Northwest AEA Preschool Newsletter

August 2022

Welcome to the 2022-23 school year!!

August has arrived and along with it the Preschool Newsletter. For those that are new, each month of the school year we will be sending you a newsletter with important dates and information, news from the Iowa Department of Education, and opportunities for learning. By combining lots of information into one document, you save time from not having to search through emails to find what you need; you can just check out the newsletter!

We wish you an enjoyable start to the school year!

EnJOY! ~Joyce, Brenda & Shelley

Kick off Your Year Learning Conference- just $25!!

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. Here's a link to the conference newsletter.

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

Administrators- take note

Teaching Strategies GOLD

Statewide Voluntary Preschools in Iowa must assess students using the Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment system. Make sure to enroll all NEW PRESCHOOL TEACHERS into the system AND make sure your account is up to date.

Teaching Strategies offers you a 90 minute Back-to-School Support for Administrators webinar to assist with several things including adding user accounts for your preschool staff and navigating the platform. Click on to see the dates and learn more.

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.

IEP Training for New Teachers

Please share these Zoom dates of August 4th and August 15th and sign up info with your new ECSE teachers. Click on the image to the left.

New PK teachers connected

Please make sure to share email addresses of new preschool teachers with Joyce Vermeer, Shelley Conover or Brenda Jenkins so we can make sure to get them in our contact lists. Our contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter. Thanks!!

New Preschool Teachers- Take Note

Teaching Strategies GOLD

As a preschool teacher for a Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program in Iowa, you will be using the Teaching Strategies GOLD system as a way to document assessments of your students. Teaching Strategies understands learning the system can be a bit daunting at first so they're offering FOUR opportunities to learn the system. Click on the following link to find out the dates for the webinars:

In addition, they are offering you a New Teacher toolkit. Click on the following link to learn more:

Setting up your classroom

Here are a couple of resources in addition to those in your curriculum that may be beneficial to setting up your classroom. Take a look at the Preschool Materials Guide and the Setting Up a Classroom for 20 children documents.

Returning Preschool Teachers- Take Note

Teaching Strategies GOLD

TS GOLD has webinar opportunities for YOU also! Click on the following link to see the FIVE opportunities you have:

For you and anyone else wanting to learn more about best practices in preschool settings, Teaching Strategies has a Best Practice series relating to back-to-school. The following link gives you access: Viewing one or more of these as a classroom team could be a nice coming back together training opportunity.



By now your district has most likely shared with you training dates for the ACHIEVE system. Please contact your district administrator to see when you are scheduled for training.

Infant & Toddler teachers- take note

Building Strong Readers Right from the start

Our annual Fundamentals of Infant Toddler Success or FITS training will focus on early literacy this year! If you work or live with infants or toddlers and want to know more about early literacy, then this training is for you! Click HERE to register or on the flyer to learn more. You may attend one of all four of these workshops; you just need to register for each prior to attending.

Info for all

Home visits required

An inquiry was made to the Department of Ed on behalf of a teacher wondering if home visits are still required. The reply was "yes." "Home visits continue to be required. We strongly encourage these to be held in a setting familiar to the family and child and in such a way that one family has the undivided attention of the teacher."

Below are a couple of tools you can use or adapt to start building connections with families during your home visit. Remember to take or ask for a family picture to display in the classroom. It's one of many great ways to make your students feel comfortable and welcome at school.

Tool 1:

Tool 2:

Fun Activities for students

Here is a link to lots of engaging ideas to get your students involved in learning. You can either do them in the classroom or share them with families. HAVE FUN!

Upcoming Northwest AEA Early Childhood Professional Development Opportunities

Intentional Teacher 2022!

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.

Centering on Centers 2023

Our 28th Annual Centering on Centers will feature Cari Ebert! If you don't know Cari or haven't yet heard her speak, you will definitely want to attend this conference. Click on the flyer or Facebook page to learn more.

Fun fact- she's a University of Iowa grad!!

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.

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).

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.

myIGDIs support

Get the jump on myIGDIs. There are LOTS of training opportunities & supports available to you. Click here for myIGDIs info.

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

"The Inclusion Event of the Year"

You are invited by Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak and Dr. Julie Causton to attend the 2022 VIRTUAL Summer Leadership Institute held August 8-10, 2022.

Iowa BEST Summit

This event will be held Oct. 10-11, 2022 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. BEST stands for Behavioral, Equitable, Social-Emotional, Trauma-Informed Health in Schools. Click on the Iowa BEST link to register or to learn more.

Additional Info

New AEA Digital Resources coming in 2022-23!!

Iowa’s AEAs provide students and educators with no-cost access to high-quality, vetted digital

resources. They are proud to announce their lineup of digital instructional resources for the 2022-23 school year, including six new offerings! Students, educators and parents have 24/7/365 access to these ebooks, streaming videos, encyclopedia, reference materials and more! Click HERE to learn more about AEA Digital Resources.

Welcoming Week- September 9-18, 2022

Check out this website to learn more:

Shared Visions Ratio- still 1:8

If you are a Shared Visions Preschool Program, please read the following.

This came from the Iowa DE in July:

"Update 1 regarding Shared Visions Preschool Program ratio requirements:
Shared Visions Preschool Grantees,

The attached communication was sent to programs licensed by the Iowa Department of Human Services and outlines changes due to recent legislation. The modifications to classroom ratio requirements for DHS child care licensing differ from the requirement set forth in Iowa Code 256A.3(4)(a), which governs Shared Visions programs.

This is a reminder that the requirement to maintain a ratio of one adult for every eight children within classrooms funded by the Shared Visions grant remains unchanged.

Please contact your assigned Shared Visions consultant with any questions.

Update 2 regarding carryover in annual funding:
Shared Visions Grantees,
With the passage of HF2575, Iowa Code 279.51 was amended with the following new subsection:

Sec. 15. Section 279.51, Code 2022, is amended by adding the following new subsection:
NEW SUBSECTION. 3A. Notwithstanding section 8.33, moneys appropriated in this section that remain unencumbered or unobligated at the close of the fiscal year shall not revert but shall remain available for expenditure for the purposes designated.
Sec. 16. EFFECTIVE DATE. This division of this Act, being deemed of immediate importance, takes effect upon enactment.

This new subsection means funds not expended during a grant year will remain available to support allowable grant expenses. This is effective immediately; therefore, any unspent FY22 grant funds will remain with the local grantee and not need to be sent back to the Department.

Carryover funds will need to be used before the next grant award and will need to be accounted for and reported separately. Additional guidance will be provided in the future.

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