Northwest AEA Preschool Newsletter

October 2021

Your communication hub!

In order to better streamline our communication to you and reduce the number of emails in your inbox, we created our Preschool Newsletter. This newsletter will be one of our main modes of connecting with you so we encourage you to take time to read and click on the resources we share. You can find our monthly newsletter on the Northwest AEA site under Early Childhood (Ages 3-5).

You will need to click on the following link to view the entire newsletter on our Northwest AEA smore website:

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, we're here to help ~Joyce, Brenda & Shelley

Preschool Desk Audit Information for the 2021-22 School Year is here!

The Iowa Department of Education has released guidance for the 2021-22 Preschool Desk Audit. That guidance can be found here. They also have shared a 13 minute webinar that further explains the requirements.

Northwest AEA Early Childhood Consultants will be presenting an informational Zoom to Preschool Administrators on October 12th from 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Wordless Books- Feature of the Month!

Wordless books are an important part of every early childhood classroom. They give children the opportunity to use language in a creative way as they link their background knowledge to pictures in books. Using language and opportunities for storytelling are critical components in early literacy development. IQPPS Standard 2:13 states in part, "Children have varied opportunities to have access to various types of books including storybooks, factual books, books with rhymes, alphabet books, and wordless books."

Here are some of the wordless books we have available through our Northwest AEA Lending Library. MackinVIA also has wordless books available electronically.

Creative Curriculum Round Table

Are you using or want to know more about the Creative Curriculum Cloud? Please join us as we explore the Cloud together on October 1st from 10:30-11:30 a.m. and/or on October 13th from 10:30-11:30. CLICK HERE to sign up and receive the Zoom link.

If you are using the Creative Curriculum Cloud and want to join our Northwest AEA CCC Support Group, let one of us (Joyce, Brenda, Shelley) know.

October is Healthiest State Month

Northwest AEA Early Childhood Professional Development Opportunities

Intentional Teacher 2021

This year Intentional Teacher is designed for you based on your feedback. Beth VanMeeteren from the University of Northern Iowa will bring her knowledge to us on Ramps and Pathways. You may join us face to face in Sioux Center on October 15th OR in Sioux City on October 22nd and find out how to use ramps and pathways in your program to stimulate STEM learning. Beth stated it would be helpful if you were able to bring your Ramps & Pathways. Here is the UPDATED link to purchase the Ramps & Tracks Pathways Kit.

Additional sessions will be provided via Zoom by Northwest AEA Early Childhood Consultants all with a focus on different components of STEM. Science will be held on November 3rd from 12:30-3:30, Engineering on November 17th from 12:30-3:30 and Math on December 3rd from 8:30-11:30. See the flyer linked above for cost and registration information.

FITS 2021: Building Brains Right From the Start

It's not too late to join us for the last two sessions of FITS. On October 12th we'll dive into early literacy and what that looks like for infants and toddlers and on October 24th we'll look at STEM activities and learning for infants and toddlers. If you know families or child care providers that might be interested in knowing more about building foundational skills for young children, feel free to share this with them! Participants must register to attend.
Northwest AEA Early Childhood PD Plan

Here you have access to professional development designed specifically for early childhood staff for the 2021-22 school year.

Other Professional Development Opportunities

Friday, Oct. 1st, 2pm to Saturday, Oct. 2nd, 4:45pm

This is an online event.

The Iowa Early Learning Fall Institute brings together early childhood professionals from across the state for a unique professional development opportunity. We invite you to join us as we network, share, and learn together, virtually! Click here to select the workshops you would like to attend!

Visit our website for additional information.

Kaymbu 360 Building Brains: The Science of Early Childhood Development

Tuesday, Oct. 5th, 2pm to Thursday, Oct. 7th, 5pm

This is an online event.

Each afternoon from 2:00-5:00 CDT pm you will have access to pertinent topics and discussion groups related to early brain development including the science of play; stress, adversity and young brains; promoting executive function; and the Covid-19 generation: how prolonged exposure to stress is shaping development. EARLY BIRD PRICING ends 8/20/21!! For more info, CLICK HERE

Iowa Best Summit

Tuesday, Nov. 2nd, 8am to Wednesday, Nov. 3rd, 3pm

730 3rd Street

Des Moines, IA

Iowa BEST: Behavioral, Equitable, Social-Emotional, Trauma-Informed Health in Schools Summit - November 2-3, 2021

The Iowa BEST Summit is designed to highlight our collective need to bolster support and care across our educational system, and to build our shared capacity to get there. This two-day event will provide attendees with valuable information, resources, and practical solutions around social-emotional-behavioral health. This event is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Education and the University of Iowa's Center for School Mental Health.

Big picture
myIGDIs Early Literacy Assessment

Want to find out more about myIGDIs? Click here to learn more. Register for upcoming webinars and see how you can use myIGDIs as part of your program's multi-tiered systems of support.

GOLD Spring Checkpoint required- see more

Kimberly Villotti from the Iowa Department of Education shared this message with Preschool Administrators and Directors in July.

ECSE Supports

Early Childhood Special Education staff: Click here to access Iowa's IDEA website. You will find information and resources pertinent to all who work with and/or live with a child having a disability.

The Iowa Department of Education has a page on their website with information helpful to teachers and staff who work with children in early childhood special education. Click here to access the page.

Northwest AEA also has a website page designed to assist you as you support students with special education needs. Here is a link to that page.

ACHIEVE Updates for ECSE staff

Updated Implementation Dates

All districts will be using the ACHIEVE system no later than September 15, 2022, with the inclusion of all IEPs/IFSPs by June 30, 2023. This slide deck provides milestones in a few different formats to help provide you with an overview of the system rollout.

Communication Timeline

The ACHIEVE Governance Council (AGC), which includes representation of Department of Education staff, AEA special education directors, and LEA special education directors, remains committed to providing regular updates on the system rollout. Superintendents will review this information at their monthly AEA superintendent meeting. Additionally, the AGC will continue providing updates through the ACHIEVE website.

More information about professional learning opportunities will be coming later this fall.

Northwest AEA Media

COMING SOON! End the painful login process and save valuable instruction time with single sign-on access! Teachers can use one password to securely sign-in to Northwest AEA online resources, professional development system, AEA Training System and more with their district credentials. Northwest AEA ClassLink OneClick is a launchpad that provides district teachers and students single sign-on access to digital resources. Administered by the AEAs with local management for additional resources, this resource is a low maintenance solution for school administrators—no on-site district support is required to use this high-impact resource. CLICK HERE to register for the 30 minute training via Zoom on Sept. 29th or 30th from 3:45-4:15.

Media and Technology

In addition to special education and educational services, supplemental classroom resources are available to all educators and schools within the Northwest AEA area. Students and teachers can use instructional resources on Iowa AEA Online for free. The Media Catalog has books, DVDs, magazines, book kits, audio books, equipment, labs, and so much more for all grade levels. And the Creative Services Team can produce posters, coloring books, bookmarks, banners, custom vinyl, printing, clings, and more.

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