Oswego School District Eyes Creation Of Regional School

OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego City School District has entered into a partnership that it hopes will create a “regional school,” Superintendent Ben Halsey said Tuesday night.

“We have partnered with eight other districts; the Oswego County BOCES, Cayuga Community College, as well as three major manufacturers (Novelis, Huhtamaki and the Fulton Boiler Company) to apply for a state grant that has been made available for the funding of a tech regional high school,” the superintendent explained.

It is from a pot of money created by Gov. Cuomo two years ago. There have been very few of them (grants) awarded across the state.

The concept is that by partnering together with CCC and the industries, if they are awarded this money, the county would have a small regional high school for students. It would be a total of 50 students per grade level – spread throughout the entire county.

The school would be housed at the new BOCES complex when its renovations are completed.

As part of a rebranding effort and in conjunction with its nearly completed campus renovation project, Oswego County BOCES announced a change to its name, becoming the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation. According to CiTi District Superintendent Christopher Todd, the change reflects the organization’s commitment to meeting the ever-changing needs of its educational partners while embracing innovation and creativity.

“All these partnerships create an environment where these students can go to receive their core instruction and advanced electrical and manufacturing internship, apprenticeships. It will be facilitated through our partnerships,” Halsey said. “It’s an exciting opportunity for us to reach a few of our students in which this might meet their needs better than the traditional high school setting.”

It’s joint in that Oswego is not the only school district that is providing this program, he pointed out.

“It is very early in the stages. We have all sat down together to apply for the funding for the establishment of this. The funding would be providing for the planning, for the hiring of an executive director of this institution who would work with all of us as partners,” he said. “A board would be created with members from each of the school districts and BOCES as well as administrative heads of each of those companies.”

The idea is to provide under-served students with an expanded school day and school year programs, mentoring, accelerated hands-on curriculum, intern opportunities, access to college level course work by grade ten and a seamless transition to an associate’s degree in electrical or mechanical technology.

There are examples of regional schools that were awarded money last year, the superintendent said. He added they hope to follow the leads of the successful applicants.

“We are just in the process of submitting our application now,” he said. “It is an exciting opportunity for us to reach these students in a very collaborative nature involving a lot of different partners.”

Given the nature of the three business partners, it was decided by the component school districts and BOCES that the advanced electrical and mechanical technology were appropriate for those students to be trained in.

“Again, we’re very early in the process. The application has just gone out,” Halsey said. “We tried to model ourselves after the ones that were successful.”

He isn’t certain as to when they will hear the results of their application, he noted.

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