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ARCHES program honored for helping students with intense emotional, behavioral management needs

Nov. 25, 2019



 Herkimer BOCES and ICAN representatives posing for a photo with Genesis Group award


Representatives from Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES and the Integrated Community Alternatives Network pose with a program of distinction award they received for the ARCHES program at the Genesis Group of the Mohawk Valley Region’s 14th annual Celebration of Education on Thursday, Nov. 21, at Hart’s Hill Inn in Whitesboro. ARCHES is an acronym for Academics Re-imagined Connecting Healing, Education and Supports, and it is a collaboration between Herkimer BOCES and ICAN.




What began as one class and two students has grown in four years to three classes and sixteen students because of a commitment in the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES region to serving students with intense emotional and behavioral management needs.

The ARCHES program, which is an acronym for Academics Re-imagined Connecting Healing, Education and Supports, recently won a Genesis Group of the Mohawk Valley Region award as a program of distinction for its efforts. ARCHES is a partnership between Herkimer BOCES and the Integrated Community Alternatives Network, which was formerly known as Kids Oneida and now goes by ICAN.

“This collaboration serves the entire family, which in turn benefits our individual students,” Herkimer BOCES Director of Special and Alternative Education Roberta Matthews said. “The staff in these classrooms are caring, dedicated professionals. Their ability to make connections with students, even on their worst days is nothing short of life saving.”

The Genesis Group of the Mohawk Valley Region presented ARCHES with a program of distinction award at the Genesis Group’s 14th annual Celebration of Education on Thursday, Nov. 21, at Hart’s Hill Inn in Whitesboro.

The Herkimer BOCES and ICAN partnership began four years ago, and ARCHES has grown as a result of the recognition in the region that the students are well served by the program, Matthews said. The program’s goal for the students is always graduation and employment, she said.

The name of the ARCHES program is intended to embody the work and level of support provided to the students and families served in these classes, Matthews said.

A teacher, teaching assistant, behavior manager and clinical care coordinator are the professionals that serve this fragile population each day. A licensed psychiatric nurse practitioner also works closely with students and families on medication management.

Working with ICAN allows for wrap-around services such as mentorship, behavior management and “rise and shine,” Matthews said.

 “Our region and students have benefitted from this collaborative team approach,” she said. “Having this level of support for students enables them to get the care that they need and be able to be educated close to home.”