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					 Vol. 3 Issue 1
                                                  In sight
                                                                                                     Winter 2011

H         elping New Teachers be Successful
This past September, Marc Cizenski began working as a social studies teacher in OCM BOCES’ Reach program at the
Lee G. Peters Career Training Center in Liverpool. When he was hired, Marc had received a bachelor’s degree in History
Education from Le Moyne College and was pursuing his master’s degree. Marc felt prepared to begin his work at OCM
BOCES with confidence that his education had readied him for any type of classroom environment. But Marc also had
confidence that he wasn’t completely alone …prior to stepping into his classroom for the first time, Marc was matched
with mentor Pam Hogan, a social studies teacher at the OCM BOCES Career Academy.

In November of 2003, the New York State Board of Regents adopted a regulation requiring school districts and BOCES to
plan and implement mentoring programs for their new first-year teachers. The regulation was a complement to an existing
State regulation requiring all new teachers holding an initial certificate to complete a mentored teacher experience within
the first year of their employment.

Among the reasons for implementation of the regulation, the law cited teacher retention and improving a new teacher’s
ability to assist student achievement consistent with State learning standards. New first-year teachers face many
challenges, not limited to becoming familiar with a district’s curriculum, learning about the school and district and
managing their particular classroom. Having a mentor to navigate those
challenges can make a huge difference in the new teacher’s on the job

Since the inception of the State regulation, districts throughout New
York State have developed their own new teacher induction and
mentoring plans. Within the State regulation, districts have some
freedom to define their own mentor responsibilities with the
set requirement that mentors provide “guidance and support”
and that mentoring plans be a component of the district’s
professional development activities and available to the
                    Story continued on following page

Pictured: Marc Cizenski, a new first year social
studies teacher in the OCM BOCES Reach
program, helps one of his students with an in-class
assignment. Pam Hogan, an OCM BOCES Career
Academy social studies teacher and Marc’s mentor,
was in class with Marc during this particular period on
September 29, 2010. After the class was over, Pam and Marc
met and discussed teaching strategies that might benefit Marc
as he works with his new students.
Districts are also required to maintain records on their      content area, physical proximity and personality type in
mentoring program to include teacher information, types of    their development of pairs. “It is important that in pairing
mentoring activities and hours devoted to those activities.   our mentors we match our pairs by content area, but that
                                                              isn’t all we do. We strive to match our mentors and mentees
Recognizing the importance of mentoring, OCM BOCES
                                                              according to their location and how well we think they will
has, for years, been pairing new teachers with mentors and
                                                              connect with each other.”
providing learning activities and training for both.
                                                                                 Marc Cizenski feels that BOCES
OCM BOCES’ Mentoring workshops are provided as                                   did a great job matching him with
two separate offerings, one geared toward each half of                           Pam Hogan as his mentor, “Pam’s
                                                                                 personality and teaching style [have]
the pair. The workshop series for new teachers, called                           been an immense help. BOCES [did]
“Why Didn’t I Learn this in College,” is designed                                a great job of matching Pam as my
                                                                                 mentor because she has the same
to enable new teachers to develop their capacity in                              passion for assisting young adults in
planning, teaching and assessing in a standards-based                            becoming not only better students, but
                                                                                 better people.”
environment. The series for experienced teachers,
                                                                                      Story continued on following page
“The 21st Century Mentor,” discusses best mentoring
practices and is designed to assist mentors as they help
their new teachers become fully qualified and satisfied
in their classrooms.
In OCM BOCES’ mentoring plan for the 2010-2011 school
year, required mentoring activities include weekly or
monthly meetings throughout the school year. Each pair
submits monthly planning, activity and evaluation forms
and mentor training is an important piece of the OCM
BOCES mentoring program plan.

OCM provides the mentor pairs with training through
Instructional Support Services (ISS). The ISS training is
done in cooperation with Just ASK Publications, as part of
a comprehensive professional development program for
new and experienced teachers. All OCM BOCES mentors
and new teachers attend five days of training. Mentors
                                                               OCM BOCES mentor pairs are “matched” prior to
spend a day and a half in their new teacher’s classroom        the start of the school year and have the opportunity to
observing and each new teacher spends one half-day in          become acquainted with the organization and each other
their mentor’s classroom.                                      during new staff orientation in August. The 2010-2011
                                                               new instructional staff orientation provided two days of
Colleen Viggiano is OCM BOCES’ Assistant
                                                               activities, team-building and educational opportunities
Superintendent for Student Services and coordinates the        for new staff and mentors, including an ice cream social.
organization’s mentoring program. She points out that          Pictured as they create their ice cream sundaes, are
great effort is put into creating a successful mentor-new      mentors Marianne Hunt (front left), Cheryl Rogers (front
teacher relationship. New teachers’ supervisors and the        right), and Andrea Corasaniti (back right), a new teacher
BOCES leadership team look closely at factors such as          at OCM BOCES’ McEvoy Educational Campus.

2                                                                                                          Winter 2011
Pam Hogan is a veteran social studies
teacher at OCM BOCES’ Career
Academy, also housed at the Lee G.
Peters Career Training Center. Pam began
working at the Career Academy when
the school first opened in September of
2006. Being in the same building, Pam
and Marc’s physical proximity is just a
few hundred yards, but the relationship
they have developed through the OCM
BOCES mentoring program is even closer.
In the months since school began, the
interactions between Marc and Pam have
become that of friends supporting one
another as they work through situations
that the other understands.
                                                                                      Pictured: Students in Marc
By the end of December, Marc and Pam had many meetings on their own as well           Cizenski’s class at the OCM
as several with other OCM BOCES mentor pairs. The pair’s conversations have           BOCES Reach program work
taken on familiar and casual tones with their classroom and teaching reflections      in the computer lab while Marc
blended with smiles and laughter. Marc expresses his gratitude for Pam and            discusses the assignment with
the positive experience of having a mentor saying, “When I think about how            a student. Pam Hogan, Marc’s
helpful Pam is, I compare it to having an unlimited amount of life lines. She         mentor, is observing their
encourages me to come up with lessons that may not be traditional and really          interaction and will provide
                                                                                      feedback and advice after the
lets me use creativity in alternative education. It is great because she has such
                                                                                      class has ended.
an understanding for the content and for the students that she can help me find a

OCM BOCES’ Reach Program serves 7th and 8th grade students in Onondaga
County. The Alternative Education program provides a rigorous educational
environment based on small groups of students exploring curriculum in an
integrated, problem-solving format. Students are referred to the Reach program by
guidance counselors in their home school district with the overall goal of motivating them to find value in their learning
through practical experiences and project-based learning.
OCM BOCES’ Career Academy began in September of 2006, with input from OCM BOCES’ component districts. The
Academy currently serves more than 150 ninth through twelfth grade students from four of our component school districts:
North Syracuse, Liverpool, Fayetteville-Manlius and Baldwinsville. The school’s mission is to provide students an
opportunity to explore different career paths while completing their academic course work to graduate from high school.
Career themes are woven into the academic courses to make them more meaningful and engaging for students. The
program inspires leadership and confidence in students as they become motivated to take ownership of their learning.
For more information about the Reach Program or Career Academy, contact Karen Clark, OCM BOCES’ Director of
Alternative Education at 607/758-9564 or by e-mail at For more information about OCM BOCES’
new teacher mentoring plan, contact Colleen Viggiano, OCM BOCES’ Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, at
315/433-2604 or by e-mail at

OCM BOCES InSight                                                                                                            3
F        rom the OCM BOCES District Superintendent

                                                       “We are now at a point where we must educate our
                                                       children in what no one knew yesterday, and prepare
                                                       our schools for what no one knows yet.”
                                                       During the last century, Margaret Mead captured the challenge
                                                       that we still face in education today. We know that we need an
                                                       educational system that creates a citizenry prepared for an ever-
                                                       changing world. At the local level, I believe that translates into
                                                       working to ensure that all of our students graduate from high
                                                       school prepared for whatever path they choose – college or career.

                                                       Race to the top…21st century learning…Common core
                                                       standards…value-added evaluations…assessments…K-20 data
                                                       systems…college and career readiness. All of these terms are
                                                       focused on changing our educational system to ensure success for
                                                       our students.

                                                          The New York State Board of Regents has set a reform agenda
    Pictured: Jessica Cook, a            that includes a definition of what is to be learned, how it is to be assessed,
    second grade student at Cicero       and how teachers will be prepared and supported. The recent adoption of new
    Elementary School in the             common core standards for English and mathematics developed nationally is
    North Syracuse Central School        the first step. Assessments, aligned to those standards, are being developed that
    District. Jessica is among the       will allow teachers to determine if students are progressing towards college and
    more than 700 students in the        career readiness. And, a data system that tracks students from their entry into
    North Syracuse Central School
                                         kindergarten through college graduation will provide necessary information for
    District, and the thousands across
                                         teachers, administrators, students, and parents to inform instruction.
    New York State, scheduled to
    graduate from high school in the     Critical to the success of the educational system is the teacher-student
    year 2021. In the ten years until    relationship. The final plank of educational reform focuses on the system of
    her graduation, the educational      preparing, hiring, supporting, and evaluating teachers and principals. A major
    system of which she is a part will
                                         link to the evaluation system for colleges, schools, and teachers will be the use
    experience a great deal of change
                                         of data on student achievement as a measure of success.
    and restructuring. OCM BOCES
    is committed to being a positive     The OCM BOCES is working on all of these reforms for our students and with
    force in the system’s evolution      our districts. This issue of InSight provides information on mentoring programs
    and to helping our component         for our new teachers, on ways that online learning is supported, and on the plans
    districts, and beyond, with their
                                         for this region’s Race to the Top initiatives. We constantly search for ways that
                                         we can support the educational efforts in this region through collaborations.
                                         We hope that you enjoy learning about our initiatives and will join with us in
                                         helping all students to be college and career ready.

                                                                                                    Jessica F. Cohen, Ph.D.

4                                                                                                            Winter 2011
C         Onnecting with Students While Connecting
          Them to the World

Schools have historically been designed to utilize a mode         the 21st century learning frontier. While providing quality
of direct instruction from teacher to student. Current            instructional technology, our staff also works with districts
technologies increase the capability of pulling the teacher       to design specific integration plans to transform classrooms
away from direct instruction, and bringing the student into       into 21st century learning environments.
an environment of learning from outside sources. Through
tools such as the internet, videoconferencing, virtual field      Some of the many services offered through the Central
trips and others, classroom teachers are taking on the            New York Regional Information Center include
additional roles of observer, advisor and facilitator, as they    E-Learning, web services, instructional software training
help their students sift through floods of data.                  and hundreds of ongoing professional development
                                                                  opportunities. Additionally, the CNYRIC recently launched
Without a doubt, smart schools and districts are finding
                                                                  its mediaCONNECT service, which represents a significant
ways to create 21st century classrooms infused with
                                                                  upgrade to OCM BOCES’ Curriculum Resource Center
technology and incorporating multi-media tools to provide
                                                                  Media Library and WebMax service. In addition to using an
the best educational experience for their students. While
                                                                  improved search engine, MediaCONNECT provides access
integrating technology into the classroom is a key element
                                                                  to several new media collections including Discovery
of the 21st century classroom, it is crucial for teachers to be
                                                                  Streaming, NBC News Archives on Demand or NBC
supported as they learn to use tools that in many cases are
                                                                  Learn, Learn360, Vital, BOCES’ streamed video and photo
native to their students.
                                                                  collections, and more.
OCM BOCES is actively supporting our districts and
                                                                  Through MediaCONNECT, 22 of OCM BOCES’ 23
teachers, as together we transition to a world of 21st
                                                                  component districts, along with several other districts of
century classrooms. During the last school year, OCM
                                                                  Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga and Oswego BOCES, have 24
BOCES became an affiliate of the Partnership for 21st
                                                                  hour a day/seven day a week access to tens of thousands of
Century Skills (P21), the leading advocacy organization
                                                                  multi-media instructional resources for their classrooms.
focused on infusing 21st century skills into education
                                                                  The newest piece of MediaCONNECT is NBC Learn,
and this past summer, we hosted a three-day conference
                                                                  which provides our users the ability to search and share
around 21st century skills. The conference, a BOCES-wide
                                                                  historical news clips dating back to the 1920’s from the
collaboration, was the first of its kind throughout the nation.
                                                                  NBC News Archives.
OCM BOCES’ Central New York Regional Information
Center (CNYRIC) staff continually make available the                                       Story continued on following page
tools and support to bring our region to the forefront of

OCM BOCES InSight                                                                                                             5
In addition to historical pieces of information through
NBC Learn, OCM BOCES MediaCONNECT users have
access to current events in the news. The news collection
is updated Monday through Friday providing access to an
additional three to five videos each day.                     He appreciates the fact that now he knows his students are
                                                              exposed to current events saying, “My favorite thing about
The value that such dynamic and interactive historical        this is that it is real; the students see and hear from people
and current material provides to teachers and students is     who are involved in the news-making. They see soldiers
simply immeasurable. In addition to providing access to       fighting, they see students in schools being interviewed
a tremendous amount of media, the MediaCONNECT                about topics.”
service places great emphasis on professional development
and supporting our educators as they utilize the technology   Sometimes when the kids are watching the clips, they
to enhance their classroom experience. According to           have visible reactions to what they are seeing. History has
Rick Pollard, OCM BOCES’ Director of Instructional            become real to them, which gets them thinking and talking.
Technology, the professional development provided with
                                                              In the fall of 2010, NBC news’ Luke Russert was the
the service is of critical importance in making the service
                                                              keynote presenter at the CNYRIC Open House. During
successful and valuable to district personnel.
                                                              his address, Russert spoke about his own experience being
Steve James is a 7th grade social studies teacher at          exposed to the NBC news archives by his late father Tim
Onondaga Junior Senior High School, where he has              Russert, also of NBC news fame. In Luke’s high school
worked for the past 18 years. Steve has always made it        history class, he was studying the Cuban missile crisis of
part of his curriculum to spend the first ten minutes of      1962 and in order to make the lesson more real for him, his
each class discussing current events with his students.       father showed him a clip of NBC news which was actually
As recently as last year, Steve would initiate discussion     aired during the crisis. Luke talked about how at that
about current events by cutting articles out of newspapers    moment “history came alive” for him.
or having the students share their stories of what they had
                                                              During his CNYRIC Open House address, Russert also
seen on the news.
                                                              talked about the many media messages to which kids
                        In December of 2009, Steve            are exposed each day and posed the question, “How do
                         began using OCM BOCES’               [we] cut through all the stuff on television to show kids
                         MediaCONNECT service and             what they want to be?” He offered the archives as a way
                              started incorporating its       that parents and educators can use technology to hold
                                 media into his classes.      their attention and to teach our kids what they need to
                                                              know to become successful adults saying, “The people
                                                              with the power are not necessarily the ones who have the
                                                              most information, but the ones that can access the right
                                                              information to make the lesson meaningful for our kids.”

                                                              For more information about OCM BOCES’
                                                              MediaCONNECT service, contact Rick Pollard, OCM
                                                              BOCES’ Director of Instructional Technology at
                                                              315/433-2652 or by e-mail at

                                                              Pictured: Onondaga Junior Senior High School teacher
                                                              Steve James instructs his class using media he selected
                                                              from the NBC News Archives. Steve has access to the media
                                                              collection via OCM BOCES’ MediaCONNECT service.

6                                                                                                             Winter 2011
N        ineteen OCM BOCES Districts Form Network
         Team for Race to the Top
This past August, the United States Department of Education announced that New York State would be awarded nearly
$700 million as a winner in the second round of the Federal Race To The Top (RTTT) competition. Part of that money
went to the New York State Education Department and the rest was allocated to districts to be used over four years.
Districts could choose whether or not to participate in New York State’s Race to the Top. Regardless of participation,
certain tasks are being required of every district in the State. Those tasks include the implementation of Common Core
State Standards; creation of formative, interim and college and career readiness assessments; development of new
teacher and principal evaluation systems and the utilization of data systems. As part of New York’s RTTT application,
participating districts could form either a BOCES Network Team or a Network Team Equivalent to support their schools
in completing the tasks.
Nineteen of the 23 component school districts of the OCM BOCES have chosen to form a Network Team to pool and
most effectively utilize their Federal Race To The Top funds. The 19 districts making up the OCM BOCES Race To The
Top Network Team are Cazenovia, Chittenango, Cincinnatus, Cortland City, DeRuyter, Fabius-Pompey, Fayetteville-
Manlius, Homer, Jamesville-DeWitt, LaFayette, Lyncourt, Marathon, Marcellus, McGraw, Onondaga, Solvay, Tully, West
Genesee and Westhill.
Within the OCM BOCES Network Team, individual district funding was as low as $24,500. By combining resources,
however, more than one million dollars will now be used to provide all 19 districts with the same high quality resources
and services. Centralized training and assistance will be available regarding each of the tasks charged by the State. By
pooling the funds, OCM BOCES will have the ability to hire two administrators, dedicated to communicating between
the State and the OCM BOCES Network Team’s districts. The new staff will take the changes from the State Education
Department and translate them into school-based and district-based reform. The administrators, anticipated to begin
working with State and districts by July 1, 2011, will be a subgroup of the OCM BOCES Department of Curriculum,
Instruction and Assessment due to the natural connection between them.
The OCM BOCES Network Team is in the process of forming an advisory committee, with representation from Network
Team districts, to guide staff as they work to meet the State’s RTTT goals in ways that complement their own district’s
plans. The advisory committee will help hire the two administrators to be employed by OCM BOCES, selecting the
people best able to meet their collective needs and considerations.
           Jeff Craig is OCM BOCES’ Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Support Services and has taken lead
                      of the Network Team. “There is a great deal of work to be done over the next few years in order
                         to realize the Regents’ Reform Agenda of excellence and equity for all students and we want to
                          prepare students to be college, career and citizenship ready. By working together this way, we’ll
                                 be able to get the changes implemented far more efficiently and far more effectively than if
                                 we worked alone.”
                              OCM BOCES has established a webpage dedicated to Network Team progress, news and
                             available resources. The web address is For more information
                                              about the OCM BOCES Network Team, please contact Jeff Craig, OCM
                                                   BOCES’ Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Support Services, at
                                                      315/433-2627 or by e-mail at

OCM BOCES InSight                                                                                                          7
                     6820 Thompson Road
                             po Box 4754
                       syRacuse, ny 13221

                                                 In sight                                               Winter 2011
Vol. 3 Issue 1

OCM BOCES has more than 70 programs in nearly 30 locations. Our three main campuses are:
Irvin E. Henry Educational Campus l (315) 433-2600 l 6820 Thompson Road, Syracuse, NY 13211
Lee G. Peters Career Training Center l (315) 453-4455 l 4500 Crown Road, Liverpool, NY 13090
McEvoy Educational Campus l (607) 758-5221 l 1710 State Route 13, Cortland, NY 13045

 OCM BOCES AdMiniStrAtivE StAff                                        OCM BOCES BOArd MEMBErS
 JESSiCA f. COhEn                                                       v. Ann Wright
 District Superintendent                                                President – Jamesville-DeWitt
 dEBOrAh AyErS                                                          WAynE BrOWnSOn
 Assistant Superintendent for Administration                            Vice President – East Syracuse Minoa
 JEff CrAig                                                             MiChAEl J. BrAdy
 Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Support Services            – Homer
 MiChAEl fAy                                                            CAthErinE CifArAttA-BrAytOn
 Chief Technology Officer                                               – North Syracuse
 MArk pEttitt                                                           rOSEAnn duBrAvA
 Director of Personnel and Labor Relations                              – Marathon

 COllEEn viggiAnO                                                       MArk W. gilBErt
 Assistant Superintendent for Student Services                          – Chittenango
                                                                        MAry Ann hAlEy
 OCM BOCES InsIghT EditOr                                               – Tully

 lAuriE S. COOk , School Information Officer                            MiChAEl Murphy
 OCM BOCES Administration Building                                      – Liverpool
 6820 Thompson Road                                                     liSA O’rEilly
 PO Box 4754                                                            – Westhill
 Syracuse, NY 13221
                                                                        dAvid pACzkOWSki
 (315) 431-8597
                                                                        – West Genesee
 (315) 434-9347 (Fax)                                                     JOAn rEEvES
                                                                        – Baldwinsville

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