BLaST Intermediate Unit 17 provides a variety of professional development services and technical assistance to school districts and their staff in partnership with the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) and the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Bureau of Special Education. Educational Consultants have been identified in specific areas to serve as a contact point for districts. This group of people is referred to as the "A" (Assistance) Team.


Educational Assistance Team
Amy Breon, Reading Support Consultant (570) 323-8561
Holli Caine, Behavior Support Consultant (570) 673-6001
Jerry Christy, Curriculum/Standards Consultant (570) 673-6001
Cori Cotner, Professional Development Consultant (570) 323-8561
Todd Moyer, Procedural Safeguards (570) 323-8561
Melissa Peddigree, Behavior Support Consultant (570) 323-8561
Neva Reese, Assistive Technology Consultant (570) 673-6001
Brenda Roberts, Transition/Interagency Consultant (570) 673-6001
Bud Rutherford, Behavior Support Consultant (570) 673-6001
Kelly Swartwood, Behavior Support Consultant (570) 323-8561
Assistance Team Links

     The Intermediate Unit provides behavioral support to assist districts in designing and implementing proactive school-wide behavioral suppport systems for all children.

     Our consultants provide on-site guided practice and training in the areas of effective behavior supports. These supports assist school districts in evaluating their present practices and design strategies that increase local capacity in providing effective behavior support. Recognizing that a very small percentage of students need a more intensive and individualized approach, we offer services through the CASSP System.

     Transition services are intended to prepare students to make the transition from the world of school to the world of adulthood. The transition services themselves are a coordinated set of activities that are based on the student's needs and that take into account his or her preferences and interests. Services provided by BLaST IU#17 Transition Consultant: " Evaluate transition services in local areas. " Establish countywide transition councils. " Strengthen local transition councils. " Develop new community agency contacts. " Research funding sources for service development. " Liaison with the State Interagency Advisory Committee on Transition " Provide technical assistance and inservice training to districts and agencies
     Early intervention training is available for pre-school service providers including all of the Head Start Programs in our four county area. The Intermediate Unit also provides training to private daycare providers, parents and other agencies as part of our comprehensive child-find activities.
     Interagency consultants across the Intermediate Unit provide training and coordinate interagency networking for specific projects, such as, participation in countywide task forces, interagency councils, career fairs and community partnerships for securing grants. They also serve as liaisons between school districts and community agencies.
     Chapter 16 Regulations guide the education of students considered gifted and talented. Because programming for these students is different than that of other exceptional students, the Intermediate Unit provides liaison services to the districts we serve. Our consultant works with districts to develop performance-based assessments, extension activities and training in curriculum compacting to assist teachers in educating gifted and talented students.
     The Intermediate Unit provides professional development and awareness programs on best practice in the area of augmentative technology. Our staff provides direct service to districts in the evaluation and use of technology in fulfilling the needs of students. Equipment acquisition, grant development and instruction in the use of assistive devices are also provided. Information for staff and parents concerning specific students' systems is available.

     IU #17 provides professional development and ongoing consultation to school districts and early childhood providers. Instructional practices addressed in our professional development programs include: phonemic awareness, guided reading, balanced literacy and developmentally appropriate strategies. Reading and literacy consultants provide school districts with customized professional development and assist them in implementing school-wide literacy programs based on best practice.

     Training in curriculum development and ongoing consultation to districts is another service provided by the Intermediate Unit. Curriculum services to districts include curriculum assessments for alignment, articulation and compliance with state mandates. Workshops include performance-based instruction and assessment, standards-based education and curriculum related topics.
     Intensive interagency consultation is directed at a small percentage of students that require more intensive and individualized approaches to behavioral support. The Intermediate Unit Consultant works with the school, family and appropriate social service agencies to develop a program that allows students success in a least restrictive environment, academically and socially.
     Constituent school disticts within the Intermediate Unit may request customized professional development based on individual district need. Examples of customized programs are guest teacher training, paraprofessional inservicing, countywide inservice development and technology training. Workshop development is based on written needs assessments to ensure programs are relevant to their audience.
     Standards-based education has become a focus in the state of Pennsylvania. The Intermediate Unit provides standards consultants to disseminate information from the Department of Education and to provide training to assist districts in developing standards-based teaching practice. Standards consultants also work directly with teachers in groups or individually to develop standards-based classroom pedagogy.