Adult students earn High School Equivalency diplomas
Thirty-nine students from across the region who recently earned their High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma through GST BOCES participated in a graduation ceremony on January 14 at the Bush Campus.
This was the first group of students to graduate since New York State replaced the GED® exam with the TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion™) as the path to a HSE diploma in 2014. More than 80 students were eligible to participate in the ceremony, according to Nicole Elston, Adult Literacy coordinator.
To be eligible, students attended preparation courses offered by GST BOCES Adult Education and Career Services and successfully completed either the computerized or pencil and paper version of the TASC exam.
The new test series (TASC) measures common core standards in math, reading, social studies, science and writing. Preparation programs are funded by NYS Adult Education Department grants and are available for adults 18 or older who are out of school and committed to increasing their literacy and career readiness skills.
For more information on Adult Literacy programs offered through GST BOCES, please call 739-7684.
Santa reads to students via Distance Learning
In December, the GST BOCES Distance Learning Service provided exciting read-aloud sessions to Addison Central School District students. Santa (aka Distance Learning Coordinator René Carver) took time from his busy holiday schedule to read to students in PreK through second grade right from his workshop (aka his office).
Both last year and this year, the GST Distance Learning Service provided read-aloud sessions to more than 2,000 area students in support of early childhood literacy. In collaboration with the Family Reading Partnership of Ithaca (FRP), the read-aloud sessions provided participating students with a yearly "Read to Me Calendar." The calendars are produced by FRP in order to promote family reading at home and a positive home-to-school connection.
Photo at left: Addison Central School District students hear a story read by Santa (inset).
GST BOCES and SCPH offer Active Living Every Day
GST BOCES and Schuyler County Public Health are teaming up to offer Active Living Every Day (ALED). ALED classes are designed to help you make simple lifestyle changes that will allow you to incorporate activity into your everyday life. Classes are practical, personalized and designed to help you overcome barriers to physical activity, set realistic goals, stay motivated and build confidence.
Classes will meet from 6 to 7 p.m. Mondays from February 23 to June 8 at the Watkins Glen High School. The cost for the class is $80. For more information or to register, call 739-4296 or register online at www.gstboces.org/adulted.
Culinary students compete in Cupcake Wars
Seniors in the Culinary Arts program at the GST BOCES Bush Education Center recently faced off in a Cupcake Wars competition as a culmination of their baking unit. The event was modeled after the popular Food Network competition in which contestants are judged on the taste and presentation of their confections.
Students worked in two-person teams to bake and decorate cupcakes in unique flavors and themes. They were judged on consistency, presentation and taste by a panel that included selected staff. In addition, juniors in the program offered peer evaluations of the cupcakes.
According to Instructor Karen Mecum, the competition tied into the students' work from last year, in which they studied trends in baking and wrote articles summarizing the popularity of cupcakes.
Congratulations to Hannah Merrill (Horseheads) and Kailey LaRue (Thomas A. Edison), first place; Tina Vo (Horseheads) and Alyssa Searles (Horseheads), second place; Courtney Donahue (Thomas A. Edison) and Jessica Perez (Horseheads), third place; and Courtney Perrone (Watkins Glen) and Darien Terry (Watkins Glen), fourth place. Merrill and LaRue also were awarded the Judges' Choice award.
In the photo at left, juniors in the GST BOCES Culinary Arts program face a tough job as cupcake taste testers for the competition.
Nurse Assisting students experience Hunger 101
Nurse Assisting students at the Bush Education Center took part in a workshop recently that demonstrated the challenges some people face in providing food for themselves and their families.
Representatives from the Food Bank of the Southern Tier presented Hunger 101 - The Reality of Hunger in the Southern Tier to the class. The event was coordinated by the GST BOCES Career Development Council. The workshop began with a discussion of the terms hunger and poverty, and then moved into a simulation where students role-played members of a food-insecure community. Participants were given an identity, income and number of people in their household. They were then challenged to secure one day's worth of food for everyone in their household using a combination of the money they had on hand, donations from a local food pantry, assistance from Department of Social Services and what they could purchase at a convenient store. In the photo at left, a student (standing) tries to decide how to best use her cash and DSS assistance to feed her family for the day at the convenient store.
"The experience was very informative and made me realize that you can't tell what people are going through just by looking at them from the outside," said one student. "Before this workshop, I never understood how difficult it can be to feed a family."
Cosmetology students demonstrate skills at competition
GST BOCES Career and Technical Education students competed in a Cosmetology Hair Styling Competition at the Bush Education Center in January.
Participants used live models to display a creative hairstyle and were judged by local salon owners and stylists. Many models dressed in costume themes and their hair was styled to match. Judges tallied points to name a first, second and third place winner for the junior and senior classes, for a total of six winners. Winners received trophies and a bag of hairstyling products.
This competition is an annual event that has taken place for more than 20 years.
Photo at left: First, second and third place winners for the junior and senior classes display their awards.
Audio Media students release lip dub
The Bush Education Center's Audio Media Design program recently released its annual GST BOCES lip dub on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUyZmh3jGW4). Three weeks of preparation went into the project, which was shot in December on the last day of classes before the holiday break.
All CTE classes were invited to participate and students were encouraged to dress in camouflage or in clothes from their favorite decade. Allen Orshal's senior Audio Media Design class produced segments filmed in two buildings set to Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off" and Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It." A new addition to the project this year was a flash mob, which was recorded in the gymnasium.
"The trick to the lip dubs is that they are done in one take with no editing," said Orshal. "This makes rehearsals extremely important, as we have to make sure everyone is in the correct positions."
To see lip dubs from previous years, enter GST BOCES Lip Dub in the YouTube search window.
SkillsUSA Students Brighten the Steuben ARC Holiday Party
Students from the SkillsUSA chapter on the Coopers Campus recently baked, decorated and delivered cookies for the Steuben ARC Holiday Party. At the party, students mingled, danced, served cookies and went on horse rides.
SkillsUSA members also were treated to lunch, then took a tour of the ARC's administration building and workshop.
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!