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Innovative Education


  Program Description


Emily Behan
Director of  Innovative Education
P: (315) 453-4418

OCM BOCES offers a wide range of programs to meet the needs of a diverse group of students. All our programs are characterized by a low staff-to-student ratio, close connections between students and staff and rigorous academics with a focus on multiple learning styles. We also incorporate the research-driven success of Project Based Learning. In addition, some programs offer career and technical courses or service learning opportunities.

We serve students in grades 7 through 12 and between the ages of 13 and 21. All referrals are made through a student's home school district. To learn more, please click on the orange button or give us a call.


  Alternative High School Programs 

STARS and Cortland Alternative School offer positive and practical educational environments to high school students leading to a high school Regents diploma.  These schools provide an educational setting with low staff-to-student ratios, individualized connections between students and staff, rigorous academic offerings, social emotional learning support, and a focus on 21st century skills. 

STARS Alternative High School 
Christopher Lydon Principal
6820 Thompson Road
Syracuse, NY 13221
P: (315) 431-8542

Cortland Alternative School
Joshua Martin, Principal
250 Port Watson St.
Cortland, NY 13045
P: (607) 758-9564


  New Tech Programs ( Grades 9-12 )

At Innovation Tech and Seven Valleys New Tech Academy, students are engaged in authentic, rigorous learning and meaningful collaboration through a project based learning model of instruction.  Both schools offer low staff-to-student ratios, providing close connections and individualized learning opportunities leading to a high school Regents diploma.  As part of the New Tech Network, Innovation Tech and Seven Valleys successfully collaborate with schools around the country to provide a research-driven approach to education.

Innovation Tech
Trista Brundage, Principal
6075 East Molloy Rd.
Syracuse, NY  13211
P: (315) 453-4473

Seven Valleys Tech Academy
240 Port Watson Street
Cortland, NY  13045
P: (607) 758-5130


  Other Programs

Reach Program (Grades 7-8)
Erika Gilbert, Assistant Principal
4500 Crown Road
Liverpool, NY 13088
P: (315) 453-4660

The Reach Program provides 7th and 8th-grade students with a rigorous, personalized education experience designed to prepare them for success at the high school level. The program builds student academic skills through a hands-on and problem-solving approach.  Instruction focuses on critical thinking, collaboration, and communication, thereby helping students to develop 21st-century skills.  A low staff-to-student ratio allows for community and relationship building, supporting social-emotional learning needs.

High School Equivalency (GED)
Onondaga County
Emily Behan, Director of  Innovative Education
P: (315) 453-4418
Cortland County
Joshua Martin, Principal
P: (607) 758-9564

The High School Equivalency/GED Program is designed to serve students who meet the eligibility requirements as described in Section 100.7 of the Commissioner's Regulations. The half-day program is offered at the Thompson Road Campus in Syracuse and the Cortlandville McEvoy Campus.

Students transfer from their high school for morning or afternoon sessions at the Thompson Road or the Cortlandville McEvoy campus for 15 hours of rigorous, standards-based instruction per week.  In addition to preparation for the GED, time is devoted to career exploration, job readiness skills, counseling, social skills, coping skills, and problem-solving skills. 


Choices (Half-Day Program)
Emily Behan, Director of Innovative Education
P: (315) 453-4418

CHOICES is a half-day program that provides students educational opportunities to remain current with academic progress.  Student referrals include those who may be on a Regents track but only need a short-term intervention prior to returning to the home district, or who are pursuing the GED but have not turned sixteen years old prior to July 1. 

CHOICES is located at the Thompson Road Campus, 6820 Thompson Road, in Syracuse.

Alternative to Homebound
Emily Behan, Director of Innovative Education
P: (315) 453-4418
Jennifer Robb, School Social Worker 
P: (315) 451-1061

The Alternative to Homebound Program is designed for students as an alternative to long-term, out-of-school suspensions. This program provides a small teacher-student ratio. Classroom instruction is offered in the four core content areas, including required science laboratory minutes, as well as physical education and Spanish.  It is recommended that districts place students in the program for a minimum of five weeks.  Student departure from the program should coincide with the end of a marking period or semester.