Resiliency Skills on Display in IU Classrooms
Students in the Partial Hospitalization and Therapeutic Emotional Support programs completed a "Worry Box" activity in conjunction with Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Day on March 10th. The activity helped students add another coping mechanism to their resiliency toolbox and encouraged expression of feelings, taking control of their emotions, and letting negative or harmful feelings go.
All age groups completed the activity - younger students created a worry monster that "eats away worries" and older students incorporated journal entries that were placed inside their worry box. Thanks to Sara Timofeev, CIU 20 Community Support Associate / Community Liaison, for spearheading this project.
Another Project Completed at Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
Colonial Academy continues its partnership with Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center to provide real-world learning experiences for its students. Under the direction of Mr. Albert Uliana and support of Therapeutic Activities Coordinator Mr. Mike Matlock, students enrolled in vocational classes for building trades have designed, built and installed 16 bird boxes outside the center and along the trails associated with the state park in Northampton County.

Thank you to Jacobsburg Environmental Education enter and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for partnering with CIU 20 to provide real-world learning opportunities for our students.
Regional Media and Design Competition Held
CIU 20 organized the regional Media and Design Competition (MADcom) at the Northampton Community College's Bethlehem Campus on March 9th. Middle and High School students showcased their skills by competing in the following categories: Programming, Graphic Design & Logo, Animation, 3D Printing, Digital Movie & Web Design. Students also attended numerous breakout sessions where they explored hands-on STEM activities like programming drones and creating holograms.
Local educators and industry professionals were utilized to judge the projects. Medals were given for the top 3 finishers in each middle school and high school category, with the first place winners in each category advancing to the state-wide PA Media & Design Competition at Dickinson College in May.
Staff Spotlight: Deborah Brett
Therapeutic Emotional Support Teacher
Deborah Brett has been a dedicated member of the Therapeutic Emotional Support program at CIU 20 for 29 years. She started as an Associate Teacher, then as a Mental Health Worker, and has been serving as a Teacher at Easton High School since 2006.

When asked about her approach to connecting with students, Ms. Brett says "It all starts with respect. Respecting them and expecting them to respect themselves and others. I have always had high expectations for my students both academically and behaviorally. Unless you develop a trusting and supportive relationship with them your efforts might be futile."
Over her extended career at CIU 20, Ms. Brett shares that "It is very impressive to observe such dedication and commitment from our staff. I do believe that the IU continually tries to improve their services to their staff and to the students that they teach everyday." Even after nearly three decades in the classroom, she still has a positive outlook on the daily struggles, "I take everyday as it comes and emphasize the positive rather than ruminating on the negative. I believe that every challenge can be met with creativity and resilience."

Her advice to an IU employee just starting out is "Be patient. It takes time to develop relationships with your students to make a difference. They need to trust you and feel that you have their best interests at heart."

Mr. Lee Van Fleet, Supervisor of the Therapeutic Emotional Support program says, "I have received numerous compliments from parents about how well Ms. Brett communicates with them. In addition I've read letters of students about her and the impact she has had on their lives. Students that have struggled in multiple locations have found success in her classroom. I've always said she deserves a statue out in front of Easton High School for all of her efforts and work over the years!"
The mission of the Colonial IU 20 Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (EIB) committee is to provide positive, safe, equitable and inclusive learning environments. The EIB committee seeks to utilize and advocate for a culturally-responsive approach in which diverse strengths and identities are valued, thereby creating a community of belonging. Below is what is being celebrated this month.
World Down Syndrome Day
In honor of World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st, CIU 20 staff participated in a "Jeans For Genes" fundraiser that directly supported the Eastern PA Down Syndrome Center (EPDSC), an organization that equips families and individuals influenced by Down syndrome with medical, social, emotional and educational support. EPDSC is an active participant in the Right to Education Local Task Force 20, which is comprised of representatives from families, agencies, schools and other advocates for children with special needs in the region.
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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.