IU Participates in "State of the Counties" Regional Event
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 Executive Director, Christopher S. Wolfel, Ed.D., was featured as a panel speaker at the "State of the Counties" virtual event on March 31, 2021. The Affiliated Chambers of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted the event that featured discussions about local initiatives and updates as related to COVID-19 and its impacts on business, education, mental health, and DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) initiatives in place to create a more inclusive environment for those living, working, and educating in the Lehigh Valley.
Dr. Wolfel shared how CIU 20 has supported local families, schools, and the community during the pandemic and steps we are taking to support these entities as they move forward. Other panelists included County Executive Phillips Armstrong (Lehigh County), County Executive Lamont McClure (Northampton County), and Dr. Elaine E. Eib (Executive Director, Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit).
“Tech Tips” Provide Free On-Demand Professional Development
Colonial IU 20 creates free on-demand video based technology tips that provide regional educators with quick, how-to-style instruction on various topics. The quick videos are on specific content, delivering targeted professional development while minimizing the amount of time needed to be away from the classroom.

The use of our “tech tip” video library has proven to be valuable during the pandemic, with numerous new videos created specifically relating to remote meeting and learning tools. Learners can choose to play specific videos that they are interested in without sitting through other topics.

The tech tips playlist can be viewed by visiting www.youtube.com/ciu20. Please subscribe to the channel to be notified when new videos are released.

Thanks to Tom Kalinoski, Director of Technology and Operations, for his hard work in populating our tech tips library, which has 85 topics as of April 2021.
Driver's Ed On-The-Road Instruction Course Available for Students
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 offers an On-The-Road Instruction Driver's Ed course for students who have a valid driving permit issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. CIU 20 instructors and students follow COVID mitigation procedures as recommended by the CDC and local health organizations.

To learn more or to register, please visit www.ciu20.org/driversed/.
Staff Spotlight: John Musyt
Devoted School Counselor of Over 40 Years
John Musyt is in his 44th year as Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 School Counselor, with all of those years serving various schools in the Nonpublic School Services Department. He currently works with the high school students at Notre Dame in East Stroudsburg. John is also a member of the CIU 20 Crisis Response Flight Team that is deployed to assist school communities with all aspects of crisis and trauma that impact CIU 20 region schools and communities.
As a Nonpublic School Counselor, Mr. Musyt helps students and families cope with stressful life situations and serves as a resource for academic concerns, college, postsecondary and career choices; as well as provide consultation services and referral services within the IU and the surrounding community.

John says that "The most rewarding part of being a school counselor is to have an opportunity to be a part of a student’s life and help them to discover their strengths while learning how to use them in meeting their challenges head-on; and, joining them on this journey of self-discovery." In terms of adapting to the pandemic, John notes that "I remain flexible, use humor and silence as a counseling technique, and I try not to take things personally; and encourage the people I work with to do the same."

Mr. Musyt plans to retire at the end of this school year, and his supervisor, Dr. Todd VanNortwick, has this to say, "John Musyt is the perfect example of what servant leadership is all about. He has always treated his job as a school counselor like a vocation. Replacing a person like John will be no easy task, but we will do our best to carry on his legacy and to make him proud."
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 is committed to creating a welcoming environment for all by celebrating diversity and inclusion. During the month of April, Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 celebrated the following: Autism Awareness Month, Arab-American Heritage Month, Earth Day, Occupational Therapy Month, and Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Colonial IU 20 highlighted students and educators in our Autistic Support program throughout the month of April during the "Social Media Takeover for Autism Awareness." A wide variety of educational approaches and techniques are used within the Autistic Support Program to develop verbal and academic skills, life skills, and provide behavioral support.
Colonial IU 20 occupational therapy services are provided by a licensed therapist to help a child develop the underlying skills necessary for learning. Services are provided to both regular education students and students with disabilities to help them meet success in their educational environment.

Earth Day was celebrated across Colonial IU 20 classrooms by highlighting ways to protect the Earth through daily changes that students can practice at school or at home. Lessons revolved around trash cleanup, recycling, energy conservation, and reduction of wasteful materials.
New Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum Added at Colonial Academy
In March of 2021, Colonial Academy added the Ripple Effects social-emotional learning curriculum to its menu of therapeutic offerings. Ripple Effects is a web-based program that consists of 428 learning modules. The modules contain various topics that are meaningful to adolescents and address some of the non-academic barriers to school success.

Dennis Mills, Treatment Coordinator, is the person leading this effort. He has provided training to all of the Mental Health Workers at Colonial Academy and has partnered with technical assistance staff from Ripple Effects to personalize this project to the goals of Colonial Academy. According to Mr. Mills, “Colonial Academy is looking forward to using this web-based treatment approach for the betterment of our students”.

As the CIU 20 region begins to recover from COVID-19, Ripple Effects will be an important tool. For those students who return to school in-person, the Ripple Effects curriculum will be available to them. For those students who remain in a cyber or hybrid model, Ripple Effects will still be accessible. The flexibility and quality of this product make it an ideal answer for our current public health crisis.

Ripple Effects is an empirically-based program that has been endorsed by the National Institute of Health (NIH), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), and the National Drop-out Prevention Center (NDPC). Ripple Effects easily aligns with some of the other treatment options available at Colonial Academy, such as Restorative Practices, Trauma-Informed approaches, and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.

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At Colonial IU 20, we believe in RELATIONSHIPS that support student growth, RESPONSIVENESS to stakeholders crucial needs, RESULTS demonstrated through effective services and programs, and INNOVATION to improve student outcomes.
Colonial IU 20 provides educational, administrative, and management services to 13 school districts and 3 career and technical centers in Northampton, Monroe, and Pike Counties. As one of the community’s largest employers and contributors, the 1,400 full and part-time staff at CIU 20 provides direct and indirect services to 79,000 public school children; 9,000 non-public school children; and 7,000 professional staff in our service region of 1,200 square miles.