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December 7, 2016 - 3:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, schools, education, batavia, news.

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The College and Career Center at Batavia HS, now led by Anita Strollo, has launched a new program called, "Lunch with the Pros," where students can sit down with local professionals and business leaders to learn about what it takes to pursue and succeed in various career fields.

Today, a group of students talked about law enforcement with Officers Matthew Wojtaszczyk and Marc Lawrence to learn about becoming a police officer.

Coincidently, Batavia PD is about to launch a new Explorer program and will host a meeting for potential Explorer Post members at 7 p.m., Jan. 10 and BPD headquarters, 10 West Main Street.  High school interested in joining the program are welcome to attend. RSVP to either officer at [email protected] or [email protected].

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December 6, 2016 - 7:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's School, schools, education, batavia, news.

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Press release:

This past Sunday, St. Joseph students in grades 4, 5 and 6 participated in the Third Annual X-STREAM Games and Expo at St. Joseph Collegiate Institute in Buffalo. Their fifth-grade team participated in the Science Scrimmage Competition, which consisted of building bridges and catapults. Their sixth-grade teams participated in the Shark Tank Competition. Their inventions were The “Crutch Carrier 2000” and The “Crazy Cone.” Their fourth-grade team won the “Love is in the Baking” Kitchen Chemistry Cook-off Competition! Congratulations to all these students and their teachers for the time and hard work that was put into preparing for this day!

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December 2, 2016 - 11:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education, news.

Press release:

Work on constructing next year's school budget has begun and volunteers are being sought for the Budget Ambassador Program, initiated in 1996 as a way to increase communication with the community about the District's financial plan.

Ambassadors are residents of the Batavia City School District (BCSD) who volunteer and commit to serve on a committee, which meets with Superintendent Christopher Dailey and Business Administrator Scott Rozanski for three (3) two-and-a-half (2.5) hour evening sessions on Feb. 1, 8 and 15, with an alternate “snow date” scheduled for March 1.

Ambassadors review the preliminary 2017-2018 budget as developed by the administration within the parameters established by the Board of Education, and recommend to the Board any modifications they would like to see. The recommendations, while highly valued, are advisory rather than binding as the Board develops the Proposed Budget to be brought to voters. Ambassadors also agree to explain their work to any interested community member.

Persons interested in serving must notify the District in writing by Jan. 5. The letter of interest should include name, address, email address and daytime phone number and be addressed to BCSD Superintendent Christopher Dailey and the BCSD Board of Education at the District Administration Offices, 260 State St., Batavia, NY 14020.

The letters will be reviewed, with official appointments scheduled to be made at the Board of Education meeting on Jan. 10.

December 1, 2016 - 3:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, schools, education, K-9, news.

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Oakfield-Alabama's Lego Robotics recently won a competition with their idea to assist a police dog with its work.

Their idea was a camera and speaker combination that would allow a K-9 officer to send the dog to a remote location and then be able to see what the dog saw and give the dog verbal commands. The communications device would also be used to talk with any victims or suspects found by the K-9.

The students called it the "Communi-K9" device.

The team now advances to the championship competition Dec. 11 at the University of Rochester.

Deputy Chris Erion provided the class with information about his job and his K-9, Destro.

Information and photo from team teacher Kim Maier via Chris Erion.

December 1, 2016 - 2:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in solar energy, GCC, education, batavia, news.

Press release:

With courses spanning the fields of accounting to veterinary technology, criminal justice to communications, sports management to supply chain management, healthcare to human services -- and many more, the spring 2017 semester at Genesee Community College offers something for everyone! Register now to ensure your seat! Classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 17.

One of GCC's newest courses is Introduction to Solar Manufacturing (CHE193) taught by Brian Fraser, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry. The new course provides overview of the solar manufacturing industry including the latest technology, production and the growing market for the newest high-tech industry that promises to bring hundreds of new jobs to Western New York. Students will understand where and how the new local companies, Solar City and 1366 Technologies, fit within the solar industry and landscape. Through this course, students can explore if this may be a new career opportunity for them, and if so, the best pathway to pursue it.

"Anyone interested in solar energy and science will find this course very helpful. There will be enough information to help students appreciate careers in nanotechnology and other sciences, and understand the emerging developments in the solar industry. It is also a great general education elective with a focus on the future," Fraser said. "The hybrid format of the course also provides some flexibility with in-class and online requirements."

There is no prerequisite for CHE193, which meets Wednesdays from 1:25 – 2:45 p.m. at the Batavia campus starting Jan. 17 and running through May 13. Additionally, Professor Fraser will use a variety of freely accessible resources that include up-to-date information, rather than requiring purchase of a textbook.

GCC offers more than 70 degree and certificate programs, including more than 15 degrees that can be completed 100-percent online. Most degree and certificate programs feature online or hybrid courses and at least 50 percent of each program can be completed online without attending class at a campus center location. In addition, every course in GCC's Computer Information and Networking Technology program offers at least one section that uses the 360-degree learning model enabling students to learn anytime, anywhere and on any device. The instructors in these courses deliver two-way, interactive instruction in the classroom and/or online through personal computers, laptops, tablets and other smart communication devices. All course material is recorded and stored in the cloud, allowing students to review and revisit a class lecture for clarification.

"Without a doubt, GCC remains at the cutting edge of new teaching and learning opportunities," said Rafael Alicea-Maldonado, Ph.D.,  (Dr. RAM), dean of Math, Science and Career Education. "We hope anyone who is even remotely considering college education will contact us soon. There are so many great and affordable options."

No matter what industry or field, regardless of age and educational background, and irrespective of geography due to GCC's many online courses and seven campus locations -- this spring semester is the time to enroll in a course at GCC. The spring semester starts Tuesday, Jan. 17. To review the class schedule which features hundreds of courses, go to: http://www.genesee.edu/courses/schedule/

November 29, 2016 - 12:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in education.
Event Date and Time: 
December 13, 2016 - 12:00pm

Free Home Energy Workshops
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County is pleased to present a “Save Energy Save Dollars” workshop on two dates: Tuesday, December 13 at Noon and Wednesday, December 14 at 7:00pm. Both workshop sessions will take place at CCE Genesee County located at 420 East Main Street in Batavia.
“Save Energy Save Dollars” is a workshop that was developed by Cornell University Cooperative Extension and the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA).

November 29, 2016 - 12:00pm

posted by Session Placeholder in education.
Event Date and Time: 
December 14, 2016 - 7:00pm

Free Home Energy Workshops
 
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County is pleased to present a “Save Energy Save Dollars” workshop on two dates: Tuesday, December 13 at Noon and Wednesday, December 14 at 7:00pm. Both workshop sessions will take place at CCE Genesee County located at 420 East Main Street in Batavia.
“Save Energy Save Dollars” is a workshop that was developed by Cornell University Cooperative Extension and the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA).

November 21, 2016 - 4:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's, schools, education, batavia, news.

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Photos and information provided by St. Joe's:

Throughout the month of October, St. Joe’s National Junior Honor Society held a fundraiser to collect items for All Babies Cherished. Items and monetary donations totaled more than $300. Some items collected included diapers, wipes, pacifiers and baby clothes. Co-advisers Mr. Landfried and Mr. Bowman along with the NJHS students were invited by All Babies Cherished Director Sue Sherman to visit the office to see how their organization operates and where the donations go.

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November 18, 2016 - 2:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, education, batavia, news.

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Twenty Native American schoolchildren were at Jackson School this morning to share about their culture through dance and a presentation by an adult leader.

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November 17, 2016 - 11:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, schools, education, batavia MS, news.

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Hailey Kirkpatrick, one of the winners of City Fire's annual fire safety poster contest, got a special ride in a fire truck to Batavia Middle School today with firefighters Greg Ireland and Matt Pillsbury.

Yesterday, Xavian Cramer got a ride to John Kennedy School and tomorrow Lillian Clarke gets a ride to Jackson School.

November 17, 2016 - 11:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education, news.

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Press release:

Tiffani Brown receives Outstanding Student Award. She was nominated by BMS teacher Sarah Gahagan, who wrote, Tiffani is an eighth-grade student who shows dedication, perseverance, dependability, and a positive attitude in everything she does. She is one of 19 original founders of the BMS Girls on the Run team, hasn’t missed a single session, and always arrives on time and prepared. She partakes in every race, volunteer activity, and community-sponsored Girls on the Run event. Tiffanie has become so much more confident over the course of three years and many of her teachers think it’s because of this club. She is a great role model to her peers for her positive attitude and has developed her natural talent of working with others.

Maria DiMartino receives Outstanding Employee Award. She was nominated by Assistant Principal Maureen Notaro, who wrote, Maria DiMartino is a very special person. She is a classroom aide, often helping some of our most difficult students, and she goes above and beyond to make every child successful in school. She develops close relationships with the students and also supports them emotionally. The Board and Middle School are very fortunate to have such a dedicated employee.

Muriel Burns receives Outstanding Community Member Award. She was nominated by Assistant Principal Maureen Notaro, who wrote, Recently, one of our students from BMS was walking in the rain, late to school, and with no coat. A woman pulled over and offered him her umbrella. She asked him where he went to school and he said Batavia Middle School. She called the school, spoke to Julie Tybor, and asked us to get his sizes. Ms. Tybor called her back after the counselor provided his sizes. The next day Mrs. Burns returned to school with a brand new coat, three pairs of gloves, a back pack, and a blanket. The next day she returned with boots, hats, and nearly a dozen pairs of socks for him. The smile on the child’s face was priceless. This child does not have it easy, and she truly made his day.

Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey was invited to become a member of the National Center for Education Research and Technology (NCERT), an organization comprised of a maximum of 85 prominent school district superintendents as well as select corporate leaders from education-related industries. NCERT’s goal is to network creative and innovative thinkers who are leaders in education with the leaders of the industries they depend upon for products and services, technology, and research. The group focuses on contemporary issues of interest to school districts.

School Board Recognition: In honor of NYS School Board Recognition Week (celebrated this year from Oct. 24-28), several District organizations made donations to local charities in the Board’s honor. The JK Parent Teacher Group made a $50 donation to the Michael Napoleone Foundation, the Jackson Home School Association made a $50 donation to United Way – Community Action, the Batavia Clerical Association made a $50 donation to the United Way for the BCSD Backpack Program for BCSD students, and the Batavia Teachers’ Association made a $200 donation to the Salvation Army’s Backpack Program for the BCSD students. The New York State School Boards Association sponsors School Board Recognition Week to recognize school board members for their commitment to New York public school children and the crucial role they have within a school district.

Photos by Kathy Scott.

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November 17, 2016 - 10:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia MS, batavia, schools, education, news.

Press release:

Batavia Middle School is hosting a Family and Community Night from 5-6:30 on Thursday, Nov. 17.  This year’s theme is “Warm the Night” and FREE hats, mittens and scarves will be distributed. Enjoy a FREE light supper of soup and bread with Timbits and coffee, courtesy of Tim Hortons.

There will also be a FREE bicycle raffle and you’ll also receive a FREE basket raffle ticket at the door, one raffle ticket for EVERY family member!

Prepare to be dazzled by former Harlem Globetrotter, Corey “The Dribbler.” Plus, the Batavia Police Department will be on hand to license bikes in the gym and give you a coupon for a FREE bike helmet from Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle.

Gain insight into the opportunities to learn how to support your child this year and help your children succeed. See you there!

Event Date and Time: 5-6:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17.

November 16, 2016 - 7:18pm

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Pictured: Instructional coaches of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership with Jim Knight, director of the Kansas Coaching Project. (Courtesy of Jim Thompson.)

A new program for the improvement of teaching techniques has begun to take root in the Genesee Valley Boces school districts. The new program connects educators with trained coaches who review video footage of teaching sessions and provide commentary and advice to improve quality and effectiveness.

Jim Thompson, director of Instructional Coaching Services at Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, began installing the program during the 2014 school year. The program has since grown from 10 teachers in its first year, to being used in over nine districts in the area. Jim has worked as the primary coach since its inception, and is currently working on training educators in each district to become coaches themselves.

“We strive for excellent instruction, every day, in every classroom, for every student. That is our true north.” Thompson said, quoting his mentor Jim Knight, director of the Kansas Coaching Project at the University of Kansas.

The program itself involves several stages. First, teachers will meet with coaches, in order to establish goals and develop a positive relationship between them. Next, the teacher submits a 15-20 minute video clip from a teaching session. The coach will then review the video multiple times, implementing time-stamped commentary, concluding with a meeting and review session with both the educator and coach in person.

Thompson emphasized the importance of the teacher-coach relationship in the program, as well as the program’s non-evaluative nature, confidentiality and volunteer basis.

“The program is built on strong relationships and trust. We set up a relationship with teachers which not only generates trust, but also promotes a willingness on the part of both the teacher and coach to reflect on instruction and help improvement.”

One school in which the program has found a receptive home is in the Byron-Bergen district, where superintendent Mickey Edwards has instituted it in both the secondary and elementary levels. As of now, 40 percent of teachers in the school have participated in video coaching, and the school has begun training its own coaches.

“We offer it to teachers to help them improve on their craft and delivery,” Edwards said. “At Byron-Bergen, teachers are not done learning yet.”

Edwards compared the program to the model presented by sports film study, saying that watching yourself teach and seeing what you do well and what you need to improve on – terms which the program refers to as “glows and grows” – is an eye-opening experience.

Diana Walther, an eighth-grade English teacher from the school, is currently being trained as a coach for the district. As an educator who has seen the program from the perspective of a teacher as well as a coach, she claims that it was one of the most effective professional development programs she has been a part of.

“It draws your attention to things you’ve never thought of before,” she said. “Personally, I speak very quickly, so slowing down was something I needed to improve a lot.”

Walther also echoed Jim Thompson’s emphasis on the teacher-coach relationship. “Each session begins by getting to know each other,” Walther said, “in order to identify goals.”

Deborah Slocum, another coach from the Byron-Bergen district, says that her experience in the program also led to her desire to get involved.

“I had an epiphany, it was the most valuable professional reflection I’ve had over the past 24 years of teaching.”

The school has enjoyed the benefits of the program, so much as to implement it into their quarterly evaluation process. Each teacher goes through four annual evaluations, which often include a supervisor sitting in on a class. This option allows teachers to present a video session with a coach as one of their four evaluations.

“This ties into a growth model, where teachers can hone their craft,” Edwards said.

In the future, Edwards hopes to increase the size of the program to include many more coaches within the district.

“I’d like to see one in each content area, and a few at the elementary level.”

The program is in what Edwards referred to as a “fledgling stage,” and it will be evaluated at the end of the school year.

November 16, 2016 - 4:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Kennedy School, schools, education, batavia, City Schools, news.

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It's full steam ahead for academics at John Kennedy School, according to Principal Paul Kesler, who delivered a progress report to the Batavia City Schools board at Tuesday night's meeting.

On standardized testing, John Kennedy students are outpacing their peers in other districts, Kesler said.

Kesler completed a comparison of third- and fourth-grade students among 16 similar-sized cities and JK's third-graders have the highest English Language Arts scores and second highest in math. For fourth-graders, they rank third and fourth in ELA and math.

"As you can see from the pattern," Kesler said standing in front of a bar chart, "there's really a straight line year after year in terms of small cities."

The third-grade class is the first to pass through the district since the realignment of schools before their kindergarten year.

Kesler also compared JK results with the 22 other districts in the region and JK students are in the 80th percentile in ELA and 90th in math.

On another math test, 35 percent of the students tested at level 4, which Kesler said was impressive.

"I'm really proud of that because now it's no longer just our top A students who performing at that high level," Kesler said. "It's really all of our students are moving along."

Kesler, who is in his 12th year at the school, praised the work of the school's staff and thanked the district board for helping him recruit and hire talented teachers.

The school also undertook an aggressive STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts/design and math) curriculum this year and Kesler said it's going well so far.

There have been three STEAM sessions for the students and STEAM topics are being worked into other parts of the curriculum.

For example, students are going to read "Charlotte's Web" this year, so there will be corresponding instruction on insects and how spiders build their webs, which gets into engineering.

"It's exciting," he said. "When the kids get excited, I get excited."

As for the future, with the district now supplying each student with Chromebooks, there's no longer a need for a computer lab. The plan, Kesler said, is to turn the former computer lab into a STEAM lab and a maker space. It will be a paperless space, he said. For example, the desktops will be white boards, which students can use for their calculations. 

November 16, 2016 - 12:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in education.
Event Date and Time: 
December 12, 2016 - 6:30pm

The Evening Adult Book Discussion Group will meet at Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross Street, Batavia on Monday, December 12 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss The Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig. The library also offers a morning discussion of the same book on December 14 at 8:00 a.m. Copies of the book are available at the front desk. Holiday treats served. For more information, call the library at 343-9550, ext. 8 or visit www.batavialibrary.org.

November 16, 2016 - 12:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in education.
Event Date and Time: 
December 14, 2016 - 8:00am

The Adult Book Discussion Group will meet at Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross Street, Batavia on Wednesday, December 14 at 8:00 a.m. to discuss The Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig. Copies of the book are available at the front desk. Special holiday treats served. For more information, call the library at 343-9550, ext. 8 or visit www.batavialibrary.org.

November 15, 2016 - 12:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in le roy hs, Le Roy, schools, education, news.

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Le Roy High School opened its new maker space for students yesterday afternoon with some introductory information from Jennifer Bertrand, instructional technology coach, and some hands-on time with some of the materials already in the space, including Legos and Bloxel, a kit for making computer games.

Bertrand said she proposed the idea of maker spaces at the high school and elementary school in Le Roy because she saw other schools doing it and attended conferences where ideas for starting such spaces were presented.

"So I thought Le Roy really needs to get on board about having its own maker space," she said.

A committee was formed to help move the idea forward and the district received a $2,000 grant to help get the maker space up and running.

Students volunteer to participate in the extracurricular activity. They are given space, time, resources and instruction on creating a variety of projects that hit on science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), creativity, and problem-solving.

"If you have a student who is struggling academically or just doesn't like school, but, oh, man, they're so creative when it comes to engineering or when it comes to creating something, we want to tap into that and build on that because those skills are going to transfer everywhere in their life," Bertrand said.

The community can support the project through donations, especially of supplies, such as Legos and arts and crafts supplies, as well as expertise and tours. Bertrand said community members can contact the school if they're able to assist.

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November 15, 2016 - 8:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, byron, bergen, news, schools, education, business.

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Press release:

Students from the Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School got a close look inside several of Genesee County’s leading advanced manufacturing facilities recently. Teacher Jay Wolcott’s Manufacturing Systems class visited four companies to assess the local job market, learn about pay and benefits, see potential job opportunities, and hear about the skills employers are looking for. Host companies included Bergen’s Liberty Pumps, along with Le Roy businesses Aluminum Injection Mold (AIM), PCORE Electric Company, and Orcon Industries.

Company representatives explained the varied career opportunities available at manufacturing companies like these, including jobs in assembly, engineering, sales, marketing, and management. Students came away with the understanding that successful job applicants must have strong skills in basic math, problem-solving, and communication, along with, at minimum, a high school diploma or GED. Each company visited stressed their support for job-specific training and college course work.

Students toured the Liberty Pumps facility, experiencing the machining of pump housings, powder coat finishing, assembly, inspection, packaging, and finally, the global shipping process. At AIM, they followed the prototype manufacturing process from the initial customer design requirements to machining of the aluminum injection mold and molding of plastic parts.

PCORE manufactures bushings for the high voltage electric transformer units used by power companies. Students observed a demonstration using electricity to check for defects that took place in a completely dark lab that concluded with electrical humming and flying sparks. At Orcon, a custom industrial packaging company, students observed firsthand the need for problem-solving skills in all areas of the operation.

Using their experiences with the participating companies, students completed a technical report assessing the job opportunities at each company, concluding with their opinion on the best job fit for them.

The career exploration trip was arranged with the help of the Genesee County Business Education Alliance (BEA).

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November 15, 2016 - 8:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's, schools, education, news.

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Press release:

Every Monday afternoon the students at St. Joseph Catholic School engage in different hands-on STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) activities that tie into their current studies.

Recently, Mrs. Case's kindergarten class took part in a fun science experiment. Each student chose an object from their classroom and placed it in a tub of water to see if their item would sink or if it would float. Mrs. Fischer's fourth-grade class has been learning the difference between vascular and non-vascular plants. Recently they did an experiment with celery that showed them how colored water can travel through the vascular tubes changing the color of the celery.

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November 14, 2016 - 1:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's School, St. Joe's, news, schools, education.

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Members of the anniversary alumni committee for the St. Joe's Drum and Bugle Corps presented a $1,000 check to St. Joe's today, proceeds from the group's fundraisers for the school.

The Drum and Bugle Corps was founded in 1932 by Father Kelly and today alumni are members of the Mighty St. Joe's Drum and Bugle Corps of Le Roy and the St. Joe's Brass Ensemble of Batavia.

"We wear the name with pride," said Bob Wielgosz, director of Mighty St. Joe's "St. Joe's means a lot to us."

Pictured are Wielgosz, Tom Cecere, Karen Green, principal of St. Joe's, Pat Bishop, and Frank Panepento.

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