Bridge View Center Hosts First Annual Family Fest on Saturday, March 11

Bridge View Center in collaboration with partners Indian Hills Community College, Ottumwa Community Schools, the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, and United Way of Wapello County present the first Annual Family Fest to be held on Saturday, March 11 from 10:00am – 4:00pm. The show is free and open to the public.  All families are encouraged to attend.

PrintDownload PDF Poster: family-fest_11x17-poster_stem

Click here to view the press release

Step up your game: Register for Educator Quality Conference

Originally posted at Department of Education

Join teachers, teacher leaders, mentors and administrators April 6 from across the state to learn and plan for students’ future successes and achievements.

The conference will be held at Simpson College in Indianola, just south of Des Moines.

The conference will engage and unite educators from administrators to the classroom teacher. Topics covered include a focus on unifying educators, and examine the roles of positions from Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) to English language learner teachers (ELL).

First- through third-year teachers are encouraged to attend, in addition to TLC and ELL educators. Schools are encouraged to bring teams.

Register today, deadline is March 17.

The Cornerstone – February 2017


Click on a link or scroll down to view all posts. Enjoy!

It’s Still About the Relationship

This post was shared with GPAEA Staff, but is a good message for all educators – “be proud of your profession.”

Dr. Jon Sheldahl, Chief Administrator

I want to comment on all the activity around the changes in Iowa’s collective bargaining laws, better known as Chapter 20.  I had the opportunity to speak with many of our staff last Friday a…

Source: It’s Still About the Relationship

Iowa needs teachers of the deaf

The Iowa Department of Education and Iowa School for the Deaf recognize the challenges of recruiting individuals who hold the rare endorsement of deaf education. The “Grow Your Own” program is designed to encourage licensed teachers to pursue this endorsement and help fill critical shortages in this specialized field. Learn more at

Download PDF: Grow Your Own


13th Annual Indian Hills Diversity Conference – March 10


Please join us for the 13th Annual Indian Hills Diversity Conference on Friday, March 10, 2017, 9:00AM – 3:30PM on the Indian Hills Community College Main Campus (Ottumwa).

The mission of the conference is to educate attendees about diversity-related topics, including (but not limited to) the areas of education, religion, ethnicity, health, environment, gender/LGBTQ, age, and much more. With the growing importance of understanding diversity, this is a great way to learn more, to network, and to gain different perspectives on many diversity-related issues.

Our keynote speakers this year include Joan Becker (mother of Mark Becker, who shot and killed Aplington-Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas, who will speak about their family’s story and the US mental health system), and Don Bartletti (former LA times photojournalist who will speak regarding his travels in Central America/Mexico and migration for survival). The conference will also include two 60-minute breakout sessions, where attendees learn about pertinent diversity-related topics offered.

Learn more and register at

Download: diversityposter17

AEAs Play Daily ‘Behind-the-Scenes’ Role in a Child’s Education


Written by Beth Strike, APR, who is the director of creative services with Area Education Agency 267

Those of us who have been employed by Iowa’s Area Education Agency (AEA) system are used to the puzzled looks we get from neighbors and friends when we say that we work for the Area Education Agency — or “AEA” — system. Despite our best efforts over the last 40 or so years, too few people still truly understand the vital role that we play in helping all of Iowa’s children achieve–mostly because the majority of the time, that role is “behind-the-scenes” in local school districts.

What is an AEA? Here are just a few of the ways that we are serving your community’s students.

  • Frequently, our staff members are the ones leading the professional learning that your child’s teachers are receiving when there are “no school” or “early dismissal” days. Our staff members receive a great deal of training on best practices in teaching and learning and then work directly with local teachers to help those ideas get implemented into the classroom.
  • Your local school district is involved in the Teacher Leadership and Compensation program which requires that lead teachers have access to high quality professional learning around improving classroom practices. This training likely comes from your local Area Education Agency whose professional learning consultants designed a specialized plan for the schools it serves.
  • Has your school district launched a new reading initiative? Adopted a new assessment? It’s likely that an AEA staff member may have introduced the initiative and is working quietly in the background helping to support classroom teachers with putting new strategies into regular practice.
  • How about the students with special needs in your school district? Those students are regularly seen by AEA professionals who have master’s degrees in key areas like psychology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and more. These professionals work closely with the classroom teacher to identify student-specific targets for growth and help to ensure that progress is being made so that each child can reach his/her maximum potential. However, if you don’t have a child with special needs, you would probably never even know about this important service that impacts over 8,000 children in our area of the state.
  • Step into many classrooms today and you will likely notice a number of students-used materials like play-away books, iPads, robots, and more. Most of these materials are items that school districts could not afford to purchase on their own so the AEA purchases them and loans them out to every school district so that no child goes without the opportunity to learn from them.

These are just a few of the many services provided by your local AEA. Services are funded through a combination of federal-aid and state-aid payments; legislatively controlled property tax; federal, state and private grants; and tuition for classes. Without ongoing support from these sources, the educational experience each child receives in Iowa would not be nearly the same.

Women’s History Month Video Contest – Deadline March 1


Women’s History Month Video Contest
Deadline for submission: March 1, 2017

Students and Teachers/Organizations: Compete for a chance to win prizes!

To celebrate Women’s History Month in March, the Iowa Department of Human Rights’ Office on the Status of Women (with financial support from the Friends of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women) is hosting its 2nd annual Women’s History Month video contest to celebrate women’s history.  Entries are open to students in grades 5-12 and schools/organizations that work with students in grades 5-12.

Video Submission Deadline: Wednesday, March 1st, 2017



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Todd Whitaker – What Great Leaders Do Differently

March 1 – Todd Whitaker – What Great Leaders Do Differently

todd-whitaker-march-1Great Prairie AEA is excited to host Todd Whitaker on Wednesday, March 1 at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center from 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM.

Register at

Lunch included. No cost for Educators in GPAEA. $100 Participant Fee for outside of GPAEA.

District Leadership Teams are encouraged to join Todd as he reveals what effective leaders do differently than their colleagues and as he shares research on organizational cultures and school leadership, providing you everything you need to optimize both the culture and climate of your school.

Download PDF: todd-whitaker-march-1-gpaea

Southeast Iowa Area Educators Campaign for State Support

Local superintendents were among more than 150 education leaders at the Iowa Capitol Thursday, united in their vocation and in their request for Iowa legislators to attend to the needs of the state’s students.

“Our focus isn’t just on extending our hand and requesting the state’s financial support,” said Steve Murley, Iowa City superintendent, one of the superintendents attending today’s event. “What we need is an audience with our legislators to help them understand today’s realities in Iowa classrooms. While we’re celebrating the highest graduation rates in the nation, and building our state’s next generation of leaders, we’re also facing increased transportation costs, growing disparities in home life and student behaviors from what we’ve seen in the past, and new dynamics that complicate the business of educating students.

“We’re asking for Iowa’s legislators to listen with the goal of understanding, and show us that they will prioritize their support for our students. The proposed level of Supplemental State Aid will force us to look at reducing opportunities for our students, and will impact everything from staffing to programming,” he added.

Wearing yellow buttons with #keepingthepromise, a reference to the statewide Promise of Iowa public education campaign, representatives from every Area Education Agency, from the School Administrators of Iowa, and from more than 150 public school districts spoke to legislators about the demands of public education and the legislators’ support of their work. 

Districts from Great Prairie AEA scheduled to have representatives in attendance include Albia, Burlington, Cardinal, Central Lee, Chariton, Danville, Davis County, Fairfield, Fort Madison, Keota, Oskaloosa, Pekin, Sigourney, Tri-County, & Wayne.

“With this united outreach opportunity, we welcome the opportunity to help legislatives understand the impact of their decisions on the families and children in their respective districts,” said Brent Siegrist, Executive Director of Iowa Area Education Agencies.