Throughout the Commonwealth, Intermediate Units are serving their communities and students. Check out recent media stories about IUs:
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On October 18, Scott Major, Berks County Intermediate Unit chief information officer, represented intermediate units at a joint hearing of the Senate Communications and Technology Committee and the Senate Education Committee on the importance of protecting student data privacy.
Mr. Major testified on behalf of PAIU to explain the types of data that intermediate units house related to the students they serve, as well as the varying resources they currently have to implement an array of protections for this data. Furthermore, Mr. Major noted that implementing a statewide framework for privacy protections, in consultation with intermediate units and other experts, and backed with appropriate resources for implementation would go a long way in assuring that intermediate units can effectively protect sensitive data. Major also posed critical questions for consideration in the development of any legislation aimed at addressing student data privacy needs.
A week later, the House Education Committee held its own hearing on the same topic. PAIU submitted testimony reflecting consistent comments for intermediate unit suggestions, needs and partnership for implementing a statewide framework to protect student data.
From: Reading (PA) Eagle, April 22, 2022
It was a site she wasn’t expecting, something Dr. Nancy Allmon wasn’t prepared to encounter.
It was the mid-1970s and she was a young teacher in the Oley Valley School District. As she walked down a school hallway, she spotted a box on the floor.
Inside the box was a stuffed squirrel.
Confused and a bit concerned, she stepped into a nearby classroom and asked the teacher inside if she knew there was a squirrel in a box just outside her door. The teacher said she did, explaining she was going to use it for a lesson.
“I got it from the intermediate unit,” Allmon recalled the teacher saying. “You’ve got to get to them, they’ll help you as a new teacher.”
And that, Allmon said, is how she discovered the Berks County Intermediate Unit.
Several hallmarks of 2022 were placed in a time capsule by Hempfield Area students for others to find in 50 years.
Among them were a smartphone, a blank vaccine card, and gift cards to various stores and a movie theater that might not exist in five decades.
Superintendent Tammy Wolicki said high school student council members chose the items, with the help of sponsor Ryan Wuslich and their middle school counterparts, to include in the capsule that was dedicated Friday at the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit.
Students put a lot of thought into it and creatively came up with ways to include items that are digital by laminating copies of a QR code and the logo for TikTok, a smartphone app, Wolicki said.
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DOWNINGTOWN, PA — The Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) is offering new and exciting programs for adults who want to pursue new career opportunities. These programs will provide adult students with affordable and flexible ways to earn industry certifications, training and licenses. Students also have the opportunity to learn from industry experts and gain the skills necessary to grow in their careers.
From TribLive ...
If you filled a shoebox with things that exemplified education spanning over 100 years, what would you put into it?
School districts around Westmoreland County will be answering that question as they contribute to a large time capsule that will be opened in 2072.
Westmoreland Intermediate Unit director Jason Conway said a large trophy case at the agency’s Hempfield office will house 83 small boxes that will remain sealed for the next 50 years.
“We’re super excited about it — a small idea kind of expanded,” he said. “During these tough times, we wanted to give people something to celebrate.”
The project is part of a celebration surrounding the 50th anniversary of intermediate units’ service statewide. Westmoreland Intermediate Unit officials had intended to collect time capsule contributions from their peer agencies statewide at an annual conference, but the event was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, and Conway said they switched gears.
From The Daily Item
MILTON — The Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, in an effort to elevate the Valley’s home care worker shortage, is offering potential caregivers its Direct Care Workers Heroes program.
The DCW Heroes program, online and self-paced, can lead to professional caregiver certificates in areas including CPR, dementia, mental health and diversity and inclusion.
The program at the Milton-based CSIU is an online, self-paced professional caregiver certificate course. Incumbent home care workers can earn certificates in CPR, dementia, mental health, equity, diversity and inclusion.
From The Express ...
WILLIAMSPORT — Intermediate Units in Pennsylvania were actually created in 1970, but didn’t begin functioning until the 1971-1972 school year, so the current school year is their 50th anniversary of service.
“I think it’s one of the best systems created in education,” Dr. John George, executive director of the state Intermediate Units, told IU 17 board members at their annual meeting recently.
There are 29 intermediate units across the state. The local is Intermediate Unit 17 which represents 19 school districts in Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan and Tioga counties. It covers 4,000 square miles and employs approximately 323 people. It serves approximately 1,667 school age and 920 early intervention students. The total annual budget for the current school year for IU 17 is $37.1 million.
Prior to the creation of the intermediate units, schools in the state were organized by a county system, presided over by a county superintendent.
From The Unionville Times ...
DOWNINGTOWN — The holidays were a little brighter for Chester County families thanks to the students and staff from all three Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) Technical College High School (TCHS) campuses, the Child and Career Development Center (CCDC) and the Holiday Hope Chest program.
The Holiday Hope Chest is a charity event that provides a free day of shopping for Chester County residents who are in need. The event was held at each of the following four locations: TCHS Brandywine, TCHS Pennock’s Bridge, TCHS Pickering and the CCDC. More than 550 families benefited from the event and the value of all donated goods and money raised totaled over $50,000.
Throughout the month of December, hundreds of CCIU volunteers devoted their time to set up the event, assist the shoppers and wrap presents for the families. Students made up most of the volunteers and played a significant role in fundraising, bringing in donations and working the event to make sure it ran smoothly and was enjoyable for participating families.
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Last night, the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU13) Board of Directors appointed Mr. Matthew Stem (of Lancaster) as the new Executive Director, effective April 1, 2022. Stem joined IU13 in April as the Assistant Executive Director and has been working in tandem with Dr. Brian Barnhart, the current Executive Director who plans to retire in March. Prior to joining IU13, Stem served as the Deputy Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education for the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), a position he held since 2015.
“Matt is an exceptional leader – well-known and highly respected across the state,” commented Barnhart. “Since joining IU13 last year, he has embraced the mission, vision, and culture of our work. He is well poised to serve as the next Executive Director of IU13.”
Barnhart had initially planned to retire in June 2022, but he recently asked the IU13 Board to change his retirement date to March 2022. “It is time for me to retire,” commented Barnhart. “While I have not made any official plans, I look forward to spending more quality time with my family and exploring new hobbies.”
Over the past few months, the board and hiring committee conducted a thorough search for the next Executive Director. At the 1/12/22 board meeting, the hiring committee recommended Mr. Stem for the position, which resulted in an official vote by the board. The board unanimously approved his appointment.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to become part of the IU13 family,” stated Stem. “IU13 is one of the leading education service agencies in the Commonwealth. Not only do they provide exceptional services, supports, and solutions to education, but they model a culture that encourages innovation, empathy, kindness, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. Dr. Barnhart and the current Leadership Team have worked strategically to build this amazing culture, and I am grateful to be appointed as the next Executive Director to continue the growth of our #WorkWorthDoing at IU13.”
Stem is highly regarded in the education field with over 22 years of experience as a teacher, principal, district-level administrator, and assistant superintendent. Nineteen (19) of those years were spent with the School District of Lancaster and three at the Wyomissing Area School District (Berks County, PA). In 2015, he was named the Deputy Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education for PDE (under the leadership of then Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera). While with the Department of Education, Stem was instrumental in the development of the Future Ready PA Index and the Every Student Succeeds Act Consolidated Plan, served as liaison to the State Board of Education Council of Basic Education, provided testimony before various House and Senate Committees on important educational issues, expanded the State System of Support within the Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units, and led the process for developing Computer Science Standards, as well as leading other statewide initiatives. He holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Millersville University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Temple University in addition to a Pennsylvania Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility.
Dr. Barnhart has been an educator for over 34 years. His background includes service as a teacher, curriculum chairperson, building principal, and district assistant superintendent. He joined IU13 in 2006 as the Instructional Services Director, was named the Assistant Executive Director in 2008, and named Executive Director in 2013. Dr. Barnhart has a doctorate in Education Policy and Leadership from Temple University. He will officially retire in March 2022.
Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU13) is an education service agency dedicated to delivering services to schools and communities across the state and beyond. Visit iu13.org to learn more.
On Wednesday, December 15, 2021, a new board member orientation was organized by Schuylkill Intermediate Unit (IU29) and held at the Schuylkill Technology Center (STC) with newly elected board members from the 12 school districts.
The orientation was an idea shared during a superintendent meeting last month. The event included a guest speaker, Joshua Ott, Lead Pastor of Grace Free Church, who shared a message about the value of community service for the benefit of Schuylkill County students. Scott Jacoby, Board President of IU29/STC and Schuylkill Haven Area School District, shared about his experiences over his 38 years as a board member in the county. In addition, Dr. Gregory Koons, IU29 Executive Director, and Shannon Brennan, Director of CTE, provided an overview of the programs and services provided by IU29 and STC. “We are very grateful for our board members who have stepped up to advocate for students throughout Schuylkill County”, said Gregory Koons.
The event provided an opportunity for new board members to learn about their new roles, network with other colleagues, and support a shared vision for student advocacy. The responsibilities of school board directors have become increasingly challenging throughout the pandemic and the participants were complimented on rising to the challenge in front of them.
“This was a great opportunity to network with other school districts and develop relationships with fellow-board members and administrators. Words cannot express the gratitude we should all feel for the men and women willing to volunteer time and energy to serve their neighbors, friends, and most importantly the students within that community. Knowing that every decision made will have a lasting impact on the stakeholders within the hometowns we serve requires a certain bravery and commitment to doing what’s right, even when it’s not popular,” said Dr. Shawn Fitzpatrick, Schuylkill Haven Area School District Superintendent.
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