Coser 646 - School Communications


We're here to tell your story

The award-winning team in the Southern Westchester BOCES Office of Public Information provides a variety of services to support your communications strategy. 

graduate at ALC Citizenship ceremonyWe produce the official publications of Southern Westchester BOCES, including its annual Services Guide and Budget Book as well as newsletters, catalogues and brochures for our centers. Experienced school communications specialists provide participating districts with targeted communications services, including presentations, publications, social media strategy, web content management and crisis communications support.      

ALC graduates celebrateWe are routinely recognized by the New York and National School Public Relations Associations for outstanding quality and achievement. We are savvy social media users experienced in engagement, audience targeting, mobile video and cross-platform messaging. We have established relationships with professional consultants, enabling smooth production schedules and cost-effective pricing. Our staff of former journalists work closely with local media and online partners.

Want to learn more?

Call us today to learn how we can help tell your schools' story: 914-592-4203. 

Video produced by the Office of Public Information

Our Coverage of SWBOCES

  • Parents Learn about Community Resources, SEPTA at Meet and Greet

    Parents who attended the Southern Westchester BOCES Special Education PTA’s recent Meet and Greet learned about the variety of community support services available, from music therapy and recreation to special education advocacy.

    Parent Marcela Stern, a SEPTA executive board member, said the group sponsors educational and fun events for students and parents throughout the year. Topics covered at educational sessions include guardianship and transition planning. The annual book fair fundraiser at Barnes & Noble in White Plains is in November.

    “Every time that we have something like this, parents find out new information that is useful for their lives,” Ms. Stern said during the morning session. There was a second Meet and Greet in the evening.

    SEPTA’s popular holiday party is in December. “It’s been growing every year and kids really have a lot of fun,” Ms. Stern said.

    One of SEPTA’s goals this year is to get more families involved, said Frank Alvarez, SWBOCES’ director of special services.

    “If you look at special education over time, lots of what is happening is the result of parent advocacy,” he said. “Through your involvement, your attention to details, and your attention to being focused on what we’re doing and asking questions, you’re forcing us to get better at what we do.”

    SWBOCES Superintendent Harold Coles said the state Board of Regents and education commissioner want parents’ feedback as they develop New York’s plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act. The legislation is the successor to the federal No Child Left Behind law.

    In developing the plan, state officials are looking at measurable growth in student performance in attendance, academics, and social-emotional areas that impact their schooling, such as trauma and disability. One topic under review is graduation requirements.

    “One of the reasons that is being talked about … is that we still have a group of students who are not able to graduate with a degree that will allow them to be able to get a job,” he said.

    Parent Carolyn Laskaj said she got a lot out of the meeting. Her son is 9 and attends Tappan Hill School.

    “This was very helpful to gather new resources and meet new people,” Ms. Laskaj said.

    Tappan Hill Principal Phyllis Rizzi, a SEPTA board member, thanked community organizations for attending the events and educating parents about their work. “A special thank you to the vendors, who we really are going to tap into,” she said.

    The vendors were:

    • Parent to Parent of New York State, which is a one-stop shop for parents of children with disabilities, from birth to age 21. It offers information and referrals; guidance on eligibility for state services; and more. The group connects parents with one another so they can gain from one another’s experiences.
    • The Music Therapy Institute, which engages students through music to address specific areas of need, such as communication and social skills, emotional expression and physical development.
    • Arc of Westchester, which is a resource for many types programs, such as recreation, respite, community habilitation, in-home behavior services, adult day services, Employment without Walls and residential care.
    • Westchester Jewish Community Services, which provides residential and independent living programs, service coordination, recreational and support groups and clinical care, among other services.
    • North East Westchester Special Recreation Inc., which is a community-based therapeutic recreation agency serving children and adults with developmental disabilities in northeast Westchester.
    • The Hudson Valley Special Education Parent Center at the Westchester Institute for Human Development provides services to support families who have children with special needs.
    • Special education advocate Jennifer Kahn Ruoff, who helps parents obtain services for their children. She can observe children in the classroom and assess whether the curriculum, teachers and peers are right for them.



    News Feed - Center for Special Services
  • FEMA training focuses on emergency planning for schools

    Trainer Jim Soto of the New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, along with the New York State Police, presents "Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools" today for three dozen school and district officials from the Southern Westchester region and beyond.

    The training lasts three days and covers the development of school Emergency Response Plans; the process used to assess your school environment; the development of training and exercises based on your ERPs; and a tabletop activity that can be used as a model for your school district. For more training like these and information on ways to contact Brandon Cruz, SWBOCES Supervisor of School Safety & Facilities, at

    News Feed - Center for Professional Development & Curriculum Support
  • Workshop demonstrates techniques of non-violent crisis intervention

    In today’s Non-violent Crisis Intervention Training, Director of Safety & Facilities Brandon Cruz demonstrated techniques to de-escalate and disrupt confrontations and potentially violent behavior. Learn more about our Safety & Facilities programming at

    News Feed - Center for Professional Development & Curriculum Support
  • Maria Bradley joins SWBOCES as Practical Nursing Program coordinator

    Veteran nurse and nursing administrator brings three decades' experience to leadership role with SWBOCES' flagship nursing program.

    News Feed - Center for Adult and Community Services
  • Teachers delve into Fountas & Pinnell at free workshop

    Educators who utilize Fountas & Pinnell resources attended a free workshop this morning at our Harrison training center. The seminar, led by Mary Ruff-Heinemann, focuses on what proficiency looks like and will help educators develop shared expectations and a common language. 

    News Feed - Center for Professional Development & Curriculum Support
  • SEPTA Welcome Back Coffee set for Oct. 3

    Southern Westchester BOCES SEPTA invites you to the annual Welcome back Coffee on Wednesday, Oct. 3,  from 9:30-11 a.m. and again from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Rye Lake Campus, 1606 Old Orchard St., White Plains.

    Join us for coffee, learn about SEPTA’s plans for the new year and meet representatives from different Westchester organizations that provide workshops, respite, therapeutic and recreational services:

    ARC Westchester Carin Horowitz will be available to discuss overnight/weekend respite options and other support and recreational services available through their organization.

    Music Conservatory of Westchester Lisa Sandagata will talk about their programs for children and adults with special needs, including music therapy, given by certified professionals.

    Parent to Parent Mariela Adams will present on parent support systems, self-direction and resources for parents.

    North East Westchester Special Recreation Nanci Bellini, the Program director, will present about their non-profit, community-based therapeutic recreational agency and its programs, serving children and adults with developmental disabilities.

    Special Needs Advocate/ Special Needs Family Counseling Jennifer Kahn Ruoff will speak about what it means to be an advocate and other issues concerning family counseling.

    Hudson Valley Special Education Parent Center at Westchester Institute for Human Development Lulu Bencosme will speak about their services to support families with children with special needs.

    For questions, contact Cathy Fragoso at  914-366-2560

    News Feed - Center for Special Services
  • Cosmetology students shine at White Plains festival

    Students and faculty in the Cosmetology program provided manicures, natural skin treatments and other offerings at Saturday's Family Fun Festival at Tibbits Park in White Plains.

    News Feed - Center for Career Services
  • UPDATED: Pearl River A.D. Todd Santabarbara appointed Director of Interscholastic Athletics, to start 11/26

    The recommended appointment of Todd Santabarbara to the position of Director of Interscholastic Athletics was approved by the Southern Westchester BOCES Board of Education Wednesday, Sept. 12. Click the attachment to read the announcement. 

    News Feed - Southern Westchester BOCES
  • Tappan Hill, Volunteer New York! Partnership a Success

    After six weeks working together to decorate bags and fill them with candy, a group of SWBOCES students and Volunteer New York! mentors invited Tarrytown first responders to Tappan Hill School to thank them for their service.

    The Volunteer New York! mentors are adults with developmental disabilities in the RISE program, which stands for Readiness for Integrated Service Engagement. The collaboration was a pilot project whose purpose was for the Volunteer New York! volunteers, who are in their 20s, to serve as role models for some Tappan Hill students who are approaching graduation. Those who participated are in the school’s multiply disabled program, which educates young adults who have developmental disabilities and are often medically fragile.  

    “Our goal is to connect young adults with different abilities who have already been in school to volunteer out in the community,” said Patti Colombo, RISE manager.

    News Feed - Center for Special Services
  • Volunteers, Tappan Hill students 'RISE' to the occasion

    Read about a unique collaboration this summer between Tappan Hill Students and some special volunteers who are helping us say thanks to the first responders who do so much for us!

    News Feed - Center for Special Services