New Visions student train ECSD elementary students
Students in the New Visions Education and Human Services Honors Academy at the GST BOCES Bush Education Center are training elementary students in the Elmira City School District to help their peers resolve conflicts constructively. The New Visions students, who are also members of SkillsUSA, will present this community service project at the New York State SkillsUSA competition in Syracuse on April 22-24.
Last fall, the New Visions students were trained in the transformative theory of conflict resolution and the skills of a conflict manager. They recently began sharing the skills they acquired with a selected group of fifth- and sixth-graders from Hendy, Beecher, Coburn and Broadway Elementary Schools. Using manuals, a smart board, role playing and other learning activities, the New Visions students are teaching the elementary students how to become conflict managers in their schools.
"This project been a an excellent opportunity for our students to develop their leadership skills, while at the same time obtain hands-on work experience in the education and human services career fields," said New Visions Instructor Kelly Smith. "The SkillsUSA community service project encouraged the students to make a positive impact in their local schools and I couldn't be more proud of all of the students who are involved in this program. It's a win-win for everyone."
ESL Program Hosts International Dinner
The GST BOCES English as a Second Language (ESL) program recently hosted an international dinner for current and former students and their guests.
The dinner included delicious food typical of the eight countries represented by the students. The evening also included entertainment. One student performed magic tricks. Her husband played his guitar and sang American folk songs, including the group in audience participation. Although the attendees did not share a common language, they enjoyed the food, entertainment and company and practiced speaking the English language throughout the evening.
If you need to learn English and would like to attend classes, please call Robin DeLong at 607-739-7684. GST BOCES offers ESL classes in Elmira and Corning.
Welders construct lacrosse goals for ECSD
Three Welding and Metal Fabrication students at the Bush Education Center recently constructed two sets of new lacrosse goals for the Elmira City School District. Students not only practiced their welding skills on the project, but also were responsible for measuring existing goals, drawing up plans and putting together an estimate for the job.
The project was win-win for the students and the district, according to Instructor Mike Lederman. The district had priced the goals with vendors and found them to be costly, said Lederman. The Welding program offered an affordable alternative and the students gained real work experience while creating goals that can be used by lacrosse players for years to come.
Musicians take flute workshop via Distance Learning
The GST BOCES Distance Learning Service recently offered a special flute workshop video conference with Alyssa Greengrass from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City.
Students in Addison, Prattsburgh and Pine Valley took part in the live instruction, which focused on vibrato and sound development. Participants learned exercises and new skills to help them explore their individual sounds and, through the use of vibrato, learned to play more expressively.
The GST BOCES Distance Learning program supports a wide variety of video conference based learning opportunities for both student and professional development opportunities across the region.
Photo at left: Flutists from the Addison Central School District participated in the Manhattan School of Music workshop via distance learning.
Summer Adult Ed Courses
GST BOCES Adult Education and Career Services offers a variety of career trainings during the summer. You can learn a new skill or share this information with a friend or family member who might benefit from one our programs. See the attached flyer for details.
For more information or to register, call 739-7905 or 1-877-ADULTED or log onto www.gstboces.org/adulted.
FFA reps meet with Senator O'Mara
Representatives from the Bush Education Center's FFA chapter recently traveled to Albany to meet with New York State Senator Tom O'Mara (R,C-Big Flats) and local soil and water conservation leaders.
GST BOCES was represented by FFA Advisor and Conservation Instructor Don MacNaughton and two FFA officers.
Steuben County Legislator Dan Farrand, who's also currently serving as President of the New York Association of Conservation Districts, and Steuben County Soil and Water Conservation District Manager Jeffrey Parker also were part of the group.
"I appreciated this group taking the time to come to Albany to help all of us better understand the many critical issues facing soil and water conservation across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and statewide," said O'Mara, the new chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee. "I think it's especially encouraging to have students like these looking to carry on and lead this important and valuable work for the next generation."
Cosmetology students worked the cast and crew of Guys and Dolls
Two students in the junior Cosmetology program at GST BOCES Bush Campus worked directly with the cast and crew of the off-Broadway musical, Guys and Dolls, during its run at the Clemens Center in Elmira on May 19 and 20.
Cierra and Allexyss from Horseheads High School used their talents to help prepare the wigs for the show. They were even in on the action back stage during the performance, assisting with the products and materials needed.
"This was a great learning experience," Cierra said. "It opened my eyes to other areas where I could use my cosmetology license. Without this experience, I would not have known how exciting the cosmetology field is in theater."
"It was very inspiring," Allexyss added. "The wig master taught me a lot and made me think of all the possibilities I could explore with my talents. BOCES allows me to see the bigger picture."
NYS FFA officers visit Bush campus
NYS FFA District 8 President Kara Long and NYS FFA Treasurer Gabriel Rater visited the Bush campus FFA chapter in March. State officers visit each chapter across New York to share information on statewide activities and how to become a state officer. They visited the Conservation and Animal Science classes to learn about the skills that Bush FFA students gain in their programs.
In the photo at left, a Conservation student describes how the class raises fish in their greenhouse.
"It was exciting to have state officers visit our campus," said Bush Treasurer Samantha White. "I learned a lot about what is happening in FFA on a larger scale beyond our own chapter."
GST BOCES Adult Education and Career Services is one of only 13 sites in New York State that now offers the High School Equivalency (HSE) exam in a computer-based format. Adult Ed. was selected by the NYS Department of Education to pilot the computer-based version of the test. "We are recognized as a strong adult education program and the state often relies on us to pilot new initiatives," said Adult Literacy Coordinator Nicole Elston.
In January 2014, New York began using the Test Assessing Secondary Completion™, or TASC exam, in place of the GED® test as the path to a HSE diploma. The TASC exam can be taken in either a pencil-paper or computer-based format. GST BOCES Adult Ed. offers participants the option to take the pencil-paper or computerized version on the Bush Campus in Elmira. The paper-pencil version is also administered at Haverling High School in Bath. Tests are scheduled quarterly, based on need, and prep courses are provided by Adult Ed.
The transition to the computer-based TASC exam at GST BOCES required collaboration between the Adult Education program and GST BOCES Computer Services, along with the NYS Department of Education and vendor CTB/McGraw-Hill. GST BOCES Computer Services set up the system on campus and provides on-going support of the program.
According to Elston, 26 students have taken the computer-based test since March. "All who have taken the test on a computer have noted the ease of the process, that it is a more relaxed atmosphere and they are finished in less time," said Elston. The paper-pencil version of the test takes approximately nine to ten hours during two days, while the average time to complete the computer-based version is around six to seven hours, she said.
Although the new format is still in the pilot stage, GST BOCES Administrator of Adult Education Tim Driscoll believes that the demand for it will increase in the future. "During the next three years, our plan is to gear up to offer more computer-based and fewer pencil-paper tests," he said. "We want to make this option readily accessible to our students."
For more information on the TASC exam and prep courses, call GST BOCES Adult Education and Career Services at 607-739-7684 or 1-877-ADULTED.
Nominations for the 2015 GST BOCES Hall of Fame induction will be accepted through January 15, 2015. The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to recognize the personal achievements of former GST BOCES students who demonstrate a connection between their BOCES experience and career choice achievements.
Anyone who has successfully completed a Career and Technical Education Program at the GST BOCES Bush, Coopers or Wildwood campuses is eligible for the Hall of Fame. Applicants are eligible after the sixth year following their program completion. Click here for a nomination form.
You can become a Driver's Education teacher. Classes taught at the GST BOCES Coopers Campus in Painted Post by Adaptive Driving Services of Binghamton. Get More Information!