Education Day – April 2014

Education Day

By design team member Kristin Alisanski

Heads Down Thumbs Up!

Our education evolution was jumpstarted by a quick game of 7up! As we closed our eyes to start the day- it was a way to clear our minds and embrace learning about our educational system.

Dan Lowengard gave us our first reality check with the realities of the common core and teacher assessments. He encouraged parents to ask teachers if they know how your child learns- what styles are effective for them.  Then Dr. Rick Timbs riveted the crowd with an overview of how state aid is allocated using an example that worked on his granddaughter Gracie using sofa cushions to represent school districts. He highlighted there are districts 50x wealthier that still receive state aid because in New York State everyone gets money, a great fact to learn at tax time!  

With class day being held at OCM BOCES, we were served an amazing lunch served by the high school culinary and pastry students. We took a tour of careers as we went visited the various occupational classrooms at BOCES. The tour opened our eyes to the practical teaching of BOCES and the students eloquently explained what they’ve learned and intend to do with their experience.

The afternoon sprung into hope and opportunity for our future, starting with the schools of the future including 2 new technical schools that will be in the OCM BOCES territory. These classrooms modernize the curriculum to reflect how careers work with a multi-disciplinary, highly collaborative approach, centered on project-based learning.

A real world perspective was dished up from Gwendolyn Mack who challenged us by asking, “Is there such a thing as an unreachable child?” We ended the day with a panel discussion with three agencies dedicated to helping kids move forward in education, OnPoint for College, Say Yes to Education, and Hillside.

Overwhelmingly, the key to success for kids are relationships which provide support for non-academic issues and helping them focus on the academic progress. We were challenged by LGSer Larry Williams who poignantly stated: “While we may not all live in Syracuse we are in the greater Syracuse area and we all have a responsibility. United we stand together, separate we fall.”

It was a great day for everyone. A big thank you to OCM BOCES for generously hosting us and making it an amazing day.