Students Gain Real-World Building Trades Experience
Colonial Academy has partnered with The Garden of Giving to provide real-world learning experiences for its students. Under the direction of Mr. Albert Uliana, students enrolled in vocational classes for building trades have been working with the non-profit to help build a large senior center on its grounds in Saylorsburg.

Students have helped dig out the site, spread stone, build garden bed tables, and construct large pergolas and pavilions. The Garden of Giving cultivates high-yield produce and provides fresh eggs for local food banks in Monroe County.
IU Assists Schools with Personalized Learning Initiative
The Stroudsburg Area School District is continuing its partnership with Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 on personalized learning strategies in their middle school and junior high school. The SASD administration and teachers have embraced the concept of personalized learning since the initiative began in February 2022. Personalized learning promotes differentiation and engagement through student-centered lessons which provide the students with a voice and a choice, plus it allows for collaboration with teachers and peers.
This school year, CIU 20 has delivered all-day professional development workshops on Personalized Learning during a recent Act 80 day. These sessions included approximately 95% of the faculty in their junior high school. One session covered information for teachers who had not been previously exposed to Personalized Learning. The other session focused on teachers who are already experienced with using Personalized Learning in their classrooms.
For SASD, CIU 20 will continue to offer classroom visits for non-evaluative observations, as well as one-to-one teacher sessions for individualized assistance on converting to Personalized Learning to better serve their students and meet all students’ needs.

This is a great time for your school to explore the many advantages of implementing Personalized Learning! If your school district would like to enhance your curriculum to include Personalized Learning, contact Dr. Susan Kandianis at the Colonial Intermediate Unit 20,
Environmental Literacy Workshops Held for Educators
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 region educators have received resources and training at a series of free workshops dedicated to providing awareness about environmental literacy and watershed education for K-12 students. In partnership with the Wildlands Conservancy in Emmaus and Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center in Nazareth, educators have participated in inquiry based, hands-on activities that can help students understand the impact of local environmental issues. Participants also included educators from Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21 and Luzerne Intermediate Unit 18.
Regional Training Held to Increase Pool of Substitute Teachers
On October 12, 2022, Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 conducted a virtual training for individuals interested in working as substitute teachers in the 13 school districts and 3 career and technical schools in the region. The training was open to professionals who have a four-year degree and have obtained the necessary clearances. Upon completion of the training and with proper documentation, Colonial IU 20 will issue emergency permits to these individuals so they can begin subbing in the schools. Colonial IU 20 is proud of the continued collaboration with our school districts and area career and technical schools as we address the shortage of substitute teachers.
Staff Spotlight: Karissa Hensel
Therapeutic Emotional Support Teacher
Karissa Hensel is currently a Teacher in the Therapeutic Emotional Support program at Middle Smithfield Elementary School, East Stroudsburg Area School District. She was previously an Associate Teacher in the same program, and her CIU 20 journey started as a daily substitute.

She credits her team (Arielle Medina - Mental Health Worker, Amanda Avvento - Associate Teacher, and Winston Horton - 1:1 Associate Teacher) for making a positive environment for her students, "We all have our own roles we play and when we come together it is like a well oiled machine. The fact that we all have each other’s backs and will help is what makes this classroom so successful!"
Karissa says the most rewarding part of her job has been the relationships she's created, "This job is filled with some of the most genuine people that I have ever met. The IU staff as a whole, the school district staff, my students, and their parents/guardians! Over the years, I have met so many amazing people at all levels within the IU community from many different departments."
Cultivating a Sense of Community
With the help of Debra Latimer and Amanda Avvento, Ms. Hensel created the "IU Spooktacular" with the three other CIU 20 classrooms at Middle Smithfield Elementary. Amanda Haese's Therapeutic Emotional Support classroom and the Autistic Support classrooms of Yessica Lopez and Ashley Fehr were in attendance. Students enjoyed games, crafts, dancing, and a sense of community with their peers.
The Colonial IU 20 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee seeks to foster a sense of belonging for all students, families, and staff. Below is what is being celebrated this month.
Custodial Workers Recognition Day (October 2nd)
Thanks to our buildings & grounds team for keeping the areas we learn and work in clean and safe. They operate behind the scenes, but Custodial Workers Recognition Day gives us the opportunity to put them in the forefront to show our appreciation for their dedication.
World Mental Health Day (October 10th)
Colonial IU 20 offers a tiered approach of programs and services that support families, schools, and the community with mental health awareness, intervention, and recovery.

Valerie Bermuda's Partial Hospitalization class at JM Hill Elementary made "Cope Cakes" - which include a dash of positive self-talk, a pinch of imagine a calm place, and a take a break as needed.
Unity Day (October 19th) / Bullying Prevention Month
Anna Gocek's Physical Support Class at Pleasant Valley Elementary participated in Unity Day, a signature event of October's National Bullying Prevention Month. This event encourages individuals to wear orange and unite for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion to send a visible message that no child should ever experience bullying.
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Follow us on our social media channels to learn more about the resiliency of #AmazingIU20Kids and creative approaches to learning that our #AmazingIU20Staff have implemented!
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.