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School Boards Institute Meeting Held at MOBOCES

OMH SBI Meeting  OMH SBI Meeting  MORIC

The Oneida-Madison-Herkimer Counties School Boards Institute held its annual membership meeting at MOBOCES on March 29. Academic leaders from each county gathered to hear about what’s happening inside the MOBOCES component districts and to learn more about “Student-Centered Learning” from the Mohawk Regional Information Center.

School and community exhibits were on display throughout the meeting, allowing board members and superintendents from other districts to learn more about what’s happening at other schools. The idea is to see if similar projects would be successful in their home schools.

This is the second year of the School Boards Showcase. “They are all well done, research-based, and they (board members) have the opportunity to take these programs and pilot them or put them in the districts in some sort of fashion," said Jim VanWormer, Coordinator of the Oneida-Madison-Herkimer School Boards Institute. "The board members are students tonight.”

MOBOCES Culinary Arts students prepared and served dinner, followed by a presentation on “Student-Centered Learning” by MORIC staff members Heather Mahoney, Eric Feola, Maria Rocker, and Amy Konz.

School leaders were asked to brainstorm at their tables on what is needed to make their schools more student centered. They were also asked to self-assess their districts when it comes to technology.

There are also some changes coming to NYS law this spring, in regards to Data Privacy & Security. The MORIC staff informed school leaders how to prepare as the law is introduced.

Last year's event was held at the Herkimer BOCES. Next year, the Oneida Herkimer Madison BOCES in New Hartford will host the meeting. 


Students from Camden gave a presentation on Student Leadership to visitors at their booth. They spoke about team building trips they’ve taken where they learned how to communicate and problem solve with their peers. Students say these trips were inspired by the Youth Leadership Summit held at MOBOCES.  

Canastota Central School had an interactive experience at their booth, with Elementary Makerspace. This is a project currently underway at South Side School, where students are exploring STEAM related activities, sparking their creativity and imagination.

Hamilton Central School highlighted their Agriculture Program. Students are working with plants and gardening, hatching chicks and interacting with other animals on a weekly basis. The program even offers the opportunity to take a number of agriculture electives, allowing students to graduate with as many as 15 college credits.

MOBOCES  Madison  ME

The Early Childhood Education program was on display at the MOBOCES booth. MOBOCES is collaborating with 4 rural districts to provide daily Prekindergarten programming lessons using StepUp technology. This program uses a multi-sensory approach to teach physical fitness, phonological development, and persistence.  

Madison Central School was “Stylin’ and Smilin’ at their booth! This program uses middle school girls as role models to create positive relationships with girls at the elementary level. Three days a week, the older girls try out hairstyles on the younger girls while they chat, listen to music, and enjoy each other’s company.  

The Agriculture Club at Morrisville – Eaton Central School District is giving students the opportunity for hands-on learning. It is a collaboration with the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program and student volunteers from Morrisville State College. The students work on projects in the areas of health, science, agriculture, and citizenship. New this year, a pilot program started where Morrisville High School students are able to take courses during the day at Morrisville State College for free!

NYSSD  Tiny House  RFA

“Developing the Whole Child” was the theme for the New York State School for the Deaf. NYSSD provides opportunities for students to grow socially, emotionally and psychologically. Students are provided with adult deaf role models, from whom they learn about deaf culture and how to navigate between the hearing world and the deaf world.

The “Tiny House” phenomenon is taking over! Even at Oneida City Schools! Students there have been working with the owner of “Bear Creek Tiny Houses” to build a Tiny House. The project has many students involved, including technology, engineering, art, video, and business classes. Eventually, the house will be for sale. The Tiny House was on site at the meeting for educators to walk through.

A crowd gathered around the Rome's RFA VEX Robotics Team for most of the evening. The team designs and builds robots that compete in tournaments. This year’s team members were division finalists in the Upstate NY Championship Tournament. In other tournaments the team won awards for excellence in design and design process.

              Stockbridge     VVS

Stockbridge Valley is working to build the leaders of tomorrow! SVCS is partnering with the Madison County Youth Bureau to provide a leadership program to 9th  graders. Challenges are offered to students in supportive environments in an effort to explore personal strengths and weaknesses, while increasing team building skills.

Vernon-Verona-Sherrill CSD highlighted their Social Work Department. The team consists of 5 social workers, one in each building. They are focusing on building a positive school climate, addressing issues such as bullying, conflict resolution, social media, safety and more. The team was answering questions on such topics from school leaders during the meeting. VVS also showcased their work with STEAM activities at all grade levels, including the use of Bee-Bots.