What is BOCES?

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What is BOCES?
BOCES is an acronym for the “Boards of Cooperative Social Services” of New York. This organization was created by the state’s legislature back in 1948 to have a venue for sharing various educational services and programs across New York. Programs of the 712 out of 721 school districts in the state of New York are coordinated and incorporated through 37 BOCES scattered all over the state. The basic concept of creating boards or intermediate school districts was to combine educational resources and provide more efficient and economical services. Under the BOCES program, much of New York’s smaller school districts are included while the big districts in New York City, Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, and Yonkers are excluded.

Each “BOCES” in a particular school district have three basic goals or missions. Its first mission is to be able to prepare the diverse population in their own district for possible roles in the world economy. BOCES also aims to coordinate services with other districts to make them more cost-effective. And lastly, the BOCES of each school district are tasked to collaborate with each other to improve educational standards and close the gap in student performance.

Most of the educational programs under BOCES are instructional in nature with the typical classroom setup. Some of these educational programs are intended for a specific group of individuals like speech and occupational therapy classes for people with disabilities, vocational courses for those in the high-school level, and literacy programs for adult students. Some BOCES also offer support-type educational services like those involving regional information centers, the central business offices, and even staff development. Other programs that may be offered in various BOCES or school district across New York include Auto Technology, Carpentry, Culinary Arts, Practical Nursing, Computer Repair with Networking, Electrical Wiring Program, Cosmetology, and Practical Nursing among a variety of other programs.

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