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Jackson School

September 7, 2017 - 9:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, batavia, schools, education, news.


It's the first day of a new school year and the first day for Kia Evans as principal of Jackson School in Batavia.

Evans greeted students this morning with hugs and high fives. 

"I'm excited," Evans said. "This is what we do so I'm excited and I'm excited for the kids."

Evans grew up in Buffalo and started her career teaching in Buffalo. She taught for 10 years in Buffalo and Amherst and then became an assistant principal, working the past five years as an assistant principal in Williamsville.




June 20, 2017 - 12:20pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, Jackson School, news.


Think back to when you were in grade school. Would you have missed your principal if she retired? Would the thought of her leaving bring you to tears? Oh no, not to me. I would not have missed her at all.  But maybe that is because Diane Bonarigo was not my principal.

Some of the children of Jackson Primary did cry as they said goodbye to the only principal they have known. Principal Bonarigo is retiring after being a principal for 12 years.

The Children of Jackson primary chanted Principal Bonarigo’s name and sang a song in her honor at their last “Family” meeting of the year. The school staff also thanked Mrs Bonarigo in making Jackson Primary a special place and a family.

Judging by the reaction of the children she will surely be missed by those lucky enough to have been at her school.




March 23, 2017 - 5:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, batavia, schools, education, news.


Top photo, Officer Peter Flanigan, Batavia PD, reads to students at Jackson School during the school's annual parents' night reading program last night, this year dubbed "Camp Read-A-Lot." The evening featured community members reading to students, games, activities and a campout with camp music in the school's gymnasium.







March 20, 2017 - 1:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ascension Parish, Jackson School, schools, batavia, news.

Press release:

On behalf of the Jackson Primary School staff and students,  we would like to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude to Father David Glassmire and Ascension Parish.

On Wednesday, March 8th, the school needed to evacuate all students quickly due to a serious house fire, across the street from the school. It was a very cold and windy morning as 350 primary students walked to the Ascension Parish parking lot in evacuation protocol.

Within minutes, students were able to enter the Sacred Heart reception hall and knew they were safe and warm. Father David welcomed us immediately and quickly supported our needs in order for the school to operate an efficient evacuation dismissal plan.   

Additionally, we would like to thank Sherry Otto who saw us coming and quickly communicated this to Father Glassmire, Dave Fasano, and the City Police Department for assisting us that morning.

The overall support from Ascension Parish is a true reflection of the wonderful and compassionate people that make up  Batavia’s community.

Diane Bonarigo/Principal


March 6, 2017 - 8:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, batavia, schools, education, news.


Jackson School kicked off its winter reading program today; this year it's called "Camp Read-A-Lot." 

The program is intended to encourage students to read at least 15 minutes per day.

Today, faculty and staff performed a play for the students called Camp Read-A-Lot, which tells the story of the campers who will get lost if the students don't read every day.

Thursday is family reading night at the school. There is a book fair from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. and 7:15 to 7:30 p.m. Reading rotations, which includes community guest readers, begins at 5:30 p.m. The Hill Brothers perform a reading-themed concert in the gym at 6:30 p.m.

December 21, 2016 - 8:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, education, batavia, news.


During Tuesday's City Schools board meeting, held at Jackson School, students and their teachers did a show-and-tell on some of the skills they've been learning through innovative classroom activities.

Above, kindergarteners count in increments of two to start a demonstration that included jumping in increments of two on a floor map, and then on a second trip through the map, picking up building blocks, which provides a lesson in groups and multiplication. Their teacher is Melissa Mattice.

Bottom photos, teacher Jessica Torrey works with her students in first grade on a demonstration of their writing and storytelling abilities.

During her presentation about progress at the school, Principal Diane Bonarigo said teachers and staff are very aware that the study skills and attitudes toward learning developed in kindergarten and first grade will have a big impact on a student's ability to eventually graduate from high school. 





December 11, 2016 - 2:51pm
posted by James Burns in Jackson School, education, schools, batavia, news.


Saturday morning Jackson Primary School hosted a Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Breakfast was bagels and donuts. The children attending had the opportunity to play games and build some art and crafts. There was a basket raffle for the adults and kids. There was a book giveaway, too. Of curse any child who wanted was able to meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus and get their picture taken with them. (Follow this link to see all of the pictures.) After visiting with Santa, every child was given a toy donated by Dollar General of Batavia. 




Photos provided by

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


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





October 21, 2016 - 12:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, education, batavia, news.


Turning math into playtime was the theme of Family Fun Night at Jackson School last night. 

The elementary schoolchildren and their parents were given a booklet with math problems to solve, and then they went through various game boards to help them solve those problems.

Prizes were award to students who successfully filled in their booklet with the correct answers.






March 4, 2016 - 10:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, education, batavia, news.


It was Family Reading Night at Jackson School on Thursday night, with parents joining their children for events at the school, including community volunteers reading to students.

Above, City Schools Superintendent Chris Dailey reading to a class.


Barbara Holder, who retired many years ago from teaching, but still regularly volunteers at Jackson School, was the reader in another classroom.


Batavia Police Officer Pete Flanagan.


Shaley Johnson plays a puzzle game with Jesse Higgins.

December 12, 2015 - 10:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, batavia, schools, education.


Jackson School continued a 25-year tradition this morning with its annual Breakfast with Santa.

It's a chance for the children to come with the school on a morning that is all about fun and family, said Principal Diane Bonarigo. 

The event includes gifts, games, crafts, chance auctions, breakfast and, of course, a few minutes on Santa's lap and a whisper in his ear of what toys under the tree would most delight the children come Christmas morning.

Bonarigo said Michelle Miller, president of the parent-teachers group, deserves a great deal of credit for putting together this year's event.

More than 800 students and adults were expected to attend this year.









November 20, 2015 - 4:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Operation Warm, IAFF Local 896, City Fire, batavia, Jackson School.


City of Batavia firefighters, members of IAFF Local 896, made their annual trip to Jackson School this afternoon to hand out winter coats to students who needed them.

The children received brand new, 100-percent American-made winter coats. The donations are part of a national effort sponsored by the not-for-profit Operation Warm.



November 20, 2015 - 9:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, education, Wonderland of Trees, hlom.


Photo by Nicole Tamfer; info submitted by Diane Bonarigo.

Jackson Primary School students and staff decorate Jackson's Community Caring Tree for The Wonderland of Trees at HLOM. Jackson students created ornaments in Art class of many different people and organizations that help the school each year. Some of the ornaments included, firemen, police officers, volunteer readers, military personnel, bus drivers, dentists, Cornell Cooperative Extension reps,  and JAHA.

The students were reminded through this project how much the Batavia Community cares about the children. (First picture) Brock Bigsby, Nolan Wright, Connor Malone Wesley Fisher, Carleigh Miller, Ryan Bigsby, Lauren Nelson,  and Reese Koukides, Mrs. Bonarigo, Mr. Sloan, Mr. Calandra, Mrs. Mundell, Mrs. Koukides, Mrs. Nelson, Mrs. Clark, Mrs. Tamfer, Mrs. Bigsby, Mrs. Torrey.

The Wonderland of Trees opens tonight with a gala starting at 7 o'clock.

September 8, 2015 - 12:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, batavia.


The first day of school, and the first day of a new drop-off and pick-up configuration at Jackson School, and parents so far are taking a wait and see attitude about the change.

Of the parents we talked to, everybody seems to think the new system will work, but nobody was giving it two thumbs up just yet.

It's only the first day of school, they said.

"This is going to change," said Joe Heath after dropping off his first-grader with his wife, Lisa. "Everybody walking their kids in after parking. It's not drop your kids off and go, right now. It's going to be a little different probably, within this next week."

As an observation: Today wasn't nearly the hectic, frenetic, crowded mess school drop-off seemed to be on a typical day last year.

The goal of the change is first and foremost safety, said Principal Diane Bonarigo.

Jackson School is decades old and built at a time when it was intended to serve just the immediate neighborhood and almost all children walked to school. Now, it serves the whole city, many children are bussed, some are driven by parents and only a few walk. That's created a lot more traffic around the school on streets, and the parking was not initially designed to handle that flow.

The new configuration includes a new driving lane/bus drop-off in front of the school on South Jackson Avenue, instead of behind the school. That parking lot area is now intended for parents to use for drop off and pick up, or children should be taken to the entrance at the corner of the building opposite Max Pies. It's also possible, after the buses are done, for parents to pull into the driveway and drop off kids at the main entrance.

"It is a new system, so it will take us a couple of days to get it running smooth," Bonarigo said.

Rich Schauf, Batavia PD, working at the school this morning, said he thinks the change was a good idea.

"It was a safety issue where people are exiting cars with a lot of traffic, doors are opening, cars are trying to get around, little children are exiting out of vehicles, crossing the street. Now this can all take place, the entering and exiting of cars can all take place in parking lots, which is a lot safer," Schauf said.

The parents we spoke too generally still seemed unsure of where to go or what to do, which door or parking lot or lane way to use, and felt other parents were unsure as well, but also said they believe the confusion will work itself out and everything will settle into a reliable, predictable pattern.

"Yeah, it's safer, probably, but I feel it's going to take quite awhile to get all the kinks worked out," Doug Fisher said. "It's been my experience whenever they hurry up and change something without the proper notification it seems like it takes half of the school year to get all the kinks fixed, but then it runs smoothly."




July 2, 2015 - 10:42am
posted by Traci Turner in Jackson School, batavia, education.


The landscaping in front of Jackson School is being ripped out this week to make room for a new bus loop that City Schools Superintendent Chris Daily said will improve transportation safety for students.

The project means some grand old trees in front of the school are now gone, but Daily said new trees will be planted as part of the project.

Besides the trees, so far, the sidewalks have also been jackhammered and hauled away.

The project should be completed by Sept. 1.

In addition to the bus loop, new locks and classroom bathrooms will be installed at the school.

The construction is a part of the district’s $3.8 million capital project that was approved three years ago. 

June 26, 2015 - 3:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, batavia, City Schools, education, schools.


It was a big day for the students at Jackson School. They moved up a grade, receiving certificates of continuation from administrators during a ceremony in the Batavia High School auditorium.





March 13, 2015 - 12:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education, Jackson School.

Robin Zanderwers from the Buffalo Zoo shows off a turtle to students at Jackson School on Thursday evening during an event dubbed "Wild About Reading."  

February 24, 2015 - 5:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education, Jackson School.

Ella, Mrs. Shuknecht’s First Grade
My Snowman
My snowman’s name is Krystal. She is fancy and happy.  She likes to wear bows and a hat. Her favorite food is ice cream cake. When it is cold outside she likes to have snowball fights and go snowboarding. 

Parris, Mrs. Bigsby’s First Grade
My Grandma’s House
I went to my grandma’s house. It was a special place. First, I ate dinner with my grandpa and grandma. It was good. I had turkey and mashed potatoes with them. Next, I played at the park with my friend, Emma. We played on the monkey bars. Last, I went to feed the ducks. I fed them bread.  I had a great time at my grandma’s. I hope I can visit them again soon. 

Martha, Mrs. Bigsby’s First Grade
My Papa’s House
I went to my papa’s house and it was a special place. First, I ate dinner with my papa and my grandma. It was delicious. Next, we watched the Croods. It was a funny movie. Last, they took me to the park. I went on the swings. I had fun at the park. I had a great time at my papa’s house. I hope I can visit him again soon. 

Jay’lee, Mrs. Mattice’s Kindergarten
Penguins can swim. 
Penguins have blubber. 
They have claws. 
They have beaks. 

Trey, Mrs. Wolff’s Kindergarten
My favorite season is summer because I play baseball with my brother, mom and my dad.

Brandon, Mrs. Colvin’s First Grade
How to Build a Snowman
To make a snowman I would first roll three snowballs. One big, one medium and one small. Then, I would stack them. The biggest on the bottom, then the medium and finally the smallest on the top.  I would decorate. My arms would be sticks. My nose would be a carrot. My eyes would be coal.  My mouth would be rocks. I would do a scarf with a zigzag design. I would name my snowman Snowy and give him a hug. 

More after the jump:

February 3, 2015 - 7:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, charity, Jackson School.

A preschooler at Jackson Elementary School was diagnosed with leukemia on Jan. 17 and a cheer-a-thon is planned in March to help her and her family.

Four-year-old Emma Harris is very passionate about cheerleading and has been involved with the Batavia Bulldawgs. So a fundraiser focused on cheerleading is a great way to help "Team Emma." Its motto is "We Got This!"

Participants will get a T-shirt and will perform a cheer, short dance routine, stunts, jumps and other fun activities.

There is no charge for attendees to watch the performances. Donations are welcome but not required.

The cheer-a-thon will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturday March 14 at Batavia High School gym for anyone ages 4 to 12. It will be followed by a performance at 7 p.m. by local high school cheerleaders, dancers from local dance studios and cheer-a-thon participants. In between time, there will be pizza for the participants.

There will also be a 50/50 drawing and Chinese auction at the performance to help the family with medical and travel expenses.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three cheerleaders who bring in the most donations. Cheerleaders may bring sponsor forms -- or a list or donors and their contributions -- to the door.

Cheerleader entrance fee / donation is $25. Make checks payable to  EMMA HARRIS. Please register and pay by Feb. 28 to guarantee pizza and T-shirt.

Registration information must include:

  • Participant name and age
  • Parent name
  • Address
  • Phone
  • T-shirt size
  • Donation  and/or  payment of registration fee ($25 minimum)

Mail with entrance fee to:

Sherri Wahr

17 Elmwood Ave., Batavia NY 14020

For questions / information call or text Sherri at (585) 356-0639.

****Business sponsors are sought to donate items for the Chinese auction. T-shirt sponsorships are sought for a donation of $50.

Another avenue to help is this direct link to donate to Emma:

January 13, 2015 - 4:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education, Jackson School.

A kindergartener at Jackson Street School apparently misunderstood instructions from a nurse today and left school grounds instead of waiting for his father to pick him up, according to officials.

The child was missing for only a few minutes, Officer Eric Hill told WBTA.

At about the same time the nurse was calling Batavia PD, a child was located, dressed in hat, gloves and coat, on Washington Avenue. 

The school district issued the following statement about the incident:

Today at Jackson Primary School, a kindergarten student who was being dismissed from school early, walked out of a side door as per his normal dismissal procedures and started walking home rather than going to the school office for release. School officials immediately instituted their Emergency Procedures and contacted the police. The child was located shortly thereafter and returned safely to school and his parent.

The District will be reviewing its procedures to determine how today's incident occurred and make changes as necessary. As always, we place the safety of our students first and will take the necessary measures to protect  them.

Our news partners WBTA and 13WHAM contributed to this story.


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