Kiwanis Club of Easton Partnership Continues
The Kiwanis Club of Easton sponsored a holiday party for students in Colonial IU 20 programs at the Charles Chrin Community Center of Palmer Township on December 7, 2022. The partnership has lasted more than 40 years and this year marks a much welcomed return to an in-person event. The Kiwanis holiday party supports the mission of CIU 20 by helping to enrich the lives of the students served by the IU. Students enjoyed a magic show, a special visit from Santa Claus, and also received a gift bag filled with donations gathered by Kiwanis volunteers.
PDE Leadership Attends IU Events / Listens to Concerns of Regional Schools
On November 16, 2022, Eric Hagarty (Acting Secretary of Education) and Eli Downie (Director of Intergovernmental Affairs) visited the Colonial IU 20 Central Office to meet with our region's educators and listen to their concerns. The open discussion was part of the System Design Benchmarking (SDB) workshop that was attended by member district leaders and facilitated by The National Center on Education and the Economy. SDB strengthens district leadership teams by helping them assess their current system while building their capacity to drive district improvements to achieve equity, excellence, and efficiency.
On December 9, 2022, Dr. Jeffrey Fuller (Deputy Secretary of Education) joined Mr. Hagarty and Mr. Downie on a visit to the Colonial Academy, CIU 20's school that provides educational/treatment-oriented alternative placement for identified at-risk children. Colonial Academy Principal, Dr. Carolyn Krotowski, gave a tour of the school and shared innovative initiatives that have been implemented to prepare students for careers in the culinary arts and building trades. Dr. Fuller, Mr. Hagarty and Mr. Downie also participated in the Superintendent's Advisory Counsel (SAC) meeting that was happening in the building that day. CIU 20 thanks the team from PDE for having open communication with the educators in our region.
Students Engaged in Real-World Computer Science Initiative
Students in Samantha Siegfried’s class at Colonial Academy in Wind Gap are developing computer science skills as they engage in building, coding, and flying drones. Through a partnership between Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance (PaTTAN) and For the Win Robotics, the Build/Fly/Code initiative allows students to explore computer science opportunities through the use of drones.

Drone kits were disseminated to intermediate units throughout the Commonwealth as a means to increase and expand the number of students learning computer science skills, a major STEM priority in the state. Special thanks to Melissa Petrilak, CIU 20 Training & Consulting Staff, for supporting the teachers and students with this exciting project.
Family Night Strengthens Relationships
Families from the Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 Therapeutic Emotional Support and Partial Hospitalization programs attended the annual fall engagement night at the Colonial Academy on October 27, 2022. The event has been organized for over 20 years with the help of CIU 20 employees and community sponsors. The goal is to further develop and enhance relationships between students, staff, and family members by offering a shared experience that is friendly, relaxed, and welcoming. Due to outreach and CIU 20 staff involvement, the program is able to offer all activities, food, and prizes at no cost to families.
IU Team Members Present at State-Wide Conferences
Pennsylvania Positive Behavior Support Network (PaPBS) Implementers Forum
On October 30, 2022, CIU 20 team members presented at the Pennsylvania Positive Behavior Support Network (PaPBS) Implementers Forum. Their presentation topic was using focus groups as a way to increase staff buy-in and detailed the strategies that have been implemented at Colonial Academy.
Presenters (L to R) Amie Tracy (Emotional Support Teacher), Mike Halamar (Asst. Principal), Joana Spinelli (Training & Consulting Staff) and Bianca McGrath (Training & Consulting Staff), and
The Standards Aligned System (SAS) Institute
Several groups of CIU 20 team members presented at the The Standards Aligned System (SAS) Institute in early December. SAS was developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and is a comprehensive researched-based resource to improve student achievement.
Presentation Title & Overview
Listen, Learn, Lead: Create a Culture of Staff Excellence. The session takes a deeper dive into the use of the PDE Accelerated Learning Resource Kit and the resources available to support staff excellence within the ‘High-Quality Academics” topic.
Presenters (L to R) Dr. Susan Kandianis (Supervisor of Educational Technology), Keri Ramsay (Asst. Director of Professional Learning & Curriculum) and Dr. Michelle Bozzini (Director of Professional Learning & Curriculum)
Presentation Title & Overview
WE ARE…Improving Instructional Systems and Supports in Mathematics. The purpose of this session is to identify High Intensity Instructional Techniques (HIIT) to accelerate mathematics learning and the necessary elements to support classroom implementation.

Presenters (L to R) Dr. Paul Riccomini (Associate Professor of Education at Penn State), Dr. Heather Heimer (Asst. Director of Professional Learning & Curriculum) and Dr. Todd VanNortwick (Supervisor of Professional Learning and Auxiliary Services)
Presentation Title & Overview
Two Stories: How an IU Team Overcame Barriers and Opened Doors for Collaboration with Families. Two stories, told through the eyes of an IU Executive Director and the parents he listened to, illustrate the importance of LEAP (Listen, Empathize, Agree, and Partner) when school personnel work with families.

Presenters (L to R) Dr. Chris Wolfel (Executive Director) and Nikki Huggan (Co-Leader of the CIU 20 Parent Support TEAM)
Staff Spotlight: Lauren Gundrum
Speech Therapist
Lauren Gundrum is in her 7th year as a Speech Therapist for Colonial Intermediate Unit 20. She credits relationship building as the cornerstone of her success in the classroom. "I find that my students make the most progress and have the most success when I spend time getting to know them and building positive relationships," she says. "My approach has stayed the same throughout the pandemic, continuing to build positive relationships with families, coworkers, and students."

Lauren says the most rewarding part of her role as a speech therapist with the IU is "being able to work together with my teams in a collaborative manner in order to help students reach their goals."
Nadia Grau, Coordinator of Sensory Impaired Programs, has high praise for Lauren's team-player attitude, "Lauren has been accepting two mentees since taking on the role of mentor several years ago and selflessly gives her all to helping our new staff grow. In addition to two mentees, Lauren is constantly helping returning staff in any capacity that she is needed, as well as helping to cover vacant positions to make sure the students' needs are met. Further, Lauren takes on multiple student teachers and observers each year without hesitation. She is an active member of DBRT (Deaf-Blind Resource Team) and has worked ESY each year since joining the IU. With each responsibility Lauren takes on, she demonstrates maintenance of high quality in all other areas. Lauren's dedication to our IU and our students truly is second to none ."
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.
Governor's Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs
Dr. Ron Prator, CIU 20 Supervisor of Clinical Services & Quality Assurance, served as a panelist at the December 8th meeting of the Governor's Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs (GACLA) on the campus of East Stroudsburg University. CIU 20 Board Vice President (East Stroudsburg Area SD) and GACLA Statewide Education Committee Chair, Dr. Damary Bonilla-Rodriguez, moderated the discussion that focused on education equity and the education needs and challenges members of Pennsylvania’s Latino community experience.
Included on the panel were also Dr. William Riker, East Stroudsburg Area SD Superintendent, Dr. Adan Stevens-Arroyo, FLECHA Research Coordinator and GACLA Executive Director, Luz Colon. Guest speakers from the Pennsylvania Department of Education included Acting Secretary, Eric Hagarty and Executive Deputy Secretary, Dr. Debora Borges-Carrera.
Dr. Christopher Wolfel, CIU 20 Executive Director, accepted a certificate of recognition on behalf of the entire organization to honor its commitment to "unwavering dedication and partnership with the Governor's Advisor Commission on Latino Affairs Education Committee." CIU 20 is proud to partner with the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs and support its mission to advise the governor on policies and legislation that impact Latino American communities.
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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.