WG students inducted into American Sign Language Honor Society
Two Watkins Glen High School seniors recently were recognized by Superintendent Tom Phillips for their induction into the American Sign Language (ASL) Honor Society.
The students are in their third year of ASL study by video conference, taught from Syracuse and offered at Watkins Glen through GST BOCES Distance Learning Service. They earned the ASLHS Honor Cord, which means they earned a 3.5 GPA in all ASL courses and an overall GPA of 3.2 in other coursework. In addition, each student completed five community service hours. Both girls learned to sign children's stories and held events at the public library. In addition to telling the story, they taught some signs to the children in attendance.
The American Sign Language Honor Society (ASLHS) is an official program established by ASLTA, the only national organization of ASL teachers. ASLHS was established to encourage high academic achievement at all levels of ASL study.
Guiding Eyes dog at home on the Wildwood campus
Students in Kelly Flint's Introduction to Career Majors (ICM) class at the Wildwood Education Center welcomed a new classmate this school year. Ward, a black Labrador retriever, is being raised by Flint for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, an internationally accredited nonprofit guide dog school. Ward spends two days a week on campus with Flint.
According to Flint, Ward's visits are important for his socialization process. He learns to remain calm around groups of people and to remain in the classroom as students come in and out of the door. Flint walks him on campus during dismissal time to give him exposure to different sounds and situations. Students enjoy playing with Ward and value his companionship in the classroom.
Ward is Flint's ninth Guiding Eyes dog. More than half of Guiding Eyes dogs become guide dogs for the blind or visually impaired. Others may become service animals for children with autism or become detection dogs for police agencies. One dog raised by Flint is now a Connecticut State Police bomb detective.
Flint urges anyone who may be interested in raising a puppy and helping change someone's life to attend a Guiding Eyes class. Classes meet on the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. on the Wildwood campus.
Students compete in underwater robotics event
Teams of students from Bath, Avoca, Corning-Painted Post and Horseheads recently competed in an underwater ROV competition as the capstone to weeks of planning and work.
In preparation for the event, students worked through investigations about balance, buoyancy, circuitry and Newton's Laws of Motion. Applying these concepts, students were asked to design and pilot their own ROV through a series of challenges designed to simulate the real-life work of an ROV. Throughout all of the events, students had only a remote control and a small camera mounted on the ROV to help them navigate. In the photo at left, students practice for the buoyancy challenge.
In addition to challenges, students also were scored on their ability to work together as a team and to support one another when designing, communicating and competing and on their accuracy and enthusiasm in telling "their story." In a science fair format, students of each team were asked to tell about the design of their ROV, how they handled frustration with the design process and why they thought their ROV would be successful.
Funding for this program was provided through a Perkins Grant supervised by Chris Weinman, GST BOCES Executive Director of CTE. Professional development and training was provided by the GST BOCES STEM Team.
Culinary team wins ProStart Invitational, Management team takes fourth
The Culinary team from the GST BOCES Bush Education Center won first place at the 11th Annual New York State ProStart Invitational held at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY on March 13 and 14. Culinary Arts Instructor Karen Mecum is the team coach and Teaching Assistant Ronny Freeland is the team mentor. Additional mentors include Chef Ethan Headley, Director of Nutrition, Finger Lakes Health Care; Chef Ryan Anderson, The Cellar Restaurant; and Chef Nicole Wagner, Wegmans.
The team will represent New York State at the National ProStart Invitational at Disneyland in Anaheim, California from April 18-20. They received a generous donation from UnitedHealthcare to help fund their trip, along with many scholarships from leading post-secondary institutions.
The Management team from the Coopers Education Center took fourth place in their competition. Culinary Arts Instructor Burt Beebe is the team coach and Teaching Assistant Mary Campbell is the team mentor.
The Culinary Competition highlights each team's creative abilities through the preparation of a three-course meal in 60 minutes, using only two butane burners, and without access to running water or electricity. They are evaluated on taste, skill, teamwork, safety and sanitation.
For the Management Competition, teams develop a proposal for the next promising restaurant concept and present it to a panel of industry judges. Next, their problem solving skills are tested as they quickly solve challenges faced by managers daily.
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."
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."
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."
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.
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!