T-S-T BOCES Mission Statement
The mission of our Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services is to
identify, to propose, and to provide high quality services for children and for all the customers
served which are economical and efficient in their operation, and which complement the
educational program provided by the local school districts and other agencies in our region.
Volume X, Issue 2
Message from the District Superintendent
The New Reforms: We Begin Again, with Standards
One of the responsibilities BOCES has assumed, given its leadership in Race to the Top Reforms, is to educate
teachers and other instructional support personnel in the new round of Common Core State Assessments in Eng-
lish Language Arts and Math. These standards are now on SED’s website and include the 15% additions for
New York State. The Regents will probably adopt these standards at their January meeting. The future timeline
includes development of curriculum models in Spring of this year, with implementation in area classrooms slated
for next Fall.
It is important to understand that these standards grow out of a national movement; 26 states formed the Partner-
ship for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. PARCC states educate approximately 31 million
public K-12 students in the United States. These states will adopt common assessments along with the standards,
anchored in College and Career Readiness. Pooling of resources will result in higher quality assessments and
standardization for a mobile population.
Teachers will be able to focus their instruction on clear targets, and they will have access to actionable assessment
data much more frequently so that they can adjust their instruction and individualize interventions.
In English Language Arts, the very title of the standards highlights a significant change. “English Language Arts
and Literacy in History, Science and Technical subjects” makes it clear that all these content area teachers are
sharing responsibility for literacy in their disciplines. Other changes from the earlier ELA standards are as fol-
– Major divisions are Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language (vocabulary and
– They include 32 College and Career Ready Standards;
– Reading establishes a staircase of increasing complexity, although it does not offer a reading list;
– Writing focuses on the ability to write logical arguments based upon substantive claims, sound
reasoning and relevant evidence with opinion writing extending down to the earliest grades;
– Research is emphasized throughout the standards, but most prominently in the writing strand;
– Speaking and Listening requires students to be able to gain, evaluate and present increasingly
complex information, ideas and evidence;
Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services
– A clear vertical progression across grades is included to show how
each grade level leads to the College and Career Ready standards;
Inside this issue: – Media and Technology are integrated throughout the standards.
Superintendent’s Message 1-2 Moving to an overview of the Mathematics standards, it is important to note
that in K-5 the standards are comparable to those seen in high performing
New Staff in the Bridges and countries. Students are given time to master topics by developing procedural
Steps Programs 2-3 fluency as well as conceptual understanding rather than curricula that are “a
mile wide and an inch deep.” Features of the Common Core State Standards
New Visions in Life Sciences 3-4
(CCSS) for Mathematics include:
Video Conferencing 5
– Similarities to the New York State Math Core Curriculum (revised
Future Teachers 5 2005);
– Eight standards for Mathematical Practice (e.g.: reason abstractly and
Career and Tech Partners with Habitat 6
quantitatively, use appropriate tools strategically, and model with
TST BOCES Career and Tech Center mathematics);
Volunteers to Help Lansing Cub Scouts 6 – They also include standards for Mathematical Content (e.g.: Numbers
and Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Statistics and Probability) grouped
Appreciation Reception 7
into domains and clusters;
Another Successful Holiday Food – Students who have mastered the grade 7 content and skills will be well
Drive Completed 7-8 prepared for Algebra in grade 8;
– Grades 9-12 are organized in six conceptual categories (Numbers and
Facilities Services Update 8-9 Quantity, Algebra, Functions, Geometry, Statistics and Probability,
Energy Management Service
Year One 9-10
The Standards lay out a vision of what it means to be a literate person in the
Flippin’ Out in the Classroom 21st Century. TST BOCES embraces its role in helping the region adapt and
A Digital Literacy Media Workshop prepare to make necessary changes to ensure that what we are building upon
for Teachers Offered at TST BOCES 10
in each and every classroom is a clear, aligned, coordinated, and sequenced
CTE – A Pathway to College and curriculum based upon these National Standards.
Career Readiness 11
Getting your GED 12-13 District Superintendent of Schools
Literacy Symposium at TST BOCES 14
Turning Point/Ithaca College
New Staff in the Bridges and Steps Programs
Name Change for the Turning Point
6:1:1 Class 15
New York State Alternate Assessment 16
Applebee’s and Springboard
Eatin’ Good in the Neighborhood 16
The Hunger Games at the
TST Community School 17
Gail Metzler Michaela Rotunda
Senior Writing Workshop 18-19 Steps 12:1:4 Paraprofessional Steps 12:1:4 Paraprofessional
Speech Therapist for Bridges 12:1:1
Program and Itinerant Speech Therapist for
Dryden Central School District
New Staff in the Bridges and Steps Programs Continued
Supervised Work Experience
Shaila Singh Allegra Shortle
Occupational Therapist for Steps 12:1:4 Program Bridges 12:1:1 Paraprofessional
New Visions in Life Sciences Students Experience an Emersion in
Scientific Research at Cornell University
One of the most exciting components of Career & Tech’s New Visions in Life Sciences Program is its opportunity
for students to become Junior Researchers at Cornell University. Michele Sutton, teacher of the Life Sciences
Program since 2005 recognized the importance of connecting her students with the tremendous opportunities
to explore and assist with scientific research at New York’s Land Grant Institution, Cornell University. Upon
acceptance to the New Visions Program, Sutton meets individually with her students to learn more about their
unique interests. Then, she works with the faculty at Cornell to establish placements or internships that will
enable the student to study a topic they are interested in while applying the science, technology and mathematics
skills they’ve acquired throughout high school. In addition, they truly experience the scientific method. Students
assist with or conduct their own experiment under the tutelage of a faculty member or graduate student. They
learn to read scientific journals, write a literature review, create a research poster and, as a capstone experience,
they present their findings to the scientific community at a research symposium each spring held at Cornell
University. Some students are able to co-author papers with their mentors and are published.
“It’s more like a mini defense of a thesis than a presentation of information. Researchers asked probing questions
and made us think on our feet,” reported Lindsay Glasner, a 2010 graduate of the program. Lindsay is now
a freshman at Cornell University where she majors in Natural Resources. She, along with two of her former
classmates, are now paid employees in the labs were they interned as New Visions
students, having learned valuable skills while in high school – skills that are
highly valued by faculty at Cornell. The class of 2011 has the same opportunity,
as will all future Life Sciences students. Below is a summary of some of this
year’s research placements.
Kate Bemis (Dryden HS) is working at the Cornell Museum of Vertebrates with
Dr. Willy Bemis studying the dentition of the Atlantic Wolffish, Anarhichas
lupus, an unusual predator known for it’s specialized ability for eating hard-
shelled prey such as crabs. Mature Wolffish are reported to lose much of the
dentition seasonally, a pattern of tooth replacement known as simultaneous
tooth replacement. Details of this pattern are unknown. She and her mentor will
characterize the dentition and replacement pattern for this species and prepare a
Kate Bemis holding an Atlantic Wolffish. short manuscript and illustrations suitable for publication.
Katherine Hambury (Ithaca HS) is working under the tutelage of Dr. Paul
Bowser and graduate student Emily Cornwell. She is working with Flathead
Minnows to study the effects of the Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus
(VHSV), a disease infecting various Great Lake Fish Species.
Jordan Stark (LACS) is working with Dr.
Bernd Blossey, Professor of Natural Resources.
Her experiment is to determine the effects of
earthworms on species of native plants. She is
planting several species of seedlings into large
Katherine Hambury working under a laminar
pots and exposing them to different varieties of flow hood in the lab.
earthworms. This study will help to understand
the effects of earthworm invasions in the forest
Jordan setting up her experiment in
greenhouse at Cornell
Ariana Shapiro (Ithaca) is working with graduate student, Diane Wang, under
the tutelage of Professor Susan McCouch on the Rice Diversity project. She is
helping to genetically map wild and cultivated varieties of rice to find the link
between them. They are looking for Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) that were
essential in the domestication of rice. This work will add to the knowledge
required to combine two strains to form high-yield, disease resistant varieties.
Alyssa and Dr. Travis Park working to get
approval for this project.
Sarah McIlvennie (LACS) is working with Dr. Querinne Ketterings in the Animal Science Department using
the Illinois Soil Nutrient Test (ISNT) to find and compare the nitrogen and carbon levels in plant biomass and
the nitrogen content in soil to identify which cover crops are most effective in promoting sustainable agricultural
Alyssa Pritts (Trumansburg) is working with Dr. Travis Park of the Education Department to survey how much
high school students know about food insecurity issues both locally and globally. One billion people suffer
world-wide from lack of quality food. Alyssa’s project will work to assess how much her peers know about
the issues surrounding hunger, poverty and malnutrition. She will coordinate
focus groups, an create and administer a survey in this social science research
project. Alyssa was inspired by her attendance at the World Food Prize in
DesMoine, Iowa in October, a conference she attended through New Visions.
Nathan Winans (Ithaca) is working with microbiology professor and
researcher Dr. Stephen Winans testing a protocol that will be used to measure
the effect of enzymes in the breakdown of proteins. Nathan has a second
research placement in Dr. John March’s Stem Cell Laboratory where he is
Nathan demonstrating the protocol to his involved in several stem cell projects.
teacher, Ms. Sutton..
For the last several years TST BOCES has been a host site for video conferencing. The most frequent video con-
ference destination has been to the OCM BOCES and Central New York Regional Information Center which are
located in Syracuse, New York. Using video conferencing to these locations saves mileage expenses and a great
deal of time. Since the round trip time to the OCM BOCES is over two hours this is a tremendous time savings
for a 1-2 hour training session or a one hour meeting. The savings becomes even greater when the destination is
farther away such as Albany, New York.
The video conferencing systems at TST BOCES have only a point-to-point capability. In other words, TST BO-
CES can connect to only one other video conferencing site at a time. The connection takes place over the same
fiber optics connections that are used by the Internet. Other BOCES/Regional Information Centers have a device
called a bridge which allows many video conferencing sites to be connected together, overcoming the TST BO-
CES limitation of only a point to point connection.
Video conferencing technology isn’t perfect. For example, sometimes it is difficult to establish the initial connec-
tion. And sometimes there will be a disconnect during the conference. The best way to eliminate these problems
is to make sure that the technology people on each end have the video conference connection address and the
telephone number of the their counterpart on the opposite end of the conference. Usually there will be an advance
test between video conference hosts to check out the connection before the actual conference or training event.
If there is a connection loss during the conference, the technical people can contact each other by telephone and
normally can quickly solve the problem.
A video conference at TST BOCES can save a dozen or more people much travel and time. Proper pre-testing can
minimize the likelihood of errors or disconnects. You will want to make sure that you provide the TST BOCES
technology department with the telephone number and the remote video conference address. Working together
with a reasonable amount of setup effort, TST BOCES can host a successful video conference for you.
Long-Term projects for the Early Childhood Occupations
students at the TST BOCES Career and Tech Center are well
underway. High school students selected one preschool aged
child from the laboratory Nursery School to assess during the
course of the school year. High school students are working
on gathering a variety of information and developmental
milestones, and at the end of the school
year they will have their first parent/
teacher conference. Students will share a
Tiffany Tobin (Newfield) developmental checklist with the parent,
enjoys a little quiet time
with Alexandra. and they will also provide the parent with a
summary of their child’s strengths, as well
as areas that still need a bit more practice
before kindergarten. Nursery parents really
look forward to hearing what the high school
student has learned about their child. High
school students also learn how informative
Sara Knapp and Chenice Leur’s both Ithaca students are working
with several nursery school children. They are proud of their puzzle parent meetings can be!
Career and Tech Partners with Habitat
Habitat for Humanity of Tompkins and Cortland Counties is thrilled to be partnering with the construction Trades
Program at the TST BOCES Career and Tech Center on Construction of a home for a deserving family at 85
Sperry Lane, in Lansing.
Habitat for Humanity has arealdy selected the Partner Family for the house. Habitat volunteers, BOCES students,
and the partner family will all work together on construction through the winter and spring; anticipated completion
of the house is early to mid summer of this year.
Habitat for Humanity of Tompkins and Cortland Counties is thrilled to be partnering Students from the
Construction Trades Program have already built a framing table and will soon begin work on the wall
panels at their shop. Pre-building the panels will allow Habitat to raise the walls and close-in the house in
very short period of time, expediting the construction process and getting the build off to a great start!
The students will be involved in many aspects of the construction, from framing to electrical, and Habitat looks
forward to their participation on site. Habitat hopes to further the BOCES partnership by involving other programs
as well. Such collaborations may include heavy equipment for loading and moving the wall panels, and welders
to put together the adjustable basement posts.
For more information on Habitat for Humanity, or for updates on progress of the house, visit ww.tchabitat.com
or ‘like’ us on Facebook!
TST BOCES Career and Tech Center Volunteers to Help Lansing Cub Scouts
The Lansing Tiger Cub Scouts from Pack 48 toured the Heavy Equipment classroom with Mr. Ryan Walczak in
November. Each year, the young scouts are scheduled to visit various locations in the community, and one of
their required visits is to learn about safety on a construction site. Mr. Walczak agreed to help the Cub Scouts
work towards earning their Tiger Cub Badge. Mr. Tony DiLucci worked with the Skilled Trades Diversity
Council to donate hard hats for the boys – and the kids loved them! Mr. Walczak volunteered his time during
this evening meeting to show the 1st graders the tractors and diesel trucks in his classroom. The boys took turns
sitting in the driver seat in the big rig, asking questions about the tractors, and sounding the horns. Mr. Randy
Jackson invited them to briefly tour the Welding classroom following their visit to Heavy Equipment. There, the
boys wore helmets to safely view the adult welding students, which included our own Mr. Mike Iannello and Mr.
Bob Spudis, in action.
Thank you, Mr. Walczak, Mr. Jackson and Mr. DiLucci for making this visitation possible. The Cub Scouts en-
joyed their visit to the TST BOCES Career and Tech Center!
The morning of December 21st found the Smith School cafeteria
abuzz with activity. Staff and students from the school hosted
an Appreciation Reception for pupil transporters from Candor,
Dryden, Groton, Ithaca, Lansing, Newfield, South Seneca, and
Trumansburg school districts. Approximately 35 school bus
drivers, attendants, and transportation supervisors enjoyed an
abundance of delicious food amid artwork and decorations ex-
pressing thanks for safe rides to and from school each day.
Many drivers and attendants were treated to a mini-tour of the
school by students and staff. One veteran driver said she had
never been inside the Smith School, and she enjoyed seeing the
School bus drivers and attendants interact with Smith School Staff
and students during Transportation Appreciation Reception.
classroom where some of her students spend their day.
Many drivers and attendants left with thank you cards and drawings handcrafted by the students they transport.
The idea for the reception came out of meetings between Transportation Supervisors and Exceptional Education
Administrators as a first step to build relationships and foster communication between transportation and class-
room staff. School bus drivers, attendants, supervisors, teachers, therapists, counselors, and administrators alike
seemed to enjoy meeting each other, matching names with faces, and making connections.
Thank you to teachers and staff who baked, provided goodies, and helped make invitations and decorations; to
students who made their drivers and attendants feel welcomed and appreciated; to transportation employees for
taking the time to visit; and to Pam Kelly for making coffee and providing paper goods for the reception!
Another Successful Holiday Food Drive Completed
Three years ago, then Director of Exceptional Education Peg Kehoe initiated a food drive in Smith School to ben-
efit needy families during the December break from school. Now in its fourth year of existence, “The Peg Kehoe
Annual Winter/Holiday Food Drive” is a campus wide initiative. This year the food drive expanded to provide
turkeys and full boxes of non perishable food to 52 families associated with our BOCES programs. For the weeks
leading up to the holiday break, the BOCES campus was adorned with festive looking boxes that served as col-
lection centers for food donations. Donations were collected
from staff, students and many school district representatives in
their various visits to campus throughout December.
The food drive also received generous financial donations from
Wegmans, Tops, Freihofer’s, Byrne Dairy, Cortland Produce,
Maines, and US Food. The TST Employees Association, The
Smith School Student Council, Snack Shack and two gener-
ous donations from individual staff members rounded out the
Smith School students from Tina Sevola, Brandi Nielsen and
Mel Riker’s classes supported the effort by helping to collect, The winning class, Heavy Equipment and Conservation, pose
sort and organize the donations into boxes as part of their daily with some of their 678 collected goodies!
activities. Pam Kelly, the Head Cook at TST Smith’s School,
along with Heather Cooper, advisor to the National Technical
Honor Society in the Career and Tech school, and the students of
the honorable group also showed great leadership in promoting
and organizing the generous effort.
Students from the Career and Tech center participated in a class-
room competition to bring in the most non-perishable food and
holiday items. Ryan Walszack’s Heavy Equipment and Conser-
vation class was the victor. Thanks to all for their contribution to
this generous tradition.
Andrea Perkins’ Cosmetology class poses with their col- The Career and Tech National Technical
lection of 242 items collected for the Holiday Goody Box Honor Society Students (Back row: David
drive! Great job everyone! Clockwise from 9:00 ~ Kaitlyn Achilles, Autumn Noteboom, Greg Crisp-
Brazo, Megan Green, Amber Oaks, Heather Newell, Thea ell, Front Row: Brandon Sloughter, Me-
Clair, Jordan Mathews, Chelsea Marshall, Morgen Burns, gan Green, Andi Navarro, Amanda Bower,
Skye-Anna Aubin, Andrea Navarro, Nicole Jaquith, Katelyn Morgen Burns) stand with the outstand-
Johnson, Autumn Noteboom, Shannon Decker. ing collection of food gathered by the TST
Career and Tech, Smith and Community
School students and Staff.
FACILITIES SERVICES UPDATE
TST BOCES Energy Management Program Expands
In recent months, several school districts have requested to join the Energy Management Program that was started
last January for Candor CSD, Newfield CSD, Trumansburg CSD and Johnson City CSD. Alwyn John was hired
as coordinator last January and continues to serve those school districts. Joining Alwyn, Chris Santospirito was
hired and started on January 3rd of this year to work primarily with the Chenango Forks CSD as their coordinator.
Many staff members at BOCES are familiar with Chris as she worked as Clerk of the Works on the BOCES roof
replacement project four years ago. Welcome back to BOCES, Chris!
The Ithaca City SD, Lansing CSD, Groton CSD and Tioga CSD have also committed to joining the service at
this time. BOCES will soon be hiring another full-time coordinator to serve these districts. This new service is
designed to help school districts save valuable dollars and resources by assisting the districts with the implemen-
tation of a variety of energy efficiency programs and measures.
BOCES Energy Performance Contract Receives SED Approval to Proceed
On Christmas Eve, BOCES was informed that SED issued final approval to move forward with the Energy Perfor-
mance Contract (EPC). The EPC means that approximately $3,000,000 worth of energy related facility improve-
ment measures will be undertaken in BOCES buildings in the coming months. It also means that capital work
will be conducted without having to ask the component school districts or tax payers for additional funding as
the utility dollars saved from the facility improvement measures are guaranteed to cover and pay for the expenses
related to financing the work. As an added bonus, a portion of the project will be funded by a NYSERDA grant
that totaled just over $149,000. It is expected that work will commence sometime later this spring.
TST BOCES School Energy Purchasing Consortium Realizes Significant Cost Savings
For the past several years, BOCES and the component districts have worked together to purchase natural gas
and electricity as a consortium. Purchasing energy in this manner provides for more purchasing power as large
blocks of energy are purchased at a given time on behalf of the schools. The energy is also purchased in a manner
that takes advantage of when the market price for the energy is at low points. By using this purchasing strategy,
consortium utility prices have dropped significantly over the past two years. The estimated combined savings for
natural gas and electric costs for the consortium for 2010 over 2009 costs was $332,134. The estimated combined
savings for natural gas and electric costs for the consortium for 2011 over 2010 is $713,310. This equates to a
$1,045,444 savings over the two years.
Construction Trades Building (D) Reconstruction
In an effort to better utilize the space within D Building and to better meet future program needs, a five-year
reconstruction plan has been developed and work within the building has begun. Through the reconstruction
process, some of the existing Career & Tech. programs and the Snack Shack and Laundry will be relocated to
different areas of the building. This will allow sufficient space to be freed up in approximately one-half of the
building which will be reconstructed to house TST Community School programs in the future. The hope is to
have the building ready to open the new Community School in the fall of 2013, with all renovations to the build-
ing completed by the end of 2014.
Energy Management Service Year One
The month of January is often a time to reflect on the past and to set goals for the future. On January 4th, 2011,
we completed the first full year of operation for our TST BOCES Energy Management Service. Our first year has
been eventful and exciting. Thanks to strong support from the four early adopter school districts, we have already
started to see positive results from the program.
One of the original motivations for this program was a recognition of the need for a strong, consistent energy
management policy for all of our districts. According to the EPA, $0.25 of every dollar expended for utilities by
public schools across the county is wasted due to energy inefficiencies. Results from existing projects clearly
show that these wasted dollars can be recaptured through low to moderate investments of resources and dollars
in energy conservation efforts.
Working with the staff and students at Candor, Newfield, Tru-
mansburg and Johnson City School Districts, we have already
started to see positive results from the program. On the four par-
ticipating campuses, working with more than 13 academic build-
ings, we have identified 2 that qualify for a Federal EPA Energy
Star label (scoring 75 or better on the EPA’s Portfolio Manager
Benchmarking system). Using walk through audits, we were
able to identify more than 19 low to moderate cost projects that
could potentially deliver more than 98,000.00 in annual utility
savings to the participating districts. Additional more aggressive
and somewhat more expensive projects have been identified and
are being explored for viability. About 30% of the projects have
been implemented or are scheduled for implementation within
the next year.
By far our biggest achievement has been connecting with the student body in several of the districts. One of the
most outstanding groups has been Ms. Talia Miller’s six grade science class in Newfield Central Schools. Last
year’s class submitted a wonderful report with very interesting suggestions for bringing windmills and solar
panels to the Newfield campus [see picture]. The current year’s class participated in group discussions about
renewable and non-renewable energy. They also have some very exciting ideas about how we can save energy
at home and in school. We look forward to continuing to work with the science teachers from all of the districts.
Looking towards the future, the Energy Management Service has Six goals for the next calendar year:
1) Expand the Energy Management Program (we are projecting another six districts by June 2011)
2) Annual reduction of 10% in energy use per participating district.
3) Maximize the use of grant funding from NYSERDA and NYSEG for energy projects
4) Increase the number of buildings from participating districts on track for Energy Star Status
5) Implement a quarterly Energy Report Card system
6) Implement a “Biggest Loser “ Energy Savers Contest
We look forward to keeping you up to date in future articles on our goal fulfillment progress and all other things
Flippin’ Out in the Classroom
A Digital Literacy Media Workshop for Teachers Offered at TST BOCES
Did you know that 90% of the brain’s sensory input comes from visual
sources? Research informs us that difficult concepts are easier to
understand when students are constructively engaged in the learning
process through all the senses. To support visual literacy that results in
student learning, TST BOCES’ School Library System and Enrichment
Services collaborated to train 34 teachers from area schools in exactly
how digital media can help do just this, using a Flip Video Camera.
On December 6, 2010, the School Library System lent everyone a Flip
Camera for the workshop. These small video cameras, the size of a
cell phone, are simple to use and have a ‘cool factor’ that appeals to
students of all ages and subjects: Kindergarten to High School.
Michael Blegen-Red Team Instructional Leader,
demonstrating use of the tripod that he designed.
Teachers were divided into six teams, and Bruce McKee, Video
Education Consultant, taught them basic video shooting techniques such
as how to edit a short scene, add music and subtitles, etc. Personalized
hands-on help was provided by students in Michael Blegen’s CTE
Digital Media Technology class. By the end of the morning, each team
successfully made a short video and was awarded an Oscar!
But learning how to use the cameras is only the first step. Under the
guidance of a local Instructional Leader, teams also worked on infusing
visual literacy into curricular units of study or projects selected by
individual participants. The goal of the resulting enhanced units/
projects, will allow their students to ‘dig deeper’ to fulfill the planned
outcomes, through integrated curriculum content, 21st Century Skills, Learning to use the Flip Cameras
media, and visual literacy.
CTE – A Pathway to College and Career Readiness
For more than a decade, leaders in Career and Technical Education have been working with the New York State
Department of Education in honoring its commitment to provide high-quality CTE opportunities for all students.
New York State’s CTE delivery system consists of over 1,100 CTE providers, serving over one million students
in school districts, BOCES, and postsecondary institutions. CTE studies are organized in New York in the fol-
lowing content areas:
• Agricultural education
• Business & Marketing education
• Family & Consumer Sciences education
• Health Occupations education
• Technology education
• Trade, Technical & Industrial education
The New York State career and technical education program approval process is a model for the nation. It has
raised the quality and rigor of courses that prepare students for employment and postsecondary study. Approved
programs offer completers opportunities to apply academic concepts to real-world situations and preparation for
industry-based assessments or certifications. In addition, all approved programs must include college articula-
tions that may offer credit or advanced standing while still in high school, and work-based learning opportunities
where students demonstrate mastery of skills essential in the workplace.
At the TST BOCES Career and Technical Education Center, we are always looking at ways to offer rigorous and
relevant CTE programs to students from our component schools. By working with our CTE Advisory Council,
individual program curriculum councils, the Department of Labor, local schools, and higher education, we at-
tempt to offer programs that will prepare students for a global economy as they head toward college and careers.
We are also looking at one particular key indicator of student success; that is, regular school attendance. Simply
stated, a student who is in school every day is likely to be more successful than the student who does not attend
daily. Toward that end, the faculty, staff and administration at the TST BOCES Career and Technical Educa-
tion Center has embarked upon a year-long effort to employ strategies geared to increase student average daily
attendance. Our first steps included gathering base line student attendance data. This study was designed to help
administrators and faculty identify students who might be danger of failing due to lack of attendance and then
to prescribe supports that encourage student to attend classes more regularly. We then studied the achievement
gaps, not only in CTE programs, but in math and science as well. As a part of our overall strategic plan, com-
munication systems have been put into place.
Teachers, counselors and administrators are following adopted guidelines to communicate with parents, compo-
nent school teachers, counselors and administrators in an effort to involve key players who can support a student’s
efforts in school. We have also used data to ascertain instructional gaps in an effort to guide a long range profes-
sional development plan for teachers. That effort currently focuses on literacy across the curricula. In addition,
an attendance task force has recently implemented an attendance incentive program that will be recognize indi-
vidual students as well as entire classes for having exemplary attendance each marking period. Recently, the NYS
Department of Education rolled out its latest agenda for reform. Career and Technical Education is conspicuously
embedded in plan. CTE is being recognized as a means for students to earn Regents credit toward graduation
while gaining knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the 21st Century workforce.
GETTING YOUR GED
Susan Murphy, Account Clerk/Typist Adult Education
Why is a GED Is Important?
With unemployment rates skyrocketing, finding a job in today’s economic world can be very difficult especially
for a person who does not have the basics of education as a foundation. There are many people in our area who do
not have a high school diploma. If you are one of them, or know someone who is, it is a good idea to think about
earning a GED. Why is a GED important? There are a number of reasons.
A GED will open up new possibilities. It can help you be eligible for jobs for which you would not otherwise be
qualified. 96 Percent of employers accept a GED for hiring and promotion eligibility. In addition, a GED can
improve your standing if you are currently employed. You may find you are now eligible for promotions and
raises you have attained your GED.
If higher education is your goal, a GED will increase your chance of being accepted at the college of your choice.
Over 98 percent of colleges and universities accept the GED transcript for admission. If you are considering a
new career which requires further education, earning your GED is essential.
Obtaining a GED is a means of personal satisfaction. Regardless of your age, if you have dropped out of high
school at some point in the past, it is likely that you have felt the lack of achieving something very important.
Even if you do not need a diploma for career reasons, filling this void is still an important purpose for earning
your GED. GED graduates report they feel a distinct sense of accomplishment when they are able to say they have
taken this step.
Whether you are thinking in terms of better employment, continuing education, or personal achievement, a GED
is an essential step in the process. Whether you dropped out of high school quite recently, or are looking back at
decades in the past, you can give still yourself the chance you deserve. Your life and future can be brighter and
The Adult Education Department at TST BOCES works hard to meet the needs of our community when it comes
to achieving the goal of getting a GED. We offer GED exams 4 times a year here on campus, in the Smith School
Gym. In 2010, we tested 276 individuals. Of these, 148 accomplished their goal and passed their GED tests!
The New York State Education Department is now moving toward requiring that every GED student pass the
Official Practice Test (OPT) before sitting for the GED exam. This is an effort to increase the passing rate for
NY State. In response, we have increased our frequency of pre-testing using the Test of Basic Education (TABE)
and the Official Practice test, 2-3 times a week at convenient locations. We have also increased the number of our
T-S-T BOCES currently offers classes at the following locations:
GIAC 301 West Court St., Ithaca Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:00am – 12:00pm
TC3 Campus Room 269A Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:00am- 1:00pm
TST Community School Tuesdays & Wednesdays 5:30pm - 8:30pm
TST Community School Mondays & Thursdays 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Enfield Elementary Tuesdays & Thursdays 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Newfield Elementary Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:00am – 12:00pm
Candor High School Wednesdays 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Candor Elementary Thursdays 9:00am – 12:00pm
South Seneca Elementary Room 118 Tuesdays & Wednesdays 9:00am – 12Noon
Groton Elementary Thursdays 9:00am – 12:00pm
Groton Elementary Room #39 Nights Mondays 6:00pm – 8:00pm
For more information about the GED, call Susan, Amy or Michelle in Adult Ed at 257-1561
Frequently asked questions about the GED
Q-What is the GED?
A - GED stands for General Educational Development. Passing the GED Tests provides adults who did not
complete their high school education with a certificate/diploma that certifies their attainment of high school
level academic knowledge and skills.
Q-What are the (five) content areas that are tested on the GED exam?
A - Mathematics
Language Arts – Reading
Language Arts – Writing
Q- How long does the GED Test take?
A - The GED Tests take approximately seven hours and 35 minutes.
Q-What score do I need on the exam in order to pass the test?
A- To pass the GED Tests, an individual must earn a minimum score of 2250. Each part of the test is scored
separately. An average standard score of 450 per section is required to pass the test. No score can be under 410
for a single section.
Q- Do I have to take the entire GED Test over if I do not get a passing test score?
A- Individuals will be required to retake only the sections of the test where they fail to achieve the minimum
score of 410.
Q - Can I take the GED Tests online?
A- No. The official GED Tests cannot be taken online. If you take a test on the Internet that claims to be the
GED Test, it is not legitimate and will not qualify for a certificate.
Q- How much does the GED Test cost?
A- In New York State the pre tests & exam are at no cost to the student. We have managed to keep all of our
GED classes at TST BOCES free of charge.
For more information about the GED, call Susan, Amy or Michelle in Adult Ed at 257-1561
Susan and Shana Conner at Graduation
Literacy Symposium at TST BOCES
With teachers and students across the BOCES campus engaged
in ongoing literacy learning, literacy events, and literacy
professional development, why not share ideas and learn
from each other? That is just what happened on the October
8th, 2010 Superintendents’ Conference Day when we hosted a
cross-BOCES Literacy Symposium. The TST BOCES Literacy
Team assisted in planning this event. Teachers in each program
who have been involved in literacy professional development
programs or literacy events agreed to lead workshops sharing
what they have learned.
BOCES educators enjoy creating children’s literature with Meg
King and Pam Hall. During the half-day Symposium, each teacher attended the key-
note session and two additional sessions of their choice. The keynote session set the tone and reminded partici-
pants of the expanded definition of literacy in today’s world. Choice session topics ranged from Medical Literacy
to Supporting Literacy Development for Low Literacy Families. Several sessions focused on lessons learned from
All-School-Reads conducted in recent years at the Smith School and the Community School. Career and Tech-
nology teachers who have worked with Dr. Travis Parks shared “literacy in the content area” strategies. Speech
therapists and physical therapists from Smith School shared ideas about how to make literacy accessible to all
students. School Improvement Services instructional specialists offered workshops on inferential literacy and the
connections between literacy and mathematics. Several sessions focused on multimedia resources for literacy
education, including the online reading program Reading A- Z, the Media-Connect video database available
through OCM BOCES, and using “flip cameras” to support litera-
cies. Area business people participated in a panel discussion on
“What Literacy Skills are Employers Looking For?” Many ses-
sions were hands-on and engaged educators in reading, writing,
and using online literacy tools. Each session made direct connec-
tions to how TST BOCES educators could use these new strate-
gies to assist their students.
to the Literacy
was positive, Smith School teacher Lisa Smith presents literacy strategies to
writing, “Thank you” on their evaluation sheets. One staff
member summed it up by writing, “I think this literacy
symposium is great idea! I love talking about literacy and
helping others think about literacy and strategies.” The TST
BOCES Literacy Team will meet again soon to think about
how to continue to build excitement around literacy and provide
Perry Dewey looks on at videographer Bruce McKee assists with further opportunities for literacy professional development for
Flip Camera video editing.
TST BOCES staff.
Turning Point/Ithaca College Partnership
The Turning Point Elementary classes have continued their
connection with Ithaca College’s undergraduate education
program this year. Joanie Groome’s adaptive physical
education classes, primarily for P.E. and/or health majors, are
always in need of opportunities to observe and work with real-
life situations to practice their skills. Historically, this class has
paired up with various special education classes and teachers in
the BOCES Smith School.
This semester, students from the IC class came and observed
Ron Fey’s adaptive P.E. classes in Smith School. These
classes incorporate a variety of students with varying needs.
Undergraduate students had a chance to see classes in action
Xavier Rote chats with his undergraduate swim buddy and chat with Mr. Fey about his teaching style and practice.
about how to push off from the wall of the pool.
Additionally, students from Turning Point Elementary took a weekly trip to the Ithaca College pool. While there,
each BOCES student worked, one-on-one, with an undergraduate student on swim instruction. Turning Point
Elementary serves students with emotional and behavioral needs. This association with Joanie Groome’s class
provides students with an opportunity to swim in a pool and learn specific techniques with individualized swim
Turning Point students also benefit from opportunities to practice their social skills and put the emotional education
that they are receiving in class into practice in real-life situations. Being able to form genuine, meaningful
relationships with their undergraduate swim buddy provides role modeling that could not be replicated without
this community connection. Elementary students referenced their new friends throughout their week at school
and made plans to tell the college student they were teamed with how well they were doing on their school work
or how hard they had applied themselves to problem-solving. This big brother/big sister component was just a
bonus to all the other positives that came with the curriculum of the class!
Thanks to Joanie Groome’s dedicated effort to advocate for students with special needs, Turning Point Elementary
students, as well as her undergraduate IC students, have all benefitted! We hope that this community connection
Name Change for the Turning Point 6:1:1 Class
The Turning Point 6:1:1 class will now be called the Branches 6:1:1 class. This program differs from the
Turning Point 8:1:1 program. We are a program for students with multiple disabilities with a focus on behavior
management strategies. Each student is given individual
attention to address his or her particular abilities and needs.
Individual academic programming focuses on a life skills
curriculum (including reading and writing, math, science, and
social studies), independent living skills, and prevocational
work skills. All students receive the appropriate New York
One of the best things about this BOCES program for students
with multiple disabilities is the belief that teamwork builds
success. A highly devoted transdisciplinary team works together
to form goals, provide therapy, and evaluation progress. From
communication devices to work skills and social skills, it is a
Learning in the Branches Classroom.
combined effort that makes this program successful.
New York State Alternate Assessment
Some Exceptional Education students qualify for the New York
State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) as a result of their disability.
Linda Goodnough, BOCES Speech Therapist, works as the Lead
Trainer/Site Coordinator for the Alternate Assessment. In this
role, she trains regional teachers how to develop the datafolios
and gather data as part of the NYSAA. The datafolio includes
actual samples of the student’s work. Tasks for evaluation are
chosen based on the New York State Learning Standards, and
what the students’ general education peers are being assessed on.
English Language Arts (ELA) and Math are evaluated at every
Linda Goodnough grade level for those grades 3 – 8 and once at the high school
level. Science is evaluated at grades 4, 8, and the high school level. NYSAA assessment for Social Studies
recently changed and now only includes the high school level.
Proficiency levels for the school years 2008 – 2009 and 2009 – 2010 show an improvement in our proficiency
rates in both ELA and Math. During the 2008 -2009 school year 45 students were assessed. Our proficiency rate
in ELA was 89% for 40 students. The Math proficiency rate was 82% for 37 students. During the 2009 – 2010
school year, 34 students were assessed. Our ELA proficiency rate was 91% for 31 students. The Math proficiency
rate was 91% for 31 students.
One of the Exceptional Education Department Goals for 2010-11 is to:
• Create a department-wide system for tracking student assessment and progress.
At Smith School, we have been providing staff with training so they can benchmark the academic growth of their
own students. As part of the BOCES Strategic Plan, we are looking to improve our proficiency rate.
Applebee’s and Springboard
Eatin’ Good in the Neighborhood
Most Sunday mornings members of the BOCES Springboard Program are not at Applebee’s Restaurant on
Triphammer Road serving breakfast to customers. But December 19th wasn’t a normal Sunday. At 8 AM
Applebee’s graciously opened their doors for breakfast to anyone who had purchased a ticket for Springboard’s
On Sundays from 8 to 10 AM Applebee’s restaurants all over the country donate their services to helping
organizations earn money for projects or activities. Since the Springboard students and staff were scrambling
to raise money for an end of the year overnight field trip, it seemed like a
perfect match. The reservations were made, tickets were printed, posters
were put up around Smith School, and the students went to work selling
tickets to family members, friends, and BOCES staff. For every $5.00 ticket
sold, Springboard earned $4.00 and paid $1.00 for the flapjack breakfast,
which included pancakes, bacon, and beverages. Students volunteered to
greet, seat and serve customers, and then cleared the tables. Applebee’s
staff cooked and operated the dish washing machine. In addition to having
a lot of fun, students gained a bit of valuable work experience.
So where will the Springboard Program be venturing this Spring? A final
decision has yet to be made, but it will be $420 farther along thanks to the
Springboard teachers, Don Smith and Pam
generosity of Applebee’s. Many thanks to our cook, “T”, the coordinator, Hall, with students Katie Landsdowne and
Doris, and Applebee’s management for a profitable and enjoyable morning. Marquis Rausch-Moran, at the Applebees
The Hunger Games at the TST Community School
“Stay alive,” says Haymitch. It’s the same advice he gave us on the train, but he’s not laughing this time. And
we only nod. What else is there to say?” These words of wisdom were from a mentor to the two young people
preparing to enter The Hunger Games. In a futuristic society called Panem, one boy and one girl are chosen each
year from each district to fight to the death in the Hunger Games.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins was the book chosen for this year’s school-wide read at the Community
School. The book raised ethical questions and prompted complex discussions among teachers and students in each
reading group. Every year for the last six, the Community School has chosen a book and divided itself up into
almost a dozen reading groups which include students, teachers, aides, monitors, social workers, counselors….
everybody! Each reading group is heterogeneous: students and teachers from all of the programs in our building
are mixed up so that we can all get to know each other. Over the course of a month, all members of the Community
School participate in the read-aloud where effort and the willingness to take risks are encouraged and celebrated.
This year, the afternoon GED program and
the PE teachers were responsible for the
kickoff Event. Students designed and led
other students through four stations meant to
give them the experience of being “tributes”
(competitors) in the Hunger Games Training
Center. These “tributes” had to participate
in various challenges including knot tying,
archery and feats of endurance and strength.
By the looks on the faces of all involved,
the kickoff was a big success. What was
especially wonderful about this part was
the opportunity for our school’s most non-
traditional students to function as group
During the final week of school before the
winter break, each reading group presented
its final project to the whole school.
Each group was challenged to design a
culminating activity of their choice. There
were art projects, taste tests, physical
challenges and even a game show! These
projects demonstrate which aspects of the
book students found the most interesting and
enjoyable. Every year, it is amazing to see
the variety of projects. The best part is that
each group keeps its project a secret until
the unveiling, adding to the anticipation. The Hunger Games
Senior Writing Workshop
Andrew Wright, a South Seneca student, is a senior in Writing Workshop. Each quarter, students complete a
Polished Piece in this class. After several weeks of reading stories, poems, and essays relating to respect, students
created their own piece, which must be revised three times and edited. This is Andrew’s Polished Piece for the
By Andrew Rauch
Permanent. This word means to be infinite in course
But in our day-to-day world, is there such thing?
Change is ever constant,
a ship set to sea with no course and no captain.
We see change happen before our very eyes.
We see our family grow older and our friends change.
Our interests grow and fade.
Every second our painting of life is being filled in,
filled in with colors.
The paint brush is never laid down.
The painting is never done.
We are never done.
We move from place to place, never like a sloth.
We move from car to work, work to home,
driving to the nearest coffee shop,
not even having the time to go in.
We clutch our coffee, speeding through the drive-through.
We gun the motors in our cars,
driving off into ten-mile traffic jams.
Always moving, never standing still,
never taking the time to breathe,
never taking the time to see the colors of the seasons.
See how the leaves begin to change colors,
how the birds begin to fly away,
how the snow seems to appear like a blanket,
a blanket covering the former lush green grass.
Even standing in a line we are moving.
While we stand in line, we look at our cell phones,
sending information, changing what used to be permanent,
gossip with the person ahead of us or beside us.
We don’t stand still.
In our sleep we move, never stopping.
We can’t stop.
Our minds are writing memoirs,
memories of things we thought permanent,
memories of our first love and how we felt,
how we thought that it would never end.
Our minds never sleep.
Our alarms ring, beep, buzz.
We quiet the alarms.
We awake to perform a ritual,
a ritual we’ve always done since we were young, crawling from our comforting nest,
stretching our arms, moving from our tranquilizing beds,
the beds that allowed us to lay dormant and our minds wander
allow us to dream.
We rub the sleep from our eyes,
our minds still moving trying to grasp hold,
grasp hold of our fleeting dreams.
We seem to never have the means to stop.
We never take time to notice the loss of our first tooth,
our first grey hair,
always reshaping our sculpture. It never stays the same
Nothing is constant.
Permanent is a fantasy that even the rich cannot afford.
Wanting stability, wanting nothing to change:
a fool’s quest.
Was there ever a time,
a time where we stood still,
let things remain the same?
Maybe. But not today.
Not in today’s world,
a world of the here and now, not there and then,
a world of broad technology,
technology that becomes part of us.
This is today’s world.
In today’s world nothing is permanent.
An Educational Plus
Current and past issues of the TST Times are available on our website, at www.tstboces.org!
Board of Education Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga
Linda Padgett, President Board of Cooperative
John Nihill, Vice President Educational Services
David Teeter :
Kathy Zahler Pleas
Edgar W. Seymour
Ralph Jones 555 Warren Road
Richard Thaler Ithaca, NY 14850
Dr. Ellen O’Donnell,
Our Component School Districts:
Candor, Dryden, George Jr. Republic,
Dr. Heather K. Sheridan-Thomas, Groton, Ithaca, Lansing, Newfield,
Assistant Superintendent South Seneca and Trumansburg