Homer BOE discuss education program for firefighters, EMTs

(Photo via the Homer Central School District).

The Homer Central School District Board of Education (BOE) met in the Intermediate School cafeteria on Tuesday. The BOE is touring each of the school buildings and including the public by holding their meetings in each school.

Homer’s next BOE meeting will be held at the elementary school at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 22.

Fighting Firefighter Shortage

Superintendent Thomas Turck announced a new program stemming from a recent conversation between BOCES, four area superintendents, and three local fire chiefs. The intent is to create a continuing education program to train new firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to address the shortage of those local professionals. Turck notes that while there is much work to be done, the program could be established as soon as next fall. 

STEAM Bins a Win

The BOE heard a presentation from teacher Kate Pitcher, who discussed how she introduces students to science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) concepts through building tasks. Students are given a bin of materials and a picture of something to create, such as building a snowman out of cups. This challenges students to think outside of the box and get creative with their problem solving, while encouraging them to take small risks. Pitcher believes that these activities, which take place between 8:30-9 a.m., are a constructive way to start the day while students eat breakfast and start learning without the pressure of a grade.

Fundraising Updates

The district will be having several fundraising programs in the coming weeks. The high school will be selling popcorn from Nov. 14 to Dec. 9 and socks from Nov. 16 to Apr. 28, with proceeds benefiting various clubs. The Junior High Student Council Association (SCA) will be offering CoffeeMania coffee, tea, and cocoa, Sinfully Sweet Fudge, and Homer Travel Mugs from Nov. 14-28. Homer Music Boosters is selling jellies and preserves from Nov. 10-21 which will benefit the music programs for students in PreK-High School. 

While those programs will raise money for the schools, the BOE also approved a fundraiser that gives back to the community. Intermediate school reading teacher Connie Martin is partnering with Scholastic for an annual Pajama drive. The goal is to collect pajamas to be donated to local organizations such as CAPCO and Salvation Army, and Scholastic will donate a book to go with each pair. Donations must be collected by Dec. 2 to be delivered to recipients by the holidays.