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Herkimer BOCES Pathways Academy students start school year by using artwork to focus on social emotional growth

Sept. 5, 2019



Four Pathways Academy students work together on drawing a poster at a table


Clockwise from bottom/left, Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Pathways Academy at Remington students Logan Hart, Storm Fidler, Arianna Gulley and Ben Everson work in teacher Craig Farley’s classroom on a team poster for their class. Pathways Academy students spent part of their first day of school for the 2019-20 school year on Thursday, Sept. 5, developing team posters for their classrooms. The activity tied in with social emotional learning benchmarks that will be focused on throughout the school year.




ILION – The Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Pathways Academy at Remington began this school year by having students build a sense of community with those that they are going to be working most closely with throughout the year.

The first day was an opportunity for students to get into their classrooms with the teachers and students they’re going to be with every day to discuss goals for the year and work on the New York State Education Department’s social emotional learning benchmarks of self awareness, self management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making.

“We’re trying to have a start that gives them real support in creating growth in those areas,” Herkimer BOCES Principal of Alternative Education Patrick Corrigan said.

The first day of school at the Pathways Academy for the 2019-20 school year was on Thursday, Sept. 5.  Pathways Academy focuses on students who have had a difficult time in a traditional school structure or have to catch up on credits but have the ability to get a high school diploma. Pathways Academy classes are project-driven and infuse career and technical education.

Students started the day in their classrooms by developing artwork to represent themselves – tying into the social emotional learning benchmarks of self awareness and self management, Corrigan said.

Then students ended the day by working together to create team posters that could include team names and mottos. The second part tied into the more community-based growth areas of social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making, he said.

“The day is set up to establish areas we’re going to be supporting throughout the year,” Corrigan said.

Team artwork will be displayed in the school cafeteria, and individual artwork can be displayed in the classrooms, Corrigan said.

In teacher Craig Farley’s classroom, students Logan Hart, Storm Fidler, Arianna Gulley, Ben Everson came up with a team name of “The Wolf Pack” and worked together to design a colorful poster featuring a drawing of a wolf, the team name and wolf paws to represent each of them.

The students took the reins for the project from the beginning to the end, Farley said.

“I was very impressed by their willingness to cooperate without even really knowing each other – some didn’t know each other,” Farley said. “This was a great way for the kids to have a common thread on the first day of school.”


Five students holding up signs they made in front of a wall with oceanic paintings


From, Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Pathways Academy at Remington students Wyatt Miller, Desiray Thayer, Samantha Deselets, Terrelle Hines and Christopher Pritchard hold up signs they made as part of their first day of school for the 2019-20 school year on Thursday, Sept. 5. The activity tied in with social emotional learning benchmarks that will be focused on throughout the school year.