What is a BOCES?

The name BOCES is an acronym for Board of Cooperative Educational Services. It is pronounced Bo-Sees. In 1973 the Colorado legislature felt that it would be in the best interest of the state to encourage districts to join together in cooperative ventures to help school districts save money. With that goal in mind the state formed the BOCES to provide specialized but required services to two or more school districts that alone could not afford these services, or when it was found to be advantageous to share the cost with other school districts. The state of Colorado currently has 21 BOCES.

Rio Blanco BOCES was formed in 1976 to provide a variety of services to the Meeker and Rangely School Districts. By joining together through BOCES the districts were able to reduce costs; avoid duplication of personnel, training, and materials; and provide for a more comprehensive range of services and programs.

Rio Blanco BOCES is governed by a Board of Directors. The board is comprised of the board members of the Meeker and Rangely School Districts. The Board of Directors appoints an executive director who serves as the person responsible for conducting the affairs of the BOCES.

Any programs or activities operated by BOCES must be approved and authorized by its Board of Directors. Some programs may be for all member districts while other activities may be for a smaller number of BOCES' members. Rio Blanco BOCES was originally formed as a special purpose BOCES to oversee and ensure implementation of the federal and state mandated programs, such as special education, for the Meeker and Rangely School Districts. Over the last 29 years our local BOCES has expanded to include programs such as:

  • gifted and talented education,

  • curriculum and staff development,

  • migrant education (Rangely),

  • management of federal programs, such as; Title I reading, Teacher Quality grant, Technology grant, Safe Schools grant, and Innovative Schools grant (Rangely),

  • induction programs (for staff members with provisional licenses),

  • school Medicaid program,

  • homeless education

  • School-to-Work Alliance Program (SWAP),

  • video library,

  • the Children's Health Fair (Child Find), and

  • preschool

  • Joint Behavior Support Team

State and federal funding, along with participating members, financially support BOCES. They may also, by pooling their resources, submit a common application for programs that allow specific financial support for BOCES. Advantages of BOCES memberships include:

  • maximizing the impact of available dollars through collaborative funding,

  • reducing and avoiding the duplication of programs, personnel, and services among local districts,

  • assisting members in meeting responsibilities for mandated programs,

  • contributing to improve the educational opportunities for pupils in diverse schools,

  • providing services of highly skilled resource personnel on a cost-efficient basis,

  • promoting inter-district communication and sharing in areas above and beyond the specific programs,

  • providing educational and special services to students, through collaboration, that the member districts are unable to provide because of the lack of funds or because of small numbers of students.

The Rio Blanco BOCES is somewhat different from other BOCES in the way that it is financed. In most BOCES, member districts pay dues to belong. Rio Blanco BOCES does not charge any fees. Funding comes from state and federal grants and local district funds for allocated teaching and support staff.

If you have any questions or would like more information about Rio Blanco BOCES, please call (970) 675-2064