Transition & Community Resource Fairs Offered for Families
Colonial IU 20 has partnered with local education entities to offer Transition and Community Resource Fairs for families lto gather information about post-secondary outcomes for graduating students with special needs. On April 19th, more than 80 families were able to meet with 40 vendors at the Monroe County fair at Pleasant Valley High School. A fair for Northampton County Families was held on April 26th at Northampton Community College, Bethlehem Campus.

These Transition and Community Resource Fairs offer valuable information for families in a relaxed environment regarding: disability services for post-secondary education, employment supports, independent living and community participation information.
Left to Right: Kerry Freeman (Transition Coordinator, PVSD), Mike McMullen (Supervisor of Special Education, PVSD), Bianca McGrath (Transition TaC, CIU20), Julie Harris (Director of Special Education, PVSD), and Jenn Jones-Baur (Coordinator of Transition Services, CIU20)
IU Administrators Lobby Legislators on Behalf of the Region
On April 25th, a team of administrators from Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 participated in the Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units (PAIU) Spring Day on the Hill at the Capitol in Harrisburg. The CIU 20 team met with local legislators and shared the valuable work we do in supporting students and educators, and advocated for funding and resources for Early Intervention, Special Education and School-Based Mental Health. The team also discussed strategies to address the education staffing shortage that is impacting our schools and communities.
Dr. Susan Kandianis (left) and Dr. Christopher Wolfel (middle) meet with Senator Rosemary Brown, 40th District in Monroe County.
Left to Right: Mr. Kory Kutzler, Ms. Becky Eller, Dr. Jackie Bartek, Ms. Kasey Kinney and Ms. Franchesca Phalen in between meetings at the Capitol.
High School Students Participate in Regional Academic Competition
On March 31st, Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 hosted the annual Regional Academic Competition for public and non-public high school teams in Northampton, Monroe, and Pike counties. Moravian Academy was crowned the regional champion and Nazareth High School and Stroudsburg High School tied for second place.
Nearly 100 students from 17 local high schools participated in the event that provides an opportunity for teams to compete in a “college-bowl” format, where students answer questions from categories of literature, math, science, history, geography, and contemporary events.
Other high schools that competed include: Bangor, East Stroudsburg HS North, East Stroudsburg HS South, Easton, Freedom HS (Bethlehem), Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter HS, Liberty HS (Bethlehem), Northampton, Notre Dame, Pen Argyl, Pocono Mountain East HS, Pocono Mountain West HS, and Wilson Area.
Regional STEM Design Challenge Held
CIU 20 organized the regional STEM Design Challenge at the Northampton Community College's Monroe Campus on March 29th. The following LEAs participated: Delaware Valley SD, East Stroudsburg Area SD, Easton Area SD, Moravian Academy, Nazareth Area SD, Northampton Area SD, Pen Argyl SD & Pocono Mountain SD.
Students in grades four through eight were presented with a challenge and then built an object using K’Nex pieces with a unique blueprint. On the competition day, each team presented a narrative report, submitted blueprints and were required to build their object within a two hour window. The specific challenge for this year was to research and create a solution to an environmental issue of the team's choosing.
IU Teacher Runs Half Marathon in Support of Special Olympics
Colonial IU 20 Teacher, Mr. Chris Felcin, ran the St. Luke's Half Marathon on April 23rd in support of local Special Olympics athletes, particularly for one student, Nole. Mr. Felcin and Nole have overcome similar challenges to be successful; both experienced the sudden passing of their mothers in high school and both have disabilities. A group of student athletes and other supporters surprised Mr. Felcin at the finish line to show their appreciation.

CIU 20 is extremely proud of Mr. Felcin for this accomplishment and all that he does to serve as a teacher and role model for his students. If you'd like to donate to Mr. Felcin's campaign to support Special Olympics, you can do so at this link.
Staff Spotlight
Trudy Young (Monitor) & Kathy Janny (Bus Driver)
Trudy Young and Kathy Janny are dedicated members of the CIU 20 Transportation Department. Trudy has been a Monitor for the past 7 years and Kathy has been a CDL Bus Driver for 14 years.

Trudy notes that a positive attitude is important to make things run more smoothly, "One of the first things they see in the morning is us. If you are smiling and happy, maybe you can make the start to their day a little better." She also notes that building relationships with students is critical, "You have to learn how to interact with each kid as you go, every kid is different. Be patient and let them be themselves and try to relate to them as best as you can."
Kathy points to safety as one of the most important aspects of driving a bus, "If I get these kids to and from school safely, and make their ride as pleasant as possible, then I've done my job." Her advice to a new employee of CIU 20 is this, "You're the eyes of the IU in the community, so be respectful, be responsible and communicate. Communicating with parents and teachers makes your life a lot easier. And the make their day by getting them to school and that's what keeps you going."
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.
Autism Awareness Month
Colonial IU 20 highlighted students and educators in our Autistic Support Program throughout the month of April in support of Autism Awareness. A wide variety of educational approaches and techniques are used within the Autistic Support Program to develop verbal and academic skills, life skills, and provide behavioral support. CIU 20 thanks the dedicated team members that serve in the Autistic Support Program!

Students from CIU 20's 75 Autistic Support classrooms created this month's artwork for the tree mural at the CIU 20 Central Office.
National School Bus Driver Day
April 25th was National School Bus Driver Day and Colonial IU 20 recognized its dedicated drivers and monitors for all they do to transport students to and from school safely. Their compassion and care is evident in the relationships they build with families and classroom staff to provide a welcoming environment for students. They are the bookends to a student's daily educational journey and we thank them for their commitment.
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.