IU Kicks Off Junior Technology Leaders Program
On September 27th, Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 welcomed more than fifty students in grades 4 through 6 from seven local schools for the first installment of the 2022-2023 Junior Technology Leaders program. The program is designed for students who show an enthusiasm for STEM related activities and are willing to share their passion and knowledge with their peers.
The program is free of charge and is open to all schools in the Colonial IU 20 region. This year's participants are from DeFranco Elementary School (Bangor Area SD), Clear Run Intermediate School (Pocono Mountain SD), Stroudsburg Middle School (Stroudsburg Area SD), St. Jane Frances de Chantal School (Allentown Diocese), Paxinosa Elementary School (Easton Area SD), and the elementary schools in Northampton Area SD.
Activities at this session included: Breakout EDU, student logo contest, guest speaker Christina Williams (Nursing Supervisor), and makerspace areas featuring equipment that is available for schools to utilize to further STEM learning. There will be four other sessions scheduled throughout the school year. The Junior Technology Leaders program is coordinated by Susan Kandianis, Ed.D., Supervisor of Educational Technology and Christine Leitgeb, Instructional Technology Specialist.
Instructor Training Held for Violent Intruder Situations
On August 10th and 11th, Colonial IU 20 hosted a certification course for individuals to become instructors in "ALICE" - which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. The ALICE program teaches proactive strategies that students and staff can use anytime and anywhere they become unwilling participants in acts of violence.
The training was facilitated by Eric Spicer and Terry Heydt, National ALICE Instructors, and included participants from Colonial IU 20, IU 19, Pen Argyl Area SD, East Stroudsburg Area SD, Bethlehem Area Vocational Technical School, Saucon Valley SD, Notre Dame School of Bethlehem, and Good Shepherd School of Northampton.

ALICE is endorsed by law enforcement across the country and in line with recommendations from the: Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); US Department of Education.

Colonial IU 20 is committed to supporting regional schools with all things related to safety. James Stout, CIU 20 School Safety Specialist, can be reached at 610-515-6530 or jstout@ciu20.org.
Engagement Series' Geared Towards Supporting Families Announced
Parent & Caregiver Workshop Series About Mental Health
Colonial IU 20 is hosting a series of workshops to support parents and caregivers with various aspects of the mental health needs of students. The series is planned and presented in coordination with the mental health professionals in the following school districts: Stroudsburg Area, East Stroudsburg Area, Delaware Valley, Northampton Area, and Pocono Mountain.

The first session occurred on September 20th and focused on mindfulness and other tools for emotion regulation. See below for all of the sessions planned throughout the year. These are free of charge events and are open to all parents and caregivers from member districts and CIU 20 programs. Register at www.ciu20.org/ParentWorkshop/.
September 20, 2022
Mindfulness and Other Tools for Emotion Regulation

October 18, 2022
Why Teaching Your Child to Embrace Diversity is Essential to their Growth

November 15, 2022
How to Protect Your Children from the Dangers of Social Media

December 13, 2022
Helping My Child Develop Healthy Social and Emotional Skills

January 17, 2023
What Parents Need to Know About Children’s Mental Health
February 21, 2023
Suicide: What to Look for and How to Respond

March 21, 2023
Overcoming The Challenges of Co-Parenting and Blended Families

April 18, 2023
How to Talk With My Child About Self-harm, Depression and Anxiety.

May 16, 2023
Mental Health Awareness - A Closer Look at Mental Health Disorders and How to Raise Awareness
Partnership Advocacy Family & Educator Engagement Series
Colonial IU 20 has once again partnered with the Colonial IU 20 Parent Support TEAM to offer a series of workshops to support communication and collaboration between families and educators. The first event is slated for October 11th at 10 am at the Colonial IU 20 central office and is titled "Bringing IEP Knowledge One Binder at a Time."
The event is free of charge and open to all families and educators in the Colonial IU 20 region. All attendees that have a student in the region will receive a free IEP binder filled with resources to successfully navigate the IEP process. More details will be released soon about upcoming sessions. Register at www.ciu20.org/RegisterEngagement/
Staff Spotlight: Multi-Disabilities Support Team at Asa Packer Elementary School
Laura Stanley and Jessica Wall
Laura Stanley, Associate Teacher, Multi-Disabilities Support Program
Laura Stanley has been working as an Associate Teacher for CIU 20 for 15 years. She has worked in various programs and locations, with this being her first year at Asa Packer Elementary.

Ms. Stanley says the most rewarding part of her job is "working with the students and seeing the progress made in goal work. Also, I love seeing the students smile and laugh." She credits her collaboration with classroom teacher Jessica Wall for the positive environment in the classroom, "I think that being supportive and working together creates a successful classroom. Help wherever needed and don’t wait to be asked, just do it."

Laura enjoys connecting with her students by singing to them and helping them play with their favorite toys. Her advice for a new employee starting out at the IU includes "be supportive, treat everyone with respect, and have fun. The students feed off of you, so give off good vibes."
Jessica Wall, Teacher, Multi-Disabilities Support Program
Jessica Wall started working for CIU 20 in 2019 when she joined the Partial Hospitalization Program as an Associate Teacher. She then worked as a Mental Health Worker in the same program before becoming a Teacher in the Multi-Disabilities Support Program at the end of the 2022 school year.

Ms. Wall says the most rewarding part of her job is "working with the children and seeing their progress...when you see a student fully understand a new concept or master a goal, it is the most rewarding feeling." Their classroom at Asa Packer Elementary School has been running on a two-staff model, and while she acknowledges the difficulty with the situation, she credits communication, awareness, patience, understanding, and flexibility to keeping the environment positive for the students.

Jessica's advice for a new employee starting out at the IU includes "communicate with your team members about how you are feeling in the classroom. The classroom can be overwhelming sometimes, so take breaks when needed."
Flexible Seating Project
Jessica is working on a flexible seating project for the final step in earning her Master's Degree in Special Education from East Stroudsburg University. The goal of the project is to determine if different types of preferential seating will increase students' awareness, focus, attention, and improve their overall comfort and well-being in the classroom.

Many of the flexible seating options provide students with sensory feedback either through rocking or pressure which could have a positive impact on their learning. She is comparing three seating options and notes that "my students are responding to the "Harkla Hug" in a positive way! They love the pressure it provides and I allow my students to sit in it for goal work and whole group lessons." 
The Colonial IU 20 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee seeks to foster a sense of belonging for all students, families, and staff. Below is what is being celebrated this month.
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 American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. CIU 20 celebrates our staff, students, families and community partners who are of Hispanic heritage.
LGBTQ+ Awareness Trainings Held for Staff
Colonial IU 20 has partnered with the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center to offer LBGTQ+ Awareness trainings for its staff. The first training was held during in-service week at the beginning of the school year and was facilitated by Liz Bradbury, Director of the Training Institute at the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center.
Students that identify as being part of the LGBTQ+ community are at increased risk for depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. Understanding the needs of this community help CIU 20 staff successfully meet their needs.
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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.