MEXICO, NY – CiTi, the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation held an open house Saturday for families of students and members of the community to see the results of the buildings remodel and to boast the many services they offer.
Located at the Mexico campus, CiTi (formerly known as BOCES) serves more than 1,000 students every day from the nine school districts in the county.
However, CiTi also provides more than 100 cooperative services to districts in the county.
“So, directly we serve those 1,000 plus students a day, but indirectly we touch every student in the county. We teach teachers, buy food, make technology purchases, and so much more. It really is a cooperative program,” said Director of Alternative Programs, Ronald Camp.
Districts have the ability to make purchases through CiTi and receive aid for those purchases, or receive a reduced cost for large quantity purchases.
“We have nine component districts, so in order to receive a service they have to want to share. A minimum of two districts can request a service and we move forward from there,” said Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Roseann Bayne.
The CiTi program is funded through each school district that pays an administration fee based on the residence weighted average daily attendance in their district.
The districts pay the administrative fee and then pay for services that are aid eligible based on each district’s BOCES aid amount.
The open house was scheduled as a way to show off the buildings recently completed remodel and have the students showcase their services to their families and the community.
In 2011, the community voted on the remodel of the former Oswego BOCES building to address infrastructure issues
In 2013, the project broke ground and so began the compete overhaul.
While the project moves into its third and final phase, the main campus building is complete and CiTi administrators, employees and students were ready and excited to show it off.
The open house event provided visitors with a pulled pork lunch, prize and giveaway opportunities, complete tours of the building, and numerous demonstrations.
Students from the public safety program were in uniform all throughout the building to assist with questions and offer tours of the building.
The many demonstrations were performed by students and showcased the abilities and lessons they are learning while at CiTi including hair styling and nail art by cosmetology students, airbrushing demonstrations by auto body repair students, blood pressure screenings by nursing assistant students and many more.
CiTi offers services in career and technical education, exceptional education and alternative education as well as adult programs and plans for community based classes and programs in the near future.
The educational programs for students are offered to high school students throughout nine districts of the county.
All programs vary in length and requirements. Some classes are half day programs, while others are full day and nearly all programs require students to fit certain criteria such as reading level and technical ability.
“We will start students almost anywhere, if it doesn’t work out then we will move them around to find where they fit and what they enjoy,” said Bayne.
The children that utilize CiTi’s services are bussed from their school district. However, there are alternate locations throughout the county that provide services to students in their own district.
These students are working hands on in the trades or services of their interest, all while building career relationships in their desired profession.
“Each program has a technical advisory committee made up of business partnerships, college and technical schools. When each program goes through re-approval through the state, they must have an articulation agreement with a college or industry. Our students also have the opportunity for significant internships in industry. So, undoubtedly these students are making career connections. That is the spirit of it, to make learners that are able to jump into the working world,” explained Bayne.
CiTi doesn’t just exist for high school students though. Adults are able to take similar programs through CiTi.
“Our adult programs are limited by areas of more specific employability, areas such as heavy equipment repair and operation, CDL, LPN, and dental assistant,” said Bayne.
The adult programs work just like a college or technical school as students have to pay tuition and may be eligible for federal aid.
CiTi has plans to continue moving forward as to bring back programs that were once offered at BOCES but hadn’t returned in 10 years.
“Starting soon, we will be bringing back leisure learning classes in the afternoon for adults. Things like floral arranging, guitar, Zumba, and hiking,” said Bayne.
For public safety student, Josh Buskey, he feels CiTi has made a large impact on his life and career choices.
“I’ve always had an interest in the public safety field, ever since I was a kid. But CiTi has given me the values I’ve been able to bring into the real world, things like respect, responsibility and discipline,” said Buskey.
“CiTi gave me a good start, the credentials from this class are going to help me immensely,” he added.
While some of CiTi’s most popular programs include cosmetology, public safety and justice, heavy equipment repair and operation, nursing assistant and culinary arts, a complete list of services is available at the CiTi website.