Northwest AEA Preschool Newsletter

January 2023


Educators have weathered a lot over the past few years. Despite it all, you who are reading this newsletter are still here. Still doing what you do best- loving each and every child, making sure basic needs are met, ensuring the safety of all students, and yes, of course, providing them with an education that will take them into a forever changing future.

This year, we celebrate YOU! You, the unshakeable ones who no matter what, give your all. We applaud you, support you, and are here for you. Unshakeable people don't have to go it alone.

Happy New Year! ~Joyce, Brenda & Shelley

*Administrators: Take Note*

Top 10 Points About Chapter 103

Although not new, it is prudent to remain aware of the Amended Administrative Rules on Corporal Punishment, Physical Restraint, Seclusion, and Other Physical Contact with Students (Effective January 20, 2021). This document highlights the Top Ten changes to Chapter 103 and includes guidance, key points, and a list of definitions (see Appendix on page 5). These guidelines are not intended to replace or supplant the legislative language of Chapter 103, nor are they a substitute for legal advice. Boards of schools or AEAs may adopt its own policies, but only if they EXCEED the minimum requirement of Iowa Rules.

Early Childhood Para Courses

One of the three courses that counts towards a Paraeducator Early Childhood Area of Concentration is offered this semester beginning on January 10th. If you have paraeducators working in preschool classrooms needing this endorsement, please let them know that the Observation & Assessment of Young Children course is being offered.

*Northwest AEA Media*

Up and running!

The Library is happy to announce that the reservation system is now available to all! Insignia is a single sign on with your gmail and password. The first time you login you will provide your information. It is fairly easy to get in and start searching. I have included directions for how to login as well as instructions on how to book an item! We have so many items to offer! Take the time to look around and let me know if you have any questions! Polly, Ann, and Debbie

Lending Library is moving!

The Northwest AEA lending library will be closed between March 15 & April 17 due to moving to a new location.

*Family Corner- Please share with them!*

Iowa PBS shares resources

Five healthy, easy and kid-pleasing recipes:

Did someone say snack time?! Print and try these quick, inexpensive and healthy recipes with children. They can even help with many of the steps, such as measuring, stirring and mashing.

Four ideas to encourage family reading time:

It’s important to carve out quality time to spend with your kids each day. But there are some days when that’s easier said than done! Our days can get so busy. Here are four ideas to inspire your family to spend more time together through the act of reading and reading aloud.

*Fun & Informational Links*

Free Webinar with Dr. Barbara Sorrels!

Dr. Barbara Sorrels (featured Friday speaker at last year's Centering on Centers, 2022) is presenting a free webinar on January 11, 2023 from 2:00-3:30 pm Eastern Time, titled "Supporting Trauma-Informed Play to Facilitate Healing in Early Childhood Programs." Click HERE to learn more and to register.

Iowa PBS (Public Broadcasting System)

Did you know that Iowa PBS has a plethora of resources for educators and families? Check out these PK resources; you won't be disappointed! We've included just one little "Wander & Wonder Digital Short" for you on the Northern Lights.

To access the education page go to:

The direct link for the newsletter sign up is:

GOLD & IGDIs checkpoint dates

Screening windows and checkpoint dates

Upcoming Northwest AEA Early Childhood Professional Development Opportunities

Centering on Centers 2023

Registration has opened for our 28th Annual Centering on Centers Conference! It will be held at the Sioux City Convention Center. This year features Cari Ebert, a nationally known speech & language pathologist. It is filling up quickly so you will want to register as soon as possible!

Topics include:

  • Building Executive Function Skills Through Play- Based Learning
  • The Power of Play in a High Tech World
  • The Digital Dilemma: How Screen Time Affects Early Childhood Development
  • Making Sense of Sensory

Click on HERE or on the flyer for details. You will want to register early as there is a $10 late registration fee.

PD Roadmap for LEA Staff in Statewide Voluntary Preschool Programs

Northwest AEA knows that Local Education Agency (LEA) preschool staff are recommended to have 15 hours of professional development in topics relating to early childhood. We strive to keep topics fresh and relevant while continuing to offer courses that are foundational and necessary for implementing quality programs. We invite you to look at the PD roadmap designed for staff in Statewide Voluntary Preschool Programs. Note what courses you've taken, and what steps might be missing for you as you travel along your personal PD path. We have many learning opportunities available for you in the second semester of the 2022-23 school year.

Click on the images below to access the flyers. All courses are available for you to be a participant only. "Grad." means it is also offered for graduate credit; "LR" means it is also offered for license renewal credit.

Northwest AEA Early Childhood PD Plan 2022-23

Here you have access to professional development designed specifically for early childhood staff for the 2022-23 school year.

*Training that includes early childhood*

EC State Coordinating Team Monthly Summaries

The Iowa Department of Education has regular meetings with early childhood representatives from across the state as a way of sharing information from the DE, listening to our voices and concerns, and collaborating with each other to create solutions.

*Additional Info*

Hot Topics

Sometimes questions are asked to us that we can't find answers to, so we ask. This is our current "hot topics" list. You'll find a Q&A on IGDIs, Panorama, potty chairs in preschool, family-style meals, and exiting a child from OSEP.

Newsletter background image

The background image for this newsletter came from This is the direct link:

Newsletter Stats

Just like you, we also use data. The newsletter is our way of responding to requests to reduce your "inbox traffic" and allow us to still provide you with relevant early childhood information. We use smore for our newsletters because it provides us with data such as who has opened the newsletter, how people are gaining access to the newsletter, which links & buttons are clicked on the most, and more. The chart to the right depicts newsletter statistics. For those of us who like data, it's a helpful way for us to know when to send the most pertinent information and who is taking advantage of information provided.
Want more preschool newsletters?

Visit our Northwest AEA website where you'll find not only previous EC Newsletters, but a wealth of other resources as well!

Northwest AEA Early Childhood Consultants

We hope to be your first contact for timely and ongoing early childhood support. We want to assist you in improving the performance outcomes and well-being of your young learners.

Joyce, Brenda & Shelley