OSWEGO COUNTY - A new school year has meant a new space for the growing partnership between the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation (CiTi) and SUNY Oswego.
A component of CiTi BOCES’ alternative education program, the success of the Credit Accrual and Recovery for Everyone (CARE) program has largely been due to the support of the college, which houses CARE in the lower level of Wilbur Hall. The program recently moved back to its original location from five years ago, after SUNY Oswego spent time and effort to update the space.
The modern atmosphere now includes private, individual offices for counseling and other needs, small instruction rooms and a large group space. Principal Robyn Proud said the partnership with the college has grown to include the inclusion of the college’s Health Promotion and Wellness component to offer personal training sessions and fitness activities with college students. SUNY Oswego’s Focus Forward program has continued to offer mentor opportunities to CARE students.
Proud said the comfortable, inviting space has allowed students to maintain focus and clarity as they receive in-person instruction from CiTi staff members and guidance from SUNY Oswego professors and the college’s pre-service teachers. Much of the CARE program student work is completed through the online program, APEX learning, which has helped students prioritize curriculum and their educational journey.
Since the move at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, CARE has also become fully focused on mindfulness, having incorporated 20-minute sessions at both the beginning and end of each day. Proud said since CARE students face daily anxiety, that social-emotional learning component has aided them learning coping skills. That, she said, has led to personal and academic successes. Ian Curry, a sophomore from the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central School District, shared that because he has ADHD, the utilization of a program called HeartMath has helped him “calm the mind and keep focused.”
CARE students attend various schools throughout Oswego County, and while some attend either the morning or afternoon session, a handful of students attend the all-day program. Several students attend other CiTi programs or return to their home school for additional instruction.