2014 Dr. Chavez Individual Award Presented to Mt. Pleasant ELL Director Saunders

CORNERSTONE PICDina Saunders from Mt. Pleasant CSD received the 2014 Dr. Chavez Individual Award. She was nominated by Superintendent, Dr. Mike Wells.

In his nomination he wrote, “When I think about Dan Chavez he stood for integrity and the advancement of children. Dina has been involved with ICLC for many years and has been a tireless champion for ELL children and their families. Dina trained all ELL staff in sheltered instruction this past summer, developed our districts LAU plan, and designed an adult English class which meets five days a week in the evening. Dina is the district ELL director and has assured all practices and procedures are followed by every employee. She has developed a system to discover student/parent needs and resources to solve the issues. Dina is now working with the University of Iowa to create “An Iowa ELL Literacy Program” that will be free to all schools. This program will define how literacy is taught, and will have a quality assessment system. Dina is a true champion for our second language learners and I highly recommend her for the Dan Chavez Award.”  She was presented the award on Wednesday, November 12 during the 2014 Iowa Culture and Language Conference in Coralville.

Congratulations to Dina on this accomplishment! If you are interested in nominating someone from your district for this award you will find more information on the Iowa Culture and Language Website at www.iowaclc.org.

31st Annual Write Women Back Into History Contest

DES MOINES – The Iowa Commission on the Status of Women is seeking entries for the 2015 Write Women Back into History Essay Contest from students in grades 6–9. The theme of this year’s contest is “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.”

In partnership with the Iowa Department of Education and the State Historical Society of Iowa, the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women within the Iowa Department of Human Rights, invites students to participate in order to gain a deeper and more relevant appreciation of women’s roles in history. The contest helps highlight stories of women’s achievements that are integral to the fabric of our history.

The Write Women Back into History Essay Contest is held as part of Iowa’s observance of Women’s History Month. March is often designated as Women’s History Month by the governor, the Iowa Senate and House of Representatives, the President of the United States and the U.S. Congress, and will be celebrated in hundreds of communities and thousands of classrooms nationwide.

Winning essayists will be awarded prizes, announced on the floors of the Iowa House of Representatives and Senate. They will also be recognized at a special ceremony at the State Historical Building during Women’s History Month, and each finalist will receive a certificate signed by the governor. All winners’ names will be released to the press, and a special effort will be made to inform media outlets in the students’ communities of their honors.

Contest guidelines and entry forms are available online by clicking here or by contacting Kristen Corey at 515/281-4470, 800/558-4427 or women@iowa.gov.

The deadline for entry is January 23rd, 2015. Anyone with questions may contact Kristen Corey in the Office on the Status of Women at 515/281-4470, 800/558-4427 or women@iowa.gov.

Secondary Transition Family Planning for Educators & Parents

2nd Trans class ott fall 2014 1Our Great Prairie AEA Parent-Educator and Transition Coordinators held a Secondary Transition Family Planning for Educators and Parents, in Ottumwa on November 10 & 11th. This 2-day workshop was intended to help teachers and parents learn how to assist parents in their understanding of the special education transition process in Iowa and how to participate effectively.

The course will be offered again April 8th & 9th, 2015 at the GPAEA office in Burlington.  Participants will be provided information, resources and a supportive environment to meet Community Service Providers and ask questions about the transition process. Participants will receive four parent transition planning modules created by the Iowa Department of Education and PACER:

  • From Disability to Possibility: The Power of High Expectations in Transition Planning
  • Road to Discovery Transition to Adult Living, Learning and Working
  • Taking the Next Step: Planning for Success in Post-Secondary Education
  • Exploring and Preparing for Work as an Adult

2nd Trans class ott fall 2014 2If you know a teacher or parent who might benefit from this information please have them contact Kelly Wallace, PEC.


Announcing First Year Implementation Grant for FOSS kit curriculum grades K-5

GPAEA and FOSS 3rd Edition 2015-16GPAEA is excited to announce that we are joining the Eastern Iowa Science Collaborative (EISC) in conjunction with the VAST Center (GWAEA) in Cedar Rapids. GPAEA is working with other AEAs of the EISC to provide school districts with access to efficient and effective science curriculum to maximize student-learning opportunities. The EISC is offering the Third Edition FOSS kit curriculum for implementation coordinated through the VAST Center.

GPAEA is offering a limited number of first year implementation grants that will provide the rental cost of one kit per teacher (approximately $175) up to $1050 limit per building for the first year of the building’s participation.  Applicants will be selected based on following factors: science proficiency data on Iowa Assessments, SINA/DINA and the district sustainability plan for FOSS kit curriculum.

Please see the attached information to learn about the new venture as well as summarized information and a link to learn more about the Third Edition FOSS kits.

If you have questions or would like a grant application email rosemary.peck@gpaea.org.

GPAEA and FOSS 3rd Edition 2015-16

FOSS Highlights

GPAEA Schools in the News – November 2014

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

Post updated throughout the month. 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.