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.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

OCM BOCES District Superintendent: 4+1 Pathway adoption is good news

The New York State Education Department and Board of Regents have heard from the community about the need to offer high school students different paths that give them options regarding their own learning and development and that better prepare them for the demands of life and work in today’s world. In recognition of the fact that “one size does not fit all,” we applaud the NYS Board of Regents’ recent action in adopting a “4+1 Pathway” model for students wishing to earn a Regents diploma. The “4” refers to a requirement of passing four Regents exams, while the “1” refers to options that students have for the fifth test.

The 4+1 model allows for different ways to meet the requirement of passing five Regents exams to graduate. The four required Regents examinations are English language arts, mathematics, science, and either US history or global history and geography.

For the fifth exam requirement, students will have the following Pathway options: Humanities: (one additional social studies Regents examination or approved alternative); Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM): one additional Regents examination in a different course in mathematics, science or an approved alternative); Languages Other Than English (LOTE): a pathway assessment that could include a biliteracy; Career and Technical Education (CTE): an approved CTE pathway assessment following successful completion of a CTE program-approved pursuant, and; Arts: an approved arts assessment.

Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES has been working diligently with Central New York school districts in providing the leadership to facilitate and implement this much-needed change to our educational model. For all of our students in Central New York, we have a Regional Vision of Readiness that is founded on an uncompromising and relentless commitment to preparing them for college, career and citizenship – in other words, preparing our young adults for their future. At the heart of this vision are three commitments: providing instruction that engages, a culture that empowers and technology that enables. Central New York school districts are working together to increase the extent to which these three commitments characterize our schools. We are creating new regional schools, such as Innovation Tech High School in Liverpool, in which integrated project-based learning (PBL) courses, collaboration and technology are key in teaching and learning. PBL will be a significant component of all BOCES programs, as will increased internships, local business-embedded programs and the use of technology in ways that more closely mirror the world our students will enter after graduation. It is important to note that instruction will continue to be based on NYS Learning Standards and that students will continue to take all state-required exams (which are now changing as well).

This is good news for the students of New York. The provision of these choices is recognition of the fact that our current system of education in New York needs changing. This is a good first step. In the future, Central New York schools and districts will continue to advance a version of college and career readiness that is focused on the future rather than the past.

J. Francis Manning, district superintendent

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WSYR features OCM BOCES in report about 4+1 Pathways approval by the Board of Regents

Onondaga-Cortland-Madison (OCM) BOCES Career and Technical Education Director Phil Grome and Lab Tech Instructor Janet Clark spoke to WSYR in an October 21, 2014 news story about the Board of Regents recent approval of the 4+1 Pathways.

The Pathways model allows for different ways to meet the requirement of passing five Regents exams to graduate. The four required Regents examinations are English language arts, mathematics, science, and either US history or global history and geography. For the fifth exam requirement, students will have the following options: Humanities; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM); Languages Other Than English (LOTE); Career and Technical Education (CTE), and; the Arts.

In the story, Grome explains that "the state is really calling for students to be career, college and citizenship ready. And it's a perfect fit for what we do here at OCM BOCES." Clark, speaking about career readiness and students in the OCM BOCES laboratory tech program, is quoted, "They learn all the techniques to have a very successful career in any type of laboratory field."

While the Pathways model was approved on Monday, October 20, the Board will still have to present the changes for permanent adoption at their January 2015 meeting.

To read the story, visit:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Children's Village to close in June 2015

Onondaga-Cortland-Madison (OCM) BOCES recently informed impacted staff and families that its inclusive preschool program, Children’s Village, at East Syracuse-Minoa’s Park Hill School will close in June 2015 for financial reasons. The half-day program currently serves approximately 60 students with disabilities from various school districts in Central New York with a staff of 15 OCM BOCES employees.

The care day rate, set by the New York State Education Department, has not increased for OCM BOCES since the 2010-11 school year. Earlier this year, OCM BOCES administration met with the Onondaga County Executive’s Office to discuss the program’s financial situation and the need to close if additional funding was not made available.

“This difficult decision was made only after great deliberation,” said OCM BOCES District Superintendent Jody Manning. “Unfortunately, all of our program budgets needs to be self-sustaining and because of the stagnant rate of funding, this program could not do so. We are working to place all of our staff in new assignments and are readily available to help families find alternative appropriate programs for their children.”

The OCM BOCES Children’s Village Preschool Program at Park Hill Elementary School is one of only three BOCES preschool programs in New York state. All other BOCES preschool programs have previously closed for financial reasons.

Following is a list of preschool programs for students with special needs:

SPICE – Elmcrest Children’s Center (315/446-3220) 960 Salt Springs Road, Syracuse, NY 13224  

Enable – Exploring Your World (315/475-1382) 1603 Court Street, Syracuse, NY  13208

Jowonio School (315/445-4010) 3049 East Genesee Street, Syracuse, NY 13224

Liberty Post (315/425-1004) 1045 James Street, Syracuse, NY 13203

Little Lukes (315/701-1107) 5820 Heritage Landing Drive, East Syracuse, NY 13057

Main Street Early Education Center (315/218-2200) 205 S. Main Street, North Syracuse, NY 13212

Onondaga Central Preschool (315/552-5070) 208 Rockwell Road, Nedrow, NY 13120

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

OCM BOCES seeking high school juniors and seniors for the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute

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

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Emotional Intelligence: Why it Matters - Dr. Marc Brackett, Yale University, provides vital information to parents

On Tuesday, September 30 from 7:00 to 8:15pm at the Fayetteville-Manlius High School Auditorium, OCM BOCES will be playing host to Marc Brackett, Ph. D., director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence uses the power of emotions to create a more effective and compassionate society. 

Dr. Brackett will speak to parents and educators about the role of emotional intelligence in learning, decision making, relationship quality, and mental health, as well as the influences of emotional intelligence training on student and educator effectiveness, bullying prevention, and school climate. 

Marc also is working with Facebook on a large-scale research project designed to both prevent and decrease online bullying.

Click here to download the event flier.

Click here to visit the OCM BOCES Youth Development website.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ribbon-cutting ceremony for OCM BOCES Innovation Tech – the area’s first New Tech High School

On Wednesday, September, 17, OCM BOCES held a grand opening/ribbon cutting to present Innovation Tech, Central New York's FIRST New Tech High School, to the community.

Several people were on hand to help OCM BOCES celebrate the innovative new school to Central New York. Pictured: New York State Assemblyman Al Stirpe helped OCM BOCES Board President Ann Wright and several Innovation Tech students cut the ceremonial ribbon.

Innovation Tech, created out of the recognition that students need to be prepared with 21st Century skills for life and work in our changing world, is the first of its kind in Central New York. Innovation Tech provides an empowering culture, with learning that is relevant, student-driven and embraces modern learning and the global environment in which we live. There are more than 130 New Tech schools in 23 states across the country.

“New Tech Schools are redefining secondary education,” said Jody Manning, district superintendent for OCM BOCES. “Students become self-directed learners who no longer depend on teachers and textbooks in search of a single, right answer. They use technology on a regular basis, not just for special projects.”

Innovation Tech is an important part of the Central New York Regional Vision for College, Career, and Citizenship Readiness. Our regional vision is founded on an uncompromising and relentless commitment to preparing students for college, career and citizenship – in other words, preparing students for their future. At the heart of our regional vision are three commitments: instruction that engages, culture that empowers, and technology that enables.

Click here to read the Eagle Star-Review article on Innovation Tech.

Visit the Innovation Tech website to learn more.