ECASB news

Hodgson Russ Collaboration Award of Honor Goes to Ken-Ton UFSD Academies

Traditional shop class entered the 21st Century and brought a collaboration award to Ken-Ton Schools this year, where four academiesnow  provide Career-Technical Education certification for students on their high school diplomas. The Hodgson Russ Award for Collaboration was presented to the district at the Erie County Association of School Boards Annual Dinner.

The award was in recognition of  four academies: Pre-Engineering, Virtual Enterprise and Finance, Cisco Networking, and Information Technology that provide a rigorous curriculum to prepare students for highly skilled future jobs. Each academy has an advisory board and  students participate in a sequence of study developed through a process approved by the Board of Education and the NYS Department of Education. Articulation agreements have been established with Buffalo State College, RIT and ECC to provide students with the opportunity to earn credit.Two hundred students signed up for the Academies in the first year. The normal school budget was used as a support, and a Perkins Grant funded state-of-the-art technology.

Partnering with the school district to make this program possible are:
AP Professionals, DuPont, ECC, FMC, General Motors,
Hewlett Packard, Keller Technologies, Praxair, RAM, TMP Technologies, Town of Tonawanda, Unifrax, US Army Corp of Engineers,
Bank of America, Borelli & Lipuma Accounting, Mayer Brothers,
Proctor & Gamble, Town of Tonawanda Youth, Parks & Recreation,
Buffalo Medical Group, NFTA, Sorrento Cheese, Buffalo Granite & Marble, UB School of Management, Buffalo State College, Erie Community College, ITT Technical Institute, Citadel Communications.

“Teachers went above and beyond in their job duties to create a program that is best for kids. A grant was written which provided funds which helped our local budgeting process," noted Board of Education member Todd Potter.

For more information on this program, go to
Photo: Industrial Arts teacher Joel Maerten holds the KenTon Excellence in Collaboration Award, with business teacher Nancy Pray, center, and Board of Education member Todd Potter.  

Posted on Monday, 21 July 2014 09:02


Hodgson Russ Collaboration of Honor Goes to Hamburg Schools for EMT Training & Certification

A program that helps fill the need for capable and knowledgeable first responders while providing opportunities for school-to-work, college readiness and volunteerism received honors from the Erie County Association of School Boards at its Annual Dinner Meeting. The Hodgson Russ Collaboration Award of Honor was presented to Hamburg Central, which has one of three high schools in this region of the state offering Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training as an elective at no cost to high school seniors. It also is the largest and longest running program. The district provides the facility, and a teacher certified by NYS Higher Education and the NYS Department of Health. Equipment and adjunct instructors are provided by community partners in the Town of Hamburg and surrounding communities. ECC is the course sponsor and provides training equipment at no cost. Close to 100 volunteer first responders participate in auto extrication training in May, simulating removal of victims from auto collisions. Rural Metro Medical allows students to complete part of their mandatory observations by riding aboard their ambulances. Some 90 students now participate, and at completion are eligible for one high school health credit and 8 FREE elective college credits through ECC. If they successfully complete the certification exam, they receive NYS Certification as an EMT.

Partnering with Hamburg in this collaboration are Erie Community College, Hamburg Volunteer Fire Department, Boston Emergency Squad, Armor Volunteer Fire Company, Scranton Volunteer Fire Company, and Rural Metro Medical Services.

“This program allows students to work with mentors and give back to the community while showing them the value of helping others. This program teaches high school students life saving skills, well beyond what is taught in a traditional CPR course," said Christopher Zemrac, Hamburg High School Health Teacher.

Photo (from left): Michael Gallagher, Hamburg High School Principal, receives the Hodgson Russ Award for Collaboration from Andrew Loeb (Erie 1 BOCES BOE), Awards Review Team Chair; Dr. Jack Semler, President of Promoting Partnerships in Public Education (PPPE), and Karl Kristoff, Esq., Partner at Hodgson Russ.



Posted on Monday, 21 July 2014 08:28


Hodgson Russ Excellence in Collaboration Award Goes to Erie 2 CC BOCES Virtual Advanced Placement Academy

The Virtual Advanced Placement Academy offered through Erie 2 CC BOCES increases access to AP courses for students in low wealth/high needs districts, and won top honors this year as the Erie County Association of School Boards recognized districts' efforts in collaboration with the Hodgson Russ Awards. Thanks to the program, 100 students were on track to sit for at least one AP exam this May. For further testimony of success, all teachers involved said they would return to the program next year.

Erie 2's online and blended learning program uses teacher-developed AP content with a learning management system (Moodle) and video conferencing to cross district boundaries. Teachers and students receive mobile devices (iPads) with 4G connectivity to eliminate barriers to Internet access.
A New York Virtual Advanced Placement (VAP) grant funded staff costs, professional development, equipment, software and AP exam fees to the tune of $427,334. Selected teachers from several districts (Gowanda, Westfield, Sherman, Forestville, Chautauqua Lake, Silver Creek, Dunkirk, Pine Valley, Frewsburg and Jamestown) learned about using mobile devices for instruction, operation and implementation of the learning management system, and creation of online AP course content.

The districts assisted with teacher release time, student recruitment, scheduling assistance and technology support. Student instruction began with these AP courses: Biology, English Literature and Composition, English Language and Composition, Microeconomics (2 sections), Music Theory (2 sections), Psychology, Studio Drawing, U.S. Government and Politics (2 sections).
“This program demonstrates how to overcome financial and geographic barriers to provide expanded course content to districts by pooling resources, sharing teachers, and providing Internet access to students regardless of their socio-economic status,” said Dr. David O’Rourke, District Superintendent, Erie 2 CC BOCES. The program is now offered in the 2014-15 BOCES Service Directory. 
More information can be found at (User ID = distance, Password=learning) 
Photo: Ron Catalano (left), President of the Erie 2 CC BOCES Board of Education, accepts the Hodgson Russ Excellence in Collaboration Award from Karl Kristoff (right), Partner at Hodgson Russ. Second from left is Andrew Loeb (Erie 1 BOCES BOE), chair of the Awards Review Team, with Dr. Jack Semler, President of Promoting Partnerships in Public Education (PPPE), beside him.

Posted on Tuesday, 08 July 2014 11:02


Online Petition for Gap Elimination Adjustment


Two teachers at Lake Shore have set up this online petition drive to let the NYS Legislature know the  funding of education, specifically the Gap Elimination Adjustment, needs to be addressed now.

Click here or on the logo above to sign the petition!

Posted on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 15:12


GEA News

Behind the Numbers of New York State's
Gap Elimination Adjustment
What It Means in the Depew School District
What It Means in the Ken-Ton School District
What It Means in the Lake Shore SD (Superintendent James Przepasniak)
What It Means in the Lake Shore SD (Assistant Supt. Admin/Finance Dan Pacos)

Posted on Thursday, 13 March 2014 12:40


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