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Project BLEND

Kristen Skinner, Webmaster

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In order to relieve the shortage of administration in high-need school districts, such as Oswego City schools, the New York State Department of Education has provided a grant called Project BLEND, which began in 2009.

The acronym BLEND stands for Building Leadership Excellence for Needs-Based Districts.  Needs-based districts are defined both by financial problems and a shortage of employees.  Through Project BLEND, a select few teachers are chosen to complete the Certification of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership at SUNY Oswego.  These individuals are determined by superintendents and principals who believe the teachers have potential to serve as successful administrators of their districts.  Mr. Sykut and Mr. Delorenzo are two such teachers who were selected and will work to complete their certifications in 2017.

Project BLEND provides teachers with tuition assistance so that they are able to participate in the program and obtain their administrative certification later on.  Once they begin, teachers start their administration process.  BLEND exposes them to the most up-to-date practices and leadership skills to ensure success for those involved.

This is also considered a mentor and scholarship program in which teachers are guaranteed support through a heavy amount of coursework and a highly attentive internship.  Each teacher is assigned his or her own mentor who coaches him or her throughout the entire process.  This alleviates some of the pressure for teachers and makes certain that they will do their best to accommodate all students.

Teachers involved also attend several workshops hosted by BLEND throughout the year and work on administrative internships in their school districts.

Individuals involved in this program feel fortunate to have become involved and look forward to the outcome of Project BLEND in the near future.  Mr. Delorenzo, who is currently involved in this program, noted in a recent interview, “I think the Project BLEND program is an excellent approach to insuring a future supply of quality administrators for high need schools. The support, the networking and the extra training make it not only more likely an administrator will be successful but empower the program recipients to take on the additional challenges faced by administrators in high-need school districts.

As indicated by its title, Project BLEND works to build a better guided and supported administrative leadership in Oswego City School district. And with the help of exceptional instructors will come educational innovation and the enhancement of academic success and opportunities for all.

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Student Produced TV
Project BLEND