- 2012 Annie Sullivan Award Honors Joni Hilbert-Hess - July 2012
- Grant Will Support Lebanon County Youth with Health Careers and Manufacturing Classes - March 12, 2012
- From the Heart Gala - Helping Students Communicate! - February 14, 2012
- IU 13 and Softmart Announce Partnership to Save Money for PA Schools - January 16, 2012
- Project Aims to Rally Lebanon County Parents and Community Members in Support of Early Child Education - January 13, 2012
- IU 13 Extends Partnership with Villanova University - December 21, 2011
- Partnership Launches New Seminar Series for HR Professionals - December 16, 2011
- Lancaster-Lebanon Literacy Design Collaborative Receives Additional Funding to Expand Project - December 5, 2011
- IU 13 Electricity Program Saves $2 Million for Local Schools - October 11, 2011
- Human Resources Certification Program Is Now Available in Lancaster and Lebanon Counties - September 2, 2011
- IU 13 Staff Responds to Fiscal Crisis - June 16, 2011
- Students Celebrate Accomplishments and Embrace Their Next Step - June 7, 2011
- Teen Program Is a Success - June 7, 2011
- Students Shine at 24 Math Challenge and Three Are Crowned 2011 Champions! - May 18, 2011
For media coverage more than 12 months in the past, please visit the Press Releases - Archives page.
Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU 13) is an education service agency dedicated to delivering irresistible services and programs to school districts and communities across the state. IU 13 is a leader in recognizing the needs of schools and in implementing programs to meet those needs, with a core compelling purpose to improve student learning. Through partnerships with the 22 school districts in Lancaster and Lebanon counties, as well as nonpublic school students, preschoolers, and adult learners, IU 13 provides outstanding service, support, and solutions to all.
Media Contact: Shannan B. Guthrie, Public Relations & Marketing Supervisor, IU 13, (717) 201-2365 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations to Mrs. Joni Hilbert-Hess, Multiple Disabilities Support Classroom Teacher at Manheim Central Middle School, for receiving the 2012 Annie Sullivan Award.
The Annie Sullivan Award recognizes a professional in special education who exemplifies caring involvement for students with disabilities, and goes beyond the duties of the classroom in helping others in the school and community to understand and accept people with disabilities. The award is named after Helen Keller’s teacher, and the recipient is nominated by his/her peers.
As noted in her nomination, parents, co-workers, and supervisors have praised Joni’s creativity, patience, positive attitude, and ability to challenge her students. Most importantly, however, Joni strives to make her students an integral part of the larger school community. For instance, Joni’s classroom has a peer buddy program, in which students from other classrooms get together with her students to socialize. To facilitate these and other conversations, Joni’s students, many of whom are non-verbal, complete a project in which they make scrapbooks about their favorite things. Joni also holds special events in her classroom, including one in which guests visit stations that give them an idea of what their peers with disabilities experience.
Through all interactions, however, Joni emphasizes the similarities between the students. One parent commented: “Joni teaches the kids at Manheim Central Middle School that students with disabilities are just like them. They like the same things, have feelings like them, and can do a lot of the same things even though they have a disability.”
One of Joni’s most impressive accomplishments has been the implementation of her class’s annual holiday play. Her students perform in the production, delivering their lines with the help of communication devices (also utilized in daily activities). Performing alongside them are the “student buddies” who are fellow students from the school. The student buddies help the students perform by holding microphones, holding scenery, reading lines, etc. The Holiday Musical is a highlight for every student in Joni’s class, as well as the rest of the student body and staff. Her passion for teaching and dedication to her students shines!
On behalf of the IU 13 Board of Directors, Leadership Team, and staff, Congratulations, Joni!
Highmark Awards $82,000 Grant to Lancaster-Lebanon Education Foundation
Lebanon, PA: Young adults in Lebanon County with an interest in Health Careers and Manufacturing will have new training opportunities thanks to the Highmark Local Workforce Initiative and the Lancaster-Lebanon Education Foundation (LLEF). Highmark awarded $82,000 to LLEF to support the IU 13 Adult Education Program in the implementation of Health Careers and Manufacturing classes in Lebanon County.
The classes will be taught between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013, providing students with the training and certifications they need to obtain permanent and self-sustaining employment. Forty-five students will be served through these classes. The classes will serve youth and young adults between the ages of 16 and 25, some of who will also receive case management support and paid internships through additional funding sources.
Student participants will have the opportunity to attend either the Health Careers or Manufacturing classes. The Health Careers classes will mirror an existing IU 13 program that is being offered successfully in Lancaster County. Thirty students will participate in two 80-hour courses designed to enhance their reading comprehension and math skills; prepare them for the TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills), the entrance test for Lebanon County CTC’s LPN program, or for CNA training; learn medical terminology; and complete CPR/AED and First Aid certification training.
The manufacturing classes will be developed in partnership with the Manufacturers’ Association of South Central Pennsylvania (MASCPA), a regional employers' organization with more than 350 member companies located within South Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland. Students who successfully complete the program will receive the only Manufacturing Certification recognized by MASCPA. The course will run for 80 hours over a 10-week period, and will be offered to 15 students Participants will learn essential manufacturing skills such as working safely and productively in a manufacturing setting, performing safety and environmental inspections, participating on emergency teams, training personnel to use equipment safely, and fulfilling safety and health requirements for maintenance, installation, and equipment repairs, etc. The course will include10 hours of OSHA-specific training.
“With these additional funds from Highmark, we will be able to enhance our existing services to youth and young adults in Lebanon County,” commented Tim Shenk, Adult Education Director for IU 13. “We are grateful to our funders and community partners who believe in this program and the invaluable impact it has on the Lebanon community. Together we are making a difference!”
For more information about the new Health Careers and Manufacturing classes, please contact IU 13 at 717-450-1525.
Funding for the grant was designated through the Highmark Local Workforce Initiative Fund of the Foundation for Enhancing Communities. It was awarded to the Lancaster-Lebanon Education Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization that supports IU 13.
Lancaster-Lebanon Education Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) education foundation that supports the work of Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13. The Foundation’s overall purpose is to provide financial or other support for learning opportunities, innovative programs, and existing programs that benefit children, students, and adult learners within Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 and/or its member school districts.
Event Raises Funds to Purchase Assistive Technology for Students
February 14, 2012 - Lancaster, PA: With the support of community volunteers and area businesses, the Lancaster-Lebanon Education Foundation (LLEF) is gearing up for the 2nd Annual From the Heart Dinner Dance and Silent Auction on March 16, 2012. This new event in Lancaster County provides a semi-formal evening out with dinner, dancing, music, entertainment, and a silent auction. Most importantly, proceeds from the evening will be used to purchase assistive technology for students in IU 13 classes who are faced with severe physical and/or developmental disabilities.
According to the National Center on Accessible Technology in Education (University of Washington), “assistive technology is technology used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. Assistive technology can include mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs, as well as hardware, software, and peripherals that assist people with disabilities in accessing computers or other information technologies.”
“Assistive technology can have a profound impact for students who need assistance communicating with others,” commented Sherry Zubeck, Director of Early Childhood and Special Education Services (ECSES) for Lancaster-Lebanon IU 13. “The technology is often used for students who are non-verbal; or, who may have difficulty speaking, expressing emotions, participating in class, or asking for simple needs to be met. With these tools, they are able to participate in activities and engage with others. It opens a ‘new’ world for them.”
Unfortunately, assistive technology can be expensive and is generally not covered by traditional funding streams. Through the help of the Lancaster-Lebanon Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) education foundation that supports the work of IU 13, funds are being raised to purchase the necessary equipment for local students. Last year the event raised $8,000, which was used to purchase equipment for several students and classrooms in Lancaster and Lebanon counties. The goal this year is raise $15,000.
The Lancaster-Lebanon Education Foundation invites you to be part of this amazing event. Enjoy a scrumptious meal, dance to jazz music, and bid on silent auction treasures donated by local artisans, businesses, and individuals. The event will be held on Friday, March 16, 2012, at the Cork and Cap Restaurant (6-10pm). Tickets are $100 per person or $750 for a table of 8. For additional details, please call 717-606-1655 or go to www.llefoundation.org.
2012 Event Sponsors: Trout, Ebersole, and Groff; Burle Business Park; Kiwi Marketing Group; Hartman, Underhill, and Brubaker; and Dellicker Strategies. Additional sponsorships are available. For details please call 717-606-1655.
Lancaster-Lebanon Education Foundation (LLEF) is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) education foundation that supports the work of Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13. The Foundation’s overall purpose is to provide financial or other support for learning opportunities, innovative programs, and existing programs that benefit children, students, and adult learners within Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 and/or its member school districts.
Media Contact: Shannan B. Guthrie – Media, Communications and Public Relations Specialist for IU 13 and LLEF • 717-201-2365 or email@example.com
Program designed to save schools money by refurbishing classroom computers
January 16, 2012 - Lancaster, PA: Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU 13), a leading provider of educational services and programs, launched into 2012 with another cost-saving initiative for school districts. Just this month, IU 13 announced the Technology Equipment Procurement Program, which is designed to save school districts money by providing discounted computer batteries, memories, and hard drives. The program will extend the life of computers that need to be refreshed or refurbished, and ultimately save money for participating school districts. Downingtown-based technology resource provider, Softmart, has been selected as the vendor of choice for this program. Softmart, which is commonly known as the “global provider of all things IT,” offers everything from software to hardware to support services.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule for how long a classroom computer will last, the average life span is three to five years depending on the type of equipment and amount of use. “Districts realize the importance of infusing technology into their curriculum in order to engage today’s learners,” commented Paul Billy, Director of Technology Services for IU 13. “Whether the students attend a traditional or virtual classroom, they are using some form a technology every day. This increases the need for districts to purchase or refresh equipment frequently, which can be costly. Keeping their computer equipment up-to-date is a necessary part of the process.”
Through the IU 13 Technology Equipment Procurement Program, districts will have the opportunity to research the cost of refurbishing computers (i.e., replacing the battery, upgrading the memory, etc.) versus purchasing new ones. In many cases, districts have been exercising this practice for years by “cleaning” and refurbishing computers via their in-house technology teams. The IU 13 partnership with Softmart provides districts with a larger pool of equipment available to meet their needs, with the added bonus of discounted pricing.
“As districts continue to face this difficult fiscal climate change, there is an ever-increasing need to develop cost-saving partnerships and programs,” commented Dr. Cynthia S. Burkhart, Executive Director of IU 13. “Districts are calling upon IU 13 more than ever to research new opportunities, develop new programs, etc. This is the very nature of our work in support of the local school districts.”
The IU 13 Technology Equipment Procurement Program was launched last month and is now being announced to districts across the commonwealth. Access to the system is available via the IU 13 website or at www.softmart.com/iu13.
Softmart, based in Downingtown, PA, is one of the world’s premiere information technology resources. They are a main source of IT hardware and software products, and a major provider of volume license programs, such as Microsoft Enterprise and Select Agreements, Adobe CLP agreements, Symantec Elite Agreements, Novell VLA and MLA agreements, and more. Softmart is a leader in IT asset management, assisting enterprise organizations with developing and managing an optimized IT environment that matches purchases with usage.
January 13, 2012 - Lebanon, PA: Lancaster-Lebanon IU 13, a leading provider of educational programs and resources, is focusing efforts on Lebanon County parents and the community with a new Project LEARN initiative. Local Education and Resource Network (LEARN) is designed to assist families to act as their child’s first educator, support parents with information about child development and appropriate learning activities, and align early learning standards across the county.
Project LEARN was launched at the beginning of the school year and will continue through November of 2012, with meetings for educational leaders, a school readiness taskforce, and the parents and community members of Lebanon County. The project is strategically designed to guide families in making good early learning choices for their children and help every child arrive to kindergarten with the skills needed to learn.
“This is an amazing opportunity for the children of Lebanon County,” commented Dr. Brenda Hanthorn, IU 13 Program Supervisor and coordinator of the LEARN project. “This is a county-wide initiative that involves parents, the public, the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), Keystone STARS, local schools, and more. Everyone has a seat at the table with an opportunity to share information and learn from others.”
Studies have shown that a child’s potential to succeed in school is highly dependent on the skills learned before age five. Additionally, studies show that a child’s ability to learn is linked to their living conditions and the education level of their parents. Both Lebanon County and Lebanon City children rank as high risk for school failure per recent studies. “The data is clear. We must pull together as a community to support our children and help them prepare for school. Everyone in Lebanon County will be impacted by the work of Project LEARN,” commented Hanthorn.
According to OCDEL’s Reach and Risk Report for 2009/2010, “Children in 69% of Pennsylvania’s counties are at moderate-high to high risk of school failure…. Preschoolers in high-quality early education programs such as PA Pre-K Counts, Keystone STARS 3 and 4, and Head Start Supplemental Programs made progress in all skill areas.” The OCDEL Reach and Risk Report is compiled by the PA Department of Welfare to identify communities and children that are at risk for school failure, and to determine how many of the impacted children are being reached through quality early education programs. A copy of the entire report is available online at http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/dpworganization/officeofchilddevelopmentandearlylearning/index.htm, click on Research.
A key element to Project LEARN is the Parent and Public Education meetings. The meetings are designed to identify gaps in parenting education services, and help foster collaboration among agencies to enhance and expand existing programs. The meetings will strive to make the public more aware of the available parenting resources and increase the public’s awareness of the need for quality childcare and early education.
Upcoming Parent and Public Education Meetings:
- 2/1/12 at 12:00 noon (MHMR Office, 220 East Lehman Street)
- 4/4/12 at 6:00 pm (IU 13 Lebanon County Office, One Cumberland Street)
- 9/12/12 at 12:00 noon (MHMR, 220 East Lehman Street)
- 11/7/12 at 12:00 noon (MHMR, 220 East Lehman Street)
Offering Professional Human Resources Management Certification Courses
December 21, 2011 - Lancaster and Lebanon, PA: Following a successful partnership launch this past fall, Lancaster-Lebanon IU 13 and Villanova University, will continue offering select management courses in Central PA. The program, which is part of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Learning System, will provide participants the ability to increase skills by earning the Professional in Human Resources (PHR®) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®) certification.
Beginning February 1, 2012, the SHRM Learning System Course will be held at The Conference and Training Center at IU 13 (1020 New Holland Avenue, Lancaster) every Wednesday night from 6:00-9:30 PM. The 12-week course includes: Business Management and Strategy, Workforce Planning and Employment, Human Resource Development, Compensation and Benefits, Employee & Labor Relations, and Risk Management.
“Until now, participants had to either study online or travel a significant distance for the preparatory course,” commented Flip Steinour, Director of Human Resources Services for IU 13. “Through this partnership with Villanova, professionals in the area have local access to this program, which enriches the experience and helps participants develop local networking communities for future needs.”
The spring course begins on Wednesday, February 1, 2012, leading up to the Professional Human Resources Certification test. Participants who complete the program and pass all assessments will receive a certificate and 3.6 Continuing Education Units from Villanova University, as well as a certificate from the Society for Human Resources Management.
According to the SHRM website, there are roughly 100,000 HR professionals worldwide with the PHR or SPHR accreditation. To the employer’s benefit, having an accredited HR professional strengthens the HR department and supports organizational growth. To the individual’s benefit, earning the PHR or SPHR credentials adds to employability, demonstrates a mastered body of knowledge for the HR field, strengthens knowledge of HR topics and legislations, and provides professional growth.
“The idea behind this partnership came from the staff at IU 13,” commented Steinour. “This is a wonderful opportunity for local professionals looking to increase their knowledge of the field.”
For additional details, please contact IU 13 at 717-606-1623 or visit www.continuingstudies.villanova.edu.
December 16, 2011 - Lancaster, PA: Through a partnership with the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and several area law firms, IU 13 is hosting a seminar series tailored to meet the needs of today’s Human Resources (HR) professional. The series, known as HR Essentials, encompasses topics such as Immigration Compliance, Medical Records, Social Media, and more. Meetings will be held monthly between January and June 2012, and are accessible for school districts, businesses, and nonprofits.
Every day Human Resource professionals are faced with difficult personnel issues that have the potential to grow into major litigation or front-page news. The HR Essentials training series will equip employers with the knowledge and tools they need to effectively manage an organization’s human capital.
In many organizations, the HR department is responsible for activities such as recruiting and retaining staff, overseeing ethical business practices, and implementing strategies and policies for managing personnel. “In today’s rapidly changing world, personnel situations come up every day that wouldn’t have been imagined even a decade ago,” commented Flip Steinour, Human Resources Director for IU 13. “Quality professional development that addresses the aspects of each of these areas is essential.”
The HR Essentials series includes:
- Best Practices in Hiring - January 20, 2012, 9:00-11:30 AM
- Employee Medical Records: Best Practices and Pitfalls - February 24, 2012, 9:00-11:30 AM
- Social Media: Friend or Foe? - March 19, 2012, 9:00-11:30 AM
- Discrimination and Harassment Basics - April 19, 2012, 9:00-11:30 AM
- Immigration Compliance: What You NEED to Know - May 4, 2012, 9:00-11:30 AM
- eDiscovery: What It Means for Your Organization - June 15, 2012, 9:00-11:30 AM
Local law firms will serve as the trainers and participants who are eligible may apply for continuing education credits through SHRM. “These sessions were hand-selected and molded,” commented Steinour. “Staff from IU 13 who attended the series last year highly valued the information and the local perspective. Based on feedback from staff, the series has been extended for another year and made available to the general business community.”
All of these sessions will be held at The Conference and Training Center at IU 13. Advanced registration is required, and cost per session $75 per person, per session. Sessions are purchased individually so participants can choose which event meets their needs. Please register online, by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (717-606-1626). For any questions related to the HR Essentials Seminar Series, please contact the IU 13 Human Resources Services Department by email (email@example.com) or phone (717-606-1626).
Project aims to accelerate learning and foster increased college readiness
December 5, 2011 - Lancaster & Lebanon, PA: Following a successful year-one implementation of the Lancaster-Lebanon Literacy Design Collaborative, a framework designed to infuse literacy into content instruction and increase the rigor of student work, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation approached IU 13 with an opportunity to expand the project to all public school districts in Lancaster and Lebanon counties.
In July 2010, the Gates Foundation provided funding to IU 13, Elizabethtown Area School District, and Lebanon School District, to form the Lancaster-Lebanon Literacy Design Collaborative, designed specifically to increase the effectiveness of secondary content by infusing literacy into content instruction. It is a literacy framework that connects common core standards with secondary English language arts, social studies, and science classrooms. It offers a new way of thinking about and preparing students with the literacy skills they need to be college/career ready.
Phase 1 of the project, piloted during the 10/11 school year, targeted the content of 10 science and 10 social studies units with the goal of creating, identifying, and disseminating the secondary literacy tools teachers and students need to accelerate learning and foster increased college readiness. Phase 2 will extend to 16 additional school buildings in Lancaster and Lebanon counties during the 11/12 school year.
“This project continues to be both challenging and rewarding for students and educators,” commented Barb Smith, IU 13 Staff Development and Training Specialist, who is also serving as the project coordinator. “The lessons learned during Phase 1 of the project will strengthen the systems and structures needed to implement the project and enrich the experience for students. We are honored to expand this work and thank the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for their continued investment in education in our region.”
The Lancaster-Lebanon Literacy Design Collaborative supports the Gates Foundation goal of ensuring that at least 80 percent of high school students graduate ready for college. Through the additional $758,000, the program will continue for another year and be infused in 18 area schools, including:
Cedar Crest High School (Lebanon)
Cocalico Senior High School (Denver)
Columbia Junior Senior High School (Columbia)
Conestoga Valley High School (Lancaster)
Donegal Senior High School (Mount Joy)
Elizabethtown Area Middle School (Elizabethtown)
Elizabethtown Area High School (Elizabethtown)
Garden Spot Middle School (New Holland)
Hempfield Senior High School (Landisville)
Lebanon Middle School (Lebanon)
Manheim Central High School (Manheim)
Manheim Township Middle School (Lancaster)
Palmyra Area Middle School (Palmyra)
Palmyra Area Senior High School (Palmyra)
Penn Manor High School (Millersville)
Smith Middle School (Quarryville)
Swift Middle School (Quarryville)
La Academia - The Partnership Charter School (Lancaster)
“Secondary literacy skills are essential for all professions,” commented Dr. Cynthia Burkhart, Executive Director of IU 13. "The Lancaster-Lebanon Literacy Design Collaborative is putting tools into the hands of teachers that increase rigor in the classroom and provide a sounding board for the discussion of new ideas.”
IU 13 will provide project management, leadership, professional development, and technical assistance, as well as evaluation support. The involvement of IU 13 will indirectly benefit all 22 school districts in Lancaster and Lebanon counties, and the 88,868 students enrolled in the area schools.
Through partnerships formed across the Commonwealth, the project is striving to build capacity for implementation at the regional level. Moreover, finding effective practices in secondary literacy is not an issue that is specific to Lancaster and Lebanon county school districts. All school districts in Pennsylvania are working to better understand how best to accelerate student achievement at the secondary level. The Lancaster-Lebanon Literacy Design Collaborative is a promising strategy for enhancing the rigor and relevance of secondary content instruction.
October 11, 2011 - Lancaster, PA: An innovative partnership between Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU 13) and Direct Energy has proven successful for local school districts with over $2 million in savings.
In January 2009, the rate caps for electricity were removed and the cost for securing energy increased substantially. A few months prior to the change, IU 13 began researching options to help districts manage the rate increase. Following much research and discussion with member school districts, IU 13 established the Electricity Procurement Program, which strategically purchases electricity in bulk for the participating school districts in the area. The program is designed to: reduce costs by procuring electricity on the wholesale market thereby eliminating additional retail fees and charges, and reduce the cost of operating the program by securing a qualified supplier and utilizing a professional team to manage the process.
After careful review and consideration, IU 13 selected Direct Energy, one of North America’s largest commercial retail energy suppliers, as the electricity supplier and has been using the company’s PowerPortfolio product to oversee the program. The decision was based on Direct Energy’s stability, innovative product offerings, and extensive experience in working with schools. PowerPortfolio allows members to capitalize on schools’ favorable usage profiles. In general, electricity pricing favors schools, since they tend to use less power during the summer, peak during morning and early afternoon hours, and avoid the most expensive late afternoon/early evening hourly rates. PowerPortfolio further enables IU 13 to control energy costs by making forward purchases when market conditions are optimal and satisfying the balance of their usage requirements by prudent use of the hourly market.
Since 2009, the program has resulted in $2 million in savings for participants. “Districts are continually searching for ways to minimize expenses through collaborative programs, consortium services, bulk purchasing, etc.,” commented Gina Brillhart, Chief Financial Officer for IU 13. “Maximizing our buying power and purchasing strategies, and partnering with a reputable supplier to secure electricity, was an innovative solution to the rising cost of electricity. The program has proven successful and continues to strengthen.”
To date 17 districts in Lancaster County along with the Lancaster County Tax Collection Bureau have joined the IU 13 Electricity Procurement Program and have benefited from the savings. Programs of a similar nature have been established in York County, PA, as well as other neighboring counties through the support of IU 13 and other partners across the state.
“An organization’s bottom line can be positively impacted by implementing a customized energy strategy, as seen with IU 13,” said Mike Senff, Vice President, North American Sales and Marketing for Direct Energy Business. “By switching to PowerPortfolio, IU 13 offered its members an efficient, cost-effective energy solution that matched their usage profiles.”
IU 13 and Villanova University form a new partnership to expand services locally.
September 2, 2011 - Lancaster and Lebanon, PA: Through a newly formed partnership between Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU 13) and Villanova University, local Human Resources professionals will have an opportunity to increase skills and organizational practices by earning the Professional in Human Resources (PHR®) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®) certification. For the first time in Lancaster and Lebanon counties, this program will be offered locally at The Conference and Training Center at IU 13, in Lancaster, PA.
“Until now, participants had to either study online or travel a significant distance for the preparatory course,” commented Flip Steinour, Director of Human Resources Services for IU 13. “Through this partnership with Villanova, professionals in the area will have local access to this programs, which enriches the experience and helps participants develop local networking communities for future needs. The SPHR accreditation is highly valued by IU 13 and within the human resources profession.”
Classes for the new program begin this September with The SHRM Learning System®, which is a PHR/SPHR preparatory course. The SHRM Learning System® is rated as a top preparatory course and has been designed by subject matter experts. The 13-week study course will begin on September 21st, leading up to the Professional Human Resources Certification test in December. Participants who complete the program and pass all assessments will receive a certificate and 3.6 Continuing Education Units from Villanova University, as well as a certificate from the Society for Human Resources Management.
James Kane, Director of Continuing Studies at Villanova University commented, “We strive to ignite change through quality adult education. The partnership with IU 13 reflects our belief that the Lancaster and Lebanon areas are growing and developing new industries/businesses. The participants will earn certifications that are nationally recognized and valued by employers.”
According to the SHRM website, there are roughly 100,000 HR professionals worldwide with the PHR or SPHR accreditation. To the employer’s benefit, having an accredited HR professional will strengthen the HR department and support organizational growth. To the individual’s benefit, earning the PHR or SPHR credentials adds to employability, demonstrates a mastered body of knowledge for the HR field, strengthens knowledge of HR topics and legislations, and provides professional growth.
“The idea behind this partnership came from the staff at IU 13, commented Steinour. “Several staff within the department recently earned the PHR or SPHR credentials and had to travel for the study course. The staff suggested hosting a course, which led to the partnership discussion with Villanova University. This is a wonderful opportunity for local professionals looking to increase their knowledge of the field.”
The SHRM Learning System® prep course will begin on September 21, 2011. It will be hosted at The Conference and Training Center at IU 13, 1020 New Holland Avenue, in Lancaster. For additional details, please contact IU 13 at 717-606-1623 or visit http://www.villanova.edu/vpaa/continuingstudies/programs/certificates/hr/certificate.htm.
June 16, 2011 - Lancaster & Lebanon, PA: At the June 15th IU 13 Board of School Directors' meeting, the board approved a wage freeze volunteered by IU 13 teachers and the administrative team. The combined savings from this wage freeze is projected at nearly $2.5 million. In addition, earlier this year the IU 13 Board approved a retirement incentive for employees with a projected savings of $1.2 million. Combined projected savings are estimated to be $3.7 million.
While IU 13 is not a taxing entity, these savings will be passed on to the twenty-two school districts in Lancaster and Lebanon counties through the reduced cost of education services, for example, reading specialists, occupational therapists, professional development, and special education services. Ultimately, the taxpayers are the beneficiaries of these savings.
“This hasn’t been easy for anyone,” commented Dr. Cynthia Burkhart, IU 13 Executive Director. “Like everyone else, our staff members are dealing with unemployed family members, rising food and gas costs, and tight family budgets. I’m proud of them for voluntarily making this sacrifice for the good of the organization and the districts we serve.”
“The Lancaster-Lebanon IU Education Association (LLIUEA), being sensitive to the taxpayers and IU 13, worked on behalf of our members to negotiate a fair compromise to ensure that vital programs and services would continue to be available to the students we serve,” commented Wendy Nelson, LLIUEA President.
Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU 13) is an education service agency dedicated to delivering irresistible services and programs to school districts and communities in Lancaster and Lebanon counties, across the state, nationally, and internationally.
June 7, 2011 - Lancaster/Lebanon, PA: As the days grow longer and the roses bloom, students from across Lancaster and Lebanon counties begin to plan for the next phase of their life. Summer looms, and their time as students with IU 13 is ending. They have worked hard, laughed, learned, and reached amazing accomplishments, but now they must make the next move -- be it a postsecondary educational experience or securing a job. Through the support of IU 13 teachers, paraeducators, counselors, and other caring staff members, these students are up to the challenge. This time of the year is filled with senior celebrations, appreciation luncheons, and graduation ceremonies. Each event has its own flair, special guest speakers, success stories, and poignant moments. Reflecting on this year, there was:
- Robert who realized that quitting school was not really a good idea and proudly received his diploma in front of classmates, teachers, family, and friends;
- Sarah who enchanted the audience with a violin solo;
- Jamil who brought a smile to the face of everyone he worked with at Yurchak Printing;
- James who was invited by Willow Valley Retirement Communities to serve as a guest speaker at the Willow Valley Employee Recognition Dinner;
- The students who successfully embraced the Lebanon Project SEARCH program at the VA Hospital and secured employment post graduation,
- The thousands of adult learners who have a “new lease on life” having completed their English as a second language certification and/or passed the GED Exam, and
- The hundreds of students who worked with area businesses this year showing every-one that they are ready to face the world.
These stories are heartwarming, inspiring, and motivating. As a member of the audience listening to these student accomplishments, you can feel the enthusiasm. You sense their pride and their certainty about entering the “real world.” Being a member of the audience at these events is always inspiring. Applauding their accomplishments and congratulating their families is rewarding. There are many ways to “close out the school year,” but nothing is as powerful as attending one of these events. Congratulations to all of the student who are graduating from IU 13 programs this spring, and congratulations to the staff members who have made these celebrations possible.
Graduation and Year-end Celebrations for IU 13 programs are posted on the IU 13 website and Facebook page. Information is also available by calling 717-606-1600 (Lancaster) and 717-450-1500 (Lebanon). Remaining events includes the Lebanon County GED Celebration on Monday, June 13th, and the Lancaster County GED Celebration on Friday, June 17th.
June 7, 2011 - Lancaster, PA: In response to student requests, the IU 13 Vision Program launched a new initiative this year, and it proved to be a smashing success! The initiative was an education club for visually impaired teenagers. Through the club, students had the opportunity to share their experiences of being a visually impaired or blind student in middle school and high school settings. The program scheduled three meetings this past year, and with each one, the attendance (and mentoring) continued to grow. Topics discussed through the year included:
Securing equipment and adaptations for students to use in the school setting.
Making and keeping friends.
Accessing recreational opportunities in the community.
In addition, graduates from the IU 13 Vision Program served as guest speakers and helped outline the agenda for meetings. “It is helpful for the students to hear from past graduates about what to expect in the workforce or at college, and how to self-advocate effectively,” commented Robin Adler, Orientation and Mobility Specialist for the IU 13 Vision Program.
With the first year coming to a close, the Vision Program reflects on the new club as a success. “This initiative has been rewarding for our students and staff,” commented Adler. “We have had very positive feedback from students and parents. The group gives students an opportunity to bond.” The Vision Program plans to continue the Teen Group next year.
May 18, 2011 - Lancaster, PA: Hundreds of students from across Lancaster County joined together on May 16 and 17 to compete against each other in the 24 Math Challenge, each striving to be crowned the new champion. The 24 Math Game® is wildly popular among youth. The object – form the number 24 using the numbers presented to you on a game card. Students can add, subtract, multiply, or divide, using all four numbers on the card only once. The game is played with 3-4 students. A card is placed in front of them, which contains four numbers. The first student to successfully solve how the numbers equal 24 wins that round. Now add the competitive edge and speed of four students sitting around a table to make the game that much harder and exciting for math enthusiasts! For example, using the enclosed card: 4 x 3 = 12, 12 x 2 = 24, 24 ÷ 1 = 24.
Students learn the game and practice all year to master the skills. While having fun, they are learning valuable math skills that will help them throughout life. Students play with friends, parents, family members, and teachers. After months of practice and district-level competitions, students from Grades 4-8 attend the final tournament at IU 13, representing their school district and their grade, with a desire to be crowned the 24 Math Challenge Champion. On May 16 and 17, three new 24 Math Challenge Champions were crowned - Abdallah Saad from Cocalico School District, Tyler Brown from Manheim Township School District, and Connor Martin from Cocalico School District.
“The 24 Math Challenge is such an amazing experience for the students,” commented Amy Houck, Mathematics Counselor for IU 13 who oversees the event. “The students have a love for math and enjoy the opportunity to play the game with fellow math enthusiasts. The competition is intense, yet friendly. I am continually impressed by the advanced mathematic skills of the students and their encouragement of one another.”
Along with students from across Lancaster County, Millersville University supported the program by providing students from the mathematics program to serve as proctors. “The support that Millersville University offers to this event is wonderful,” commented Houck. “They (the MU students) help the competitors see that ‘it’s cool to like numbers.’”
The 24 Math Challenge is conducted each May by IU 13. Students from public and nonpublic schools within Lancaster County are invited to participate. For more information about The 24 Math Game®, please visit http://www.24game.com/t-about-history.aspx. The site includes a video showing the game in action and the excitement of the kids. It’s contagious!
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