Herkimer BOCES Building Construction teacher John Martin said COVID-19 has set their class behind.

The class went remote for two weeks, but he’s confident they’ll get back on track.

“So, the idea of that was that we could catch up on the theory end of it, so that when we get back, we can just get to work,” Martin said.

What You Need To Know

  • HFHO BOCES students are going to BOCES two full days a week, rather than having school days split between BOCES and their home school
  • Some grades have dropped, but students are glad to be back in-person
  • The building construction program is continuing to build a two story house, and the cosmetology program is expected to start taking clients again in the coming weeks

And that’s what they’re doing, as the students, per tradition, are building a house this year for the program. This time, a two-story house for the program’s 40th year.

Students now come to BOCES two full days a week, rather than their usual split day between BOCES and their home-school. It’s a change that Little Falls senior Lucas Miller likes.

“Right now, we only work two days a week, but we have long days so we don’t get as distracted with showing up, doing attendance, and then leaving and getting cleaned up. So I would say I like this way better actually,” Miller said.

Despite the pandemic and all the changes that have come with it, he said his grades have pretty much stayed the same.

“My grades have been fairly consistent to what they were last year, not having that many classes this year kind of changes that a bit though,” said Miller.

But it’s not the same for every student.

“So the theory grades have definitely dropped off. The lab grades are still holding. The 21st Century skills — that grade has dropped off a little bit as well,” said Martin.

Over in cosmetology is Myah Reed, a Herkimer Central School District student who is also thankful for in-person classes, even if it is just two days a week.

“It’s a lot better doing theory work when we’re doing virtual learning," said Reed. "It’s easier and doing lab work when we’re actually here is so much easier than before."

The extra sanitizing, face masks, and other safety measures are worth it to students and staff if it means being back in the classroom. This class has to follow reopening guidance for schools and salons.

“They’ve been doing really good at getting down all this new protocol. They cooperate really well. I think they just want to be here,” said cosmetology teacher Holly Fischer.