AEA 267 Clear Lake Production Lab to close on June 30

Over the past several few years, use of our Clear Lake Office Production Lab has been steadily decreasing. Except for a few faithful users who have easy access to the Production Lab given where they live or are employed, the majority of educators in the Clear Lake region send their requests for lamination or die cuts to our Creative Services Department for completion. Thus, we plan to close the Production Lab on June 30.

We know that this may be disappointing to those of you who have appreciated coming in to take care of your own laminating and die cuts but we want you to know that we will take good care of your orders when you send them in for us to handle! Your business is very important to us and we hope that this change frees up time in your very busy schedule.

Questions? Contact Beth Strike, AEA 267 Director of Creative Services at 319-273-8222.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

AEA media centers closed June 15 – July 31

Our AEA lending libraries will be closed this summer from June 15 – July 31st, in order to facilitate a large move of media materials to our Marshalltown office. Teachers will be unable to pick up or check out materials during the time of our move.

If there are AEA media materials that you will need during the time period that we are closed, please contact the AEA media center in your area by May 26. We will check materials out to you before your school dismisses for the summer to be returned in August when the AEA resumes regular van routes.

In addition, our GetMedia catalog will be opened on July 31st for bookings for the 2017-2018 school year.

Thank you for your patience this summer as we accommodate this large move of media materials. Please contact Cheryl Carruthers or Deb Culp at 800-735-1539 with questions.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Stop the summer slide with one simple solution

Boy sitting under a tree and readingAs the last tendrils of winter loosen their grasp and spring showers pave the way for summer blossoms, the literacy consultants at Area Education Agency 267 begin to hear a common question, “What can my students do to avoid the summer slide?”

While the notion of a summer slide might conjure up images of brightly colored playgrounds with curvy tubed slides, this “summer slide” actually refers to the loss of academic gains made during the previous school year. Sadly, the most impacted students tend to be those from low income families; those that are already at a disadvantage when it comes to achieving their full potential.

According to education expert Richard Allington, summer slide accounts for as much as 85% of the reading achievement gap between lower income students and their middle to upper income peers. Additionally, teachers may spend more time at the beginning of the school year re-teaching previously covered material and strategies that were forgotten or under used over the summer. This delays the teaching of new material, putting a strain on the already limited teaching time needed to teach the rigorous content of the Iowa Core Standards.

While it may seem like a complex problem, the solution to summer slide is surprisingly simple. Read! Children of all ages need to read over the summer. There is no need for special programs, workbooks, or fancy flashcards. A library card with regular trips to the colorful shelves of the public library can do the trick. According to the Journal of Education for Students at Risk, regardless of ethnicity, income level, or previous achievement, children who read four or more books over the summer do better on fall reading comprehension measures than their peers who read one or no books.

This theory makes sense. Think of the world’s great athletes or musicians. They spend countless hours practicing their sport or instrument. If they were to take a few months off, they too would fall behind their peers. The same is true for reading. Children must consistently use their reading “muscles” over the summer to keep them in shape. Additionally, spending time listening to your child read as well as talking about what they are reading has an impact on comprehension and their motivation to read. Quick book chats can make all the difference in sustaining a summer of reading.

Many area public libraries have summer reading programs to encourage and support summer reading. If ebooks are more appealing, students and parents can access a vast digital library through MackinVia, an online resource supported by Area Education Agency 267. The high quality ebooks are sorted by grade level and are completely free. For more information go to http://aea267.iwanttoread.org/elem, or www.mackinvia.com. Many area schools utilize MackinVia in their classrooms, so children may already have a “backpack” of books at their fingertips. Access to this resource can be gained by contacting your child’s school library media specialist or principal.

A summer of reading can keep the summer slide where it belongs…on the playground!

 

Photo of Patty FosterPatty Foster is a Consultant for Reading/Language Arts with Area Education Agency 267, which serves over 62,000 students in school districts representing 18 counties in north central and eastern Iowa. She can be reached at pfoster@aea267.k12.ia.us

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Move to Central Rivers AEA just around the corner

CR logoThose of you who have been served by our agency since the time of our merger in 2003 know that our current agency name–AEA 267–has a storied and interesting history. For some, the name “AEA 267” was synonymous with the joining of three agencies into one. For many, the name was a constant reminder of separateness.

The AEA 267 Board of Directors took a bold step during their October 2016 meeting to change the agency’s name. Our new name, Central Rivers Area Education Agency (AEA), is a nod to the many rivers that run throughout our 18-county territory, uniting us and flowing freely without regard to geography.

From a budgetary standpoint, the timing was right for this change given conversations this year around updates to our facilities, the fact that our existing website was nearly 10 years old, and knowing that many of our building signs were already in need of replacement. Since we had to make these improvements anyway, moving ahead with rebranding was an easier decision. Our new name and brand is now being phased in through July and we appreciate your patience as we use up supplies bearing the AEA 267 name. We are striving for an official changeover to Central Rivers AEA on July 1.

As part of our rebranding, we will also be rolling out a new website in early June. Our goal was to make the site cleaner, easier to navigate and built around the information and services you need access to most frequently. We welcome your feedback as you explore the new site and look forward to growing it around your specific needs.

Finally, around July 1, we will move our Cedar Falls headquarters to a new location at 1521 Technology Parkway (the former Pipac Centre on the Lake). Our new Central Rivers AEA location will allow us to expand capacity for large-scale professional learning making possible events such as those that are part of our Inspirational Leadership Series. I’d like to extend my deepest gratitude to our Board of Directors for their foresight and courage in all of these decisions. We are grateful to work with a true group of innovators and visionaries.

So, welcome in advance to our new website, our new location (after July 1), and your new Central Rivers Area Education Agency!

Sam Miller, AEA 267 Chief Administrator

Sam Miller, AEA 267 Chief Administrator

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Join us for upcoming retirement celebrations

Picture of flowersPlease plan to attend one or more of the upcoming retirement open houses honoring AEA 267’s 2017 retirees. The celebrations will be held on Tuesday, May 16 in the Cedar Falls Conference Center; Wednesday, May 17 in the Clear Lake Office; and Thursday, May 18 in the Marshalltown Office from 3:30-5 p.m. at all locations.

These celebrations present a wonderful opportunity to congratulate our honorees and recognize them for their dedication and years of service. Those being honored this year include:

 

Cedar Falls

Clear Lake

Marshalltown

Posted in News | Leave a comment