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March 23, 2018 - 9:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, news, Le Roy, le roy hs.


Statement and photos by Le Roy HS Principal Tim McArdle:

On Thursday we inducted 32 new members into National Honor Society. This is a wonderful honor and accomplishment for our students and their families. These students have maintained an overall GPA of 90% and possess the five qualities that make a model student: scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship. Sr. High ELA teacher Mr. Crowe was the guest speaker and shared wonderful advice to our Knights including; “No matter what job you choose, choose it because it will touch lives; it will make a difference not just to yourself but to others around you.” Current members participated in the evening by running the ceremony and reading the new inductees’ biographies. I would like to thank rookie advisor Mrs. Curtis and the NHS officers for organizing a quality program for our students. I challenge these students to use their talents and reach out to other students who need a boost or support to make our school the best it can be! We would like to congratulate the families of our new members. We all know it takes a team to be successful!





March 21, 2018 - 1:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, news, schools, education.

Press release:

Byron-Bergen Central School District has named three alumni to the district’s Hall of Fame for 2018. Jacqueline Mullen (1972), Michael List (1978), and Kimberly (Thompson) McLean (2000) join the ranks of other distinguished Byron-Bergen alumni honored with a place in the Alumni Hall of Fame for their achievements after graduation.

The 2018 Alumni Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Wednesday, March 28, at 6:30 p.m. in the Byron-Bergen High School Auditorium.

The Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes the accomplishments of the district’s graduates. It provides young people with positive adult role models and shows that graduates of Byron-Bergen can achieve high levels of accomplishment in their lives. This honor is in its 15th year and has become part of the school district culture. It is a permanent reminder to students about the outcome of hard work and diligence.

mullenjacqueline2018.jpgJacqueline A. Mullen (Class of 1972)

Editor of the school newspaper, member of National Honor Society/Student Council, and American Field Service (AFS) exchange student, Mullen was active in sports and music activities at Byron-Bergen HS. She received her bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies and Spanish from Hartwick College and her master’s degree in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.

Mullen has lived and worked in Puerto Rico for more than 39 years. She currently serves as vice chancellor of Sponsored Research and Programs for Universidad del Turabo, and is active as a consultant in organizational development and fundraising. She was the executive director at the Puerto Rico Farm Bureau (1991-95) and the community economic development director at Progressa (1996-2000). She has never stopped learning and holds numerous certifications and affiliations with professional organizations. Her family includes husband Eladio, daughter Natalena, four stepchildren, and 14 grandchildren.

Mullen says she is proud of the educational opportunities she received at Byron-Bergen that served as a foundation for all her endeavors. Her dedication to family, friends, community, and profession make her an excellent role model for the students of Byron-Bergen.

listmike2018.jpgMichael List (Class of 1978)

While attending Byron-Bergen, List participated in National Honor Society, the AFS Exchange Program, chorus, Jr. Olympics, JV and Varsity wrestling, 4-H and several other clubs and organizations.

After graduating, he worked for the Bergen Canning Factory, Edward O’Ingerick Inc. of RIT Housing Developments, and Victor Furniture. He joined the staff of Byron-Bergen CSD in the Maintenance/Buildings and Grounds Department in 1984, working his way up to the leadership role of director of facilities. He retired from the District in 2017.

List is an active community member. He has held many volunteer positions in Victory Baptist Church, and taken several mission trips, including one to Haiti. After many class hours and counseling, he received certification as a Biblical Counselor in 2013. He has raised four children with his wife Marsha, and has several grandchildren.

List sets a wonderful example for students as someone who always lends a hand, gives 110% to his alma mater, church and community, and remains true to faith and family.

mcleanthompsonkimberly2018.jpgKimberly (Thompson) McLean (Class of 2000)

During her time at Byron-Bergen, McLean was her class’s Salutatorian. She participated in track, volleyball, National Honor Society, Spanish Club, Future Teachers of America, and many other activities. She was a Genesee County Fair Queen contestant and a cheerleader.

McLean graduated from Geneseo State College in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Mathematics. She received her master’s degree from Geneseo in 2008. She has volunteered with several local organizations and received many scholarships and accolades including membership in Pi Mu Epsilon National Mathematics Honor Society, Phi Eta Sigma, and the Golden Key International Honor Society.

Currently teaching math at Spencerport High School, McLean was awarded Teacher of the Year (2010), received The Golden Apple Award (2016), been class advisor, coached Jr. FLL Robotics, been an intern advisor for National Honor Society, coached Powder Puff Football, and taught summer school.

McLean’s passion for teaching, dedication and hard work make her an excellent role model for our youth.

All three inductees will spend the day of March 28 visiting with Byron-Bergen students and sharing how their school experience influenced their lives. Inductees will receive their Alumni Hall of Fame plaques during the school’s National Senior Honor Society induction ceremony that evening.

March 20, 2018 - 12:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, news, notify.

The County Legislature is likely to support a state bill to provide funding to local school districts for school resource officers.

Yesterday, the Public Service Committee voted unanimously to forward a resolution to the full legislature for approval to express support for such a bill.

Currently, Assemblyman Steve Hawley is backing a bill that would provide $50,000 to each school district in the state to help fund a school resource officer.

The New York Association of Counties is proposing state funding of $100,000 per year.

That would cost state taxpayers more than $2 billion a year.

Sheriff William Sheron supports paying resource officers in schools.

Currently, there are deputies working at the BOCES campus and Byron-Bergen High School and a Le Roy police officer at Le Roy High School.

Sheron said a deputy assigned to a school would cost $111,000 a year, excluding a vehicle, for 10 months assigned as a resource officer. The price climbs above $120,000 for an officer employed for a full 12 months.

The county could be on the hook for additional costs, but legislators yesterday made it clear they expected school districts to cover any unreimbursed costs for resource officers.

School resource officers are armed and sworn law enforcement officers who can provide security at the school but also interact with students and assist them with life issues.

One issue constraining the ability of the county to cover the expense is the property tax cap. If the county exceeds the tax cap, the state won't reimburse the county for expenses related to Raise the Age adjustments in courts and incarceration for 16- and 17-year-olds.

March 17, 2018 - 12:21pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, news, City Schools, schools, education, art.


Batavia City school administrators and teachers presented art awards Friday evening to students at the Richmond Memorial Library in the district's annual art show. The student art will be on display at the library for the remainder of the month.






March 16, 2018 - 9:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, education, news, batavia.


Batavia City Schools Superintendent Chris Dailey reads to students at Jackson Primary School on Thursday night during the school's reading night, part of its annual Parents as Reading Partners Program.

This year's theme is "Wild About Reading at the Jackson Primary Zoo."



Molly Corey reading.


Linda Conway reading.


Students and parents playing Zoo Bingo.

March 13, 2018 - 3:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, education, news, batavia.


Press release:

Jackson Primary’s Parents As Reading Partners (PARP) program was introduced with the traditional and always-entertaining play by staff for the students. This year’s theme is Wild About Reading and, in the opening performance, the students were confronted with a lot of confused behavior among the residents of Jackson Zoo.

With monkeys eating potato chips, giraffes roaring about their prowess at protecting the zoo while lions are playfully dancing nearby, and polar bears mistakenly caught in a warm exhibit area while elephants are freezing in theirs – there is a lot of craziness at the Zoo.

But there is hope! Between now and March 29, Jackson students can read with a partner at home for 15 minutes or more each day, and that will bring some facts – and order – back to the Zoo, helping the animals return to their proper foods, activities and habitats.

While this year’s goal is to restore order to the Zoo, the goal every year is to build excitement for and a love of reading that not only contributes to academic success but also enriches students’ (and their reading partners') lives immeasurably.


March 13, 2018 - 3:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, news, notify, batavia, Batavia HS.

Students at Batavia High School will participate in a nationwide high school student protest tomorrow called March for Our Lives in response to mass shootings on school campuses, most notably the murder of 17 students Feb. 14 in Parkland, Fla.

Students will stand outside the school for 17 minutes starting at 10 a.m. in honor of the 17 students killed in Parkland.

The school district is allowing the protest to go forward and has requested Batavia PD station a police officer at the school to ensure the safety of the students, Chief Shawn Heubusch told WBTA this morning.

"We’re there to support the school district in any need that they have," Heubusch said. "They’ve given them (the students) a chance to participate in this national walkout and we support them in any way we can. As far as it being right or wrong, I don’t have an opinion on that. I just want to make sure that the children remain safe."

Senior Sydney Atchinson has taken a leadership role in organizing the local protest and invited local media to cover it.

Joan Elizabeth Seamans, who recently dropped out of the Democratic primary for the NY-27 race, also sent out a press release notifying area media that the protest would be taking place at several WNY high schools and that it will be coupled with a voter registration drive, encouraging students who will be 18 by Nov. 6 to register to vote.

“I am very proud of our youth here in WNY and throughout the country who are ready to use their voices to fight for change. They have demonstrated a fierceness we haven’t seen in decades" said Seamans, founder of YVYV NY (Your Voice Your Vote NY). "It will be interesting to see how this new and energized voting block uses their passion to influence legislation."

Seamans said the event has been organized by Women's March Youth EMPOWER, an affiliate of the Women’s March.

Heubusch also discussed the issue of school resource officers in Batavia City Schools.

The discussions, he said, have been ongoing for many years, not just since the Feb. 14 shooting.

"We certainly hope we will eventually be able to supply a school resource officer to the district," Heubusch said. "Currently we are prevented from doing that by some fiscal limitations for not only the city but as well as the school district. Part of that ongoing discussion is to develop ways to be able to pay for these positions if they do come to fruition.

"We support the idea of having a school resource officer in our district, if not more than one. It’s just a matter of getting down to the brass tacks of paying for that position and funding it long term."

March 12, 2018 - 12:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

Press release:

image002.jpg“The growth mindset of this district was what really attracted me to Byron-Bergen,” said Byron-Bergen Elementary School’s new Assistant Principal Betsy Brown. “The approach to education is innovative and forward-thinking. I’m so impressed with the opportunities our students have here.”

“We’re fortunate to have an administrator with Betsy’s depth and experience,” said Elementary School Principal Brian Meister. “She is a great addition to our team, and I think she will bring a wonderful combination of commitment, caring, innovation, and humor to her role.”

Brown has 15 years of experience in elementary education. She came to the district from Avon Central Schools, where she supported students and staff as a literacy coach for three years. Prior to that, she taught third and fourth grade, and kindergarten.

Brown holds a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and a Master of Education degree in literacy, earned at the State University of New York at Geneseo. Her administrative coursework was completed at the University of Rochester.

Getting to know the students has been Brown’s first priority. She has been meeting them all, one classroom at a time.

“I don’t want them to be nervous around me,” she said. “It’s important that students know that I am always here to help them.”

“I’m particularly excited about the Character Education program here,” she said "I love the enthusiasm our students have for supporting one another and keeping their school safe. From classroom visits, I can see that the teachers do an amazing job of teaching students in ways that are fun and engaging."

“I really am passionate about English Language Arts (ELA),” she said, “and Byron-Bergen has a great Reading Recovery program for early intervention. I’m looking forward to supporting our teachers with that and helping them continue to build a strong ELA program that incorporates the latest standards."

Brown was an active member of the video coaching professional development team at Avon, and will continue her activity as a coach at Byron-Bergen.

“Byron-Bergen has been the regional leader in offering video coaching as a way for teachers to grow and to improve their teaching methods,” she said. “Teachers here have embraced the technology, and students are benefitting from the results.”

Open communication, Brown believes, is an essential part of any school. She is looking forward to meeting families and parents and working with them to ensure an exceptional school experience for their students. She encourages parents to call or stop in.

“We have an active social media presence on Twitter and Facebook, too,” she said. “They provide a window into all the activities students are doing in the classroom.”

The community can follow the assistant principal on Twitter @MrsBetsyMBrown.

March 12, 2018 - 10:12am


Batavia High School's sixth annual Mr. Batavia contest is Friday, March 23rd, at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium. Contestants have been in rehearsals for weeks for the annual event.

Here are this year's contestants and their charities of choice: 

  • Nicholas Neid – Salvation Army
  • Chase Monachino – Catholic Charities
  • Brandon Buck – Batavia VA
  • Valentino Zinni – Volunteers for Animals
  • Jon Liciaga – Anna’s Wish
  • Cameron Hardy – Genesee Cancer Assistance
  • Nate Loria – Habitat for Humanity
  • John Kindig – Alzheimer’s Association of WNY
  • Julio Vazquez – Michael Napoleon Foundation
  • Joe Marchese – Crossroads House
  • Evan Bellavia – Lifetime Care, Home Healthcare and Hospice
  • Anand Patel -- Golisano's Children's Hospital 

Previous winners are: Jon Currier (2017), Ross Chua (2016), Jordan Fluker (2015), Spencer Hubbard (2014), Lee Johnson (2013).

A total of $4,646 was raised last year and split among the top three winners.
"Every year we have raised more and we hope to surpass this amount again," said advisor Lisa Robinson.
Categories are group dance, talent, swim walk, lip sync, tux walk and question to answer and local Batavia members from the community will be judges.
Sponsors: Charles Men Shop, Reed Eye; shirts in the picture from Extreme Streetwear. Hosts: Paige Wasilewski, Lauren Leone and Michal (Mikey) Lullo.
Tickets are available starting next Monday, March 19th: $7 for adults and $5 for students at Batavia High School; also available during school lunches and at the door the day of the event. Get your tickets early as they sold out last year.



March 9, 2018 - 12:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news, arts.


Press release:

Renowned ballerina Aesha Ash encourages Byron-Bergen students to dream bigger.

Ballet star Aesha Ash told the hundreds of students at Byron-Bergen Elementary School that when she was growing up in Rochester, “there were no princesses or fairies that looked like me. There were no magical creatures, unicorns or swans that looked like me.”

When she dreamed of being a ballerina, she was told that there were no black ballerinas and that she would never succeed. She dreamed anyway, and she did succeed. She was accepted to the legendary School of American Ballet where she was chosen to join the New York City Ballet when she was 18 — one of the first black dancers in the corps.

How did this world-famous dancer and winner of the National Women’s History Museum's 2016 Women Making History Award, come to be in Byron-Bergen? Fourth-grade teacher Alyson Tardy heard about Ash’s Swan Dreams Project, which was founded in 2011. This project uses powerful imagery to counter negative stereotypes of race and socio-economic background and inspire children to dream bigger.

Tardy thought that Ash’s message would be a great tie-in to the school’s character education program. She invited Ash and coordinated the special visit. Students surprised their visitor with a hallway lined with artwork featuring swans of many shapes and colors.

“The art is so beautiful,” Ash said. “I’m honored that the kids welcomed me this way.”

At the crowded assembly, Ash shared her story with attentive students, beginning with her passion for dance and her determination to become a ballerina.

She explained how she was part of Rochester’s Urban Suburban program, and constantly faced questions and misunderstanding from peers about her background and city neighborhood. Her family was not rich; she told the story of borrowing toe shoes for her first tryout. Even when Ash became a professional ballet dancer, she felt a sense of not belonging, of being different.

“All my life, I’ve fought to change perceptions and dispel myths — for myself, my family and my Rochester community,” she said. “The more that people told me that I couldn’t do something, the more I wanted to do it.”

Ash’s professional dance career lasted 13 years. It included eight years with the NYC Ballet along with performing in the Bejart Ballet in Switzerland and Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet, and with many other companies as a freelance artist.

She and her family currently live in California where she is working to make the Swan Dreams Project an afterschool program. She hopes to open a studio where she can teach ballet to children who are not able to afford lessons.

The Swan Dreams Project video she shared with Byron-Bergen students can be found here.




March 7, 2018 - 3:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, Sheriff's Office, news, notify.


Press release:

Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. hosted a meeting last week with Genesee County school superintendents, local police officials, local government representatives, along with state representatives Assemblyman Steve Hawley and Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer, to discuss school safety concerns and the viability of having School Resource officers within each school district.

"School Resource officers can play an important role in our school districts, from helping to resolve conflict to preventing tragedies," said Senator Ranzenhofer.

"I fully support placing these officers in our local school districts, and I have been working to secure state funding to expand School Resource officers in Genesee County and across New York State. I commend Sheriff Sheron for his leadership on this issue, and I will continue to work with him to keep our children safe."

While it was the consensus of most of those in attendance that there should be a School Resource Officer in each school within the county, concerns were expressed of how to fund the position and identifying the source of this funding.

The attendees discussed a variety of possible federal, state and local options and agreed to explore funding sources to offset the cost of the potential School Resource officers.

“I was pleased to meet with Sheriff Sheron, local educators and community stakeholders to discuss how we can increase school safety," said Assemblyman Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia). "The state needs to take action to help our schools become the most secure and comfortable environments they can be.

"We need to look at working with retired law enforcement and veterans in our schools because our children’s safety should be our number one priority.”

Currently, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has School Resource officers at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s (BOCES) Batavia Campus (for the past 15 years) and in the Byron-Bergen Central School District (for the past three years).

Additionally, the Village of Le Roy Police Department provides a School Resource Officer to the Le Roy School District, and the Batavia City School District has security aides within its facilities.

During the meeting, representatives from Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s (BOCES) Batavia Campus and the Byron-Bergen School District spoke highly about the advantages of having a School Resource Officer.

They explained that it not only provides a safe environment for the students and faculty but also provides for direct interaction and guidance with the students.

Both officials agreed that the benefits of having a School Resource Officer far outweigh the expense associated with the position.

“When we started our SRO Program 15 years ago, the prevailing question was, 'Why?' " said Christopher Hayward, Le Roy Police Chief. “With everything that has happened in the last 15 years, and sadly will continue to happen, the question has to be, ‘Why not?' "

Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch stated, “the City Police Department remains dedicated to the safety and security of all schools within its district. The time has come for the lawmakers in this state to step up and allow school districts to utilize their aid in establishing programs that make sense on a local level.

"This type of flexibility would go a long way to allowing each district in Genesee County to partner with local law enforcement to provide a School Resource Officer.”

Sheriff Sheron stated that it his goal to establish a School Resource Officer in all county schools to ensure the safety and protection of the students and faculty.

“Although the cost associated with placing a School Resource Officer in the schools is significant, I believe the safety and security of our children should be of the utmost precedence,” the sheriff said.

Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies will be visiting schools on a regular basis and assist during school safety drills. This will aid in familiarizing Deputies with the school’s faculty and students along with the layout and procedures of each school.

Submitted photos. Top photo, Deputy Matt Butler, resource officer for Byron-Bergen, discusses his job with officials.


Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer, left, Sheriff William Sheron, right.


Assemblyman Steve Hawley

March 1, 2018 - 3:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, news, batavia, City Schools.


The Batavia City School District continues to adopt technology as part of the learning process and coursework, IT Coordinator Jeff McKinney told the school board during its meeting Tuesday night.

His presentation was followed by demonstrations of some of the robots and programming projects students have been working on this year.

McKinney said 2,000 Chromebooks have been deployed to students. Students have visited more than one million websites. There are 266 active Google classrooms and students are creating 50,000 new documents each month.

Internet access has become so critical to the educational process that McKinney has come up with a plan for a backup bandwidth provider so that if the primary provider goes offline, teachers and students don't lose access.

"I'm really proud of where we're going and what we've done," McKinney said.

He said a key advantage of the STEM program currently in place is it helps students learn through discovery and studies show students retain new knowledge better when it comes through discovery.

It isn't always the teacher teaching anymore, either, said Melissa Calandra, a STEM teacher at John Kennedy Elementary School.

"It's kind of hard as a teacher not to know all of the answers but that's the world we live in now," she said.

Other faculty participating in the presentation, Katelin LaGreca, JK Library Media Specialist, Karen Shuskey, JK ACE Teacher, and Marie Martell, JK Computer Literacy/Math AIS Teacher.

Top photo: Phoebe Beal, grade 3; Brock Bigsby, grade 3; Ryan Bigsby, grade 3; Ella Shamp, grade 4; Landon Hamilton, grade 4;Tosh Spilberg, grade 4.


March 1, 2018 - 12:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, news, schools, education.


The Batavia City School District Board of Trustees honored several people at the start of Tuesday's meeting with certificates of appreciation for the difference they're making at the Batavia schools.

Above, Board President Pat Burk with Lucy Lefevre.


Amelia Tripp


Luca Garland


Landon Minuto


Ottoniel Ramirez-Garcia


Camden Reimer


Members of the STAR staff.


Detective Richard Schauff

February 18, 2018 - 12:52pm
posted by The Batavian in schools, education, news.


Article by Drew Muehlig. Photo by Dan Carnevale​.

High school graduation rates increased slightly across New York in 2017 -- to 80.2 percent, up from 79.7 percent in 2016, according to data released Wednesday by the New York State Department of Education.

And some Genesee Region schools had a lot to do with that.

Elba, Lyndonville and Pembroke high schools all boasted 97-percent graduation rates last year, while Attica (94 percent), Pavilion (93 percent), Le Roy (93 percent), Alexander (91 percent), Batavia (91 percent), Byron-Bergen (91 percent), Holley (91 percent) and Kendall (90 percent) all came in with more than 90-percent commencement numbers.

Elba saw the biggest increase in graduation rates, climbing from 89 percent in 2016.

Elba’s superintendent, Keith Palmer, attributes the results to the school’s size and the teacher-student relationship building over time.

“Given our small size and low student to staff ratio, the faculty is better able to work with students one-on-one or in small groups,” Palmer said. “This allows for knowing and responding to individual student needs as well as developing meaningful relationships.”

For a complete list of 2017 graduation rates click here

February 14, 2018 - 11:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elba Central School, elba, schools, arts, entertaiment, news.


The Elba Central School Drama Club presents "The Wizard of Oz" this weekend.

Shows are at 7 p.m., Friday, and 2 and 7 p.m., Saturday.

Tickets are available at the ECS district office and Roxy's Music store in Batavia. Advance tickets are $6 for students and seniors, $8 for adults. They are $10 at the door.



February 8, 2018 - 3:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, byron, bergen, schools, education, arts, news.


Students from Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School who are participating in Sandy Auer's pottery classes traveled to Rochester today for the class's annual visit to the Flower City Arts Center, where they could experience throwing pottery for a first time on a pottery wheel. The students then work with Mrs. Auer one-on-one in class throwing their own pottery pieces. 

"It's a great experience for the students," Mrs. Auer said.

Photos and info provided by Byron-Bergen High School.






February 5, 2018 - 3:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, Alabama, universal Pre-K, schools, education.

Press release:

Children who reside in the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District and who will be 4 years old by Dec. 1, 2018 are eligible to be registered for our Universal Pre-Kindergarten program for the 2018-2019 school year.

The children attend five days per week, each day, for 180 days, at no cost to you.

Transportation is provided for students who are 4 years old. Students that start the program at 3 years old must be transported by the family until they turn 4 years old.

We will have full-day and half-day classes available. Full day hours are 8:35 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and half day hours are 8:35-11:30 a.m.

Registration packets have been mailed. If you do not receive a packet by Feb. 12, please call the elementary office at 585-948-5211, ext. 3211, or email [email protected] to request one. 

Registration paperwork needs to be returned by mail or in person to the Elementary Office by March 9. Space is limited so please return your paperwork as soon as possible in order to avoid being placed on a wait list.

January 26, 2018 - 4:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alexander Central School, alexander, news, schools, education.


Alexander Central School hosted a Health and Wellness Fair on Thursday night sponsored by Alexander United Teachers.

Meghan Ripstein said the organization was looking for a way to give back to the community and she hoped families and vendors would find something at the fair that they could get involved in or find something missing from their lives.

She said the response was beyond expectations.

"We have a great turnout," she said. "We have so many incredible vendors here and so many people have given so much. I’m very impressed and overwhelmed by the support that we’ve gotten."






December 21, 2017 - 3:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, news, notify, schools, education.


Using a detection device to identify students who might have been drinking at high school dances is nothing new, said Batavia City Schools Superintendent Chris Dailey, and previous uses have gotten no pushback from students or parents.

Yesterday, The Batavian published a picture of Batavia High School receiving two new wand-like devices that act as breathalyzers to help school officials identify students who may have been drinking prior to arrival at a school dance or other social function where they might be used. The publication of the picture raised a lot of questions among readers about the legality and ethics of such devices.

Dailey said the district's first priority is the safety of the students.

"Ninety-nine point nine percent of our kids don't generally show up under the influence, so it's rather a moot point to them," Dailey said. "They're not thinking we're trying to take away their rights and we're not trying to take away their rights. We're trying to provide a safe environment for all. It's all about safety for us."

All of the complaints that surfaced after yesterday's picture publication surfaced online, Dailey said. There have been no calls to the district office and he met with high school officials today and there was no mention of complaints at the high school.

The wands donated to the school by STOP-DWI and local law enforcement are not at all invasive, Dailey said, unlike the previous alcohol sensor used by the school, which was only used if a student was suspected of drinking. The wands, Dailey said, can detect a potential use of alcohol by a person in a group of people.

"Alcohol consumption by students is something that is illegal and is not tolerated," Dailey said. "We want to make sure we provide the safest possible environment for all of our students."

That's critical, Dailey said, when you have 200 to 300 students coming together for an event.

If a student is found under the influence of alcohol at a school event, the first step, Dailey said, is to make sure the student is safe. Next, school officials call the teenager's parents.

"We reach out to the parents," Dailey said. "(the student) is not allowed to leave if under impairment and we will work with the parent so the child will learn from the mistake."

There isn't necessarily disciplinary action taken against the student.

"(It) depends on the situation," Dailey said.

As for whether the sensors violate students' rights, Dailey said, any student or parent who might be concerned about it are free to not attend the school function.

"If people choose not to come to the dance because of it, that's their choice, absolutely," Dailey said.


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