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Alternative Education Overview
Alternative Education provides students with new beginnings and second chances.  At Erie 1 BOCES, we focus on the whole student, allowing every opportunity to achieve goals, ensure a brighter future, and build productive members of society.
Each program provides content certified teachers, who have experience working with an at-risk population.
  • Alternative High School (grades 9-12)
  • Home Hospital Instruction
  • Out of School Suspension Options (Grades 7-12)
  • Twilight After School Education Options (Grades 10-12)
Community Food Pantry at Northtowns
Registered nurse Julie Murray cares about the health of the children she supports at Erie 1 BOCES Northtowns Academy, including their dietary health. With her vision, and the support of her coworkers, their school has provided approximately 1,000 meals to local families since September.
“I attended a nursing conference several years ago where they talked about school-based food pantries,” Murray said. “After Northtowns instituted free meals for all students, we focused on instituting a food pantry.”
Murry worked closely with three social workers at Northtowns to make the vision become a reality; Rebecca Chirico-Hager, Sheila Dina and Anne Marie Pegg played an instrumental role in forming a partnership with the Food Bank of Western New York (WNY).
Food Bank of WNY is our main partner. In addition to providing the food, they also provided shelving, an industrial refrigerator and freezer,” Murry continued. “We could have never seen this dream become a reality without them.”
The food pantry at Northtowns became a community-based pantry, serving students as well as the local community, on Sept. 18, 2017. 
“The pantry is located in an unused classroom near the school loading dock. This allows for easier delivery and pickup of the food as it is near the parking lot,” Murray stated.
Typical hours of operation are Tuesdays from 1-3 p.m. and Wednesdays from 1-7 p.m. However, adjustments may occur on school holidays and conference days.
Those interested in supporting the pantry can help by donating food, personal hygiene products or money. Cash donations will be used toward the purchase of items not supplied by the Food Bank.

"At this time, we could use razors, mouthwash and cereal," Murray continued.
The school accepts donations directly or to the Food Bank. If any adults are interested in volunteering their time, they can contact Julie Murray or Rebecca Chirico-Hager at (716) 961-4045.
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.
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