GPAEA Schools Recognized for PBIS Excellence

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DES MOINES – Fifty-three schools were honored by the Iowa Department of Education Tuesday for their work implementing a process that promotes good behavior at school which, in turn, creates a more vibrant learning environment.

Great Prairie AEA was well represented and twelve were among the schools honored:

  • Central Lee Elementary
  • Corse Elementary (Burlington)
  • Sunnyside Elementary (Burlington)
  • West Burlington Jr/Sr High
  • Hawthorne Elementary (Keokuk)
  • Keokuk High School
  • Libertyville (Fairfield)
  • Oskaloosa Middle School
  • Wapello Elementary
  • Washington Elementary (Fairfield)
  • Banner Level: Grimes Elementary (Burlington)
  • Paramount: Sigourney Elementary

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, or PBIS, involves a series of processes that promote a school-wide culture of positive behavior. This is done through educating teachers on how to teach expected behaviors to their students. PBIS also consistently acknowledges good behavior as well as applies consequences for violations.

“I am so proud of our schools and their commitment to excellence!” exclaims Shelli Blazic, GPAEA’s PBIS Coordinator. “Shout-out to Administrators, Internal Coaches, and AEA External Coaches who propel our schools to ever improve PBIS/MTSS Implementation. I appreciate all you do!”

Data are used to assess problem areas and behaviors within each school, and strategies are developed to counter them. Schools were honored by the Department for outstanding implementation of the systems and practices of PBIS.

Learn more about PBIS at Great Prairie AEA.

Take the Iowa Literacy Standards Survey by May 13

This survey is designed to obtain the opinions and comments of educators, students, and the public regarding the Iowa Literacy Standards (Iowa Core standards in English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects).  The survey responses will be used to provide guidance to the Iowa Literacy Standards Review Team and the State Board of Education.

In order to complete this survey, it is helpful to review the Iowa Literacy Standards documents, which you can find by clicking here.

Take the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TGHQWCL

The survey is open through May 13.

May is School Board Recognition Month

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May is School Board Recognition Month. Our Agency Board of Directors and the Board members of the local school districts in our Area volunteer countless hours of their time each year to serve their communities and schools. Please consider thanking the school and AEA Board members that you know throughout our Area.

A special THANK YOU to our Great Prairie AEA Board of Directors:

Download: GPAEA Board Recognition 2016

Learn more: http://www.gpaea.org/en/about_us/board_of_directors/

Summer Enrichment Now KidTek U at SCC

thumb_kidtek_2_colorGPAEA is pleased to announce a change in Summer Enrichment services. Effective June 2016, our former Summer Enrichment program will be transferred to Southeastern Community College’s Kidtek U. SCC will bring a broadened STEM component to the program while updating and supporting current instructors, students and area families. Our preliminary meetings have formalized these decisions:

  • SCC will no longer require Talented and Gifted requirements for attending the summer program.
  • Current Enrichment instructors will be contacted and invited to teach.
  • The program times have not been decided (length of learning sessions, number of days, etc.)
  • Great Prairie will support communication and resources to ensure that student needs are being met.
  • SCC hopes to sponsor two campus locations (Mt. Pleasant and West Burlington).

This program change is an exciting opportunity that will support SCC’s outreach to students and STEM programming, while allowing the AEA to focus and support early literacy.

Registration for SCC’s Kidtek U summer learning program will open at STEMFest on April 23, on SCC’s West Burlington campus from 10AM to 2PM. Regular open registration will start on Monday, April 25. Registrations will be accepted via phone, in person, or online at www.kidteku.com.

The program contact for SCC is:

Kelly J Prickett
Program Developer
Phone: 319.208.5385
Fax: 319.752.3407
kprickett@scciowa.edu
www.scciowa.edu/business/
River Park Place, Suite 220
610 N 4th St.
Burlington, IA 52601

More information: KIDTEK U GIVE KIDS CHANCE TO EXPLORE INTERESTS

What is Real 21st Century Learning?

I feel a bit conspicuous admitting that I am still trying to figure out what it means to be a 21st century learner, now that I find myself over 15% through the 21st century. 21st century learning can be a nebulous term. I have heard different groups of people use it to refer to a variety of different things. I have heard it equated to technology integration in the classroom, career technical education, project based learning, problem based learning, community based learning, collaborative learning, and personalized learning. I’ve heard it’s the 4 c’s, the 3 p’s, universal constructs, and cross-cutting concepts. Perhaps it’s no wonder that I find myself a bit confused about the future of learning from time to time. It’s a complex topic to be sure, but here are some truths that I hope will help you better understand what we mean when we talk about 21st century.

21st century learning is not simply having access to the latest technology in the classroom. Technology can be a powerful tool. Well used, it can incentivize kids to collaborate and communicate instantaneously, allowing them to build personalized learning networks and to take their passions to the real world. Too often, however, a classroom device is still just a way to save a trip to the library. Kids don’t need faster access to more content; they need an opportunity to apply their passions to real world problems.

Continue reading: What is Real 21st Century Learning?

Science/STEM is Alive and Well in GPAEA

Rosemary Peck, GPAEA Science Specialist

stem fesitval 9The 3rd annual STEM Festival at IHCC in Ottumwa was an evening of hands-on experiences with the highest number of area students and parents in attendance to date. If you have not attended a STEM festival there are two upcoming opportunities: the SE Iowa STEM Festival, April 23 at SCC in Burlington and the Drake/Metro STEM Festival, April 14 at Drake University. An added bonus to the Drake Festival is the opportunity to hear Bill Nye, the Science Guy, speak immediately after the Festival. The Festivals are free and family friendly. So, come join in on the interactive excitement of the STEM Festivals!

For more information on the April 23 Southeast Iowa STEM Festival: http://se.iowastem.org/southeast-ia-stem-festival

For more information on the DRAKE STEM Festival and Bill Nye appearance: https://scstemhub.drake.edu/

Challenge problem at Physics CompetitionAnother not-to-be-missed science event just took place in GPAEA. The annual GPAEA Physics Competition took place March 22 at the E3 Center in Mt Pleasant. Several GPAEA high schools competed in a variety of events for a chance to compete at State. Events included: the soda straw arm, catapult, mousetrap car, bridge building and the challenge problem. Three GPAEA schools qualified to compete at the State Physics Competition: Moravia, Ottumwa and Harmony! It was an amazing day of great designs and solving challenging problems, congratulations to all that competed!

Celebrate NAEYC’s Week of the Young Child, April 10–16!

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The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) celebrating early learning, young children, their teachers and families. More info can be found at iowaaeyc.org.

Shoutout to our Early Childhood and Early ACCESS staff for all their work with young children and families!

Continue reading

Supporting Preschool Children with Disabilities – May 10 & 11

Supporting Children with DisabilitiesMay 10 & May 11, 2016
9 AM – 3 PM
Fairfield Arts & Convention Center

 

Join International Consultant Kate Werling as she helps Early Childhood Teachers and other educational professionals learn how to use The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool to provide a high-quality program that is inclusive of all children.

Teachers will learn how to incorporate the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to offer children multiple ways of acquiring knowledge and skills and to provide a variety of formats for instruction, learning,and assessment in ways that will help all children communicate what they know and can do.

Register at http://bit.ly/1R1UHYf

April is Occupational Therapy Month

OT webApril has been designated as Occupational Therapy Month nationally and is celebrated throughout the country.  Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants are part of an important profession that helps people across their lifespan to participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities.  Their customized approach to evaluations, interventions, and outcomes help a child with disabilities participate in school and in social situations, and offer the specialized support and services to people of all ages and in all circumstances that only occupational therapy can provide.

We want to take this opportunity to recognize and thank our own Great Prairie AEA Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants for the services they provide throughout our service area.

Occupational Therapists

  • Carrie Carlson
  • Lynn, Coppage
  • Carol Havelka
  • Marty Hudson
  • Kathy Jaske-Gardner
  • Shanah Sullivan

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants

  • Vonn Gould
  • Ashley Hobbs
  • Joe Hudson
  • Michelle Mihalovich
  • Deb Mueller
  • Chris Williams

Learn more about OT services from Great Prairie AEA at http://www.gpaea.org/en/services/occupational_therapy/.

Visual Arts & Iowa Core Workshop in Cedar Rapids – June 20 & 21

Visual Arts PD flyer copy

Download Form: http://www.aea10.k12.ia.us/profdev/pdf/registform.pdf

Register Online: https://www.gwaea.org/apps/ProfDev/user/signon.cfm


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.

April is Autism Awareness Month

Today, one in 68 American children is diagnosed with autism (CDC). Great Prairie AEA provides consultative support for children birth through 21 years of age who are identified with an Autism Spectrum Disorder or who demonstrate autism-like characteristics. Learn more about our services at http://www.gpaea.org/en/services/autism/.

GPAEA Success Stories

Shout out to our GPAEA Challenging Behavior & Autism Staff: Teran Buettell, Crystal Hornback, Sarah McCollum & Julie Thomas. Thank you for all that you do for area students and families!

CANCELED – St. Ambrose Master of Education in Educational Administration – April 19

SAUThis session is canceled. Please contact Joyce Schoemaker at 563-508-8014 or schoemakerjoyce@sau.edu with questions.

St. Ambrose Master of Education in Educational Administration will hold an informational session at the Great Prairie AEA in Ottumwa on April 19 from 4:00-6:00 PM in Conference Room B.  This an informal drop-in session to help you decide whether the time is right for you to begin this synchronous one night a week program with instructors who have been teachers, deans, department heads, principals, and superintendents in Iowa and Illinois public schools.  You will finish in two years and be prepared to move forward in your career.  A representative will be available for questions.


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.

Summer Institute Series: Creating an Inclusive Environment with Explicit Instruction

SIS- Explicit InstructionRegister Now! https://goo.gl/Ov6Fz9

Join us for Great Prairie AEA’s 2016 Summer Institute where ALL educators will learn how to actively engage ALL learners. This 2 day institute will give general education and special education teachers tools to create an inclusive environment through the use of evidence-based practices in inclusion,assessment and feedback,explicit instruction and co-teaching.

Day 1: Creating Inclusive Schools and Classrooms While Embracing Higher Learning Standards for All
Dr. Lisa Dieker

This session will provide an overview of the 7 effective strategies for including students with disabilities in the general education setting grounded in the art and science of co-teaching. The day will focus on these practical strategies which can be used immediately: Celebrating all students Interdisciplinary collaboration Effective co-teaching Creating a school-wide culture for co-teaching and inclusion Active Learning Evidence-based strategies Grading and assessment

Day 2: Explicit Instruction
Michelle Deshler & Lori Hugen

This Summer Institute gives special and general education teachers the tools to implement Explicit Instruction in any grade level or content area. Participants will get an overview on lesson design and delivery using the 16 essential elements of explicit instruction. The 16 essential elements will enable educators to design and deliver lessons for teaching skills and strategies as well as lessons for vocabulary and concepts. Focus will also be on providing appropriate practice for newly learned skills. This will be a dynamic day of learning based off of Dr. Anita Archer’s work in Explicit Instruction.

Download: Explicit Instruction SI 2016 Flyer