Virtual Fierce Conversations Available from GPAEA

Virtual Fierce Conversations is now open for registration through Great Prairie AEA. In the course catalog you will now find Fierce classes available for this school year and June. They are virtual classes done through Zoom.

Fierce Conversations 1

#189977 GP – Fierce Conversations – 2 Credit (Meets Evaluator Approval) Virtual#295459 Video Conference Nov 16 2020

#189977 GP – Fierce Conversations – 2 Credit (Meets Evaluator Approval) Virtual#295460 Video Conference Jun 8 2021

Fierce Conversations 2

#189979 GP – Fierce Conversations 2: Generations and Feedback (Meets Evaluator) Virtual
#295461 Video Conference Feb 9 2021

#189979 GP – Fierce Conversations 2: Generations and Feedback (Meets Evaluator) Virtual#295462 Video Conference Jun 14 2021

Please note:

1) Fierce 1 is for 2 credits. It also serves as Evaluator licensure. 
2) Fierce 2 is for 1 credit and also meets the Evaluator licensure requirements. You have to have taken Fierce 1 to enroll in Fierce 2. This class talks about working with different Generations and Feedback.
3)  We have toolkits for both these classes. Because we are doing this remotely, we will need to send via van delivery the toolkit to you. So, that means if taking either class, you need to sign up ahead of time so we have time to mail. 
4) You can take either of these courses as a repeat–just as long as you have renewed your license since the last time taken.
5) We are limiting class to 15 because that works well on zoom.

2021 Spring Offerings from Drake

Make your Professional Learning Plans for the 2021 Spring Semester!

Our award-winning online courses are specific to PreK-12 teachers, counselors, administrators, and athletic coaches. All offerings are interactive and include practical information. Spring 2021 course registration is now open. Click on any of the below course titles for additional information, including offering dates.

Visit or call 1-800-76-TEACH (8-3224) for more information about our offerings.

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 PD Opportunity: Virtual NABE Slow Institute – Register by October 28

Great Prairie AEA is excited to be able to offer a virtual professional development opportunity for up to 50 educators who serve ELs (PreK-12 content teachers, EL teachers, administrators, special education teachers, etc) around the NABE Slow Institute. There is no cost for the renewal credit, but there is a $49.00 cost for NABE registration which can be reimbursed to districts through Title III. The course will consist of three Zoom meetings and 12 one-hour, pre-recorded sessions to watch and reflect upon. Registration ends on October 28th!

Joining is EASY!!

Step #1) Create an account and Register for NABE   ($49.00 can be reimbursed through Title III, talk to your district EL Coordinator)

Step #2) Register for FREE renewal credit or participation only. This step is required for Title III Reimbursement.
#190406 GP – NABE Slow Institute 2020
#294939 Video Conference October 28 2020
3 Course Requirements
Attend Zoom meetings.

  • October 28th 4:00PM-5:00PM – We will discuss course requirements, make sure everyone is registered through NABE at this meeting and prepare for the new learning.
  • November 23rd 4:00PM-5:00PM – We will reflect on our learning and discuss the sessions we have watched.
  • January 6th 4:00PM-5:00PM – We have final reflections for the remainder of the session and talk about implementation of learning

Watch 12 Pre-Recorded Sessions at your own pace: (You will have access after you register for NABE)

  • ELL: Equity, Language and Literacy with Lisha R. Almashy
  • Transformative Emotional Intelligence – Part 1 with Dorina Sackman – Ebuwa
  • Transformative Emotional Intelligence – Part 2 with Dorina Sackman – Ebuwa
  • What Washington is Doing for Our Leaders During the Crisis with William Rivers, Ph.D
  • Bilingual Education and Heritage Language Development in the Year 2020 with Stephen Krashan Ph.D. and Nooshan Ashtari Ph.D.
  • Engagement and Equity for Families and Communities from Involvement to Empowerment with Washington B. Collado Ph.D. 
  • Using Our Current Situation to Shift from Institutionalized Curriculum Towards Culturally Relevant Instruction  with Myrna Rasmussen, Lucy Montalvo, and Raul Alvarado
  • STEAM as an Innovative Approach for Dual Language and Sheltered Instruction with Esther Garza Ph.D., Myriam Jimena Guerra Ph.D., and Hsiaoping Wu Ph.D.
  • Maximizing Remote Student-Teacher Interactions with Alexandra Guilamo
  • Explicit Instruction for ELs with Disabilities with Liliana Salazar
  • Addressing the Socio Economic Needs of Gifted Children during COVID-19 with Nilda M. Aguirre 
  • La Fascinante Historia de Nuestra Lingua with Dr. Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel (The Fascinating History of our Language)

Fill out the Summary and Reflection Log by January 6th, 2021.

Let know if you have any questions about this opportunity.

Sign up to bring STEM to your classroom – November 9-12

Sign-up by October 20 at

November 9th – 12th is Southeast Iowa Regional STEM Week!  This event is being brought to you by the same committee organizing the Southeast Iowa Regional STEMFest for the past 7 years.  Due the challenges of COVID, and inability to bring such a large crowd together, we are offering virtual STEM presentations for use with your students.  Each presentation will be 20-30 minutes long, and will feature a local Southeast Iowa business informational session, with a STEM related activity for the students to do in the classroom.  Our goal is to provide both STEM related career exploration, and a hands on opportunity for your students.  Target audience will be grades 8th-10th, however any grade can participate.  Activities will not be recommended for elementary age students.

Please sign up for the presentations and activities you are interested in showing to your students, and provide the number of students participating.  We will be delivering items needed for the hands on activities to schools in the days prior to the events.  Supplies will be delivered to Des Moines, Lee, Henry and Louisa Counties, however other school districts are welcome to participate and receive the video link.  There will be items that schools will need to provide in classroom (ie. drill with small drill bit, pencils, exacto knife, etc.)  You will be notified of these items in advance.  School personnel who sign up will receive a link to the video on the corresponding day.  It will be pre-recorded and can be used at any time after the link is sent.

Deadline to sign up is Tuesday, October 20th

The Cornerstone – October 2020

Click on a title below or scroll down to get started!
Have you attended a Parent Cafe? Join us on October 14 from 8-10 PM – a great opportunity to connect with other GPAEA parents and families.

Learning Management Systems and GPAEA Digital Resources

Has your district adopted a new learning management system such as PearDeck, Canvas, or Seesaw? Or, are you continuing to utilize Google Classroom? If so, it is possible to add links to the GPAEA Digital Resources to these systems to help guide your students resources such as:

  • AEA Digital Library
  • American History in Video
  • BookFLIX
  • Britannica School
  • FreedomFLIX
  • CultureGrams
  • EBSCOHost Periodical Database
  • Gale Periodical Database
  • Learn360
  • MackinVIA
  • PebbleGo
  • PowerKnowledge Science
  • ScienceFLIX
  • Soundzabound
  • SIRS (Social Issues Resource Series)
  • Teen Health & Wellness
  • TrueFLIX

If you would like to see a brief description for any of these resources, you may go to the Media Library web page and click on the desired grade band.


For more information please contact Jane Frizzell.

What Teachers/Parents Want

by Annette Clarahan, Family Educator Partnership

Teachers/Parents are working harder than ever right now to make sure all kids are getting what they need. Add to that, the pressure of not knowing from day to day how they will be teaching/learning (online, hybrid, face to face) tomorrow. This adds stress for both, teachers and parents.

       What Parents Want               What Teachers Want

Schools to be open – pre Covid eraSchools to be open – pre Covid era
To be a parent not a teacher To be a teacher (most are parents too)
To be able to help their child w/school workParent to be able to help their child w/school work as needed
Schools patience and understanding Parents patience and understanding
Access to teachers Access to parents
Appreciation for what they are doing Appreciation for what they are doing
Positive feedback from teachers Positive feedback from parents
Sympathetic to parents understanding of technologySympathetic to teachers understanding of technology
Child to have access to technologyStudent to have access to technology
Want what’s best for their childWant what’s best for their student
Parent feeling SupportedTeacher feeling Supported
I want to be a parent, not a healthcare workerI want to be a teacher, not a healthcare worker
Please be kind Please be kind 

Remember a parent/educator feeling “overwhelmed” can look like he/she is “disinterested” and/or “doesn’t care.”  Be careful not to label too quickly.

RESPECT Training

Remember, when a parent doesn’t respond right away they may be working the night shift, trying to help and coordinate with more than one child’s teacher.  When a teacher doesn’t respond right away, remember she/he is responsible for many children and may need time to get back to the parent.

At the end of the day, what we all really want is to be able to have kids do group work, eat lunch like we used to, laugh in the hallways, have incentive parties and everything that we once had in our schools. But, we also want students and teachers to be safe, happy, healthy and learning.  

We are all in this together now and in the future.


This year the competition will be a totally virtual event on April 8 & 9

Battle of the Books is a collaborative reading competition for strong readers at the upper elementary and middle school levels. It is designed to enhance student commitment, team building, reading comprehension, and study skills in a fun, informative manner. Teams of up to six students read from a pre-selected list of books.

Books included on the reading lists have been carefully selected and are chosen for their high-interest level, challenging vocabulary, and multiple reading levels. The books are purposefully selected to expose students to a variety of genres, quality authors, diverse cultures, and historical eras.

GPAEA’s 2021 Battle of the Books will be held April 8 (elementary) and April 9 (middle school). This year the competition will be a totally virtual event. Registration is now open. For more information please contact Jane Frizzell.

October is National Principals Month – Submit a ShoutOut for The Cornerstone

Click here to submit a shoutout for your school’s Principal.

October is National Principals Month! Help us celebrate amazing principals for their hard work, especially during these challenging times. GPAEA wants to know what makes your Principal amazing, click here to submit a shoutout and we will include it in next month’s The Cornerstone. Submissions are due by October 22, 2020.

National Principals Month is sponsored by NASSP, NAESP, & AFSA. Learn more at

GPAEA Students can Experience the Next Generation of Researching Digital Content with AEA Scout!

Contact: Jane Frizzell, Media Librarian


Iowa’s Area Education Agencies are changing the way students and educators find high-quality digital information. Enter AEA Scout: One login. One search. One interface. 

AEA Scout is a new online portal that provides access to many of the digital resources provided by Iowa’s AEAs: AEA Digital Library, American History in Video, Encyclopedia Britannica, Gale, Learn 360, Mackin VIA, PBS Learning Media, SIRS Researcher and Teen Health & Wellness. Initially, 5th-12th grade students will benefit from a one-stop-shop for their research needs, and teachers can rest easy knowing their students are searching the quality content they’ve come to know and trust. 

Digging Deeper

With AEA Scout, students have the ability to dig deeper in their quest for information. A wide variety of sources of information in multiple formats will be at their fingertips when they search AEA Scout. This new way of information gathering also encourages students’ curiosity and builds a foundation for lifelong learning. 

What Makes AEA Scout Special?

Single sign-on to one interface

  • Login once to search multiple sources in one interface

Quality digital content 

  • Content from recognized publishers and producers 
  • Access to videos, articles, documents, ebooks, audiobooks, photos, charts, graphs and more 

Predictive functions 

  • The more students search, the smarter and more customized the results become
  • Suggested materials based on usage and interest 

Personalized learning experience 

  • Create a folder for each class or assignment 
  • Teachers can share resources and notes with specific students 
  • Highlight, underline, take and share notes in one place 

For all learners 

  • Translate text to different languages 
  • Most digital text is read-aloud 
  • Closed-captioned video 
  • Change text size and font 
  • Change the background color for higher contrast 

Accessing AEA Scout

AEA Scout uses the same login as the state-wide AEA Login system for teachers and AEA staff. Please contact your GPAEA Librarian, Jane Frizzell for access to student accounts.


Download PDF AEA_Scout_Poster_11x17_FINAL

Thank you GPAEA PTs & PTAs – October is National Physical Therapy Month


October is National Physical Therapy Month and an opportunity for Great Prairie AEA to celebrate and recognize our physical therapists and 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 (PT) and Physical Therapy Assistants (PTA):

Learn more about Physical Therapy Services at GPAEA:


October is Augmentative & Alternative Awareness Month


October is Augmentative & Alternative Awareness (AAC) Month and we’d like to acknowledge the hard work of GPAEA’s Assistive Technology Specialist and Team, Speech-Language Pathologists, SLPAs, and Early ACCESS teams who do so much to help make sure that kids have a way to access communication!

International AAC Awareness Month is celebrated around the world each October. The goal is to raise awareness of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and to inform the public about the many different ways in which people communicate using communication devices.

International AAC Awareness Month was established by ISAAC’s LEAD Project Committee in October 2007. Thirteen countries participated in the first Awareness Month, and events have been increasing in number and scope ever since.

Again, thank you for the work that you do!

Assistive Technology

Megan Farrell, Assistive Technology Specialist


Speech-Language Assistants:

Speech-Language Pathologists:


Virtual Substitute Authorization Courses Available beginning October 13

GPAEA continues to support schools in accessing substitute teachers by offering Substitute Authorization on a monthly basis. If your district is looking for subs please feel free to share the following information.

Certified Paraeducators and candidates who have an Associate’s Degree can be authorized to substitute teach after taking one of the following courses.

Contact for questions about Substitute Authorization.

#190031 GP – Substitute Authorization Grades Pk -12 (Virtual)#294523 Video Conference Oct 13 2020
Class will meet via Zoom on:

Tuesday, October 13, 202005:30:00 PM – 09:00:00 PM
Wednesday, October 14, 202005:30:00 PM – 09:00:00 PM
Friday, October 16, 202005:30:00 PM – 08:30:00 PM

#190031 GP – Substitute Authorization Grades Pk -12 (Virtual)#294801 Video Conference Nov 10 2020

Class will meet via Zoom on:

Tuesday, November 10, 202005:30:00 PM – 09:00:00 PM
Wednesday, November 11, 202005:30:00 PM – 09:00:00 PM
Friday, November 13, 202005:30:00 PM – 08:30:00 PM

#190031 GP – Substitute Authorization Grades Pk -12 (Virtual)#294802 Video Conference Dec 2 2020

Class will meet via Zoom on:

Wednesday, December 02, 202005:30:00 PM – 09:00:00 PM
Thursday, December 03, 202005:30:00 PM – 09:00:00 PM
Friday, December 04, 202005:30:00 PM – 08:30:00 PM

Looking for engaging in-person or online 21st Century learning opportunities for your students? Clearinghouse for Work-based learning is your answer!

Looking for engaging in-person or online 21st Century learning opportunities for your students? 

Consider the Clearinghouse for Work-based learning, Iowa’s first-ever statewide digital project board. Find a wide variety of authentic projects and project ideas that align with a WIDE VARIETY of PK-12 Core and Elective standards. 

September is Deaf Awareness Month – Thank you GPAEA Audiometrists, Educational Audiologists, and Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing!

deaf awareness month sept (1)

Great Prairie AEA is proud to have audiometrists, educational audiologists, and teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing who serve, support, and advocate on behalf of southeast Iowa’s children and families every day. Thank you!



Teacher of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing: