Northwest AEA Preschool Newsletter

April 2022

Your communication hub!

In this newsletter you'll find many opportunities for PD. Some of you indicated you want more information on childhood trauma. This newsletter includes THREE opportunities to attend training presented by trauma experts. If you would like to see Lisa Murphy in person, make sure to check out the iaaeyc Spring Institute. If you are looking for local opportunities for licensure renewal or graduate credit, check out the flyers for early childhood professional development.

You'll find ways to celebrate April events, an answer to the GOLD checkpoints dilemma, AND some GOLD data collection resources. This newsletter also links help desks and other resources for you.

EnJOY! ~Joyce, Brenda & Shelley

WOYC, April 2-8

Join in the celebration of early learning, children, their teachers, families and communities. Click HERE to learn more!!

Earth Day is April 22

April is the perfect month to reconnect your students to nature. In fact, according to some research, having a connection with nature has a positive impact on students' mental health and well-being. This article from Edutopia gives us seven simple, fun ways to connect students with nature.

If you have a Teachers Pay Teachers account (yeah, we know what you're thinking), here is a link to FREE Earth Day printables including a fun Nature Walk visual!

GOLD Data Collection Tools

It's your LUCKY MONTH! During the March Round Table, Tara Vonk shared a GOLD timeline spreadsheet she created for collecting data. Afterwards, Sonja Heronemus shared checklists she created to track literacy & math skills for her 3's and 4's. Sonja shares the checklists with parents letting them know all skills are not expected by the end of the year.

After doing some exploring on Prairie Lakes' website, we found additional resources. All are shared HERE.

Connections is shared monthly on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays

This publication alerts you to resources and professional development occurring at Northwest AEA. Check it out (or look for it in your Inbox).

Preschool Administrators, Join us on April 26th

Administrators, you are invited to join us for the Preschool Administrators Zoom. Click on the flyer to view the topics and the link to sign up.

Reminder: preschool desk audits need to be completed & submitted by April 15th

For districts that had preschool desk audit items to resubmit, remember they are due by April 15th. Please reach out to your Early Childhood General Education Consultant if you have questions.

Upcoming Early Childhood Professional Development Opportunities

Taking all 3 of the courses below for credit meets the criteria for for certified Paras seeking the Early Childhood Area of Concentration

Preschool Academy

Do you or will you have teachers or administrators new to Statewide Voluntary Preschool? Do you wish to learn more about connecting the pieces of the IELS, IQPPS and TS GOLD? If so, join us on August 11th from 9 to 3 and meet others just like you. Click HERE or on the flyer to register.

Intentional Teacher Save the Dates!

Many districts are doing a deeper dive into literacy. Because of that, we want to share what that looks like in preschool settings. This year, we will be learning about the Science of Reading and building literacy skills in young children. You will again have a choice between two face-to-face dates, then join us in three Zoom sessions as we go further into literacy for young children. Click on the flyer to learn more.
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.

PD Opportunities below include EC staff

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.

Kick off Your Year Learning Conference

Join us in LeMars on August 10th!

This one day learning conference will focus on the theme -- EQ before IQ and will have learning sessions catered to all PreK-12 educators and administrators.

  • Register today for early bird registration of $50. This rate expires on April 30! You can register at this link Don't miss out on this affordable rate!
  • Interested in presenting? Please fill out a session proposal . Session proposals are due by May 1st.

If you have any questions about the learning conference or session proposals please email the Learning Conference Team at

GOLD checkpoints: dilemma solved

The Spring checkpoint is required. The Iowa Department of Education uses Spring data for their reporting obligations.

Completing all three checkpoints is highly recommended in order to make instructional and program decisions based on data. Look at the program standard you use on assessment and let that guide you as to what assessments you use to determine child progress. Teaching Strategies GOLD is one part of your required assessment plan.

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.

March 29th EC State Coordinating Team Summary

Would you like to see how districts in Northwest AEA compare with other districts across the state in regards to GOLD and Desk Audit data? Or maybe you wish to learn more about ACHIEVE and IQ4K. If so, click HERE to view the nine slides that summarize the communication between Iowa AEAs and Department of Education representatives.

IQ4K Rolls out April 1st!

The new and improved Iowa's Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) has arrived. Iowa QRS has been re-designed, re-branded and re-named: IQ4K! Click HERE to learn more. You can also find information on slide 8 of the March 2022 EC SCT slideshow.

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 March 2022 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 April 13, 2022.

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

iaaeyc Spring Institute 2022- April 29 & 30

For those wanting more information on childhood trauma and/or for those wanting to hear Lisa Murphy (aka the Oooey Gooey Lady), you are IN LUCK! The Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children is bringing Jen Alexander, experienced trauma-informed educator, school counselor, expert on childhood trauma, global speaker, and consultant; AND Lisa Murphy, an outspoken advocate known for her commitment to creating child-centered, play-based early childhood environments and her fierce protection of childhood to Iowa!

Click HERE to learn more about the speakers & event details; and HERE to register.

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 dates: 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.

save the dates: 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:

Thanks for scrolling to the end!! Make sure to watch the video below; it's sure to make you smile :)

Father and daughter play in puddle. goes viral. Cute video
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