GPAEA’s Summer Institute Series

Join us for our Summer Institute Series. Information and registration links below.

June 8 & 9: Leading and Sustaining the Work of the Collaborative Team Process

STPLC SI 2015 Postcard_Page_1

Join Solution Tree Consultant, Tim Brown in learning how to lead the work of collaborative teams.

Tim Brown will guide your teams in answering the following questions:

  • How will you establish common understandings and expectations for collaboration across your system (district, school, & teacher teams)?
  • How will you train collaborative team leaders?
  • What does the work of a collaborative team look like?
  • What is the role of common assessments in the work of the collaborative team?
  • What is your long-range plan for implementing a collaborative system?
  • How will you monitor, support, and evaluate the effectiveness of the collaborative process?

Register at

Download a PDF: STPLC SI 2015 Postcard

June 15 & 16: Thinking Functionally About Behavior

Behavior SI 2015 Postcard_Page_1

Are behaviors in your building causing you and your staff to have high levels of stress? Do you want to know more about how to manage those behaviors? How can we see the behaviors we want to see from our students?

Join us on June 15 & 16 to learn how to think functionally about the behaviors you encounter on a daily basis so you can match your interventions and strategies effectively. Throughout the two days, we will talk about behavior assessment and behavior intervention. We will share content and strategies to support your work with students who demonstrate problem behaviors in your schools.

Download a PDF: Behavior SI 2015 Postcard

Also, there is an Assistive Technology Summer Institute in Ottumwa on June 2 & 3 hosted by the University of Iowa College of Education’s Center for Assistive Technology & Research (ICATER). More info at

The Cornerstone – March 2015

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How to be Happy and Successful in Your Work

Originally posted on Jon's Blog:

jon adviceThis is an excerpt from my speech at the winter commencement ceremony at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa…Go Warriors!

……………So then, what does one say to such a diverse group as this that will apply to everyone? Well, over the past 25 years or so I have been hiring new employees and orienting them to new settings. Over those years, my message to new staff has sort of evolved, but I thought that, regardless of where you find yourself next, these thoughts might benefit you in your next chapter. Here is what I have learned to emphasize to new people when trying to help them get off to a good start to a new job or career…..

  1. Relationships Matter – I have never seen a person fail as the result of having inadequate technical skill or knowledge. People most often fail by not being able to build and…

View original 1,056 more words

GPAEA Presents The Behavior Doctor – April 20 & 21

Behavior Dr (2)When?

Monday, April 20
6 PM – 8 PM

Tuesday, April 21 – all day
8:30 AM – 4 PM Lunch on your own


Fairfield Arts& Convention Center
200 N Main St
Fairfield, IA 52556

Dr. Laura Riffel, the Behavior Doctor, is a behaviorist who has more than 30 years of experience dealing with challenging behaviors. Her free website is filled with tools to help parents and educators deal with behaviors. She uses humor and mnemonic tools to help participants remember her strategies.

Download a PDF Flyer.


GPAEA Schools in the News – February 2015

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.

Secondary Transition Family Planning for Educators & Parents – April 8 & 9

Transition Family Planning Flyer April 2015Our Great Prairie AEA Parent-Educator Coordinators and Transition Coordinators will hold a Secondary Transition Family Planning for Educators and Parents, in Burlington on April 8 & 9, 2015.

This 2-day workshop is intended to help teachers and parents learn how to assist families in their understanding of the special education transition process in Iowa and how to participate effectively. 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 parent transition planning modules created by the Iowa Department of Education and PACER.

If you know a teacher or parent who might benefit from this information please have them contact Kelly Wallace, PEC or sign up through mylearningplan at

Transition Family Planning Flyer April 2015

The Cornerstone – February 2015

cs header14 1Click on one of the posts below or scroll down to start reading this month’s The Cornerstone.

GPAEA Superintendents Hold Legislative Retreat

Earlier this week area Superintendents met with education lobbyist and legislators at their yearly Legislative Retreat. Superintendents actively communicate with their legislators throughout the year, but this provides an opportunity for leaders to meet with lobbyists, sit in on sub-committee meetings, and visit with legislators at the Capitol.

Find the Legislator that represents you at

Show your “Selfie” Support of AEAs

In the spring of 1974, the Iowa Legislature passed House File 1163 establishing Iowa’s 15 area education agencies with the same service areas as the merged area schools (community colleges). The AEAs, as they came to be called, began operating on July 1, 1975. So if you do the math, that means the AEAs will be celebrating an important anniversary in 2015 – 40 years!

Find the “We are AEA” and “I am AEA” in one of GPAEA’s offices and post to social media using #iowaaea or #gpaea! We can’t wait to see your selfies!

Math Teachers: Don’t miss upcoming PD opportunities!

Secondary Statistics and Probability, Part 1 – BURLINGTON

The Iowa Core statistics and probability standards are recognized as content that is new to many middle school and high school teachers. This course focuses on standards that appear early in the progression of secondary statistics. Emphasis will be given to understanding how purpose influences display of data, how relationships between shape, center and spread are at the heart of statistics and how tools can be used to compare distributions. Register:

Secondary Statistics and Probability, Part 1 – OTTUMWA

The Iowa Core statistics and probability standards are recognized as content that is new to many middle school and high school teachers. This course focuses on standards that appear early in the progression of secondary statistics. Emphasis will be given to understanding how purpose influences display of data, how relationships between shape, center and spread are at the heart of statistics and how tools can be used to compare distributions. Register:

K-2 Counting and Cardinality/Operations and Algebraic Thinking – BURLINGTON

As classrooms move forward with the Iowa Core Standards we are offering a class that includes best practices in mathematics content and pedagogy. We will also develop common formative assessment items to probe for student understanding. Register:

AEA Staff Present at Mediapolis & Morning Sun Mini-Workshop

John Kerr, Mediapolis Curriculum Coordinator

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During the afternoon of January 28th, 5 AEA personnel came to Mediapolis CSD for an in-service for both the Mediapolis and Morning Sun districts. Administrative teams in both Mediapolis and Morning Sun are trying to practice what we are preaching to teachers. The in-service was an effort to have both districts go to a “mini-workshop” and have the opportunity to collaborate. We were trying something new, and the teachers were given choice on which presenters to see that day.

Lynn Selking, a math specialist, talked about “Online Math Tools and Games with a Purpose for K-12.” Seth Denney, a technology specialist, discussed “SketchUp”, a 3D-design tool for many different curricular areas. Liz Long, an ELA specialist, focused on “ELA High Leverage Practices for K-12 and AEA Resources.” Jane Trotter, a technology coach, worked on “Interactive Teaching Tools with Mimio Interactive Boards”. Jennifer Woodley, a communication specialist, discussed “Social Media Your Students Actually Use.”

Since there were a variety of topics, the learning could occur in finding out websites that would help them and their students, using technology that we have in the classrooms to better use, and finding out about technology that the students have and being aware of its positive and negative value.

The AEA presenters did an outstanding job with their presentations. A lot of the information was hands-on, so the teachers could try things out as it was being presented to them. The information was cross-curricular and could be viable for K-12 teachers.

In reflection, we will look at the time length for each presentation, technology used, possibly making it more focused on a particular area; like K-6 for one presentation, 7-12 for the second one.

We would like to thank the AEA for their flexibility, expertise, and their help in making this day happen.

Year 2 TLC Districts in GPAEA

On Thursday, January 29, Year 2 districts selected for the Teacher-Leadership Compensation Grant meet with Iowa Department of Education staff Ryan Wise and Lora Rasey. The Teacher Leadership and Compensation System rewards effective teachers with leadership opportunities and higher pay, attracts promising new teachers with competitive starting salaries and more support, and fosters greater collaboration for all teachers to learn from each other. Year 2 districts had the opportunity to ask questions and hear from Year 1 Grantees: Mt. Pleasant and Ottumwa.

Year 1 2013-14:

  • Burlington
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Ottumwa

Year 2 (2014-15):

  • Albia
  • Cardinal
  • Chariton
  • Davis County
  • Fairfield
  • New London
  • Tri County
  • Wapello
  • Wayne
  • WMU
  • Oskaloosa

Year 3 (2015-16):

  • Centerville
  • Danville
  • Keota
  • Moravia w/ Seymour
  • North Mahaska
  • Pekin
  • Van Buren

Learn more at

Next Generation Science Standards Survey

The Iowa Department of Education has announced a series of February public forums and a statewide survey following a state panel’s recommendation to get public feedback on the Next Generation Science Standards. These are a set of learning expectations in science for students in kindergarten through high school. The Next Generation Science Standards were developed by 26 states, including Iowa. All states can consider adopting and adapting them to meet their needs.

Public feedback will be used to provide guidance to the Science Standards Review Team, which is expected to submit a final recommendation regarding science standards to the State Board of Education later this year.

The survey, which is open through February 27, can be found at the following link:

The public forums are scheduled as follows:

Wednesday, Feb. 11: Waukee
4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Waukee Community Schools District Office – Board Room
560 Southeast University Ave.
Waukee, IA

Tuesday, Feb. 24, Ottumwa
4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Great Prairie Area Education Agency, Ottumwa Office – Auditorium
2814 North Court Street
Ottumwa, IA

Wednesday, Feb. 25, Dubuque
4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Keystone Area Education Agency, Dubuque Office – Room 1 ABC
2310 Chaney Road
Dubuque, IA

Thursday, Feb. 26, Sioux City
4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Northwest Area Education Agency, Administrative Office – Room A/Auditorium
1520 Morningside Ave.
Sioux City, IA

The Next Generation Science Standards can be found at

For more information, please visit the Iowa Department of Education’s website at