Regional Event Focuses on
Rebuilding School Climate
On February 22, 2021, Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 hosted a regional event called "COVID Recovery Workshop: Rebuilding our School Climate." The virtual event featured a keynote from Stacie Molnar-Main, Ed.D., Pennsylvania Department of Education Consultant for the Office of Safe Schools, followed by breakout sessions centered around the topics of: A Safe and Respectful School Climate, Student Support, and Social Emotional Learning.
After the keynote, participants had a choice of nine breakout session options, including two led by local school districts that are involved with PDE's School Climate Initiative: Paxinosa Elementary School (Easton Area SD) and Pleasant Valley High School (Pleasant Valley School District). Other breakouts were facilitated by CIU 20 supervisors, members of the CIU 20 Training and Consulting staff, and the leaders of the CIU 20 Parent Support T.E.A.M.

CIU 20 leadership is currently planning more professional development events for the region's educators regarding School Climate and ways to move forward from the pandemic.
CIU 20 Participates in Polar Pop to Support Special Olympics
Members of the Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 team participated in this month's Polar Pop to raise money for Special Olympics. The Polar Pop replaced the traditional Polar Plunge due to concerns over crowd sizes during the pandemic.

"Poppers" were encouraged to video themselves popping a balloon filled with cold water over their heads and challenge others to do the same. As you'll see on the video playlist below, the CIU 20 teams took that a step further and got creative with ways to douse each other with cold water for a great cause.
Staff Spotlight: Cyndi Karner
Dedicated School Bus Driver Serving CIU 20 for Over 20 Years
Cyndi Karner has been driving a school bus for 36 years, 22 of those years for Colonial Intermediate Unit 20. She also serves as a CDL trainer for the Transportation Department.

Cyndi brings the same level of enthusiasm and professionalism to her role on the CIU 20 team every day. She describes her time on the bus as "my happy place, I call it my office on wheels." She realizes that she plays an integral part of the day for the children that CIU 20 serves, works to engage them, and bring normalcy to their lives during the pandemic, "We still say good morning, we still laugh, we still play the letter game with items we see along our route...we still sing."

Safety remains a high priority for Cyndi. She reinforces COVID mitigation strategies like social distancing, masking up, and keeping her bus clean and sanitized.
Cyndi values the lasting impact that she's had on the lives of countless students, "I absolutely love the fact that many students I transported from long ago still reach out to me after they are grown and have kids of their own."

Her advice to a new bus driver starting out is simple, "Safety first, schedule second. Be consistent, be fair, put on a happy face, and please don't argue with parents."
Call for Entries:
Excellence in Education Awards
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 is accepting nomination applications for the 2021 Excellence in Education Awards until March 5, 2021. The Excellence in Education Awards is an annual recognition ceremony of outstanding educational programs throughout the public schools across the Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 region. This prestigious award celebrates and recognizes exceptional teaching and learning programs in our schools and communities.

Nominations may be submitted by any resident, school student, school employee or school entity on behalf of the public schools in Monroe, Northampton or Pike County. Winners will be alerted by the end of March and will be invited to participate in the virtual ceremony later this spring. The ceremony will also feature students who achieved the distinction of National Merit Scholars. More details to be announced soon.
Virtual Career Days Implemented in Therapeutic Emotional Support Program
The Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 Therapeutic Emotional Support (TES) classroom staff at Middle Smithfield Elementary, East Stroudsburg Area School District, have been holding weekly virtual career days to keep learning exciting and engage students. The weekly event started as a way to infuse career-ready skills in the classroom at the start of the pandemic, and has blossomed into something much more beneficial for students across IU programs.

Since the feedback from students and parents was so positive after the inception of the program last spring, the TES classroom staff have opened the event up to other IU programs. Guest speakers have included: school administrators, store owners, deejays, nurses, firefighters/first responders, mechanics, United States Army representatives, an NBA referee, etc. The team is constantly monitoring students and families for feedback in regards to format and which careers they'd like to learn more about.
In Celebration of Black History Month
During the month of February, students and staff across CIU 20 programs recognized Black History Month. Staff and students celebrated the achievements and accomplishments of citizens who are black in the creation of America leading to further equality in our nation. Lessons focused on shining a light on impacts made in the areas of inventions, science, the arts, pop culture, leadership, and literature. This is just one example of ways that Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 strives to celebrate diversity and inclusion.
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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.