Our prekindergarten programs provide opportunities for positive intellectual, emotional, social and physical development for children ages 3 and 4. These opportunities are accomplished through strong parent participation, health and nutrition components and activities in each community. All our programs address the Next Generation Learning Standards and allow for developmentally appropriate programming for young children. Successful transition to kindergarten is a targeted outcome for each child. All our programs are offered at no cost to families.
All classes are taught by New York state certified teachers and with the help of a certified teaching assistant.
We offer New York State Education Department approved Integrated Prekindergarten programs. These classes allow the needs of preschoolers with disabilities to be met in the least restrictive environment. In order to qualify as a preschooler with a disability a child must have a formal evaluation by an approved evaluation team. This evaluation is then reviewed by the local district's Committee on Preschool Special Education which then makes a recommendation for program placement. Teachers in this program are certified in Special Education and Elementary Education or are co-located with an Early Elementary certified co-teacher. We have Integrated Prekindergarten centers located in Dolgeville Elementary, Central Valley at Fisher Elementary in Mohawk, Herkimer Elementary. Classes are either full day or half days depending on the needs of the student. Related services are available as detailed in the child’s IEP and all classrooms have a certified Teaching Assistant and aide as assigned to individual students.
We provide an integrated program for 6 weeks in the summer. Children classified through their CPSE can attend as a Special Education student. The integration comes from other preschoolers in the community participating in the summer classes. The location for the past few summers has been the BOCES campus on Gros Blvd.
The primary goal is to provide quality prekindergarten programming to 3- and 4-year-olds. In order to be eligible, several factors are considered including income and family circumstances. Eligible 3- and 4-year-olds are given preference. The program is funded primarily by a state grant and the remainder by local school district funds. Currently, we have centers located in Central Valley, Dolgeville, Herkimer and Owen D. Young.
Herkimer BOCES in cooperation with two local districts is able to offer Universal Prekindergarten. Universal
Prekindergarten (UPK) is a state-funded program.
We offer Universal Prekindergarten to the families of the Frankfort and West Canada Valley school districts. Children must be 4 years old before Dec. 1 and a resident of the school district in order to participate.
All of our prekindergarten programs have access to related services such as speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing services and counseling. The local district’s Committee on Preschool Special Education determines related services for each child as they are needed.
Professional development is ongoing for all staff throughout each school year.
Migrant Education Tutorial and Support Services (METS)
This program is provided to assist school districts in meeting the unique educational needs of eligible migrant children.
Children qualify for the program because their parents or guardians seek or obtain work in agriculture which results in a change in school districts.
Services include academic support; parenting and preschool education for families with young children; a home-based summer program; PASS, an individualized study program for those who have failed or need to make up a course; advocacy services; a state and local Parent Advisory Council; home visits; RIF books for students; college assistance through the College Assisted Migrant Program (CAMP); support for youth who need to learn English; and advocacy and enhanced services for adolescents provided by the Adolescent Outreach Program (AOP); and a census of eligible migrant families.
This tutorial outreach program serves more than 140 school districts in 14 counties in central and eastern New York and is federally supported.
Education of Homeless Children
The homeless in our nation are a tragedy of our times, especially when it involves children. Barriers to the education of homeless children include: inadequate identification of homeless school-age children; lack of information and/or understanding of the McKinney-Vento legislation; unmet basic needs such as food and health care; and remedial education and academic support.
A homeless child is any child under the age of 21 who is entitled to attend school in New York State, and who, because of unavailability of permanent housing or family difficulties is living in a hotel, motel, shelter or other temporary or otherwise inadequate living arrangement. BOCES provides technical support to local school districts in which homeless children live.
Adult Literacy Programs
Adult basic education classes and classes to prepare for the high school equivalency exam, called the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC), are available. Practice tests are given to try to ensure success on the official exam. BOCES also provides classes for adults who wish to learn English.
Classes operate 12 months a year offering the choice for day and evening sessions at numerous sites and times throughout the county. To qualify as an adult learner, a student must have dropped out of high school, and the class they started ninth grade with must have already graduated or the student must be more than 19 years old.
The Literacy Zone provides enhanced services emanating from the hub of the Family Welcome Center to those living in the Central Valley School District. These services include: case management; financial literacy; health literacy; and networking with community agencies for additional services.
National External High School Diploma Program (NEDP)
The National External High School Diploma Program is an alternative way to earn a high-school credential that is tailored to the needs and experiences of adults. It is available for those 21 or older who can demonstrate life and academic skills as well as skills acquired on the job, in a home management situation or through specialized training.
Distance Learning Programs
GRASP, a home study option, is available for those eligible for this choice and unable to get to a class site. There are a variety of other distance learning (non-traditional) options available including: Crossroads Cafe, SMART, Connections and Pre-Connections. Study for these can be done at home.
Incarcerated Youth Program
A teacher provides an educational program for youth under 21 years of age, who have not received a high school diploma and are incarcerated in the correctional facility maintained by Herkimer County. Program offerings include: basic education, TASC preparation and transition planning. The program is operated through a contract with Herkimer Central School District.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Contact: Sara Nicolette, 315-867-2209
This program is offered on a full- time or part-time basis during days or evenings. These programs are 1,260 hours long and take a full year (or two years for the part-time class). After completion of the program, the students are qualified to take the state licensing exam for a licensed practical nurse. The course is approved by the New York State Education Department. Students may apply for grants, loans and scholarships through the BOCES LPN financial aid office.
Home Health Aide (HHA) and Personal Care Aide (PCA)
Contact: Sara Nicolette, 315-867-2209
Home health aide is a 95-hour course and personal care aide is a 40-hour course leading to certification to work one-on-one with patients in their homes. There is a 16-hour conversion class for CNAs to obtain HHA certification.
Tuition for CNA, HHA and PCA is self-pay, and classes are offered on an as-needed basis.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
Contact: Sara Nicolette, 315-867-2209
CNA is a 125-hour course consisting of classroom and clerical experience. At the end of the course, the student can take the state licensing exam. Employment after certification can be found in hospitals and nursing homes.
High School TASC Program
The High School TASC Program is designed for students who need to prepare for the TASC. These students maintain their status as a high school student. Referrals to the program come from component school districts. Students must meet academic levels to enter the program.