Access to technology is essential for the successful roll-out of this plan. The Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES (Herkimer BOCES) has been committed to ongoing planning and implementation of district technologies to ensure equitable access for staff and students. The team has initiated plans that are mindful of student home access to reliable internet and computers.

  1. Herkimer BOCES and component school districts will continue to assess the ongoing needs of our families for technology and connectivity (survey, interviews, school outreach, etc.) In the event, students and/or teachers do not have access, the home district will take the necessary steps to meet their needs where plausible.

  2. Herkimer BOCES has an inventory of equipment and other assets. We record and track which students, families, and staff have BOCES’ assets in their possession.

  3. Herkimer BOCES procures, manages and/or maintains hardware, software, licenses, learning management systems, etc. to support and improve virtual instruction and student engagement.

  4. Herkimer BOCES identifies professional learning needs for teachers and continues to support their development of skills and pedagogy in a virtual learning environment.

  5. Herkimer BOCES is developing a “Helpdesk” system for parents, students, and teachers to report technical issues that might be experienced during remote learning. We communicate protocols to these stakeholders to inform them in advance of how to gain assistance when they need it.

Herkimer BOCES will provide all students with access to learning materials and resources in multiple formats, wherever possible. Further, Herkimer BOCES will support teachers through professional development and coaching on pedagogical methods that enable students to participate in multiple ways, so that they can demonstrate mastery of Learning Standards in remote or blended models through the use of both synchronous (i.e. Google Meet, Zoom, or other web conferencing tool) and asynchronous technologies (i.e. Google Classroom or other LMS). In the event students do not have sufficient access to devices and/or high-speed internet, Herkimer BOCES in collaboration with its component school districts will provide the students with alternate methods to access materials and instruction, i.e. pick up materials at school, drop off materials to students’ homes, etc. Herkimer BOCES in collaboration with its component school districts will also schedule opportunities to connect with families to educate them on how to use the technologies and connect to the instructional activities.