The Lower Hudson Regional Information Center (LHRIC) is a nonprofit consortium providing educational and administrative technology services to 62 school districts in Westchester, Putnam, and Rockland counties. The LHRIC is one of seven centers comprising Southern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services (SW BOCES) and one of 12 Regional Information Centers located throughout New York State. It operates with an annual budget of more than $40 million and employs approximately 175 information technology professionals based in Elmsford, NY.
In our region, the LHRIC provides a full range of educational technology services to over 180,000 students, and nearly 12,000 teachers, located in approximately 240 school buildings connected to the Internet via our Wide Area Network. As one of our primary offerings, the LHRIC provides network support and technical services to 40 school districts, using over 40,000 computers, which represent approximately two-thirds of all districts comprising our tri-county consortium.
The LHRIC provides a comprehensive menu of services, including technical services and support, remote monitoring and support, Internet access, regional Internet filtering, test scoring, data warehousing, financial and student information systems, staff development, technology planning, project management, research and development, systems integration, distance education (video conferencing and online learning), video streaming, data report verification, electronic records management, unified communications via VoIP, and digital signage, to name a few, while continuing to remain on the cutting edge of trends and mandates that impact the technology needs of our member districts.
Always on the cutting edge, the LHRIC is primarily focused on assisting districts in transforming teaching and learning through the use of technology. The LHRIC distinguishes itself from other service providers by its commitment to instructional services that are positioned to have regional impact for students and teachers. The LHRIC coordinates closely with districts to develop services that expand the boundaries of traditional classrooms and provide high quality, professional growth opportunities for all district personnel.
Accomplishments: A sea change in instructional technology has occurred during the last several years, and we at the LHRIC have responded to that change by expanding services, revising our overall mission, ensuring cost effectiveness, and remaining poised for more change. The dramatic implications of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), Race to the Top (RTTT), Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR), Response to Intervention (RTI) and the expansion of online and mobile learning into the classroom have propelled not only the LHRIC but also school districts throughout the state into action.
Advisory Committee: In an effort to improve services and deepen school consortium partnerships, the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center has organized an Advisory Committee. The charter of this committee is to act on behalf of the region's districts and provide input on the direction of the LHRIC and feedback on important consortium issues. Each BOCES region has selected representatives to participate on the committee.
Data Driven Decision Making: The LHRIC is at the forefront of this learning curve, and the knowledge and experience of our staff is unsurpassed in the area of data collection and analysis. The Regional Information Centers throughout New York, in fact, are playing a key role in assisting school districts as they attempt to meet both state and federal goals in collecting, reporting and analyzing important student information in the coming years.
Data Validation: NYSED recently awarded SWBOCES a contract to test and recognize systems used by districts for complying with SIRS reporting requirements. Approximately 60% of the time spent by districts on State Reporting in SIRS is consumed identifying, communicating and fixing errors. Starting in 2008-09, the LHRIC provided districts with automatic, daily tests of data in district systems, to identify and communicate State Reporting errors. District participation has confirmed the value of the service. Participation over three years has grown from two districts in 2008-09 to 28 districts in 2011-12 with over 138,000 students in the region.
Distance Education: One of our most exciting ventures is this expanding service, which includes traditional Videoconferencing, providing access for students and teachers to world-class content and linking them with experts from museums and educational institutions. Through the LHRIC, more than 1,200 programs are available that allow classrooms to collaborate with schools around the country and even around the world, enabling instruction to be delivered by one teacher, to students in multiple locations, and encouraging sharing among participating teachers. Additionally, avid interest in Virtual or Online Learning opportunities for RTI, credit recovery, NYS Regents curriculum, as well as, AP and elective courses has driven our new service offers with a differentiated approach.
Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT): NYSED named Southern Westchester BOCES and the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center the recipients of a competitive educational grant, approximately $700,000, which helps districts wade through the multitude of test results and other data from state, district and classroom assessments, and it builds upon an initial grant that BOCES received two years ago, to improve the academic performance of middle school students by using technology and formative assessment tools intended to enhance both teaching and learning.
Leadership: The LHRIC continues to offer its well-respected Technology Leadership Institute (TLI), an annual series of workshops and lectures by nationally respected leaders in the field of educational technology such as: Dr. Michael Fullan and Dr. Milton Chen. TLI provides school district leaders with opportunities to engage with these experts in local venues. It is a great place to learn, to share best practices, and to communicate the value of technology to improve and, in some cases, transform education.
Medicaid: SWBOCES was awarded a Medicaid contract with NYSED covering 3.5 years beginning January 1, 2012. As a contractor, SWBOCES is responsible for coordinating training given by NYSED, providing introductory and Medicaid software training, technical assistance and support to providers in our region. The objectives are to ensure compliance with the SSHSP State Plan Amendment and assist providers in obtaining federal Medicaid reimbursement under SSHSP.
Test Scoring: As a proactive response to district and NYSED concerns surrounding the scoring, scanning and handling of NYSTP 3-8 ELA and Math assessments, the LHRIC identified a vendor and piloted software to electronically score student extended response questions during the 2010-11 school year. The process uses district personnel while maintaining complete anonymity of the student author.
Looking ahead, the LHRIC will not “institutionalize” services at existing levels, but instead will lead the charge to meet the needs of a constantly evolving instructional technology market. We will continue to invest in the future of instructional technology on behalf of our schools and the students we all represent.
The mission of the LHRIC is to provide regional leadership and to collaborate with school districts and communities to meet their educational challenges by delivering cost-effective, high quality technology services.
1. We believe the future of the LHRIC is dependent on our ability to empower our districts to participate in the life of the consortium and guide its development.
2. We believe that using our educational sensibilities to guide us has the potential to transform education and differentiate us from our corporate competitors.
3. We believe that by adopting simplicity as a core value, we will transform our solutions and interactions with our districts, resulting in increased trust.
4. We believe that by listening to our districts more carefully, we can match solutions to their needs, as well as, act on their behalf to bring innovative technologies and trends to their attention.
5. We believe that by learning to speak and write about the value we produce more simply and clearly, we will solidify our partnership with districts. We believe that by helping our Directors of Technology to do the same, we create an environment where they are more successful in acquiring resources and providing opportunities for students.
The LHRIC operates from the following two locations in Elmsford, NY:
44 Executive Blvd.
Elmsford, NY 10523
50 Executive Blvd.
Elmsford, NY 10523