CIU 20 Services Support Trauma-Informed Schools and Communities
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 continues to provide valuable services and programs to the region that support trauma-informed schools and communities. Now more than ever, it's important to recognize the impact of trauma on our students and families and help them become more resilient. See below for ways we are helping our region navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
CIU 20 Partners with Regional Agencies on
Resilient Lehigh Valley Initiative
"Creating Calm, Together" is an online resource full of easy to use, ready-to-go, lesson plans, videos and activity guides to promote social-emotional learning (SEL) skills, like emotional regulation, mindfulness and perspective-taking. The comprehensive initiative was created Resilient Lehigh Valley with regional partners: Lehigh University, Shanthi Project, Wildlands Conservancy, Colonial IU 20, Carbon Lehigh 21 and United way of the Greater Lehigh Valley. Resilient Lehigh Valley is a cross-sector, collective-impact effort dedicated to increasing youth resiliency through creating a trauma-informed and resilient community. Check out the Creating Calm, Together website to learn more and utilize the mindfulness and SEL resources for educators, parents, and students.
CIU 20 Increases Trauma Certified Staff
Several new staff members have become certified as Trauma Competent Professionals through the Lakeside Global Institute. Lakeside uses the following diverse curriculum to teach trauma competencies: Clinician Administered PTSD Scales (CAPS), literature by experts in the field, and experiential learning. The cohort took a deep dive into the many facets of trauma and its impact on our communities. Participants were encouraged to engage in self-exploration and foster resilience through relationships as they navigated through the global pandemic.

Colonial IU 20’s participation in this and other cohorts affords the organization and its member districts access to valuable resources and training for school communities in the trauma-informed journey. Resilient Lehigh Valley was awarded a grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) to offset the expenses for this training initiative. Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 has partnered with the United Way / Resilient Lehigh Valley since its initial Trauma-Informed Schools Train-the-Trainer Series in 2016.
Trauma-Informed Care Series Continues
Trauma-Informed Schools are prepared to realize, recognize, and respond to individuals who have experienced trauma. Colonial IU 20 has provided trauma-informed schools training to Bethlehem Area SD, the Career Institute of Technology, Delaware Valley SD, Easton Area SD, Pen Argyl SD, Pleasant Valley SD, Pocono Mountain SD, Wilson Area SD, Saucon Valley SD, and other LEAs in and outside of our catchment area.

Through this series of four trainings, educators learn about Adverse Childhood Experiences, the tiered, systematic approach to trauma sensitive schools/classrooms and how relationships are the key to resilient school communities when faced with traumatic experiences. CIU 20 has adapted the training to be fully virtual as necessary.
Staff Spotlight:
Sechrist Named Manager of the Year
On September 16, 2020, Ms. Amanda Sechrist was named "Manager of the Year" by Special Olympics Pennsylvania at their annual Leadership Awards Ceremony. She is in her 17th year as Manager of Northampton County Special Olympics (NCSO) and has been teaching Adapted Physical Education at Colonial IU 20 for 22 years.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Sechrist has shown tremendous dedication to NCSO and its athletes. She has been running virtual sessions multiple times a week where athletes and coaches learn about nutrition and exercise. The meetings have also helped the emotional well being of the athletes as they interact with their peers and play games.

Since the scheduled in-person fundraising events couldn't take place this summer, Amanda organized an online raffle that raised $20,400 that goes directly to supporting local Special Olympics athletes. In addition to her work with NCSO, she has been involved with the local Miracle League since its inception in 2012. She serves as Co-Director of the league and Coordinator of the players side of the league.
Training Held to Increase Pool
of Substitute Teachers
On September 17, 2020, Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 conducted a virtual training for individuals interested in working as substitute teachers in the 13 school districts and 3 vocational schools in the region. The training was open to professionals who have a four-year degree and have obtained the necessary clearances. Upon completion of the training and with proper documentation, CIU 20 will issue emergency permits to these individuals so they can begin subbing in the schools. Colonial IU 20 is proud of the continued collaboration with our school districts and area vocational schools as we address the shortage of substitute teachers.
Project SEARCH Program
Receives National Recognition
Colonial IU 20 was recognized by Project SEARCH at its national Employment Outcome Award Ceremony for achieving a 100% employment rate for the interns who graduated from our program at Kalahari Resorts during the 2018-2019 school year.

This year's interns are "back to work" as of September at Kalahari Resorts, following COVID related health and safety protocols.

An open house for 2021-2022 Project SEARCH program will be held virtually on October 27th. For more information, please contact Dr. Daniel Cullen, CIU20 Supervisor of Special Education, 610-515-6465,
Professional Learning Department Launches New Literacy Series
The Colonial IU 20 Professional Learning Department has rolled out a new training series on the topic of literacy for educators of its member districts. The literacy series is a collection of standalone trainings related to the essential components of reading and aligned instructional practices. Each training will focus on the theoretical frameworks that underpin the science of reading, the application of those frameworks to classroom practice, and one or more essential components that impact reading achievement. The September 22nd training focused on Phonological Awareness to the Advanced Levels; the October 8th training will focus on Phonics; and the November 10th session will focus on Vocabulary.
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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.