• spotlight

  • Photo Gallery: Graduation 2022!

    Posted by AIU on 6/10/2022 1:00:00 PM

    Photo Gallery: Graduation 2022!

    Students, parents and teachers from Pathfinder, Sunrise and Mon Valley schools celebrated the graduating class of 2022! Take a look at the festivities from our AIU-operated schools in the photo gallery below! AIU Executive Director Robert Scherrer addressed students at each of their commencements and asked them to aim high in their pursuits following graduation. "Look around you," Dr. Scherrer said, asking students to remember those who have supported them throughout their lives and to remember this special moment.

     

    Congratulations! We wish you luck in your endeavors!

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  • Photo Gallery: Pinewood Derby at Sunrise!

    Posted by AIU on 6/4/2022 10:00:00 AM

    Photo Gallery: Pinewood Derby at Sunrise!

    Students recently put their custom wooden cars to the test during the 2022 Pinewood Derby at Sunrise School! Thanks to the local Boy Scouts for helping us organize the event. See all the fun in the gallery below!

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  • Photo Gallery: Pathfinder Talent Show!

    Posted by AIU on 5/31/2022 3:00:00 PM

    Photo Gallery: Pathfinder Talent Show!

    See some highlights from our spectacular Pathfinder students during this year's talent show! Students sang, danced, told jokes and played instruments. All around, a fun time!

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  • 9th Annual Disability & Mental Health Summit

    Posted by AIU on 5/28/2022 12:00:00 PM

    AIU at the 9th Annual Disability & Mental Health Summit

    Thanks to Rep. Dan Miller for having us at the 9th Annual Disability & Mental Health Summit at Beth El Congregation in the South Hills! We were excited to share information about our expansive list of programs and services with the community!

     

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  • Photo Gallery: Sunrise Superhero 5K 2022!

    Posted by AIU on 5/16/2022 7:00:00 AM

    Photo Gallery: Sunrise Superhero 5K 2022!

    This weekend, the Sunrise community came together in a very special way for the Sunrise Superhero 5K! It was our first in-person 5K in two years and folks from across Allegheny County came to run in support of Sunrise School! Although rain was in the forecast, Sunday came and the clouds scattered and brought PERFECT conditions for our walkers and runners!

    Many students wore their best superhero costumes and many parents and community members wore snazzy commemorative t-shirts for this year's event. Thanks to everyone, including our generous sponsors, for participating and supporting Sunrise School! Take a look at all the fun in the corresponding photo gallery:

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  • Photo & Video Gallery: Day of Code 2022!

    Posted by AIU on 5/2/2022

    Photo & Video Gallery: Day of Code 2022!

    Students across our AIU-operated schools put their tech skills to the test last during Day of Code events last week! Students used iPads and other electronic devices to remote control and customize robots, vehicles and much more! Check out the gallery for all the fun as well as a video from action at Sunrise School!

     

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  • Photo Gallery: 2022 Mon Valley Basketball Invitational!

    Posted by AIU on 4/29/2022 11:20:00 AM

    Photo Gallery: 2022 Mon Valley Basketball Invitational!

    This year, students from all three AIU-operated special education schools (Mon Valley, Pathfinder and Sunrise schools) were thrilled to play each other after a 2-year hiatus for the Mon Valley Basketball Invitational! Along with our players on the court, each school brought its cheer team to raise school spirit! An award ceremony followed and smiles were everywhere! Their fellow students and teachers back at their schools were able to watch in-class via a livestream. Thanks to everyone for their great sportsmanship and energy! Check out the photo gallery to see all the fun!

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  • Above and Beyond: A story about teamwork leading to greater independence for a Pine-Richland Student

    Posted by AIU on 4/27/2022 10:00:00 AM

    Above and Beyond: A story about teamwork leading to greater independence for a Pine-Richland student

    Keury Da Mata, student at Pine-Richland Middle School

    Keury Da Mata had lots of new challenges as she went into 8th grade at Pine-Richland Middle School last August.

    She wasn’t just new to the district – she and her family had recently arrived in the area from Brazil. On top of all the cultural and language differences, Keury, who has cerebral palsy, needed the right tools to get around.

    Described as a hardworking, eager to learn and delightful young woman, Keury and her family came with hopes of a fair shot at success.

    Her sports wheelchair posed a safety risk for bus transport to school as well as making her way around campus. “It became very apparent from the first visit that Keury didn’t have proper machinery,” said Pine-Richland Middle School Assistant Principal Jacob Minsinger.

    Wanting to start off the new school year strong, Minsinger, Student Services and Special Education Director Noel Hustwit and Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) in-school physical therapist Judy Wagner took an all-hands-on-deck approach to get Keury what she needed to thrive.

    Among its many services, the AIU provides occupational and physical therapy supports to districts including Pine-Richland, with experienced professionals like Wagner working directly in its buildings.

    In a short period, Hustwit expedited additional services and training for paraprofessional staff to meet Keury’s needs, and sought assistance through Wagner for equipment from the AIU Special Education and Pupil Services division.

    Wagner quickly got in touch with Holly McElhinny, the AIU Director of Occupational and Physical Therapy Services, for help scouring the AIU’s vast network, including its equipment and resource library, to locate compatible wheelchairs.

    “I have very (much) more independence!”

    Keury Da Mata, a Pine-Richland student. She came to the district without the proper equipment to get around.

    Before long, McElhinny and Wagner were able to secure a manual wheelchair for Keury to safely and comfortably ride the school bus. The moment she first sat on the chair using its tilt-in-space feature, Keury exclaimed, “I'm in heaven!” The wheelchair was in pristine condition – only previously used for six months before being donated to the AIU-operated Sunrise School in Monroeville.

    Soon after, Wagner was tipped off by a neighboring Pine-Richland parent of a separate power wheelchair, enabling Keury to quickly get around from classroom to classroom with greater freedom.

    “I have very (much) more independence!” Keury said. She is now able to get many things on her own, including food, drink and personal belongings, as well as participate in sporting activities and games with her peers.

    “Every person…went above and beyond,” McElhinny said, noting the mutual sense of urgency between the district and the AIU for this unique circumstance. “It was such a pulling together of effort.”

    As for Keury, she’s learning how to better drive her power wheelchair more each day.

    “God wanted for me to stay in this wheelchair,” Keury said, “but I know He has a plan for my life because otherwise I wouldn't have survived to be an inspiration to other people on this earth. I love to be an inspiration to people because just as they can learn from me, I can learn from them too.” Keury adds she would like to walk one day.

    Keury’s keen on making new friends, and the power wheelchair acquired for her helps do just that. Wagner recently remarked on a recent physical education class she observed with Keury: “She was out on the basketball court with a different kind of ball to initiate an interaction with her peers shooting basketballs. It was a beautiful thing to watch.”

    “So that’s what (the wheelchair) gives her.”

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  • Photo Gallery: Earth Day at Sunrise!

    Posted by AIU on 4/22/2022

    Photo Gallery: Earth Day at Sunrise!

    Students at Sunrise School in Monroeville marked Earth Day on Friday, April 22, by embracing nature on campus! Students and teachers planted an array of plants, including a tree, on school grounds, providing both a wonderful learning opportunity and a way to be responsible stewards of our planet! View the photo gallery below.

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  • A Spotlight on Mental Health Services: School Based Supports

    Posted by AIU on 4/20/2022

    A Spotlight on Mental Health Services: School Based Supports

    From the Allegheny Intermediate Unit Special Education and Pupil Services Division

    As students in our region are coming to the close of their second full school year disrupted by the COVID-19 Pandemic, regional education agencies, such as the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU-3), continue to urge families and educators to focus on the mental health of the students in their care. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that from 2016-2019, a reported 20 million U.S. children aged 3-17 were diagnosed with one or more of the four most common mental health disorders, which are identified as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Anxiety, Behavior Problems, and Depression.

    Even prior to the pandemic causing the need to close schools, the number of children diagnosed with mental health disorders in U.S. children was a growing concern with a 3% increase in the number of children diagnosed with Anxiety or Depression from 2003 to 2012.

    Although year-to-date data is not currently available from the CDC, experts know that transitions can be hard for children and families even during the best of times. These same transitions during a pandemic have led to increased levels of stress and anxiety in these same groups.  Regionally, school districts have almost all returned to regular in-person learning and are challenged with meeting the academic and social-emotional needs of their students.

    The Allegheny Intermediate Unit has supported several educational partners in the region with trainings related to identifying behavioral and mental health issues in students and supporting those needs. As part of these informational sessions, the AIU urges educators to support and accommodate the social-emotional needs of their students as they address the identified learning loss that occurred locally and across the nation. The importance of social-emotional learning as part of the education of children is a focus of the AIU and the Special Education and Pupil Services Division.

    Helping a student off school bus at Mon Valley School

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