External Partners – November 2017

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Agency Updates – October 2017

The Cornerstone – September 2017Welcome to Great Prairie AEA’s Agency newsletter, The Cornerstone! 

College and Career Readiness resources for all Iowa schools through the AEA Postsecondary Readiness & Equity Partnership (PREP)

Future ​Ready ​Iowa ​promotes ​the ​reality ​that ​Iowans ​need ​postsecondary ​education ​and ​training ​to ​meet the ​state’s ​workforce ​demands ​and ​economic ​development ​needs, ​and ​to ​provide ​each ​Iowan ​with ​a living ​wage. ​While ​there ​are ​many ​adults ​currently ​in ​the ​workforce who are ​eligible ​to ​upgrade ​their ​education and ​skills, ​K-12 ​schools ​possess ​access ​to ​the ​greatest ​number ​of ​entrants ​into ​the ​talent ​pipeline needed ​to ​meet ​the ​goal ​that ​70% ​of ​Iowans ​have ​education ​or ​training ​beyond ​high ​school. Postsecondary ​readiness ​is ​a ​promise ​that all ​K-12 ​schools ​should ​make ​to ​the ​greater ​than ​90% ​of ​Iowa high ​school ​students ​who ​graduate ​each ​year. ​This ​is ​supported ​by ​the ​AEA ​Compact ​which ​states ​that “every ​child ​who ​graduates ​from ​an ​Iowa public ​or accredited, ​nonpublic ​ ​school ​will ​be prepared ​for ​success ​in ​postsecondary ​studies, ​a career, ​and ​citizenship.” ​In ​addition, ​the ​Compact states ​“a ​postsecondary ​readiness ​goal ​will ​be established  ​that ​most ​accurately ​identifies and ​tracks ​postsecondary ​success.”

To accomplish this goal, Iowa’s AEAs have created​ a ​statewide partnership ​and ​resource ​center ​to ​improve ​postsecondary ​readiness ​and ​education ​attainment, ​with ​a focus ​on ​closing ​attainment ​gaps ​that ​exist ​for ​those ​populations ​traditionally ​underrepresented ​in higher ​education, ​including ​first ​generation ​college ​students, ​students ​from ​low ​socioeconomic households, ​racial ​and ​ethnic ​minorities, ​and ​students ​with ​disabilities. ​This ​newly ​established ​entity ​is AEA ​PREP ​(Postsecondary ​Readiness ​& ​Equity ​Partnership), ​and ​will ​focus ​on ​building ​equitable capacity ​throughout ​Iowa, across the AEAs, ​and ​​schools. ​AEA ​PREP ​operates ​out ​of Mississippi ​Bend ​Area ​Education ​Agency ​in ​Bettendorf and is being coordinated by David Ford.

The  ​primary ​functions of AEA PREP ​include:

  • the ​collection ​and ​distribution ​of ​timely ​and ​relevant ​postsecondary ​readiness ​data ​to districts ​including ​the ​creation ​of ​a ​statewide ​postsecondary ​data ​dashboard ​with district-specific ​data;
  • the ​development ​of ​a ​statewide ​network ​of ​postsecondary ​readiness ​leads ​with ​specialized training ​in ​leading ​and ​implementing ​postsecondary ​readiness ​initiatives ​and ​programs;
  • a ​resource ​center ​for ​K-12 ​educators ​to ​improve ​postsecondary ​readiness, ​including ​the ​latest research, ​evidence-based ​practice, ​webinars, ​presentations, ​and ​other ​relevant ​materials.

AEA PREP will centralize and streamline the data collection and follow-up district professional development/support needed to improve equitable student postsecondary readiness outcomes.  In addition, AEA PREP:

  • is led by a director, who is responsible for oversight of the data collection, data warehouse, dashboards, professional development, and training of an equitable, statewide professional network of postsecondary readiness leads in each AEA.
  • provides data analyst leadership and support, responsible for all aspects of data collection, warehousing, and software development of data dashboards.
  • develops and maintains a resource center for all AEAs and school districts to access and use, including webinars, presentations, updated research, and data dashboards.

Your AEA and the statewide system of AEAs are excited to offer AEA PREP as a resource to enable more students to achieve college and career readiness. Early results of the process have been encouraging, so look for more details soon and get your district on board!

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Instructional Services – October 2017

GPAEA 2017_18 Dates of Networks & PD Events

FAST Bridge Literacy Training

Open to a district and/or school teams of 3 to 5 administrators and coaches.

  • October 10 – Ottumwa, FULL at 50 Participants
  • October  12 – FACC, Registration Link (space available)
  • October 12 – Burlington AEA, Registration Link ( space available)

FastBridge Training Description:   Training will focus on use and interpretation of FAST data collected during the fall screening period. Participants will be introduced to features of the various reporting options available and learn how to interpret the data displayed. Data will be analyzed on both the system and student level. The training will also present intervention assignments and progress monitoring functionality and walk participants through the process of setting up groups and administering progress monitoring tools.

Universal Instruction Training (repeat of training offered last year)

  • October 18th & 19th: 9:00 to 3:30 @ FACC

Intervention Training

Intervention System 2 Day regional professional learning sessions will engage participants in content learning, skill development, and action planning to further develop an effective Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) to benefit all learners. Attendees will utilize the Intervention System Protocol and Facilitation Guide resources to examine their school’s instructional responses and interventions from a system level and learner perspective. Determining and monitoring intervention effectiveness and alignment of interventions to student need will also be addressed. Intervention System 2 Day regional sessions will engage teams in Collaborative Inquiry Questions: How do we respond when students need support in addition to the Universal Tier? and critical conversations regarding the effectiveness of the school’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS).

Curriculum Network

  • October 16 at Ottumwa AEA Room 21C
  • October 17 at Burlington AEA Room 21C

Dr. Muhammad returns to work with Leadership Teams  Oct 30th @ FACC

Dr. Muhammad will provide continuous learning around creating a healthy culture fostering learning for all. He will walk leadership teams through deeper learning around the Transforming School Culture Shared Decision-Making Checklist, shared during the August workshop.

Audience: School and/or District Leadership Teams, registration link

Social Studies Standards Training

  • October 11 and October 20 @ Ottumwa OR November 29 and December 15 @ Burlington – ELEMENTARY Social Studies Standards Training, 9:00 – 3:00 each day, This training is a train-the-trainer model. Each district should designate 2-3 elementary (K-5) teachers to be trained. To maintain the integrity of this training, Department of Education guidance is that training materials will only be shared with district teams that attend and formulate an in-district training plan.

    Registration: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe-kFRyyror7l0D-1zwLvt21cDweg8XxAgmZ7KLYDi3M3xm_w/viewform

    One hour lunch on your own.

    Contact: Evan McCormick – 319-753-6561 x1298 – evan.mccormick@gpaea.org


  • November 8 and 9 @ Ottumwa OR October 10 and October 13  @ Burlington – SECONDARY Social Studies Standards Training, 9:00 – 3:00 each day, This training is a train-the-trainer model. Each district should designate 2-3 secondary (6-12) teachers to be trained. To maintain the integrity of this training, Department of Education guidance is that training materials will only be shared with district teams that attend and formulate an in-district training plan.

    Registration: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe-kFRyyror7l0D-1zwLvt21cDweg8XxAgmZ7KLYDi3M3xm_w/viewform

    One hour lunch on your own.

    Contact: Evan McCormick – 319-753-6561 x1298 – evan.mccormick@gpaea.org


  • November 28 – Social Studies Administrator Awareness Session, 12:30 – 3:00, Burlington GPAEA 21C Room, DE Social Studies Consultant Stefanie Wager will share information about the content of the Year 1 Social Studies Standards Training. She will discuss the standards, the social studies vision, and training details such as instructional shifts, anchor standards, the use of primary sources, the implementation plan, available text sets and the development of others, and collaborative inquiry around the standards.

    No cost. No registration required.

    Contact: Evan McCormick – 319-753-6561 x1298 – evan.mccormick@gpaea.org

Early Childhood Network

  • Oct 11th @ FACC Day topic – The New GOLD Interface and IQPPS revision/self-assessment
  • Nov. 1 Creative Curriculum @ Fairfield
  • Oct. 18 GOLD Assessment @ Fairfield

Counselor Academy

  • Oct 20th @ Ottumwa AEA

Kuder Training (agenda)

  • Oct 24th: 8:30 to 3:30 @ IHCC, Rural Health Building
  • To Register Contact: Cammie Richards @ 641-683-5277

Title 9 Overview and Resources

  • November 1 after Supt Meeting  from 1:30 to 4:00 pm with Fred Kinne

Doug Fisher (Follow up)

Applying Literacy Practices in Secondary Classrooms @ FACC Nov. 7 and Feb. 13 – This course is designed to assist secondary ELA and content teachers, coaches and curriculum leaders to enhance and increase their knowledge, skills, and expertise to improve student literacy and instruction, assessment, and curriculum across all disciplines in order to develop formative assessments and high-impact literacy instruction that supports surface, deep, and transfer learning.

  • BOOK FEE: $35.00 included in registration fee.
  • TARGET AUDIENCE: Secondary ELA Teachers, Coaches, Content Area Teachers, Curriculum Leaders

Bullying Investigation Trainings (to be in course catalog this week)

Albia GPAEA Office
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
October 27 and December 1

Ottumwa GPAEA Office
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
October 19 and November 30

Burlington GPAEA Office
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
October 25 and December 5

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Media, Technology & Science – October 2017

Iowa Technology & Education Connection (ITEC) Fall Conference

This year’s Iowa Technology & Education Connection (ITEC) Fall Conference will be held October 15-17 at the Iowa Events Center Des Moines. Conference information and registration is available at http://www.itec-ia.org/.

Science Support

“Supporting Iowa Science Standards for Administrators and Instructional Coaches with Modules 1 & 2” again this year on  November 17 in Ottumwa and on December 11 in Burlington.  Module 3 support for Administrators and Coaches will be offered in 2018.

ALL links to register for this year’s Iowa Science Standards Professional Development Offerings are now available. There is also a link to the statewide spreadsheet listing Science Standards PD in other AEAs: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rLWkJaw-SlO82HVVJ68NJ0qmNmas3kN4ifvL0SjwDvo/edit

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Special Education – October 2017

FAST Progress Monitoring for Students in Special Education

FAST assessments may be written into some of your students’ IEPs.  For these students, the IEP mostly likely dictates that progress monitoring should occur every two weeks.  This means that your teachers need to start monitoring progress using the FAST assessment prior to the training on FAST progress monitoring.  Your teachers have two options to monitor progress using the FAST assessment prior to training.

Option 1:  Use the Quick Progress Monitoring Setup Directions.  These directions are for those who would like to use the FAST application for progress monitoring prior to the fall training where profess monitoring, interventions, and reporting will be trained in detail.  These directions do not replace the later training.   Please note:

  1. Progress monitoring can set up once your roster data has been validated in the FAST application.
  2. Progress monitoring that is required for students on IEPs must be entered in the IEP system, at a minimum.  Using the FAST system is recommended.
  3. Paper/pencil progress monitoring entry is an option in FAST but it may be challenging to enter bulk data later, in terms of lining up the paper assessment number and the electronic assessment number that appears for the student when you login.
  4. The linked directions provide a way to set up PM in FAST for use right away.

Option 2:  Download copies of the FAST assessment and complete paper-pencil progress monitoring until the online system is ready.  Information about downloading resources is in the FAST Download Information Sheet.  Be sure to enter all progress monitoring data into the IEP.

REMINDER Regarding Preschool Eligible Students and Open Enrollment

Parents of a preschool, special education eligible student may request to open enroll their child in a district other than their district of residence to receive special education instructional services in a preschool, pre-kindergarten or early childhood special education program.  Open enrollment paperwork does not need to be completed for non-disabled preschoolers or for a preschool child with an IEP for support services only (e.g, speech, OT, PT services only) who are attending in a district other than the one in which she resides.  If you haven’t already, please verify that the instructional IEP-eligible preschool students attending and receiving special education in your district who reside in a neighboring district have completed Open Enrollment paperwork.  If you have additional questions, please see the Procedures Manual, the Open Enrollment Handbook, or contact your Regional Director.

Special Education Director Network

Special Education Director Network meetings will occur three times throughout the school year.  Special Education Directors, building administrators, and special education coaches are welcome to attend to learn more about current issues in special education.  Meeting dates and locations are listed below.  Register at http://bit.ly/2uQTOSp.


  • Sept 27 1:00 – 3:30
  • Dec 7 1:00 – 3:30
  • April 11 1:00 – 3:30


  • Sept 28 1:00 – 3:30
  • Dec 8 8:30 – 11:00
  • April 12 1:00 – 3:30

Foundations of Special Education!

Great Prairie will offer Foundations of Special Education course this fall.  This course will provide principals and other district administrators an opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in the supervision and administration of special education services.  Sessions will be held in Ottumwa on October 10 and 24 from 8:30 – 4:00.  Sessions will be held in Burlington on October 11 and 25 from 8:30 – 4:00.  Registration links are below:

Navigating the Transition Process; Planning for Educators and Families 

NOTICE: Formally named “Transition Family Planning  Extended from 2 day training to 3 day training

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External Partners – October 2017

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Agency Updates – September 2017

Learn more about GPAEA’s New Chief Administrator Dr. Cindy Yelick

September 6 – Superintendents Meeting

  • No Advisory Meeting
  • 9:30 – 11:15 AM – Superintendents Only
  • 11:30 AM -1:30 PM – Lunch & Superintendent Business Meeting
  • 1:30 – 3:30 PM – Planning for the Unexpected: A Leadership Challenge
    District Team Workshop – Building Principals/Teams are encouraged to attend the afternoon workshop. This will be a great time for you to practice and develop school crisis response procedures.

Planning for the Unexpected is a highly interactive session for school leaders and crisis response teams to recognize threats to school safety, and develop strategies to prevent and respond to incidents. Participants will also learn:

  • Best practices for crisis response, intervention, and communication
  • School crisis response procedures using table-top exercises
  • How to identify and address safety/security concerns of students, staff, and parents

The workshop will include whole group discussions and real-world examples to further prepare for the inevitable school or district crisis.

Rick J. Kaufman, APR, Executive Director, Community Relations & Emergency Management, Bloomington Public Schools #271

Learn more and RSVP at https://www.smore.com/k12hd-planning-for-the-unexpected

Contact: Jennifer Woodley, jennifer.woodley@gpaea.org

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