The Cornerstone – October 2018


Enjoy this issue of The Cornerstone by clicking on a post below or scrolling.

GPAEA Staff Participate in Statewide & National Conferences/Projects

The 2018-19 School Year has just begun but GPAEA Staff has already presented at a variety of statewide and national conferences as well as participated in a number of exciting projects. We can’t help but be proud of our Staff!

This is just the beginning and doesn’t even begin to include the number of Statewide Committees that GPAEA Staff represent the area on. Thank you to our Staff and others in the state for their dedication to Iowa’s students!

Iowa Future Ready Summit, September

  • Seth Denney, Instructional Technology
  • Laura Williams, 21C Specialist

Closing the Gap Conference, MN, September

  • Ellie Hamilton, Assistive Technology Specialist

Grant Project from Institute of Education Sciences

  • Angie Green, Early ACCESS Home Interventionist

Texas Instrument Webinar: How do you Squeeze more STEM into your Science Classroom?, October

  • Tami Plein, Science Specialist

Creating Coaching Partnerships: A Coaches Forum, October

  • Shelli Blazic, School Social Worker, PBIS Coordinator

Iowa School Mental Health Conference, October

  • Dr. Angelisa Fynaardt, Associate Administrator

Professional Learning Courses Available in October

h o t - a i r

Courses are added and updated daily, so login to the professional learning system for the most current listing. Learn more or REGISTER at

160422GP – Substitute Authorization Grades Pk-12
Location/Date: Burlington AEA October 9 2018

160407GP – SOAR Ratio and Proportion Training
Location/Date: Burlington AEA, Oct 18, 2018

160682GP – Paraeducator Course II: Facing New Challenges Roles and Responsibilities (OTT)
Location/Date: Ottumwa AEA Oct 18 2018

167594GP – GPAEA Science Networks 2018
Location/Date: Burlington AEA Oct 22 2018 (High School)

162410GP – MTSS at Work within Professional Learning Communities
Location/Date: Bridge View Convention Center October 23 2018

160409GP – Paraeducator Course II: Facing New Challenges Roles and Responsibilities (BURL)
Location/Date: Burlington AEA Oct 25 2018

167594GP – GPAEA Science Networks 2018
Location/Date: Ottumwa AEA Oct 25 2018 (Middle School)

160491GP – Structured Teaching for Autism 4 Day (STAT 1 and STAT 2 Combined)
Location/Date: Ottumwa October 29 2018

Celebrating Principals during October #ThankAPrincipal

NASSP18NPM-0008_SocialMedia_Insta_P1cJoin the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the American Federation of School Administrators this October as we honor the hard work and dedication of America’s principals all month long.

National Principals Month is your opportunity to say “thank you” to principals everywhere and to share with the community all the great things that principals do.

We at Great Prairie AEA wish to say THANK YOU to all of our area Principals for their dedication to the students of southeast Iowa!

Learn more about National Principals Month at


Dr. Lonna Anderson named to Dyslexia Task Force & October is National Dyslexia Month

Anderson, Lonna

Dr. Lonna Anderson, Great Prairie AEA

Director Wise announces members of new Dyslexia Task Force
Date: Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise today announced members of a new state task force that will study the needs of students with dyslexia.

The Dyslexia Task Force, established as part of Senate File 2360, will consider issues such as student screening, interventions, teacher preparation and professional development, classroom accommodations, and assistive technology. Recommendations are due by Nov. 15, 2019.

Learn more at

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month!

Young boy learning letters during a session with speech therapistThe C4K (Collaborating for Iowa’s Kids) group, a collaboration between Iowa’s AEAs, Iowa Department of Education and local school districts, has developed an Iowa Dyslexia Resources site with resources to support educators who serve students identified with dyslexia and parents of students with dyslexia. The site offers information for educators and parents, including:

  •  Definition of Dyslexia in the State of Iowa
  •  Presentation for educators on Dyslexia
  •  Letter for parents about the services that districts and AEAs can provide students with reading concerns
  •  Information about seeking a diagnosis

Decoding Dyslexia Iowa also has great information and resources to help you learn more and raise awareness about dyslexia.

October is National Physical Therapy Month

October is National Physical Therapy Month, and an opportunity for Great Prairie AEA to celebrate and recognize our six physical therapists and three physical therapy assistants for the work they do with children birth to 21 in our area.

Great Prairie AEA’s Physical Therapy program provides therapeutic services to maximize children’s functional motor abilities through assessment, intervention, advocacy and education related to their unique needs with the educational atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation. Physical therapists design interventions that improve a student’s physical ability to access and participate in their educational program.

Physical Therapy Month is sponsored through the American Physical Therapy Association and is celebrated nationally. For more information see

Thank you to our Physical Therapists:


Thank you to our Physical Therapy Assistants:


Learn more about Physical Therapy Services at GPAEA:


Update your Professional Learning Profile

AEA_learning systemPlease go to the AEA Learning System ( to update your Employment Information under your profile. This is important if you are trying to register for a course that is specific to your district.

To update your Employment information:

  1. Click on the Profile icon near the top of the screen
  2. Click the Employment Tab
  3. Are you employed by a district or AEA? Select “Yes”, if you are an employee of a district even on a substitute basis
  4. Select your District
  5. Enter the District Password provided by the District Administrator contact.
  6. Select Building, Position, Subject Taught, and Grades Taught (you may leave as Not Applicable)
  7. Then click Save Employment Info button.
Please note: Any changes you make in the AEA Learning System will take until the next business day to update as there is a nightly upload into the Statewide Registration System.

Contact Shannon Johnson or Michelle Dickey with any questions regarding updating your account. or

Small Change: Building Financial Security Offerings for Educators and School Personnel

image003Small Change: Building Financial Security Offerings for Educators and School Personnel

Improve your personal finance knowledge, skills and confidence and prepare yourself as a professional to address financial literacy in our schools!

Small Change is a blended (in-person and online) course designed for Iowa educators. Course content is embedded in the financial literacy standards of the Iowa Core 21st Century Skills and Social Studies and connects participants with curricula, resources and school-based programs for elementary, middle and high school levels. Educators can earn one Iowa License renewal credit.

The course requirements include:

  • Attend a 2-hour in-person introductory workshop on November 1st, 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Iowa Wesleyan University, Iowa Wesleyan University  – 601 N Main St., Mount Pleasant, IA 52641, Adam Trieschmann Hall of Science, Computer Lab B
  • Complete at least 4 of 12 game-based online lessons covering financial topics
  • Complete assignments to promote financial literacy

Explore lessons that are timely and relevant to your life stage. Topics include:

  • Finance Fundamentals—getting organized, smart borrowing, estate planning
  • Insurance—life, health, disability, long-term care, auto, home, liability coverage
  • Investing—risk tolerance, investment choices, funding long-term goals
  • Retirement—preparing for retirement, building a nest egg, Social Security, IPERS

The course fee is $20 to ISEA members and non-members. Register online at: For more information, contact Mary M. Weinand at or 319-931-5087, or Rhonda Plimmer, or 515-471-8052.

Small Change is offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach with support from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

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.

Children’s Mental Health Listening Post scheduled for Monday, October 8 in Fairfield


Area residents are invited to share personal experiences on children’s mental health services at a listening post set for Monday, October 8 at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center, 200 North Main, Fairfield from 6:00-7:30 pm hosted by Great Prairie AEA.

Listening posts are being hosted by at locations across Iowa on behalf of the Children’s System State Board established by Gov. Kim Reynolds in April. The board will review the information gathered from these listening posts as part of its charge to review existing resources and develop a strategic plan with specific recommendations to implement a better approach to help children with mental health issues. This report is due to the legislature on Nov. 15.

Two additional opportunities have been created for parents/children unable to attend the time/date/places outlined above.

A survey is available for those unable to attend a listening post. The deadline is Oct. 12.

An online listening post has been scheduled for October 4 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. To join from your computer, click on this URL: To join via phone, dial 1-646-876-9923 and when prompted, enter meeting code:  290-354-386

For more information, contact Jeff Herzberg at 515-570-2601.

The Cornerstone – September 2018


Click on a link above or scroll down to get started. Check back as news is added frequently!

Resources for Educators for National Suicide Prevention Week, September 9-15

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and September 9 – 15 is National Suicide Prevention Week. There are many resources available to educators, as well as your students. Please share with anyone who you feel would benefit from this information.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people between 10 to 24. Learn more and get help at

Click here to access the Children’s Safety Network Newsletter with Resources for National Suicide Prevention Month.

National Training: Youth Suicide Prevention

Below is a link to a national training that we are making available to our schools at no costs. This is a two-hour training and participants receive a certificate upon completion from the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide (SPTS). Some Great Prairie AEA staff have taken the training and found it to be of high quality.  There will be a one-hour training developed by the AEA system team available in late October.

Here is the link to the free national training:

Student Safety Workshops

Combined flyers

PDF: Student Safety Combined flyers

Your Guide to Professional Learning

This summer GPAEA transitioned to the AEA Professional Learning Registration System. This means that YOU, as an Educator, has access to professional learning opportunities from around the State. To help you navigate, please take a look at the options below and consider printing this page for quick reference.

Happy Professional Learning!

(Course Search, Register, Print Transcripts, Etc.)

***Participants creating a new account will not be able to view courses until the next business day.***

*Effective August 1st, withdrawing from a course will need to occur at least seven days prior to the course start date, in order to receive a refund.

HOW DO I LOGIN? (Course Search, Register, Print Transcripts, Etc.)
  • Login and click on ‘Courses’ in the top bar
  • You will have the option to Search, Show All, or Advanced Search
  • To view courses offered by Great Prairie AEA, click on Advanced Search – AEA – Great Prairie AEA (All GPAEA Courses will have the letters ‘GP’ following the course number
  • *Effective August 1st, withdrawing from a course will need to occur at least seven days prior to the course start date, in order to receive a refund.
  • Print an OFFICIAL Transcript from the AEA Professional Learning Registration System.
  • Simply login and scroll down to View and Print Transcripts.
  • Contact with questions.

Self-Paced Courses & Mandatory Reporter

AEA Learning Online’s self-paced courses ( are designed for educators who want to start and complete a course on their own schedule. View the AEA Professional Development Online Learning System Site directions sheet.

Required Trainings available:

  • Bloodborne Pathogen
  • Mandatory Reporter

Courses available for renewal credit:

  • Digital Citizenship
  • Coaching Authorization
  • Financial Literacy
  • Google Apps 101
  • Implementing the English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards
  • Low-Stress Classroom Management
  • Social Media
  • The Exceptional Learner
  • Using Iowa AEA Online’s Resources

For a complete list of courses available, please login to AEA Learning Online’s self-paced courses.

  • Visit the AEA Learning Online blog by clicking here.
  • Visit the AEA K-12 Online blog by clicking here.

AEA PD Online (Moodle site)

AEA Learning Online offers courses featuring license renewal credit or graduate credit from Drake University, Morningside College or Viterbo University.  The site also has online self-paced trainings that help educators and schools meet mandates.

To search or register for an online course, visit the AEA PD Online “Moodle” course catalog.

If you have questions or need assistance with the site, please contact AEA PD Online at 1-800-255-0405 ext. 14668.