Welcome to our news section! You can view current and archived news items by using the drop-down menus below.
Virtual Fiesta Time!
Wednesday, May 06, 2020
The Basic Employability Skills Training (BEST) program at the Southern Adirondack Education Center (SAEC) in Hudson Falls took advantage of Cinco de Mayo to connect with students through a virtual fiesta.
Tim Rock, one of the BEST program social workers, calls the celebration another BEST team opportunity to perform “outreach that fosters attraction”. The team started holding virtual community meetings similar to community meetings that took place when students were still at school. The Therapeutic Support program team at SAEC have been doing this and it has led to more student engagement.
“The virtual fiesta is an opportunity for students and families to become even more invested in personal and career growth," says Rock.
Chef Lendell Eaddy, a CTE culinary arts instructor at SAEC, attends many of the SAEC Exceptional Learners Division (ELD) virtual meetings. He volunteered to perform a live demo (watch video) on how to make guacamole and the classic mexican dessert Churros with Dulce De Leche sauce. Some ELD students are currently in his Hospitality and Human Services class and are considering a future in the culinary arts. The occasion of Cinco de Mayo seemed like a great opportunity for student and family engagement.
Spanish Teacher, Kaity Connor joined the community meeting to provide a background on the Mexican holiday. She also gave a mini language lesson to all participants.
"This whole event highlights how much collaboration takes place in our WSWHE BOCES organization,” says Principal Dawn Barrett, who heads up ELD at SAEC.
“Even while using a virtual platform we can engage and connect with students and staff. The idea is that once we get students to log on we can rekindle the student-educator/counselor bond so that we can further engage them in their education," says Barrett.
School Safety Officer, Randy Diamond, and ELD Teaching Assistant Jean Strassen, do weekly check ins, food deliveries and school work delivery/pickups. Staff monitor student engagement using a spreadsheet that is updated daily. When they find that some students are not engaging, and they become concerned, this is when they send out the "A Team" as Tim Rock calls Randy and Jean. On Cinco de Mayo, this same team delivered Mexican inspired meals to several students and their families, prepared by Chef Eaddy and Teaching Assistant Peter Wieland. They made stops in Saratoga Springs, Mechanicville, Hudson Falls, Glens Falls and Fort Edward. Enchilada casserole and smoked chicken corn chowder were on the menu.
"I am extremely proud to lead the SAEC ELD team, any challenge or barrier they encounter they solve as a team and overcome. This has been even more apparent to me during this pandemic school closure," says Principal Dawn Barrett.
For more photos, visit the WSWHE BOCES Facebook page.