MAHOPAC, N.Y.-For tech school counselors and staff at Northern Westchester-Putnam BOCES, nothing is more important than getting students the help they need as soon as they need it. That is one reason the staff is excited to be housed all in the same space, with a move this year that makes it so students can easily get the attention they need even if their particular counselor or staff member is not immediately available.

The new area, located on the first floor of the main Tech Center building on the PNW BOCES campus, includes a conference-style space in the center with each counselor and team member’s office on the perimeter. The team includes school counselors Karen Carey, Gerry Battista and Maggie Almonte; special education services provider Amanda Keenan; and social worker Stephanie Carnes.

“The new space allows us to really be together and work as a team,” said Carnes. “It makes it much easier for us to work collaboratively.”

Because the new area is spacious, “We can offer workshops, schedule speakers, and run groups,” Battista said. “We are also able to keep students who are having a bad day or need some time and space to refocus themselves, so that they can get through their class or day.”