Students in 10 school districts areas will have expanded educational opportunities through a $618,009 grant secured by Erie 2 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES.
The Virtual Advanced Placement Program, funded through Federal Race to the Top dollars, awards competitive grants designed to increase the successful participation of low-income students in Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and virtual learning (online and blended instruction), Advanced Placement courses and tests. By supporting increased access to PSAT tests and virtual learning participation in AP courses and AP tests, the program provides greater opportunities for low-income students to demonstrate college- and career-readiness, and to demonstrate mastery of the New York State Learning Standards. The program goals are to provide incentives for larger and more diverse groups of students to participate and succeed in virtual learning AP programs, and to increase the numbers of low-income and other disadvantaged students who receive AP credits.
"This grant award will benefit students throughout the region by giving them opportunities that do not exist currently in their home school districts. This funding will blend virtual and classroom experiences for our students on their path to college" E2CCB District Superintendent David O'Rourke said.
The 10 public school districts are: Dunkirk CSD and Jamestown CSD, Chautauqua Lake CSD, Forestville CSD, Frewsburg CSD, Gowanda CSD, Pine Valley CSD, Sherman CSD, Silver Creek CSD, and Westfield CSD. Each participating district has video conferencing capability through E2CCB Distance Learning Services.
"This initiative will support the infrastructure and conversion of coursework to a blended instructional model, while scaling up regional virtual AP course offerings, coursework enrollment and successful course completion,"Dr. O'Rourke said.
BOCES, or Board of Cooperative Educational Services, is a public education collaborative in New York State that functions as an extension of local school districts. A BOCES is able to provide services that school districts may be too small to offer on their own or that would be more economical to offer collaboratively, sharing costs with other school districts. The BOCES provides shared services in a manner that is effective and efficient, and fosters equity for all students. Erie 2 Chautauqua Cattaraugus BOCES is one of 37 BOCES across New York State... Erie 2 BOCES serves a geographic area of 1,791 square miles.
The Erie 2 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES Distance Learning Network, The Junction, allows for two-way, fully interactive, full-motion video and audio communications, which uses fiber-optic cable and telecommunications to connect specially designed classrooms in participating districts. The network allows teachers and students in different locations to communicate visually and verbally, enabling the interactive delivery of academic instructional courses and educational programming.