Celebrating 50 years of Student Success
1969 - 2019
50 years ago, in 1969, seven school districts joined forces in an unheard of and forward-thinking endeavor. They formed a consortium in order to save the districts money and to bring quality education to their students. The Canyon-Owyhee School Service Agency (COSSA) was born.
50 years later, COSSA is the only consortium school in Idaho. The original school districts have dwindled to five, but COSSA continues to be the premier Career and Technical School (CTS) in Idaho, and to offer alternative and special education services to the member districts that would not be possible without this cooperation.
COSSA serves the rural communities of Canyon and Owyhee Counties. Member school districts are: Homedale, Marsing, Notus, Parma, and Wilder. Services provided include: Special Education, Gifted/Talented, Alternative, Career-Technical, and Adult & Evening short-term training. The collaboration allows the member districts to pool resources and provide enhanced programs and services that would not individually be feasible. Adult & Evening short-term training focuses on industry training for business in the local community.
COSSA is unique. It is the only public school service agency in Idaho. There are other career and technical schools in Idaho (approximately 17), but none that additionally offer special education and alternative education services. In addition, COSSA is the only educational service agency that offers adult and evening enrichment classes on a regular basis.
Currently, COSSA career and technical education (CTE) programs include: Automotive Technology, Business Management, Culinary, Diesel Technology, Emergency Medical Technician, Law Enforcement, Nurse Assistant, Residential Construction, Pre-Engineering, and Welding.
COSSA CTE programs annually serve approximately 250 students. The COSSA Academy Alternative Jr/Sr High School annually serves approximately 140 students. COSSA’s Special Education and Gifted/Talented programs annually serve approximately 700 students.
COSSA is in the business of providing high-quality education, career pathways, and meaningful industry credentials. We intend to “break the cycle” of poverty and dependence found in the western Treasure Valley. We strive to make a difference in every student’s life. At COSSA, learning occurs for every student, every day, every way…
Why do we say: “learning occurs for every student, every day, in every way” at the close of the morning announcements? The Canyon-Owyhee School Service Agency (COSSA) prepares students for success, no matter what they do later in life. For the Academy students who often learn differently than traditionally students, we provide alternative learning opportunities so these students will learn essential knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will allow them to go on to college, work, the military, or whatever they want to do.
For the career-technical students seeking job skills, we provide these skills as well as real-world job experience in settings that simulate the work place so they graduate ready to work and can apply their knowledge in high skill, high wage, and/or high demand professions.
For special education students, we provide support and specialized instruction so that these students will reach their full potential as they go on to lead productive lives.
These beliefs are foremost in the minds of all members of the COSSA staff as they think about what is best for every student they influence, every day they are interfacing with these students, and every time they positively interact with these students.
I am very proud to be a part of the COSSA educational team that fulfills this promise of learning that reaches “every student, every day, and in every way!”
Harold Nevill, Ph.D.