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March 27, 2017 - 12:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, schools, education, news.

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Students from Elba's kindergarten class took a field trip today to the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester. The trip was paid for by the Salvaterra family in remembrance of their son, Brayden Salvaterra, as an expression of gratitude and thanks to the Elba School District, the Elba community and surrounding community, for the support and contributions made to the family in Brayden's honor.

Brayden passed away unexpectedly Jan. 23. Many donations were made to Brayden's memorial and this is the first event paid for by the memorial.

Photos and info submitted by Kristi Bennetti.

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March 27, 2017 - 7:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news, byron, bergen.

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Press release:

Twenty-five students from the Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School were inducted as new members of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) on March 22. They proudly joined the 38 standing members of the school’s NJHS.

The NJHS program highlights the well-rounded students at Byron-Bergen. Inductees are selected based on their high standards of scholarship, citizenship, service, leadership and character. All members are required to demonstrate their achievements in each of these areas. The 2017 new members are:

  • Seventh Grade: Jared Barnum, Rachel Best, Madison Burke, Caleb Carlson, Sadie Cook, Makenzie Eccleston, Grace Huhn, Brooke Jarkiewicz, Meghan Kendall, Madelynn Pimm, Elli Schelemanow, Grace Shepard, Alayna Streeter, Ella VanValkenburg, Alexandra Vurraro, Claire Williams, Corden Zimmerman;
  • Eighth Grade: Zoey Chambry, Carli Kirkwood, Andrew Parnapy, Sarah Streeter, Devon Zinter;
  • Ninth Grade: Kelsey Fuller, Mikaela Hubler, Miriam Tardy.

The evening began with a welcome from faculty advisor Ken Gropp, and NJHS Vice President Nathan Zwerka led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. The ceremony continued with opening remarks from Superintendent Mickey Edwards and Principal Patrick McGee. Students Cambria Kinkelaar and Siomara Caballero led the traditional candle lighting with help from Nick Baubie, Alex Brumsted, Amaya Gunther, Colby Leggo and Jillian Menzie.

NJHS President Abby Vurraro addressed the crowd and spoke about the importance of failure.

“It’s what you do after you fail that really counts,” she said.

The induction ceremony featured two guest speakers who were chosen by NJHS members: Byron-Bergen teachers Diana Walther and Laurence Tallman.

“Different is good,” Tallman said. “Our diversity is ultimately what unifies us.”

As part of the induction ceremony, each new inductee received a certificate and pin, and the distinct honor to be a part of the National Junior Honor Society. More than a million students participate in NJHS: https://www.njhs.us/. Membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments but also challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service.

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March 24, 2017 - 1:00pm

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As part of Ag Literacy Week, Assemblyman Steve Hawley was at John Kennedy School this morning to read to a group of students from a children's book about a grape farmer.

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March 23, 2017 - 6:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Job Bureau, schools, education, news.

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The Genesee County Job Development Bureau hosted a job fair today for area high school students. A total of 11 local employers and 13 vendors were on hand along with Job Bureau counselors.

Speakers attended from Genesee Valley Partnership, Genesee Community College, and Empire State College. They discussed vocational or educational goals with students.

There was also staff from the Department of Labor to review student resumes and offer tips. 

(Thanks to Tim McArdle for supplying photos of Le Roy students at the event. We had it on our schedule to cover but couldn't make it because of the accident in Alabama this morning.)

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March 23, 2017 - 6:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, schools, education, news, National Honor Society.

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On Wednesday, Le Roy High School inducted 34 new members of the National Honor Society. These students have maintained an overall GPA of 90 percent and possess the five qualities of a model student: scholarship, service, leadership, character and citizenship. Sr. High Math teacher Mr. Zach Paley was our induction speaker and gave a great motivational message challenging students to learn through their failures. 

From Principal Tim McArdle: "This is a wonderful honor and accomplishment for our students and their families. I would like to thank Mrs. Qadiri for organizing with our officers a quality program for our students. We would like to congratulate the families of our new members. We all know, it takes a team to be successful!"

Photos and info submitted by Tim McArdle.

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March 23, 2017 - 5:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, batavia, schools, education, news.

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Top photo, Officer Peter Flanigan, Batavia PD, reads to students at Jackson School during the school's annual parents' night reading program last night, this year dubbed "Camp Read-A-Lot." The evening featured community members reading to students, games, activities and a campout with camp music in the school's gymnasium.

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March 21, 2017 - 12:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in art, schools, education, batavia, City Schools, news.

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Deb Meier, who has taught art in the Batavia City School District for 31 years and is about to retire, provided the governing board with an annual overview of activities in the Art Department at last night's trustees' meeting.

Students are exposed to art at all grade levels and instruction, she said, isn't just about visual presentation. The courses hit on history, writing, culture, critical thinking, science, and math, providing cross-curriculum lessons.

"You can see throughout, we take a lot of elements of art -- the line, shape, color, texture, value, space -- and we teach the kids now to build on it each year," Meier said.

They also learn how to create art in various mediums, from basic drawing to watercolors, animation, multimedia and video.

"One of the things we try to teach in class is if you make a mistake, just like in life, you work your way through it," Meier said. "You don’t just give up."

Each year, students also create self-portraits, which helps them visualize their own growth as people and artists.

"The portraits this year just blew me away," Meier said. "I’ll always remember them."

Two Batavia High School students had their work selected this year for the Finger Lakes Art Show, which is juried, so not all pieces submitted are accepted. The students were Angie Macconi and Melissa Mountain.

"It’s important at all grade levels (that) we talk about art, we write about art, we critique and encourage communication," Meier said. "We try to keep to the positive. I would rather hear from a child, ‘I like this one best because,’ and then give me a reason, and say it in a way, ‘I like how the artist used line in this one,' 'that it curls and swoops through the picture and leads your eye through’ rather than, ‘it’s pretty.’ ”

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By Cora Beal

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By Tyler Budzinak

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By Leo Burg

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By Sophia Dinehart

March 21, 2017 - 11:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, schools, education, news.

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Submitted photos and information.

Six students from Oakfield-Alabama had the opportunity to spend a week in Washington DC learning about how their government works.  Students spent time meeting with Rep. Chis Collins’ staffers, spent time on Capitol Hill, and even had a tour of the White House.  Students participated in debates with students from across the country and held a Mock Congress to learn the procedure for getting a bill passed. They also had some time to explore the Library of Congress and going to the International Spy Museum.  The students participating were John Igoe, Justina Pruski, Kylie Schlagenhauf, Haily Davis, Brianna Greene, and Hannah Scarborough. 

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March 21, 2017 - 11:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education, news.

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John Kennedy School received the Outstanding School Award at last night's City Schools Board meeting. The school has been recognized as a school that boosts achievement for economically disadvantaged students by Better Outcomes, an educational research and consulting company in Hartsdale.  The selection was made based on demographic data and ELA Assessment results. Accepting the award, presented by Board President Pat Burk and Superintendent Chris Dailey, was Principal Paul Kesler.

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Kristina Clark received the outstanding staff award. Clark was honored for her many years of dedicated teaching at Jackson School, especially her use of distance learning technology, which has taken kids to the Mariner's Museum in Virginia and a kindergarten class in Texas. She also volunteers on various school committees.

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Kristen Fix received an outstanding staff award. Fix was honored for her strong ability to communicate and collaborate with parents as a kindergarten teacher at Jackson School. She also volunteers for school events, activities and committees.

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Joe Husssar received an outstanding staff award. Hussar was recognized for his ability to work with at-risk students, including home visits to assist students and their guardians. Recently, he assisted a co-worker who had fallen, He rode with her to the hospital and stayed with her until her family members arrived.

March 21, 2017 - 7:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, Mr. Batavia, schools, arts, entertainment, news.

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Batavia High Schools annual Mr. Batavia contest is at 7 p.m., March 31, in the school auditorium.

Contestants have been in rehearsals for weeks for the annual event.

This year's contestants and their charities they are competing for: 

  • Jerry Reinhart, Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation
  • Dominic Brown, Iroquois Trail Council, BSA
  • Campbell Anderson, Red Cross
  • Casey Radka, Genesee Cancer Assistance
  • Cody Dioguardi, Ricky Palermo Foundation
  • Sam Bartz, Batavia VA
  • Quentin Branciforte, Anna's Wish
  • Ryan Bieniek, All Babies Cherished
  • Casey Austin, Collin Crane Memorial
  • Joe Allegue, Community Action
  • Freddie Cunningham, Volunteers for Animals
  • John Currier, Habitat for Humanity

Below, a few shots from rehearsal for the "swimsuit" competition.

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March 20, 2017 - 1:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ascension Parish, Jackson School, schools, batavia, news.

Press release:

On behalf of the Jackson Primary School staff and students,  we would like to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude to Father David Glassmire and Ascension Parish.

On Wednesday, March 8th, the school needed to evacuate all students quickly due to a serious house fire, across the street from the school. It was a very cold and windy morning as 350 primary students walked to the Ascension Parish parking lot in evacuation protocol.

Within minutes, students were able to enter the Sacred Heart reception hall and knew they were safe and warm. Father David welcomed us immediately and quickly supported our needs in order for the school to operate an efficient evacuation dismissal plan.   

Additionally, we would like to thank Sherry Otto who saw us coming and quickly communicated this to Father Glassmire, Dave Fasano, and the City Police Department for assisting us that morning.

The overall support from Ascension Parish is a true reflection of the wonderful and compassionate people that make up  Batavia’s community.

Diane Bonarigo/Principal

 

March 18, 2017 - 3:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, education, City Schools, schools, batavia, news.

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Last night was the last official student art show for Deb Meier, an art teacher at Batavia High School for 31 years. She's pictured in the back row on the left, with some of the city schools students who won awards Friday night in the opening art show at Richmond Memorial Library for Student Art Month.

Meier said she will continue volunteer work with student artists because she thinks it's so beneficial to the kids.

"Art gives enjoyment to life," Meier said. "It gives meaning. The arts, even though we only celebrate it once a month a year with Youth Art Month, it's essential to our beings. We are no longer living in caves. We’re living in houses that are designed by architects, wearing clothes that are designed by fashion designers."

Art is all around us, she agreed.

"Yes, we just need to learn to see it."

What she's enjoyed most about teaching art she said is seeing the students blossom. 

"Seeing the realization, seeing the light bulb go off when they realize they’ve got it, they did something right, they took something and explored a new media or new idea in expression," she said.

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March 13, 2017 - 1:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, schools, education, news.

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Mixing different kinds of chemicals and compounds together isn't the only kind of experiment going on in David Porter's classroom at Oakfield-Alabama High School.

Porter is also introducing a concept that is only about a decade old called "flipped learning." Basically, students watch videos of typical lecture material at home or otherwise away from the classroom and then classroom time is used for worksheets, labs or individual instruction. 

Proponents say it's a style of teaching more suitable to students raised in the Digital Age. Porter says it empowers kids to more easily master the subject.

"With flipped learning, more lecture and note-taking takes place at home and typical homework now takes place in class," Porter said. "The whole idea behind it is that it’s almost brainless work to do note-taking. I fill in the blanks. I just copy what’s on the board. It’s not high-level thinking skills being used. Then students go home and get stuck on question number four and then they give up. By flipping that order, students can do the lower level thinking skills at home. They just watch a video, fill in their notes and there’s no question. Then when they come into the class, do the work and they have a question on question number four, I’m right there; they have a teacher who can jump in and say, ‘ok, now we’re stuck, here’s how we get past there.’ "

Porter started trying flipped learning in the middle of the semester last year so this year's chemistry class is the first one getting the instruction through the whole course.

Students say they like it.

"It helps because if you don’t understand something, you just watch that part over until, ‘oh, yeah, I get it,’ ” said Jonathan Mateos.

Ryan Douglas said he thinks it's more interesting than a whole class just watching a teacher lecture. He thinks he's learning the material faster.

So far this year, students have gotten through 28 labs in 25 weeks. Last year's class did 35 labs in 40 weeks.

"So I'm almost to where I was last year and I’ve still got another 15 weeks to utilize for that hands-on working material," Porter said.

Porter is a graduate of Batavia High School. He got his degree in Chemistry Education from Roberts Wesleyan College and is working on his master's at SUNY Brockport. He's writing his thesis on flipped learning.

He said as he works on his paper, he's continually studying all the literature on the subject and learning new things himself about the process. He brings new ideas into his own instructional approach, he said.

His interest in teaching was sparked by his mother, a teacher herself. He said he was always more of a math and science guy.

"I was never very strong in history and English, but I loved numbers and doing something to get numbers," Porter said. "It was always math or science, but I loved science because it's more hands-on. You get to do more than just put letters and numbers on a page."

To excel at chemistry in a flipped classroom, a student need not be strong in science. He or she just needs to follow through on assignments. Everybody works at their own pace, but they are expected to master the material before moving on. 

“Chemistry is a tough subject, where if you don’t understand day one you’re never going to get day two," Porter said." If you don’t get day two, you’re never going to get day three and that just sets up a whole year of hardship that’s not needed. So I’d rather take the time, dive in and really understand day one before we get to day two."

That's the approach Jonathan said he likes.

"If you go home and don't understand something, you can watch the video over and over again until you have a complete understanding," Jonathan said. "Then, when you come into class, it's really nice to have the teacher there while you're doing your homework."

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March 10, 2017 - 12:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

Press release:

On March 31, residents in the Byron-Bergen Central School District will be able to vote on a capital improvement project designed to keep the schools safe, energy efficient, and ready to offer exceptional educational opportunities to its students well into the future. The primary focus of the project will be on the Elementary School, which has not seen major updates or renovations to its classrooms since opening in 1969.

Voters are invited to attend one of the informational meetings scheduled for March 14 and March 23. Both meetings will be held at 7 p.m. in the Jr./Sr. High School Auditorium. The capital improvement project vote is March 31 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Jr./Sr. High School Wrestling Room.

The BBCSD Board of Education and Facilities Committee recently worked with the architecture firm Clark Patterson Lee to complete a NYS Education Department-required Five-Year Building Condition Survey. The survey provided an independent and thorough analysis of safety, infrastructure, technology, and strengths and weaknesses of school facilities. The recommendations included:

  • Capital improvements, mainly to the Elementary School and other areas in the district needing renovation in order to meet NYS Education Department codes and regulations.
  • Energy efficiencies enabling long-term cost savings which will be achieved through an Energy Performance Contract (EPC).

The capital improvement project is anticipated to cost $20,452,902. Approximately 82 percent of the cost will be funded by a combination of State Aid, District Capital Reserve Fund, and projected energy savings. This will result in a net local share of 6 percent to be paid over a 15-year period.

The Capital Improvement Project involves district-wide energy savings, which include installing energy-efficient lighting and improving/replacing heat, boiler, HVAC, and dehumidification systems. Other planned improvements include:

  • At the Elementary School
    • Renovate and expand classrooms to meet minimum classroom size requirements as specified by NYSED;
    • Update ADA-noncompliant bathrooms and hydration stations; 
    • Update kitchen equipment and serving lines;
    • Renovate gymnasium floor and stage lighting;
    • Replace aging windows;
    • Improve safety of driveway, bus loop, and parent drop-off areas;
    • Upgrade doors and hardware.
  • At the Jr./Sr. High School, bus garage, and Natatorium (pool) building
    • Roof replacement;
    • Build new tennis court to meet regulations;
    • Improve stage lighting;
    • Upgrade fire alarm system;
    • Replace dehumidification system;
    • Replace bus wash system;
    • Improve lighting in parking lots.

The school is presenting two propositions to be voted on:

Proposition #1 authorizes the district to make capital improvements to its facilities in the amount of $20,452,902, and to use $2,000,000 from the district’s Capital Reserve Fund to help offset the amount of money to be borrowed.

Proposition #2 seeks voter approval to receive a 10 percent enhancement in building aid from the NYS Education Department (NYSED).  NYSED would aid the district at a rate of 86.5 percent versus 76.5 percent, with voter approval, to offset the cost of the Board of Education approved Energy Performance Contract.

For more information, visit www.bbschools.org.

March 8, 2017 - 8:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, weather, news.

Superintendent Chris Dailey announced this evening that all schools in the Batavia City School District will be closed tomorrow as a result of today's windstorm.

March 6, 2017 - 8:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, batavia, schools, education, news.

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Jackson School kicked off its winter reading program today; this year it's called "Camp Read-A-Lot." 

The program is intended to encourage students to read at least 15 minutes per day.

Today, faculty and staff performed a play for the students called Camp Read-A-Lot, which tells the story of the campers who will get lost if the students don't read every day.

Thursday is family reading night at the school. There is a book fair from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. and 7:15 to 7:30 p.m. Reading rotations, which includes community guest readers, begins at 5:30 p.m. The Hill Brothers perform a reading-themed concert in the gym at 6:30 p.m.

March 3, 2017 - 10:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pembroke Elementary School, pembroke, schools, education, news.

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Children in the second grade at Pembroke Elementary School did their part yesterday to make the world a little brighter place for families at the Ronald McDonald House.

After a fundraiser that the children participated in collecting beverage can tabs and included a $500 donation check from a member of the community. Yesterday, the students stuffed paper bags with snacks, water and candy that will be delivered to the Ronald McDonald House.

The students also colored and decorated bags as part of the gift to the families.

Parents with children undergoing treatment at the Ronald McDonald House will be able to pick up the bags when they visit so they have snacks and water during their daily stay.

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March 2, 2017 - 10:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education, news.

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More than 700 voters in the City School District turned out today to vote on a proposed $26.7 million capital improvement project and an overwhelming majority of voters checked the "Yes" box on their ballots.

In all, according to the unofficial results released by the school district, 710 people (or 72.6 percent) voted yes and 260 voted no.

The plan uses existing capital reserves plus state aid to undertake improvements at the district's four schools plus rebuild Van Detta Stadium into a more modern facility capable of hosting regional sporting events. School officials said the Vision 2020 plan will not result in a tax increase to support it.

For more on the district's plans, click here.

March 2, 2017 - 9:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, news, batavia, City Schools.

Press release:

Batavia district votes today, March 2, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on proposed capital project

Batavia City School District residents may vote today between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. on the proposed 2020 Vision Capital Project.

The $26,768,813 project has no additional tax impact and is designed to address critical program, infrastructure, renovations, site work, and facility needs in each of the District-owned buildings and Daniel A. Van Detta Stadium at Woodward Field.

For residents who live north of Route 5 (Main Street) voting is at the Robert Morris Building at 80 Union St., and for residents living south of Route 5 (Main Street) voting is at Batavia High School at 260 State St.

For more information, including clarification with a street-by-street guide on where to vote, please check the District’s website at www.bataviacsd.org and click on the link for the 2020 Capital Project.

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