For more information, contact:
Susan E. Smith
(631)549-4900, ext. 224.
| ||Dr. Roberta Gerold, president of the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association and Superintendent of Middle Country School District, urged lawmakers to eliminate the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) which has reduced state aid to school districts statewide by $6.35 billion in the past three years. |
School district representatives rallied together to urge NYS lawmakers to end the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA), a formula in the state budget that reduces the amount of aid to school districts. Over the past three years, GEA has been used to reduce state aid to Long Island school districts by nearly $1 billion.
Under the banner "One Island--One Voice," Gary Bixhorn, Chief Operating Officer of Eastern Suffolk BOCES, explained that Long Island schools will receive less state aid in 2013-14 ($2.54 billion) than they received in 2008-09 ($2.62 billion) due to GEA. Long Island school districts receive 12% of school aid, he noted, but they had to absorb 18% of the GEA's statewide cuts to education.
The presidents of both the Nassau County of School Superintendents and the Suffolk County School Superintendents urged local lawmakers to change this formula. They noted that if GEA had been eliminated when the state budget was established this year, Long Island's current school tax levy would be nearly $300 million, or 4%, lower than it now is. Nearly half of the reduction this year cam from the 28 low-wealth school districts. They stressed that the GEA increases dependence on local property taxes to fund LI schools.
They lobbied legislators to do two things:
1. Eliminate the GEA in 2014-15 and provide school districts with the full amount of aid generated by all of the existing funding formulas without the GEA deduction.
2. Replace the Foundation Formula in 2015-16. Establish a new formula that recognizes the needs of our region and generates a fair share of aid for LI schools.
Learn more about GEA and send a letter (personalize this sample letter, if you want) to your local NYS Senator or Assemblyman.
The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting presented an award of merit to the Surgical Technology program at Western Suffolk BOCES because the most recent graduates earned at least a 90% pass rate on their nationally recognized Certified Surgical Technologist exam. Current students pictured standing above say they intend to best that rate! Their teachers (front) say it is "likely!" Learn more information about BOCES full-time programs. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.
Instead of wearing costumes on Halloween, 60 students from Connetquot and North Babylon Highs Schools removed more than 175,000 clams and 100,000 oysters from the rafts where the mollusks had been growing throughout the summer and early fall and placed them on the bay bottom in Stony Brook Harbor. The students hope these young mollusks will seed and survive into adulthood in these waters.
The project is part of the BOCES Outdoor Environmental Education Program which runs this Mariculture program in these schools. Through a series of lessons, students learned about clam anatomy and the history of the fishery on LI. They then constructed nursery rafts and maintained them and monitored clam growth over the summer.
Students will now compile, summarize and evaluate all data. Over the years millions of clams, oysters and mussels have been reared and seeded into the coastal waters of Long Island by this BOCES program. This project supports the local shellfish industry and allows these filter feeding animals to increase water quality.
News 12 aired this video
on at least three occasions! FIOS 1 is expected to air a similar feature soon.
Dr. Michael Mensch, Chief Operating Officer of Western Suffolk BOCES, has sent a letter to Dr. John King, NYS Commissioner of Education, on behalf of the 18 Superintendents of Schools in Western Suffolk BOCES to offer 24 concrete recommendations for making the implementation of initiatives surrounding Common Core, APPR and new assessments better for children, better for teachers, and better for our communities.
"The rush to implement the Common Core and the new assessments has placed unnecessary burdens on both our students and teachers. We believe our children can perform at higher levels, and that our teachers can provide the instruction that will propel their classes forward,” wrote the Superintendents.
Rather than dwell on the many stumbling blocks to higher learning standards and greater accountability, the letter explained, “We believe there are things that can be done to slow the implementation and permit all of the stakeholders the necessary time to re-group and really prepare to make the changes necessary to implement the Common Core effectively.”
“We welcome the opportunity to follow up on our ideas with the Commissioner’s staff in an environment conducive to matters of this importance and complexity,” added Dr. Mensch. “We hope our suggestions will become part of the larger conversation on how to best respond to the issues and challenges surrounding the implementation of the Common Core, APPR and testing initiatives.”
The letter supported the Commissioner “for the valuable steps just taken to delay computerized testing; request a waiver for grade 8 math assessments for Algebra students; and request a waiver for certain ELL and special education students.”
The superintendents concluded that they hoped “the additional modifications we have proposed will help salvage the positive intent of the initiatives on APPR, Common Core and new assessments while modifying those things that are causing significant angst in our schools and communities. Let’s focus our time and attention on what matters – teaching and learning.”
| ||One of the highlights of the AMT Career Fair was the arrival of the AS355 Twinstar helicopter used by Hover-Views, a company that does aerial filming for the movie industry. |
Both adult and high school AMT students and a dozen alumni attended the BOCES Aviation Maintenance Career Fair on Oct. 18. Most of the 14 exhibitors, including airlines, aviation service companies and military recruiters, were seeking FAA licensed technicians. Most made appointments for further contact with BOCES AMT students. AMT students had worked with the BOCES Job Placement Office to prepare well-written resumes and the work paid off! Dowling College scheduled seven interviews for students considering continuing their education and the 106th Rescue Wing of the NY Air National Guard scheduled six interviews.
The Board of Western Suffolk BOCES is pleased to announce the appointment of a long-time BOCES teacher and experienced BOCES Principal, Maureen Donohue-Whitley, to the position of District Superintendent effective October 16, 2013.
Following the retirement of District Superintendent Dr. David Gee, the Western Suffolk BOCES Board conducted two unsuccessful searches for a replacement. During this period, the Board appointed Dr. Michael Mensch to serve as the Deputy Superintendent and to assume the duties of the District Superintendent. This past spring, the State Education Department requested that the Board conduct another search to fill the official District Superintendent vacancy, and the Board agreed to do so.
Mrs. Donohue-Whitley’s duties will include training, scoring and support of the initiatives relative to NYS Alternate Assessments including organizing, budgeting and administering the NYSAA Regional Training Institutes and the NYSAA Regional Scoring Institutes for the Western Suffolk BOCES regions as well as assisting component school districts with the interpretation and implementation of NYS education laws, regulations, and policies. She will also supervise the IEP Direct system including creating IEP guidance documents
and IEP staff training as well as to provide instructional leadership for the Special Education Division in curriculum development, professional development and the alignment of the curriculum to the NYS Common Core Standards. In addition, she will attend the monthly District Superintendent meetings in Albany and work in cooperation with Dr. Mensch as he continues his service as the agency’s Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Superintendent with the daily responsibilities for planning, administering, supervising and evaluating the education programs and support services of this BOCES. As the Chief Operating Officer, he will prepare the agendas and organize the meetings of the Board of Western Suffolk BOCES and direct the BOCES Administrative Council.
Mrs. Donohue-Whitley began her BOCES career in 1979 as a special education teacher at the James E. Allen Elementary School and was subsequently promoted to Curriculum/Alternate Assessment Coordinator, Summer School Coordinator, and Assistant Principal before assuming the Principal’s position in 2010.
She holds a BA in Elementary Education from St. John’s University, an MS in Special Education and a Professional Diploma-Advanced Certificate in Educational Administration and Leadership from Long Island University. She has been an adjunct professor in LIU’s Department of Special Education and Literacy since 2008. Given the NYS legislature’s cap on the salary of District Superintendents, Mrs. Donohue-Whitley’s salary will be $166,700 of which $43,000 will be paid by the NYS Education Department as part of its obligation to the BOCES.
In other administrative realignments, Western Suffolk BOCES has eliminated one central office administrator. Nancy Kelsey has been promoted to Executive Director of Career and Technical Education; Teresa Strum has been promoted to Executive Director of Special Education; and Mike Flynn has been promoted to Sr. Executive Director.
“Rather than the former model of two directors and two assistant directors, I have asked Mr. Flynn, Mrs. Kelsey and Mrs. Strum to work as a three-person team to supervise and manage the Special Education and CTE Divisions as part of an on-going effort to reduce agency costs and, thereby, help contain future tuition rates for BOCES programs,” announced Dr. Mensch.
The Administrative Council, consisting of the Chief Financial Officer, Executive Director of Personnel, Senior Executive Director, Executive Director of Special Education, Executive Director of Career and Technical Education, Executive Director of Instructional Support Services and Administrative Assistant (Public Information), will continue to report directly to Dr. Mensch.
Both high school and adult students in BOCES' Aviation Maintenance Technology program will now be able to practice making repairs on a 1968 Gulfstream business jet that once belonged to singing icon Frank Sinatra and subsequently to actor Harrison Ford. In above photo, the jet is donated to Western Suffolk BOCES by JFI JETs owner and Long Island resident Arik Kislin (l.) who owned the aircraft for seven years and operated it all over the world. Mr. Kislin hands over the jet to Ken Burr, outgoing Executive Director of Career and Technical Education, while Dr. Michael Mensch, BOCES Chief Operating Officer, and Nancy Kelsey, incoming Executive Director of CTE, look on.
"I love this airplane and truly hate to see her grounded, but after 44 years of service her time has come. I am pleased to know she will continue to be of service to Wilson Tech and the people of Long Island as an educational tool and a proud reminder of the aviation heritage of this region," Kislin commented.
The jet accommodated 12 passengers and had a range of over 3,000. Its two Rolls Royce engines powered the aircraft to a cruise altitude of 45,000 feet and a speed of 520 miles per hour. The aircraft was designed and engineered by Grumman Aircraft in Bethpage.
Diana Santiago, Tech’s AMT instructor, was enthusiastic because this donation will help students prepare for Federal Aviation Administration exams to earn FAA licenses in Airframe and Powerplant for greater job opportunities. For more information about preparing for FAA licenses to become a licensed aircraft technician at Western Suffolk BOCES at Tech's Republic Airport campus, call 631-752-1957. Financial aid is available to adults who qualify. Interested high school students should contact the guidance counselor in the home high school.
JFI Jets is a worldwide provider of Aircraft Management and Charter services with Fixed Base Operations and a PART 145 Certified Repair Center. The company's main facilities are in California and on LI.
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At the July meeting of the Board of Western Suffollk BOCES, Maryann Zumpano (l.) of Smithtown was elected president and Ilene Herz (r.), Esq, of Half Hollow Hills, was elected vice president for the 2013-14 school year.
Other BOCES Board members include Mildred Browne of Copiague, Sydney Finkelstein of Elwood, Salvatore Marinello of West Babylon, Jeannette Santos of Amityville, and Peter Wunsch of Commack.
Western Suffolk BOCES recognized employees who were selected by their peers for their outstanding achievement and those who retired in 2012-13. Staff from Brennan Middle/High School (pictured above) gathered to congratulate their colleagues. Take a look at more of the festivities! Here are the 2012-13 recipients of the golden apple for Outstanding Achievement:
Manor Plains HS
Physical Therapy Assistant
Photocopy Machine Operator
Mary E. Herr
Nurse Assisting Teacher
JEA Jr/Sr High School
JEA Elementary School
WT Dix Hills
JEA Alternative School
Para/ Adult Literacy Teacher
Wilson Tech, Republic
Teacher of the Deaf
JEA Jr/Sr High School
WT Dix Hills
Debra A. Tortora
Manor Plains HS
JEA Elementary School
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Long before multi-culturism became an “ism,” Jeannette Santos of Amityville was spending countless hours working for community and charitable organizations to guarantee the best possible future for her fellow Long Islanders. The Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association recognized Mrs. Santos, the current president of the Board of Western Suffolk BOCES and trustee on the Amityville Board of Education, with the Distinguished Service Award on May 29 for her 40 years of dedicated service to education. She is shown at left recognizing Luis Sanchez of Amityville, a Wilson Tech student in Aircraft Technology, for being awarded a scholarship, valued at up to $5,000 per year for up ttwo years of college tuition, from the Long Island Forum for Technology.
From her children’s earliest years, Mrs. Santos has been an ardent supporter of public education—in her district's PTA followed by 21 years on the Amityville Board of Education and 19 years on the BOCES Board. Always respectful, but never shy, Mrs. Santos sought to create atmospheres that were not just inclusive, but also welcoming, for minorities in our schools. She is respected for asking polite but tough questions that paved the way to redress inequality. At every stage of her career, she questioned the status quo with the grace and polish that won admiration from her colleagues and community.
As demographic changes have swept Long Island and altered the makeup of our schools, Mrs. Santos has repeatedly used her considerable influence and reputation to help her school district and the greater LI community meet the needs of these changing times. Throughout her years of public service, she has focused her tremendous energies on insuring that all children are provided with the opportunities to learn to the best of their abilities.
She has been recognized with civic awards including the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Award, the NYS Golden Apple Award for Volunteers, the Governor Voluntary Service Award, the Suffolk County Citizen of the Year Award, the Suffolk County Human Rights Award, the Suffolk County Hispanic Leadership Award, the Town of Babylon Women’s History Month community Service Award and the NYSUFT Friends of Education Award.
"You don’t receive this kind of recognition by sitting at home!" observed Dr. Michael Mensch, Chief Operating Officer of Western Suffolk BOCES, as he introduced Mrs. Santos to the N-SSBA annual spring recognition dinner.
Mrs. Santos has used her own life experiences as an immigrant child and as the wife of an entrepreneur to diffuse tensions, form alliances and forge agreements to carry projects and programs forward with broad consensus. A decade ago, when many would have been seeking ways to downsize their civic involvement, she instead took on additional responsibilities as the Outreach Coordinator of the Town of Babylon Youth Institute and became a candidate for the NYS Senate. Her long-standing anti-bias commitment, her ongoing dedication to finding ways to involve all community members and her focus on creating environments that create true opportunity for all children made her most deserved of this recognition.
Three students from Wilson Tech have been selected for the prestigious LIFT (Long Island Forum for Technology) scholarships. The awards, valued at up to $5,000 per year (for up to two years) for tuition to further their education and training on Long Island, were presented to (l. to r.) Yander Reyes of Wyandanch in Aircraft Technology, Jose Yanez of Copiague in Automotive Technology and Luis Sanchez of Amityville in Aircraft Technology by Joesph Garone, the chairman of the LIFT Board.
LIFT hosted a luncheon to recognize the three recipients and their families for the students’ outstanding achievements in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) field. Yander and Luis plans to use their scholarships to earn their second FAA licenses in the BOCES Aviation Maintenance Technology program for adults at Republic Airport. Jose plans to use his scholarship to continue his automotive studies at Suffolk County Community College.
The LIFT competition was open to high school students pursuing a career and technical education at any of the three BOCES on Long Island. For this initial year, the LIFT scholarships were aimed at graduating seniors who were planning on continuing their education in a manufacturing-related program local to Long Island. Tech students were among more than 30 applicants for the awards.
The 2013-14 administrative budget of Western Suffolk BOCES was approved by its participating districts by a vote of 18 to 0 on April 23. The local boards also unanimously re-elected Mildred Browne of Copiague, Ilene Herz of Half Hollow Hills and Maryann Zumpano of Smithtown to serve three-year terms on the BOCES Board.
For the 2013-14 school year, Western Suffolk BOCES will increase the administrative charge by 2.4% which equals the average of the tax levy increases for our 18 participating districts for 2012-13. The capital charge will remain frozen for the third year in a row. This follows freezes for 2012-13 on the BOCES administrative and capital charges along with freezes on tuition rates for basic Special Education and Tech placements.
Recent collective bargaining agreements continue to help offset some increases in the costs for the retirement systems and health insurance and the continued decline on interest from deposits. For example, three BOCES bargaining units plus central office administrators and their respective office staff are working under salary freezes for 2012-13 and employees are contributing more towards health insurance. Additional savings have been achieved through reductions in supplies, repairs, conference and travel, postage, professional services and equipment.
Charge is Analogous to Tax Rate
The five year average increase of the administrative charge is 1.9%. The administrative charge, which is analogous to the tax rate in local districts, is set by subtracting revenues from the administrative budget. The proposed administrative budget for 2013-14 will increase 3.6% which is offset by charges to non-component districts and other miscellaneous revenues.
The capital budget is based on the cost of renting facilities plus the cost of maintaining and repairing BOCES facilities. Owning rather than renting most buildings for BOCES programs has helped control costs in the capital budget.
Two districts will see declines in their combined administrative and capital charge which is distributed to local districts based on a three-year weighted average of their student attendance. Sixteen will see increases; the largest will be $10,678 in Copiague, which has had the largest increase in enrollment compared to the others.
90.5% of Budget Goes to Programs
The total proposed Tentative BOCES budget for 2013–14 is $155,720,078. Of this, 90.5% is driven by the programs and services that local school districts request. Of the remainder, 2.9% are costs of administration; 4.5% for post-retirement benefits; and 2.1% for the capital budget.
Western Suffolk BOCES will run a Regional Summer School
on behalf of six school districts. Students in grades 6–12 in those districts will be offered remedial courses to make up deficiencies in academic work at Stimson Middle School in the South Huntington School District. This wide variety of remedial courses can benefit students with low or failing grades.
Residents within the six participating districts (listed below) whose children are registered in public, private or parochial schools, grades 6-12, are eligible to attend, with permission of their home school principal or designee, at no charge.
Non-resident students (in districts not listed below) are permitted to register after all residents are accommodated. Non-residents are required to show proof of immunization and authorization from their home school allowing them to register for specific courses and/or Regents/RCT examinations. Fees for non-resident students are $256 per course; $80/Regents exam; and $112/Regents review class
Participating Districts for 2013
North Babylon UFSD*
Northport-East Northport UFSD
South Huntington UFSD
* limited participation, please check with your school
For more information, parents should call the guidance counselor in the student’s home school. Additional details are available at www.wsboces.org/rss
Taylor Ramirez from North Babylon participated in the spring Special Olympics at Commack and was interviewed on Channel 12 News. She is a student at the James E. Allen Jr./Sr. High School. Congratulations, Taylor and staff who made the day such a success!
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|Dr. Michael Mensch (far r.), Chief Operating Officer, welcomes Jim and Nancy Carman of Half Hollow Hills and their sons John (l.) and Tim (r.) before Jim spoke about his sons' experiences in Wilson Tech and BOCES programs. Psychologist Jean Marie Ciassone (far l.) and Principal Fran Crocco (center back) also attended. ||Wilson Tech students opened PTA Night with the Pledge of Allegiance with Ken Burr, Executive Director of Career and Technical Education. |
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|Jacqueline Wilson (l.), Director of Suffolk Region PTA , awards $500 PTA scholarship to Alexander Kuzdro, a Commack senior in Wilson Tech's automotive technology program, as his teachers Ralph Saverese and Stephen Rizzuto look on. ||Culinary students at Wilson Tech cooked and served PTA members from throughout Western Suffolk BOCES. |
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|Culinary students worked with smiles! ||Culinary students leave after a long evening at Wilson Tech. |
Public school enrollment on Long Island has declined by 4 percent since 2006; 3 percent in Nassau County and 4.9 percent in Suffolk County according to the annual Bi-County Nassau/Suffolk Public School Enrollment Report
that has been compiled by the Office of School Planning and Research at Western Suffolk BOCES.
This document provides information about historical enrollments (2006 – 2012) in the Long Island counties as well as projected enrollments through 2015. These projections suggest an additional 3.7 percent decline in the region over the next three years.
Elementary grades (K - 5) declined the most (5.4 percent) since 2006; an additional 4.3 percent loss is expected by 2015. Declines have also been seen at the middle level (6 - 8) and are anticipated to continue. Losses at the high school level (9 - 12) are expected in the coming years as the smaller elementary and middle level cohorts reach the secondary schools. Since 2006, smaller incoming kindergarten classes replaced larger exiting twelfth grade classes.
According to the study, this trend is expected to continue in the projection years; however, the displacement will be more significant in the projected years, through 2015. Enrollment in public schools is affected by demographic factors. These factors include the number of children being born in the area, economic and housing trends, non-public school enrollments and immigration/migration patterns. The downturn in the economy, the study reports, exacerbated already declining enrollments.
Long Island experienced significant population increases in the 1990’s. Since then, the population has continued to grow, although at a slower pace. While the population in the United States increased 10.7 percent over the last 10 years, the study cites Long Island’s population growth by 3.2 percent; Nassau grew by only 0.7 percent while Suffolk grew by 5.6 percent. Factors contributing to recent increases include foreign immigration, decreased out-migration and natural increases (births minus deaths).
In contrast to this population growth, the study found that K-12 enrollment peaked in 2004 with 471,402 students. Since then, overall enrollment has been decreasing each year. The study expects this trend to continue because Long Island’s population has experienced demographic changes.
Both Nassau and Suffolk Counties saw a decline in the number of children under the age of five between 2000 and 2010, while both counties also showed a 2.5 percent decline in people between the ages of 20 – 54 from 2000 to 2010. The study found that significant increases in the percentage of the population over age 55. Since the 2000 Census, the median age of Long Islanders has increased. Nassau County’s median age in 2000 was 38.5 years but rose to 41.1 in 2010 while Suffolk County noted an increase from 36.5 years in 2000 to 39.8 years in 2010. The 2010 median age in both counties is higher than New York State’s median age (38 years) and the nation’s (36.9 years).
The study found that births have been declining on Long Island since the 1990’s and are expected to plateau at a lower level in the future. The economy has been cited, the study says, as a partial reason for the continuing decreases in births as couples may have postponed having children until the economy improves. This has led to the declines in the number of pre-school children. Smaller numbers of births are expected to continue, the study noted, and will impact school enrollments in many districts in future years.
Recent population data indicates that the foreign-born in the United States accounts for 12.8 percent of the total population. More than half of these immigrants were born in Latin America. This represents an increase of approximately 12.6 million people since 2000. Those that are foreign born represent approximately 21.8 percent of the population in New York State, while residents who were born outside the country made up 20.9 percent of the population in Nassau County in 2010 and 14.2 percent in Suffolk County.
Immigration is a large contributor, the study noted, to population growth. Of the foreign-born residents, 48.6 percent in Nassau County and 56.8 percent in Suffolk County were born in Latin America, causing a continuing but growing concern for how school districts will service the growing population of bilingual and English as a Second Language students.
Economic conditions continue to impact Long Island’s housing market. The study found that over the past six years, financial turmoil, high taxes and sluggish home sales have been evident in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Homes on Long Island sold at record levels until 2006. Since then, the housing market has fallen off significantly, causing property values to decline. In April 2007, the median home price in Nassau County was $487,000; in January 2013, it had fallen to $400,000. In Suffolk County the median home price fell from $431,000 in 2007 to $310,000 in January 2013.
Housing prices are not expected to significantly increase in value and may stagnate well into the middle of this decade. The study found that changes in the housing market have had a significant impact on school enrollment. Together, these factors will impact school districts.
“The best way to address these changes is to be aware of the trends that are developing in your immediate locale. By studying historical, as well as recent enrollment and demographic trends, you can best prepare your school district for the future,” noted Paula Klingelhoefer, Executive Director of Instructional Support Services at BOCES.
Western Suffolk BOCESis available to support school districts in long-range planning by offering experienced, objective assistance in Demographics
(an analysis of population, births, housing, resident characteristics and non-public school enrollment), Enrollment
(an analysis of historical enrollment trends and future enrollment projections for the district as a whole, for specific grade sub-sets, and for individual schools, Facilities
(an analysis of each facility’s capacity with an assessment of the impact of projected enrollment on future facility utilization and program delivery, Future Organization
(a presentation of options, suited to district policy, allowing for equity in districts’ schools, continued program excellence and implementation of educational goals).
To discuss BOCES services and how they may promote your districts’ goals, call (631-595-6802.
Left: Before Dr. Michael Mensch (r.), Chief Operating Officer of Western Suffolk BOCES, plunged into the chilly waters of the Great South Bay, he gathered with the loyal BOCES supporters. Right: Larry Cimino (l.), BOCES physical education teacher, joined Dr. Mensch and the team from the James E. Allen Jr./Sr. High School to raise $725 at the AHRC’s second annual Polar Bear Splash. Proceeds were split between AHRC Suffolk and our SEPTA at JEA Jr./Sr.
While enrollment grew in the secondary grades in the 18 school districts of the Western Suffolk BOCES region from 2006 to 2012, fewer elementary school students moved into the middle grades resulting in an overall 5% decline in students during those six years. The region went from 90,630 students in 2006 to 86,090 students in 2012.
To illustrate the highly variable enrollment data within the region, the recently released Demographic Study of the 18 School Districts in Western Suffolk BOCES cited figures from just one year (between 2011 and 2012) when enrollment grew 3.3% in Amityville and 1.5% in Copiague; remained stable in
Deer Park, Huntington, North Babylon, South Huntington and Wyandanch; and declined approximately 2 to 3% in the remaining 11 districts.
Between 2006 and 2012, the study found the greatest enrollment gain in Amityville (7.2%); while the greatest declines in enrollment were seen in West Babylon (11.5%), Lindenhurst (11.0%) and Babylon (10.7%).
Overall, the study projects regional enrollment to decline by 4,729 students by 2015 as lower enrollments in elementary and middle grades, primarily reflecting the smaller kindergarten cohorts that began in 2005, progress through the system. The study found that the number of births in Suffolk County, which declined from 21,252 in 1990 to 16,805 in 2010, correlated to smaller kindergarten classes replacing larger exiting twelfth grade classes each year since 2006. As these smaller cohorts continue to move through the system, losses are projected in elementary, middle and secondary grade enrollment from 2012 to 2015. These trends are consistent with those noted in previous studies. Enrollment in the Western Suffolk BOCES region peaked in 2004 with 91,076 students.
According to the BOCES study, gains or losses in enrollment are largely reflective of housing sales; housing is an important consideration for potential school enrollment. Records between 2007 and 2011 showed a decline in housing sales in the three towns of Babylon (35%), Smithtown (34%) and Huntington (26%). The weak economy continues to impact the region’s housing market, as Huntington and Smithtown continued to show decline in the number of units sold between 2010 and 2011, while Babylon did show a slight increase. The median housing price also continued to decline in Huntington and Babylon, while Smithtown showed a slight gain.
The Western Suffolk BOCES Office of School Planning & Research has conducted Comprehensive Long Range Planning Studies for over 125 school districts during the past five years. Comprehensive Long Range Planning Studies include analysis of demographic factors that have influenced historical enrollment or can impact future enrollment. These factors include population, housing, economy, and non-public school attendance.
For more information, contact:
Western Suffolk BOCES, Division of Instructional Support Services
Paula Klingelhoefer, Executive Director
Office of School Planning & Research, Joan Townley, Coordinator
Left photo: Monsignor Joseph Granata, pastor of St. Hughes Church, Huntington Station, cuts the ribbon to officially open the Welcome Center at the Literacy Zone in Huntington Station.
Right photo: BOCES employees Valerie Cowen-Gouskos (l.), an adult instructor/school counseling, and Mona DeSesa (c.), program manager for the Literacy Zone, worked with Sister Lenore Toscano (r.), director of the Opening Word, to officially promote the Literacy Zone as a neighborhood location for adults to take classes to help them prepare for the workforce
BOCES joined forces with The Opening Word to open the Huntington Station Literacy Zone where adults in Huntington can study English, prepare for citizenship, prepare for GED test, and learn workplace skills such as computer software programs. The Welcome Center, dedicated in fall 2012, is located at 1450 New York Avenue, Huntington Station.
BOCES will provide the assessments and adult instructors for classes at the center. For more information about registering for a class, call the Career Center at Western Suffolk BOCES at 631-667-6000, ext. 327.
The NYS Commissioner of Education has certified that the Annual Professional Performance Review Plan (APPR)
submitted by Western Suffolk BOCES has met the criteria outlined in Education Law 3012-c and Subpart 30-2 of the Commissioner’s Regulations and has been approved for the 2012-13 school year.
Expressing his commitment to maintaining a safe environment for learning in BOCES schools, Dr. Michael Mensch, Chief Operating Officer of Western Suffolk BOCES, sent this letter to parents on Dec. 17, 2012.
We were deeply saddened to hear the news of the school tragedy that occurred last Friday at a Connecticut elementary school. Our thoughts are with the members of that community. The safety of our students is always the top priority in Western Suffolk BOCES. We take seriously our responsibility to ensure the safety of your child every day.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind all of our families that we have a plan in place at each of our schools to handle emergency situations. We work with the local police and fire departments to prepare for these types of emergencies and regularly practice our safety procedures with students and staff through discussions and emergency exercises.
This tragedy is a stark reminder of the importance of our safety procedures and our check-in and screening processes for all visitors to our campuses. While there is no indication that this is anything but an isolated incident, we do want to take this opportunity to remind all of our BOCES families that we conduct regular drills, including those for a building lockdown, and that we have a screening check-in process for all visitors to our schools.
In response, and in anticipation of the needs of our students:
· All BOCES staff are available to provide extra measures of support and counseling to our students.
· All safety procedures were reviewed with a goal to maintain the highest level of safety within our schools.
· We will redouble our efforts to collaborate with local police agencies and the entire school community in an effort to help us maintain the health and safety of our students.
As a parent and grandparent, I am deeply saddened by the story unfolding. Please keep the families of those involved in this terrible situation in your prayers. We will learn more details in the days ahead, and I assure we will discuss the ramifications of these details to further maintain the safe learning environment here at Western Suffolk BOCES for all children.
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With 360 degree views of Manhattan from an event space in Tribeca, families and friends of children with Lowes syndrome gathered in November to raise funds for medical and scientific research for this rare genetic disorder. JEA Jr./Sr. High School was proud that the Lowes Syndrome Association featured one of its students, James Jerman from Half Hollow Hills, and his family in the gala’s program. For more information about the fundraiser, go to www.lowesyndrome.org
Let the holidays begin! Western Suffolk BOCES hosted the annual dinner meeting for members of the boards of education in Huntington, Smithtown and Babylon. Before Culinary Arts students served dinner, board members visited program displays and discussed the Tech curriculum with Wilson Tech students. Pictured above is a group of Tech students from Walter G. O'Connell High School along with Charles Leunig (c, left), Superintendent, and Michael Greb, president of the Copiage Board of Education. See what Tech students showed board members.
Now, see the photographs taken by Tech students in a special photo studio.
Meet the Photographers!
Photography instructor Phyllis Montouri (l.) directs (l. to r.) Chris Ketter of Deer Park, Kristin Gates of Smithtown West, and Casey Fernandez of Copiague.
Smithtown photographers Kristin Gates and David Emiliani.
Western Suffolk BOCES has added a pre-entrance exam for Saturday, Jan. 5 for those seeking admission to the Practical Nursing and Surgical Technology classes that will begin in March 2013. The PN program is approved by the NYS Education Department and the Surg Tech program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
To help prepare applicants for this rigorous exam, Tech offers a Basic Skills class and a Prep Class for the pre-entrance exam. The pre-entrance exam may be taken once a semester. A successful score on the pre-entrance exam is required for applying to these two programs but does not guarantee admission.
For more information about these and other accredited health programs or to register for this exam, call 631-261-3721 x 219 or go to www.wsboces.org/fulltime
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The Board of Western Suffolk BOCES honored one of its own at the November meeting. Mildred Browne, long active in educational and civic organizations, was recognized as a Woman of Distinction by NYS Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr.
Ms. Browne began volunteering as a teenager with the American Women's Volunteer Service and the Civil Air Patrol during World War II. She served on the Copiague Board of Education for 22 years and has served on the BOCES Board since 1993, including terms as vice president and then president on both boards. She has been a staunch advocate for public education and has used her great energy and powers of persuasion to help direct financial resources to Long Island schools and to expand learning opportunities for all children.
The Headliners at the 2012 Technology Summit . . .
Top: The leaders of the three BOCES on Long Island (l. to r.) Dean Lucera, Dr. Michael Mensch, and Dr. Thomas Rogers (far r.) congratulated Maddalena Buffalino, social studies teacher in Carle Place, and Gene Tranchino, Executive Director of Instructional and Administrative Computing in Elwood, who received the Fred Podolski Leadership and Innovation in Technology Awards.
Right: Dr. Michael Mensch, Chief Operating Officer of Western Suffolk BOCES, opens the 2012 Technology Summit.
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|The Attendees . . . || |
Top: Al Pisano and Roberta MacGray, Teacher Integration Specialists with ESBOCES, discuss the use of Google Apps and digital portfolios in Sachem.
Right: Keynote speaker Adam Bellow (l.) reminisces about his first career as an English teacher in Walter G. O'Connell High School with current educators from Copiague school district.
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|Those who made it all happen . . . || |
(l. to r.) Jane Babino, Joann Zerbo, Janice Schwartz, Debbilynne Maxwell, and Arlene Riordan were the backbone of the summit!
Left: Paula Klingelhoefer, Executive Director, Instructional Support Services
Right: Division Administrator, Curriculum/
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The Board adopted a revised Code of Conduct (policy #6211) for Western Suffolk BOCES at the July meeting to comply with the recently passed Dignity Act. The approved revision added “weight” and “sexual orientation” as a protected class, included the appointment of a Dignity Act Coordinator in each school and defined the role of the Dignity Act Coordinator.
At the July meeting, board members re-elected Jeannette Santos of Amityville as president and Marynn Zumpano of Smithtown as vice president for the 2012-13 school year. Sydney Finkelstein of Elwood and Sal Marinello of West Babylon were sworn in to three-year terms as trustees. Both were re-elected in local elections in May.
Retirees of Western Suffolk BOCES were recognized at the Board's June meeting.
At the June Board meeting, 18 employees were presented with Outstanding Achievement Awards for their exemplary work. Many attended the ceremony with friends and family members. See who attended!
Learning by doing is the essence of the Esthetics and Cosmetology programs at Western Suffolk BOCES. Adult students took it a step further recently as they joined with their instructors (above) to provide free facials or hair treatments to parents or guardian working with a Parent Advocate through Family Service League’s Parent to Parent program.
Registration for these two BOCES adult programs is ongoing. Adults can enter either the Esthetics or Cosmetology programs at the beginning of each module. For more information go to www.wsboces.org/fulltime
or call a counselor at 631-261-3863. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.
Western Suffolk BOCES has joined the Long Island Bid System for soliciting bids from suppliers. This system will provide companies with convenient online access to all bid information for Western Suffolk BOCES and seven other agencies. If vendors are currently registered as a supplier on this system with another entity, there is no need to register again.
To participate in future bid opportunities from BOCES and these agencies, vendors have two options: Option A is free; Option B is $99.95/year because it includes automatic email notification of bid announcements, addendums and results for registered commodity/service codes.
Register now at www.LongIslandBidSystem.com
. Use the “Supplier Registration” link and follow the step-by-step instructions. For help registering, call the technical support department at IPT by BidNet toll free 1-800-835-4603.
Beginning April 2012, Western Suffolk BOCES will post the bid results at www.LongIslandBidSystem.com
where vendors can search by key word.
Francisco Bautista, a fifth grader in the BOCES Alternate Learning Center classroom at N. Babylon’s DeLuca Elementary School, competed in the LI Regional Spelling Bee on March 18 at Hofstra. With excitement in the air, Francisco made it through round one by correctly spelled the word 'humdinger'! His family and the DeLuca ALC staff cheered him on as he competed against 103 other middle school students from Nassau and Suffolk County.
Francisco continued to meet with success until only 35 spellers remained. The eventual winner, a 5th grade student from Oceanside, correctly spelled the word 'mordacious' to win the competition. We are extremely proud that Fransisco represented DeLuca Elementary after winning first place in his school’s contest. Francisco worked hard to prepare for the competition and gave an outstanding performance!
The Association of Surgical Technology recently announced in the quarterly publication of ASTSA News that 16 students from across the United States had been chosen as National Honor Society Inductees. One of the 16 was Tracy Hagen, a recent graduate of the Western Suffolk BOCES' Surgical Technology program! She is currently employed at St. Catherine's Medical Center in Smithtown.
Classes in surgical technology are now forming for Sept. 2012 and March 2013. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education programs. Financial aid is available to students who qualify. For more information about prerequisites and the program, click here
Bob Gainer, an adult student in BOCES’ Aviation Maintenance Technician program, received a $1,000 scholarship from the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association based on his academic performance. A former marine, Bob was a carpenter before he decided to make a career change and enrolled in the program at Republic two years ago.
Bob has excellent attendance despite the fact that he takes public transportation from New Hyde Park to the BOCES program at Wilson Technological Center's Farmingdale campus next to Republic Airport. He has already earned his FAA Airframe license and is currently working on his FAA Powerplant license. Bob currently has an average above 90 and will be recommended for the National Technical Honor Society.
The BOCES AMT program is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and approved for ACCES-VR and VA. Instructors are FAA certified. Financial aid is available to students who qualify. Registration is now open for summer classes. Call 631-752-1957 for a tour. For more information about the AMT program, click here.
Mildred Browne (r.) visits with Evan Collelo, a Tech graduate who is in the certificate program at Nassau Community college to become a sound recording technician.
Jonathan Mackey describes his internship as an assistant engineer at a local recording studio to Ilene Herz (r.), board member from Half Hollow Hills.
Jeannette Santos (r.) visits with Luis Mamba of Amityville, a Tech graduate who studies music business with an audio concentration at Five Towns College.
Board member Peter Wunsch takes a turn reading a script in Tech's sound booth.
Board members toured the Audio Production classroom at Wilson Tech with alumni of the Graphic & Media cluster during the February Board meeting. Juniors and seniors in high school can explore their interests in music as they record their own voices in a sound booth or learn to spin tunes on a DJ board. Students can also record their music using a variety of electronic instruments and Apple MacIntosh computers.
Tech's rigorous program has agreements with several colleges so students can earn up to 9 credits toward college while they are still in high school. For more information about registering for any of the 28 programs for high school students, call 631-667-6000 x300 or visit your guidance counselor in your home high school.
As the longest serving member of the BOCES Board, Sydney Finkelstein (r.) of Elwood, does not rest on his laurels. Recently the NYS School Boards Association gave him a Learning for Leaders Board Achievement Award for his ongoing participation in leadership development training.
“Syd takes advantage of every opportunity to enhance his knowledge of financing and guiding this BOCES," said Dr. Michael Mensch (l.), Chief Operating Officer of Western Suffolk BOCES, as he presented him with the award.
The statistics for BOCES grads in the Practical Nursing program speak for themselves! Those adults who took the Practical Nursing exam for NYS board licensure in the third quarter of 2011 had a 97% pass rate compared to 85% in NYS and 87% for the U.S. We are proud of students AND staff!
The Practical Nursing program at Western Suffolk is approved by the NYS Education Department. Adults can complete the full-time day program in 13 months; the part-time day program in 24 months and the evening program in 18 months.
Financial aid is available to those who qualify. Prerequisites include a high school diploma or equivalent plus a satisfactory score on the Pre-Entrance Exam.
For more information about how you can enroll in the BOCES Practical Nursing program for adults at Wilson Tech's Northport campus, click here
or call 631-261-3721 x219.
Veterans can gain computer skills through the “No Man Is An Island” program taught by Western Suffolk BOCES in partnership with the Department of Veteran Affairs, NY Regional Office.
This program is an adjunct to the VA medical treatment program to help increase veterans’ awareness, mental alertness, socialization and interaction in the world. The program teaches computer applications to help build the veterans’ basic computer knowledge and enable the veterans to augment their interests and global access.
The six-month computer training program enables veterans to reconnect with family and friends. Upon successful completion of the program, these veterans are eligible to receive a computer and printer for their home.
Veterans describe being overwhelmed at first, but they appreciate the many ways that technology can positively impact their lives. One veteran described how he reached out to a war buddy after 40 years. Now they email to stay in touch.
The “No Man Is An Island” program serves disabled veterans at the VA’s Northport, Brooklyn and Manhattan medical centers. Veterans generally range in age from 25 to 95 and represent all eras of conflicts. For further information contact 631-667-6000 x320.
The Aviation Maintenance Technology Program hosted a Career Fair and Open House on 15 from 9 to 11 am at Wilson Tech's Republic Airport campus for adults interested in preparing to earn FAA licenses. Employers from major Long Island airports including Sheltair, Delta Technical Operations, A&P Aircraft Maintenance, Mach II Aviation, US Airways, New York State Police, Vaughn College, AAR Aircraft Component Services, Federal Aviation Administration, 106th Rescue Wing, Air National Guard, NYC Business Solutions Transportation, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Academy of Aviation, and Jet Blue talked to prospective students about career opportunities for those with FAA licenses.
For more than two years Raul Rivera has commuted from Brooklyn to Western Suffolk BOCES programs. His perseverance has helped him earn his long-awaited high school diploma and prepare for two nationally recognized exams in Wilson Tech’s Aviation Technology program. In recognition of his hard work, the Faculty Association of Western Suffolk BOCES recently presented him with a $50 award.
After earning his high school diploma from Kings Park High School through the External Diploma Program at BOCES, Raul continued to commute from Brooklyn in pursuit of two licenses from the Federal Aviation Administration. Upon Raul’s graduation from the BOCES aviation program in May, he will be qualified to take the national exams for FAA Powerplant and Airframe licenses. To present Raul’s award were (l. to r.) Henry Delarosa, his Airframe instructor; Nadine Singer, his counselor in the External Diploma Program; Debra Montaruli, principal of BOCES adult education programs; Ila Gaffney, adult counselor; and John Colandrea, assistant principal of Tech’s Aviation Facility in Farmingdale.
EDP is a study-at-home program where adults receive credit for skills they have acquired and for demonstrating mastery of specific academic requirements in weekly sessions with a counselor/teacher. EDP is offered at no charge through Western Suffolk BOCES and New York State. For more information about the EDP program, call Wilson Tech's Career Center at 631-667-6000, ext. 327.
For a tour of the BOCES aviation program, call 752-1957.
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Angela Hendrikson of Huntington won the Huntington Junior Welfare League Healthcare Scholarship to continue her studies in Practical Nursing at Western Suffolk BOCES. Angela received the $3,000 scholarship, which the League awards annually, at a special luncheon honoring her.
Learn more about how you can earn a valuable license in the BOCES School of Practical Nursing! The accelerated day program takes just 13 months!
Western Suffolk BOCES has been re-approved by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) to offer IACET Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for all classes in its adult education programs at Wilson Technological Center. Adults can learn new skills for entering the workforce, changing careers, advancing on the job, or developing a hobby in more than 300 classes that Wilson Tech offers.
To achieve this prestigious status as an Authorized Provider, BOCES completed a rigorous application process, including a review by an IACET site visitor, and successfully demonstrated adherence to the ANSI/IACET 1-2007 Standard addressing the design, development, administration, and evaluation of its programs.
“Wilson Tech is proud of our adult education programs which train more than 8,000 each year in skills ranging from automotive and cosmetology to computer networking and videography so that Long Islanders stay on the cutting edge,” said Dr. Michael Mensch, Chief Operating Officer of Western Suffolk BOCES. “Our ongoing partnership with IACET is a demonstration of our commitment to lifelong learning and high standards for all of our programs, and we are very pleased to join an elite group of organizations that offer excellent continuing education and training programs.”
Western Suffolk BOCES joins nearly 650 organizations around the globe that have had their programs vetted by third-party experts in continuing education to ensure the highest possible standards are met. IACET, a non-profit association dedicated to quality continuing education and training programs, is the only standard-setting organization approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for continuing education and training.
Wilson Tech is the career and technical education division of Western Suffolk BOCES. It offers both part-time evening courses and full-time day programs including 43 that help adults earn certificates or licenses. Juniors and seniors in high school can also attend Wilson Tech for half-day programs. For more information about both, go to www.wilsontech.org
| ||Damian Branch of West Babylon receives his high school diploma from Anthony Cacciola (c.), Superintendent of Schools, and Dr. Ellice Vassallo (r.), principal. |Click here to see the new high school graduates
In this study-at-home program, these adults received credit for skills they had acquired and demonstrated mastery of specific academic requirements in weekly sessions with a counselor/teacher. For more information about the EDP program, call Wilson Tech's Career Center at 631-667-6000, ext. 327.
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BOCES faculty who participated in the re-accreditation process included (l. to r.) Andrea Frasca, RN, BSN, CNOR; Kristie Cusimano, AAS, CST; Kathi Baker, RN, BSN, MS, Administrator of Health Careers; Rosemary Nagler, RN, BS, CNOR, Supervisor of Health Careers; and Janet Hotis, AAS, CST.
The Surgical Technology program at Western Suffolk BOCES has just been re-accredited for 10 years from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Adults can begin the year-long program at Wilson Tech’s Northport campus in September or March each year.
The approval came after a lengthy review process that evaluated all aspects of the ST program—didactic, laboratory and clinical curriculum, policies and procedures, student resources, faculty credentials and accomplishments, program outcomes, placement, student and employer satisfaction and BOCES’ ability to respond to the needs of the community. The Commission commended the BOCES staff for their “commitment to continuous quality improvement in education.”
The ST program prepares adults for employment in operating rooms, surgical offices, delivery rooms, emergency departments, physician and dentist offices, central supply services, cardiac catheterization clinics, tissue banks and ambulatory surgical care sites. After training in the BOCES operating room, students must complete a clinical placement in a local health care facility where they work under an experienced health care professional.
To apply to the ST program, adults must have a high school diploma or equivalent and achieve a satisfactory score on a pre-entrance exam. Financial aid is available to those who qualify. For details on application procedures and the program requirements, go to www.wsboces.org/fulltime
or call 631-261-3721.
Connetquot High School students in the BOCES Hard Shell Clam Mariculture Program recently put 150,000 clams in Stony Brook Harbor. Students had built rafts for the seed clams last winter, monitored their growth throughout the school year and summer, and finally placed the adolescent clams into the harbor where they should safely develop into adult clams.
The Outdoor Environmental Education Program through Western Suffolk BOCES funded the program through the Nature Conservancy, the Town of Smithtown and the National Grid Foundation. Connetquot's science teacher Lori Forgione had written the winning proposal to have students in an after school program help restore Long Island's dwindling shellfish population. Other clams that the students had raised were placed in the Great South Bay.
For more information about mariculture programs in Long Island schools, call 360-3652.
Lori Battell of West Islip, an adult student in Western Suffolk BOCES’ School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, was one of eight in the U.S. to be awarded a scholarship from the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. Lori will use her $500 award for her tuition in the program. She hopes to complete the BOCES program in June 2010and then work in a hospital.
Among the five specialty areas available in Tech's 24-month program, Tech students can pursue echocardiography (the sonography of structures of the heart), general, breast, obstetrics and vascular sonography. Each specialty area requires graduates to pass a different registry exam.
Lori selected the BOCES program at Wilson Tech’s Northport campus because of its affordable tuition and the emphasis on supervised clinical experience in hospitals and doctor's offices from Manhattan to Southampton. Students gain valuable hands-on experience in several three-month clinical rotations.
Interested adults should begin preparations now for the next class which begins July 2010. The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Financial aid is available to those who qualify. For more details about the program, admission requirements and tuition, go to www.wsboces.org/fulltime
, or call 631-261-3721 ext. 219.
After an extensive review, Western Suffolk BOCES was recently awarded national accreditation from the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education for its full-time adult education programs. Dr. Michael J. Mensch (l.), Chief Operating Officer of BOCES, presents the certificate to Kathi Baker (c.), administrator of health programs; and Deborah Montaruli (r.), principal of adult services. With this accreditation, BOCES can continue offering financial aid to adults studying cosmetology, aesthetics, practical nursing, diagnostic medical sonography, surgical technology, aircraft maintenance technology and automotive technology. For more information about these seven programs, go to www.wsboces.org/fulltime
, or call 667-6000 ext. 320. Registration is now underway for spring semester.
To earn this prestigious recognition, BOCES had to demonstrate that it met not only the standards of quality of the Commission but also the needs of students, the community, and employers. The Council, whose mission is to assure quality and integrity in career and technical education at postsecondary institutions across the nation, is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Wilson Tech’s Auto Body program has earned a national endorsement from AutoYES after a successful site visit in June. A program evaluator from Okalahoma City inspected Tech facilities and interviewed Tech instructors. The endorsement is effective immediately.
Tech's program prepares high school students pursuing Auto Body Repair to earn the Regent's diploma, including the prestigious seal of Technical Endorsement, and this nationally recognized certificate. For details about the program, visit http://www.wilsontech.org/HSPrograms/auto_body_repair/
The next Regular meeting of the Board of Western Suffolk BOCES will be held on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at the Western Suffolk BOCES Administrative Offices, 507 Deer Park Road, Dix Hills, NY 11746. The Regular meeting convenes at 6:30 pm in the Small Conference Room immediately followed by an Executive Session. The public portion resumes, beginning with Item Number I on the Agenda, at 7 pm in the Large Conference Room.
For Board agendas, Board minutes and dates of upcoming Board meetings, click here.