All media inquiries and questions should be sent in writing to Amy Beaver, Marketing and Communications Specialist.

  • CAIU Innovation Grant winners develop alternative communication systems camp for families

    Jan 31, 2018

    Jill Bradley and Yvonne Shreffler, preschool speech pathologists at Capital Area Intermediate Unit, recently won a CAIU Innovation Grant to develop a camp for nonverbal preschoolers and their families who communicate or wish to communicate with Augmented and Alternative Communication Systems (AAC). The two-day camp, named Let’s Talk AAC, will be held April 20 and 21.

    Let’s Talk AAC will provide parent education and activities for children ages two and a half years through preschool who are nonverbal and use AAC to communicate. The first day will feature a parent training session while children practice using their system in fun learning stations with trained volunteers. Parents and children will also have the opportunity to do activities together. During the second day, parents and children will go on a scavenger hunt at the Capital City Mall. During the hunt, parents will assist their children with functional use of their system to encourage children to ask questions and request items.

    What is AAC?
    AAC users use a variety of communication systems. Systems range from no tech to high tech and include sign language, gestures, picture exchange systems, language boards, and a variety of voice output systems that range from simple switches that say pre-programmed words or phrases to apps on tablets to specially designed computer systems with built-in language.

  • Spring Sign Language Classes

    Jan 19, 2018
    Registration is open for the following Sign Language Classes which are scheduled on Tuesdays from 6-8:00pm, February 20 to April 10, 2018.

    Level I - This is a beginner class. No previous experience with sign language is needed. The course will include ABC's and numbers, basic vocabulary, light conversation and an introduction to Deaf Culture.

    Level II - Not available for Spring Session

    Level III - This class will focus on using ASL in conversation. It is designed for those who have completed Levels 1 and 2 and would like more exposure to American Sign Language. Topics covered will include classifiers, non-manual markers, idioms, and ASL grammar within conversational topics.

    Deadline to register is Monday, February 12, 2018.

    For more information regarding registration and to view the brochure please Click Here.

    Dec 06, 2017

    Saia, AEnola, PA – After an extensive search and interview process from a rich pool of candidates, the Capital Area Intermediate Unit (CAIU) Board of Directors will consider the appointment of Dr. Andria Saia as the Executive Director of the CAIU at a special board meeting to be held on Thursday, December 7, at 8:00 a.m. at the Capital Area Intermediate Unit, 55 Miller Street, Enola, PA. 

    The CAIU Board of Directors received applications from top educators in the tristate area. Among the applicants were superintendents, assistant superintendents, and candidates with extensive experience as administrators at intermediate units.  

    The finalist, Dr. Andria Saia, was most recently the Assistant Superintendent of the Chester Upland School District, where she managed student services and transportation; oversaw board policy and administrative regulations and the supervision of secondary principals; and served on the Superintendent’s leadership team and as the union liaison.

    “We are extremely pleased to appoint a person with Dr. Saia’s experience and background as the next Executive Director of the Capital Area Intermediate Unit,” said Jean Rice, President of the CAIU Board of Directors. “She will be able to continue and expand upon the great work of the CAIU under leadership of Cindy Mortzfeldt.”

    Mrs. Mortzfeldt will be retiring at the end of December after working at CAIU for more than 31 years.

    “Dr. Saia’s experience as an assistant superintendent, intermediate unit administrator, and attorney provide her with a unique set of experiences and skills that will serve CAIU and its member districts very well,” said Rice.

    Prior to Chester Upland, Dr. Saia supervised special programs at the Delaware County Intermediate Unit in southeastern Pennsylvania. She also was a practicing attorney and a shareholder for 10 years in a law firm specializing in school law, where she provided legal services to school districts across the Commonwealth.

    “I am honored and excited to be chosen to lead the Capital Area IU in sustaining and improving the great work of its educators,” said Dr. Saia.  “Borrowing a quote from Anne Frank that I have always thought profoundly applicable to education: 'how wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.’”

    Dr. Saia will begin her duties as CAIU Executive Director on January 1, 2018. The CAIU Board of Directors was assisted in the search process by the Chester County Intermediate Unit. The Chester County Intermediate provides executive search services to school districts and intermediate units throughout the Commonwealth.

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  • Elizabeth Sheaffer receives the 2017/18 Josephine J. Decima Award for Excellence in the Field of Special Education

    Dec 04, 2017
    Elizabeth Sheaffer, 2017 CAIU Decima Award Winner

    The Capital Area Intermediate Unit is proud to announce that Elizabeth Sheaffer, a teacher at Boiling Springs High School, is the winner of this year’s Decima award. Sheaffer is an educator in a multiple disabilities classroom, which she likes to refer to as a multiple abilities classroom. The Decima award was established to honor the life of the late Josephine Decima, a former CAIU educator, who helped pioneer the field of special education in central Pennsylvania. Sheaffer was presented with the award at the South Middleton School Board Meeting on December 4.

    “My older brother was born with a chromosomal abnormality and diagnosed at birth with cerebral palsy, mental retardation, deafness and blindness,” said Sheaffer. “It is his positive educational experiences [at Western Pennsylvania School for the Blind Children] that lured me to this teaching profession and led me to believe that every single child deserves an opportunity to be educated, no matter how severe his or her disabilities are.”

    Sheaffer said she is honored to receive the Decima Award, but added that student success is a team effort that includes passionate paraprofessionals, knowledgeable therapists and supportive administrators.


    About Josephine Decima

    During her nearly 40-year career in teaching, Josephine J. Decima was a pioneer in the field of special education in central Pennsylvania. She believed that students with special needs were entitled to a strong academic program supplemented by life-skills training. She fought tirelessly to improve instructional programs and experiences for children with physical and mental challenges. Decima was a lifelong advocate for special-needs children, and an inspirational role model for teachers.

    The CAIU proudly established the Josephine J. Decima Award in 2010 to recognize and honor teachers who exemplify her outstanding work on behalf of students with special needs.

  • CAIU Executive Director Search Underway

    Nov 06, 2017

    The CAIU Board of Directors has been working with the Chester County Intermediate Unit to search for an executive director to replace Cindy Mortzfeldt, who is retiring in December.

    The position has been advertised throughout the commonwealth and tristate areas. In addition, focus groups have been conducted with superintendents and administrators from school districts served by CAIU, as well as with CAIU staff and parents. From the focus groups, the board will develop a candidate profile and an array of interview questions that center on the needs and challenges facing the intermediate unit.

    The CAIU Board of Directors is on target to have the search process completed by late fall in order to have an executive director who can assume his or her responsibilities at the CAIU in December 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter.

    We look forward to working with the community to bring an outstanding educational leader to CAIU!

  • Deadline Extended for Nominations for the Decima Award in Special Education

    Oct 03, 2017

    Do you know an educator who goes above and beyond in the area of special education? Please consider nominating them for the 2017 Josephine J. Decima Award. This award is presented annually to a teacher in the CAIU’s service area whose commitment and service in the field of special education epitomizes the qualities that Josephine Decima demonstrated in her work with children.

    The winner will be honored by the CAIU and presented with a $500 monetary award donated by the Decima family.   

    Nominees should demonstrate:

    • Advocacy for the educational needs of all children, especially those with physical and mental challenges.
    • Compassion for students with special needs.
    • Commitment to help children with special needs become a vital part of the community.
    • Effort to provide valuable and practical life experiences for students with special needs.
    • Willingness to share knowledge, skills, and experiences with colleagues in order to strengthen educational programs and pedagogy.

    Nominations can come from professionals or the community. Nominees must be an educator of students with special needs who works within the CAIU service area, and must hold PA Level II Certification in the area of special education.

    2017 Decima Award Nomination Instructions and Application
    (Download to complete application)

    Nomination Deadline: Friday, November 10, 2017

  • Fall Sign Language Classes

    Sep 06, 2017
    Registration is open for the following Sign Language Classes which are scheduled on Tuesdays from 6-8:00pm, September 19 to November 14, 2017.


    Level II - This class assumes that the participant has acquired basic skills taught in an introductory course. The course will continue vocabulary development. Level II will also introduce classifiers, directionality, and some basic ASL grammar.

    Deadline to register is Tuesday, September 12, 2017.

    For more information regarding registration and to view the brochure please Click Here.
  • Second Annual Tinker Expo, October 17

    Sep 05, 2017

    The Capital Area Intermediate Unit is excited to announce that registration is open for its second annual Tinker Expo on Tuesday, October 17, 2017.

    The Tinker Expo will feature the latest in maker-movement inspired products and projects supporting the 4 Cs in education: creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. The day will be full of opportunities for conversations with educators and organizations to inspire attendees to become an innovative practitioner.

    The Tinker Expo will feature the latest in maker-movement inspired products and projects supporting the 4 Cs in education: creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. The day will be full of opportunities for conversations with educators and organizations to inspire attendees to become an innovative practitioner.

    Breakout EDU Workshop, 1-3:30 p.m.
    Register for an introductory workshop that focuses on problem solving and engaging students of any age in their learning. BreakoutEDU games were created by teachers to teach critical thinking, teamwork, complex problem solving, and can be used in all content areas. Workshop leaders will outline how a simple kit of locks, keys, and codes can be employed to provide a variety of classroom activities. Walk away with your own Breakout EDU kit to use in your classroom/school! Seats are limited to 20 participants and preregistration is required. The workshop fee is $100.

    Food trucks
    Food trucks will also be onsite for lunch. Registration includes a $10 lunch voucher to use at the food trucks of your choice.

    Space is limited! Register today at the following link:

  • CAIU seeking next executive director

    Aug 07, 2017

    The Capital Area Intermediate Unit (CAIU) is seeking an exceptional educational leader to be its next executive director. The CAIU Board of Directors is looking for a forward-thinking leader who has a strong academic background and experience managing an administrative team. Candidates should demonstrate excellent communication skills, solid business acumen, compassionate leadership, proactive decision-making, consensus-building abilities, and entrepreneurial expertise.

    The CAIU is offering a four-year contract that features a regionally competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package. Candidates must possess, or be eligible for, a Pennsylvania Superintendent Letter of Eligibility. The successful candidate will be required to submit state and federal criminal and child abuse clearances required by Pennsylvania State law.

    About the CAIU
    The CAIU serves the needs of over 6,500 students and their families in Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry and northern York counties with a variety of educational programs, including: special education, gifted education, alternative education, online education, preschool education, statewide initiatives, and other unique educational programming.  Students receive direct and indirect services in the CAIU’s 24-member school districts, two vocational technical schools, over 50 non-public schools, charter schools, cyber charter schools, and other educational institutions.

    Review of applications will begin in October 2017. The target date for employment is December 2017. Chester County Intermediate Unit is conducting the confidential search on behalf of the CAIU Board of Directors. The new executive director will replace Cindy Mortzfeldt, who is retiring in December after 39 years in public education. 

    Interested applicants should send a letter of interest and application materials to Dr. Joseph O’Brien, Chester County Intermediate Unit, 455 Boot Road, Downingtown, PA 19335 or via email at

    For more information and application instructions, visit or email All applications and inquiries will be kept strictly confidential. The Capital Area Intermediate Unit is an equal opportunity employer.

  • CAIU’s Daren Moran granted PASBO professional registration

    Aug 07, 2017

    Moran, DarenDaren Moran, business manager of the Capital Area Intermediate Unit (CAIU), has been approved for initial status as a Pennsylvania Registered School Business Administrator (PRSBA) by the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO).

    Moran has been employed by the CAIU since 2003.  He is primarily responsible for planning, organizing, directing and coordinating the daily business operations and activities of the CAIU. He also is responsible for the planning and implementation of business related policies, programs and procedures to ensure the safeguarding of the CAIU's assets. Moran also serves as the treasurer for CAIU's educational foundation, Champions for Children.

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