Throughout the Commonwealth, Intermediate Units are serving their communities and students. Check out recent media stories about IUs:

IUs in the News

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  • 13 Nov 2020 10:12 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It's called PA Pen Pal Project, and it launched one week ago for all 500 school districts across the state.

    WNEP, POTTSVILLE, Pa. — As you walk into the main lobby of Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29 in Pottsville, you'll notice the word "kind" on the wall missing the letter I, and urging students to be the I in kind.

    It's a word that's led the school and its students to start writing letters and drawing pictures to cheer up residents in long-term care facilities during this difficult time.

    But the Schuylkill County initiative quickly turned into a statewide project after being presented to the Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units.

    "When we talk to them about paying it forward and doing nice things for others, and then with the pandemic, it tied in very easily for us to give them ways to pay it forward, and to share some kind of happiness with someone else who right now can't see their families," said Paula Hromyak, the principal at Intermediate Unit 29.

    It's called PA Pen Pal Project, and it launched one week ago for all 500 school districts across the state.

    Over 150 cards and handmade pictures have already been sent out to 13 different long-term care facilities.

    Some students joined in on our interview to share why they are participating.

    "We're writing cards to help seniors during this time where, like, nobody can visit them. It might make them happy, maybe a bright, colorful card, saying, feeling about you might warm up their day or something," said Zachary Sitlinger, a seventh-grader at the intermediate unit.

    The executive director says the hope is to spread some much-needed positivity to those who need it.

    "In the senior living homes, what I'm hearing is they feel that a lot of the residents feel like they're in jail. They feel like they're incarcerated and having, you know, students reaching out like this, it's providing that hope that they are so in need of," said Gregory Koons, the Intermediate Unit 29 executive director.

    The project runs through Dec. 25 and is for students in grades K-12.

  • 10 Nov 2020 1:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Westmoreland Intermediate Unit, an educational agency serving Westmoreland County children, was to serve as the host of the Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units (PAIU) statewide conference in May 2020.

    The theme of the conference “Kindness: The Key to Our Neighborhood” was centered on Mr. Fred Rogers and his emphasis on kindness. As a team-building activity, conference attendees were to assemble backpacks containing hygiene, personal, and comfort items. The goal was to distribute 1,000 backpacks to homeless children within Westmoreland County and across the Commonwealth.

    In January 2020, an all-out effort was made to encourage county residents to support the initiative by:

    • Making a monetary donation
    • Donating any of the following items: Personal Care Supplies, such as travel-sized shampoo/conditioner, deodorant products, bars of soap, dental products, tissues, etc. School Supplies, such as small journals/notebooks, pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners, erasers, etc.

    By the March 1st deadline and after, the response was overwhelming! Not only did we have enough money and supplies for each stuffed backpack, we recently donated 45 boxes of extra supplies to Westmoreland Community Action.

    Unfortunately, the Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units (PAIU) statewide conference, where the backpack assembly was to occur, was canceled due to the pandemic. With the 2020 conference’s cancellation, the 2021 conference in limbo, and homeless student needs continuing, we decided to internally complete the backpack project and distribute them to the intermediate units located in the western region.

    We have allocated 110 backpacks for each intermediate unit (IUs 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 27, and 28). Each backpack contains a bag of toiletries, a bag of school supplies, and a blanket sponsored by Rotary Club #7305. Also, it will contain a personalized note from the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit. A majority of the backpacks were purchased through a grant provided by DMJ Transportation. The backpacks will be delivered beginning Wednesday, November 18.

    We cannot thank the community enough for their support of this project! Because they played an integral part, students in Western Pennsylvania who become homeless will feel our collective love, compassion, and kindness. This effort shows that Westmoreland County is the true birthplace of kindness.

    Why did we focus on supporting students who become homeless?

    In 2016-17, 23,000 public school students in PA were homeless at some point during the year (PDE)

    300 children had no shelter at all, about 7,000 lived in a motel or shelter, and about 14,000 lived with friends or relatives (PDE)

    1 in 30 children in the US (under 18) are homeless (American Institute of Research)

    40% of the US homeless population is under age 18 (American Institute of Research)

    60% of homeless children spend at least one day per month without food (American Institute of Research)

    Why backpacks?

    Children often have to leave their home/shelter quickly and have little time to pack.

    Backpacks can be used at school as well as to take supplies between locations.

    Backpacks are inconspicuous.

    As Fred Rogers so eloquently stated, “All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we’re giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world. That’s one of the things that connects us as neighbors-in our own way, each one of us is a giver and a receiver.”




  • 30 Oct 2020 1:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Brookville Area School District is the first of the 17 schools in the Riverview Intermediate Unit 6 to use one of the telepresence robots the IU purchased this year through a grant.

    According to Jason Williams, the director of technology at IU6, Senate Bill 1275 that was passed during the 2017-2018 regular session, provided grant opportunities to intermediate units to receive telepresence robots. The robots can then be lent out to school within the intermediate unit.

    “The telepresence robots would be able to help students that are homebound due to an illness or some other reason, they can control this robot from their home computer and drive around the school and participate in the school day,” Williams said.

    Read more 


  • 29 Sep 2020 10:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Bucks County Intermediate Unit (Bucks IU) has a new suite of services for individuals with disabilities over the age of 21.

    "These Adult Programs and Services form a natural extension to the Bucks IU’s existing, high-quality services for children with disabilities from birth through age 21. Person-centered and growth-oriented, these Adult Programs and Services offer an exceptional opportunity for this more mature population as they transition to adulthood. Many may find an extra level of comfort working with the Bucks IU, having previously received services from them," the IU said in a release.

    “It is with great pride that the Bucks IU continues to expand and now be able to serve adults with disabilities. I am confident that these new Adult Programs and Services will fill a great need in our local community, based in our rich history of serving others with innovative programming," said Bucks IU Executive Director Dr. Mark Hoffman.

    Read more ...

  • 6 Apr 2020 10:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    When the Bucks County Intermediate Unit unveiled its mobile fabrication laboratory last year, no one expected it to be making personal protective equipment amid a global pandemic.

    Less than a year later, the 3D printers on the Mobile Fab Lab, which serves all the county’s school districts, are being used to fabricate face shields from medical professionals and emergency responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Read more ...

    View Bucks IU news release with photos

  • 24 Feb 2020 3:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Luke Suscheck, 25, of Lake City, enrolled in a local program spring of last year with the goal of attaining the degree he had forfeited when he left high school in his sophomore year.

    “It didn’t take long to realize my mistake,” he said, “and I realized I needed the opportunity to finish my education, to open my mind to new ideas and challenges, and to overcome the insecurity I felt when I dropped out.”

    Intensely focused on this goal, Suscheck enrolled in the Adult Education/GED program administered by the Northwest Tri- County Intermediate Unit 5 located in Edinboro which has been serving adult education for 30 years. Covering six counties at 29 sites in the region, it administers the Adult Education & Career Readiness Program, an initiative that provides free classes for adult students.

    Read more

  • 21 Feb 2020 3:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Berks County Intermediate Unit has secured a $95,000 grant for the full roll out of its CrisisGo emergency response system in county school districts through 2022, BCIU officials reported Thursday.

    The digital planning and communications platform allows school staff, police and first responders to instantly view and share emergency plans, evacuation maps, student rosters and other vital information in crisis situations.

    CrisisGo was initially funded via a $100,000 grant secured in 2017 by state Sen. Judy Schwank, a Ruscombmanor Township Democrat. Schwank’s advocacy was again critical in gaining the second round of funding, said Dr. Jill Hackman, BCIU executive director.

    The app, now in its second year of implementation, has been adopted by all 18 county districts across 108 school facilities, said Scott Major, BCIU director of information technology.

    Read more ...

  • 20 Feb 2020 3:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In the world of higher education you will find few buildings less remarkable than the Delaware County Technical High School in Broomall, Pennsylvania.

    Surrounded by a Rockwellian collage of trimmed lawns and picket fences, the single-story complex sits on a winding suburban lane just west of Philadelphia. It features no markers of prestige — just an ivy-less, brick facade and a drop-off lane for cars and busses.

    But inside — along a single hallway — there is a little-known program that ranks with the biggest names in higher education, and, in some cases, outperforms them. By one measure, it’s among the best deals in higher-ed right now — a mighty engine of value in an era where college debt is at the forefront of national politics and overburdened families question the worth of a degree.

    For the roughly 100 students who pass through this program every year, it can be a quick ticket to the middle class.

    And it may also be a glimpse into the future of higher education.

    Read more 

  • 21 Jan 2020 9:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NORWEGIAN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- There were plenty of smiles Monday at Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29 near Minersville.

    Variety The Children's Charity presented students with disabilities in this part of Schuylkill County with equipment that's tailored to their specific needs. That equipment includes 23 adaptive bikes, three adaptive strollers, and 30 communication devices with technology to help enhance communication for these children.

    The charity footed the bill of more than $80,000 for the equipment.

    Read more/see video from WNEP

  • 17 Dec 2019 9:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At the Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA) Conference held recently in Phoenix, Arizona, a number of education leaders from Pennsylvania IUs conducted the following presentations for the national audience: 

    A Lesson in Social Entrepreneurship: Creating A National SEL Center(Central Susquehanna IU #16: Lynn Cromley, Assistant Executive Director/Chief Administrative Officer & Shileste Overton Morris, Learning Director, Center for the Promotion of Social/Emotional Learning)

    Administrative Process: How to Set-up a School-Based Feeding and Swallowing Program (Lancaster-Lebanon IU #13: Ann Spinner, Supervisor of the School-Age Speech and Language Program)

    Advocating for School Safety - More Than Guards and Lockdown Drills (Montgomery County IU #23: Valentina Viletto, Director of Community and Government Relations & Sandra Edling, CFO/ Director of Business Services)

    CAMhP: Intensive Therapeutic Services within an Educational Setting (Capital Area IU #15: Keith Watson, Student Services Program Supervisor & Kerry Fitch, Educational Coach)

    Collaboration Across States: How Educational Service Agencies have Partnered to Bring Personalized Learning to ALL Learners (Montgomery County IU #23: Dr. Brad Landis, Assistant Executive Director & Dr. Donna Gaffney, Director, Office of Professional Learning; Dr. Kristen Landis, Director of Technology, Northern Penn School District & Brenda Vogds, Director of Instruction for Personalized Learning, CESA 1, Pewaukee, WI) 

    E-Colors: Unlocking Emotional Intelligence in Your School(Intermediate Unit #1: Don Martin, Executive Director, Joseph Mahoney, Director of Behavioral/Mental Health & Social Work Services & Jenny Lent, Director of Curriculum & Instruction)

    Employment for Youth with Disabilities: Partnerships that Work (Lancaster-Lebanon IU #13: Gina Guatta, Supervisor of Special Education; Jen Bennett, Manager of Job Training Services & Sherri Williams, Supervisor of Special Education)

    Expanding Services Beyond Traditional Education Supports (Lancaster-Lebanon IU #13: Carolyn Bruey, Program Supervisor)

    From Data to Decisions (group panel included Jeff Rothenberger, Consultant, MCIU #23)

    Personalized Learning is NOT a Program (Lancaster-Lebanon IU #13: Joey Rider-Bertrand, Program Director for Teaching & Learning; Colette Cairns, Supervisor for Instructional Technology; Kelly Galbraith, Supervisor for Literacy & Lauren Beal, Supervisor for STEM)

    STEP UP Westmoreland (Westmoreland IU #7: Jason Conway, Executive Director; Timothy Hammill, Curriculum Services Director & Dr. Matthew Thomas, Student Services Director)

    Westmoreland County Committee on Legislative Action (Westmoreland IU #7: Jason Conway, Executive Director)


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