Northwest AEA Preschool Newsletter

March 2022

Your communication hub!

This month, know that what you do is appreciated! As the month kicks off, you might be interested in knowing that March 7-11 is National School Breakfast Week. Let's make sure each one of our students begins the day with happy tummies!!

You might also be interested in an opportunity to join a Round Table discussion later this month. It is designed with you in mind.

EnJOY! ~Joyce, Brenda & Shelley

MoveMindfully Workshop

Kathy Flaminio, the founder and trainer of MoveMindfully, will be coming to Northwest AEA in person this coming April! REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS APRIL 6TH!!

April 20 will be Day 1: MoveMindfully Foundation Training: Introduction to Mindfulness, Movement, and Social Emotional Learning

(this is the workshop that has been offered 2 times previously, via Zoom).

April 21 will be Day 2: MoveMindfully Foundation Training: Trauma-Responsive Practices (new offering at our AEA!)

*Prerequisite for Day 2 → MoveMindfully Foundation Training: Introduction to Mindfulness, Movement and Social Emotional Learning (Day 1).

Click HERE to learn more, click on the image to register.

Northwest AEA Early Childhood PD Plan 2022-23

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

GOLD checkpoints: an ongoing dilemma

It appears some are still wondering how many GOLD checkpoints are required. Don't feel alone as there have been changes over the years. We currently are seeking clarification- hopefully there will be more to come in our April newsletter. What we know for sure is that Spring is required. How many besides the Spring Checkpoint is what we want clarification on. Right now, we have 3 documents we use that address GOLD assessment & checkpoints:

  1. Iowa Code 279.60 .
  2. Letter sent to administrators in July, 2021 from Kimberly Villotti, Iowa Department of Education.
  3. Iowa GOLD Procedures Manual

GOLD can be used as both a formative & summative assessment. If you are using GOLD to make data-based decisions to instruct your students, then all three checkpoints are necessary. There are many reasons for doing three; discuss them with your EC & ECSE consultants and coaches.

If you are only using the Spring checkpoint, then you are using GOLD only as a summative form of assessment and are not using it to drive your instruction or make data-based decisions. You are using it as a reporting form only. If this is the case, you will want to beef up your Assessment Plans and have other means of assessing and monitoring your students in order to make informed, data-based instructional decisions.

More to come...

Early Childhood State Coordinating Team

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.

February 11, 2022 EC SCT Summary

Here's the latest information shared from our members on the Early Childhood State Coordinating Team. You'll find info on TS GOLD 2021 Spring assessment, Fall 2021 GOLD checkpoint data, most common desk audit out-of-compliance findings, and more.

You're invited to a Round Table

Your voices have been heard. You miss talking to each other and having opportunities to ask questions and share ideas. And from recent discussions with you, you have some AMAZING ideas! So, this Round Table on Tuesday, March 22nd from 3:35-4:30 is designed just for that- preschool teachers talking and sharing. Click HERE to sign up.

IGDIs help desk

We all need a little help now and then. myIGDIs has made it easy for us to connect with them. Use THIS LINK to access the myIGDIs help desk from Renaissance.

Click HERE for the February myIGDIs update.

Autism Help Desk

On the 2nd Wednesday of every month, The Northwest AEA autism team is offering an Autism Help Desk two different times of the day, 7:30-8:30 a.m. and 3:30-4:30 p.m. The Help Desk is to support the implementation of evidence-based practices in the structures and strategies for students with characteristics of autism. If interested, please contact Beth Tisher at or 712.222.6382. The next Autism Help Desk is scheduled for March 9, 2022.
Why I don't ask...

Voices from the field share: Why I Don’t Ask “Who Can Tell Me What We Did Yesterday?” anymore. Something to think about. Click on the green button to see the article.

Tips of the Month!!! See Below

What happens when you add loose parts to recess?

PD opportunities in the state of iowa & internationally (see below)

iaaeyc spring institute 2022

April 29-30, 2022 Click HERE to learn more

2022 international early childhood inclusion institute

Registration for the 2022 International Early Childhood Inclusion Institute is open! The theme this year is ‘We’re In This Together: Caring for One Another in Difficult Times.’ You can attend in person or virtually. The session is April 26-28, 2022.

If you plan to travel to Chapel Hill, NC for the conference, please visit the Logistics page on our website for information on hotels and accessing the Friday Center.

You can register for the Inclusion Institute here.

Science of Reading virtual workshops

Attend a Science of Reading Virtual Workshop for Emerging (PK-1) or Developing (1-12) Readers. Click HERE for more information.

save the date: Iowa Education Conference, June 6-9

You’ll want to save the date for the June 6-9 Iowa Education Conference held in Des Moines.

The Iowa Education Conference (IEC) 2022 is designed to support school leadership teams, educators and their organizational partners to prepare all learners for their future at every step of their educational journey.

Formerly the Special Education Symposium and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) June Institute, the IEC seeks to align statewide efforts to support Iowa’s school districts, area education agencies (AEAs) and partnering agencies and organizations in the provision of leadership, instructional services and other supports to promote the success of all Iowa learners.

Content strands across the event include college and career readiness, early childhood, leadership, literacy, mathematics and social-emotional-behavioral health. Each day has a different focus.

save the date: Trauma Informed Care Conference, June 7-8

12th Annual Psychological Trauma & Juvenile Justice Conference

Where: Holiday Inn Airport

Des Moines, Iowa

Confirmed speakers:

Dr. Dispesh Navsaria

Trasie Adams Topple

Kelly M. Clougher, PhD

George Ake III, PhD

For more information please visit:

For questions about registration please contact Nicole Byrd or Nancy Boggess at:

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