News

  • Rye Lake Legends: Class of 2019 celebrate success

    "Showing up is a large part of success," Principal Scott Kaufman told Rye Lake Middle and High School graduates at graduation June 14. "When you're tired and beaten down and fatigued, focus on putting one foot in front of the other...Although we can guide you, it is you who walked the path." View photos from this heartwarming celebration of educational achievement at the link above.

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  • Middle School students at Irvington move up

    Middle School students in SWBOCES' Special Services programs at Irvington High School celebrated their moving up in a Recognition Ceremony Friday, June 7. 

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  • Tappan Hill Students finish virtual marathon

    On May 23, about 90 children and young adults in the Southern Westchester BOCES program at Tappan Hill completed the final leg of the Achilles Kids Virtual Marathon. Students tracked how far they had walked, run and rolled throughout the school year, with some completing more than one marathon.

    “I am very proud of the Tappan Hill students and staff. They accomplished the run together as a team,” Principal Phyllis Rizzi said. “They exemplified hope and possibilities, which are the objectives of Achilles Kids.”

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  • Center for Special Services Honors Educational Partners

    Kind, welcoming, passionate, inclusive, supportive, creative and generous. These are some of the words Center for Special Services staff used to describe nine individuals who have made a difference in Southern Westchester BOCES students’ lives.

    The occasion was the American Dreamer Achievement Awards Luncheon, which took place May 15 at the Valhalla Campus. The event, which is in its 27th year, recognizes educators, students and community members SWBOCES who are partners in the organization’s mission of providing quality educational services.  

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  • Students Host Teacher Appreciation Lunch

    Students at the Rye Lake Campus gave a big “thank you” to the teachers, aides and staff at their school during the inaugural Teacher Appreciation Lunch on May 9.

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  • Tappan Hill Students Recognized for Giving Back to the Community

    Three Southern Westchester BOCES students at Tappan Hill School were among more than 100 people who received recognition for their service at a RISE – Readiness thru Integrated Service Engagement – Volunteer Recognition Celebration April 26.

    Chris, Steve and Jesus, who are in Erroll Rivera’s class of students with multiple disabilities, received certificates for their work with RISE, a program of Volunteer New York! Mentors Antoine, Christal, Destiny and Nicole, mentors from Arc of Westchester who assist Tappan Hill students, were also recognized.

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  • American Dreamer luncheon honors allies for support of students with special needs

    Southern Westchester BOCES’ Center for Special Services will honor and thank community and school partners at a May 15 luncheon for their efforts that have supported and made a difference in the lives of our students.

    The Annual American Dreamer Achievement Awards Luncheon will take place at the Southern Westchester BOCES Valhalla campus, 65 Grasslands Road, on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. The luncheon begins at noon and will feature remarks by officials from Southern Westchester BOCES and its Center for Special Services.

    This year’s nine honored guests and awardees are school district leaders and staff members, community organization leaders and local business employees as well as members of our own staff and student body. They were nominated by faculty and leadership of SWBOCES’ Special Services programs.

    “Each of these people, in their own unique way, has gone above and beyond the call to perform outstanding works of service that enrich the educational experience of our students in lasting ways. We thank them for their service and look forward to celebrating their contributions to our school community,” said Southern Westchester BOCES Director of Special Services Frank Alvarez.

    This year’s American Dreamer Achievement Awards recipients are:

    This year’s American Dreamer Achievement Awards recipients are:

    Steve Clark
    Store Manager, CVS, White Plains
    Steve Clark always has a smile and a kind word to welcome our students and takes the time to personally assist with their bottle recycling. He also helps them with shopping and at the self-checkout. Mr. Clark works with the teacher, staff and students to ensure a positive experience.

    Patricia Colombo
    Manager, RISE Program Manager, Volunteer New York!
    Through RISE: Readiness thru Integrated Service Engagement Program, Patti Colombo connects young adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities to meaningful, integrated volunteer opportunities. As such, she is an exceptional contributor to our pre-vocational skills class.

    Carol Conklin-Spillane
    Superintendent, Pocantico Hills School District
    Carol Conklin-Spillane has welcomed SWBOCES students who attend our programs at her school, integrating them into the Pocantico Hills community. Ms. Conklin-Spillane has been a collaborative partner in developing meaningful opportunities to mainstream our students, both academically and socially.

    Jo-Anne Dobbins & Rachel Newman
    Elmsford Schools
    Jo-Anne Dobbins, Director of Special Education & Pupil Personnel Services, and Rachel Newman, Special Education Teacher at Alice E. Grady Elementary School, were instrumental in advocating and planning a wonderful inclusion opportunity for our elementary AIIM students. This was the first such collaboration with the Grady School. Their enthusiasm, dedication and inclusive attitude provided our students with a unique learning and social experience. Visits are now monthly, and students participate in classroom activities and physical education.

    Fran Lauer
    Cafeteria Staff, Irvington High School
    Fran Lauer always goes out of her way to support our students, buying them lunch if they forget their money, talking to them about their days or complimenting them on their manners. She makes each student feel special and connected to Irvington. Her instincts and observations provide valuable insights, and Ms. Lauer is part of the extended SWBOCES team.

    Caroline Letendre
    Director for Special Education, Yonkers Public Schools
    Caroline Letendre’s passion for her students is characterized by her deep personal knowledge of and care for each one of them. She is a steadfast advocate who partners with SWBOCES to ensure that students receive the services and supports they need to succeed.

    Marcos Montiel
    Head of Maintenance, St. Matthew’s Educational Building
    Marcos Montiel is always a help and a support to our St. Matthew’s programs. He is responsive to any need that arises and caring and understanding toward our students. He has been a mentor, assisting them in acquiring building maintenance and gardening skills they apply in the community. At the same time, he provides them with a model of kindness and focus.

    Asia O’Kane
    Student, Rye Lake High School
    Asia O’Kane entered our program in middle school and is now a senior. She has matured and overcome adversity to embrace her dreams of applying to college and pursuing a career in graphic design. She has excelled in Commercial Art at SWBOCES’ Center for Career Services and developed a portfolio. One of her original works is displayed at the school’s entrance.

    The American Dreamer Achievement Awards were established in 1991 to recognize students as well as those outside Southern Westchester BOCES who are our allies and partners in our mission to provide quality education services.

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  • Special Services Students Celebrate Countries, Cultures of the World on International Day

    Center for Special Services students at the Valhalla Center researched the food and cultures of Haiti, Italy, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Ireland for International Day in late March.

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  • Valhalla Center CAD class tours county forensic labs

    Mr. Walsh’s CAD class at the Valhalla Center took a trip to Westchester County's Department of Laboratories and Research recently.

    They arrived at about 9 a.m. and were greeted by the receptionist and asked to sign the visitor log.  Their tour guide, Mr. Bob Adamo, led a tour of the Environment Forensics scientists’ lab, commonly known as the crime lab.  The  lab analyzes bodily fluids collected as evidence for the presence of alcohol, drugs and other toxic compounds. The class learned how mushrooms are poisonous and that only those bought at the grocery store should be eaten. They also saw the mobile crime scene forensic lab that is used for long-term crime scene investigations.

    The forensic scientists wear protective safety clothes so they do not contaminate evidence. Some criminals leave DNA on food and other surfaces in crime scenes. The class really enjoyed the forensics lab. They learned about all the important work that is done for the community to keep people safe.

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  • Holiday fun

    The Irvington High School student government organized a winter party just prior to the holiday break in December and enjoyed some festive fun.

    Center for Special Services