CIU 20 Participates in Polar Plunge to Support Special Olympics
Members of the Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 team participated in this month's Polar Plunge festivities to raise money for Special Olympics. The Super Plungers event was held on February 18th at the Grand Eastonian Hotel and the Polar Plunge was held on February 19th at Scott Park in Easton. Super Plungers jumped into a pool filled with cold water every hour for 24 hours leading up the Polar Plunge event, where they joined the rest of the participants and jumped into the river.
A Memorable Opening to the Super Plungers Event
Former Colonial IU 20 student (graduating class of 2021) Nick Dorion, opened up the Super Plungers event with an impassioned and motivating speech inspired by his time as a Special Olympics athlete (video embedded below).

Nick recently completed the Athlete Leadership program provided by Special Olympics International and Villanova University. The program is a mixture of in-person and virtual coursework and provided networking opportunities with other program participants and mentors from all over the United States.
IU Creates Course for Individuals Seeking Classroom Monitor Permits
CIU 20 has created a comprehensive Classroom Management course that can be used by individuals interested in gaining credentials as a Classroom Monitor from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, in accordance with Act 91 of 2021, which was signed into law to assist schools with addressing the state-wide substitute teacher shortage.
Section 1218 of the Public School Code (24 P.S. §12-1218) enables the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to issue classroom monitor permits for eligible individuals to deliver preplanned student assignments in a local education agency (LEA).

The CIU 20 Classroom Management course is online, asynchronous, and should take 6 hours to complete. There is no charge. Registration information can be found here.

In addition to this “Classroom Monitor Training” - individuals must also meet the
following requirements to obtain credentials Under Act 91:
  • Be at least 25 years of age.
  • Have completed 60 semester hours or equivalent courses at an accredited college or university in this commonwealth OR at least three years of school entity experience as a paraprofessional and be currently employed in a school.
  • Meet background check and clearance requirements under the School Code and Child Protection Service Law.
Staff Spotlight: Christine Bloch
Dedicated Hearing Support Teacher
Christine Bloch joined CIU 20 in 2012 when she moved to Pennsylvania from California. She began as a classroom teacher in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program at the middle school level, and moved to Liberty High School in 2014. She has embraced working with students at the high school level and says that "I enjoy helping my students navigate their transition into the "real" world...the students teach me something everyday."
Ms. Bloch acknowledges that success for students served by IU 20 requires a team approach, "I couldn't do my job without the support of my amazing team. I am fortunate to have associate specialists who always step up to help as well as a hearing therapist and speech therapists."
She also credits a willingness to be flexible with helping her students achieve their goals, "Thinking outside the box and the classroom helps me help my students.  We follow the student's lead in the classroom. When they don't understand, we change direction or present it in a different way. We also have created such a family environment within my classroom. Students feel safe with making mistakes and asking questions."
It's evident that Christine deeply cares for her students and wants to see them succeed in and outside of the classroom. She has advocated for a student of hers to be included on the Liberty HS football team. She was also instrumental in helping a very resilient, courageous, and determined student receive a special holiday surprise from members of the CIU 20 team (video embedded in this article). These are just two examples of her daily commitment to go above and beyond to serve her students.
Christine's piece of advice for a new employee starting at the IU is "Ask for help and reach out. There will be hard days...we are not in this because it is easy. We are in this for the students. When you see them succeed, whatever that looks like for the individual student, remember that moment."
REMINDER: Submit Nominations for Excellence in Education Awards
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 is accepting nominations for the 2022 Excellence in Education (EIE) Awards until March 4, 2022. This annual recognition for outstanding education programs throughout the public schools across the region is presented by CIU 20 and its member districts. 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. Learn more at this link.

The 2022 CIU 20 Excellence in Education Awards Ceremony will be celebrated this year on May 12, 2022 at a location to be determined. The ceremony will also feature students who achieved the distinction of National Merit Scholars. A student achieves this honor by scoring in the top 3.3% on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).
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.
Black History Month
CIU 20 teacher Sydnee Theadford and her students at Easton Middle School celebrated the contributions of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and recreated one of his famous works. This is part of an ongoing project where she incorporates an "Artist of the Month" into the curriculum.
Chinese New Year
CIU 20 teacher Erinni Binikos and her students at J.T. Lambert Intermediate School celebrated the Chinese New year and welcomed in the Year of the Tiger.
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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.