From the desk of the Executive Director:
As I begin the position of your Executive Director at Intermediate Unit 1, I reflect upon the evolution of this organization. In 1971, our IU was formed as the initial pilot program in Pennsylvania. Its mission was to provide support for school districts throughout our three-county region in educating students with special needs and disabilities. Schools contracted with teachers and paraprofessionals to be housed in their respective districts to provide instruction for these students.
And so, it began…
Some 48 years later, there are now 29 IU’s across the Commonwealth as the pilot was a huge success. Intermediate Unit 1 now operates three campus schools (Colonial, Laboratory, and Waynesburg Schools) that specialize in aiding with Emotional Support, Comprehensive Therapeutic Emotional Support, Autism, as well as students with physical disabilities and mental health issues. We employ Psychologists and Social Workers who work with students in our districts as well as our campus-based schools. IU1 now consists of eight departments (Business Services, Curriculum, Human Resources, Operations, Non-Public – Federal Programs – English as a Second Language, Special Education, Technology Services and, our newest department - Mental Health Services).
In 2016, IU1 opened its first FAB Lab (Digital Fabrication Lab) at our Colonial School to service our alternative education students and students with special needs. In 2018, the second lab opened in our Waynesburg School. Plans are underway to open our third FAB Lab in our Laboratory School. This will provide FAB Labs in all three counties IU1 serves. IU1 also has two mobile FAB Labs, which travel to schools and community agencies that extends our outreach with this initiative.
As you explore our website to learn more about IU1, I encourage you to also learn more about the wonderful 25 districts that we serve in Fayette, Greene, and Washington Counties. Our districts are engaging in powerful programs such as Maker Spaces, Aquaponics, Personalized Learning, College/Career Readiness, just to name a few. There are also five Career-Technical Centers in our region that provide current and relevant programming for our students using state-of-the-art equipment and technology.
This is certainly an exciting time in education and I’m sure you will find that we are all doing some amazing things in Southwestern, PA!