Code.Org’s Code Studio Workshop on January 10 for Elementary & Middle School Teachers

code_logo_cmykCode.Org’s Code Studio Workshop will be held at GPAEA, Burlington Room 21C on January 10, 2017

This is a great opportunity to learn to teach coding to elementary and middle school students! This training and curriculum resources are provided by and a grant through the University of Northern Iowa.

There is no cost to attend. Teachers will need to provide their own laptop.

Register at

AEA board member awarded Basics of Boardsmanship certificate


Des Moines, Iowa –  At the Iowa Association of School Boards’ (IASB) 71st Annual Convention on Nov. 17, board member Lonny Morrow was awarded a certificate for completing the Basics of Boardsmanship. Through IASB’s Basics of Boardsmanship program, Morrow completed four components focused on essential board learning concepts.

IASB Board President Amy Jurrens commended Lonny for his hard work. “This program ensures a solid foundation for school board governance, whether you’re a new or experienced board member,” Jurrens said. “The extra efforts put forth to complete this program are certainly commendable.”

Three hundred thirty-five Iowa local school district, AEA and community college board members received this award. This is the first year this awards program has been offered to IASB members.

Congratulations Lonny and thank you for your dedicated service to the students of southeast Iowa!

Register for Understanding Dyslexia on November 29 – Parent Session Added

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November 29, 2016
8:00 am – 3:30 pm
Fairfield Arts & Convention Center

Keynote Speakers:

John Alexander, M.Ed.
GrovesAcademy, Head of School
Head of School of Groves Academy, a private school for students from second through twelfth grades diagnosed with dyslexia and attention deficit disorder.

Dr . Deborah K. Reed
Iowa ReadingResearch Center
Director of the Iowa Reading Research Center and an Associate Professor in the College of Education at the University of Iowa.

Participants will:

  • gain a greater understanding of what dyslexia is and isn’t
  • identify the characteristics of good reading and spelling instruction for students with dyslexia
  • use data from oral reading fluency measures, such as FAST CBM-R, to plan high quality reading instruction
  • review additional assessments and how they might contribute to the overall picture of students’ reading abilities

Download: understanding-dyslexia-fairfield-1

Parent Session: 4:30 – 6:30 PM
Magnificent, Multi-sensory Activities that Make Learning Last!

No Cost – No Registration 

Presenter: Elizabeth Hoksbergen, MSEd, Executive Director of Instruction Services at Apples of Gold Center for Learning, Inc., Decoding Dyslexia Iowa Board Member

Have you every wondered how to help your child become a fluent reader, master math facts, comprehend complex text, or build a bigger vocabulary? Simultaneous, multi-sensory strategies will help you help your child develop skills while cultivating confidence. During this session we will explore how to stimulate the brain through visual-auditory-tactile-kinesthetic activities that you can do right at home. We will learn seven specific learning activities you may do with your child without purchasing expensive resources or online subscriptions. Come and learn how to help your child fall in love with learning! Location: Cambridge Room

Download: parent-session-november-29-2016

The Promise of Iowa

14956500_1103669813084524_4586260001919612745_nAt its annual convention in November, The Iowa Association of School Board launched a new statewide campaign, The Promise of Iowa. This campaign strives to focus attention on the future of Iowa public school students and rally support for public education in Iowa.

Iowa’s future leaders and innovators are its children. They are “The Promise of Iowa.” Learn more at


Great Prairie AEA participates in Appanoose County/Centerville STEM Festival

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On October 22, Great Prairie AEA participated in the Appanoose County/Centerville STEM Festival hosted by the South Central STEM Hub. There were 26 different table exhibits and over 175 attendees. A special thank you to AEA Staff in attendance: Lisa Jacobs, Vickie Parker, and Dawn Johnson. Learn more about STEM at


Article included in SC STEM Hub October Newsletter

GPAEA Schools in the News – November 2016

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.

RESPECT Training to be held in Wapello & Oskaloosa

RESPECT is a free, four-day workshop focused on training participants in relationship building and conflict resolution. The skills and strategies taught at this training workshop can be applied universally when addressing professional and personal conflict.


Download PDF:

GPAEA Teachers & Administrators we invite you to participate in the AEA Customer Survey


You are invited to participate in the AEA Customer Survey. This web-based survey provides an opportunity for you to provide valuable feedback regarding AEA services. The web-based survey should take about 10-15 minutes to complete. To access the survey, simply use the following web site URL and follow the directions provided:

Access to the survey will begin Tuesday, November 1 and will close Wednesday, November 23, 2016.

If you experience trouble with the survey please contact Dr. Gary Dannenbring for assistance (

Thank you in advance for your participation. The information from this survey provides valuable data that assists the AEA system in evaluating its services and continuing to meet current and future LEA needs.

Changes coming to Great Prairie AEA’s Professional Development & Licensure System

aea_vertical_color-2The state’s nine AEAs are coming together to create one statewide system for professional development and licensure. The new statewide system will offer: increased professional development opportunities, a statewide course catalog, one registrations system, and greater equity and consistency in programming. The new system, called “Performance Matters” is expected to “go live” in the spring of 2017.  

As part of this new state system, AEA’s have established a statewide participant fee structure that will go into effect January 1, 2017. There will be minimal changes for Great Prairie AEA participants. Courses requiring a paid instructor will move from a fee of $80.00 per credit hour to $85.00. Courses (district sponsored and/or GPAEA workshops) that do not require a paid instructor will decrease from $50.00 to $35.00 per credit hour. Though this appears to be a decrease in fees, Great Prairie has provided two credit hours at the price of one when there was no instructor cost. This will no longer be possible. Two credit hours will cost $35.00 per hour or a total of $70.00. Graduate credit is an additional cost depending upon the institution.

Participant fees for the Generalist Para-educator Certification courses will remain the same for Great Prairie participants. The fee is and will be $60.00 per credit hour ($120 per course) and $360 for the 3 course series needed for certification plus the cost of materials.

Compensation for instructors will increase from the current $600 per course to $750 for 10 to 15 students. Pay increases as enrollment increases.

Great Prairie AEA will share additional information as we get closer to the “go live” date for the new state professional development and licensure system.

GPAEA Schools in the News – October 2016

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.

#Room21C Partner Schools & Chat

21c-partner-badge-half-boldGreat Prairie AEA’s 21st Century Classrooms are getting a lot of attention and we want to share the spotlight! Launching this month is 21C Partner Schools, a showcase of our partner schools’ redesigned learning environments. We want to build a digital community that supports educators in the shift of instructional practice toward 4C (communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity) and modernized 21st century student centered learning.


Need ideas for your redesign? Interested in connecting with other innovative teachers? Check out our Partner Schools and join us at 3 PM CST the First Friday of every month for #Room21C on Twitter.


Lakeview Elementary Student Wins Humble & Kind Poetry Contest


Peg Kauzlarich, Centerville Teacher

Lakeview student Ava Stober, was chosen as one of 10 winners from the United States in the Scholastic Reading Club’s “Humble and Kind Poetry Contest.”

The contest was held during April, which is Poetry Month. Students were not required to participate, but Ava chose to. Entrants were asked to write poems inspired by the Tim McGraw song, “Humble and Kind.” According to the letter telling Ava she was a winner, the contest received thousands of entries.

As a winner, she received a signed guitar and autographed pictured with a special message from Tim McGraw to hang in her classroom.

Ava was a sixth grade student in Peggy Kauzlarich’s classroom this past year at Lakeview Elementary, Centerville.

Congratulations Ava – GPAEA is very proud of you!

Gradual Release of Responsibility Workshop


TARGET AUDIENCE: K-12 Teachers, Instructional Coaches, and Administrators who are new to the GRR Model or those who would like a refresher

Workshop #1 (beginners) will be on December 12, 2016 will provide participants with the basics of what and how to implement Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey’s Gradual Release of Responsibility instructional model. Participants will learn of the four model components: focus lesson, guided instruction, productive group work, and independent work. Aida Allan, a long-time associate of Doug Fisher, will be the presenter.

Workshop # 2 (advanced) is scheduled for Monday, February 13, 2017 also at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. More info to come.

Register at

Gradual Release of Responsibility flyer

New Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

Kathy Achenbach, Kate Cole, & Michelle Ryan, Transition Coordinators

President Barack Obama signed WIOA into law on July 22, 2014. WIOA is landmark legislation that is designed to strengthen and improve our nation’s public workforce system and help get Americans, including youth and those with significant barriers to employment, into high-quality jobs and careers and help employers hire and retain skilled workers (US Dept. of Labor). This law mandates that schools and Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) jointly develop a system of supports so that students achieve competitive integrated employment and do not work for a Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) at sub-minimum wage.

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