Announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on December 6, the $968,805 grant is part of its Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program, aimed at equipping schools with videoconferencing equipment that can be used for college classes, telemedicine services, and essential mental health and substance abuse counseling.
FLCC Chief Advancement Officer Brie Chupalio highlighted the commitment to overcoming educational barriers like lack of broadband access and transportation obstacles. "This project connects remote locations with meaningful options for healthcare, education, and training," said Chupalio.
Bloomfield Central School District, along with Dundee, Honeoye, Lyons, North Rose-Wolcott, Penn Yan, Red Creek, Seneca Falls, Sodus, and Williamson, will be part of the distance learning network being built by FLCC. This network will offer an expanded range of FLCC concurrent enrollment classes, meeting both high school and college requirements simultaneously.
The implementation of this technology will enable students from smaller districts to access real-time classes from other schools, expanding opportunities without requiring transportation outside their home districts.
The initiative will also allow schools to extend this technology's use to the wider community, facilitating telehealth visits and access to various FLCC courses.
The Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES Technical and Career Centers in Seneca, Ontario County, and Williamson, Wayne County, will also benefit.
Mental health and substance abuse prevention and counseling services will be provided to schools through partnerships with Family Counseling Services of the Finger Lakes in Geneva and the Finger Lakes Area Counseling and Recovery Agency (FLACRA) in Clifton Springs.
FLCC is scheduled to order the necessary equipment at the start of the new year, with installation targeted for mid-2024. Programming is anticipated to commence as early as fall 2024, marking a significant step towards enhanced educational opportunities and community access to essential services within the Bloomfield Central School District and beyond.
For more information, visit FLCC.edu.