2014 Assistive Technology Summer Institute

Summer Institute Flyer 2014 (1)Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research (ICATER)

Earn College Credit While Learning about and Experiencing Assistive Technology for Students with Disabilities 

Course Dates 

  • June 2 & 3 Ottumwa Great Prairie AEA
  • June 18 & 19 Council Bluffs Green Hills AEA


$440 for one UI graduate credit (each two-day session earns one credit); $125 for certification of completion, no college credit

This course has been approved to give CEUs for ATPs 


ICATER Assoc. Director James R. Stachowiak, ATP

Download a PDF

ISU Principal & Superintendent Licensure Programs

The Education Administration Program at Iowa State University is pleased to announce they are accepting applications for upcoming cohort groups for both their Principal and Superintendent Licensure programs.  Attached please find two one-page flyers regarding the formation of these cohorts beginning in May and August 2014 for the PreLEAD Program for Principal Licensure, and in June 2014 for the Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) Program for Superintendent Licensure.
A new PreLEAD cohort will begin in Fort Dodge this May.   An information meeting will be held at Iowa Central Community College in the Bioscience & Health Science Building  (Room 111) on April 23rd from 4:30-5:30PM (campus map:  http://www.iowacentral.edu/security/maps.asp).
Continue reading

6th Grade Math Bee Results 2014

The Great Prairie AEA Sixth Grade Math Bee was held Tuesday April 8, 2014 at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center in Fairfield, Iowa.  The event involved 52 teams from 18 public school districts and 2 private schools within the Great Prairie AEA region. There were 231 students participating on the building level teams including their team alternates.  The test covers six different areas: The Number System; Expressions and Equations; Geometry; Statistics and Probability; Ratio, Proportion and Percent; and a Team Problem Solving Round. The test areas changed slightly to reflect the change in the Iowa Core for Mathematics.

Top Individual Winners

The Top 3 Individuals will advance to State.

The Top 3 Individuals will advance to State.

  1. Drake Smith – Danville Elementary
  2. Aaron Blom – Oskaloosa Middle
  3. Vanessa Hupp – Central Lee Middle
  4. Wyatt Hellman – Holy Trinity Elementary
  5. Travis Massner – Mediapolis Middle/High
  6. Shanna Fellows – Eddyville Elementary Attendance
  7. Maggie Cristoforo – Mt. Pleasant Middle
  8. McCain Oden – Lakeview Elementary
  9. Samantha Pothitakis – Holy Trinity Elementary
  10. Miguel Trejo – Holy Trinity Elementary
  11. River Campbell – Oskaloosa Middle

Each AEA in Iowa sends the top 10% of their competing teams to the State Competition. The State Sixth Grade Math Bee is scheduled May 2, 2014 and will be held in Fort Dodge.

The six teams from Great Prairie AEA eligible to participate in the 2014 State Sixth Grade Math Bee include:  1st place team from Danville Elementary School, 2nd place team from Holy Trinity Catholic, 3rd place team from Centerville Community School, and State Qualifiers from Mt Pleasant Middle School, Eddyville Blakesburg Fremont, and Danville Elementary School.

Students receiving perfect scores on at least one round are Drake Smith and Aaron Blom.

Top 6 Teams 

Continue reading

Coming Soon! AEA PD Online Self-Paced Courses

screenshotIntroducing a new format, perfect for hard-working professionals.

Available for license renewal, sub-authorization,or paraeducator renewal. Start any time, complete at your own schedule. Low price of $60/credit!

Available soon at http://training.aeapdonline.org

Courses include:

  • Digital Citizenship
  • Using Iowa AEA Online’s Resources
  • The Exceptional Learner
  • Ethics for Educators
  • Google Apps 101

Download the flier: aeapdonline selfpaced brochure

GPAEA’s 2012-13 Annual Progress Report Posted

APR CoverThis report, which is required by all of Iowa’s nine Area Education Agencies, provides information about how well students in the area perform in reading, math and science. It also provides information on how AEA services are utilized by local school districts. It contains rich and valuable data that assists in the formation of agency actions to improve services.

Achieving our mission of improving teaching and learning by developing leaders, discovering solutions and delivering services requires collaborative partnerships with educators, parents, community and many other organizations. Together, we work toward the ultimate goal – to ensure success for all learners. Each year, the Annual Progress Report offers us an opportunity to assess our work and plan for the future.

2012-2013 Executive Summary Annual Progress Report

National Teacher Appreciation Week – May 4-10

NTD-POSTR-ACelebrate Teachers, May 4-10, and especially on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, National Teacher Day. Thank a teacher for making schools great!

Use the hashtag #TeachersMatter on Twitter to celebrate teachers, and hop on Pinterest to check out Edutopia’s “Thanks” pinboard.

Celebrate National Teacher Day on Social Media (National Education Association, 2014)
The National Education Association encourages you to make a six-second video on Vine to#ThankATeacher. Learn more at NEA.

GPAEA Professional Development Courses – May/Summer

GPAEA has professional development opportunities scheduled for May and summer.  Summer classes will continue to be added to the catalog as they are received.  Some deadlines for minimum enrollment and registration deadlines are coming up quickly, so register soon!


Summer Institute II

Assessing Academic Rigor: Evaluator III

FIERCE Conversations


  • ST-AT I Structured Teaching for Autism: BASIC Components
  • ST-AT II Structured Teaching for Autism: Communication, Social and Leisure
  • Social Skills for Autism
  • ABA Strategies and Curriculum: Using STAR Program to Support Students with Autism

Behavior/Classroom Management

  • Interventions: Evidence-Based Behavioral Strategies for Individual Students
  • Nine Essential Skills for the Love & Logic Classroom Basic
  • Nine Essential Skills for the Love and Logic Classroom Advanced
  • Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Tier 2 Training
  • Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Training
  • CHAMPS: A Proactive and Positive Approach to Classroom Management
  • A Behavior Tool Box for Your Classroom

Fine Arts

  • Wheel Thrown Pottery II (weekend and evening classes)
  • Plein Air: Outdoor Landscape
  • Painting Layering Up

General Interest & Culture

  • Current Research in Teaching and Learning: Schools that Make the Grade Book Study
  • Bringing History to Life through Primary Sources and Historical Fiction
  • Simon and Garfunkel: The Poet-Musicians of Folk Rock
  • Charlie Chaplin: Comic of the Human Spirit
  • James Dean: An American Cultural Icon
  • Creating Supportive School Cultures and Learning Environments
  • Literacy/LETRS
  • Iowa Core 101: Literacy Standards for Elementary
  • Iowa Core 101: Literacy Standards for Secondary
  • LETRS 1-3
  • LETRS 4-6
  • LETRS 7-9
  • Second Chance Reading Academy 2014-2015
  • Interactive Vocabulary Lessons


  • Fun with Fractions: Strategies to teach fractions with deep understanding


  • Integrating STEM in the Classroom
  • Iowa Core in the StarLab
  • Dinosaurs and the Geology of the Rocky Mountains  (held in Choteau, Montana)


  • Pushing the Boundaries Summer Academy
  • Assistive Technology Summer Institute
  • Social Media and You (evening class)
  • Google (various levels)
  • Mobile Devices in the Classroom: Practicing the 4Cs (Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Critical Thinking) – Level 1
  • Mobile Devices in the Classroom: Practicing the 4Cs (Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Critical Thinking) – Level 2
  • Communicating and Collaborating with Google Docs
  • Technology Integration Series: Instruction Through Interactive White Boards and ActivInspire Software – Level 1
  • Technology Integration Series: Instruction with Interactive White Boards and ActivInspire Software – Level 2

Workshops and Other Trainings:

  • Instructional Shifts and your Social Studies Curriculum – Getting started!
  • Technology in Early Childhood

Please visit our online course catalog to register.  https://www.mylearningplan.com/webreg/catalog.asp?H=1&D=10734

Drake University Education Leadership Symposium – June 18, 2014

The Drake University Education Leadership Symposium entitled, ‘The Leader’s Role in Implementing Standards-Based Grading’ will be held on Wednesday, June 18, 2014.  The symposium will feature Dr. Thomas Guskey, a Professor of Educational Psychology in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky.  Dr. Guskey is the author/editor of numerous books, articles, and professional papers on educational measurement, evaluation, assessment, and grading.

As educators align instruction and assessments with the Common Core standards for student learning, most find they also must change their grading policies and revise their report card. This symposium will focus on how to develop new standards-based grading policies and practices that are better for ALL students, how to gain the support of parents, and how to avoid excessive work for teachers. Continue reading

AEA PD Online & AEA K-12 Online – April 2014

The April blog updates for AEA PD Online and AEA K-12 Online are now available. Go to www.aeapdonline.org/ or www.aeak12online.org for updates or click on the direct article links below. For real time updates, follow AEA PD Online on Twitter @aeapdonline or on your mobile device by accessing our app at myapp.is/aeapdonline.




GPAEA Science Specialist Tami Plein Receives ESTA Award

At the 126th Iowa Academy of Science’s Annual Meeting on Saturday, April 12, in Fort Dodge, Great Prairie AEA Science Specialist, Tami Plein, was recognized and presented with the first Excellence in Science Teaching (ESTA) Award for Science Supervisory.

This is the first year for a Science Supervisory category. Nominating letters for Tami focused on her ability to work tirelessly as an innovative science teacher and as a leader, role model, and collaborative colleague and mentor for teachers throughout Great Prairie AEA.  Under her leadership a small group of teachers has grown into a network of 40 high school and 30 middle school teachers striving toward the improvement of curriculum and teaching for their students. She serves on the state science leadership team, and on the STEM Advisory Council’s Professional Development subcommittee. Tami believes effective teachers must build relationships, have good communication skills, a love of learning, exhibit the ability to assume multiple roles, and have a deep understanding of science, teaching, and learning.

Tami Plein is currently Science Specialist at Great Prairie Area Education Agency in Burlington, Iowa. She also serves as T3 National Instructor, Educational Technology Division, Texas Instruments Incorporated. From the fall of 2000 to spring 2008 she taught AP Chemistry, Honors Chemistry, Physical Science, Science Research, General Chemistry, Biology, and was Water Quality Project Coordinator at Burlington Community High School. Her teaching career began in 1982, teaching Biology, Math, and Spanish at Fairfield Community High School. She has been involved in science education since then in Mt. Pleasant, Southeastern Community College, Great Prairie Area Education Agency and Burlington. Her educational background includes a BA in Biology from Central College, and a MS in Science Education from the University of Iowa.

Congratulations Tami!

April is Occupational Therapy Month

OT webApril has been designated as Occupational Therapy Month nationally and is celebrated throughout the country.  Occupational Therapists and 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 Occupational Therapy Assistants for the services they provide throughout our service area.

Occupational Therapists

  • Lynn, Coppage
  • Carol Havelka
  • Marty Hudson
  • Kathy Jaske-Gardner
  • Shanah Sullivan
  • Joe Whalen

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants

  • Vonn Gould
  • Ashley Hobbs
  • Joe Hudson
  • Michelle Mihalovich
  • Deb Mueller
  • Chris Williams

Learn more about OT services from Great Prairie AEA at http://www.gpaea.org/en/services/occupational_therapy/.

GPAEA Schools in the News – April 2014

A list of the April 2014 headlines featuring a Great Prairie AEA School District:

Did we miss something? Send your school news to jennifer.woodley@gpaea.org.

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.