Coronavirus (COVID-19) Latest Updates


NEW January 22, 2021 (Phone call, text)

CAIU families, 

Please see recent updates to the following calendars:

Center Point Day Program at Diakon and Conewago DHH Students and Families: CAIU will return to daily in-person instruction in February. 
Center Point Day Program at Diakon
Conewago DHH Calendar

Preschool Early Intervention Families: Please review the updated weather procedures and updated Preschool Early Intervention calendar.

School-age Class Students and Families: The hybrid model is extended through February. To see your child’s updated calendar, CLICK HERE and choose your child’s location.

Our organization has been working with local pharmacies to set-up a COVID-19 vaccine clinic for our education staff. We will need to shift to virtual instruction on the date of the clinic. We do not yet have a date and anticipate that we will not be given much notice. As soon as we know the clinic date, we will let you know as it may be an additional day of virtual instruction.

Please reach out to your child’s teacher or supervisor/principal with any questions.

Alicia McDonald
Director of Student Services


December 15, 2020 (Blackboard Connect Message)

Good afternoon CAIU families, 

As we have continued to receive storm prediction updates from our county emergency management officials, we have made the decision to err on the side of safety and SHIFT our classroom services (preschool and school-age) to VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION beginning TOMORROW, Wednesday the 16th.

We will stay in virtual instruction through the remainder of this week and follow the 20-21 virtual instructional schedule that was shared yesterday.

We value your support and understanding and hope that this helps keep you and your child safe through this weather event and through the Covid-transmissions after the holidays.

Please be safe and well and we wish you a wonderful holiday season.
Alicia McDonald
Director of Student Services



November 20, 2020 

CAIU Families,  

On Tuesday, November 17, 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued updated orders regarding traveler testing and strengthened masking that directly impact our schools and classrooms. Health and safety remains a top priority, and we hope to continue to provide a safe environment by adhering to these updates.

Traveler Testing: Per the order, individuals who travel outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must provide a negative COVID-19 test from a specimen collected within 72 hours prior to entering the state, or quarantine for 14 days upon their return, unless exempt under the order.

The following procedure will be implemented for children and students in CAIU classrooms who travel out of state.

  • To return to in-person learning without quarantining, families must provide a student’s negative COVID-19 test to their child’s teacher prior to returning to the classroom.
  • If your child is traveling out of state and will be quarantining, please let your child’s teacher or program supervisor know as soon as possible. If feasible, we will work with you to establish virtual learning during the quarantine time.

Strengthened Masking Order: This updated order strengthens the initial April 15 masking order with the following inclusions:

  • Masks are required to be worn indoors and outdoors if away from your home.
  • When indoors, masks will now be required even if physically distant from other individuals. This means that even if there is 6 feet of separation, staff and children will need to wear a mask.

As per the updated order, CAIU staff, students, and visitors are required to wear a face covering indoors and outdoors. As a reminder, “face covering” means covering of the nose, mouth, and chin with a material that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is wrapped around the lower face. Unless otherwise approved, a face shield alone does not satisfy this new order.

For children and students with extenuating conditions, we will continue to work with you and them to increase mask tolerance or address other alternatives. If your child needs a mask(s), please let your child’s teacher know.

Daily Symptom Screening: Please see the below daily COVID-19 symptom screening checklist and keep your child home if they are experiencing ANY possible COVID-19 symptoms. If there has been a confirmed case or close contact in your family, please notify your child’s teacher.

Please know that we sincerely understand these changes, which are now in effect, will place additional burdens on our students and families. However, our organization is responsible for adhering to these state-issued orders.

Thank you for your continued support in keeping everyone in your child’s environment safe.

Alicia M. McDonald
Director of Student Services


August 26, 2020

CAIU Families,

On behalf of all our staff and schools, we are ready and excited to welcome your children back to school! You should have received an assignment letter that included some of our planned health and safety procedures – including student and staff mask wearing, cleaning, and social distancing plans. 

Please continue to visit the CAIU website, for information on health and safety, your child’s program calendar, parent handbooks, and other useful resources. Click here for helpful tips for families and kids wearing masks.

Remember to keep your child home if they show symptoms. For a list of symptoms, visit the PA Department of Health website or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.  

Please be sure to provide or update your emergency contact information. If you have any questions, please reach out to your child’s program supervisor.

We know that this year will certainly be an adjustment, but we are ready to work with you and your child to support a smooth return to school. Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to greeting our students this year!

Alicia M. McDonald
Director of Student Services

August 6, 2020 (Phone Call & Text)

Hello preschool families,

This is Alicia McDonald, Director of Student Services. I hope you are enjoying your summer.

I want to provide an update about our calendar.

Fall preschool students will start the week of August 31st.

That is a change to the calendar. 

Please check the CAIU website for more information about the opening of fall session, the calendar, and a welcome letter from supervisors.

Thank you. 

Alicia M. McDonald
Director of Student Services

July 22, 2020 (Website Post)

Good afternoon families, 

I hope you are having a safe summer! Since we are getting closer to the start of the 2020-21 school year, I wanted to reach out with a brief update.

We are sending our Health & Safety Plan to the CAIU Board this week and also working on Program Safety & Instructional Plans. There will be additional communications sent out as those documents are shared.

There will be new and enhanced protocols and practices in place to maintain student safety and health. More details will be shared as we move forward.

SCHOOL-AGE Hill Top Academy Classrooms: We are developing a plan that will allow us to welcome all students back to Hill Top Academy full-time, in-person on August 25th as originally scheduled.

SCHOOL-AGE District Classrooms: We are developing plans that will allow us to welcome all school-age students back to our classroom locations, full-time, in-person and are coordinating those plans with our host school districts and IU sites.

PRESCHOOL: We are working on developing a plan to safely bring all students who wish to come back in-person in a model that will align with CDC recommendations and guidelines. For those who do not wish to send students in-person, our virtual model is being revised to provide the best possible services for you and your child.

If you have not yet completed the Re-entry Survey via the link provided by your case manager, please do so as soon as possible.

We will be providing more communication and share updates in the weeks to come. If you have specific questions, please contact to your child’s program supervisor.


Alicia M. McDonald, M.S.
Director of Student Services

April 5, 2020 (Website Post)

Dear Parent and/or Guardian,

I hope that this letter finds you and your family well. The past three weeks have been filled with many changes for families, schools, and our community. Most of you have had to alter your family schedules, routines, and daily practices to conform with the mandated closure of schools.

The Capital Area Intermediate Unit (CAIU) wants to take this opportunity to communicate personally with our families who have a child with a disability, as you may have additional questions and be facing unique challenges related to your child’s specific needs. Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we move through this unprecedented situation together. Our team has been working diligently to put together meaningful learning experiences for your child. 

The CAIU has developed a Continuity of Education Plan to address curriculum, instruction, and assessment as well as specially designed instruction in IEPs. Your child’s providers, including special education teachers and related service providers, have been developing activities and resources to share with students. These activities and resources, while not mandatory, have been developed with the intent of re-establishing connections and extending the learning that has occurred throughout this school year. The information being shared will include both online and offline activities. Special education teachers and related service providers are available to support you and your child, providing answers to questions about your child’s daily activities.

Your child’s service provider or LEA will be mailing two important documents. The first is a Notice of Recommended Educational Placement (NOREP). This document outlines that during the mandated school closure, we are not able to replicate all of the programming that is currently outlined in your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) in the home setting. Upon your child’s return to school, the CAIU will immediately begin providing all services as outlined in your child’s IEP. The second document, attached to the NOREP, outlines the activities and opportunities being made available to your child during this mandated closure. We ask that you carefully review both documents, sign the NOREP, and return to the CAIU by mailing it in the envelope provided. We continue to be committed to protecting and maintaining your child’s privacy and the confidentiality of his/her information.  Please visit the CAIU website for additional information and resources regarding FERPA, Remote Services Notice and Consent, and other resources that may be helpful or informative to you (

We are committed to maintaining communication with you and will alert you to any changes that may arise. I appreciate your understanding and flexibility during this unprecedented time in public education and am confident that, working together, we will successfully engage our students while doing our part to keep students, families, staff, and the community healthy. 


Alicia M. McDonald, M.S.
Director of Student Services

March 24, 2020 (Website Post)

CAIU Families, 

Per Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s directive, Capital Area Intermediate Unit (CAIU) will continue closure of our programs and services through Thursday, April 9 to resist the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Resources: Our Student Services and Educational Services teams have been collecting and gathering resources for parents/guardians to voluntarily use. Access to these resources is available on our website at by clicking the “Family Resources” button. 

Resources available include information about school district meal distribution, wellness and agency connections, and links to educational websites. 

Technology Survey: In the coming days, please be aware that we will be asking parents/guardians to complete a short survey about technology and internet availability to your child. Gathering this information will help our team to determine the best ways we can continue to provide services during these unprecedented times. 

Calendar Adjustments: Revised school/classroom calendars will be shared with families closer to our reopening date.

If you need to update your contact information, please do so by going to the following secure site:

We greatly appreciate all of our CAIU families for their continued support, understanding, and patience as we determine the best approach to meet the educational needs of our students. CAIU’s staff is dedicated and unwavering with our commitment to overcome the new challenges we are facing each day.


Alicia McDonald
Director of Student Services

March 13, 2020, 4:30 p.m. (Phone Call)

Dear CAIU Parents and Guardians,

The CAIU will be following our local school districts and closing all of our programs and services from Monday, March 16th through Friday, March 27th.

As you know, the community, state, and federal response to Coronovirus is ever-changing.  We will send any updates as soon as they are known.

Additional information and resources will be shared on our website,, or through these messages.

Please follow PA Department of Health guideline and stay safe and healthy.

Alicia M. McDonald
Director of Student Services

March 13, 2020, 2:30 p.m. (Letter)

Dear Parent/Guardian,

As part of our ongoing efforts to keep you informed of updates related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to be proactive in testing our emergency communications methods.  We are scheduling a TEST CALL using our web-based communication system, Blackboard Connect.  This call will be sent this afternoon, Friday, March 13th at 4:30 PM.

We know that you may not receive this letter until after the call.  We do want to collect accurate and up-to-date contact information so we have multiple ways to communicate if the need should arise.

Blackboard Connect allows us to use two phone numbers per parent/guardian, and has the ability to call or send text messages. We can also send information via email and post updates on our website (  We will NOT post details of important updates on social media but may point families to one of the above sources of information.

We are working closely with our districts, community providers, the Department of Health (DoH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to monitor their recommendations and potential responses to the Coronavirus/Covid-19.

To ensure we have the most current contact information for you, please go to and complete the Google form.


Alicia M. McDonald, M.S.
Director of Student Services

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