Online conferencing guidance

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, school districts have leveraged online conferencing platforms to stay connected. Visit the online conferencing guidance website for best practices for providing secure online meetings.

About BOCES

In 1948, the New York State legislature created Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) to provide shared educational programs and services to school districts within the state. Today there are 37 BOCES that are partnering with nearly all of the state’s school districts to help meet students’ evolving educational needs through cost-effective and relevant programs.

BOCES membership is not currently available to the “Big Five” city school districts: New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, and Syracuse.

The BOCES network is capable of including municipalities and divisions of the state with school districts in the provision of cost-effective services.

District Superintendents

A District Superintendent is the chief executive officer of an individual BOCES. The District Superintendent is responsible for both the BOCES and its component districts. A District Superintendent also serves as the commissioner of education’s representative to the region.

District Superintendents can provide:

Liaison Services – The District Superintendent facilitates communications between the New York State Education Department and local districts, as well as other public and private agencies.

Superintendent Searches – Upon request, the District Superintendent may assist component school districts in their selection process of a new school superintendent. The District Superintendent at the BOCES may serve as a consultant for recruitment, screening and evaluation of candidates.

Consultant Services – Drawing from various resources, the District Superintendent is available to consult with school districts on a variety of educational topics including:

  • Board-administration relationships
  • New York State Board of Regents Standards
  • State education department commissioner’s regulation interpretations and clarifications
  • Management and planning
  • School boundaries
  • Reorganization and mergers

View District Superintendent contact list.

Diversity, equity and inclusivity

As a collective body, the 37 BOCES that partner with and support nearly all of the school districts in the state of New York are committed to embracing diversity and promoting equitable and inclusive practices in our schools. As educational leaders, we are dedicated to identifying and eliminating actions and policies that promote cultural biases as well as the exclusion of any group or class. This includes practices that promote institutional racism and create barriers that affect student learning outcomes.

Our educational system is stronger when each individual is embraced for who they are. As such, the BOCES across New York State will work to foster and maintain a safe school environment for students, families, faculty and staff regardless of race, gender, age, sexuality, ability, religion, national origin, gender identify and other identities. We will leverage our network of BOCES statewide to ensure equitable access to educational programs and services and address systemic racism and bias that leads to opportunity and achievement gaps.

Operating procedures related to new programs

Under Education Law section 1950, a BOCES may provide any educational service that is requested by two or more component districts and approved by the commissioner of education according to need and practicality in a regional context.

The BOCES then notifies component districts of the approved services, asking for a firm commitment to participate by May 1 of each year. The BOCES and the component districts then enter into formal contracts. Contracts between BOCES and component districts, when approved by the commissioner, are effective for one year. After which they may be renewed, changed or cancelled. Districts may also authorize multi-year service requests from BOCES.

Learn more about BOCES criteria guidelines at the New York State Department of Education website.