BOCES 2 Connections

Stories of Connection and Resilience

Challenges don't get us down, they encourage us to form deeper bonds and accomplish greater things. On this page, you’ll find a regularly updated collection of inspiring stories from around our BOCES. If you are a BOCES 2 employee and have a story to share, please send the information to your supervisor for potential inclusion here.

BOCES 2 Together in Spirit

2021 SEPTO Spring Dinner Dance

Can't stop the music and the dancing and the party and the friends and the fun - the SEPTO dance went on in spite of everything. All the kids needed was a beautiful night, a tent and a rockin' DJ to have a great time.

Learning life skills on a chess board

Student playing chess with a staff member
Every Thursday at 2 p.m. something extraordinary happens at Terry Taylor Elementary School: the Chess Club meets. Eager students from the Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES 8:1:2 and 6:1:2 classes, about 15-18 first-graders through fifth-graders, gather in a room set with a dozen chess boards, find partners, sit down and begin to play chess. Once started, you can hear a pin drop in this large room filled with concentration.

“It can be surprising to see how kids respond,” said Speech-Language Pathologist Lisa Ruestow. “They actually like the rules, the strategies, the thinking ahead and figuring out options. Chess helps them understand that actions have consequences and that they have to be responsible for their decisions. Playing the game is helping them with social interactions and regulating their emotions in other life situations, too.”

The only special Club rules are that everyone must be respectful and compliment their opponent’s play at least once before the end of the game. Students learn how to cope with failure along with success: In the game of chess, there is no losing – just learning.

“Students get a chance to meet and play with kids of different ages from other classes who they might not normally run into,” said Ruestow. “Everyone is equal in Chess Club. Emilio is a second-grader who is serious and already an extremely good player. Passionate likes teaching new members or even adults who don’t know how to play. She is very patient. One of our newer members, Nate, is still most comfortable observing and reading a book about chess. He’s coming to it in his own time.”

The Chess Club is only a few months old, but has been very popular with students, who look forward to participating. Ruestow credits support from the teachers and staff members for making the program a success. “It is a very collaborative and cooperative activity – for adults and students,” she said. “We all have to play well together.”

CTE students receive virtual housecall from health commissioner

Students watching Dr. Mendoza via videoconference
BOCES 2 Career and Technical Education (CTE) students are used to obtaining the highest quality instruction and expertise to prepare for their future careers. That concept was taken to a new level on April 13 when Monroe County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza spent an hour with certified nurse assisting and phlebotomy/laboratory technology students via videoconference.

Dr. Mendoza has become the public face of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. He has drawn praise for his leadership, and clear and empathetic communication style. Those character traits were on display as he encouraged students to pursue careers in health care and joked with them about his own circuitous journey to becoming a medical doctor and public health leader.

Students assembled in a WEMOCO conference room, arranged in a socially-distanced manner, to connect with Mendoza. He was featured on a large screen participating in the meeting from his office. After he outlined his educational background and the career choices that led him from Chicago to Rochester, students took turns asking him questions. The topics ranged from pandemic-related restrictions in schools to highly technical questions about virus-testing methodologies in labs.

Volunteers share the joy of reading with BOCES 2 students

Smiling student flashing "Victory" signs with his fingers
Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES students celebrated Read Across America 2021 with help from a group of L3Harris Technologies professionals who volunteered as readers. Three K-4 classrooms at Spencerport’s Terry Taylor Elementary School and two K-3 classes at Kendall Elementary School welcomed the virtual visitors via Zoom. The guest readers shared two books with their hosts - “Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race” by Margot Lee Shetterly with Winifred Conkling, and “Georgia’s Terrific Colorific Experiment” by Zoe Persico. Both picture books feature grade-level explorations of exciting Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) concepts.
Interspersed with the stories were many questions from both sides of the video screens. Readers wanted to know more about the students: Do they like math and science? What do they want to be when they grow up? Students wanted to know more about the guests: What does an engineer do? What was their favorite subject at school?
 Zoom screen showing readers and student audience
We’d like to thank L3Harris for donating a wonderful selection of books, all chosen with a focus on diversity and STEAM, for our students. We’re grateful to all the participating volunteers who made this very special reading event possible.

BOCES 2 teacher honored with 2020 Better Beginnings Award

Katie McElhaney holding award
Katie McElhaney, who teaches a Medically Fragile 6:1:1 class located at Brockport’s Hill Elementary School, was recently recognized with the 2020 Helen Bach Moss Memorial Better Beginnings Award. Sponsored by the New York State Department of Education Board of Regents, the award celebrates elementary teachers who are gifted in finding and nurturing the strengths of each student and fostering trusting relationships among pupils, parents, teachers and administrators. 

McElhaney was nominated by her colleagues, including: Math Specialist Tina Bonfiglio and the Instructional Specialist team, Special Education Paraprofessional Laura Lockhart and Speech-Language Pathologist Jennifer DiLeo, along with Special Education Supervisor Debi Walton. Special recommendations were submitted by 6:1:1 parents Gina Fazzina, and Maria and Hector Hernandez, with personal comments on “Why I Love My Teacher” from students Jasmine and Anthony.

In the eyes of her students, McElhaney is a hero. She makes Jasmine “Happy!” Anthony communicates with his device: “Ms. Kate make, I’m so happy.” He said his teacher helps him: “Do work. Make good choices.”

Anthony’s parent, Gina Fazzina, sees McElhaney as “a remarkable woman and teacher” who “cares as much as we do about our son’s education and future.” The Hernandez family is grateful for the exceptional progress their son has made, thanks to his teacher’s patience, understanding and encouragement. They note that she challenges their son to use his communication skills in class and out, to “socialize with other students in the hallways, making connections and sharing experiences.”

McElhaney’s coworkers see her as a “consummate professional,” “true innovator” and “one of the most inspirational and passionate teachers I have worked with.” DiLeo said, “Kate’s classroom is a very unique but beautiful place for students with significant complex needs to receive the intense support they need, and also where they go to be accepted, loved and challenged to … become the best versions of themselves they are capable of being.”

A surprise presentation on Jan. 20 in McElhaney’s classroom was attended by coworkers and BOCES 2 administrators, and shared with her proud family members over Zoom. During the ceremony, she received the Better Beginnings Award plaque and a cash prize of $1,000.

Giving hearts warm the holidays

Student displaying blankets featuring dogs and cats
Students in Special Education teacher Susan DeJohn’s classroom at Brockport High School love to give back to others in the community. This year, they learned about the work being done at the Willow Domestic Violence Center in Rochester. When they heard that many abuse survivors and their children arrive at the Center with their frightened cats or dogs, they were determined to help make the shelter a welcoming, warm place for these furry family members.

With generously donated materials and help from staff members, the students made soft, comforting blankets for pets. Their caring gifts will make all the difference for many during the holidays and beyond.

Work-Based Learning pivots to new worksites

Two WBL students who are working at CaTS this year
Many of the traditional opportunities for students in the Department for Exceptional Children’s Work-Based Learning (WBL) program are not available this year. This opened up an opportunity to work with new business partners, providing different environments for students.

Many BOCES 2 departments have opened their doors to WBL students, including Operations & Maintenance, BOCES 4 Science, Department for Exceptional Children at RTP and at the Learning Center, Communications and Technology Services (CaTS), Center for Workforce Development (CWD), and Ridgecrest Academy. Students clean workspaces, work on assembly lines, stuff envelopes for mailings, perform data entry, file, type, and sort donations for the BOCES 2 Clothing Closet.

Other partners include CoreLife Eatery, Gardens at Town Center, Goodwill of the Finger Lakes in Brockport, TOPS Markets in Gates and Spencerport, and TRIO Community Meals. All workplaces are compliant with safety regulations and CDC guidelines.

Building lives, a button at a time

Student sewing on a button
There are many life skills that are essential for young adults preparing to strike out on their own. One talent that is often overlooked, but very practical, is basic sewing. Students in Kim Stephenson’s (Lobdell) 6:1:2 class at Westview in the Department for Exceptional Children are learning how to replace a missing button, mend a tear, and perhaps, discover sewing as a creative craft.

“We are currently learning how to sew three different kinds of buttons,” said Stephenson, “just in case we ever need to fix a shirt. Along the way, we are working on patience, hand-eye coordination and using tools to help making threading a needle easier. As students advance, we’ll learn to make patches, mend holes and then get artistic with handmade pillows.” 
“There’s a great deal of pride in learning to do things on your own,” she said. “As their skills increase, their confidence grows, too. My students are recognizing that they are incredibly capable young people.”

On-air with the Westview Wire

Mr. Jones (left) with Westview Wire news anchor Ryan (right)
Art teacher Carla Brunco’s classroom at Westview in the Department for Exceptional Children buzzes with activity every Tuesday. In one corner, the art director focuses on creating striking digital backgrounds. The two news broadcasters sit in front of a large green screen. They review the script and discuss the day’s show with guest talent. The cameraman and the teleprompter operator are cued up and ready to go. It’s time for another Westview Wire school news show.

Brunco began broadcasting the weekly show with teacher Kim Stephenson’s (Lobdell) 6:1:2 class members in early October. “It was rough out of the gate,” she said. “But Mike Neumire, CaTS instructional technology specialist, helped with the video technology, and our staff are really enthusiastic and supportive. The kids have grown into their roles and get better and more professional every week.”

The project gives the high school students the opportunity to practice reading, presentation and communication skills, work together to organize the many elements of the shows, exercise artistic and conceptual talents, plan content and create entertaining short videos. They have become roving reporters, looking for stories around the school and interviewing peers and faculty.

Co-anchors Ryan and SBA Tyronne Jones share updates on school news, weather, sports and more. Brunco writes scripts and edits the video. Each episode has special features, like the Halloween Trivia Contest or the extremely funny public service announcement on the proper way to wash your hands, created by SBA Sarah MacCallum and a cast of stars.

The whole school has gotten in on the fun - the show airs on Friday afternoons for all to watch. The Westview Wire is building school spirit; helping everyone, from both the Westview 6:1:1 and 6:1:2 programs, get to know each other better.

Spirit Week at Westside

People wearing pajamas at Westside
Academics are important, but school spirit is what connects classmates and builds a supportive community. October’s Spirit Week at Westside Jr./Sr. High Academy brought students and teachers together ? for Rainbow Day, Hat Day, Mismatched Day, Pajama Day and Halloween Costume Day.
Principal Martha Willis, sporting her Halloween cow costume, said, “We’ve got a great group of students this year, and it’s nice finally being settled now in the new building. The students are happy to be back on campus and are working hard at their classes. We’re planning a lot of really fun learning and social activities this year for our Westside kids.”

Ridgecrest Academy Phoenix rises!

Ready for some crazy school pride? Get down with Ridgecrest Academy teacher Erin Mitchell who created this awesome music video “We are the Ridgecrest Phoenix” as part of the school’s final PBIS celebration. Mitchell’s talented daughters, Bella (11) and Maddy (13) handled the important lighting, sound and video technical jobs. 

In normal times, the end of year at Ridgecrest Academy is observed with an incredible talent show and a printed yearbook. In this year of nothing normal, students and staff got together virtually to celebrate memories with Mitchell’s performance, student awards and a first-of-its-kind video yearbook that included photos from field trips, classroom experiences, special occasions, Zoom meetings and friendships, along with music, thoughts and messages from teachers and staff members. The year of 2019-20 is definitely one to remember.

Sleeping with the baby sharks…

Greece Craig Hill Elementary preschoolers got a special treat recently. Their BOCES 2 8:1:3 teacher, Jessica Weese, and speech teacher Molly Penrose got together virtually to read “Bedtime for Baby Shark,” complete with core language board, humor and the required baby shark “doo, doo, doo, doo, doo singing.” “The kiddos seem to love the videos,” said Weese. “Parents will play them and the kids will stop in their tracks to watch. It’s nice to know we can still get their attention!” Check out their YouTube channel: Craig Hill B-10 Monroe2BOCES.

Even coronavirus can't stop us from dancing - The 2020 Annual Dinner Dance goes virtual!

Zoom image of students dancing

What? No Dinner Dance this year? Our students don't give up their annual tradition so easily. Click on the photo above to check out this virtual dance floor video. Our kids still have the right moves!

Does Darth Vader mow his lawn?

Darth Vader mowing the lawn
You wouldn’t think so, but he does. We have the proof, thanks to Ridgecrest Academy PE teacher Michael Bray. Bray actually seems to know alot of celebrities like Darth – from the Tiger King to Where’s Waldo – all of whom have been appearing in his class Zoom meetings over the past few months. They’ve even starred in videos, suggesting how to stay active and have fun with family during lockdown. Bray said that it’s all part of finding ways to be creative during this “unique situation.”
Check out one of the Ridgecrest Academy Lockdown Hint Videos below: 
After a hard day of Zoom lessons, relax with family. But don’t talk during the movies unless you want to wear the popcorn! (Special appearance by Bray’s daughter, Claire) 

A safe haven for preschool learning

The recent school closure has been strange and difficult, especially for our youngest students. “My students are confused,” said Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Integrated Preschool teacher Anne Schwartz. “They are confused as to why they can’t go to school anymore and they don’t understand why public playgrounds are closed. I am most interested in having my students stay connected with familiar things. I am trying to create some continuity for them.”
Schwartz and her classroom team of autism specialist, nurse and multiple related-service therapists, have found creative ways to do just that. Her two preschool classes (a dozen students in each) continue to follow the standard UPK curriculum with weekly interactive Zoom lessons focused on integrating letters, numbers, shapes and colors. Virtual class activities range from yoga and music to planting seeds. The educators share new versions of many of the favorite songs, books and videos students got to know earlier in the year. Recently, weekly story time sessions were added to the mix.

The team create a weekly newsletter for parents that details the educational goals of the week’s classes, suggests fun things to do, and includes tips and links to valuable resources. Schwartz has also launched her own YouTube channel, Classroom Fun, which features theme-based videos that follow each week’s learning explorations.

Both the students and their parents have responded enthusiastically to the preschool outreach program. “I have a parent who sends me pictures of their child watching my videos,” said Schwartz. “One parent told me that the Zoom classes help break up their day, and several have sent me pictures of their children engaged in the educational activities suggested in the newsletter.”

Home is the first classroom

Check out this new video for families from our Mid-West Regional Bilingual Resource Network (RBERN). Here are links to English support materials and support materials in other languages.

Welcome to Village Plaza Classrooms

Video conferencing is a great educational tool, but it’s not the answer for all students. For young people in the Transition program at Village Plaza, a more flexible and supportive approach to distance learning is needed. Special education teacher Danielle Hickin and her classroom support staff members have been listening to students and their families, trying different things and finding better ways to connect.

“Teaching with Zoom was not proving to be super effective,” said Hickin. “My students are non-verbal and many need hand-over-hand support to learn. Since most of my families are working parents, our typical 7 a.m. – to 3 p.m. schedule was not working either, so we created a YouTube channel (Village Plaza Classrooms) where students and families can learn on their own schedules. They can pause and replay our videos as needed!” 

Project SEARCH salutes URMC heroes

Project SEARCH salutes URMC heroes

No one knows better how important the work is that colleagues at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) are doing than our Project SEARCH interns and staff members. With the help of Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Transition Specialist Katy Connolly, they created a video message of support. For the doctors, nurses, technicians, child care workers, transportation and parking workers, nutrition department, pharmacy and NICU specialists, environmental services staff, equipment managers, patient transporters and emergency personnel – Thank you! “You are and always will be our heroes!”

A Thank You to WEMOCO O&M Staff!

Scott Barnard's class at CTE created this video to say “thank you” to the Operations and Maintenance team at WEMOCO. "We made this video to express our thanks during these last few weeks, and always! You are in our thoughts and we appreciate everything you all are doing!" 

Let's Go Now!

Check out this awesome video channel from the Department for Exceptional Children:
New videos every week! 

BOCES 2 Music Therapy

Check out this great channel from BOCES 2 Music Therapy! Tons of fun videos from our art and music therapists:

Greetings from Village Plaza Transition!

You matter and we miss you! A message to our students and families from everyone at Village Plaza Transition.

Group shot of graduates

The future is bright for this Class of 2021

The 16 graduating seniors in the Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Center-Based Program have long been each other’s strongest supporters, said Special Education Supervisor Ken Sharp as he welcomed students, families and friends to the 2021 commencement ceremony.
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Student receiving his Moving On certificate

2021 Moving On Ceremony

The Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Moving On Ceremony was held on June 17, 2021. Attended by program graduates and proud family and friends, the event recognized these students’ many achievements during their time in school.
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Group shot of Westside Academy graduates

Westside Academy celebrates its 2021 graduates

Westside Academy didn't let June 14's rain stop the celebration - the Senior Recognition Ceremony and all the attendant pride and joy simply moved indoors.
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Donated solar panels and equipment

CTE solar program expands

Thanks to the donation of state-of-the-art solar equipment, students in our CTE Residential and Commercial Electrical program are creating another opportunity to be career-ready with skills in the latest technology.
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Image of different kinds of whole grain

Sharing healthy tips and ideas

It's definitely been a year to share knowledge for the benefit of students and coworkers. Here's a great little article by the Dept. for Exceptional Children's Andrew Connolly: "Whether it is your favorite guilty sweet or a vegetable you should be eating more of, carbohydrates come in many different forms. But not all carbohydrates are created equal. So which carbohydrates should we eat and why?"
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Alexandra Mendoza at the collection lab

Unique co-op work experience for CTE students

BOCES 2 CTE Phlebotomy and Laboratory Science students have a new opportunity: phlebotomy training at a local collection station. It’s a unique experience for high school students. Four students are taking a turn at this first-ever cooperative work option.
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Student learning on a laptop

Innovative learning in HVAC / Plumbing

It became extremely evident this year that schools needed to embrace online learning tools. In CTE's HVAC/Plumbing classes, teachers Dan DeFazio and Dominic Corona adapted lessons to coincide with digital learning, both inside the classroom and remotely.
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Screen capture of interview

2021 Stroll for Strong Kids

A big thank you to the CTE students on our BOCES 2 Team who are supporting the community at this year's Stroll for Strong Kids. Click through to see video of our student representatives from SkillsUSA and National Technical Honor Society who were featured on Good Day Rochester.
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Dozens of socially-distanced speech therapists in a conference room with multiple video screens

Exploring new ways to empower student communication

The BOCES 2 Assistive Technology department hosted a special two-day professional development training for our speech-language specialists. Presenting via video conference was John Halloran, a well-known speech-language pathologist and trainer with The Center for AAC & Autism.
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Churchville-Chili student Erin Kuhn with teacher Theresa Cortez.

Criminal Justice students participate in simulated disaster

Students faced a tense scenario: They were told a tornado had hit a building, causing explosions. As first responders, they would be the first on-scene to deal with the casualties.
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Students clearing brush from campus grounds

Putting good into the world

In addition to academic studies, job preparation and life skill building, students in BOCES 2 Transition Program at Roberts Wesleyan are learning the importance of giving back. They recently found a unique way to contribute to their college community.
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Guest author speaking with students

“Sometimes brave is learning a new language”

Fourth- and fifth-grade students in teacher Cori Smith’s English as a New Language class at Brockport’s Hill Elementary have been exploring what it means to be brave. "Sometimes Brave" author Trista Wilson visited with them on May 6.
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Crop of image listing of winners

SkillsUSA State Conference winners

Congratulations to the WEMOCO students who won medals at the NYS SkillsUSA State Conference Award Ceremony. Students spent the last two weeks competing virtually against students from Career and Technical Centers from across New York State. First-place winners will move on to the virtual National Leadership and Skills Conference in June.
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Student giving a presentation to the class

Finding truth through music

At Westview in the Department for Exceptional Children, teachers Tim Baker and Kyle Norton lead a Social Justice class that combines history with current events. It helps young people understand the challenges of inequality and bias in society and find positive ways to deal with it. A recent project used music to bring students face-to-face with their personal feelings about these difficult subjects.
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Student trying his hand at being a make-up artist

Living the California lifestyle

If you could go anywhere, where would you go? The answer was easy for students in the Village Plaza Transition program – Los Angeles, California: Home of celebrities, singers, Hollywood and Disneyland. So, with the help of the entire Village Plaza team, a virtual field trip whisked the students away to the Golden State.
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Leonard Peruski, Acting Chief of Global Epidemiology, Laboratory & Surveillance Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CTE students host expert from the CDC

Students in the CTE at WEMOCO Phlebotomy and Laboratory Science program had a Zoom session with Leonard Peruski, the acting chief of Global Epidemiology, Laboratory & Surveillance Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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Baking senior

SkillsUSA competition winners

CTE at WEMOCO held awards presentations in classes for our SkillsUSA competition winners. Students received medals for placing first or second in competitions, got pins for Statesman Awards, and recognition for being officers.
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Heaven holding reading aids

Guiding by example

Preschoolers at Hilton’s Village Elementary School have a new role model – their sixth-grade friend and mentor, Heaven. Heaven has taken her younger peers under her wing, visiting the preschoolers to read to them and to help them learn to read for themselves.
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53 Miles for 53 Years. Honoring MLK. Poster.

53 Miles for 53 Years

Westview students and staff are participating in a 53-mile walk to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Beginning on March 15, and continuing every weekday at lunch, students and staff can join in the goal by walking laps around the Westview building.
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Students watching performer on video conferencing large screen

Exploring identity, bias and heritage through theatre

Students at the BOCES 2 center-based 6:1:1 program at the Spencerport Administration Building were recently able to watch, via video conferencing, GEVA Theatre Center’s production of “Where Did We Sit On the Bus?”
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Ryan from Gates Chili crafting his heart ornament

Made with love and power tools

If you had stopped into the woodworking lab at Westview in the Department for Exceptional Children just before winter break, you might have witnessed the creation of some beautiful handmade wooden Valentine’s hearts.
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Two criminal justice students working security at WEMOCO

CTE students join BOCES 2 security team for work-based learning

While there have been restrictions on in-the-field work-based learning opportunities this year due to COVID-19, the team at WEMOCO Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center has found a new way to provide students with job-related experience. Seniors in the Criminal Justice program at WEMOCO have been assisting the security team during the 2020-21 school year.
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Teaching assistant Shelly Williams (left) brings two remote students, Angel and Perry, (via Zoom on a laptop) closer to the action as teacher Theresa De Mattia demonstrates a science experiment.

Little things making a big difference

For most students, the importance of simply saying “hello!” to classmates every morning really can’t be overestimated. Making that connection with friends sets the tone for their entire day of learning. Now, with some students present in the classroom, and others working from home, teachers have to be creative to keep those small, yet vital, connections alive.
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Two CTE students installing solar panel

CTE students charged up over hands-on solar opportunity

There is no beating hands-on experience when it comes to developing skills and gaining first-hand knowledge that can be used after graduation. Students in the Residential and Commercial Electrical program at the WEMOCO Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center can attest to that, as they work on installing rooftop solar panels.
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Mike Bray answers Westview students’ questions about preparing for a successful marathon race.

Going the distance

In the 6:1:1 physiology class at Westview in the Department for Exceptional Children, students learn about cells, homeostasis and the human body. Along the way, they also learn the importance of establishing and maintaining meaningful relationships.
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Poster showing research on zoo keeper job

Dressing for success

Students in teacher Samantha Fowler’s class at the Hospitality and Applied Skills Center (HaAS) have been exploring jobs. Every month, these students and young adults with disabilities investigate another facet of career readiness training. November’s focus was on workplace appearance.
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Student eating breakfast

Trying new things

How many of us are ready to face new challenges, or brave enough to boldly taste new foods? Learning to enjoy new experiences is becoming second nature to the 6:1:2 students at Westview in the Department for Exceptional Children.
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Students testing the unit

BOCES 4 Science update

BOCES 4 Science strives to provide support for teachers during these unprecedented times. They have been busy finalizing their final units of instruction. The next unit to be released is Invisible Forces, written by BOCES 4 Science teacher Antonietta Quinn.
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Erin Mitchell’s Virtual Homeroom with links to social-emotional learning (SEL) activities

Building a better classroom

Students at Ridgecrest Academy are used to starting the day with a peaceful routine: calming music, a mindfulness activity and getting in touch with their feelings. When they are prepared and ready to learn, classes get going. This year’s remote learning days disrupt that normal procedure.
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Zoom screen with many participants

WEMOCO students explore scientific careers through virtual fair

A dozen industry professionals presented to students in three Career and Technical Education programs during a Virtual Scientific Career Exploration.
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Door decoration

Westside Jr./Sr. High Academy gets festive!

The halls are getting fully decked over at Westside - check out the latest pictures of holiday cheer.
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Student frosting cookies

Spreading holiday joy

The tradition of celebrating the season continued for BOCES 2 students, in spite of this year’s cancellation of the much-beloved SEPTO Lunch with Santa. The Rotary Club of Greece, which has sponsored that event for over 30 years, made sure that our students still made special memories.
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Westview teacher Tim Baker helps a student navigate a challenging assignment

After School Matters

When life is complicated it is all too easy to fall behind in schoolwork. Students in the 6:1:1 program at Westview are learning that they can still get back on track and excel. The intensive, personalized help they need is available every month at After School Matters.
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Brightly colored lion graphic

Ready to roar at Paul Road Transition

School social worker Cathy Gartland began a poster coloring project with her students last spring, but the image of a lion has come to life since classes began again in September.
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Lighted cut out pumpkin

"Sense-ational" Halloween fun

Ridgecrest Academy students were treated to a series of frightfully fun sensory challenges brewed up by occupational therapist Julie Moretti to celebrate Halloween.  
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Student with pumpkin

Imaginations run wild for Halloween

Students and teachers at Westside Jr./Sr. High Academy got into the Halloween spirit this year by painting and decorating pumpkins.
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March - Setting Up Students Screenshot

#BOCESConnects during and beyond pandemic

This video highlights the work of the BOCES during the school closure in the spring.
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Four graduates sitting outside during ceremony

Westside Academy Graduation

The venue was unusual, but the joy, tears and pride were the same as every year. Congratulations, Westside Academy Class of 2020! More +
David Moy

Student Spotlight

Graduating senior David Moy and his mom got a pleasant surprise when they stopped in to his 6:1:1 Gates Chili classroom recently. More +
Student message

Messages from the heart

When words alone can't express all you are feeling, pictures can fill the gaps. Teacher Darlene Mikulski and her team members found a very personal way to share thanks and love with their students and parents. More +
Senah in the kitchen

Student Spotlight - Senah

Senah is in our Transition class at Village Plaza. He's been busy helping out at home, vacuuming and putting away groceries. Way to go, Senah! We miss you and all of our student friends.
Student using magnifier

New Visions students earn certificates

The Justice Professions program has been using multiple digital platforms during the remote learning period and meets daily through the Remind app, email, Schoology and Zoom. Criminal Justice teacher Timothy Steves says his students have been great with engagement during remote learning.  More +
Commissioner holding book

A note and storytime from NYSED

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Thank you for all of the tremendously hard work you are doing every day to help your students through this challenging time... (Then join the Interim Commissioner for story time!)
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#ThinkCheckCorrect pledge graphic

Nothing but the truth at NYSCSH

During this time, we are all facing many challenges. The New York State Center for School Health (NYSCSH) team has stepped up to meet these challenges and support schools by gathering and verifying important health information. More +
Flour, baking soda and other supplies in the kit

CTE Bakes At-Home!

To ensure WEMOCO students were able to continue baking at home, teacher Tom Noto assembled kits to offer his students. More +
Ridgecrest Zoom screen

Ridgecrest stays in touch

Every weekday morning finds the Ridgecrest Academy “family” gathering around a Zoom meeting for a virtual check-in. “It’s important to connect with students on both a social and emotional level to help them find healthy ways to cope.” More +
Teacher making a sock bunny

Connecting in Kendall

BOCES 2 Special Education teachers and staff in Kendall are giving students, and their families, lots of cool ideas for fun things to do and learn at home.
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Zoom meeting

Virtual welding class? Yes!

CTE welding teacher Josh Padlick has had some fun creating new lesson plans for his students during remote learning. More +
Cool creature drawing

Featured student artwork

Paul Road Transition student Shai'mare is making the best of things and developing his artistic talent at home. Thanks for sharing!
Handmade cards

Far apart, yet close together

The relationships between Westside Jr./Sr. High Academy staff and students are stronger than distance. They’ve all been finding many ways, both large and small, to stay connected. More +
For placement only

New ways to learn in preschool

BOCES 2 preschool teams have connected families with food pantries, mental health supports and community agencies, in addition to instructional supports and resources. More +
Screenshot from video

The gentle power of music

Even before the COVID 19 school shutdown was actually put into place, Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Department for Exceptional Children’s creative arts therapists were exploring ways to continue to connect with their students. More +