The Rural Schools Association of New York

We had a wonderful Summer Conference in beautiful Cooperstown, New York and wanted to share some of the Breakout
Session presentations for those interested. You can find eleven Breakout Session presentations below, along with
the keynote presentation from Dr. Ben Winchester. Looking for other recaps? Have questions? Please reach out!

From Session One | July 11th

Participants in this session will learn how to write a New York State Farm to School Grant. They will also learn how to successfully implement a Farm to School Program using grant funding. Practical strategies will be shared on how to involve local farmers. Participants will see firsthand how menus are transformed to incorporate more farm fresh local food. Ideas for purchasing new equipment to support the farm to school program in your school will also be shared.

In the time of needing to fill positions in skilled labor, the partnership between CTE and industry partners has helped bridge the gap and fill jobs that require skills so many of our workforce lacks. From these partnerships, a committee was formed to create an event for the GLOW region that would introduce job opportunities to students in middle and high school. In 2019, GLOW with Your Hands was created to increase student awareness and interest in local, high-growth and high-demand industries.

Mindfulness is a way of engaging in life from a non-judgemental, intentional, and compassionate perspective. It is our firm belief that engaging in life from this mindset is foundational to not only an individuals well being but the well being of a school’s culture. Supportive environments create a positive impact on work, health and quality of life.

From Session Two | July 11th

An overview of NYSED’s new civics pathway. This +1 pathway will allow student to replace a Social Studies Regents Exam with Civic Engagement projects.

Participants will be introduced to a powerful Tier 1 intervention system that focuses on supporting students at the moment they are having difficulty mastering a strategy, task, or concept. Instructional coaches work individually with students in short, focused sessions that are designed to deconstruct the concept and provide the support needed to move them toward mastery using high-leverage instructional strategies.

Dropping out of high school is not just an urban problem. The curriculum, location, hours, and delivery method of traditional High School Equivalency programs, however, have acted as a barrier to success for many rural adults. As a result of the pandemic, programs now have more flexibility than ever before. Learn about the newly expanded opportunities for rural adults to earn their HSE diploma.

From Session Three | July 11th

Acting upon feedback from stakeholders, the CTE division of Madison-Oneida BOCES launched a successful business-embedded program partnership with a local industry leader in 2018. The wide-reaching benefits resulting from this dynamic instructional model have proven to not only be sustainable, but demonstrate continued growth even during the most challenging phases of the pandemic.

This presentation will share a creative approach to promoting inclusive environments for all students. If your school district is challenged with understanding how to ensure all students are included, this presentation will inform and inspire. If this area is not a challenge, it's likely the right questions are not being asked, or the voices of the students who feel left out are not being heard. This presentation will help initiate recognizing and listening to the voices of those students.

CVES BOCES provides a cafeteria management Co-Ser that shares the management of school districts’ cafeteria operations. The program prioritizes healthy, nutritious meals that fulfills the nourishment needs of our students. Values of the program include: Buying from local farms, reducing sugar intact, limiting use of processed foods, maximizing fresh fruits and vegetables, cooking from scratch, and costs savings recognized by cooking food instead of warming up premade food.

From Session Four | July 12th

There have only been 3 successful mergers in NYS in the past decade. Simultaneously, there have been numerous unsuccessful attempts by school districts and their leaders considering a potential “merger” or “annexation.” As outlined by NYSED, the merger has proven to be challenging. This presentation will provide a look at the merger process through the eyes of the recently merged district Boquet Valley CSD, highlighting considerations, challenges, and potential opportunities you should consider.

As media markets shrink in rural areas, it’s more important than ever that rural schools tell their own stories effectively. In this program, learn about the four key strategies that the Capital Region BOCES Communications Service uses across the state to help rural school leaders get the most out of their communications tools and build connections in their communities.

From Dr. Ben Winchester's Keynote Presentation


Several hundred photos from the 2022 RSA Summer Conference are now available for viewing and purchase!

The Rural Schools Association Conference Planning Committee:

Committee Chair: Dr. Mark Davey, District Superintendent/Chief Executive Officer for Champlain Valley Educational Services (CVES BOCES)

Mrs. Amy Campbell, CVES’ Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services Mrs. Michele Friedman, CVES’ Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE)
Mr. Matthew Slattery, CVES’ Director of Special Education
Mr. Joshua Meyer, Superintendent, Boquet Valley CSD
Mr. Eric Bell CVES’ Assistant Superintendent of Management Services
Mr. Scott Osborne, Superintendent, Chazy Rural Central School District