Feeding Evaluations & Interventions Now Offered
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 provides specialized evaluation and intervention for children with documented or suspected difficulties with safe and effective eating at school and at home. This service is new for the 2021/2022 school year, and is provided through the "CIU 20 Feeding Team."
Members of the CIU 20 Feeding Team have been trained in Sequential Oral Sensory Approach (SOS), and have expertise in oral motor difficulties. The team consists of a licensed speech-language pathologist, an occupational therapist, a registered nurse, and the program supervisor. The service includes a thorough assessment that incorporates the components of motor planning, positioning and seating, oral-motor abilities, sensory processing, respiration, and digestion/nutrition. This is followed by a detailed report, communication with family / caregivers, therapists and educational team, and therapeutic intervention, as appropriate.

Referrals for feeding evaluations are done by contacting a student's Local Education Agency (LEA). For more information on the program, please contact CIU 20 Supervisor of Special Education, Dr. Donna Hopstetter, dhopstetter@ciu20.org, 610-515-6455.
CIU 20 Chosen to Participate in PA Science Education Leaders (PennSEL) Network
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 was selected to participate in the Pennsylvania Science Education Leaders (PennSEL) Network, a cohort of leadership teams representing 19 regions across Pennsylvania with the goal of improving science teaching and learning for all students. The multi-year effort was launched by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and NextGenScience in June 2021. The PennSEL Network builds upon a larger strategy to strengthen STEM education by investing in and increasing access to STEM learning experiences for educators and students.
The program will provide new opportunities for educators and leaders to reflect on practice, share their best ideas, and collectively problem solve between organizations and across regions. Regional demonstration sites will be used to generate tools, resources, and processes that can be shared with school leaders and educators across the state to spotlight innovations that are improving science teaching and learning.
Seven educators from CIU 20 will work on a team of over 120 IU, community, district, and school-based science leaders to build a common strategy for improving local systems of science teaching and learning.
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20
Dr. Heather Heimer
Assistant Director of Professional Learning,
STEM Point of Contact

Da Vinci Science Center
Karen Knecht
Senior Director of Education

Bethlehem Area School District
Maureen Leeson
Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction, Supervisor of Science 6-12
Pleasant Valley School District
Maricatherine Garr
High School Earth and Environment Teacher

Pocono Mountain School District
Corinne Long
High School Chemistry Teacher, Science Department Head

Maureen Elswick
Science Teacher and PA Junior Academy of Science Advisor

Colleen Kuzmak
Elementary Science Teacher
Grant Funds Expansion of Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum Across Programs
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 was awarded $6,300 from the Schools Grants and Awards Programs from the Highmark Foundation. The funds will be used to equip some Therapeutic Emotional Support (TES) classrooms with the Ripple Effects social-emotional learning curriculum. Ripple Effects was implemented at Colonial Academy in the Spring of 2021 and the results have been overwhelmingly positive.
Ripple Effects is a web-based program that consists of 428 learning modules that contain various topics that are meaningful to adolescents and address some of the non-academic barriers to school success. It easily aligns with some of the other treatment options available at CIU 20, such as Restorative Practices, Trauma-Informed Approaches, and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.
Staff Spotlight - Samantha Shive
Partial Hospitalization Teacher & Published Author
Samantha Shive has been a dedicated teacher in the CIU 20 Partial Hospitalization Program for five years. She is also the author of three publications focused on using gratitude to support goal setting and personal growth; My First Journal, Daily Journal for Students, and Journey to Yourself.
The inspiration for creating the journals came from the desire to help her students and others reflect and connect with their intuition. She has her students writing in gratitude journals every morning and afternoon, and incorporates mindfulness activities routinely. Samantha has noticed a positive change in her students since implementing journaling, "I have realized that there is a huge difference between us and regular education...but the gap doesn’t have to be that big if we start implementing simple but effective techniques in the classroom. Journals are my first step in beginning this work."

When asked about the most rewarding part of her job, Samantha says that it's her "ability to step into my purpose and change the lives of children. I have really loved the opportunity to be creative in my classroom and execute my ideas."
Kory Kutzler, Partial Hospitalization Program Supervisor, notes that "Samantha has embraced our trauma informed care approach and has embedded them not only into her lessons, but into her classroom's daily practices."

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Samantha recognizes that supporting students in expressing their emotions through journaling can help their mental health as they grow into adulthood. "I think it is important for students and staff to understand empathy. Every person is on their own journey through life and has their own story to tell. I believe that when we are working with children, it is important for adults to leave the judgement at the door."
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 is committed to creating a welcoming environment for all by celebrating diversity and inclusion for our students, families, and staff.
Hispanic Heritage Month (through October 15th)
Hispanic Heritage Month takes place September 15th to October 15th every year as a time to recognize and celebrate the many contributions, diverse cultures, and extensive histories of the American Latino community. CIU 20 created a spot on its intranet that focuses on sharing classroom resources and highlighting local events inspired by Hispanic heritage and culture.
Follow Us to Learn More
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.