NAVIGATING THE TRANSITION PROCESS: Free Workshop for Educators and Families – beginning February 15

Click here to download the flyer PDF.

The goal of this hybrid/blended workshop is to help educators and families broaden their understanding of the special education secondary transition process in Iowa and how to participate effectively. Click here to register.

Meeting Dates – Required live session participation via Zoom:

  • Tuesday, February 15, 2022 4 – 5pm
  • Tuesday, February 22, 2022 4 – 5pm
  • Tuesday, March 1, 2022 4 – 5pm
  • Tuesday, March 8, 2022 4 – 5pm

Click here to download the flyer PDF.

Tips for Communicating in IEP Meetings

Annette Clarahan, Family & Educator Coordinator

  • Make sure your Body Language matches the words you’ve spoken
  • Voice tone can help deescalate a situation or it can cause chaos
  • Watch your facial expressions 
  • Looking at your phone during a meeting, even if it’s under the table, can be distracting or perceived as not valuing the parents time or their child’s best interest  
  • If wearing a mask, Make sure your eyes and your body language are tuned in to the students family & other IEP members around the table. We tend to make interpretations from our perceptions which many times are not accurate

Good communication skills help build parents’ trust in LEA & AEA staff & reaffirm we are here to do what’s best for their children.

The Cornerstone – January 2022

Happy New Year!

January Celebrates

Don’t miss these opportunities to educate, recognize, and celebrate within your school this month: Braille Literacy Month, Science Fiction Day – January 2; Martin Luther King Jr. Day – January 17; and International Day of Education – January 24

February 9 Webinar: Inclusive Classrooms for All: Creating Accessible Learning Experiences with Seesaw

Join Seesaw at the Inclusive Classrooms for All: Creating Accessible Learning Experiences with Seesaw webinar on February 9th!

Sign up here for Seesaw’s virtual PD session on February 9th. This 50-minute session is for all teachers who support students with diverse needs, incl. English Language Learners and students with IEPs/504s.

Future Ready Spotlight (January): Iowa Intermediaries – Indian Hills Community College & Southeastern Community College

Laura Williams, 21C Consultant, & Amanda Brink, Instructional Technology & Future Ready Consultant

This month’s Future Ready Spotlight, lands on the Iowa Intermediary Network! In the GPAEA region, we are fortunate to have two community college intermediaries to support our schools in Work-based Learning. Indian Hills Community College’s intermediary connection is Nathan Miller ( and Southeastern Community College is Leanne Krogmeier ( Their goal is to support students in accessing opportunities in line with the Work-based Learning Continuum. 

Work-based learning experiences help students make connections to careers and career pathways. It’s also a great way to make learning relevant. What kinds of job opportunities could you have if you are interested in different coursework in school? Connecting with an intermediary to help you find the right experience for your classroom is a great place to start incorporating work-based learning in your classroom. Also, feel free to explore work-based learning resources for K-12 here

“As a former work-based learning coordinator, I can attest to the benefits of utilizing your local intermediary to enhance student learning and bring opportunities to the classroom which were otherwise not readily available. Nathan Miller was instrumental in making connections to bring industry speakers into the classroom in person and virtually as well as providing skills training with resume assistance and college and career planning. Students were appreciative of having the opportunity to participate in these activities and making connections with industry partners.”

Amanda Brink GPAEA Instructional Technology & Future Ready Consultant  

To learn more about services and support through Indian Hills Community College Intermediary, check out the Get connected services page. To learn more about Southeastern Community College Intermediary check out The Link. Bonus – connect with Leanne at to join her monthly newsletter with recent happenings and opportunities for students in southeast Iowa! 

Check out Iowa’s Work-Based Learning Experience Continuum below and explore Iowa’s Work-based Learning Guide

Want to share your future-ready story? Connect with or

Scholarship Opportunity for Current STEM Teachers

The Executive Committee of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council determined that two supports for STEM educators are needed in order to maintain the high quality and essential role of STEM education throughout the state: (1) Incentive for practicing STEM professionals to career transition to teaching; and (2) Support for in-service STEM teachers to update their skills and knowledge in the fast-moving fields of STEM.

The following disciplines are invited to apply:

  • Agriculture
  • Computer Science and Technology
  • Engineering
  • Family Consumer Science
  • Health
  • Industrial Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Science (biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, general science, physical science)
  • STEM, including elementary

For STEM professionals seeking support to career-transition to teaching, access the RAPIL scholarship here.

The Cornerstone – December 2021

Register for Virtual Substitute Authorization Class in December & January or Face-to-Face in January at Keokuk


#190031 GP – Substitute Authorization Grades Pk -12 (Virtual)

Sunday, December 19, 202105:00:00 PM – 08:30:00 PM
Monday, December 20, 202105:00:00 PM – 08:30:00 PM
Tuesday, December 21, 202105:00:00 PM – 08:00:00 PM

Additional Instructions:  A mandatory handbook is available from 1. Click the STEDI link. 2. Click on add to cart. 3. Proceed to checkout where you will create your account. Please choose Great Prairie AEA as your district. The book is $24.95.


#160422 GP – Substitute Authorization Grades Pk-12
#309641 Keokuk CSD Jan 7 2022 (Use this link to register)

Thursday, January 07, 202104:30:00 PM – 08:30:00 PM
Thursday, January 14, 202104:30:00 PM – 08:30:00 PM
Friday, January 15, 202108:00:00 AM – 03:30:00 PM

Additional Instructions:  A mandatory handbook is available from 1. Click the STEDI link. 2. Click on add to cart. 3. Proceed to checkout where you will create your account. Please choose Great Prairie AEA as your district. The book is $24.95.