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Batavia Middle School

October 13, 2017 - 5:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, batavia, schools, education, news.

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Batavia Middle School held its first-ever pep rally this afternoon, celebrating the participation of students in sports and clubs. Teachers and students also participated in some fun competitions.

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October 11, 2017 - 5:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, schools, education, news, batavia.

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Photos and information submitted by Batavia City Schools:

As part of a school-wide STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) Day, all students in Batavia Middle School rotated through three grade-specific learning stations to participate in a variety of interactive STEAM-based activities.

Fifth-graders, at one station, used a Bloxel application and kit to design and build their own video game settings and characters, then upload them for virtual gaming adventures. At another, they created useful items -- such as wallets, bookmarks and lanyards -- using nothing but decorative duct tape and their imaginations. At the third, they tried different size wheels on a robotic car to determine how wheel size changed the amount of time it takes to travel a given distance.

Sixth-graders played challenging coding games at one station. At another, as part of learning about simple machines, they worked in groups to build a catapult and test its launching capabilities by hurling an eraser down a measured track. After each shot, they returned to their building table to make adjustments that would improve their machine’s performance. At their third learning station, the students made paper jack-o-lanterns lit by a small bulb that was powered by a circuit they had completed.

Seventh-graders also created circuits using copper tape and a battery laid out on a piece of paper and used the power to light a small bulb that completed a picture they had drawn on the reverse side of the paper. At another station, they simulated the popular Escape Experiences exercise and solved puzzles to discover the necessary information for unlocking a mystery box. At a third, they used several different apps to drive and design programs for driving robotic sphero balls. 

Eighth-grade students had the opportunity to program a robotic space-rover so it would move around to pick up and capture objects. At another station, the classroom became a live computer game with scenarios and situations being announced, then students determining what their next move should be. At their third station, students learned how to create a flip book out of index cards -- a book with a series of pictures that depict gradual changes from one page to the next, so that when the pages are flicked rapidly, it looks like a moving picture. 

The kits for these learning adventures were provided through the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership Library Services, which also helped to plan and facilitate the Middle School’s STEAM Day.

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October 11, 2017 - 3:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, batavia, schools, education, news, b-squad.

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From Sarah Gahagan:

Yesterday's destination for B Squad was the Batavia Police Department. We ran 1.35 miles and met up with Detective Matt Wojaszczk and Assistant Police Chief Todd Crossett. Both men enjoy running and staying physically active. They spoke about how critically important it is to lead a healthy lifestyle, especially with their demanding jobs.

One of the highlights of this visit was discussing the importance of developing and maintaining a good reputation for yourself, one that you can be proud of. Remembering to surround yourself with positive individuals who are going to lift you up, rather than drag you down.

While job hunting and looking for college recommendations you want to stand out and shine. Outstanding qualities like honesty, punctuality and good decision making are all highly sought after. This starts with the choice of how you represent yourself in school, in public and even when you think no one else is watching.

Each of our B Squad boys practiced a firm handshake and graciously thanked our two local heros! It was a great opportunity!

September 10, 2017 - 3:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, batavia, news, schools.

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As part of the lighting upgrades for Batavia City Schools included in the capital improvement project was a new exterior LED lighting system for Batavia Middle School. The LED lights are more energy efficient, but they also let school officials decorate the school in colored lights. Last night, the school was bathed in blue.

Photo courtesy Principal Ashley John Grillo.

September 8, 2017 - 10:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, batavia, news, schools, education.

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Batavia Middle School was packed Thursday night for a first-day-of-school open house, giving parents a chance to visit their children's classes, meet teachers, find out what students would be studying, what homework expectations were and other information about the school year.

Above, teacher Sarah Gahagan points to where homework assignments are written on a whiteboard.

For the past three years, Gahagan has led a group called Girls on the Run. This year, she will continue Girls on the Run, but will also lead a new group, B Squad Running Club.

Like Girls on the Run, B Squad will be a running group, but with a focus on building community ties and relationships, with visits to role models, successful businesses. The participating boys will run or walk to the local location.

Students at Batavia Middle School interested in participating should visit Mrs. Gahagan's room (A116) at 2:45 p.m., Sept. 11. 

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September 6, 2017 - 6:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, Batavia Middle School, batavia, news, notify.

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Nick Cain talks with Batavia Middle School students today during Connect Day at the school, which is a time for new students, mostly incoming fifth-graders, to get acquainted with the school before classes start.

They met eighth-grade mentors and participated in team-building exercises. Cain provided karate instruction to go with a talk on success in school. The other pictures below are from a game that is part four-square and part volleyball.

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August 9, 2017 - 12:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Middle School, news, Announcements, education.

Press release:

Starting at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7, Batavia Middle School will host its annual Open House Program. Parents and students are invited to attend the evening program.

Participants may visit classrooms and other learning areas in a relaxed manner. Parents and students are free to visit any and all of their child’s teachers.

The Open House Program is focused on getting acquainted with one another, and learning about the curriculum that will be the focus for your child this year. Individual conversations about your child should be held at a parent-teacher conference, which can be set up at any time by calling the Counseling Center.

Starting at 4:30 p.m., there will be food trucks in front of the school, where you can purchase dinner before Open House.

There will be refreshments in the cafeteria, along with a Parent Portal table to sign up to be able to view your child’s electronic grade book. In addition, there will be informal tables with information about various clubs.

Fifth-grade Student & Parent Orientation

Batavia Middle School will have a brief orientation program on Thursday, Sept.7, at 4:30 p.m., prior to Open House, in the Batavia Middle School Auditorium for fifth-graders and their parents.

Come and get acquainted ~ Staff looks forward to working with you as your child transitions to middle school. If you have any questions, please call Brian Sutton, 5/6 Assistant Principal at (585) 343-2480, ext. 3001.

Transfer Student Orientation

All students in grades 6-8, who are transferring to Batavia Middle School are invited to attend an orientation program at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 30, in the Middle School Auditorium. The program will include an overview of the middle school and will be followed by a building tour.

School counselors will be available for students and parents.

June 12, 2017 - 7:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, batavia, news, veterans.

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Mia Schrader, a student at Batavia Middle School, read her winning essay yesterday on what the American Flag means to her during a Flag Day ceremony at the VA Hospital in Batavia.

Students at the school wrote essays and made paper flags for the veterans and took part in the celebration yesterday, which included a performance by St. Joe's Brass Band.

All of the student essays were bound into the book to leave at the VA Center for the veterans to read and one copy, along with a Certificate of Appreciation, was given to Stephen Stanko by Frank Panepento. Stanko is a Vietnam veteran, serving in Vietnam from 1967-69 with the Marines.

Mia said she appreciated the flag because it symbolizes the sacrifices others have made so she can live in peace and security and pursue an education and the activities in life she enjoys.

"I think if you can’t talk to the people who have served us and thank them in person for what they have done, then look to the American flag," Mia said. "That is definitely a way to thank the people who have served us."

Listen to Schrader read her essay (mp3).

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June 2, 2017 - 10:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, batavia, schools, education, news.

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One of the most memorable days of sixth grade at Batavia Middle School is the day students recreate the Silk Road, says Social Studies teacher Stephanie D’Alba.

Many of the children dress in costumes of the nations along the world's first stable trading route that connected China with Rome and started the process of global trade.

The Silk Road recreation gives students a chance to learn about history, geography, climate, culture, civilization and, of course, trade. The Silk Road put the world on the path of global trade.  

"Today kids just get on the Internet and they think it’s so easy," D'Alba said. "This shows them the very first way that things traveled from one side of the world to the other."

The name for the trade route comes from China's chief export, silk, which wasn't available in Europe before Genghis Khan established law and order and safe passage for travelers and traders along the routes the comprised the Silk Road. China managed to keep the production method secret for centuries and Rome, with only gold to trade, found its reserves becoming depleted. The Silk Road also introduced Europe to new foods and spices (though, contrary to myth, Marco Polo did not bring back pasta to Italy).

The BMS "Silk Road" covers two floors in the school, with selected classrooms acting as countries along the trade route and the hallways marked with posters and pictures simulating deserts, seas, water stops, and areas that might be filled with bandits.

"It kind of shows you how to make a bargain and see what other people have to trade in their land and see their creativity," said Aidan Anders.

"It's pretty fun," said Cody Harloff. "It's fun trading to get other stuff and we get to see how the conditions were."

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June 1, 2017 - 4:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, batavia, schools, education, news.

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The fifth-grade students at Batavia Middle School presented their human rights projects today in the school auditorium, including Tiara Banks and Jayden Dersham, above, who portrayed Madam C.J. Walker.

Born in 1867, Walker (born Sarah Breedlove) was the first child in her family born into freedom. She eventually found a cosmetic and hair-care product company, making her the first self-made female African-American millionaire in the nation and the prominent female entrepreneurs of her era. She was also a philanthropist. 

Below, Cruise Rapone and Brendon Peterson, both as Milton Hershey, founder of the chocolate company and founder of charitable foundations.

The students also made portraits of the historical figures they studied. They also recorded their presentations (bottom photo, a recording of a student as Helen Keller on an iPad). The recordings were made in front of a green screen so historical photos could be used as a backdrop.

The projects work in several Common Core requirements for fifth-graders, including making a public presentation.

Several parents attended today's presentations.

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April 19, 2017 - 8:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, batavia, schools, education, news.

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Jeff Maziel, of Nickle City Reptiles and Exotics, brought out a boa constrictor and invited some of the children in the audience to come up and hold it during Family Night at Batavia Middle School on Tuesday night.

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Isabelle Stearns meets Paris, a tracking K-9 with State Police. Paris's handler is Trooper Frank Velletta.

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Zharia Newton, 12, and Jeannine Mobley, work on a Mexican-themed collage.

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Asa Wooten, 13, dances to some mariachi music.

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Hailey Kirkpatric, 11, draws a book cover.

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October 26, 2016 - 10:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, batavia, news.

Batavia Middle School was on lockdown for a brief time this morning after a caller reported hearing a gunshot a couple of blocks from the school.

The report turned out to be unfounded and the school was quickly taken off of lockdown.

October 8, 2016 - 2:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Middle School, news, batavia, Announcements.

Starting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13, Batavia Middle School will host its annual Open House for parents and students. The school is located at 96 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

Participants may visit classrooms and other learning areas in a relaxed manner, meeting with any or all of their child’s teachers.

In addition, the Library Media Center will host the Book Fair, which is sponsored by our Parent Teacher Group.

Open House is focused on teachers and parents becoming acquainted and for parents to learn about the curriculum for their child(ren) this year. Each teacher will have materials on display and be available to meet and greet parents and answer general questions. Individual conversations about the progress of your child should be held at a parent-teacher conference, which can be set up at any time by calling the Counseling Center. 

There will be refreshments in the cafeteria, along with a Parent Portal table to sign up to be able to view your child’s electronic grade book. In addition, there will be table displays with information about various clubs.

August 25, 2016 - 1:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Middle School, batavia, news.

Fifth-grade Student & Parent Orientation

Batavia Middle School, located at 96 Ross St. in the City of Batavia, will have a brief orientation program at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30, in the Batavia Middle School Auditorium for fifth-grade students and parents.

Students will have the opportunity to purchase their locks. This will give fifth-graders an opportunity to practice, at home, before school starts. Please bring $4.50 for your child's lock. Exact change is always appreciated. If you choose to write a check, please make it payable to: Batavia City School District.

We will review the schedule for Connect Day (on Sept. 7th) and parents and students will receive some helpful materials.

It is not necessary to bring any school supplies with you at this time. Do, however, complete and bring with you the Emergency Go Home Plan, which will be mailed home with your child's teacher/homeroom assignment.

Come and get acquainted ~ We look forward to working with you as your child transitions to Middle School. If you have any questions, please call Julia Rogers, House Administrator at (585) 343-2480, ext. 3001, or at (585) 201-3389.

Transfer Student Orientation

All students in grades 6-8 who are transferring to Batavia Middle School are invited to attend an orientation program at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30, in the Middle School Auditorium. The program will include an overview of our Middle School and will be followed by a building tour. School counselors will be available for students and parents.

April 4, 2016 - 3:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Middle School, Girls on the Run, news.

Submitted photos and information:

 

Girls on the Run is an after-school group at Batavia Middle School that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum, which creatively integrates running.

Every session, Coach Sarah Gahagan incorporates a guest speaker from the community to inspire girls. Kristen Dispenza and Carrie Richards both directors for the Mary Kay Independant Beauty Business, had quite an inspirational message to share last week: "Change your mind, change your actions, change your world."

Dispenza spoke about the power of positive thinking -- really honing in on the fact that anything is possible. She gave real world examples from her own life and created examples that middle-school girls would experience as part of their life as well.

Another part of her presentation focused on "inner beauty" and how you do NOT need a lot of makeup to look and feel good. She talked briefly about skin care and each young lady was offered the opportunity to wash her face and apply a moisturizer afterward. There were lots of laughs and questions about the importance of good hygiene, (especially your face) especially after running!

Dispenza has quite an inspiring story on how she became a senior sales director with Mary Kay. She graduated from Batavia High School in 2005 and later started her career as a Special Education teacher but quickly felt a need to do more for women, specifically women in need.

She was raised in a single-parent home where confidence and money were not abundant. One of her biggest goals is to not only show women -- ALL women -- how special they are, but to teach them the skills necessary to build a successful business. After only two years with Mary Kay, through perseverance, determination, and heart, Dispenza earned the area's FIRST EVER pink Cadillac...pretty impressive!

Senior Sales Director Carrie Richards worked full time as a caseworker for the Department of Social Services and pursued her master's degree in Social Work part time. She spoke to the girls about how she got into the business and really owed a huge "pay it forward" to her "partner in crime," Dispenza, who inspired her to begin with Mary Kay, which changed her life.

Richards became a part of Mary Kay to surround herself with positive, empowering women and provide herself the opportunity to become a business owner. Her favorite part of her job is giving other women the opportunity to take charge and create a lifestyle that many only dream of. She is extremely thankful to have the opportunity to enrich and empower other women and thinks giving young girls the "Girls on the Run" experience is an AMAZING thing.

Girls on the Run (grades 5-8) meets at Batavia Middle School on Tuedays and Thursdays from 3:30-5 p.m.; this is their third session. The first ever third- and fourth-grade group also just started this spring at John Kennedy School.

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March 29, 2016 - 5:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Middle School, news.

Press release:

Many free activities and giveaways are planned for the Mexican-themed spring Family Night for Batavia Middle School students and their families from 5 to 6:30 p.m. this Thursday, March 31.

With a focus on opportunities for parents to learn how to support their child’s learning, the evening will include a variety of FREE options-- a Rancho Viejo taco dinner, demonstrations by Nickel City Reptiles and Exotics, book giveaways, raffles featuring local businesses, yoga lessons, a piñata guessing game, sombrero making, and information from Richmond Memorial Library and the Civil Air Patrol.

March 29, 2016 - 10:41am

Press release:

The School Library System (SLS), a program of the Le Roy-based Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (the Partnership) was awarded a three-year, $150,000 New York State learning technologies grant. The first year of the grant will be implemented at Batavia Middle School.

The GAME Tech Project (Genesee Advancing Mathematics and English Language Arts with Technology) will increase student academic achievement as measured by New York State assessments in Mathematics and English Language Arts by providing opportunities for students to engage in learning content through technology in a way that is meaningful and authentic, enabling students to solve problems and be creative.

SLS staff will focus on the underlying skills of computational thinking to prepare students and teachers for success in computer programming and other STEM work. SLS staff will provide professional development opportunities to improve student performance through integration of learning technologies in classrooms and school library media centers. In subsequent years, the grant will be expanded to include all Partnership component school districts.

Over the next three years, the SLS staff will work with member librarians and teachers in elementary and middle schools to implement a program of technology professional development and classroom implementation built around analog play for digital success. These kits will include LightUp and Little Bits sets for circuit design and electronics problem solving; games and other resources for computer programming, LEGO WeDo and Mindstorms kits for robotics development; and audio and video kits for media production. By starting with analog resources like games and toys, SLS staff will help teachers build confidence and comfort within STEM fields. 

“The Partnership is excited to be able to expand offerings to our component schools districts through the Game Tech Grant. The focus will be on preparing students to be creative and possess analytical, problem solving and communication skills. Game design, engineering, manufacturing, electronics and design tech are career fields aligned with the scope of the work,” said Julie Donlon, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and School Improvement.

The Partnership SLS is uniquely suited to implement the GAME Tech project given their long history of working with games as curriculum aligned instructional resources. The SLS Game Library, launched in 2007, is the largest K-12 aligned library of games in the country. Christopher Harris, director of the Partnership SLS, will be the principal investigator working alongside Library/Technology specialists Brian Mayer from the Game Library and Liesl Toates, who coordinates technology professional development and the Media Library. 

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The School Library System and Distance Learning Service are programs of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State.

March 16, 2016 - 6:37am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Batavia Middle School, news.

(Submitted photo of Ashley John Grillo.)

Press release:

After an extensive search that attracted nearly 40 qualified candidates, the Batavia City School District is pleased to announce that Mr. Ashley John Grillo has accepted the position as principal for Batavia Middle School, and will replace current principal Sandy Griffin who is retiring. Grillo will begin on July 1.

“When I saw the posting, and saw that the job was in Batavia, where I had enjoyed living for a few years, and for a position at the Middle School, which is a student population that I love working with, I knew I had to look at this opportunity,” he explained to staff, students, and parents who attended one of the two Meet & Greet sessions held at the Middle School for the final pair of job candidates.

A Holley native, Grillo earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the Rochester Institute of Technology, a Master of Science in Education from Nazareth College of Rochester, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from SUNY Brockport.

He began his career in his hometown, teaching middle school science for seven years, then working as a “teacher on special assignment” for two years at Holley’s Middle School/High School. For the past four years, he has been the assistant principal at their elementary school.

Describing his core values, Grillo said he is dedicated to: collaboration and teamwork for building a dynamic learning environment; using data to inform and evaluate decisions; maintaining high standards for staff and students in setting expectations and achieving goals; and to equality as it applies to respecting diversity and providing opportunities for all learners to reach their potential.

During the meeting, in addition to emphasizing that he particularly enjoys working with the middle school age group, Grillo noted that the student demographics in Holley and Batavia are similar. He believes his extensive work and commitment to PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports), his familiarity with, as well as his commitment to collaboration and excellence combine to make a very good fit with the needs and vision for Batavia Middle School.

March 7, 2016 - 1:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Middle School, news.

Press release:

After a rigorous interview process that involved constituents from all aspects of the Batavia Middle School community -- including teachers, parents and clerical, custodial and administrative staff -- the search for a new principal is down to two finalists. BMS staff, students, families and interested community members are invited to attend two “Meet and Greet” sessions to learn more about these final candidates.

  • At 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9, Mrs. Linda Dickey, will be at Batavia Middle School. She is currently the Ithaca City School District associate middle school principal;
  • At 3 p.m. on Thursday March 10, Mr. Ashley John Grillo, will be here. He is currently Holley Central School District elementary assistant principal.

Both sessions will be at BMS, 96 Ross St., in the cafeteria. Refreshments will be provided.

Applications for the position of BMS principal closed on Monday, Jan. 18, and the District received 38 diverse and impressive applications. From those, 15 applicants were invited to a phone screening interview, then eight met with a constituent committee comprised of BMS parents, teachers, staff and administrators in late February. A few final candidates met with a District interview committee before these Meet and Greet sessions were scheduled with the final two candidates. A decision and Board approval is anticipated on March 15.

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."

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