The CABOCES partners with its 22 component school districts to meet the educational needs of all students ages birth to adult in the region. Located in Cattaraugus, Allegany, Erie, and Wyoming counties in southwestern New York State, CABOCES encompasses 2,159 square miles. School districts vary in size from rural, single campus K-12 settings to small city school districts. In 2008, district K-12 enrollments ranged from 305 (Whitesville) to 2,606 (Pioneer). The combined public school enrollment in 2008 was approximately 20,000 students. BOCES exists to provide cost effective sharing of educational services among local school districts.
In keeping with this purpose, CABOCES offers a wide variety of programs including special education, career and technical education, adult and continuing education, and instructional support services. CABOCES also provides labor relations, business office support and safety/health issues, as well as assistance in implementing a variety of information technologies within the schools. Adding to its uniqueness, CABOCES maintains distance learning (RealNet) facilities at 21 sites within the BOCES area, as well as a connection to 80 additional sites Western New York.
CABOCES services are provided through the efforts of 600 full-time professional and support staff. The administrative team consists of the District Superintendent and an Assistant District Superintendent together with Directors of Career and Technical Education, Instructional Support Services, Special Education, Personnel, Information Technology, Labor Relations/Attorney, and a Controller.
BOCES has no taxing authority. Component districts pay a proportional share of the administrative budget and subscribe to desired services via the payment of tuition or fees. Many BOCES programs are supported totally or in part by a variety of state and federal grants. Local districts receive a partial state aid reimbursement for expenditures made with the BOCES. This payment helps to defray the cost of shared services and facilitates participation.
The Special Education Division provides programs and services for disabled children up to 21 years of age. These programs and services are designed to meet individual needs as prescribed in each child's Individual Educational Plan (IEP) developed by the local school districts' Committees on Special and Pre-School Education. Special Education classes are located primarily throughout local school districts in 91 classrooms leased by the BOCES. Seven hub districts have been established. These are located in Cuba-Rushford, Genesee Valley, Olean, Pioneer, Salamanca, Scio, and Wellsville.
The Career and Technical Education Division provides 1,000-hour preparation programs in 25 career areas. These classes, which operate on a half-day basis, five days per week, are provided at three career and technical education centers located in Belmont, Ellicottville, and Olean. Instruction is designed to enable students to proceed to higher education and/or enter employment directly from high school. Many programs provide students with the opportunity to achieve national accreditation. Adults may enroll in any of the daytime, secondary career and technical education programs. Reduced tuition is available for those who qualify. The Adult and Continuing Education Division provides a wide range of programs intended to improve literacy and help adults acquire a high school equivalency diploma. Evening continuing education programs are offered in the fall, winter, and spring semesters and are designed to provide entry-level employment skills, retraining, apprenticeship, and the opportunity to expand current Job skills.
The Instructional Support Services Division provides school districts with support in areas of curriculum, instruction, and assessment as they continue to build local capacity to meet state and local goals for raising learning standards for all students. Staff works collaboratively with districts to design staff development opportunities that will address the needs of each district.
The Information Technology Division provides a wide range of programs for school districts and other divisions within the BOCES. Expert staff provides technology support and facilitates the operation of a region-wide Distance Learning program. Educational Communications provides a courier network for inter-school delivery of instructional media and other resources. In addition to supporting its state-of-the-art Distance Learning Network, the IT Division provides a technical support services, a Help Desk, communications and multimedia services. The IT Division provides for the development and support of the BOCES Web Page.
Management Services via the BOCES are comprehensive. A sampling of services includes certification, labor relations, cooperative purchasing, safety/risk management, and shared business office functions. The collaborative sharing in such services by local districts increases their availability and affordability.
Number of component districts - 22
Geographic area - 2,159 square miles
Component district enrollment – 20,000*
BOCES Special Education enrollment - 1,200*
BOCES Career/Technical Education enrollment - 1,150*
The Southern Tier:
Cattaraugus and Allegany counties are located in the southwestern corner of New York State adjacent to the Pennsylvania border. The supervisory district generally follows the boundary line for Cattaraugus County, but extends slightly into Erie and Wyoming Counties following the boundaries of the Pioneer Central School District, and stretches east to include most of the school districts in Allegany County. The BOCES Central Office is located in an attractive setting in a portion of the career and technical education center at Olean.
The regional economy is tremendously diversified. Although agriculture predominates, many small manufacturing firms are located in the area. Many area corporations have established themselves as "players" in the ever-expanding, competitive global economy including: Acme Electric, Alstom Air Preheater, Alcas, Cuba Cheese, Dresser-Rand, and Friendship Dairies.
Recreation is a rapidly expanding industry in this essentially rural area, whose unusual natural beauty attracts outdoor enthusiasts year-round to the Allegany and Letchworth State Parks, the Allegany River, Zoar Valley, and the Kinzua Area. Cuba Lake, Rushford Lake, and Lime Lake also provide plentiful recreational opportunities. Skiers the world over travel to the area. Ellicottville's Holiday Valley Resort is among the finest in the Northeastern United States.
Family-oriented tourist attractions abound. The Arcade and Attica Railroad boasts the only active steam engine in New York State. Annual events such as the Wellsville Balloon Rally, Ellicottville Championship Rodeo, the Powwow (Native American gathering) in Salamanca, and the Taste of Olean food festival as well as a variety of local Winterfests provide year-round leisure and recreation.