Herkimer BOCES adult nursing students return to Remington school building ahead of Sept. 29 building vote

ILION – The Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Adult Practical Nursing Program is back to operating out of the Remington school building in Ilion for the more than 60 local adults studying to become licensed practical nurses.

Running the LPN classes with coronavirus-related regulations required adjusting instructional practices, dividing students into cohorts of eight to 11 people, purchasing individual mannequins for each student, buying large screens for virtual instruction, obtaining other needed equipment, turning the main nursing lab into an isolation unit, making a practice lab into an extra classroom and expanding into additional classrooms and offices at the Remington school building.

“We’ve changed everything and overcome many challenges,” Herkimer BOCES Adult Practical Nursing Program Coordinator Sara Nicolette said. “Everything is a challenge, but this building has made it possible. This building has been a blessing to us.”

Herkimer BOCES has proposed to purchase the former Remington Elementary School building at 77 E. North St. from Central Valley as long-term home for the nursing program, other Adult Education programs, the Pathways Academy for school-aged students and more.

Residents from all Herkimer BOCES component districts will have the opportunity to vote from noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 29, on whether to approve the Herkimer BOCES proposal to purchase the building. The Central Valley community voted 256-16 on Nov. 12, 2019, in favor of selling the building to Herkimer BOCES.

‘A full house’

In March, the LPN program missed only one day of instruction when school buildings closed in response to the coronavirus public health crisis. The program moved quickly to a virtual format using Zoom, and students were still able to graduate by their planned date in June or earlier.

Herkimer BOCES offers three versions of its LPN program – a full-time class, a part-time class during days and a part-time class during evenings. The 2020-21 full-time class started in June using Zoom and moved into the Remington building on Sept. 8, the same day the part-time day and evening classes began.

Despite the challenges, the LPN program has seen a more than 10 percent increase in new students this school year, Nicolette said.

“We opened with a full house,” she said.

The LPN program had to invest about $15,000 into adjusting to the changes of how classes would operate – including the purchases of mannequins for each student, large screens for each classroom, equipment and more, Nicolette said. A washer and dryer were purchased because students have to use reusable personal protective equipment in the isolation unit lab.

The program was able to avoid other expenses due to the ability to expand from two main classrooms to four within the Remington school building and use more office space, Nicolette said. A practice lab was converted into an extra classroom, and students use mannequins at their own desks in each classroom to practice skills, she said.

“The only bright spot in all this is that we’re here in this building,” she said. “If we didn’t have this building, we’d be sunk.”

School building vote

For the Tuesday, Sept. 29, vote on the Remington school building purchase proposal, qualified voters may vote from noon to 8 p.m. at any location listed below or at the Herkimer BOCES William E. Busacker Complex Technical Education Conference Room at 352 Gros Blvd. in Herkimer. Each district will have a voting location for residents’ convenience:

  • Central Valley: Small gym at CVA
  • Dolgeville: High School Lobby
  • Frankfort-Schuyler: Old Gymnasium
  • Herkimer: Media Center Jr./Sr. High School
  • Little Falls: Middle School Gymnasium
  • Mount Markham: District Office
  • Owen D. Young: Gymnasium
  • Poland: Lobby
  • Richfield Springs: Entrance adjacent to baseball field
  • West Canada Valley: High School Front Lobby

A qualified voter for the Herkimer BOCES proposal must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be a citizen of the United States
  • Have or will have resided within the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES region for a period of at least 30 days

All persons offering to vote will be asked to provide one form of proof of residency. Such form may include but is not limited to a driver’s license, a non-driver identification card, a utility bill or a voter registration card.

Upon offer of proof of residency, all persons offering to vote will also be required to provide their signature and address. Persons who do not provide a proof of residence will be asked to sign a declaration in order to be allowed to vote.

Find out more information about the purchase proposal and the vote at www.herkimer-boces.org/remingtonbuilding.



One nursing student in a mask practices on a mannequin on a desk in a classroom while another nursing student in a mask looks on

Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Adult Practical Nursing Program part-time day student Katherine Wayman (right), of Hartwick, practices on a mannequin on Tuesday, Sept. 15, in a classroom at the Remington school building as part-time day student Shannon Rowlands (left), of Ilion, looks on. A new screen for virtual instruction is pictured behind Wayman. For more information on the LPN program, visit www.herkimer-boces.org/LPN. For more information on a public vote on Tuesday, Sept. 29, on the Herkimer BOCES proposal to purchase the Remington school building from Central Valley, visit www.herkimer-boces.org/remingtonbuilding



Two nursing students in masks sit at their desks looking at books. There also is a mannequin on the desk and large screen for virtual learning.

From left, Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Adult Practical Nursing Program part-time day students Hannah Laurion, of Waterville, and Aimee Lewis, of Speculator, study in a classroom on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at the Remington school building while also having the ability to interact through a large screen with another classroom using Zoom. For more information on the LPN program, visit www.herkimer-boces.org/LPN. For more information on a public vote on Tuesday, Sept. 29, on the Herkimer BOCES proposal to purchase the Remington school building from Central Valley, visit www.herkimer-boces.org/remingtonbuilding.


A nursing classroom is pictured from the back of the room looking forward at a desk with a mannequin on it, a large screen for virtual learning and two nursing students sitting at desks.

From left, Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Adult Practical Nursing Program part-time day students Aimee Lewis, of Speculator, and Hannah Laurion, of Waterville, study in a classroom on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at the Remington school building while also having the ability to interact through a large screen with another classroom using Zoom. For more information on the LPN program, visit www.herkimer-boces.org/LPN. For more information on a public vote on Tuesday, Sept. 29, on the Herkimer BOCES proposal to purchase the Remington school building from Central Valley, visit www.herkimer-boces.org/remingtonbuilding.