Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
New iOS App
Android version
not yet available

VOTE for Andrew's Invention
Less than a week left to vote!

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

City Schools

October 20, 2017 - 12:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, City Schools, schools, news.

A student at Batavia High School has contracted viral meningitis, a contagious but not fatal virus, according to Chris Dailey, superintendent of Batavia City School District.

Dailey informed parents in the school district through a memo released today.

Here's Dailey's statement:

This is to inform you that a Batavia High School student has been diagnosed with viral meningitis. It is caused by a virus and is not fatal. It can be caused by any one of the common cold or intestinal viruses. The difference is, it affects the lining of your spinal cord and brain. It is spread by person-to-person contact, or a cough, just as the common cold virus is.

The symptoms of meningitis can be fever, stiff neck and tiredness, along with a sore throat, cough or intestinal symptoms.

If your child complains of any of these symptoms, he/she should follow-up with their own physician.

The best way to keep healthy is to wash your hands regularly and not share drinking bottles.

October 4, 2017 - 11:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, schools, education, news.

boe_award.oct3_.andrewjursted.281.jpg

Photos and write-ups provided by Batavia City Schools.

In recognition of his friendly manner and willingness to help out his fellow classmates, Batavia Middle School student Andrew Jursted was presented with an Outstanding Student Award by Batavia City School District Board of Education President Patrick Burk at the Board meeting on Oct. 3.

He was nominated by Mr. Grillo, principal of Batavia Middle School, who wrote, “Andrew has helped with new students. He always has a smile on his face, and is a good role model. He offered to switch his locker to help another student be closer to his classes. He is a good friend and very helpful to his teachers.”

boe_award.oct3_.mikebromley.0284.jpg

In recognition of his valuable contribution to the administration, staff, and students of the District, Director of Health, Physical Education and Interscholastic Sports, Michael Bromley was presented with an Outstanding Staff Award by Batavia City School District Board Board of Education President Patrick Burk at the Board meeting on Oct. 3.

He was nominated by Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey, who wrote, “Year in and year out, Mr. Bromley oversees one of the most accomplished athletic programs for young women and men in Section V and New York State.  Batavia City School District teams are regularly recognized for academic success, athletic championships, and sportsmanship. Mr. Bromley has worked for the District for 18 years, lives in the community, and can be seen at multiple athletic events both in and out of our District. Mr. Bromley is a great example of Taking Care of BCSD!”

boe_award.oct3_.susanpresher.286.jpg

In recognition of their valuable contribution to the students of the Batavia City School District and the Youth Bureau’s Parks ProgramSusan Presher, on behalf of herself and her summer staff, was presented with an Outstanding Staff Award by Batavia City School District Board Board of Education President Patrick Burk at the Board meeting on Oct. 3.

They were nominated by Coordinator of Assessment and Instructional Services Julia Rogers, who wrote, “Mrs. Presher applied for the USDA Grant (National Summer Food Service Program) this summer and was awarded it. This grant fed children (under the age of 18) breakfast and/or lunch at the District’s Extended Year and TEAM Literacy Programs, and the Youth Bureau's Parks Program (held at Lions, Lambert, John Kennedy, Farrell, and Williams Parks, as well as at the Youth Bureau). The variety of food offered and the ease of accessibility garnered the appreciation of the parents and children, as well as the entire staff of these programs. Students were able to focus on reading and math during Extended Year and TEAM Literacy because they were not focused on being hungry.”

October 3, 2017 - 8:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, Batavia HS, batavia, schools, education, news, notify.

img_1384paulkessler.jpg

When this year's seniors at Batavia High School are handed their diplomas this spring, they will see a familiar face, a face they've known since they were kindergarteners in the City School District -- Paul Kesler.

This winter, Kesler will end a 13-year run as the principal of John Kennedy School and become principal of Batavia High School. He was appointed to the new position tonight by the school board. He begins his new position Dec. 22, the first day of Winter Break.

His 16-year-old daughter, now a sophomore at BHS, but also once a student at JK, also approved of the move.

"I wasn't sure how she would react but she got a big smile on her face and she said, 'Dad, kids that went to John Kennedy, they still talk about John Kennedy. They really respect you.' So when your own daughter feels like it's a good thing, that's pretty confirming."

Kesler also got a ringing endorsement from Superintendent Chris Dailey during the board meeting. 

"You have a lot of people behind you," Dailey said. "You’re going to do great things. Your dedication to your community and your school is outstanding. We can only expect great results, so no pressure. But, hey, you do the great things you do here at John Kennedy at the high school, the high school will have the same kind of results we’ve seen here."

Kesler, originally from Utica, started his teaching career in Rochester. He was a kindergarten teacher, a second-grade teacher, a reading specialist and an instructional coach for three years before moving to Batavia.

He has a daughter who is a junior at Boston University, two children attending BHS, and a child who is a student at JK.

Two weeks ago, after setting aside all the prior principal applicants, the district hired Dennis Kenney as interim principal. His contract runs through Dec. 21.

Dailey said when the initial search for a new principal didn't turn up the perfect match, he thought about the criteria the district sought in a candidate and realized they already had the perfect candidate in the district with Kesler.

One hallmark of Kesler's oversight of JK is his promotion of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) and he's looking forward to continuing that effort at the high school level.

"I think you know we always have the instructional challenges of a small city district, especially in the performance of some economically disadvantaged students, particularly in the areas STEAM," Kesler said. "Those are some of the areas that are a challenge for any small city district. I'm excited about having that connection between what we do in the elementary school all the way up through high school."

There's really only one downside to moving to BHS, Kesler said -- leaving behind the staff and faculty at John Kennedy.

"I don't cry much but I was very close today as I told staff after school," Kesler said. These are just fantastic people. You know, they've been part of my family. My whole experience in 13 years in Batavia has been here. That's going to be the struggle, saying goodbye."

September 28, 2017 - 6:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Kennedy School, batavia, City Schools, schools, education, news.

kesslerinjail2017.jpg

The students at John Kennedy School raised $555 for new library books and Principal Paul Kessler paid the price.

As a "reward" for the students, Kessler spent the day in jail.

Students, such as third-grader Anthony Nesbitt, took turns as guards to ensure he didn't escape.

The pre-lunch crowd passing the jail was pretty merciless. "You stay locked up, Mr. Kessler," more than once said as they walked in their class lines.

"The kids are having fun with it," Kessler said. "So are some of the teachers."

September 20, 2017 - 2:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, news, education.

2017.9.19.bcsd_.boe_award.student.jcaceres.6.jpg

Press release:

In recognition of her academic perseverance and successful accomplishments, Batavia High student Julieth Caceres was presented with an Outstanding Student Award by Board of Education President Patrick Burk at the Board meeting on September 19.

She was nominated by Courtney Turcer, a teacher of English to speakers of other languages, who wrote, “Julieth sat for both the Global and Earth Science Regents on the same June day, for a total of 12 hours, from 8:30 a.m. to nearly 9 p.m. Unfortunately, she failed both exams. Despite the grueling day, she decided to try both exams again in August when they would be given on consecutive days rather than the same day. This time, she walked in with confidence and a positive attitude and she passed both Regents!

"While this is a great accomplishment for any student, for Juli, this is huge. She moved here three years ago from Colombia and did not speak a word of English. There are not many students who would persevere for 12 hours through two Regents exams in the same day – and then, as Juli did, continue to be positive and return to try again. She is truly worthy of recognition.”

2017.9.19.bcsd_.boe_award.staff_.mwoodward.jpg

In recognition of her valuable contribution to the staff and students, Middle School teacher Michelle Woodward was presented with an Outstanding Staff Award by Board of Education President Patrick Burk at the Board meeting on September 19.

She was nominated by Mrs. Lindsey Heassler, sixth-grade social studies and reading teacher, who wrote, “Mrs. Woodward is an extremely hard-working, motivated, and dedicated sixth grade teacher who goes above and beyond her normal obligations for students. She works with students after school on a daily basis and runs various student clubs.

"For many years, she has served as the sixth grade coordinator at the Middle School. In this role, she organizes fundraisers, field trips, and handles grade level finances. This is an extremely large undertaking, and she shoulders the responsibilities with accuracy and expertise. Colleagues would not be able to do many of the extracurricular activities with their students without Mrs. Woodward’s valuable contribution of time and skill.”

2017.9.19.bcsd_.boe_award.staff_.mnanni.jpg

In recognition of her valuable contribution to the staff and students at John Kennedy, teacher aide Michelle Nanni was presented with an Outstanding Staff Award by Board of Education President Patrick Burk at the Board meeting on September 19.

She was nominated by special education teacher, Mrs. Neumann, who wrote, “Ms. Nanni is flexible and willing to support the special education teacher and team of professionals who strives to meet the needs of all John Kennedy students. She has a positive demeanor, and is genuine and kind to all whom she encounters.”

Photos by Kathie Scott, Batavia City Schools.

September 20, 2017 - 8:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education, news.

Batavia City Schools continue to exceed state averages for the graduation rates for children with special needs.

Trisha Finnigan, director of special education and alternative education, updated the school board on special education in the district during Tuesday night's board meeting.

For 2015-16, the state average graduation rate of 55.39 percent. The City Schools rate was 60.9 percent.

That's consistent with prior years, going back to 2005-06 when the state was 37 percent and the local rate was 46.4 percent. In 2014-15, the state rate was 50.48 percent and the local rate was 57 percent.

Also, Finnigan said, the district is having some success with students that state doesn't count as "graduated," though she thinks they should be counted.

"The truth is, and I've talked about this before, is that, for example, some of our students that have some pretty significant cognitive limitations and can't earn a Regent's diploma. They now earn what's called a skills and achievement commencement credential. It's evidence that we've prepared them for, ideally, employment or work toward a realistic postsecondary plan. We don't get credit for those in our graduation rate and it actually counts against us. It's something that any time I can give feedback to the state about, I do."

Students also have until their 21st birthday to graduate, but when a student needs more time, the state doesn't count those eventual successful graduations in the district's graduation rate for special education.

"I think many of you had pleasure last year to meet a young lady who needed until January after her senior year to graduate, but she did it," Finnigan said. "That counts against us."

In other measures, 80 percent or more of special education students in Batavia are spending at least 66 percent of their time inside of regular classrooms. That exceeds the state standard of 58.2 percent. 

September 20, 2017 - 8:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, City Schools, schools, education, news, notify.

img_1340bhsprinc.jpg

As of this morning, Dennis Kenney is the new interim principal at Batavia High School.

Kenney fills the vacancy left when Scott Wilson accepted a position in Churchville.

The school district reviewed several candidates to replace Wilson on a permanent basis but has decided to extend the search.

Kenney will serve as principal until Dec. 22.  

The school board approved his contract in executive session at the start of last night's meeting.

A resident of Warsaw, Kenney has 40 years in education and recently retired as a principal at Iroquois Central Schools, where he worked for 12 years.

His first 18 years in education was with the New York State Division Youth, which is now Child and Family Services, working in residential facilities with kids who had serious emotional issues and learning disabilities.

He's also been a principal at Barker, an assistant in Albion and Canandaigua and served for two-and-a-half years as superintended in Perry.

He has three sons and was on vacation in Virginia Beach with eight of his grandchildren when he got the call from Superintendent Chris Dailey asking if he would be interested in interviewing for the interim position.

"They'll find me a very visible high school principal and very approachable," Kenney said. "I'd like the parents to know that my door is always open, and staff, to come and see me on anything. The students, too. I think we have a great school district here and the high school has a great faculty, good assistant principals, and we're going to work together and keep moving forward."

September 19, 2017 - 1:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, Batavia HS, batavia, news, notify.

The Batavia City Schools community is mourning the loss of Lorne Brudz, a student at Batavia High School, who passed away this morning.

The death was announced today on the school district's homepage and Superintendent Chris Dailey sent a letter to parents.

"Our entire school community is mourning the loss of this wonderful young man," Dailey wrote in the letter.

Dailey informed parents that counselors, teachers and support staff are available to assist students, teachers, and parents. He suggested parents talk with their children about the death as it affects people in different ways.

The school district was not informed of the cause of death.

August 30, 2017 - 11:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education, news.

Among the districtwide goals for 2017-18, City Schools Superintendent Chris Dailey told the board at last night's meeting, the district will strive to communicate better and engage more with the Batavia community, improve student writing, improve the use of technology and maintain a solid budgeting process.

Goal #1 he said is communication and engagement with the community, which will include recognition of outstanding alumni, more use of social media, increased use of volunteers and promotion of academic, athletic, art and music achievements.

"We have kids and staff who are doing amazing things all the time," Dailey said. "We need to do a better job celebrating it in our community so they know what’s going on in all aspects of our school."

Improving student written communication is the second goal, Dailey said. At every grade level, the district needs to put more focus on helping students become better writers. 

“We’ve had college professors share with us that our kids need to learn to write better," Dailey said. "We take that very seriously. As a group, this year we’ve committed to common benchmarks across the district in each grade where our kids will do written responses and work on improving their ability in writing.”

Over the past couple of years, students and teachers have been given Chromebooks, each with access to a group of Google tools known as Gsuite. The district has provided more training and will continue to provide training to teachers, on the use of Gsuite in classrooms. As a third goal, this will continue to be a priority he said because it helps bring STEAM into each district building. (STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, (and) Mathematics.)

"That’s where the jobs are coming in our region," Dailey said. "(The students) need to know what’s out there."

The district has a solid budgeting process, Dailey said. Its budget ambassador program is even being copied by other school districts around the state now as a way of getting the community involved in the budget process.

As a fourth goal, Dailey wants to improve this process. Last year, he spoke before eight community groups about the budget. His goal this year is to double that number.

The district will continue to work to keep the tax levy below the tax cap level, which helps ensure residents are eligible for state rebates. The district will also look for other sources of revenue.

"Our goal is to pass (the budget) with a super majority of 60 percent or higher to show the community does support what we’re doing financially to advocate for their students," Dailey said.

As a stretch goal, what Dailey calls the "Columbus Day Goal," is to have 100 percent of the teachers set up with their own Web pages on the district site that they are updating regularly. This is a great resource for parents, he said.

August 23, 2017 - 3:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in common core, schools, education, City Schools, batavia, news, notify.

Common Core spring results show improvement for Batavia City School Students, a point Superintendent Christopher Dailey emphasized during a conversation today, but that isn't the most important stat he looks at in evaluating student proficiency.

The most important number to him, he said, is the district's 95-percent graduation rate.

"The tests are supposed to be an indicator of graduation readiness and I've yet to see that kind of link because we graduate a lot of kids who go on to do great things," Dailey said.

In English Language Arts, the district improved from a 34-percent pass rate last year to 36 this spring. The statewide pass rate is 40 percent, but Dailey noted that in both ELA and Math, City Schools perform on par with other small city school districts.

In Math, the district improved from 36 percent to 38 percent with a 40-percent statewide rate.

In ELA, 40 percent of the girls passed and 29 percent of the boys. The pass rate for girls in Math was 35 percent and 40 percent for boys.

The test was given to students this spring in grades three through eight.

Dailey said Common Core provides more data points to measure how the district is doing and what it might need to address to meet the educational needs of students, but it isn't the only data point.

"If you look at like schools, we're doing OK, but not good enough," Dailey said. "We still need to improve and we will."

Other Genesee County districts:

  • Byron-Bergen, from 42 to 49 percent in ELA, and 49 to 48 percent in Math;
  • Le Roy, from 39 to 43 percent in ELA, and 45 to 50 percent in Math;
  • Pavilion, from 30 to 34 percent in ELA, and 45 to 42 percent in Math;
  • Alexander, from 34 to 33 percent in ELA, and 47 to 43 percent in Math;
  • Oakfield-Alabama, from 33 to 41 percent in ELA, and 50 to 49 percent in Math;
  • Elba, from 30 to 27 percent in ELA, and 36 to 41 percent in Math;
  • Pembroke, from 39 to 36 percent in ELA, and 50 to 45 percent in Math.

For complete countywide results, click here.

August 9, 2017 - 10:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, news, batavia, City Schools.

It's been a busy summer in the Batavia City School District, with new teachers and aides being hired, planning for the capital improvement project, custodial staff getting buildings and grounds ready for a new school year, and a search for a new principal for the high school. And after all that, Superintendent Chris Dailey said he just can't wait for the school year to start Sept. 7.

"What I'm really excited about is our kids are starting to come back into school," Dailey said. "It's too quiet in July. Yes, we've had summer school here but it will be nice to have all our kids back soon. We're really excited to get everybody back."

One of the big pending tasks is replacing Scott Wilson as principal of Batavia High School.

Wilson left to become principal in Gates-Chili, where he taught for 13 years. He's maintained a residence just a block-and-a-half from the school.

"He took an opportunity to go back home where he where he started, so that gives us another opportunity to her great educator here at the high school," Dailey said.

The application deadline is Aug. 16 and there's been a lot of interest in the job, Dailey said.

"We've had a flurry of applications in the last week and we're expecting between 30 and 40 candidates," Dailey said. "We will thoroughly vet them, get down to one or two to share with the faculty for opening days and then hopefully have someone in place before September when students come back."

There will also be a new principal at Jackson Primary School this fall, with Kia Evans taking over for Diane Bonarigo. Bonarigo, who retired, is filling in as the interim principal at the high school until a replacement for Wilson is hired.

Fall sports teams start practice on Monday and teachers are already starting to prep their classrooms.  

Students and parents won't see many changes at the schools, other than a lot of new faces among faculty and staff.

"We've had some amazing additions to our faculty," Dailey said. "The impact that will have on our kids is going to be amazing. At the end of this month, we have new teacher orientation and I'm just really excited to get these people involved with our kids."

August 8, 2017 - 3:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, news, batavia.

Press release:

Each year, every student wishing to receive busing to school by Student Transportation of America (STA) must file a new Transportation Request/Change Form with the District Business Office so that routes can be configured.  The form was mailed to all students who received transportation from STA last year but, to date, only 241 of those 1053 forms have been returned to the Business Office. Those 241 families have been called, so anyone who has not received a call from the Business Office confirming transportation still needs to send in the form. Regardless of eligibility, children will not be able to receive transportation services unless a 2017-2018 form is turned in. 

Routes will be established by mid-August, so a Transportation Request/Change Form for each student is needed by this Thursday, August 10, 2017. Forms are available several places: online at www.bataviacsd.org under Business Office/Transportation, at the Business Office in the Administrative wing at Batavia High School, at each school’s main office, or by contacting the Business Office at 343-2480 x 1002. They can be mailed or brought in to Kelly Snyder in the District Business Office, Batavia City School District, 260 State Street. Late transportation requests are accepted and will be processed as time allows, but that could be after the start of school.

Exceptions:

Children who were transported by Attica Bus Service in 2016-2017, and have been recommended for transportion by Attica Bus Service for the 2017-2018 school year, should disregard this message.

New enrollments for 2017-2018 including Universal Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and transfers, should disregard this message as transportation requests were handled during registration.

Eligibility Guidelines:

Jackson Primary School (Pre-K, K and Grade 1)

Busing is provided for all students whose families request it.

John Kennedy Intermediate (Grades 2,3,4)

Busing is provided for all students who live more than 0.50 mile from school, or who live outside the City limits.

Middle School (Grades 5,6,7,8)

Busing is provided for all students who live more than 1.00 mile from school, or who live outside the City limits.

High School (Grades 9,10,11,12)

Busing is provided for all students who live more than 1.50 miles from school, or who live outside the City limits.

July 19, 2017 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, City Schools, schools, education, notify.

img_1165bhs.jpg

Seniors at Batavia High School this year will not only be afforded the privilege of reserved parking spaces in the student lot, they will be able to paint their designated spot with just about any design they like.

Overall, board members for the City School District loved the idea, presented by the executive council of the Class of 2018, but requested some modifications from the original idea before approving it.

"With a personalized parking spot, the students are able to reserve their spots and then express their individuality, which is really meaningful as maturing young adults," said student Mikey Lullo.

The students said there would be three options for students. The first costs the student nothing -- they get an assigned spot that will remain black asphalt throughout the year. The second option allows them to reserve a spot for $10, but they can't personalize it. The sweet spot, painted and personalized, would be $15.

The project is a fundraiser for the Class of 2018.

The original proposal would make all options available to all students who drive to school and students paying $15 would be able to select three possible spots, which would then be assigned randomly from those choices.

Because it's the first year, the board thought painted spots should be reserved for seniors and all spots should be selected at random.

"I love this kind of stuff," Board Member Peter Cecere said. "I think the finished product looks amazing."

Then he raised concerns about how slots would be selected.

"While I'd like to give everybody at least one of their top three choices, that's just not going to work," Cecere said. "Inevitably you're going to have a kid complaining because 'hey this kid's got this and I paid the same amount of money.' "

Trustee Shawna Murphy wondered if the privilege might be tied to academic performance or attendance, but the feeling was that would add another level of complication. She also expressed concern that in this climate, the painted slots would look dingy over the course of the year.

The students said they researched schools in similar climates and found with the right paint, it hasn't been a problem. They also said the paint acts as a sealant, which helps protect the surface of the parking lot.

At the end of the year, the students would be responsible for painting over, with black paint, the customized student spots.

While students who wish to personalize parking spots must get a sketch approved by school administrators, the council said they will also help watch over the parking lot.

Cecere expressed concern about vandalism and bullying associated with customized slots. The students hope security cameras and their vigilance will help tap down these issues.

"We're going to be there and we take it upon ourselves to monitor everything, us being the executive council," said Lauren Leone. "We are there to check everyone's paint and make sure it's being respectful."

Murphy asked how the council knew this was something they knew their fellow students wanted.

Lullo said the idea has been a big hit on social media.

"This has gone around multiple times and there has been positive feedback from pretty much the majority of the school who is on social media saying 'oh we wish we have this' and 'this would be so cool,' " Lullo said. "They said, 'this is so great, we want this.' So we kind of took it and ran with it."

Top Photo: Lauren Leone.  Bottom photo: Kiara Cherry, Amand Patel and Mikey Lullo.

img_1168bhs.jpg

Video about a similar program at a high school in Lebanon, Ind.

July 6, 2017 - 9:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, schools, education, news, notify.

img_1096bcsboard.jpg

The Batavia City School District welcomed three new members to the school board, including Zach Korzelius, appointed to replace the seat vacated by Leslie Johnson. Johnson resigned to accept a job in education in New York City.

img_1099bcsboard.jpg

Michal Lullo is the new student ex-officio member of the board.

img_1084bcsboard.jpg

Newly elected Board Member Barbara Bowman.

img_1088bcsboard.jpg

Newly elected Board Member Tanni Bromley.

img_1091bcsboard.jpg

Pat Burk was re-elected by the board to be chairman.

img_1093bcsboard.jpg

Pete Cecere becomes the vice-chairman.

May 16, 2017 - 10:42pm

Batavia City School District:

Budget - $49,870,585 (increase of $5,504,146 or 12.41%: $0.00 increase in tax levy)
Yes - 374 (81.84%)
No  - 83 (18.16%)

Establish $7.5 Million 10 Year Capital Reserve 2017 -
Yes -  370 (80.96%)
No -    87 (19.04%)

Board of Education positions (2):
Two terms from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2020 
Barbara Bowman, 293
Tanni Bromley, 279

 

Oakfield-Alabama Central School District
Proposition #1-Budget
Yes:  297
No: 53

Proposition #2-Buses
Yes: 290
No: 60

Proposition #3-Athletic Equipment
Yes:  258
No: 92

Proposition #4-Capital Reserve Fund
Yes:  288
No: 59

Board Members (Three Vacancies)
Chris Haacke, 208
Bonnie Woodward, 171
Jennifer Kirkum, 170
Tim Edgerton, 162
Andrew Merkel, 142
Bruce Pritchett      141

 

Elba Central School District

Proposition #1 Budget - $9,273,839
Yes: 136
No: 26

Proposition #2 – Authorization to establish the 2017 General Capital Reserve Fund 
Yes: 132
No: 29

Proposition #3 – Authorization to appropriate and expend from Transportation Vehicle and Equipment Capital Reserve to purchase one (1) 65 passenger school bus
Yes: 134
No: 28

Two Board of Education seats with two candidates running:
Travis Torrey, 149
Michael Augello, 134

 

Byron-Bergen Central School District

Proposition 1, Budget
Yes: 327
No: 153

Proposition 2:  Bus purchase
Yes: 340
No: 150

May 15, 2017 - 10:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, news, schools, education.

Voters will be asked tomorrow whether they support the 2017-18 Batavia City Schools budget, with a spending plan of $49,870,585.

That's an increase of 12.41 percent over last year, due entirely, school officials say, to a change to record debt service expenditures in the general fund as recommended by the comptroller's office.

Even so, local property owners will not be hit with an increase in school-related property taxes. The property tax levy isn't being increased at all.

This is the fourth straight year the district's tax levy is below the state's increase cap, so homeowners will be eligible for a state property tax rebate, sent directly to homeowners in the fall of 2017.

The budget represents a $10,859 per student in general education, $28,502 per Special Education student, or $19,241 per student on average. All three figures are below state averages, which are $11,949 and $30,667 and $22,536, respectively.

Of the district's total revenue, more than 52 percent comes from state and federal aid. The tax levy is 37.1 percent of total revenue. This budget calls for use of $2.7 million of fund balance (reserves).

Polls are open Tuesday, May 16, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Robert Morris (residents north of Route 5) and Batavia High School (residents south of Route 5).

April 26, 2017 - 4:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, awards, schools, education, news.

img_0709bcsawards.jpg

Sofia Branche and Sheldon Silverling were named outstanding students for the month at last night's City schools board meeting. They were honored for their leadership examples they set at John Kennedy School.

img_0718bcsawards.jpg

Teresa Morrill, named Outstanding Employee.

img_0720bcsawards.jpg

Jane Haggett and the students and staff involved with Winter Guard were honored for their efforts with a proclamation. Students pictured, Mina Sanchez and Mary Murphy.

img_0723bcsawards.jpg

Lisa Robinson, right, and the volunteers who helped organization Mr. Batavia, were recognized with a proclamation by the board. Students pictured, Lindsie Cook and Madison Moore.

img_0711bcsawards.jpg

Aimee Nelson, named Outstanding Employee.

img_0725bcsawards.jpg

Caryn Wood and Daniel Grillo along with the cast and crew of "Hairspray" were recognized with a proclamation recognizing their efforts to stage the musical. 

img_0713bcsawards.jpg

Eileen Ognibene, named Outstanding Employee.

img_0715bcsawards.jpg

Rob Vanderwerf, named Outstanding Employee.

April 5, 2017 - 2:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education, news.

img_0611.jpg

School Board Member Peter Cecere used a not-too-obscure cultural reference to emphasize the point last night that the proposed tax-rate increase for Batavia City Schools in the proposed budget remains at 0.00.

"That's also Blutarsky grade-point average in Animal House," Cecere said.

Business Administrator Scott Rozanski said the no-increase tax rate should remain the same regardless of the outcome of the overdue state budget.

At the time of last night's meeting, legislators in Albany had not yet come to an agreement on the state budget, which includes provisions to aid to local school districts, which left the district, Rozanski said, trying to calculate a budget with a key missing component.

Since last night, the folks in Albany have come to terms on a state budget, but this morning, Rozanski said he hasn't yet seen the breakout on state aid to schools.

Regardless, the only change anticipated to the budget, he said, if aid is less than anticipated then the cost of four new aides, at $150,000, would come from reserve funds and if the aid does come in at the anticipated rate or higher, those funds would be replenished. 

In three of the past five years, the school district hasn't raised the local property tax rate. 

If the district had raised taxes at the rate allowable under the state's tax cap over the past five years, the district's levy would be up $2.8 million. There were rate increases of 1.9953 percent in 2012-13 and 1.99 percent in 2014-15, for a levy increase total of $715,867. The difference between what would have been allowed and what was actually raised is $2.1 million.

This year, the district could have raised the levy by 4 percent and remained under the tax cap. That would have increased the levy by $740,000.

The total levy with no increase is $18.5 million.

The total budget is $49 million.

The school board approved the budget, which will be voted on by district residents for final approval in May.

April 5, 2017 - 1:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Schools, education, schools, news.

There's a student in the Batavia City School District who a few weeks ago was failing all of her classes. Now she's getting passing grades and is eligible for spring sports.

The student benefited, according to school officials, from an after-school program called WIN (What I Need).

The innovative program started in the school district this year and according to Scott Wilson, principal at the high school, Ashley John Grillo, principal at the middle school, and Teresa Morrill, a middle school teacher, the program is showing great results this year.

"This started as an idea and has come together as a really effective intervention program," Grillo said.

Of the 20 students who have participated so far, 16 have shown academic improvement.

As a testament to the program's success, the school officials noted, some who have been with the program have wanted to continue even after their grades improved enough that it was no longer required.

“It’s nice to see where reluctant learners are becoming really engrossed and engaged in the content and making improvements," Grillo said.

The program consists of two and a half hours of tutoring and study time at the high school, for both HS and middle school students, in an atmosphere that is described as "light." Students can take breaks as needed and snacks are often available.

"The best part of what I love is that every time I walk in, there is the relationship there that the teachers are developing with the students who haven't found their way yet academically," Wilson said. "They're making those connections."

Grillo talked about one student who participates in sports who was cleared to play and Grillo told him he could reduce his participation to just a half hour after school at the middle school. The student immediately asked if he could still show up at the program at the high school after practice.

"He likes the fact he has a quiet place and every teacher is available and he can get his work done," Grillo said. That quiet place, a place to study alone is something not available to the student at home, he said.

Part of the one-on-one tutoring is also talking with students about why they're in the situation they're in, whether it's lack of motivation, issues at home, or anything else, Morrill said.

"it's not just two-and-a-half hours just in a book," Morrill said. "We spend time talking about what's going on and why you're having these issues."

The success of the program could mean it expands at some point, Wilson acknowledged. He said there is already additional staff qualified for the tutoring and mentoring. and since the program takes place after school, there is room to expand.

Not all the students want to stay in the program after their grades improve, so right now, the schools have been able to make room for new students who need help as other students move out of the program. Getting out of the program is its own kind of motivation for some students.

"They know why they have to be there and they have a goal," Morrill said. "They want to get out. If that’s their goal, they don’t want to waste their two-and-a-half hours after school. They want to get it done so they can get out.”

April 5, 2017 - 12:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education, news.

img_0604.jpg

Students at Batavia's middle school and high school are getting exposed to a variety of technology and learning opportunities, Robert Mullen told City School District trustrees during a technology department review at the board's meeting Tuesday night.

While he spoke, Dylan Gaus (top photo), a student at Batavia HS, replaced a broken screen on a Google Chrome laptop computer.

Technology infrastructure goes beyond just computer and networking classes, Mullen explained. Middle school students get a bit of technology instruction with culinary courses or embroidery and STEM/STEAM instruction is woven into the district's curriculum.

There's also the traditional technology classes such as robotics, computer operations, and networking.

Mullen is a Cisco Network Certified Associate Instructor and an AP Plus Certified Instructor.

He described his computer classes as noisy and chaotic with no traditional desks but a series of workstations, with one central workstation where the class comes together "to solve big problems."

The course of instruction is rigorous and difficult, he said, and he's thinking of breaking the course into two components: hands-on repair work and the more academic side of computing (how things work and why) so students can take the path most suitable to them because there is so much to learn.

He said he encourages resilience.

"Most students have a strong fear of failure," Mullen said. "I try to get them more comfortable with the failure process because many times that’s the only time to begin again more intelligently."

One of the technology classes at BHS is computer repair, were students fix the Chromebooks other students have brought in for repair.

So far this year, there have been 59 repairs for equipment assigned to high school students, and since January, 19 for middle school students.  The average cost of each repair is $30.

“I think it’s still a significant savings for the district," Mullen said. "It’s just the parts. The school district doesn’t have to pay anybody to do the repairs and our kids have picked up some great skills in the process of doing it.”

Pages

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2017 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button