The Long Island public relations firm providing services for Briarcliff Manor schools is doing so under a contract with the Western Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
While the Board of Education passed a resolution Nov. 7, 2012 agreeing to use Syntax Communications Group for public relations, the actual contract—signed Nov. 13—is with the Long Island BOCES.
That's because Western Suffolk BOCES contracts with Syntax for "technical support" for the PR services it provides to districts.
"We are allowed to purchase services through BOCES," said Stuart Mattey, the district's assistant superintendent for business and technology.
There are 37 boards of cooperative educational services in New York. Sharing services such as vocational education programs, purchasing and staff development, school districts can realize savings and receive state aid. Briarcliff is a member of Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES. School districts may cross-contract with BOCES other than the BOCES with which they are affiliated.
School officials, elected or appointed, have been deflecting questions to Syntax about the ouster of Superintendent Neal Miller and the promotion of Briarcliff High School Principal Jim Kaishian to interim superintendent as of July 1.
The $30,570 contract through Western Suffolk BOCES is for a year's worth of services including "a comprehensive school public relations program" and training for in-district staff and/or board members to help them build such a program.