2021 Global Education Institute for Teachers – Register by May 1

The 2021 Global Education Institute for Teachers: Global Perspectives on Social Justice, will be held on virtually on June 7-28, 2021.  The institute is organized by the Global Education Program at the Stanley Center and the University of Iowa International Programs and presented by the UI Stanley Museum of Art and College of Education. 

K-12 teachers of all disciplines are invited to attend this year’s virtual institute, a month-long, one license renewal credit experience taught by University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art curators Kimberly Datchuk and Brady Plunger and UI College of Education’s, Will Coghill-Behrends.

There will be mandatory live sessions every Monday from 9-10:30 a.m. and many other sessions (small-group discussions; videos; office hours; etc.) throughout the month.

FREE tuition and course materials for everyone!

Registration deadline is May 1, 2021

*Priority preference will be given to teachers who have not participated before.

More information may be found on our website at https://international.uiowa.edu/connect/programs/k-12/institute.

Please contact Amy Green at amy-green-1@uiowa.edu or 319-335-1433 with any questions.

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.

Helpful Resources for Educators and Families – i3 website

Annette Clarahan, Family & Educator Partnership Coordinator

It is essential that all parents, educators, and families have access to resources and tools to support their understanding of the special education and early intervention processes in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Education, Area Education Agencies (AEAs), local school districts, and community partner agencies have collaborated to provide valuable resources on the i3 website.

The i3 Resources page has recently been updated and information can be found in the following two ago groups:

  • Early Intervention, Birth – 3                                   
  • Special Education, 3 yrs to graduation/21 yrs

You will find a column for Educators, and one for Parents and Families. With the following topics you can easily search for the appropriate resource.  

  • Evaluations    
  • IEP/IFSP Meetings
  • IEP/IFSP Services and Supports
  • Procedural Safeguards & Rights
  • Forms & Model Letters

Click here to see what you’ve been missing out on.

The Cornerstone – April 2021

Click on a post title below or scroll down to view all.

April Celebrates 2021

April Celebrates: Occupational Therapy; Autism Awareness; World Autism Awareness Day – April 2; International Children’s Book Day – April 2; National Library Week – April 4-10; Week of the Young Child – April 11-16; National Student Leadership Week – April 18-24; Administrative Professionals Day – April 21; and Earth Day – April 22.


April has been designated as Occupational Therapy Month nationally and is celebrated throughout the country. Occupational Therapists and Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants are part of an important profession that helps people across their lifespan to participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. Their customized approach to evaluations, interventions, and outcomes help a child with disabilities participate in school and in social situations, and offer the specialized support and services to people of all ages and in all circumstances that only occupational therapy can provide.

We want to take this opportunity to recognize and thank our own Great Prairie AEA Occupational Therapists and Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants for the services they provide throughout our Great Prairie AEA service area. Thank you!

April is National Autism Awareness Month


April is National Autism Awareness Month

The challenging behavior & autism team responds to referral requests by school districts and Great Prairie Area Education Agency staff for assistance with working with children who have challenging behavior and/or autism.

Shout out to our GPAEA Challenging Behavior & Autism Staff: Teran Buettell, Julie Thomas, & Darcie Whitlow. Thank you for all that you do for area students and families!

Learn more about Autism services from GPAEA at https://www.gpaea.org/services/autism/.

GPAEA Success Stories

No Small Matter Virtual Film Screening – April 7

  • Brought to you by: Child Care Resource & Referral, 4C4K Empowerment, Kids World, Mahaska Wapello Early Childhood Iowa, and the Rolling Prairie Chapter of Iowa AEYC
  • Date: Wednesday, April 7
  • Time: The 75 minute film will be available for viewing from
  • 11:30 am – 1:15 pm. Then join the live discussion from 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm.
  • Register Here: https://virtual_nsm.eventbrite.com

No Small Matter is the first feature documentary to explore the most overlooked,
underestimated, and powerful force in America today—early childhood education.
Through poignant stories and surprising humor, the film lays out the overwhelming
evidence for the importance of the first five years, and reveals how our failure to
act on that evidence has resulted in an everyday crisis for American families, and a
slow-motion catastrophe for the country. Click here to watch the trailer:

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.

Photonics Courses available from IHCC for CTE teachers

Indian Hills Community College is offering two, free renewal credit opportunities for CTE teachers in Iowa. Teachers will be reimbursed for the credit fee, otherwise the class can be taken for Participation Only at no cost. Email  frank.reed@indianhills.edu with questions.

#160670 GP – Photonics Symposium (Formerly named Fundamentals of Photonics) (Course Information)

Monday, August 02, 202108:00:00 AM – 04:00:00 PM
Tuesday, August 03, 202108:00:00 AM – 04:00:00 PM

#201299 GP – Photonics Institute (Course Information)

Monday, July 12, 202108:00:00 AM – 04:00:00 PM
Tuesday, July 13, 202108:00:00 AM – 04:00:00 PM
Wednesday, July 14, 202108:00:00 AM – 04:00:00 PM
Thursday, July 15, 202108:00:00 AM – 04:00:00 PM

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.

WBL Project Accelerator Course with $1000 Stipend Opportunity & Free License Renewal Credit! Space Limited!

Sign up here by May 4th

We are looking for passionate PK12 educators to take part in our Work-Based Learning (WBL) Project Accelerators Course! Space is limited to the first 85 educators to sign up. Please sign up here by May 4th!! 

Course Dates: May 4th-June 25th including 3 Live 1-Hour Webinar Sessions & Self-paced Work! 

Questions? Please contact laura.williams@gpaea.org

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.

GPAEA Media DVD Giveaway

Great Prairie AEA Media Services strives to maintain a current collection of resources for our schools to access. In order to maintain the currency and relevance of our materials, periodically the media collection is reviewed or weeded to remove dated materials or materials that have not been circulating out to schools on a regular basis. Recently, the DVD format was the focus of weeding efforts. GPAEA would now like to offer the weeded materials to GPAEA staff and staff from school districts served by GPAEA who may have a need for these extra resources. 

To receive any of the weeded DVD titles, go to this spreadsheet to see what titles are available. The titles have been split out by subject, so look for the tabs at the bottom that are labeled Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Driver’s Ed., Health/Guidance/Character Ed., FACS, Industrial Tech, and Other. 

If you see a title you would like, please click on the link in the column labeled “Request Form” and fill in all fields. You will need to submit a separate form for each DVD you want to request. Once a request has been received, if the DVD is still available, it will be delivered to you at your building through GPAEA Van Delivery. If you have questions, please contact mediacenter@gpaea.org.

GPAEA Student from WACO to complete four work readiness experiences through IESBVI 4PLUS for 2020-21 School Year

Way to go, Skylar! Click here to view the entire and original post from IESBVI 4PLUS.

A Great Prairie AEA student enrolled into the Iowa Educational Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired transition program will have experienced four work readiness sites by the end of this school year. A summary of the student’s experiences are included above and here.

Iowa Education for Deaf & Blind offers the state’s only transition programs exclusively for deaf or blind students, on the campus of Iowa School for the Deaf.

For information about Iowa Educational Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, including 4PLUS transition, contact Susan Brennan, IESBVI Regional Director: susan.brennan@iaedb.org.

For information about Iowa School for the Deaf, including 4PLUS transition, contact Rebecca Gaw, ISD Principal: rgaw@iowaschoolforthedeaf.org.

GPAEA Schools honored for creating safe, positive environments 2019-2020: Albia, Centerville, Central Lee, Chariton, Keota, Mount Pleasant, Oskaloosa, Wapello, West Burlington, & Winfield-Mt. Union

Released/adapted March 8, 2021 from Iowa Department of Education

Congratulations to these GPAEA Districts who are honored for creating safe, positive environments for their students: Albia, Centerville, Central Lee, Chariton, Keota, Mount Pleasant, Oskaloosa, Wapello, West Burlington, & Winfield-Mt. Union

The Iowa Department of Education has awarded schools statewide for their work on implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). PBIS is a multi-tiered system of support for academics and behavior which provides the framework for school districts to implement and monitor prevention and intervention practices for both virtual and face-to-face instruction.

PBIS is not a curriculum that schools’ purchase or something they “do” to their students. Instead, Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports focuses on conditions to support learning by providing positive, predictable and safe environments. PBIS has been shown to reduce major disciplinary infractions, reduce out-of-school suspension, improve prosocial behavior, boost academic achievement and improve school climate.

Following are the schools and award levels for which they were honored.


Schools that earn the Honor level award have rolled out their PBIS plan to students, staff and families. They have identified and taught behavioral expectations and implemented systems to develop a consistent response to appropriate and problem behaviors. The building team meets regularly and is using data to inform decisions.

  • Amana Elementary, Clear Creek CSD (Grant Wood)
  • Central Ward Elementary, Centerville CSD (Great Prairie)
  • Colfax-Mingo Elementary, Colfax-Mingo CSD (Heartland)
  • Edwards Elementary, Ames CSD (Heartland)
  • Fillmore Elementary, Davenport CSD (Mississippi Bend)
  • Guthrie Center Elementary, Guthrie Center CSD (Heartland)
  • Keota Elementary, Keota CSD (Great Prairie)
  • Longfellow Elementary, Marion Independent School District (Grant Wood)
  • McKinley Elementary, Davenport CSD (Mississippi Bend)
  • Monroe Elementary, Davenport CSD (Mississippi Bend)
  • Salem Elementary, Mount Pleasant CSD (Great Prairie)
  • Southeast Polk Junior High, Southeast Polk CSD (Heartland)
  • Spring Creek 6th Grade Center, Southeast Polk CSD (Heartland)
  • Stilwell Junior High, West Des Moines CSD (Heartland)
  • Wapello Junior/Senior High, Wapello CSD (Great Prairie)
  • West Elementary, Knoxville CSD (Heartland)

Honor Plus

Honor Plus is awarded to schools that are implementing universal features with fidelity. Additionally, classroom systems and family/community involvement are included in their plan. These schools are developing Tier 2 systems and have defined a decision rule to identify students who may benefit from additional support.

  • Altoona Elementary, Southeast Polk CSD (Heartland)
  • Anamosa Middle School, Anamosa CSD (Grant Wood)
  • Central Lee Elementary, Central Lee CSD (Great Prairie)
  • Central Lee High School, Central Lee CSD (Great Prairie)
  • Central Lee Middle School, Central Lee CSD (Great Prairie)
  • Chariton Middle School, Chariton CSD (Great Prairie)
  • Grandwood Education Center, Woodward Granger CSD (Heartland)
  • Grant Center Elementary, Albia CSD (Great Prairie)
  • Lakeview Elementary, Centerville CSD (Great Prairie)
  • Lincoln Center Elementary, Albia CSD (Great Prairie)
  • Lincoln Elementary, Pella CSD (Heartland)
  • Mount Pleasant High School, Mount Pleasant CSD (Great Prairie)
  • Mount Pleasant Middle School, Mount Pleasant CSD (Great Prairie)
  • St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic School, Diocese of Des Moines (Heartland)
  • Van Allen Elementary, Mount Pleasant CSD (Great Prairie)
  • Wapello Elementary, Wapello CSD (Great Prairie)
  • West Burlington Elementary, West Burlington ISD (Great Prairie)
  • West Burlington Junior/Senior High School, West Burlington ISD (Great Prairie)
  • West High School, Sioux City CSD (Northwest)


Banner schools are sustaining universal systems and practices. Students are accessing interventions such as Check in/Check out and 50 percent are responding positively to the support. The Tier 2 team engages families and staff and uses a daily progress report to monitor student response to additional supports.

  • Beaver Creek Elementary, Johnston CSD (Heartland)
  • Center Point-Urbana Intermediate, Center Point-Urbana CSD (Grant Wood)
  • Center Point-Urbana Primary, Center Point-Urbana CSD (Grant Wood)
  • Clay Elementary, Southeast Polk CSD (Heartland)
  • Clay Central-Everly Elementary, Clay Central-Everly CSD (Prairie Lakes)
  • Echo Hill Elementary, Linn-Mar CSD (Grant Wood)
  • Four Mile Elementary, Southeast Polk CSD (Heartland)
  • Harlan Elementary, Mount Pleasant CSD (Great Prairie)
  • Hoover Elementary, Mason City CSD (Central Rivers)
  • Mitchellville Elementary, Southeast Polk CSD (Heartland)
  • Monroe Elementary, Prairie City Monroe CSD (PCM); (Heartland)
  • Novak Elementary, Linn-Mar CSD (Grant Wood)
  • Prairie City Elementary, Prairie City Monroe CSD (PCM); (Heartland)
  • Prairie Hill Elementary, College CSD (Grant Wood)
  • Roosevelt Middle School, Dubuque CSD (Keystone)

Banner Plus

To earn Banner Plus, teams have met fidelity for Tier 2, are providing more than one Tier 2 intervention to meet students’ needs; and through progress monitoring, are able to show that 70 percent of students are responding positively to Tier 2 supports. Banner Plus schools are beginning to develop Tier 3 systems.

  • Anderson Elementary, Bondurant-Farrar (Heartland)
  • Delaware Elementary, Southeast Polk CSD (Heartland)
  • Emerson Hough Elementary, Newton CSD (Heartland)
  • Excelsior Middle School, Linn-Mar CSD (Grant Wood)
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Elementary, Indianola CSD (Heartland)
  • Lincoln Elementary, Mount Pleasant CSD (Great Prairie)
  • Midland Middle/High School, Midland CSD (Grant Wood)
  • Monticello High School, Monticello CSD (Grant Wood)
  • Morris Elementary, Bondurant-Farrar CSD (Heartland)
  • Oskaloosa Middle School, Oskaloosa CSD (Great Prairie)
  • Pleasantville Elementary, Pleasantville CSD (Heartland)
  • Roosevelt Elementary, Mason City CSD (Central Rivers)
  • Thomas Jefferson Elementary, Newton CSD (Heartland)
  • Winfield-Mt. Union Elementary, Winfield-Mt. Union CSD (Great Prairie)
  • Woodrow Wilson Elementary, Newton CSD (Heartland)


Paramount recognition includes those school-based teams who have completed Tier 3 training, are sustaining Tiers 1 and 2, and are building a continuum of support. Schools awarded have a team that builds and implements Tier 3 behavior support plans for those students needing intensive supports.

  • Elizabeth Tate Alternative High School, Iowa City CSD (Grant Wood)
  • Gehlen Catholic Elementary, Gehlen Catholic (Northwest)
  • Oskaloosa Elementary, Oskaloosa CSD (Great Prairie)
  • Spalding Park Elementary, Sioux City CSD (Northwest)
  • South O’Brien Elementary, South O’Brien CSD (Northwest)
  • West Monona Elementary, West Monona CSD (Northwest)

We also wish to congratulate all Schools honored!

AEAs Continue Pear Deck Funding for 2021-22

Thanks to the overwhelming use and positive feedback from educators across the state, the AEAs are planning to continue to fund district access to the Pear Deck platform for the 2021-22 school year. We will monitor usage, future costs and factors to determine AEA involvement in the purchase of Pear Deck beyond 2021-22. Future funding options will be communicated in early 2022. 

Next Steps:

  • All Iowa school district domains have been added to Pear Deck’s Premium service for this year and 2021-22. Contact your AEA instructional technology team for support or if you are just getting started.
  • Questions about Pear Deck at GPAEA can be directed to Dr. Sally Lindgren at sally.lindgren@gpaea.org or Ext. 1253.

Teacher Externship Opportunity from SCC & GPAEA

Great Prairie AEA is partnering with Southeastern Community College to offer credit for a Teacher Externship Opportunity this summer.

Educators will gain first hand experience in the workplace and then use that experience to make their lessons more relevant for their students.

4 applicants will be chosen to receive a $1000 stipend which will be distributed by SCC at the conclusion of the class. Contact Leanne Krogmeier, lkrogmeier@scciowa.edu for more information about the program or apply  for the grant online at https://www.scciowa.edu/scripts/thelink/summerexternapp.asp

To register for renewal credit through GPAEA use the registration links below. Let michelle.dickey@gpaea.org know if you have questions about renewal credit.

#201078 GP – Southeast Iowa Teacher Externship Program