Wednesday September 1, 2010

OCBís Career Center Awarded Prestigious Award

Oswego County BOCES gains national recognition

    The Southern Regional Education Board recently presented Oswego County BOCES’ Burton Ramer Technical Career Center with the “High Schools That Work” Gold Improvement Award.

    OCB is one of only 12 schools in the nation to receive the gold improvement award for 2010 and the first school in New York state to ever achieve this distinction.

    The award was presented by Dave Spence, president of the SREB, at the 24th annual HSTW Staff Development Conference in Louisville, Ky. recently.

    “This school has shown what can be accomplished to raise student achievement by deeply implementing the High Schools That Work model for strengthening curriculum and instruction,” said Gene Bottoms, senior vice president for SREB and founder of the HSTW initiative. “The school illustrates the spirit of change and the gains in performance that High Schools That Work advocates and supports through assessment, staff development and technical assistance.”

    To earn this recognition, schools had to increase their mean scores on the HSTW assessment reading, mathematics and science tests by at least 10 points from 2008 to 2010. These schools also met the adequate yearly progress criteria of the Federal No Child Left Behind Act or had a graduation rate of at least 85 percent.

    HSTW is an effort-based school improvement initiative founded on the conviction that most students can master rigorous academic and career/technical studies if school leaders and teachers create an environment that motivates students to make the effort to succeed.

    Participating schools implement 10 key practices for changing what is expected of students, what they are taught and how they are taught. The 10 key practices are: high expectations; program of study; academic studies; career/technical studies; work-based learning; teachers working collaboratively; students actively engaged; guidance; extra help; and a culture of continuous improvement. OCB began its partnership with HSTW in 2001.

    High Schools That Work is the nation's largest school improvement initiative for high school leaders and teachers.

    More than 1,200 HSTW sites in 30 states and the District of Columbia use the framework of HSTW goals and key practices to raise student achievement and graduation rates.

    Ron Camp, director of career and technical education and alternative programs at OCB and principal of BRTCC, recognized that HSTW strategies aligned with school improvement strategies already in place at BRTCC.

    “I attribute the increased student achievement to the concerted efforts of our staff to complement the total school improvement strategies that HSTW promotes,” he said.

    “I am incredibly proud of the efforts of our staff and students in achieving this recognition,” said OCB’s District Superintendent Dr. Joseph P. Camerino. “Our number-one goal is and always has been to promote strategies for student achievement and this ties seamlessly with the key practices promoted by HSTW. This award is evidence that these initiatives are working.”