Central Rivers Area Education Agency is pleased to announce our 1st Annual Well-Being Conference

This conference will focus on building educators’ and school-based mental health professionals’ toolboxes to support the social, emotional, behavioral and mental health needs of both students and educators. The conference will also focus on building resilience through developing social and emotional skills for students and adults. 

Our Keynote Speaker is Amanda Goodman. Amanda is the Executive Director of Family & Children’s Council of Black Hawk County. She is a strong advocate for children and focuses her work on child abuse prevention, bullying prevention and strengthening children and families. 

The conference will be held on June 8, 2020, from 8:30 am-4:00 pm at Central Rivers AEA Cedar Falls Office. 

We would like to include presenters with various perspectives. There is wonderful work occurring across the state and would like to invite you to share your expertise with conference participants. 

All breakout sessions will be 75 minutes in length. There will be an option for mini-sessions.  Breakout sessions designed as mini sessions have multiple presenters. In this format, each presenter will present for 20 minutes; after the 3rd 20-minute presentation there will be 15 minutes for questions and answers with all 3 presenters sharing the question and answer portion of the 75-minute session..

If you are interested in presenting please submit your proposal via the attached form. All proposals are due by February 14, 2020.

Notification of accepted proposals will be sent on February 29, 2020.

Please feel free to share this and the Save The Date with others who may be interested!

We look forward to you joining us in June!

Written by: Dana Miller

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Good Friday

For nearly 20 years, Central Rivers AEA has recognized the importance of Martin Luther King Day and Good Friday by remaining closed. While these are important days to recognize, from a service perspective, we have also had to acknowledge that some school districts across our area may not be closed on these two days.

Traditionally, supervisors have had the flexibility to grant an exception if staff were specifically requested/needed by one or more districts that they serve (e.g. to lead professional learning). Also, in rare instances, supervisors could approve a work day based on assignments, duties, and/or pending deadlines. This practice has worked well overall, although questions have been raised about whether the default should be to allow staff to work if their district is open, regardless of special assignment or deadline.

Moving forward, please honor the following procedures on MLK Day and Good Friday:

  • Offices are closed, so staff should not be reporting to any of our three main offices to work. 
  • Support staff should not be working unless approved by their supervisor for a specific project/timeline requirement. (This would be a rare instance.)
  • If certified staff do not have a school that they serve in session, the default is that these are not work days. However, staff would have the ability to request supervisor approval to work based on assignments, duties, and/or pending deadlines. (This would be a rare instance.)
  • If certified staff has one or more schools served in session, they should plan to work on these dates assuming they have assignments, duties or other pending deadlines (e.g. not an “office day”). Staff would not need supervisor approval. 
  • However, even if one or more schools are in session on either MLK Day or Good Friday, staff may choose not to work on either of these two days so that they can recognize the importance of these holidays as personally desired.
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Inspired Mentorship — 2020-21 course offerings

Inspired Mentorship is designed to prepare teacher leaders to serve as mentors or mentor facilitators in the preschool through grade 12 school settings. 

  • Through role definition, personal goal-setting and reflective practices, the program provides a unique opportunity to explore collaborative processes, instructional frameworks, protocols, adult learning theory, and the instructional strategies necessary to build intentional capacity in beginning teacher and in their mentors involved in these processes. 
  • The intended audience is preschool-grade 12 adult Learners, Mentor Coordinators, Mentors, Administrators, and Teachers.

For more information, please refer to this flyer or contact Kim Hurley or Jo Prusha.

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Connecting the Dots — June 15 & 16, 2020

In schools where the achievement gap is being closed, what mindsets, policies, roles, structures and supports impact closing the gap? It’s time that we connect the dots between school Improvement, teacher leadership, and teams to complete the picture of a successful MTSS framework.

Jenni Donohoo, Ann Mausbach & Diane Sweeney, will help build capacity in teams to share feedback to impact student learning and help examine student learning data to monitor and adjust the universal tier.

  • Participants will engage in meaningful learning to support your school improvement plans and learner needs.
  • Register building/district leadership teams here to develop professional infrastructure, cultivate leadership and increase collective efficacy through collaboration and reflection to shift learning for students. 
  • *Please note — Diane Sweeney will be attending virtually June 15 to share her insight into this work. 

For more information, please refer to this flyer or contact Jo Prusha.

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Counselor Networking Session — Feb. 14, 2020

  • Counselors from across Central Rivers AEA come together to learn about compassion fatigue and ways we can Rebuild, Reflect, Rejuvenate.

To register click on the link on this flier.

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Teacher Leadership Networking — Feb. 10, 2020

  • Teacher leaders from across Central Rivers AEA come together to collaborate on instructional strategies and coaching practices to leverage student achievement results.
  • We will focus will be on Social Emotional Learning and the impact teachers leaders can have on SEL within districts during our February networking session.
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Tech Tip!

Google Slides- Editing Master Slides and Layout

From GCF Global- LearnFree.org

Editing master slides and layouts

You may have noticed that when you select a different theme in Google Slides, it rearranges the text on your slides and adds shapes to the background. This is because each theme has built-in slide layouts and background graphics. You can edit these layouts with a feature called the master template editor. Once you learn how to use the editor, you’ll be able to customize your entire slide show with just a few clicks.

Using the master template editor

The master template editor in Google Slides allows you to quickly modify the slides and slide layouts in your presentation. From there, you can edit the master slide, which will affect every slide in the presentation. You can also modify individual slide layouts, which will change any slides using those layouts. Here are some common uses for the master template editor.

  • Modify backgrounds: The master template editor makes it easy to customize the background for all of your slides at the same time. For example, you could add a watermark or logo to each slide in your presentation, or you could modify the background graphics of an existing theme.
  • Rearrange placeholders: If you find that you often rearrange the placeholders on each slide, you can save time by rearranging them in the master template editor instead. When you adjust one of the layouts in the master template editor, all of the slides with that layout will change.
  • Customize text formatting: Instead of changing the text color on each slide individually, you could use the master template editor to change the text color on all slides at once.
  • Create unique slide layouts: If you want to create a presentation that looks different from the default Google Slides themes, you could use the master template editor to create your own layouts. Custom layouts can include your own background graphics and placeholders.

Watch this video on how to edit the master.

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simply stATed

Episode 4: The One About Read&Write for Google Chrome

Zoom with the CRAEA Assistive Technology team to learn more about Read&Write for Google Chrome including information and discussion about the following key questions:  1)What is Read&Write for Google Chrome? 2)What are some key features of this text reader? 3)How can it support a student’s learning? 4)How can educators get Read&Write for Google Chrome for free?

Target Audience:  Any CRAEA or LEA staff that supports Elementary students and above.

January 6, 2020, 3:30-4:15

Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/866398740 

Access Previously Recorded simply stATed episodes here: http://bit.ly/2t57YAd

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Forward a Full Thread in Gmail

Sometimes you want to share an entire thread or conversation rather than forwarding those messages one by one.  In Gmail, when Conversation View is activated, all emails with a common subject line are listed together for ease of reading. Use Conversation View in Gmail to forward these entire conversations in a single message easily.

In Gmail, you can forward an entire conversation in one email message. If the thread forms a conversation, as determined by Gmail criteria, you can forward it in one compact message. The quoted text is removed automatically.  This feature saves a ton of time on both the sender’s and the receiver’s end!  

To forward an entire conversation in one message with Gmail: (remember your Gmail must be in Conversation view)

  1. Go to your inbox and choose the conversation.
  2. Go to the toolbar and select More.
  3. Choose Forward all. Gmail displays the contents of the new email at the bottom of the conversation.
  4. Add any comments to the email and address the message.
  5. Select Send to send the conversation along with your comments.

Check out the video below on this amazing feature!  


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I3 Website

The I3 website will be the new location for procedures that will replace all of the information/guidance found on Iowa IDEA site.  It is open to everyone and anticipated to be open in the fall of 2020-21.

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