Leadership Connection – April 2020


GPAEA OFFICES REMAIN CLOSED: With Governor Reynolds’ recommendation for Iowa’s schools to remain closed through April 30, 2020, the Agency will also remain closed through April 30 or until further notice. This also means that any face to face workshops or classes that were scheduled in the offices have been canceled. Registrants should monitor their email if they were enrolled in a Professional Learning course for additional information. 

THE CORNERSTONE – MARCH/APRIL: This issue is full of great articles and resources for Districts. Click on a link below to get started:

COVID-19 RESOURCES ON GPAEA.ORG: Great Prairie AEA is dedicated to supporting our district partners during these unprecedented times. We are using this site as an information hub to archive resources, information, and guidance related to our collective response to COVID-19. Resources include professional learning opportunities for teachers, access to digital resources (Read-aloud ebooks; Ebooks; Digital audiobooks; Videos; Self-paced tutorials; Educational games; Encyclopedias; Articles; and Newspapers), and resources to help manage stress and anxiety. View resources at https://www.gpaea.org/services/covid-19-resources/. Contact jennifer.woodley@gpaea.org if you have a resource that you feel should be included. 


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES VIA ZOOM FOR EDUCATORS: Great Prairie AEA has created a wide variety of professional learning opportunities available to educators and AEA staff. All learning opportunities will be hosted via Zoom (remember you do not need a Zoom account to participate in Zoom sessions). Each session offered will have its own registration link and are free. The sessions are scheduled at various times throughout the day and vary in length and topic. At this time credit is not available. Check back frequently as new opportunities are added each week!

SPECIAL EDUCATION COURSES FROM AEA LEARNING ONLINE: A great resource for Special Education Teachers to take advantage of during this time. Click here to view a spreadsheet of courses

VIRTUAL SCREENING OF PAPER TIGERS & RESILIENCE: During this time of social isolation, KPJR Films will launch a virtual screening of PAPER TIGERS and RESILIENCE. Both films, along with additional content, will be available for viewing on your desktop, laptop or handheld device at no charge from 6am EDT on Saturday, April 4th through 8pm EDT on Tuesday, April 7th. You must register by 5 PM on April 5 to access the content. This is not a required activity, we are sharing for educational value. Click here to learn more and register. 


DE RECORDED WEBINARS: The Iowa Department of Education is recording its COVID-19 webinar updates and posting them on the Department’s YouTube channel. Look for webinars with “COVID-19 Webinar” in the title. 

ESSA NEW GUIDANCE: The Iowa Department of Education is issuing new guidance for Iowa districts and nonpublic schools addressing an optional federal waiver for the 2019-20 school year that allows Iowa to waive several ESSA requirements, including those related to assessment, accountability and school identification as well as certain reporting requirements related to assessments and accountability.

Iowa submitted this waiver to the U.S. Department of Education on March 30, and received approval on April 1. Public comment on the approved waiver can be provided via email to ESSA@iowa.gov through April 30.

This guidance will be added to the COVID-19 Guidance and Information page on the Dept. website. All current guidance from the Iowa Department of Education can be found on this page. Please know that we will continue to keep you informed of any future updates to the guidance we have issued.

RESOURCES NOW AVAILABLE TO SUPPOR STUDENT LEARNING AT HOME: The Iowa Department of Education released a host of optional resources for families and educators to use as they support student learning during school closures due to COVID-19. The resources are available on the Iowa Department of Education’s website and include interactive games, virtual field trips, coding activities and e-books.

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