Itinerant staff members are professionals who provide shared services to two or more districts. When two school districts have similar needs for part-time instruction, administration, or certain civil service classifications, they may request that OCM BOCES initiate a shared itinerant service. BOCES serves as the employer and as such coordinates the recruiting, hiring, budgeting, and supervision of the staff person to be shared by the requesting districts. Itinerant professionals provide services in a variety of ways: some are in different districts on alternating days of the week, some work in the morning in one district and in the afternoon in another, and one teacher provides lessons to hospitalized students at University Hospital and at Crouse-Irving Memorial Hospital. The terms and conditions for each program are determined by the New York State Department of Education. Itinerant Services cannot be provided for regular teachers of English, Math, Science, or Social Studies (although remedial or advanced sections in these four subject areas are approvable).
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Some Questions and Answers About OCM BOCES Itinerant Services
Why would a district use Itinerant Services rather than hiring its own staff?
In addition to the potential cost-effectiveness that results from sharing the costs of an employee’s health insurance and other fringes, districts may receive BOCES Aid on the itinerant’s salary, benefits, supplies, and other related expenses (read more). Some districts turn to OCM BOCES for assistance because it is easier to attract qualified candidates for full-time positions rather than trying to fill a part-time position by themselves. By sharing a full-time position with another school district through BOCES Itinerant Services, a school district also benefits by not having to recruit for high demand, hard to find or specialized positions. In some cases, such as our Hospital-Based Itinerant Teacher who provides services to hospitalized students, the availability of a BOCES Itinerant means that a district can provide a service that it might not ordinarily be able to provide to students.
Why would a professional want to be shared by two districts?
BOCES Itinerant Services provide the opportunity for many people to work full-time, rather than part-time. In addition, there are several programs that BOCES offers that are not offered by many school districts. Professionals who are trained in these areas often find that the Itinerant positions provide an opportunity to work in their area of expertise. Sometimes the share is with a district and BOCES, often involving special education responsibilities such as at the McEvoy Center.
What is the current scope of OCM BOCES Itinerant Services?
Currently, program areas in which itinerant services are provided by BOCES include: teachers of art, health, home and career skills, technology, music, and physical education. Itinerant professionals are also hired as hospital-based teachers, school food service directors, school library media specialists, school social workers, school counselors, school psychologists, speech therapists, and. school public information officers. Many other areas, not included here, also qualify for itinerant services. If your district has need for part-time professional staff, you may find it well worth your while to contact BOCES to see if your needs might be more cost effectively met with the services of an OCM BOCES itinerant.
Who should I contact if I am interested in learning more about how itinerant services might benefit my school district?
Although other OCM BOCES divisions, such as Special Education or the Regional Information Center may also employ itinerant staff for specific purposes, the programs referred to here fall under Instructional Support Services and are supervised by the Coordinator of Educational Programs, whose office is located in the Science Center Building on Corporate Drive in East Syracuse.