meaningful discussion with your child.
  • Tips: Learn ways to prevent bullying.
  • Warning Signs: Know if your child is affected by bullying.
  • Reminders: Find the right time to connect with your child.
  • Social Media: Share tactics and useful advice.
  • Section for Educators: Prevent bullying in the classroom.

The KnowBullying app is available for Android and iPhone®. It is a free resource for mobile devices provided by SAMHSA, in conjunction with the Federal partnership.

Put the power to prevent bullying in your hand. Get the KnowBullying app.

Note: The article above comes from media sources who are solely responsible for their content. It is being shared for educational value.

Call for Proposals! Iowa STEM CAPS RFP Released

Iowa STEM logoThe Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council seeks schools wishing to establish and innovative, replicable Iowa model of the Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) Program. CAPS originated by Blue Valley School District in Overland Park, KS, and now occurs in four additional locations across the country, including Waukee, Iowa (see Additional CAPS Models below.)
  • Northland CAPS immerses students in professional environments without the need for new buildings or classrooms.

The Council has designated a portion of the state legislative funding to promote Iowa STEM CAPS programs, with the goal of uniting the expertise of public and private sectors to strengthen the continuum from school to careers. The number of proposals accepted will depend upon available funds and proposal requests.

To learn more about the CAPS model in Iowa, join one of our webinars on August 12 at 1:00 p.m. CSD or August 20 at 9:00 a.m. CSD. Please check back for the link to the webinar. 
Please find the request for proposals here

 Proposals are due October 15, 2014

Questions? Please address questions to

The IOWA STEM CAPS Taskforce is chaired by Southeast Regional Manager Kristine Bullock at

2014 Iowa Teacher and Principal Leadership Symposium on August 4


The 2014 Iowa Teacher and Principal Leadership Symposium on Monday, Aug. 4, in Ankeny. The link to the symposium website is:

Featured speakers include Vivien Stewart from the Asia Society, Ee-Ling Low from the National Institute of Education in Singapore, and Barnett Berry from the Center for Teaching Quality. Also featured are:

  • Iowa’s first 39 school districts to launch teacher leadership systems in 2014-15 as part of the state’s landmark 2013 education reform package.
  • Two Iowa school districts – Central Decatur and Saydel – that started teacher leadership systems in 2013-14 with the help of a federal grant.
  • A student panel on the difference great teaching makes.

The event is open to the public, with the goal of attracting a broad cross-section of Iowans, including educators, parents, school board members, business leaders and legislators. The website includes the agenda, speaker biographies, sponsors and information on how to register.