Community Involvement Key to
Colonial Academy Approach
Along with customized academic and behavioral supports, a highly trained and experienced staff, and preventative services, Colonial Academy’s approach to educating the whole student is rooted in producing good citizens. Many of the therapeutic activities that Colonial Academy students participate in revolve around service projects that give back to the community. See below for recent initiatives that align with this goal.
Putting Empathy Lessons
into Action
Empathy was the focus of a recent lesson in Ms. Weaver's classroom and she and her students created resource bags for the homeless that included food, clothing, and cleaning items.
Building Equipment for Special Olympics
Mr. Uliana's students recently delivered a trail obstacle bridge that was made for the Northampton County Special Olympics equestrian events to their training site, Equi-librium.
TaC Talks Provide Valuable
Resources for Educators
The Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 Training and Consulting (TaC) Staff have recently developed the "Tac Talks" series - weekly discussions on classroom tech tools, techniques, and strategies. Ms. Denise Kaminski, Assistant Director of Professional Learning and Curriculum says that, "The weekly virtual TaC Talks have created authentic collaboration between CIU 20 staff and local teachers on topics that matter most during these times. The brevity of the weekly sessions allows teachers to learn new strategies and share resources in a way that fits into their busy schedules. We're happy to continue to be a part of the IU's support system of our member districts with this initiative."

To view recordings of previous sessions and / or join upcoming sessions, please visit
Staff Spotlight: Sauers Uses YouTube to Connect with Families
Ms. Kristen Sauers has been teaching art at Colonial Academy for the last ten years, and began uploading videos on YouTube at the beginning of this school year as a way to better connect with her students and families during the pandemic.

Ms. Sauers' videos encompass various types of content, including how to create sketch books, color wheel demonstrations, fall themed art activities, and a recurring segment called Let's Read. "This is a great way for our IU community to come together at a time when many people are still at home. It also provides a moment for someone other than a family member to read a story" notes Ms. Sauers.

The intersection of art and other content areas is something that Ms. Sauers is passionate about, "Art is so important, not just for things like improving fine motor skills and following directions, but also to allow my students at the Academy a chance to flex their creative muscles, to practice problem solving, and to make those broader connections between art and other subjects." She recently worked with Ms. Weaver to engage students in learning about heat transfer and an upcoming lesson on ecology will involve Ms. Sauers assisting in the creation of terrariums.
Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports Initiative Going Strong
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff at Colonial Academy have made numerous innovations to the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Initiative to ensure that students are still being rewarded for their commitment to the program.

At the end of last school year, the resiliency and creativity of the Colonial Academy teachers were on full display. The staff quickly modified the PART tickets reward system to reflect the sudden virtual setting. Delivery drivers were used to send home gift cards, thank you notes, and certificates. CIU 20 supported local businesses by ordering pizzas and food to be delivered to those students who were going above and beyond.
As the 2020-2021 school year sees some students receiving in-person instruction and others receiving virtual instruction, the Colonial Academy teachers have again evolved the PART tickets reward system to include an online menu of reward items that can be utilized by all students. Additionally, several on-site therapeutic physical activities have been implemented with social distancing, disinfecting, and other safety protocols in place.
Grant Funds Employment Training
Program for Young Adults
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 is one of twenty-one LEAs funded for a competitive integrated employment grant for the 2020 – 2021 school year. The CIU 20 VIP (Virtual Interpersonal Pathway to Competitive Employment) program was chosen based on its plan for: career development programming efforts; addressing existing program gaps; and developing meaningful relationships with parent, school district, community, and agency partners. As a grant recipient, CIU 20 will implement effective and meaningful virtual transition programs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CIU 20 VIP program will utilize Oneder Academy, an online curriculum that focuses on the "soft skills" employers say are fundamental for success in the workplace. We have also partnered with the Career, Independent Living & Learning Studies (CILLS) program at East Stroudsburg University, which is designed to provide individuals with intellectual disabilities with a learning experience in an inclusive campus environment.

Students in the CILLS program will mentor students in the CIU 20 transition program as they go through the various courses in the Oneder curriculum. This provides authentic learning pathways with targeted outcomes of career-ready skills and competitive employment for these young adults.
IU Team Members Present at
PACEC Annual Conference
On October 9, 2020, CIU 20 Training Consultants Emily R. Sharp, Ph.D. and Amanda Helman, Ph.D., presented at the annual PA Council for Exceptional Children virtual conference. The presentation topic was "Designing Teacher-Friendly Curricular Resources for Students with Learning Disabilities" and featured discussion regarding the Orton-Gillingham (OG) pilot program with CIU 20 non-public school reading specialists Ann Kinney and Diane Lazar.

Ms. Sharp and Ms. Helman outlined the pilot's goals, schedule and outcomes. Ms. Kinney and Ms. Lazar shared their overall experience which included an increased level of effectiveness and positive feedback from students and parents. They also noted that classroom teachers reported a difference in students' reading ability and an increased willingness to read in class.

Orton-Gillingham is an explicit, sequential, and systematic phonics instructional approach that incorporates simultaneous oral spelling and tracing that stimulates the visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic sensory channels to aid students’ retention of phonics learning.
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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.