Google 4 Doodle Contest Announced


Students in grades K-12 are invited to take part in the 2016 Doodle 4 Google contest, and create a doodle that tells the world “What I see for the future.” From crayons to clay, graphic design, or even food, young artists can utilize any materials to bring their creation to life. Like all Google Doodles, each doodle must incorporate the letters G-o-o-g-l-e. One national winner will also receive a $30,000 college scholarship. The contest is open for entries from September 14, 2016 to December 2, 2016.

You can read the Google announcement on their blog, and students can download the Google template and contest rules there, too:


The Cornerstone – September 2016


Click here to see email version or click on a link below to begin reading!

Second Grader Finds Success Using Assistive Technology


Ellie Hamilton, Assistive Technology Specialist

Zeke will be in third grade this year at New London Elementary and has been using different assistive technology devices since receiving early access services  in the birth to three setting. An eight person team works together to assess Zeke’s needs and update his Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and last year they began to see progress with the devices that they had been trialing. The New London district recently purchased a new Rifton dynamic pacer gait trainer with multi-positioning capabilities for his classroom work. He also uses talking brix to communicate yes/no messages; activated with his hands or head with the assistance of a support staff member.

When the team first met and considered Zeke’s needs and access to the curriculum, they wanted to experiment with additional assistive technology items borrowed from Great Prairie AEA. After the trial and reviewing data, the school district purchased the Gooseneck Wobble switch and a Big Mack Switch.

In the video, Zeke is using a Big Mack single message recordable switch. He is telling Ashley to turn the page by activating the switch with his hand. This switch was incorporated into Zeke’s weekly reading probes for him to respond to questions in the classroom setting.

The New London district team has incorporated assistive technology beyond the classroom into his everyday activities with his peers. Zeke used a Gooseneck Wobble Switch to participate in the second grade Winter concert. He activated the switch to introduce a song during the concert.  He had the support of his teacher and paraeducator to setup and ensure his assistive technology items were ready for the concert.

Before Zeke was dependent on adults to determine his wants and needs. Now he is able to communicate using switches in a supported environment with his team.

A special THANK YOU to Zeke’s team last year:

  • Bridget Swailes, Special Educator
  • Mrs. Mrs. McAllister, General Education Teacher
  • Teresa Roberts, Paraeducator
  • Ashley Hobbs, GPAEA Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Shannah Sullivan, GPAEA Occupational Therapist
  • Carol Kottensette, GPAEA Physical Therapist
  • Kandys Dameron, GPAEA Physical Therapy Assistant
  • Catherine Benitz & Kim Richert, GPAEA Core Team
  • Dana McIntire, GPAEA Speech Pathologist

GPAEA’s Crisis Response Team Available for Area Schools


Each year students and educators in Great Prairie AEA are impacted by incidents involving traumatic stress. These situations can result in disruption of the normal learning experience for students, as well as relationship problems, anxiety, and depression. The Crisis Response Team consists of consultants, school psychologists and social workers who have received specialized training in critical incident stress management and grief recovery.


Brianne Stuchel
School Social Worker
800-622-0027 Ext. 5392 Ottumwa Office

Kibbon Rumohr
School Social Worker
800-622-0027 Ext. 5331 Ottumwa Office

2016-17 Media Van Delivery Schedule

screenshot-2Delivery Starts: Wednesday August 17, 2016

Last Delivery: the week of May 15-18, 2017
Last Pickup: the week of May 22-25, 2017

Monday – Route 1 and Route 2

Tuesday – Route 3 and Route 4

Wednesday – Route 5

Thursday –Route 6 and Route 7

Orders are pulled for delivery Monday through Thursday. Please order by 8:30am the day before your delivery date (exception: Thursday for Monday delivery)

No van delivery on these dates:

  • Thanksgiving – Wednesday/Thursday/Friday-November 23, 24, 25, 2016
  • Winter Break – December 23, 2016 – January 2, 2017
  • President’s Day – February 20, 2017
  • Spring Break – March 20 – 24, 2017
  • Easter Monday – April 17, 2017
  • Memorial Day – May 29, 2017

Iowa Brain Injury Alliance Hosts Webinar & Town Hall on September 23



“REAP – A Statewide Concussion Management Program for Iowa” presented by Karen McAvoy, PsyD, Director for the Center for Concussion, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children on Friday, September 23, 2016 at 12pm CST.

Download the flyer for more information: Karen McAvoy Webinar Flyer 9-23-16 FINAL

Town Hall Event

Concussion Management: What every student, family and school needs to know about Iowa’s newest concussion treatment protocol presented by Dr. Karen McAvoy, author of REAP on Friday, September 23, 2016 at 6pm CST at Iowa City Public Library.

Download the flyer for more information: Karen McAvoy Event Flyer 9-23-16 FINAL

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training in Burlington & Ottumwa

For more information or to participate in a Youth Mental Health First Aid training in Ottumwa or Burlington, visit GPAEA course catalog or contact:

Ottumwa area:

Burlington area:

To learn more about Mental Health First Aid USA, visit

Parent & Educator Connection is now Iowa Family & Educator Partnership

Iowa Family & Educator PartnershipThe Parent & Educator Connection (PEC) is in the process of a statewide redesign which brings with it a new name, Iowa Family & Educator Partnership (Iowa FEP). The work of the Iowa FEP will focus on high expectations, effective communications, active involvement and support student learning. If you have questions about Iowa FEP, please contact:

Annette Clarahan
Parent Educator Coordinator
641-682-8591 or 800-622-0027 Ext. 5517

Districts Covered:  Albia, Cardinal, Centerville , Chariton, Davis County, Eddyville-Blakesburg , Fairfield, Fremont, Keota, Maharishi, Moravia, Moulton – Udel, North Mahaska, Oskaloosa Christian, Oskaloosa, Ottumwa, Ottumwa Juvenile Shelter, Ottumwa Seton Catholic School, Pekin, Seymour, Sigourney, Tri County, Van Buren, Wayne.

Kelly Wallace
Parent Educator Coordinator
319-385-9005 or 800-382-8970 Ext. 3034

Districts Covered: Burlington, Central Lee, Danville, Ft. Madison, Harmony, Keokuk, Mediapolis, Morning Sun, Mt. Pleasant, New London, Waco, Wapello, West Burlington, Winfield/Mt. Union.