AIU recognizes and supports Autism Awareness Month
The Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) asks you to join us during April as we support Autism Awareness Month and Autism Acceptance Month.
We always strive to foster support, acceptance and encouragement for those living with Autism and hope to see that reflected in broader society. Stay tuned this month as we share stories within our community. READ MORE.
More than 90 OnRamp Grants Awarded to Teachers for School Projects
Teachers across Allegheny County will be putting their ideas for joyful and creative learning into action following awards from the AIU’s OnRamp Grants for Remote Learning program.
Across two rounds, more than 90 applications were awarded grants totaling $150,000. READ MORE.
‘Never known help to be this amazing’ - Steel Valley Family Center partners with organizations during difficult holiday season
Despite a difficult 2020, many Allegheny County families found comfort and relief with the help of our Family Support Centers over the holidays, including Alecia Hughes.
To her surprise, Hughes received a phone call about a week before Christmas from the Steel Valley Family Support Center asking if she was home. A few minutes later, a family center staffer was at Hughes’ door with dozens of gifts from partner agencies. READ MORE.
Storytime STEM-packs was recently chosen from more than 100 applicants to be one of twelve STEM providers as part of Iowa’s STEM Scale-Up program in the next school year.
Trained experts reviewed the many applicants on evidence of effect, diversity impact, cost benefit ratio, sustainability, Iowa Core alignment and more — and Storytime STEM-packs was among the chosen few! READ MORE.
Reality check - Students at Allegheny County Jail create play about real life experiences
After three years, dozens of students and numerous attempts to bring to the stage, a first-of-its-kind play on the criminal justice system written by juvenile inmates at Allegheny County Jail (ACJ) will be read aloud this weekend.
“ACT 33: Echoes from Pod 7E Maximum Security” will be performed virtually on Saturday, January 16 at 7 p.m. The reading will be broadcast live on Facebook by Alumni Theater Company in partnership with Words Without Walls, a creative alliance with Chatham University’s MFA in Creative Writing program and the ACJ. The Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Alternative Education Program operates the Academic Institute, the school for juveniles at the jail. READ MORE.
Head Start & Early Head Start Students Show Gains
Continuing their track records of success, the AIU’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs prepare our youngest students for success. Children in the Head Start program are assessed three times per year using the Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment system. Expectations are based on widely accepted developmental milestones. READ MORE
CISP Summer Program Goes Beyond the Classroom
In recent weeks, a national conversation has centered around the need for more unique, diverse and equitable voices in education. The AIU’s work in the Community Intensive Supervision Program (CISP) was ahead of the curve, as it infused a gripping work of nonfiction from a talented Black writer, as well as a question-and-answer session with the author that engaged and energized the students. READ MORE.
Helping Families Thrive Is What Drives Family Advocate Theresa Devonshire
Nearly three decades ago, Theresa Devonshire was in the process of signing up her son, Keir, for the AIU’s Head Start program. While that meeting was to put her son on the right path for school, it also set Mrs. Devonshire on a journey of her own. Gladys Lee, an AIU family advocate attending the meeting, noticed Mrs. Devonshire’s positive energy. She thought that Mrs. Devonshire would be a perfect fit for the program and suggested that she apply for an available job opening. Now, 26 years later, Mrs. Devonshire is still on the job helping families and children, and continues to expand her reach through several non-profits from Pennsylvania to Kentucky. A natural leader, she was recently appointed to the Pittsburgh Women’s Leadership organization and to Mothers of Black Sons. READ MORE.
Students and staff at AIU-operated schools get surprise from Chick-fil-A, Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation
Thanks to both the Pittsburgh Pens Foundation and Chick-fil-A Pittsburgh stores at Monroeville (Miracle Mile), South Hills and Pleasant Hills for a day our students and teachers won’t soon forget! Students and staff at the three AIU-operated special education schools were recently treated to food and prize packs as a show of appreciation.
“There was a buzz in the building we haven’t seen in a while,” Sunrise School Principal Lucy McDonough said at the conclusion of the event. READ MORE.
AIU Teachers Chosen for Regional Computer Science 'Learning Lab' Initiative
Two of our fantastic Mon Valley School educators were recently chosen to be part of an ambitious computer science education project benefitting the Pittsburgh region. Computer Science Instructor Robert DeFillippo and Technology Teacher Beth Whitney are among five area educators who will serve as Learning Lab Teaching Assistants for CSforPGH, an initiative from Remake Learning. READ MORE.
AIU Staff Featured in WESA Radio Segment
Our expert educators were featured in the Sept. 28 edition of "The Confluence" on WESA. Listen in as assistant director of special education and pupil services Brian Welles, secondary learning support teacher Mikayla Nolfi and hearing support teacher Maria Bennis discuss the return to school for special education students in our programs, as well as in the districts we serve. READ MORE.
The Tide is High for Waterfront Learning
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented immense challenges to all school districts. One of the chief concerns is pivoting to or between an online method of instruction that provides a quality learning experience for students. Enter Waterfront Learning. The in-demand program has welcomed 20 additional districts for the school year. Waterfront Learning is now facilitating 50 partnerships with districts and intermediate units across Pennsylvania to coordinate “Response to Return Plans” unique to each educational entity in order to provide robust virtual learning continuums focused on personalized learning pathways for K-12 learners. READ MORE.
Summer Campers Learn Value of Hard Work, Thanks to Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones wanted to show his students at the Lincoln Park Family Center that hard work pays off. Throughout the summer, 16 students logged in every day for three hours to prevent the summer slide and complete their academic summer camp work. To reward these students for their grit and follow-through, Mr. Jones, an after school group leader, used his own money to purchase each student a $10 gift card so they could buy themselves something special. Mr. Jones, along with staff from the center, drove to each student’s home and delivered the gift card, a toy, snacks and their admiration. READ MORE.
AIU Educator named 2021 PSAYDN STEM Ambassador
Michael Fierle, director of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) Math & Science Collaborative, was recently named a 2021 Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network (PSAYDN) STEM Ambassador to help advance science, technology, engineering and mathematics education policy in Pennsylvania.
Fierle and more than two-dozen other educators from across the state will take part in a two-day virtual training in March to help increase their understanding of the legislative process, strengthen their policy engagementskills to advance STEM policy and inspire students to pursue related careers. READ MORE.
OnRamp is Ramping Up
OnRamp is a regional partnership that supports schools in accessing and accelerating remote learning. Six western PA intermediate units are collaboratively creating hundreds of free synchronous and asynchronous professional development opportunities. LEARN MORE.
Head Start & Information Technology Provide Tech to Teachers
COVID-19 remains a challenge, as it was in the spring, but through experience, creativity and collaboration, educators are settling into the “new normal.” And with that comes the need for new technology to reach all children, especially our youngest students. In a process that began in the spring, the Head Start and Pre-K Counts programs teamed up with the AIU’s Information Technology Division to put new technology and materials into the hands of its teachers. READ MORE.
AIU Director of Safety & Security Aaron Skrbin Receives PASRO President’s Award For Service
Aaron Skrbin is the man with the plan. In his role as the AIU’s director of safety and security, Skrbin keeps tabs on all that is happening, locally, across the state and throughout the nation as he collaborates with educators and public health experts to develop strategies that keep our students, families and staff members safe. But Skrbin was not ready for what happened at the Pennsylvania Association of School Resource Officers (PASRO) conference. READ MORE.