What's New at the IU

  • Here you will find new things happening in and around the IU

April Kisamore Caught in the Act

  • 12/06/2019

    April Kisamore, MIU IV Fiscal Manager, is caught in the act of decorating her office space for the holidays. The MIU Holiday Committee selected Gingerbread as a theme for this year's holiday celebration. April is creative and inspires her colleagues with her homemade decor. Kisamore Konfectionery is a huge hit!

    April

IU Staff Learns Basic Sign Language

  • Friday 11/22/19

    Presenter: Teacher of the Hearing Impaired, Amy Hayes
    Early Intervention teachers, speech and language therapists and paraprofessionals participated in a workshop that was to introduce them to both expressive and receptive sign language.  The afternoon was filled with action-packed hands-on engaging activities that allowed the participants to practice the manual alphabet and the signs that they learned for colors, animals, numbers, basic concepts, and commonly used phrases.   

    This workshop will be available to school district employees beginning the 2020-2021 school year. 

    sign language 1 sign language 2  sign language 3 sign language 4 sign langugae 5 sign language 6 sign language 7

Erin Lunn Gathers Donations for MIU IV Marigolds Project

  • Erin Lunn, Speech/Language Therapist for Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV (MIU IV), is on a mission. Her mission is for no child in MIU IV’s Early Intervention Classrooms to go hungry, and she is accomplishing that goal.

    The story starts with Erin competing for and achieving, the 5th Annual Gale Cox Memorial Service Learning Award of $400.00. This award is named for Gale Cox who began her work at MIU IV on August 30, 1990, continuing for 19 years, until May 28, 2009. After a life of service to others, Gale passed away on December 19, 2014. The purpose of this award is to continue the spirit of service to others, to which Gale dedicated her life. This award is to be used to support a service-learning project in the community.

    Lunn proposed a service project to provide food to the two New Castle Early Intervention Classrooms over the weekends and long holidays. But she didn’t stop there. She shared this information with her Aunt and Uncle, Tammy Vargo and John Jones, who work at Bill Few Associates in Pittsburgh, PA. They took the story back to their office along with a list of potential food items for the children. Everyone was very excited and wanted to participate. The results were nothing less than amazing.

    There was a total of $450.00 collected. $250.00 of this was donated by the employees and $200.00 from Bill Few Associates. Besides the monetary donations, there was enough food to fill the large cupboard pictured here.

    Each month, parents, who voluntarily participate, will return an individualized sheet on the food items they would like sent home so that the bags are packed to fit their child’s preferences. Each Thursday, and before every holiday break, students will receive items for breakfast, lunch, and snacks, as well as drinks.

    Erin packs the bags with help from EI Itinerant Teacher, Nicki Curilovic and EI paraprofessional, Debbie Marino.

    MIU IV main office is now in the process of collecting items for this project. If you would like to participate, please click here for a list of items that are needed. You can drop items of at MIU IV and we will make sure Erin gets everything.

    cupboard

MIU IV Staff Wear Red Shirts to Raise Awareness for Homeless Children

  • November 22, 2019, is Red Shirt Day which is geared to raise awareness in encouraging schools, communities, and individuals to plan for and support assistance programs for youth experiencing homelessness as they look to complete their education. 

    red shirt

MIU IV Board Receive a Tour of the Lending Library

  • The MIU IV Board of Directors were given a tour of the MIU STEAM Lending Library before their monthly board meeting on November 20th. Jason Williams, MIU IV Director of Technology, led the tour and demonstrated a few devices available to be loaned to our member districts. 

    board 1 Lending Library 2 Lending Library 3 Lending Library 4 lending library 5

Glen Grell, Executive Director of PA Public School Employee Retirement presents to SAC

  • Mr. Glen R. Grell, Executive Director of the PA Public School Employee Retirement System (PSERS), presented to the MIU IV Superintendent Advisory Council on November 13th. Mr. Grell’s presentation provided a valuable update on the status and health of the pension system.

    Mr. Grell

MIU IV's Early Intervention Hosts Parent Resource Days

  •  MIU Iv's Early Intervention Team invited parents from Butler, Lawrence, and Mercer Counties to a Parent's Night. Topics such as Introduction to Early Intervention and Services, Positive Behavior Supports, and Practical Tips to Promote Positive Behavior were discussed. There were many take-home resources for the parent also. Below parents are making visual flip schedules for their Early Intervention children!  

     

    Parent Night 1 Presentation working on book Parents

MIU Partners with Dr. Del Hart and PDE to Provide Fiscal Updates

  • Dr. Del Hart and a team from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, provided a fiscal update to special education administrators and business managers at the Midwestern Intermediate Unit. The presentation was well received and interactive.  115 participants from the IU4, IU5, IU6, and IU7 regions participated.

    hart

MIU IV Partners with Penguins Foundation to bring Teachers a STEAM Lending Library

  • Butler, Lawrence and Mercer County LEA's get a sneak peek at the NEW STEAM Lending Library at MIU IV. More Information to follow!

     

    LEAs took a field trip to MIU IV's STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Lending Library to test out some new hands-on instructional technology for students. All the items will be available for our schools to borrow. Below, Jason Williams, Director of Technology shows some of the equipment. Jerry Miller, Seneca Valley Director of Special Education, really enjoyed testing out the Bee Bots. Julie Lyon, LEA, Lakeview School District, Leslie Gleghorn, LEA, Ellwood City School District and Shirley Spiegel, LEA Mercer School District, enjoyed seeing and using all the items we have to offer.

     

    steam Jason showing Bee Bots Jerry Miller, Butler Judy Lyon leslie shirley

Student Supply Giveaway

  • On October 28 and 29, Region 5’s Homeless and Foster Care Education Program sponsored a student supply give away at MIU IV. Over 30 school districts and agency contacts arrived to pick up hygiene kits, school supplies, back packs, uniforms, socks/underwear/shoes, hats and gloves and even laptops!

    2 2 girls 3

Gale Cox Memorial Service Learning Award

  • November 1, 2019

    Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV Special Education Department, is pleased to announce the 5th Annual Gale Cox Memorial Service Learning Award Winner.  Gale Cox began her work MIU IV on August 30, 1990, continuing for 19 years, until May 28, 2009.  After a life of service to others, Gale passed away on December 19, 2014.  The purpose of this award is to continue the spirit of service to others, to which Gale dedicated her life. This award is to be used to support a service-learning project in the community. 

    We are excited to announce that Erin Lunn. Speech and Language Therapist's proposal was chosen and she will have  $400 to budget for her to complete her service project.   She will work on her service learning project which will provide food to the two New Castle Early Intervention Classrooms over the weekends and long holidays.  Each month, parents will return an individualized sheet on the food items they would like sent home so that the bags are packed to fit their child's preferences.  Each Thursday, and before every holiday break, students will receive a plastic bag filled with items for breakfast, lunch, snacks, as well as drinks.  

    In May, Ms. Lunn will present her project to the committee and share what they have accomplished and learned through this opportunity to serve others.

    Congratulations Erin and we can't wait to hear all the wonderful things you will accomplish!

MIU IV Special Projects Committee Hosts the 2019 Halloween Luncheon

  • October 31, 2019

    A Halloween luncheon was hosted by the Special Projects Support Sub-Committee at MIU IV. The pot luck lunch was delicious and the Halloween costumes were creative and hilarious. The $5 donation for lunch supports the MIU IV Labor and Management Committee

    Halloween group

     

Teachers at Midwestern Intermediate Unit Raise Awareness During October Blindness Awareness Month

  • October 18, 2019
    October is Blindness Awareness Month. Two MIU IV teachers of the Visually Impaired, Lia Noel and Jessica Sloan, wanted to find a way to raise awareness for their students with visual impairments. They spoke with Heather Campbell, a second-grade teacher at McQuistion Elementary SchoolButler Area School District, and decided to organize a "White Cane Day" to help her students understand the challenges of being visually impaired, and ways to overcome those challenges. Noel and Sloan filled the day with hands-on activities for the students.

    The students were educated on some of the tools that individuals with visual impairments use to travel independently. They watched a short video created by two young ladies with visual impairment. The students then broke up into 3 groups to participate in centers developed by the teachers. The students had the opportunity to put together their own white cane keychain made of beads. They colored a raised line drawing that they were able to complete with a blindfold and enjoyed a white cane snack. The last center gave them the experience of walking with the white cane so they could understand its use and importance. Each student enjoyed learning about the visually impaired and was sent home with a flyer for their parents detailing the experiences their children had. 

    pic2 Pic 1 pic 3 pic 4 pic6 pic6 pic7

MIU IV Main Office Declares a Penny War!

  • We are raising money for a 2-year-old boy from the area. He has been diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, which is a tumor on the brain stem. His parents are doing everything they can to save him. All of the funds collected from the Penny Wars will be donated to this family. 

    1-2-3-4- WE DECLARE A PENNY WAR!!!. If you don't know what that is, well, read on...

    MIU IV's Giving Committee is sponsoring this Penny War. 7 teams have been designated. Each team has their jug for collecting money. You gain points by adding pennies and bills to your team's jug. Now here is the rub...you lower the other team's points by adding silver to their jugs.  The team with the most points wins a pizza party on behalf of the Giving Committee.

    The seven teams are:

    Captain America: Dr. Killmeyer, Donna Volpe, Alec Gawne, Dan Bishop and Sandy Seltzer.

    Wonder Woman: Brenda Marino, April Kisamore, Dan Gomola, Dianne Sederland, Patty Connolly, and Rita Ferrere.

    Storm Troopers: Jason Williams, Dave Krizner, Lois Roach, Melanie Turner, Devon Agostino, and Liz Bennett.

    Mother of Dragons: Melissa Wyllie, Cathy Cornelius, Cheryl karns, Rachel Patterson, Edna Black, Beth Emmett, and Linda Delvaux.

    Cat Woman: Lorinda Hess, Dianne McGaffic, Gail Myers, Carrie Fusco, MaryAnn Holfhelder, Greg Merkle, and Brian Grossman.

    Iron Man: Dr. David Zupsic, Crystal McFeely, Nicky McCall, Nikkie Allen, Wendy Kinnear, Bryda Drumm, and Cheryl Pilch.

    Bat Girl: Tracy Bellis, Dee Thompson, Betsy Garr, Sarah Reiber, Sarah Lutz, Sarah Fischer, Jackie McIntire, Deb Burick, Kriss Staab, Shannon Baker, and Judy Campagna.

     

    Melissa Wyllie, Mother of Dragons Team Captain and Tracy Bellis, Bat Girl Team Captain, prepare for the PENNY WAR!

    Melissa Wyllie Mother of Dragons    Traci Bellis Bat Girl

    LET THE GAMES BEGIN. Stay tuned for updates!

     


     

     

     

     

MIU IV Dysphagia Team Lectures at Clarion University

  •   Dysphagia at Clarion   At the podium

    The MIU IV Dysphagia team was welcomed by Clarion University on Tuesday, October 8th to guest lecture during the Graduate Level Dysphagia course in the Communication Sciences and Disorders department. These future Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) shared that they were eager to learn about pediatric dysphagia in the school setting and were unaware of the challenges that many of our students face while eating. The Dysphagia team is thankful for this great opportunity to teach our future professionals and introduce them to one of the many ways that MIU IV supports our local school districts. The Dysphagia team has already been asked to return to Clarion University for another guest lecture.   

10/9/2019: Dan Bishop: Caught in the Act

  • Dan Bishop

    Dan Bishop is caught in the act preparing the MIU IV Central Office property for the change in weather.  Dan was hired in August 2019 as MIU IV's Coordinator of Building and Grounds and has taken on several projects supporting our strategic plan. Dan shares his green thumb and displays his MIU pride -  #MIU4U

2018-2019 New Employees and Mentors

  • Marigold    On May 21, 2019, Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV hosted an evening with new employees and their mentors. The theme for the night was Find Your Marigolds...

Mentor Training

  • Mentor Training, Friday, October 4, 2019

    Brenda Marino, Assistant to the Executive Director and Melissa Wyllie, Director of Special Education presented to 13 of the MIU IV employees on Friday morning.

    Brenda Marino did the role, strategies and benefits of being a mentor. 

    Melissa Wyllie did the presentation on E-colors.  Each participant took a personality assessment and they were assigned a primary and secondary color of the 4 listed. (blue/yellow/green/red).  Each color had defining strengths and potential limitations that they identified for themselves.  The presentation focused on four (4) areas:

    1. Know yourself
    2. Know others
    3. Distinguish between their personality and their character when responding
    4. Respond making a conscious choice

     

    Pictured below is one of the activities from this workshop. Each person participated in a survey and were given a color based on the survey answers. Four (4) participants were blindfolded and given the same directions, but based on their color, they processed the information differently.  It was amazing to watch.

    before     same directoin different outcome

    The individuals in the pictures from L-R are Patty Connolly, Director of Business Services; Katie Folsom, Early Intervention Teacher; Rachel Patterson, Secretary/Clerk; Crystal McFeely, Confidential Secretary

     

  • On May 22, 2019, Melissa Wyllie, Director of Special Education, Sarah Reiber, SLP/Coordinator of Dysphagia,  Amber Fassinger, Supervisor of Special Education, Liz Rearigh, Speech Therapist, and  Amy Miller, Speech Therapist, MIU IV, presented Eat to Learn...Learn to Eat to the Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV board. This was an interactive training that provided an overview of what dysphagia is, what the MIU IV Dysphagia Program does and why dysphagia interventions are necessary in the school environment. Participants were given the opportunity to experience difficulties students face when eating and drinking at school, through hands-on activities including food trials. Those present left this training with an increased awareness of how dysphagia impacts the students with whom they work as well as increased confidence in how they can better help those children learn to eat with safety and independence.

Autism Awareness Activity

  • On April 1, 2019, Melissa Wyllie, Director of Special Education, led the staff at MIU IV in an Autism Awareness Activity. Each person was given a piece of a puzzle. As we worked together to build the puzzle, we learned facts about autism that we may not have been aware of. It was a wonderful learning experience. 

Go-Buckets

  • Go-Buckets!
    Melissa Wyllie, Director of Special Education Services, and staff have been working to create Go-Buckets for our classrooms. These buckets are filled with items that can be used in an emergency situation such as a lockdown. Each bucket contains items like a first-aid kit, flashlight, batteries, water, paper, pen, garbage bags, rope, and other useful items. The bucket itself can be used as an emergency toilet.

    The New Castle Busy Beaver manager, Dave Miller, and the Grove City Busy Beaver manager, Kevin McLinden generously donated the buckets for our use. Thank you!

    Go-Bucket Busy Beaver

Christmas Doors for the Scholarship Fund

  • Congratulation Administrative Offices!

    What can be more fun than decorating for Christmas and raising funds at the same time? This is exactly what the IU has done. To raise money for the Scholarship fund there was a door decorating competition. Participants decorated a door. For 1.00 you could vote for your favorite door. You could vote as many times as you wanted to.  $236.00 dollars was raised for the Scholarship Fund. 

    The Administrative Offices won the competition with their stable theme. As you walk through the administrative offices you are greeted with happy smiling reindeer. Congratulations.

    Everyone did such a great job. There were so many creative doors to choose from. There were snowglobes, poke a tree, Grinch, Scrooge, Candyland, Elf on the Shelf, Coca-Cola, and even ugly sweater doors, just to name a few. Browse through the pictures below to see all the fun.

    Congratulations Everyone and Happy Holidays!!

     


     

Pre-K Santa Land

Christmas at the IU

  • In celebration of the holidays, the staff at the main office in Grove City dressed up like Christmas movie characters. Each department was assigned a different movie. Below are the result of this. Enjoy!

    Christmas at the IU

     

MIU IV Director of Business Services Receives Professional Certification

  • Patricia Connelly with Dr. Killmeyer

    MIU IV Director of Business Services Receives Professional Certification

    Patricia Connolly, Director of Business Services at Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV, has been approved for renewal status as a Pennsylvania Certified School Business Administrator (PCSBA) by the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO) for a period of four years effective January 2019.  Connolly has been employed by Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV since October 2015.

    In order to be granted the professional certification status by PASBO, a school business official must meet high personal, ethical, and professional standards established for the certification program. These include formal education, experience, and continuing education.  Once attained, the certification must be renewed every four years through a program of professional development.

    PASBO is the state professional association of school business officials whose responsibilities include the business and service functions of public and non-public schools.  PASBO’s purposes are to promote the highest standards of ethics and practices in school business administration and to encourage professional development and improvement of individuals engaged in school business management.  PASBO is affiliated with the Association of School Business Official International (ASBO).

    Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV is one of 29 IU's in Pennsylvania serving school districts in Butler, Lawrence, and Mercer Counties. In addition to providing over 100 programs and services requested by area school districts, MIU IV implements projects mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the General Assembly, and the United States Department of Education.

MIU IV Welcomes Jason Williams as new Technology Director

  • MIU IV Welcomes New Director of Technology and Information Services

    Grove City, PA – September 11, 2018

    Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV is happy to announce Jason B. Williams as the new Director of Technology and Information Services. Williams has been selected after an intense search and a rigorous selection process. 

    Mr. Williams brings with him 14 years of experience in classroom instruction, educational leadership, and technology innovations. He joins the MIU IV after serving as Supervisor of Instructional Technology at the Penncrest School District in Crawford County since 2009. Prior to working at Penncrest, Williams served as the K-12 District Assistant Principal/Technology Supervisor, after 5 years as the Business Education Teacher at West Forest High School in the Forest Area School District.

    Mr. Williams earned his B.A. in Business Education from Indiana University. Williams earned his Masters of Education (Administrative Leadership), and his Superintendent Letter of Eligibility from the California University of PA. 

    “Technology is a growing and changing part of the educational landscape” said MIU IV Executive Director Dr. Wayde Killmeyer. “We're thrilled to have someone coming on board who will be a help and a resource, not only to our own organization, but to all of our school districts.”

    “I am happy to be here” said Mr. Williams. “I look forward to working with the MIU IV staff and all of the schools.”

    Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV is one of 29 IU's in Pennsylvania serving school districts in Butler, Lawrence, and Mercer Counties. In addition to providing over 100 programs and services requested by area school districts, MIU IV implements projects mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the General Assembly, and the United States Department of Education.

National White Cane Day

  • White Cane
    National White Cane Day is October 15 and is used to celebrate the independence blind people gained in being able to travel alone. MIU IV is happy to be a part of White Cane Day. 

    Jessica Sloan, Vision, Orientation, and Mobility teacher helps to spread the word.
    ♦ Student’s in Mrs. Miller’s first-grade class at McQuistion Elementary School participated in White Cane Awareness Day in October.

    Ms. Jessica Sloan, Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV’s vision, orientation, and mobility teacher, visited McQuistion to teach students about white canes and how they are used by people who are blind or have vision impairments. Ms. Sloan showed a brief video and helped students make their own white cane key chains. In addition, Ms. Lia Noel, a braille instructor, read a story to students.

    One of the students in Mrs. Miller’s class is blind. The whole class enjoyed learning about ways they can help their friend.

    ♦ "October 15th was National White Cane Day" said Jessica Sloan. "I tried to do something special for all of my kids who use canes for this day. I had my 8th grader Brandon Wingard research National White cane day and prepare a speech to give on the school announcements to educate his peers and teachers on the importance of this day."

    Below is the video he made. Please click on the picture to download and view the video.

Homeless Students Focus on Learning

  • HOmeless

    Midwestern IU IV: Homeless students focus on learning
    Students who are homeless might be living with another family, moving among hotels and shelters, or kicked out of their homes. Amid lives of instability, help with daily needs keeps them in school and focused on learning.

    “They might have a roof over their heads, but those transient people are homeless,” said Wendy Kinnear, Region 5 coordinator for the Pennsylvania Education for Children & Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program.

    Kinnear works from Midwestern IU IV, coordinating efforts in a state-designated, 10-county region of western and northwestern Pennsylvania. There, 2,790 students were classified as homeless in 2016-17, according to data released in 2018 by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Kinnear’s team includes site coordinators, program workers in other IUs, and homeless liaisons in every school district, assuring schools the resources to provide uninterrupted learning in each homeless child’s original school, as required by federal law.

    Homelessness can undermine education. Students lose three to six months of academic progress with every change in school district. Those who change schools frequently are likelier to become dropouts. Disruption of schooling can perpetuate the cycle of poverty by limiting students’ future earning power.

    Kinnear and her team distribute federal grants that help schools meet individual student needs, such as buying a winter coat or paying summer school fees. They train educators on awareness. Partnerships with community housing coalitions and faith organizations opens doors to emergency help, such as a bed for the night, and long-term solutions.

    Kinnear sees the difference in lives changed.
    - The high school graduate exploring community college options who would have dropped out if not for the clothing and other help he received.
    - The girl who was homeless in her junior and senior years who graduated, earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and is pursuing a career in housing and homeless services.
    - The student who was living on the street but is now going to college, thanks to help from his homeless liaison and a faith-based coalition that found him a home.

    “We know that we’re reaching a lot of these kids,” said Kinnear. “It’s an ongoing process, but we’ve made an impact. We have more kids graduating and more kids staying in school and doing better academically because of the programming we’re putting in place.”

    This story originally appeared on the PAIU site paiu.org


     

  • Marcy Dadich donates proceeds from craft show to Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV’s Special Education Services to be used in special needs classrooms

    Marcy Dadich, a second-grade teacher at Mercer Elementary School, Mercer Area School District, held a craft show to benefit Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV ‘s classrooms. Dadich raised a total of $3,760.00 for MIU IV. At the May Board Meeting Dr. Wayde Killmeyer, Executive Director of the MIU IV, recognized Mrs. Dadich for her generous donation.

    Marcy Dadich and her husband Tim, have 4 children: Aidan 13 years, Jonah 11 years, Carter 9 years, and Lyla 4 years old. As a toddler, Aidan was diagnosed with a Developmental Delay and received speech, physical therapy, and occupational therapy through the IU. He also attended the IU preschool.

    When Carter turned 4 years old, he was diagnosed to be on the Autism Spectrum. He received Speech and Occupational therapies as well as attended the IU preschool. Carter still receives services through the IU today.

    “My family and I have received a great deal of help over the years to help our children be successful and reach their fullest potential. Therefore, I like to find ways to give back the help we received,” said Dadich. “Craft shows have become very popular over the years. I thought a craft show would be well received by the community. Also, a craft show was something that my children would be able to take an active part in helping with, which was very important to me.”

    “I wanted to donate all the proceeds from the craft show to a local organization that would help children the same way my family had been helped. The IU was instrumental in Carter’s current success and I wanted to give back and allow other children to have the same possibility.”

    Mrs. Dadich received a great number of donations (concession stand items, Chinese auction baskets, etc.). People also donated their time to work the concession stand and to sell tickets for the Chinese Auction. “This year’s craft show was even more successful than last year’s,” commented Dadich. “This would not have been possible without all the help from my family, friends, and the Mercer community.”

    MIU IV will be using these funds to purchase much-needed supplies for Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy (OT/PT) support in Mercer Area School District classrooms. Some of the supplies that will be purchased range from items to help a student write and draw, to specially designed equipment to assist a student in posture, stability, and fitness.

    Also on the list for help is MIU IV’s Applied Behavior Analysis Program (ABA). The funds will allow the IU to purchase Assessment Kits and Language Builder Cards, among other things.