The Berks County Intermediate Unit, through the Office of Early Childhood & Student Services, sponsors and conducts alternative education and emotional support classes at various sites throughout Berks County. Skilled teams of teachers and classroom specialists work closely to ensure students receive education in a supportive environment.

Ultimately, our goal is to prepare students for a successful return to a traditional school or for the completion of their formal secondary education.

Alternative education provides programming for students who have been unsuccessful in their home school district due to behavior problems or anti-social behavior; who have substance/chemical abuse issues; who have been charged with/convicted of a crime; who are in the country illegally or are awaiting a determination hearing; and/or who have been removed from their homes by order of the court and are awaiting placement.

Programming can be residential or school-based.

BCIU Learning Academy at Thomas Ford

The BCIU Learning Academy at Thomas Ford is an AEDY (Alternative Education for Disruptive Youth) program designed to provide an educationally conducive instructional environment for eligible students from the RSD (Reading School District) only.

The program is designed so that students from RSD in grades 6 through 12 are able to continue their educational progress in an alternative education setting with the least amount of disruption and distraction with a goal of being promoted to the next grade level at a proficient level and/or graduation. The program is also designed to ensure the safety of all students and staff as well as the maintenance of an orderly and educationally productive environment.

The BCIU Learning Academy at Thomas Ford is located at 901 Margaret Street, Reading, PA 19611.

For more information please contact Mrs. Sara George, director, at or 610-987-8656.

Education Program at Berks County Jail 

The BCIU provides instructional services to youth who have been charged with, and/or convicted of, an adult crime. They receive academic diagnostics and remedial education, allowing them to work toward a high school diploma or general education diploma.

For more information on the Berks County Jail System, visit their website at

Education Programs at Caron Treatment Centers

The Berks County Intermediate Unit provides basic instruction to students who have been placed in a Caron treatment center program due to chemical and/or alcohol dependency. This short-term educational program prepares students for re-entry into their regular school environment while they are engaged in residential treatment for recovery from addiction. Also, it allows them to maintain skills and get school credit while in treatment.

For more information on the Caron Treatment Centers, visit their Web site at

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Education Program

The BCIU provides educational services at Berks Heim to foreign youth who are in the United States without a valid visa and who are awaiting a determination hearing.

contact: Sara George – 610-987-8656 –