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June 16, 2016 - 3:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia city school district, batavia, education, news.

Information provided by the NYS Education Department.

Batavia City School District was awarded a grant totaling $212,748 from the state Education Department for extended school day and school violence prevention programs.

A total of 83 school districts and nonprofit organizations statewide, out of 450 applicants, received $24 million in grants for these programs, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced Wednesday.

Batavia City School District was the only school district or nonprofit in Genesee County to receive grant money for this purpose.

“It’s a simple proposition – when students are safe and engaged in productive afterschool activities, they’re going to enjoy school more and do better,” Elia said in a press release. “The grants we’re awarding today will go a long way toward protecting and enriching our children.”

Eligible programs provide support to students through extended school day activities and/or school safety programs which promote violence prevention. Extended school day programs will increase student achievement, provide extracurricular enrichment activities, and contribute to school violence prevention. School violence prevention activities include comprehensive school-based intervention models that reduce violence and improve school safety as well as provide funding for safe corridors, diversity programs, collaboration with law enforcement agencies or community-based organizations.

Each application was evaluated and scored by peer reviewers, including experts in expanded learning opportunities; college and university faculty and administrators; professional program evaluators; community educators; community service providers; staff from foundations and charitable organizations, as well as SED staff.

Lucy N. Friedman, president of ExpandED Schools, said, “We believe in the power of an extended day to engage kids in ways that are not always possible in a traditional classroom setting. Without the fear of a grade, students are more open to explore new challenges, like robotics or debate.

"Extended day programming provides kids with more time for enriched learning and social-emotional development. These extra hours also support the working parents because they know their children are in a safe, engaging place and this strengthens communities.”

A full list of grant awards is available at:

February 27, 2016 - 11:16am

Press release:

It’s been a long time coming, but Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey received a letter from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) stating that, once the State makes its official review visit in the early part of March, the District and Batavia Middle School will be off of the NYSED District/Focus School list in 2016-2017. Middle School staff were invited to a brief meeting Friday morning for the announcement.

“We wanted you to be the first to know,” Dailey said. “Even though this was always viewed as a district-wide process, most of the efforts were concentrated here, and we appreciate all your hard work. So, thank you, and congratulations.”

The process began several years ago, going into the 2012-2013 school year, when the District was notified that it had not met New York State’s proficiency benchmarks for one subgroup of students and, as a result, had been identified as a Focus District that was required to choose at least one school on which to focus efforts toward improvement for this subgroup. Because the Middle School had the greatest number of students in the specified subgroup, it was named as the Focus School.

The District then assembled a school improvement committee which, from that point forward, reviewed data, recommendations, and survey input to develop annual school improvement plans built around six tenets identified by NYSED’s Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness as aligning with research-based proven practices of effective schools: 1) District Leadership and Capacity, 2) School Leader Practices and Decisions, 3) Curriculum Development and Support, 4) Teacher Practices and Decisions, 5) Student Social and Emotional Developmental Health, and 6) Family and Community Engagement.

The criteria for being removed from the list included (1) meeting State participation requirements for all accountability groups for ELA and math; (2) meeting State achievement goals for the specified subgroup for two consecutive years; (3) meeting State achievement goals for averaged scores of all students in grades 3-12 for two consecutive years; and (4) having no subgroup fall below the minimum State achievement benchmarks during that time period.

Batavia Middle School Principal Sandy Griffin, noting several positive outcomes not numerically measurable, said “Our faculty has increased collaboration and the use of data to inform decision making. They have a deeper understanding of the Common Core Learning Standards and have been more actively involved in writing curriculum.

"Throughout the building – faculty, students, and staff – have a renewed commitment to and enthusiasm for the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) initiatives and to working as a team to create the best environment for learning and growing.”

Says Dailey, “This is a tremendous accomplishment by the administrators and staff of the Middle School and District. Together we have created a community of learners that pushes themselves to improve each day. We have taken a very positive approach to improvement that has paid off by our change in status with NYSED.”

UPDATE Feb. 29: Following a reader's inquiry about which subgroup triggered the inclusion on the focus list, we contacted the school district. We were told that:

"In the 2010-2011 school year, the Middle School missed the State Performance Index (PI) by 4 points with the African-American subgroup."

February 19, 2016 - 4:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia city school district.

Press release:

The Jackson Primary School staff is looking forward to welcoming new students for 2016-2017!

Registration for children eligible to begin kindergarten in the 2016-2017 school year starts March 1. Children who will be 5 years old on or before Dec. 1, 2016, are eligible. Registration is at the Batavia City School District’s Business Office, located in the administration wing of Batavia High School (260 State St.), on school days between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

To register a child, parents must bring:

  • Proof of Residency (evidence of physical address), which must be two (2) of the following: (We will make copies for our records)
    • Mortgage statement/lease
    • Electric or gas bill
    • Water bill        
    • Cable bill
    • Letter from attorney/realtor on their letterhead with confirmation of address and anticipated moving/closing date.
    • School tax bill
  • Current payroll check
  •  Child’s birth certificate
  •  Child’s Social Security card and
  •  Child’s complete immunization records.

Parents of all new students to the district are also asked to register their child in the Business Office with the same documentation.

Current 2015-2016 UPK students will be directly provided with information to complete for registration into kindergarten by mail

If you have questions, please call the Business Office at 343-2480, ext. 1002.

January 5, 2016 - 1:25pm
Thursday, January 7, 2016, 6 pm, at Batavia High School The Batavia City School District will host a Technology Night on Thursday, January 7, 2016, 6 pm, at Batavia High School (260 State Street). Parents and the community are invited to see highlights of what students and staff are doing in the District with technology and to hear more about our plans for technology upgrades as they are developing in our Smart School Investment Plan. Passage of New York State’s Smart School Bond Act in November 2014 provided the District with an opportunity to receive $2.1 million to invest in our students’ future. To take advantage of this opportunity, the District must develop and submit a Smart School Investment Plan (SSIP) for State approval. This plan for District-wide technology upgrades is being developed with input from staff, students, and the community. Community members are encouraged to attend this meeting to hear about and review the emerging plans for the near future.
April 12, 2015 - 6:16pm

To Opt Out or Not?  That is the Question

by Gretchen DiFante - posting as a parent of students impacted by the assessments.  

Some of the Batavia City School District students will take New York State tests beginning this Tuesday. Many others are exercising their right to opt out of these tests. 

My husband and I have watched our children take these state exams since our eldest was in elementary school (she’s now 22 years old); however up until this year, we’ve never seen any of our five children exhibit any unusual stress or anxiety over these tests.  This year is different, and in the past two weeks our fourth grader’s anxiety over taking the tests has escalated daily.  Discussion of the topic between my eighth grader, her classmates and us, her parents, has recently dominated our family conversations.

Our district teachers had an evaluation system tied to several new items last year, including observations, and they performed very well as did teachers state wide.  Then the governor basically said something like, “teachers performed too well, and they really can’t be that good, so let’s make the evaluation system more difficult (and more ludicrous).”  Please tell me in what other industry in the world does that happen?  The position in which the governor is willing to put our teachers is, in my opinion, unforgiveable.  We have phenomenal teachers in our district and in the state.  I’m not saying that because I’m a school board member.  Being a school board member just makes me feel more protective of our teachers, but my opinion is based on having five children who have either graduated from or are currently being educated in this district.  My children have had outstanding teachers, coaches and administrators who have taught them life lessons way beyond the “basics.”  They have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills, been there to lift our kids up when they’ve struggled, spent extra time with them when they’ve realized untapped potential that needed fueling, worked side by side with my husband and me as we faced some very difficult challenges and even cried tears with us at moments of crisis.  

One of the best overviews I’ve read regarding the recent education bill and its impact on our teachers is written by Valerie Strauss and entitled, What the ‘thoughtless NY government just did to teachers,’ published in the Washington Post on April 3.  The reader can access that article at this link:

From our children’s friends and in countless social media posts I read, there seem to be two main reasons for opting out of the upcoming tests:  they are afraid their teachers will be unfairly judged if they perform poorly on the tests and they “hate” (or fill in the blank with similar words) Common Core. 

The nation’s governors and education commissioners, through their representative organizations, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), developed Common Core.  Teachers, parents, school administrators, and experts from across the country, together with state leaders, provided input into Common Core standards.  The design for the Common Core standards was based on scholarly research, surveys on the skills required of students entering college and workforce training programs, assessment data identifying college and career-ready performance, comparisons to standards from high-performing states and nations, National Assessment of Educational Progress frameworks in reading and writing for English language arts, and findings from Trends in International Mathematics and Science and other studies which concluded the traditional mathematics curriculum (the way my generation learned, paying attention parents?), must become substantially more coherent and focused in order to improve student achievement. 

All that research and wisdom, and we seem to have a significant number of people in this country who know more about educational needs than this body of research shows and this group of experts believes.  

Responsible interpretation of research requires critical questioning and strategic thinking and an objective perspective.  Ironically, the exact skills Common Core is designed to reinforce; but you see, I didn’t grow up in an educational system designed to teach those skills.  I was, however, lucky to be the daughter of teachers who instilled those skills in opportunities outside the classroom. 

I was horrible at math. Linear equations still make me nervous. As a young adult, the field I wanted to enter required lots of math; and because I saw myself as inadequate and, yes, too stupid, to master the math, I never pursued that path.  Our first three kids were educated prior to Common Core, and I could rarely understand their math past Middle School.  Common Core came, and I scratched my head at some of our daughter’s third grade math.  But something weird happened; my husband, a former civil engineer, who had always understood our kids’ math, was struggling to understand some of the basic math principles as well.  We did research on Common Core and found that the math curricula were designed to teach fewer concepts but to dive very deeply into those concepts and to teach them from the linear, visual and language-based perspectives.  I had heard opponents criticize Common Core as catering to one single type of learner.  Then a really odd thing happened in the DiFante house earlier this year, my husband was helping our fourth grader with her math and said, “I don’t understand this at all, maybe your Mom can help you,” to which our daughter responded with, “Yeah, right Dad.” 

I looked at the math problem and didn’t see a problem at all.  Instead I saw a very logical story, and I immediately knew how to arrive at the answer – it was math without numbers – a dream come true! What I learned is that the Common Core Math Standards require students to learn multiple ways to solve problems and explain how they got their answers.  The standards and resulting curricula are designed so the linear learners like my husband and verbal learners like me and visual learners as well have unprejudiced opportunity to build three different yet equally important logical approaches to mathematics.  I hope the reader can truly grasp how exciting that is!  Our childrens’ brains are getting trained a different way; and it is because of this that our children will be better strategic thinkers and able to make better decisions by virtue of a more robust and disciplined thought process than our brains were trained to undergo.

I know this change is painful for parents; we all feel inadequate and protective at the same time; however, we need to move forward for the sake of our children.  Progress is good and needed.  If, like many, you thought the previous educational approach in our schools was good enough and not in need of fixing, consider the huge body of evidence showing that two-thirds of American college students attending four-year colleges fail to earn their degrees within six years and estimating the cost of 1.7 million students nationwide in remedial college classes at $3 billion a year.  Remedial coursework makes taxpayers pay twice -- once for students to learn in high school, and again in college.

A 2011 national survey by the ACT, showed four out of five students in college remediation had high school GPAs above a 3.0!

If you are still a disbeliever, ask anyone on the faculty or in administration at Genesee Community College to tell you about the changes they have witnessed in the remedial needs of incoming freshman. 

Lest readers think it’s only college-bound students who need changes, please have a conversation with any employer in this county who is in charge of hiring employees in any industry from the manufacturing floor to the board room and listen to them describe the challenges inherent in the available pool of candidates.

Regarding the tests beginning this Wednesday, the Batavia School District’s official opinion regarding opting out is stated in the four points listen below:

1. We are a Focus District, and if we do not make our participation rate of 95% on the exams, we potentially could lose more local control for our district.  Two or more years of not making it could lead to us being a Priority District which would have even worse ramifications than being a Focus District.

2.  If our participation rate dips below 95% we can lose a portion or all of Title 1 federal grant, which impacts 26 teaching positions.  It would be the equivalent of losing funding for 12 full time teaching positions. 

3.  We do not use the exam to punish/fire teachers.  We have worked collaboratively for years with the BOE, administrators and teacher union to ensure that we keep perspective over this one piece of data for student achievement.  It is not used in BCSD to hurt our teachers or students. 

4.  The state tests allow us to compare our students to other students across the state that are similar to our population.  In general, we do very well compared to other small city school districts.  

While the way in which the state rolled out Common Core is certainly flawed, overall Common Core standards are good.  Common Core is necessary.  That said, we have two years behind us.  Our district has spent countless hours, resources and dollars to ensure our students are getting the best instruction and our teachers are getting support for curricula development and delivery.  If we walk away now, we walk away from progress; but I fear it will be too late if we have a significant number of our students opt out of state testing.  I encourage parents to protest - write letters, march on Albany, refuse to take, “no” for an answer when it comes to both teacher appraisals and New York State’s roll out of Common Core, but please don’t fall into the trap of being wholeheartedly against Common Core and making choices that cause stress for all students and may, in the end, hurt the district overall.   Get informed, ask questions, challenge what you hear; and if you don’t know how to challenge what you hear, ask a third grader – they are in their third year of Common Core, and IF they haven’t already been prejudiced against what they’re learning and IF you can listen to them without judgment, they just may be able to help you see some value in what they have to say. 



April 8, 2015 - 2:52pm

The Jackson Primary School staff looks forward to welcoming its new students for 2015-2016! Registration has started in the Batavia City School District’s Business Office for children eligible to begin kindergarten in the 2015-2016 school year. Children who will be five years old on or before December 1, 2015, are eligible to begin school at Jackson Primary in the fall. To register, parents may go to the District Business Office, located in the administration wing of Batavia High School (260 State Street), on school days between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and bring with them:

  • two proofs  of residency (for example: utility bill for gas, water, electric, cable; lease or rental agreement; mortgage statement; landline phone bill) unless the child is currently enrolled in the District’s Universal Pre-kindergarten program,
  • the child’s birth certificate,
  • the child’s Social Security card, and
  • the child’s complete immunization records.

   If you have questions, please call the Business Office at 343-2480 x1002.

March 3, 2015 - 5:56pm

Registration has started in the Batavia City School District for children eligible to begin kindergarten in the 2015-2016 school year. Children who will be five years old on or before December 1, 2015, are eligible. To register, parents may go to the Business Office, located in the administration wing of Batavia High School (260 State Street), on school days between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and bring with them:

  • two proofs  of residency (for example: utility bill for gas, water, electric, cable; lease or rental agreement; mortgage statement; landline phone bill) unless the child is currently enrolled in the District’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten program,
  • the child’s birth certificate,
  • the child’s Social Security card, and
  • the child’s complete immunization records.

   If you have questions, please call the Business Office at 343-2480 x1002.

Parents of new first grade pupils are also asked to register their child in the same time frame and with the same documentation.


November 12, 2014 - 5:00pm

Batavia City School District is in the running to win $1,000 because the varsity football team has been featured on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel's game of the week. All that is needed is your vote (and plenty of others before the deadline of this Friday, November 14, at 2:30 p.m., so feel free to pass this information on… quickly!)


It is so easy – not to mention fun to replay one of the amazing passes/catches of the season! Just click on this link to go directly to the voting (and replay) page:


The Time Warner Cable SportsChannel Play of the Year contest recognizes the best plays from their coverage of high school football this fall. Each weekly winner has advanced to a final competition to crown a Play of the Year. Along with bragging rights, a $1,000 Grand Prize will be awarded to the school that executed the winning Play of the Year.


Now is the time for all Batavia City School District students, families, and friends to vote for Batavia’s play. Do it now, because, remember, voting ends this Friday at 2:30 pm.

November 6, 2014 - 2:52pm
posted by Kathie Scott in batavia city school district.
The Batavia City School District is asking parents of students to take a short survey, The Batavia Family Engagement Survey, to share their opinions and thoughts about the District’s strengths and weaknesses. The survey should not take longer than 15 minutes to complete. It consists of rating-scale questions with possible responses ranging from “Strongly agree” to “Strongly disagree.” There are also a few open-ended questions for sharing comments and ideas. Parents are asked to fill out one survey for each school their children attend and are asked to complete them by November 30, 2014. Information, including the internet link for accessing the survey, has been sent home with children. The link is: . Parents without internet access are asked to call the District Curriculum and Instruction Office at 343-2480 x1003. This survey is part of an effort to gather information from parents, students, and staff which will be used in setting priorities and goals for the District and individual schools. Each family’s input is valuable and all parents are urged to take part in the survey so their thoughts, ideas, and aspirations can be heard.
October 1, 2014 - 4:05pm
posted by Kathie Scott in emergency, batavia city school district.

If enough Batavia City School District residents are interested, the District will host the American Red Cross FREE Citizen Preparedness Corps training sessions entitled Prepare, Respond, Recover: What to do When Disaster Strikes.

The Citizen Preparedness Corps training program was initiated by Governor Andrew Cuomo to provide residents with the knowledge and tools to prepare for emergencies and disasters, respond accordingly, and recover to pre-disaster conditions as quickly as possible.

For the training, a Red Cross representative conducts an approximately two-hour session of the Citizen Preparedness Corps training program, which provides a comprehensive overview on how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural and man-made disasters.

Please contact Jim Jacobs, Director of Facilities III, 343-2480 x1013, if interested. If enough people express interest, the Batavia City School District will schedule and announce the training.

September 2, 2014 - 2:07pm

Registration for the Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) Program offered through the Batavia City School District is still open, as there are several openings left at two locations!

UPK provides an opportunity for four-year-old children to be involved in half-day, developmentally appropriate educational classes at no cost to their families. The District offers morning and afternoon programs, Monday through Friday, during the school year at three locations: the YMCA, Lucky Ducky Daycare, and, although filled to capacity for this year, Jackson Primary School.

In addition, the YMCA and Lucky Ducky Daycare each have the option for a “wrap around” program consisting of Child Watch in the morning followed by UPK in the afternoon from12:30-3:00, then School Aged Child Care afterward. Although there is no charge for UPK, the YMCA and Lucky Ducky Daycare do charge for the morning Child Watch and afternoon Child Care programs.

Children who are residents of the District, are four (4) years of age on or before December 1, 2014, and who are not enrolled in a special education program with the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP) are eligible to apply. Letters/applications have been mailed to all known eligible families, but also are available at the District Registrar Office in the administrative wing of Batavia High School (260 State Street), or by calling 343-2480 ext.2008. They can also be downloaded from the District’s website,, by using the pull-down menu at the top of the page labeled “Parent,” or the Quick Link labeled “Parent Resources,” then clicking on the link for Universal Pre-K. Please return completed packets to the District Business Office.

May 1, 2014 - 10:21am

   Nearly 30 students earned Early Recognition/Certificates of Achievement from the Urban League of Rochester, NY, Inc. for the 2013-2014 school year. The Early Recognition Program, a component of the League’s Black Scholars Program, is used to identify, encourage, and support high school students with high academic abilities. Once students are identified, they are eligible for the League’s assistance and guidance in academics as well as in college and career planning. Those honored included Kaliann Bell, Tiarra Carney, Zoey Davis, Malachi Chenault, Jayvon Cherry, Jerrell Cherry, Adonis Davis, Hannah Durham, Tiara Filbert, Honesty Green, Jaz'mine Holmes, Olivia Majors, Briana Martin, Alyssa McKenzie, Mariah Morrison, Madeline Morrison, Ismile Smith, Alexis Vasciannie, Malik Vasciannie, Nephrateedies Williams, Jaysen Wylie, and (not pictured), Stacey Castro, Kenneth Griffin, Irisa Hill, Teiona Kemp, Sierra Sears, and Danny Williams.

Students who continue to do well in their studies up to and through their senior year are confirmed as Black Scholars and can participate in many college-related activities offered through the Urban League’s educational program, including the opportunity to apply for scholarships that are only offered to Black Scholars. Each June, the year’s Black Scholars are publicly recognized at an annual dinner and over $2.5 million in scholarships are awarded.

April 30, 2014 - 11:00am
posted by Kathie Scott in schools, batavia city school district.

All staff have been invited to respond to the question of what made or makes them feel particularly proud of being part of Batavia City School District. We are beginning to post their responses on our website ( and on our facebook page ( ) which has space for your comments. If you’d like to share a note about something that made or makes you feel proud of the District's staff or students, email Kathie Scott, [email protected]

Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey shared this:  “A nationwide ranking by U.S. News & World Report gave high marks to Batavia High School, placing BHS in the U.S. News Top 150 schools in New York and in the Top 2,000 nationwide.
Of more than 30,000 total public, charter, and magnet schools reviewed nationwide, out of which approximately 19,500 were ranked, Batavia High School was placed at 1,824; out of more than 1,000 total schools analyzed in New York State, of which 268 were ranked, BHS was placed at 145. Based on 2011-12 data, the results were determined through the use of overall student performance on standardized tests and how well-prepared students were for college-level work. Availability of specialized classes for students of all skill levels as well as student-to-teacher ratios also factored into the rankings.

March 7, 2014 - 3:11pm


   The Batavia City School District is pleased to offer the Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) Program for students and will continue to operate the program in the 2014-2015 school year, pending State funding. UPK provides an opportunity for four-year-old children to be involved in half-day, developmentally appropriate educational classes at no cost to their families. The District offers morning and afternoon programs, Monday through Friday, during the school year. (If the YMCA is selected to be the Community Based Organization to provide UPK in 2014-15, there will be an option to select a “wrap around” program consisting of Child Watch in the morning followed by UPK in the afternoon from12:30-3:00, then School Aged Child Care afterward. There would be a charge for the morning Child Watch and afternoon Child Care programs.) If new State regulations are passed, the District may offer a full day UPK program in the 2014-15 school year.

   Children who are residents of the District, are four (4) years of age on or before December 1, 2014, and who are not enrolled in a special education program with the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP) are eligible to apply. Letters/applications have been mailed to all known eligible families, but also are available at the District Registrar Office in the administrative wing of Batavia High School, or by calling 343-2480 ext. 2008. They can also be downloaded from the District’s website,, by using the pull-down menu at the top of the page labeled “Parent,” or the Quick Link labeled “Parent Resources,” then clicking on the link for Universal Pre-K.  Applications should be returned by April 4, 2014, however, late applications will be accepted if there is an opening.

October 2, 2013 - 11:58am

It was a pretty good day to begin with for fourth grade teacher Linda Restivo, but it was made better, thanks to Office Max,, and John Kennedy Principal Paul Kesler. Mrs. Restivo received a surprise visit from OfficeMax representatives, Mr. Kesler, and Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey to be awarded $1,000 worth of classroom supplies. In addition to a new and very comfortable chair, there were two huge boxes filled with everything imaginable on a back-to-school list, and then some – from pens, pencils, composition notebooks, and paperclips to a Kindle Fire HD and digital camera.

The gift was part of the OfficeMax A Day Made Better advocacy program which was started to ease the financial burden on American teachers who, according to Office Max, spend approximately $1000 of their own money each year on essential classroom supplies. OfficeMax and its nonprofit partner,, joined together in 2007 to create A Day Made Better and, since then, have paid surprise visits to approximately 100,000 classrooms nationwide. Teachers are nominated by their principals and selected based on demonstrated passion, dedication and innovation in the classroom.

“Mrs. Restivo is always positive which makes her a wonderful part of our school staff,” said Mr. Kesler. In nominating her, he highlighted her dedication and enthusiasm, saying, “Mrs. Restivo continually connects with each student to help them feel like part of the classroom community and to help them meet their academic potential. In addition, she co-facilitates our School Improvement Team, helps coordinate school events, is very approachable with parents, and volunteers for many Parent Group events.”

After making so many days better for others, Mrs. Restivo has a particularly memorable one of her own. 


(See pictures at

September 18, 2013 - 4:40pm

Highlights from the Batavia City School District (BCSD) Board of Education meeting on Sept. 17 include the following:

  • Tax rate adjusted ~ Decreases to lowest level in 10-plus years           
  • Reminder: Re-register for Basic STAR exemption by Dec. 31
  • District goals outlined
  • BOE president’s report
  • Superintendent elected to Board
  • Auditors review financial statements
  • BHS Homecoming in full swing

Tax rate adjusted ~ decreases to lowest level in 10-plus years

As a result of savings realized from the consolidation of schools, as well as some reevaluation and reassessment of properties, homeowners will see a 3.95--percent reduction in the school tax rate, or a $0.91 decrease per $1000 of assessed property value (to $22.14 per $1,000 of assessed property value). This is the lowest tax rate for the District in more than 10 years.

Reminder: Re-register for Basic STAR exemption by Dec. 31

Bill Smist of the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) explained the new legislation that requires all homeowners who receive the Basic STAR exemption to register with the Tax Department by Dec. 31 in order to receive the exemption in 2014 and beyond. The legislation is an attempt to eliminate any inappropriate exemptions.

The requirement to re-register does not affect those seniors who receive the Enhanced STAR exemption. The process for Enhanced STAR has not changed.

Homeowners currently enrolled in Basic STAR have likely received notification of the requirement. That letter of notification included instructions and information to complete the process, but residents are able to register even without the letter. Smist emphasized that registration is both easy and quick. It can be done online at by clicking on the tab, “Register for STAR.” It can also be done via phone: 518-457-2036, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

To register, residents will need their STAR code (included in the notification letter or available through the “STAR code lookup” link on the DTF Web site or through their phone assistance) and the names and Social Security numbers of all owners of the property and their spouses. Registrants will also be asked to confirm that the property is the primary residence of one of its owners (married couples with multiple residences may only claim one STAR exemption), that the combined income of the owners and spouses who reside at the property does not exceed $500,000 annually, and that no resident owner received a residency-based tax benefit from another state.

More information is available on the Web site or by calling the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance: or 518-457-2036.

District goals

For the complete presentation by Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey, please click on this link (or copy into your browser): .

Included here is a brief overview:

In introducing the District Goals for 2013-2014, Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey noted the District’s commitment, as articulated in the Mission and Vision statements, to empowering students to achieve their maximum potential and developing students who are able to successfully meet life’s challenges. He also emphasized the priority for continually improving the number of graduates who are college and career ready.

The four goals include: (1) close learning gaps UPK-12; (2) implement the second year of District Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plans; (3) be fiscally sound; and (4) improve communication.

Steps to close learning gaps include such measures as implementing improvement plans aligned with the new Common Core Learning Standards; monitoring, reviewing, and adjusting strategies and programs; and providing and developing the resources and professional development needed for academic growth. The continuation of implementing APPR plans calls for utilizing the process as fully as possible for improving instruction, with the goal of having all teachers and principals rated as Effective/Highly Effective by Sept. 1, 2014.

In its aim to continue fiscal responsibility, the District will work toward creating a budget for 2014-2015 that is at or below the allowable tax cap while maintaining programs, managing the Capital Improvement Project, seeking revenue sources as well as more shared services, and advocating for our district at the local, regional and state level.

Communication goals include improving and increasing use of the Web site, Facebook, automated calling system, building and District newsletters, and local media; increasing meetings with community groups; adding Twitter accounts for each school building and video streaming the Board of Education meetings.

In addition, Superintendent Dailey touched on the Three-Year Vision which expands on the listed goals for improved academics and finances.

In closing, he noted that he believes the Batavia City School District will continue to lead, not follow, our region in success and achievements.

BOE president’s report

BOE President Patrick Burk outlined a number of goals to be considered for adoption by the Board. He and the superintendent will work together to bring a set of proposals to the Board for review, and he requested that all Board members forward any ideas they have to him.

Burk also noted that there has been high turnover of Board of Education members throughout the Genesee Valley region. The number of new board members in Western New York may be a challenge as Board members, administrators, and other concerned community residents continue to advocate, as a region, for such things as adequate funding for our students’ education.

In its continued efforts for championing local concerns, the Genesee Valley School Board Association is hosting a dinner meeting on Sept. 26 to bring together advocates of rural school districts. For more information about the dinner, contact Jim Thompson at 344-7947 or [email protected].

Superintendent elected to Board

Superintendent Dailey has been elected to the New York State Association of Small City School Districts, which will provide another platform which can be utilized to advocate for our district.

Auditors review financial statements

Audit Committee Chair Phil Ricci reported that the committee met with the auditors to review financial statements from the last fiscal year. Noting that the auditors had few and minor comments, he commended Business Administrator Scott Rozanski and District Treasurer Sally Sanford, particularly in the progress regarding Medicaid and Student Activities reports, where neither had any problematic findings.

BHS Homecoming in full swing

Student Ex-officio Board Member Samir Jain updated the Board members on high school events, including activities for Homecoming Week, Sept. 16-21. (See listing on the District Web site:

Superintendent Dailey noted that tickets are still available through the Athletics Office for the annual Athletic Hall of Fame dinner to be held at Terry Hills on Saturday, Sept. 21.

September 9, 2013 - 4:18pm

There are a few openings left, so the Batavia City School District has extended the deadline to submit an application for participation in the Universal Pre-kindergarten (UPK) program for the 2013-2014 school year.

UPK provides an opportunity for 4-year-olds to be involved in half-day, developmentally appropriate educational classes at no cost to their families. The District offers morning and afternoon programs at Jackson Primary School and partners with the Batavia YMCA to provide pre-kindergarten for children at that location.

Children who are residents of the District, are 4 years of age on or before Dec. 1, 2013, and who are not enrolled in a special education program with the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership are eligible to apply.

Letters/applications were mailed to all known eligible families, but also are available for pick-up at the District’s Business Office in the administration wing of Batavia High School; by calling Kelly Snyder at 343-2480, ext. 2008, and requesting that one be mailed; or on the District’s Web site by going to, using the pull-down menu under “District” and clicking on the link for Curriculum and Instruction, then the link for Universal Pre-k Information.

Applications for the remaining openings will continue to be processed through early October and students placed in the order that they are received. Please return the completed application to the BCSD Business Office, 260 State St., Batavia, NY, 14020.

If you have any questions, please call  343-2480, ext. 2008. for assistance.

August 9, 2013 - 11:48am
posted by Kathie Scott in education, batavia city school district.
Falleti presented information on the new State standards

On Monday, July 29, two administrative interns for the Batavia City School District -- Michelle A. Falleti (who is also a fourth-grade teacher at John Kennedy Intermediate School) and Lauren Combo (a kindergarten teacher at Le Roy Elementary) gave a presentation, "Getting to Know the Common Core State Standards, for Extended Year and TEAM Literacy."

The new set of state standards in English-language arts and mathematics for grades K-12 were developed in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders including content experts, teachers, school administrators and parents in order to prepare America’s children for success in college and career.

The main goal of the presentation by Combo and Falletti was to guide parents through the new Common Core State Standards in a clear and cohesive manner and to also provide resources and tips on how parents can help their children at home.

Following the presentation, families were invited to visit stations according to their child’s grade level. Each station, for grades PreK-8, contained resources, activities, and tips for parents to help guide their child to succeed in school.

More information may be found by viewing the PowerPoint presentation on the Batavia City School District Web site ( or by visiting the website

May 14, 2013 - 12:21pm


Tonight (Tuesday, May 14), during the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting beginning at 7 p.m., there will be a presentation of the Batavia City School District's Proposed 2013-14 School Budget in the Batavia High School Library. All interested community members and parents are encouraged to attend.  For more information, see the following post on the District  website.
May 7, 2013 - 1:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, batavia city school district.
Event Date and Time: 
May 7, 2013 -
6:30pm to 8:00pm

An information meeting to inform parents and taxpayers about the nuts and bolts of the proposed 2013-14 budget's facility improvement projects will be held tonight at 6:30 in the library at Batavia High School.

Another such meeting will take place in the HS library beginning at 7 p.m. next Tuesday, May 14.

A public vote on the proposed budget is May 21.

The info sessions will provide a break down of planned facilities upgrades and repairs totaling more than $3.8 million and detail how they will be paid for.




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