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February 22, 2017 - 9:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, news, schools, education.

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Press release:

The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership recently celebrated the graduation of 28 students from its School of Nursing program.

This class graduated 22 students with high honors – a 90-percent or above average.  Students took part in this 12-month, 1,200-clock hour Licensed Practical Nursing program that is certified by the New York State Education Department.

The program is designed to prepare graduates for the NCLEX-PN Examination for licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse. It is offered at three different site locations: Batavia, Greece and Leicester. 

For more information about this program, contact the Adult Education/School of Practical Nursing at (585) 344-7788.​

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February 17, 2017 - 3:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, education, schools, news.

Video provided by the Batavia City School District.

The forum at Batavia High School on Wednesday night was meant to discuss all aspects of the City School District's proposed $26.7 million capital improvement project, but most comments zeroed in on the future of Van Detta Stadium.

Some area residents are concerned about lights, noise, traffic, pedestrians and trash related to events at the facility.

The project, which the district has dubbed the 2020 Vision Capital Improvement Project, also had its supporters.

The project relies on money saved specifically for capital improvements and state aid, so all of the new building and upgrades can take place without any local tax increase.

Voters will be asked whether the district should move forward with the plan at a referendum vote March 2.

Jim Owen, a Redfield Parkway resident, substitute teacher, and regular at community events, praised the district for the plan.

"I just wanted to say thank you to the board and the superintendent for putting this opportunity to the voters," Owen said. "A zero-tax increase is, in my opinion, a no-brainer. When I pay a zero increase to get these benefits for today, tomorrow and the future for the children and the community, I say, thank you very much."

Among the skeptics was Councilman Bob Bialkowski, who lives in the area of the stadium. He said he has had calls from area residents about events at the current stadium and worried that changes will just make matters worse for the otherwise residential neighborhood.

“We need to teach our kids an important lesson that we care about our neighborhoods and our residential community," Bialkowski said. "I think it would be better if the vote was separated, the stadium separate from the rest of the project, but it’s too late for that.”

On the issues of light, noise, traffic and crowd control, Superintendent Chris Dailey said all of those issues are being addressed.

Lighting, for example, will use new LED lights that will not only be more energy efficient, they will be more directional so there will be less "spray" into neighboring properties.

There will continue to be security in place, including Batavia PD, to help deal with traffic, and the school will continue to emphasize to students the importance of not walking on people's lawns and leaving behind their trash.

Mike Barrett, an area resident, said he was pretty accepting of the seemingly inevitable change, but he's not happy about the prospects. There are already problems and he thinks they will just get worse.

"It’s getting out of hand, and now you want to bring in more programs," Barrett said. "This is a residential area when I have complaints it’s always on a Friday night, a Saturday night and nobody can be reached. I call the police, they drive by, they wave at the people and nothing gets done. It gets worse. So when I hear about marching bands and expanded athletic events, I think, this is insane. It’s a residential area."

Brad Griffith, who also lives in the area and said he played on Woodward Field when he was in high school, said he understands the concerns, but he thinks the new stadium will benefit the community and benefit the students.

"This is going to bring business to Batavia and we all gain from this," he said. "I know some have their issues with this, but I’d rather have my kids taking part in athletics and staying out of trouble."

There was little discussion about the planned upgrades to the four schools in the district, but when there was, it was about the current and future use of a building no longer used as a schoolhouse -- Robert Morris.

One parent asked, instead of adding more classrooms to John Kennedy, why not move one grade of students over to Robert Morris.

That was considered at one point, Dailey said.

"We looked at relocating one grade over to Robert Morris and looked at the social, emotional and academic impact, as well as the financial, of moving one grade over, and it was not beneficial to the students to add one more transition to the age group," Dailey said. "That’s why we chose not to go into Robert Morris."

Currently, Robert Morris is being used by the Star Program, a day-care provider, Genesee County Mental Health Association as a satellite office to help students and the IT department and buildings and grounds may be moving in.

After Bialkowski objected during his remarks to talk of the Batavia Daily News moving its offices over to Robert Morris, Dailey said that while the Daily News had toured the building, there was no current lease offer. After the meeting, he said the Daily News looked at the building months ago and never followed up with any further discussions.

February 13, 2017 - 4:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Schools, news, education, schools.

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Press release:

Batavia City School District Board of Education Awards on Feb. 7

Two Board members – Karen Tomidy and Leslie Johnson – each received a Certificate of Completion for finishing a NYS-mandated training for Board of Education members.

Batavia Middle School student Garrett Schmidt was presented with an Outstanding Student Award by Board of Education President Patrick Burk at the February Board meeting. He was nominated by BMS Principal Ashley Grillo, who wrote, “Garrett Schmidt is a stellar student who has transitioned into sixth-grade seamlessly. Even with increased expectations and responsibilities, Garrett is going above and beyond on a daily basis. Not only is Garrett kind and helpful to ALL students, he is meticulous in his work and his effort exceeds expectations. He is a quiet leader, which spurred his nomination to a leadership conference this summer. Garrett will attend the Ambassador Leadership Summit with students from 140 different countries that will enhance and refine his strong leadership potential. He is a student you trust. He works in the Counseling Center during his Home Base time and was even chosen to help a student travel to and from classes due to a broken wrist.”

Batavia Middle School staff members Karen O’Donnell, Laura Kaczmarek, Karen Cima, Jessica Korzelius and Frank Ferri were presented with Outstanding Employee Awards by Board of Education President Patrick Burk at the February Board meeting. They were nominated by BMS Principal Ashley Grillo, who wrote, “These Batavia Middle School teachers are being recognized for their help in organizing the fifth-grade Staycation Field Trip. Mrs. Korzelius, Mr. Ferri, and Mrs. O'Donnell approached the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership about having them come to BMS with devices and other technological resources acquired through the GAMETech Grant. These devices included LittleBits, Cubelets, Lego WeDo Robotics, Lego StoryStarters, and Lego EV3 Mindstorms Robotics Kits. Once the Staycation was approved, Mrs. Cima and Mrs. Kaczmarek organized the Staycation and had the students rotate through various stations throughout the school day. Stations were setup for programming and others were set up for building. The technological modules are hands-on activities that fit into instructional learning standards and learning targets. All the students were engaged in problem solving and creativity at each station. The Staycation took two months to plan, as it was extremely involved. Congratulations to these teachers for thinking outside the box and coming up with an excellent idea for our BMS Students.”

Jackson Primary School teacher Kelly Radley was presented with an Outstanding Employee Award by Board of Education President Patrick Burk at the February Board meeting. She was nominated by Jackson Principal Diane Bonarigo, who wrote, “Ms. Radley serves as a Teacher on Special Assignment for Jackson Primary School and is the District’s Mentor/Mentee Coordinator. She is a highly respected teacher leader and serves the school in many different ways. Ms. Radley can always be seen at evening and Saturday events at Jackson Primary and consistently goes above and beyond to serve the needs of our students, staff and parents, and does this with great enthusiasm. Thank you, Ms. Radley, for making a significant contribution to our school community.”

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February 10, 2017 - 12:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in wolcott street school, Le Roy, schools, education, girl scouts, news.

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Girl Scouts with Trop 42123 in Le Roy created a Bright Board for students at staff at Wolcott Street School. The board is filled with positive messages on bright sticky notes. Students and staff are invited to take a note to brighten their days or leave positive words for someone else to take. The scouts made a prototype and presented it to the principal, scheduled shifts and created the final project. The project took hours and hours to complete.

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February 10, 2017 - 11:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, schools, education, news.

merritthollyleroysuper2017.jpgPress release:

The Le Roy Central School District’s Board of Education (BOE) has named Merritt Holly as the district’s next Superintendent. Pending final contract negotiations, Holly is expected to begin in his new post on April 1.  

“I am excited and honored to have been chosen as the new superintendent of the Le Roy Central School District and look forward to working collaboratively with the school board, teachers, staff, parents and community. I’m committed to providing all students with exceptional educational experiences, which will assist them in having a varied skill set in order to be college and career ready," Holly noted.

School Board President Don Hobart said Holly possesses the key qualities that the Board is seeking in a Superintendent.

“As a visible and engaged leader, we are confident that Merritt Holly is the best choice for our district. We look forward to working with Merritt as we deliver the best education possible for our students,” Hobart said.

Merritt Holly has served as principal of Caledonia-Mumford High School (HS) since 2011. Previously, he was the principal of Oakfield-Alabama Middle School and was the Dean of Students at Oakfield-Alabama Middle and Senior High School from 2007-2008. Holly started his teaching career in 1999 as a ninth-grade Social Studies teacher at Oakfield-Alabama Central Schools, a position he held for eight years.

As principal, Holly is responsible for the supervision of faculty, staff, and students for grades 9-12. During his tenure as principal of Caledonia-Mumford HS, the school was designated a New York State Reward School three times. The New York State Department of Education presents this award to schools that are high achieving and high-progress schools. He is presently a Central Committee member of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association and represents Section V.

Holly holds a Bachelor of Arts from The College at Brockport, a Master of Science in Education Curriculum and Instruction from Medaille College and a master’s in Educational Administration from The College at Brockport. Holly holds a number of certifications including New York State Provisional and Permanent Certification in Secondary Social Studies grades 7-12 and an Advanced Certificate as School District and School Building Leader.

Kevin MacDonald, District superintendent of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, acted as the search consultant and noted that the search process was a true collaboration between the Board of Education, district staff and community.

February 8, 2017 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, schools, education, news.

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The rollout of technology in the classroom is going faster than expected at Batavia City Schools, Director of Technology Jeffrey McKinney told the school board during its meeting on Tuesday evening at the Richmond Memorial Library.

There are now more than 2,100 Chromebooks distributed among students at the school, and with the delivery of Chromebooks to Jackson School, the rollout is six months ahead of schedule.

McKinney was joined during the presentation by teachers who are "tech mentors" for other teachers and staff members. They shared the various ways that Chromebooks and related software are being used to help drive learning and lesson plans.

High school Science teacher Bert Hall said he thinks the program is going really well and it's great to see.

“I would be remiss to say if I didn’t mention how proud I am to work for a community and a school district that cares so openly and so deeply about their students," Hall said.

Teacher John Mangefrida talked about how students are better able to organize their work on the Chromebooks.

"Where there was disorder, now there is order," he said.

Asked by a board member if parents can access their children's lesson plans and homework online, Mangefrida said they could. All it takes is for them to request access and they will be sent an email with instructions and a link.

The board member asked if that happens much, Mangefrida said it doesn't.

"The kids don't share that information," he said.

Jessica Korzelius and Cynthia Morgan shared their process for taking students through a lesson plan for a day, using Hyperdocs, which ends with a survey-like assessment that will help students gauge their own progress and give teachers feedback on how the lesson is working for the students.

“One of the best things about Hyperdocs is knowing that one of the hardest parts of our jobs is differentiating and making sure we reach all of our students and this really allows those who struggle to have extra support and those who can fly a little bit higher can do some more on their own," Korzelius said.

The district as also made tremendous progress on upgrading infrastructure and rolling out broadband, McKinney said.

"Everything is running at top speed," he said. "We have enough bandwidth right now for every teacher, student, parent, staff member to have eight devices on the network. ... We are flying as far as that goes."

February 8, 2017 - 8:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

Press release:

The Byron-Bergen Central School District is one of 433 school districts in the United States and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 7th Annual AP® District Honor Roll.

To be included on the Honor Roll, Byron-Bergen had to demonstrate an increase in the number of students participating in the Advanced Placement (AP) program since 2014, as well as increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP exam scores of 3 or higher. Reaching these goals shows that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for AP.

“We are exceptionally proud of our students for taking advantage of the Advanced Placement courses available at our high school,” said Superintendent Mickey Edwards. “They recognize the importance of preparing for life after graduation, and are working hard towards their goals every day. I’d also like to thank our entire educational community for their commitment to AP and student success.”

National data from 2016 show that among black/African American, Hispanic, and Native American students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half are participating. The first step to getting more of these students to participate is to give them access. Courses must be made available, gatekeeping must stop, and doors must be equitably opened. Byron-Bergen CSD is committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.

“Congratulations to all the teachers and administrators in this district who have worked so tirelessly to both expand access to AP and to help students succeed on the AP exams,” said Trevor Packer, the College Board’s head of AP and Instruction. “These teachers and administrators are delivering real opportunity in their schools and classrooms, and students are rising to the challenge.”

Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors. Many districts are experimenting with initiatives and strategies to see how they can expand access and improve student performance at the same time.

In 2016, more than 4,000 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, or both, and/or consideration in the admission process.

Inclusion on the 7th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on a review of three years of AP data, from 2014 to 2016, looking across 37 AP exams, including world language and culture. The following criteria were used.

Districts must:

  • Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts, and at least 11 percent in small districts;
  • Increase or maintain the percentage of African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students taking exams; and increase or maintain the percentage of those students scoring 3+ on at least one AP exam;
  • Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2016 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2014 percentage, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students earn a 3 or higher;
  • Achieve these outcomes among an AP student population in which 30 percent or more are underrepresented minority students (black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native) and/or 30 percent or more are low-income students (students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch).
February 6, 2017 - 2:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

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Press release:

At the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, the Byron-Bergen Central School District began a formal School Safety Audit. The purpose of this audit was to examine the overall safety within the district, and if needed, make recommendations for improvements. The safety audit used student and faculty surveys, a walk-through inspection using a 466-point inspection checklist that focused on both the exterior and interior of the buildings, and personal interviews with students, faculty, and administrators.

The school’s resource officer, Deputy Matt Butler, who was tasked with conducting the audit said, “School safety is the responsibility of everyone — faculty, students, parents, and the community. The audit is a proactive process that helps ensure that students achieve their learning potential within a safe and secure environment.”

Butler compiled the data and presented findings to school administrators and the Board of Education on Feb. 2. The report includes practical recommendations for expanding security, but found a high level of safety currently exists in the schools. It also shows a steady growth in attendance and decrease in infractions and disciplinary problems over the past three years.

Assisting with the audit were Byron-Bergen faculty, parents, local EMS personnel, a Byron-Bergen Board of Education member, and a representative from the mayor’s office at the Village of Bergen. “This was a great opportunity to get the community involved in our school district,” Butler said.

In recognition of the district’s appreciation, special certificates of thanks were awarded during the board meeting to: Scott Bradley, Michelle Caballero, Kim Carlson, Amanda Cook, Andrew Doll, John Durand, Mickey Edwards, Bob Fedele, Paula Hohn, Mike List, Jeff Parnapy, Vicky Shallenberger, Faline Tyler and Jay Wolcott.

Photo: Superintendent Mickey Edwards, BOE President Debbie List, Michelle Caballero, Deputy Matt Butler, John Durand, Mike List. In front are Kim Carlson, left, and Bob Fedele.

February 4, 2017 - 3:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's, schools, education, batavia, news.

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Press release:

The students at St. Joseph School look forward to Catholic Schools Week every year. This year the theme is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.

To kick off their fun filled week, Detective Schauf and Officer DeFreeze, from the Batavia Police Department, joined them for a Kindness Challenge. The students were reminded that acts of kindness can be big or small and are something that anyone can do at any time.

Throughout the week the students partake in many different fun activities not only at school but around their community. They visited Batavia Showtime for a movie, went bowling at Mancuso Bowling Center, ice skating at Falleti Ice Rink and visited the YMCA for a variety of fun activities. Their week concluded with a school-wide talent show.

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January 26, 2017 - 10:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, schools, sports, news.

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The Pavillion Golden Gophers have a new mascot, designed by Jeff McGee, a 1999 graduate of Pavilion.

The mascot will be officially unveiled during the varsity boys and girls basketball games Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

January 25, 2017 - 5:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, le roy hs, schools, education, news.

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Four members of local law enforcement spoke at Le Roy High School today during the three lunch periods about the dangers of texting and driving. The officers shared their own personal stories of the accidents they've responded to, including fatal accidents, that involved distracted driving. On Monday, students viewed a video about texting and driving and a couple of students shared their thoughts on the public service piece. Students were then invited to stop by a poster in one of the hallways of the school and sign a poster pledging not to text and drive.

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Principal Tim McArdle

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Le Roy PD Officer Mike Pratt

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Deputy Andrew Hale (also participating, in the background, Deputy Howard Wilson)

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Anthony Paladino speaking with Le Roy PD Officer Greg Kellogg.

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Lizzy Cimetta with Kellogg.

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January 23, 2017 - 9:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, schools, education, news.

19510dcsm.jpgOn Friday, we told you about Trevor Maier, the 10th-grade student at Oakfield-Alabama High School who traveled to Washington, D.C., as part of the 2017 Envision Presidential Inaugural Leadership Summit, which included going to the National Mall for the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States.

Here's Trevor's write-up of his experience in our nation's capital.

This past week I had the chance to participate in the experience of a lifetime. The 2017 Envision Presidential Inaugural Leadership Summit was attended by nearly 2,500 students from the United States and other countries from around the world. Carpe Futurum…Seize YOUR Future, was the theme of the summit. We learned that we can all be agents of change if we work and apply ourselves. My target group reviewed the topics of Drones, Clones, and Genomes. Technology is moving faster than ever and as a society we need to remain aware of the advantages and potential consequences with this progress.

The Summit also included well-known speakers like General Colin Powell, Spike Lee, Tucker Carlson, Gov. Martin O’Malley, Carly Fiorina and Abby Wambach. Each speaker gave an inspiring talk. They all discussed the importance of education.

But by far, my favorite part of the conference was attending the presidential inauguration. The security checkpoints required the group to arrive before sunrise. As we passed from one section to another it was apparent that every measure was being taken to keep this event safe. The wait didn’t seem to take as long as I thought. The inauguration was an extraordinary experience. The National Mall was filled with thousands of people and there was excitement in the crowd. Everyone cheered as the 45th President, Donald J. Trump, was being sworn in. My favorite speech of the summit was the inaugural speech given by President Trump. It was inspiring and hopeful, and being able to hear it in person is something I will remember forever.

I am very happy that I was able to attend such a historic event. As an American, I would recommend everyone go see the inauguration in person at least one time. It is something you will never forget.

January 20, 2017 - 6:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, schools, education, news.

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Trevor Maier, a 10th-grader at Oakfield-Alabama High School was in Washington, D.C., for the inauguration of our 45th president as a part of Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit.

In addition to being present to see Donald John Trump take the oath of office, Trevor took part in other academic activities. 

This evening, he will attend a black-tie-optional inaugural gala with speakers such as Colin Powell, Spike Lee and Tucker Carlson. Other speakers during the five-day event include Abby Wambach and Carly Fiorina.

The participating students were provided with matching "Envision" scarves.

We anticipate receiving a written account of his experience from Trevor next week.

January 18, 2017 - 3:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

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Pictured at the Jr./Sr. High School (front, l-r) National Geographic Bee are winner Andrew Parnapy and runner-up Richard Denson, with (back, l-r) Social Studies teachers Aaron Clark, Nick Muhlenkamp and Ken Gropp.

Press release:

The local levels of the National Geographic Society's Geographic Bee were held in Byron-Bergen schools on Jan. 5. At the Jr./Sr. High School, 25 Byron-Bergen seventh- and eighth-grade students were invited to participate, based on the results of a written test taken in December. They all took part in the preliminary rounds, with the winners — Sadie Cook, Richard Denson, Josh Flemming, Colby Leggo, Andrew Parnapy, Josh Swapceinski, Corden Zimmerman, and Matthew Zwerka — competing in the finals.

The top two contestants, eighth-graders Andrew Parnapy and last year’s winner Richard Denson, went on to match wits in the Championship Round. After answering three challenging questions correctly, Parnapy was declared the 2017 National Geographic Bee champion. He received a medal and a $35 Amazon.com gift card. Runner-up Denson also received a $20 gift card.

The next step for geography expert Parnapy is another written test. If his score is among the highest in the State, he will be invited to the New York State-level Bee. The winner from each state competes in the National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C., hosted by Alex Trebek.

At the Elementary School, students from grades 4-6 qualified for the Bee by achieving the highest scores on a written test taken in December. Student participants were: Jack Benstead, Dayanara Caballero, Cameron Carlson, Caris Carlson, Braedyn Chambry, Noah Clare, Evan Cuba, Kendan Dressler, Gianni Ferrara, Emily Henry, Frank Hersom, Eli Kupfer, Jackson Lundfelt, Stephanie Onderdonk, Elizabeth Piper, Brilyn Rebisz, Quintin Rich, Zoey Shepard, Andrew Zimmerman and Nicholas Zwerka.

The Elementary School’s 2017 National Geographic Bee champion is sixth-grader Nicholas Zwerka. The runner-up is fellow sixth-grader Cameron Carlson. Zwerka, like Parnapy, also moves forward in the competition.

The National Geographic Bee is an annual competition organized by the National Geographic Society, designed to inspire and reward students' curiosity about the world. Each year, thousands of schools across the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee, competing for college scholarships and the glory of being the National Geographic Bee Champion.

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National Geographic Bee champion at the Elementary School is Nicholas Zwerka, with runner-up Cameron Carlson.

January 18, 2017 - 3:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

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Press release:

Seven recent graduates returned to the Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School in January to give current seniors a glimpse of life beyond graduation. The alumni met with school administrators and favorite teachers, but the greater portion of their day was spent speaking directly with students to help them prepare for the future.

Graduates Kristen Bailey (2014), Celeste Brownell (2016), Bethany Ezard (2016), Allison Kropf (2016), Ashley Montgomery (2016), Brittany Merrell (2014), and Jake Prospero (2016) were honored guests at a special luncheon, and then took part in an Alumni Panel presentation. The panel faced questions about their first year at college and away from home: how to adapt; the perils of being independent; and how to balance college and a job. Students wondered what alumni wished they had learned in high school, like managing time and money, study skills, and balancing work with play.

The visitors all agreed that the first year after high school was a reality check that made them appreciate their parents more. They advised students to learn the requirements for their career majors, and to listen to teachers “because they actually know what they are talking about.” They encouraged students to really put themselves out there, using all the support opportunities and participating in all the activities their colleges have to offer.

They credited AP classes, along with many of their teachers and counselors, with helping them prepare for life after high school. They also agreed strongly that the District’s expansion of technology and business courses will be a great benefit to future grads.

At the conclusion of the presentation, High School Principal Patrick McGee announced a new Byron-Bergen tradition: The Commitment to Graduation Gown. Each senior signed the maroon graduation gown as a promise to graduate. At the end of the year, students will choose the teacher who had the strongest influence on helping them graduate and will present the gown to that teacher.

January 12, 2017 - 5:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, news.

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A $26.8-million plan for a wide range of improvements and upgrades within the Batavia City Schools is moving to the next phase of the approval process after getting a funding guarantee from the state and unanimous approval of the school board.

The next phase, a public hearing followed by a vote of district residents in March.

The public hearing will be at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 15 at the high school. The public vote will be Thursday, March 2.

The district will use $7.5 million saved in the capital reserve fund and the balance of the expenditure will be covered by the state.

This funding plan, said Scott Rozanski, business administrator, will mean the district can complete a number of projects without a local tax increase specifically for this project.

Rozanski compared the project to something a homeowner needs to do periodically, basic maintenance, replacing old and worn out parts of the house and making general improvements.

"It allows us to move into the 21st century in a lot of different ways," Rozanski said. "There will be technology upgrades and we can take care of our facilities for the long run. There are some things that need fixing and some things that needed fixing after our consolidation in 2012. After living in it for four or five years, things fit but they could be a better fit."

All of the schools will get fixes specific to those locations.

Batavia Middle School (floor plan above) will receive:

  • a renovated building entrance and improved entrance security;
  • expanded music area;
  • upgraded finish on gym floor, stairway halls, auditorium and classrooms;
  • improved indoor air quality;
  • upgraded lighting and PA system;
  • replacement of roof areas.

Batavia High School:

  • auditorium upgrades, including lighting and sound system and improved orchestra pit;
  • upgraded fire alarm system;
  • expanded restrooms;
  • roof replacements;
  • improved parent drop-off configuration.

Jackson School:

  • upgrade finishes in classroom;
  • expanded restrooms;
  • upgraded lighting system;
  • exterior window replacements.

John Kennedy School:

  • classroom addition;
  • reconfigure interior spaces;
  • window replacements, roof repairs;
  • upgraded lighting system;
  • improved parent drop-off;
  • improved sound system.

Upgrades to Richmond Memorial Library, including ventilations and the fire alarm system, are also part of the scope of work.

A big part of the project is a proposal to demo the current Van Detta Stadium and reconfigure the location of the stadium (still to be called Van Detta) and Woodward Field.

Woodward Field would get artificial turf and the surrounding track would become an improved synthetic material. 

Without this rebuild, Rozanski said, the 70-year-old Van Detta will become a bigger and bigger money pit. The current estimated costs of repairs and upgrades to improve accessibility and safety are nearly as costly as what the district is proposing now.

An improved, all-purpose facility will also help Batavia become a destination location, being halfway between Rochester and Buffalo, for regional sports competitions.

Even now, he said, the district gets requests to host events but can't because they conflict the the high school's own use of the facilities.

"We could keep repairing it or we could fix it permanently for 30 or 40 years and have very little maintenance expense," Rozanski said. "(Given the location) we should be able to draw a lot of different activities and that should benefit all businesses in the community. We should have increased (numbers of) people coming into the area to hotels, restaurants, retail and whatever other types of business. That will have a long-term positive impact on the community."

January 10, 2017 - 5:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, batavia, news, schools, education.

chaya_patty.jpgPress release:

Genesee Community College has appointed its next dean of Student Services, a familiar face with years of experience working with students, faculty and staff, and service to the College. Patricia "Patty" Chaya emerged as the top choice from a lengthy search of many qualified candidates, and will assume the responsibilities of dean of students, transitioning from her previous role of associate dean of the GCC Warsaw and Lima campus centers.

Chaya joined the College in 2002 as associate dean of the Warsaw campus, and inherited the same role with the Lima campus in 2012. Handling multiple duties, she was charged with leading, directing, team building and administrative oversight for all operations at both campus centers. In 2013, Chaya was awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service, an award given to recognize consistent superior professional achievement.

"Her familiarity with the GCC community and experience working with our students will make her an invaluable asset to our team," said Virginia "Ginny" Taylor, Ph.D., vice president for Student and Enrollment Services. "We are excited for the students, faculty and staff at the Batavia campus to begin working with Patty, whose passion for helping others has always been evident."

Chaya holds a bachelor's in Sociology from SUNY Fredonia and a master's in Student Personnel Administration from the University at Buffalo. She was a resident assistant while attending SUNY Fredonia and became residence hall director after earning her bachelor's degree.

"I am thrilled for the opportunity to take on a new professional challenge," Chaya said. "There is great potential with the dean of Student Services position, and new initiatives are important for moving forward. Not only do I hope to cultivate new programs such as those relating to wellness, but I plan on expanding the delivery and availability of these programs using our current technology, making them more accessible for our students."

Prior to working at GCC, Patty was the associate director at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, and also worked for the Genesee County YWCA as the director of the Domestic Violence Program. She is heavily involved in the GLOW community, serving as the vice president of the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Business Education Alliance (BEA) Board of Directors in Livingston County.

"I live in the community and am familiar with local issues," Chaya explained. "I have a strong commitment to GCC and am confident I can be a strong ambassador for the College."

As the dean of student services, Chaya will work closely with College administration to enhance its current leadership program and expanding innovative student development programs. Among numerous other areas, she will focus on student retention and degree completion, as well as handling student conduct and discipline.

Chaya officially began her new role on Jan. 3rd. Patty and husband, Ray, a former GCC BEST Center staff member, currently reside in Batavia.

January 10, 2017 - 2:37pm

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Farash Foundation, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and Rochester Area Community Foundation sponsored a contest for high school students and last night Byron-Bergen learned the videos it produced for the contest grabbed Second Place and Third Place.

The contest challenged students to make public service announcements for in-demand jobs of the future.

Students in Byron-Bergen's tech academy made two videos about food processing.

The full press release about the contest is here.

All of the videos that won and placed are here.

January 3, 2017 - 9:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Kennedy School, schools, education, news.

jk20161219_101548.jpg

December was Kindness Month at John Kennedy School and throughout the month, the "Kindness Elf" went around spreading kindness. Just before Christmas, the Elf helped arrange a visit by members of the Batavia FD and Batavia PD.

The firefighters and police officers shared cookies with the second-grade class of Mrs. Marsh and Mrs. Lebeau. The teachers then helped the students write thank you notes to the police and fire departments. The students not only thanked them for coming to the school but thanked them for all they do on a daily basis to help our community and to keep us safe.

Photo and info submitted by Courtney Marsh.

December 31, 2016 - 4:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, schools, education, news.

oaelectroalcollege1483122777314_part_1482170225284_img_3296.jpg

Peter Beuler, a teacher at Oakfield-Alabama, shared with us today this photo and information about students from O-A going to Albany on Dec. 19 to witness electors casting their votes.

Oakfield-Alabama teacher Peter Beuler’s Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics class was selected by the Governor’s office to represent the Great Lakes region on December 19th to witness New York State’s Electoral College vote for the 45th President of the United States.

The voting was conducted at noon in the Senate Chamber at the State Capitol building in Albany.

This was a prestigious honor for Oakfield-Alabama because only one-hundred high school students state-wide were chosen by the Governor’s office to observe this historic event.

The twelve students had a busy day as they left at 4:45 in the morning and didn’t get back until eight at night.

While in Albany the students were able to visit the offices of their state legislative representatives; State Senator Ranzenhofer and State Assemblyman Hawley.  During the hour-long Electoral College vote, the twelve students got to view and hear from Former President Bill Clinton, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio, Buffalo’s Mayor Byron Brown, Rochester’s Mayor Lovely Warren, and other New York State public officials.

Before departing Albany, the AP class received a guided tour of the capitol building where they ran into and got a second to speak to Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

The AP class and Mr. Beuler are very grateful to the community members and school’s administrative team who helped make this trip possible.

In the photo: Emily Staniszewski, Ryan Missel, Joshua Larmon, Ciera Baker, Hannah Newton, Mr. Peter Beuler. Clayton Smith, Sara Voltura, Hope Kollarik, Olivia Carroll, Jonah Schnettler, Jacob Houseknecht, Haily Davis.

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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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