Overview Alternative Education

Northtowns Academy is an alternative setting that provides students new beginnings and second chances.  Northtowns Academy focuses on the whole student: allowing every opportunity to achieve goals, ensuring a brighter future, and building productive members of society. 

Each program provides teachers, certified in a core content area, who have experience working with an at-risk population.  

  • Alternative High School (Grades 9-12)  
  • Teen Parenting
  • Out of School Suspension Program (Grades 7-12)
  • Opportunities for Career and Technical Education

Learn more:      Online Service Directory

Teen Artist Starts A Client Portfolio
Photo of student standing next to her artworkWhen the floor-to-ceiling mirrors were finally removed from the main reception area of Erie 1 BOCES on Harlem Road in West Seneca, the space transformed from 1970 to 2017. However, the remaining walls stood barren. Staff at BOCES forged ahead with optimism, calling upon a talented Hamburg teen to tackle a particularly tricky project.

“As a regional hub for educators, thousands of people visit this building each year,” said Lynn Fusco, district superintendent of Erie 1 BOCES and a Hamburg resident. “We knew the art in this two-story space would need to align with our brand.”     

Bryanna Karn, a teenager from Hamburg who is enrolled in the Alternative Learning Program at Erie 1 BOCES Northtowns Academy, answered the call to help after being approached by her art teacher.

“When Mrs. Amico asked me if I would be interested in the project, I gladly accepted the offer,” said Bryanna. “Although, I was a little intimidated because of the fact it was my first-ever commission piece.”

Nancy Amico, Bryanna’s art teacher, organized a meeting between Bryanna and BOCES’ communications office. From that meeting, Bryanna learned about her first client’s requirements including dimension and color. The rest was in her hands.

“It was always a dream of mine to be able to do a piece of art for someone…I learned so much from this experience,” said Bryanna. “I feel very proud of what I have accomplished.”

Photo of Bryanna next to her artIn early March, when a lift became available to reach the two-story wall, Bryanna’s three canvases were hung. Later that month, at a reception with her family, Bryanna explained her artwork.

“My piece is considered a triptych piece because it is composed of three large stretched canvases arranged to illustrate the sequence of falling water.” Bryanna drew her inspiration from Georgia O’Keeffe and detailed which O’Keeffe paintings inspired her sequence.

“Bryanna rose to the challenge and the result is stunning,” said Fusco. “She is welcome to visit her artwork any time – but we’re keeping it.”

About Erie 1 BOCES
Instructional programs at Erie 1 BOCES pool the resources of multiple school districts to provide full service, quality programming by sharing the expense. The degree of support required for students with distinct career interests or exceptional needs can often be cost prohibitive for one school district to tackle completely on its own. A public school cooperative such as Erie 1 BOCES can extend a school’s resources to address a variety of student needs that fall outside the scope of a traditional school setting. This results in unique opportunities and exceptional results.