Thursday, December 11, 2014

The OCM BOCES 2013-2014 Annual Report is now available

OCM BOCES and the educational community of Central New York have a regional vision for college, career and citizenship readiness. At the heart of the vision are three commitments: instruction that engages, culture that empowers, and technology that enables. As you look through this Annual Report you will see that programs and initiatives we have put into place this year are directly aligned with our regional vision’s commitments.  This year, more than ever, we have seen glimpses of the incredibly bright things that our students will have possible to them in their futures.

Click here to read the Annual Report.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute for 11th & 12th graders - App deadline Dec. 19th

The Mid-State Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBERN) at the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison (OCM) BOCES is currently seeking eligible 11th and 12th grade student applicants to participate in a unique leadership development opportunity. Hispanic/Latino juniors and seniors from Central New York school districts are invited to apply for a four-day leadership training, culminating with attendance at the 25th Annual Angelo Del Toro Puerto/Rican Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute in Albany, NY. This is a free event.

Students are required to attend the three training sessions at OCM BOCES (Feb. 5, Feb. 26 and March 7, 2015) in Syracuse, NY and one session at the Onondaga County Legislative Building (March 17, 2015) in Syracuse, NY. Selected students will attend the Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute in Albany, NY from March 21 through 23, 2015. Please note that all dates are subject to change.

Training opportunities have been aligned with Common Core requirements and are designed to empower Hispanic/Latino students. Participants will have multiple opportunities to interact and network with positive role models, other New York State Hispanic/Latino students, government officials, state trainers, business and community leaders. Additionally, the selected student delegates will participate in a mock assembly and debate legislation at the Albany conference. Several senior scholarship opportunities will be available.

Interested students should complete a PRHYLI Syracuse Delegation Application and submit it by the December 19, 2014 deadline. All applications must be submitted with the required supplemental pieces in order to be considered. Supplemental materials include: a competed essay, a minimum of two PRHYLI Syracuse Delegation Recommendations, a current high school transcript, parental consent and principal/guidance counselor consent form, a completed Student Contract, a completed Parental Medical Consent (English) or Parental Medical Consent (Spanish) and a completed College Survey. All forms are available online by clicking here or on the OCM BOCES PRHYLI webpage at

The Angelo Del Toro Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute is an innovative collaboration with the NYS Assembly/Senate Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force in conjunction with the annual SOMOS El Futuro conference, Office of Bilingual Education and Foreign Language Studies, the New York State City Board of Education, and other agencies as appropriate. For more information, visit the Syracuse Delegation PRHYLI webpage at
/teacherpage.cfm?teacher=697#one or contact Tanya Rosado-Barringer, coordinator, at 315-431-2664 or

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

OCM BOCES students to compete in 2015 Academic Bowl

A team of four students from the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison Board of Cooperative Education Services (OCM BOCES) Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program will compete at the 2015 Regional Academic Bowl for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students on December 11-14, 2014 at the New York State School for the Deaf in Rome, NY.

The OCM BOCES team is made up of students Aruasy Barrios, Amy Christen, Jacob Sikorski, and Vannessa  Zurbruegg, and led by head coach and OCM BOCES Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program teacher Lisa Austin and assistant coach and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program interpreter Penny Killeen (pictured at right, standing left to right: Barrios, Christen, Sikorski, Zurbruegg. Seated, left to right: Austin, Killeen).

The Academic Bowl is an extremely competitive, annual competition sponsored by Gallaudet University. It consists of five Regional Academic Bowls and a National Academic Bowl, which aim to foster the pursuit of academic excellence, promote a spirit of academic competition and good sportsmanship and encourage social opportunities among students.

“Our students have been working and studying daily since the end of September in preparation for the competition. They’re very excited and looking forward to it,” says Austin.

The team will compete on Friday, December 12, from 9:45 a.m. until 4:45 p.m., and again on Saturday, December 13, from 9:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Their fellow students in the OCM BOCES Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program and the Solvay American Sign Language class will attend Friday’s competition to support and cheer them on.

The New York School for the Deaf is located at 401 Turin Street, Rome, NY.

For more information about OCM BOCES, its Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program, and other educational opportunities for kids and adults, visit

Monday, November 17, 2014

Innovation Tech "offers students a unique learning experience"

OCM BOCES' Innovation Tech was profiled this morning in an article by Sarah Moses of the Syracuse Post-Standard/ Read the full story here.

Innovation Tech is the first and only New Tech high school in Central New York, located at the Lee G. Peters Career Training Center in Liverpool. Plans are proceeding for a second facility, in Cortland County, to open in September 2016. Innovation Tech employs a project-based learning approach that engages students with authentic learning and meaningful collaboration.

Students work in teams to creatively solve problems, working hand-in-hand with businesses in the community. All students at Innovation Tech earn college credit, participate in internships, and give back to the community through service learning. It's an approach to learning that reflects the 21st Century and the global environment in which we live. Relevant and student-driven learning begins with teaching that is engaging and a culture that is empowering. At Innovation Tech, students become self-directed learners who no longer depend on teachers and textbooks in a search for a single, right answer. Students use technology on a regular basis and not just as a special event--each student uses their own laptop computer to connect them to the world and facilitate the research and creativity that they need to be successful in their future. Students work in teams on authentic projects to develop critical thinking and communication skills. Teamwork builds social skills and work ethic critical in today's business environment.

Innovation Tech operates with the understanding that the ways in which we work and communicate have changed and prepares students to live and work in our ever-changing world. Stay in touch with Innovation Tech at the Innovation Tech Facebook page. Read more about Innovation Tech on the OCM BOCES website here.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Being Smart about the Smart Schools Bond Act

J. Francis Manning, OCM BOCES District Superintendent
On Tuesday, November 4, the New York Bonds for School Technology Act, Proposal 3, also known as the Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014, was approved by New York state voters.

The measure, proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State Address last January, was not without its detractors. While supporters argued that the bonds would help boost our students’ technological literacy, improve facilities and provide much-needed funding for high-tech infrastructure, others countered that any newly purchased technology would become obsolete well before the repayment of the debts, and that the sale of bonds up to $2 billion would serve to push the state even deeper into debt.

Whether you agree or not, every school district in the state soon will be able to accept one-time Smart Schools bond funding for technology. School district board members and superintendents will undoubtedly find it tempting to purchase laptops, tablets, interactive white boards and other technology for their students. We naturally want these things for every student in every classroom. Before we buy anything, however, it is time for some long-term planning.

First, we should apply some fundamental principles to our planning, beginning with the end in mind. This means that we don’t start by drawing up lists of the technology we want to purchase. That’s the last step. Instead, we should ask ourselves, “What are the goals we have for our students and for their futures? What do we want students to be able to do?” The answers to these questions will point us in the right direction.

Once we’ve identified the skills our students need in order to be college, career and citizenship ready, the next step will be to describe what it looks like when those students are being successful. We’ll want to see students effectively using technology to help them conduct relevant, authentic research as they solve problems and work on projects. In fact, the New York Smart Schools Commission makes this recommendation in their final report.

The last thing to do is to think about the purchases we can make with our allocation of Smart Schools bond money. We’ll want to think long-term rather than short-term as we plan our purchases. It doesn’t make sense to purchase technology that will be obsolete long before we stop paying for the bond. Think of it like buying a house. With a mortgage, you buy a house or improve the structure. You wouldn’t use the money to buy a TV or pay the cable bill. This is no different.

By beginning with the end in mind when planning for this money, we will be investing in the future of our districts and, most importantly, the future of our students.

J. Francis Manning, District Superintendent
Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES

Monday, October 27, 2014

OCM BOCES McEvoy students attend Construction Career Day

2014 construction career day
Seventeen OCM BOCES Construction Technology students from the McEvoy Education Center in Cortland, New York, were among the nearly 600 others from 19 school districts in the 2014 Southern Tier of New York that recently took part in a day-long Construction Career Day.

The Southern Tier Construction Career Day held Wednesday, October 8, at the Broome County Highway Department facility in Chenango Bridge, featured exhibits by a variety of organizations and schools associated with the construction industry as well as trade displays and heavy equipment demonstrations. For many students, the hands-on experience included the opportunity for supervised operation of heavy equipment such as bulldozers, backhoes and dump trucks.

Construction Career Day is designed to introduce high school students to the career opportunities and unlimited potential for advancement within the construction industry. The event is organized by a consortium of groups, including the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), the Broome County Highway Department, Broome-Tioga Workforce New York, Broome-Tioga BOCES and several local companies and trade unions involved in the construction industry.

The program is directly supported by the Federal Highway Administration through the NYSDOT, which provides a grant to help fund the program around New York state. The grant includes costs for busing, insurance and lunch. In addition, Broome-Tioga Workforce New York provides grant funding to offset costs associated with the event. There is no cost to participating schools.

Friday, October 24, 2014

2014 Greater CNY School Library System Annual Conference to be held Oct. 27

The 2014 Greater CNY School Library System Annual Conference will be held Monday, October 27, and will feature keynote speaker and 2014-2015 American Association of School Librarians (AASL) President-elect Leslie Preddy, the “Innovative Educator” Lisa Nielsen and a variety of workshops aimed to give librarians, teachers, administrators and students the tools and insights they need to meet the media and information needs of the next generation.

The event will run from 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 441 Electronics Parkway, Liverpool, New York.

This year’s conference carries the theme, “The Now Revolution in School Libraries,” and will also host information sessions on many topics including embracing the power of mobile devices, building a reading community, digital citizenship, apps for learning and creating augmented realities. School librarian poster presentations and more than 25 vendor tables and vendor presentations will also take place throughout the day.

Registration fees are $90 for current librarians, teachers and administrators, $50 for students. For more information and to register, visit:

The conference is sponsored by Onondaga-Cortland-Madison (OCM) BOCES, the Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation (formerly the Oswego County BOCES) and Syracuse City School Libraries, and co-sponsored by Central New York School Librarians (CNYSL) and the Central New York/Oswego County Teacher Center.

About Keynote Speaker Leslie Preddy

Leslie Preddy has been the school librarian at Perry Meridian Middle School in Indianapolis, Indiana since 1992. She is a past recipient of AASL’s Collaborative School Library Media Award and School Library Media Program of the Year. She is a former MSD of Perry Township Teacher of the Year and a 2010 finalist for Indiana State Teacher of the Year. She is a past president of the Association of Indiana School Library Educators (AISLE), a past general chair of the state’s Young Hoosier Book Award (YHBA) program and recipient of AISLE’s prestigious Peggy L. Pfeiffer Service Award. She has published more than 30 articles in professional journals, co-created online resources and has served as an adjunct professor at Indiana University, Indiana State University and IUPUI. Her book, SSR with Intervention: A School Library Action Research Project (Libraries Unlimited 2007), was named one of the Best Professional Books of 2007 by Teacher Librarian; and her book, Social Readers: Promoting Reading in the 21st Century (Libraries Unlimited 2010), was Highly Recommended by Library Media Connection. Her most recent book is School Library Makerspaces: Grades 6-12 (Libraries Unlimited 2013).

About Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES

For more than 60 years, Onondaga-Cortland-Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services (OCM BOCES) has provided a wide array of services for its 23 component school districts in Onondaga, Cortland and Madison counties, and the Syracuse City School District. Program offerings include career and technical education, special education, alternative education and workforce preparation for adults. Instructional support offers professional development, science kits, library services and related programs for teachers and administrators. Our administrative services division offers opportunities for school districts to save money by working together through financial services, including cooperative purchasing and business office support as well as a regional energy services program, providing large-scale purchasing of natural gas and electricity for more than 160 school districts and municipalities. OCM BOCES District Superintendent J. Francis Manning works closely with the component districts as a liaison to, and agent of, the New York State Commissioner of Education.