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Regent Beverly Ouderkirk visits HFM BOCES and PTECH

September 16, 2015 | Filed in HFM PTECH, HFM Top Stories
NYS Regent Beverly Ouderkirk talks with blind third-grader Julia Murray, who is being assisted by BOCES teacher Barbara Fuentes.

NYS Regent Beverly Ouderkirk talks with blind third-grader Julia Murray, who is being assisted by BOCES teacher Barbara Fuentes.

New Regent observes special education programs at Boulevard Elementary and Jansen Ave, meets with school leaders

SEPT 16, 2015 – Board of Regents member Beverly Ouderkirk got a first-hand look at how HFM BOCES partners with component school districts to provide educational services to students with disabilities.

Ouderkirk, along with Acting Deputy Commissioner for K-12 Education Charles Szuberla, visited several classrooms on Monday, Sept. 14, to see the ways in which HFM’s Special Education Division integrates its program within Boulevard Elementary School in Gloversville. Dan Salvagni, the coordinator for the BOCES service at the site, and Boulevard Principal Tom Komp, talked with Ouderkirk about how BOCES and Boulevard staff work together.

Director of Special Education Michael Jacob, HFM BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Pat Michel and GESD Superintendent Michael Vanyo also were on hand as Ouderkirk observed students participating in various activities.

The BOCES program currently housed at Boulevard leases space for 10 classes of students — 13 rooms total — and provides educational services for children in kindergarten through fifth grade with autism and emotional disabilities that impact their learning. Children from districts across the HFM BOCES region attend the program at Boulevard, which Jacob said is fairly centrally located. He said they prefer to have their special education students in schools where they can be in an environment with their peers.

Regent Ouderkirk, who was appointed in March to the 4th Judicial District and began serving a five-year term on the New York Board of Regents in April, spent the day in the area, also visiting special education classrooms at Jansen Ave. School along with stops at PTECH and the main campus of HFM BOCES. There she met with students from HFM BOCES Career and Technical programs, as well as teachers, principals, superintendents and school board members from the component districts.

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