December 1, 2017 Webinar: An Overview of FAST Screening and Progress Monitoring Tools for Math and Behavior


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​Presenter: Jay Anderson

FAST (Formative Assessment System for Teachers) by FastBridge learning was developed to provide a single solution to screen, analyze, monitor, and evaluate student performance in reading, mathematics, and behavior.

This presentation will help educators learn more about the math and behavior components of the FAST system including a demonstration of general navigation, administration and scoring, and FAST reporting capabilities. Information also will be shared on how Iowa districts may work with their AEAs to upgrade existing FAST access to include these additional assessment capabilities.

As you know, Iowa’s AEAs will subsidize costs for districts to upgrade their DE provided FAST subscriptions, making these valuable tools very affordable.  Districts taking advantage of this offer will gain access to all K-6 FAST application features, which includes additional functionality in the area of literacy and access to data warehousing, reporting, training and certification in mathematics and behavior

This webinar is designed specifically for Iowa districts interested in upgrading their existing subscriptions and expanding the suite of tools available for formative assessments.

Connect To the FastBridge Webinar*

December 1, 2017

9:25am – 10:30am

*webinar will be recorded and made available at a later time for those who are unavailable to join on Dec. 1

Danville & New London ILEAD Student Showcase – November 21 from 1pm-3pm @New London HS Auditorium

Join us for the ILEAD Student Showcase! Local students from Danville & New London helping to solve local problems, assisting in projects and coming up with ideas to move your business forward all while gaining real world work experience and credit. Students will share about the program, their partners, and what they have been working on as well as what their current goals are to be successful in their projects.

ILEAD Fall Showcase (1)

Laura Williams
21C Learning Specialist
319-753-6561 Ext. 3050 Mt. Pleasant Office

Financial Incentive Options for Iowa Teachers to Obtain a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Endorsement

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The Iowa Department of Education has again named Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as a teacher shortage area. In an effort to support training of teachers in this special area of endorsement, two financial incentive options are available to interested licensed teachers: 1) a federally-funded grant or 2) a state-funded partial tuition reimbursement.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) developed a federally-funded grant, known as the Mid-Plains Professional Upgrade Partnership – Sensory Disabilities (MPUP-SD), to address this critical shortage area in Nebraska and the surrounding Mid-Plains states. The MPUP-SD grant provides funding to prospective students who want to earn their endorsement in educating students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Several teachers across Iowa have worked full-time while completing the UNL Deaf Education graduate program, which is delivered online with some on-site requirements.

A requirement of the MPUP-SD program is that applicants possess a current and valid teaching license. Participants may apply for the Graduate Certificate in Sensory Disabilities and earn an endorsement in Deaf Education; or, by taking two additional classes, may also complete a Master’s degree. (It is highly encouraged that anyone without a Master’s degree pursue this option.) Interested applicants would apply directly to UNL, see information listed below.

The Iowa Department of Education, in partnership with Iowa School for the Deaf, is offering a financial alternative for candidates accepted into this program. Candidates who are accepted into the UNL program will then have the option to select 1) terms of the MPUP federal grant or 2) terms of an agreement for the Iowa Grow Your Own tuition reimbursement program.

Iowa Grow Your Own tuition reimbursement program includes:

  • Willingness to complete at least three (3) years of employment within Iowa as a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing. Employment opportunities include positions across the continuum of services with any employing agency: local school district, area education agency, or Iowa School for the Deaf.
  • Willingness to consider relocation within Iowa in order to fulfill employment agreement.
  • Tuition reimbursement for up to 80% of each course, payable throughout the program upon proof of successful completion of each course.

Additional information:

Please note – Funding preferences are for candidates who apply to the MPUP-SD program by January 15, 2018 for Fall 2018 program start date. Application information is found here or (

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 Schools in the News – November 2017

Post updated throughout the month. Did we miss something? Send your school news to

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.

Teacher Personalized Learning System (TPLS) Portfolio Feature

Are you looking for a way to curate your professional learning artifacts? Look no further. AEA Learning Online’s Teacher Personalized Learning System (TPLS) now features a portfolio.

The portfolio feature allows educators to:

  • Upload artifacts (certificates, transcripts, images, etc.)
  • Hyperlink to websites
  • Write reflections
  • Connect to Iowa teaching standards
  • Share with district administrators

Managing your professional learning has never been easier. Watch the video below to learn more.

Promising Practices in Family and School Partnerships

Are there exciting and innovative programs going on in your school related to family and school partnerships? Would you like to be recognized by the Iowa Department of Education for these programs?

Application for this recognition involves four steps:

  1. Select a Promising Practice based on the criteria outlined in the Overview document
  2. Complete the narrative application and save as a PDF
  3. Complete this Google form:
  4. Upload the PDF copy of your application materials at the bottom of the form


If you have questions, please contact Kim Drew, Family and Educator Partnership Consultant ( or Deb Chiodo, Family and School Partnership Project Coordinator, ASK Resource (

Spring Online Courses from Drake

Register Now for a Spring Online Courses!
Spring registration is now open for Drake University Continuing Education & Professional Development online courses! All online graduate courses are interactive and include practical information. Ensure yourself a seat by enrolling today! Our most popular courses are listed below. Click on any of the course titles for more information.

Anti-Bullying: Where to Start (EDMA 205)
3 Semester Hours of Graduate Credit
Spring 2018 Dates: February 5 – April 1
$625 (Not including the cost of the text)

Cultural Awareness: Seeing Past the Stereotypes (EDMA 209)
3 Semester Hours of Graduate Credit
Spring 2018 Dates: February 12 – April 9
$625 (not including the cost of the text)

Differentiation and Literacy (EDMA 244) — NEW
3 Semester Hours of Graduate Credit
Spring 2018 Dates: January 29 – March 25

Elementary Social Studies: Making Your Content Relevant (EDMA 208)
3 Semester Hours of Graduate Credit
Spring 2018 Dates: January 29 – March 25
$625 (not including the cost of the text)

Human Relations (EDMA 204)
3 Semester Hours of Graduate Credit
Spring 2018 Dates: February 5 – April 1
$625 (not including the cost of the text)

Teacher Leadership Strategies (EDMA 206)
3 Semester Hours of Graduate Credit
Spring 2018 Dates: February 12 – April 8
$625 (not including the cost of the text)

Other Online Course Topics

  • Athletic Coaching
  • Classroom Management
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Online Learning and Instruction
  • Physical Education
  • Reading and Literacy

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

STEM BEST Partners – Congratulations Albia & Chariton!

Original Post:

STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) focuses on teachers and industry professionals working side-by-side to craft curriculum and projects that prepare students for exciting STEM careers local to their community in manufacturing, information technology, bioscience (agriculture and medicine), finance and more.

The STEM Council Executive Committee voted unanimously in October 2017 to disburse $475,000 in cost-shared funds to 19 competitively-selected school partnerships, bringing to the table a total cost-share commitment of $2,880,481. The 2017 STEM BEST partners are:

  • Albia Community Schools in the South Central STEM Region. The Albia community school district was awarded the STEM RLE in the 2015-2016 school year to create a redesigned learning environment which was named “4C” to promote the use of the 4C’s (Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Creativity). Local businesses have partnered with the district to create lessons and authentic learning opportunities for students and to engage them with local businesses in various ways including projects and site visits. The Albia CSD Financial Model includes the cost of the redesigned classroom and various conferences and visits to work-based learning locations for a grand total of $51,595, with the school district covering the $26,595 not covered by the STEM BEST Grant.
  • Chariton Community Schools of the South Central STEM Region. The Chariton community school district is developing their REAL (Relevant – Engaged – Applied – Learning) program for implementation in the 2018-2019 school year to provide seniors with work-based learning opportunities in STEM fields. So far 9 local businesses have partnered with the district to provide career awareness, exploration, and preparation/training opportunities for students through tours, speakers, career course development committees, and hosting students in the workplace. Their proposed financial model indicates in-kind, partnerships, and district funding would provide $31,700 towards the cost of professional development and work-based learning experiences, while the STEM BEST Grant would primarily fund curriculum development, site visit mileage, and coordinator an business development support.


GPAEA Board Member Election Results – October 2017

In October, Great Prairie AEA held Board Elections in four of their nine Director Districts. Congratulations to the following elected Board Members:

  • Melissa Ballard – Director District #2, which includes Albia, Chariton, Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont, Moravia & Wayne
  • Margaret Kelly – Director District #6, which includes Fairfield, Pekin, WACO, Winfield-Mt. Union & a portion of the Ottumwa School District
  • Janet Smith – Director District #7, which includes Mediapolis, Morning Sun, Mount Pleasant, New London & Wapello
  • Victoria Stephenson – Director District #9, which includes Danville, Fort Madison, West Burlington, and a portion of the Burlington School District

About Elections: School Board Members from the districts listed above choose the Great Prairie Area Education Agency representative for a four-year term.  Under Iowa law, anyone who is a resident and elector of the Director District indicated may seek election to the AEA Board, except local school employees or members of the Community College Boards of Directors.

Learn more about GPAEA Board of Directors at