'New Tech' high school to open in Cortland

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that the high school will be located at 242 Port Watson Street. OCM BOCES officials say the correct address is 240 Port Watson Street.

CORTLAND, N.Y. — The city of Cortland will soon be home to one of only two “New Tech” high schools in central New York.

Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES announced plans this week to open a New Tech high school at 240 Port Watson Street, which currently serves as the location for the OCM BOCES Cortland Alternative High School.

The space will have six classrooms, a training and conference room for teachers, and a fabrication and science lab, where students will design products that can be used by local businesses.

Students at the Innovation Tech High School in Liverpool, N.Y. (photo provided)

Students at the Innovation Tech High School in Liverpool, N.Y. (photo provided)

The course offerings at the school will be similar to those offered at the Innovation Tech High School in Liverpool, N.Y, according to Colleen Viggiano, assistant superintendent for student services at OCM BOCES.

Students at the Liverpool school, which opened in September of last year, work in teams and focus on “project-based learning” that incorporates technology and critical thinking skills.

“It engages the students in a totally different way,” Viggiano said. “They’re not in a traditional setting, so it’s much more interactive.”

Viggiano said OCM BOCES has already entered into a lease agreement with the landlord of the property, Joe Armideo, and plans to open the school in September 2016.

For the first year, the school plans to accept 50 students in grades 9 through 10. That number will eventually double and include students in grades 9 through 12.

Students who wish to enroll at the school would work with the guidance counselor in their home district, Viggiano said.


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