NYSED officials tour Careers Campus, hear from educators

Expert consultants share how they support students in teachers

teacher and visitors in classroomRepresentatives from the New York State Education Department heard from expert consultants who provide academic support Southern Westchester BOCES Career Tech students.

Presentations were made at the Career Services campus in Valhalla May 15 as part of a tour by NYSED officials ofBOCES programs in the region. State CTE representatives Kelli Grab, Nicole Hadsell and Cily Rueda heard from consultants who work to assist students to thrive and to help teachers whose students who may need special considerations.

Special Education consultant Kim Gaines, ENL Consultant Victaliya Popovych and ESL consultant Michelle Hamilton made presentations, while information was shared on behalf of math consultant Zsuzsanna Kozmane-Fejes, who was unavailable.

Ms. Hamilton shared how she collaborates with teachers to determine where English instruction occurs naturally in their specific curriculum. It is her job, she said, to help them strengthen their teaching in the subject where it makes sense to do so. “I strategically push into the classrooms and model or co-teach a lesson,” she said.

FInstructor gives tour of electrical hopor example, she said, she may assist the automotive and collision technology teachers to help students write a detailed list of instructions on how to make a repair. She also helps to create templates for students who are developing their resumé and complimenting cover letters. She also provides resources to facilitate support in career financial management. She focuses on the career management portion and will create slides to assist students in researching careers.

Ms. Popovych has been at the center since January. “I provide support in CTE classes to enhance listening, speaking, reading and writing skills,” she said.

She will push into classroom as well as work one-on-one with students outside of the classroom. She’s also responsible for helping with test prep strategies and activities to help students through testing.

She works directly with teachers to “plan, deliver, and assess content-rich lessons.” To do this, she explained, she will sometimes break down lessons into more manageable chunks to assist students in their understanding, so they do not become overwhelmed.

“It’s not only understanding the vocabulary, it’s also understanding the meaning or the question, what it is asking them to do,” she said.

Ms. Popovych is also instrumental in facilitating workshops and professional development opportunities for teachers. This could be a lunchtime Brown Bag session to teach new techniques and enable teachers to share their thoughts.

For instructors of students with special needs, Ms. Gaines is available to help.

Collision teacher talks to state Ed visitors“I provide knowledge of an IEP to all instructional staff, which includes administrators, teachers and staff,” she said. “I’ll collaborate with teachers to learn student goals and needs and how I can help them with IEP planning.”

Ms. Gaines will provide teachers with strategies to help students. The three women are working to put together a book that incorporates all of their lessons as a resource for teachers.

“We’ll also put together a presentation with staff to put together all the information we created, all those strategies and resources,” Ms. Gaines said.

Similar practices are put in place by Ms. Kozmane-Fejes to assist students with mathematics, as explained by the presenters.

“I have a sense of pride for how far we’ve come,” Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services Jim Gratto said.  “This whole process has been great for our students.”

Following the presentations, the guests were given a tour of the campus where they saw firsthand the work teachers and students do, from electrical construction and cosmetology to automotive and more.