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October 15, 2021 - 12:27pm
posted by Press Release in BOCES, news, schools, education.

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Press release:

The Genesee Valley (GV) BOCES School of Practical Nursing proudly graduated 24 students at a ceremony held on October 8 at Celebration Church in Leicester, New York. Brianna Spuck was named valedictorian of the class, and Magdalena Lendzion was recognized as the salutatorian. Instructors Marisa Dale, Jackie VanNorman and Janet Green assisted throughout the ceremony. Heidi Mix, Regional Medical Programs Coordinator, was also on hand to congratulate students and recognize them for all of their hard work and commitment.

Mix shared some thoughts about how this class weathered the challenges of learning during the pandemic.

“This class was our first class to be able to transition back to the classroom and clinical facilities. Coming back into the classroom allowed for a more normal school environment which then, in turn, created some strong bonding to take place amongst the students,” Mix said. “If I have to describe this particular class as a whole, I would say they functioned as a team and respected their instructor as a team does their coach. They worked hard for her and also had some fun together.”

During the ceremony, Dale gave some parting words of wisdom to the graduates.

“As nurses, you have a responsibility to do what is right for your patients.  You have to love what you do and have a passion for your work. Stay involved, and contribute. Positivity and knowledge have power,” Dale said.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, John Cima, Lead Coordinator for the GV BOCES Adult Education Program, announced that each student would receive a credit for payment of their NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) exam. These payments to students are made possible due to Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding.

Graduates of the program must complete a 12-month, 1,200-clock hour program that is certified by the New York State Education Department. Graduates of the program receive a certificate of completion of licensed practical nursing.

The program is designed to prepare graduates for the NCLEX-PN Examination for licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse. This course is offered in three different sites located in Batavia, Rochester Tech Park in Gates, and Mount Morris, New York. For more information about this program, contact the Adult Education/School of Practical Nursing at (585) 344-7788.

The graduates are:

  • Taylor Alexander
  • Nickesha Anderson
  • Emily Antonucci
  • Jasmine Avery
  • Thomas Brado
  • Jasmine Collier
  • Lisa Dumuhosky
  • Samantha Feldmann
  • Lauren Forsyth
  • Carey Hewitt
  • Ashley Houck
  • Camille Hunter
  • Brandi Jackson
  • Laura Koehl
  • Magdalena Lendzion
  • Taylor McPherson
  • Megan Peterson
  • Portia Read
  • Jenna Scaccia
  • Isaeyah Smith
  • Brianna Spuck
  • Nevin Steward
  • Andrea Wetherwax
  • Brianna Wolfe

Photos: Top photo:  Brianna Spuck, valedictorian of the class, (left) with Heidi Mix, Regional Medical Programs Coordinator.  Bottom photo:  Heidi Mix, Regional Medical Programs Coordinator (right), recognizes Magdalena Lendzion as the class salutatorian.

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Comments
October 13, 2021 - 6:00pm

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For more than three decades, the Knights of Columbus, Msgr. Kirby Council No. 325 has been a strong supporter of St. Joseph Regional School and Notre Dame High School.

The council’s many contributions have gone toward building improvements, classroom and technology upgrades, beautification of both campuses, and tuition support scholarships.

“The scholarships provided by the Knights support our mission of advancing Catholic school education in Batavia,” said council trustee Steve Ognibene. “Many families throughout the region -- regardless of their financial position -- have been granted funds that have helped complete their education at St. Joseph’s and then graduate from Notre Dame.”

Ognibene said that hundreds of students have benefited from K of C sponsorship, especially when Notre Dame expanded to grades seven through 12 in 2020 and the council agreed to include students across all grade levels.

The council’s recent sponsorship allocated $4,000 to each school.

Notre Dame High Business Manager Tom Rapone applauded the council for its commitment to the schools.

“St. Joseph School and Notre Dame take pride in being top-ranked schools in the entire GLOW Region for the past two decades, and we have equal pride in our longstanding relationship with the Knights of Columbus,” Rapone said.

Photo above: Karen Green, principal of St. Joseph Regional School, receives a check from Knights of Columbus scholarship committee members, from left, Grand Knight Tom Trescott, Rocco Pellegrino, Sam LaBarbera and Chuck Mahler. Photo below: Tom Rapone accepts the check from the committee. Submitted photos.

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Comments
October 8, 2021 - 8:39am

Byron-Bergen Central School will be getting major structural upgrades thanks to the 182 district residents who voted to approve a $17 million capital project Thursday.

District Superintendent Patrick McGee expressed his appreciation for those 226 people that took the time to vote. The final tally was 182 yes to 44 no. 

“We are all very proud of this district and the work completed on this project will reflect that pride,” McGee said in a news release issued later Thursday night. 

The project’s total tab of $17,107,802 is to cover improvements to the Elementary and Junior-Senior High schools, the natatorium and bus garage. A capital reserve fund and debt service payments will finance the plan and are not to cost district taxpayers anything in a “tax neutral” strategy.

State building aid accounts for 74.1 percent of the cost, with 8.5 percent in capital reserve funds and 17.4 percent in debt service. 

Work is to include swimming pool locker room renovations, boiler plant replacement, domestic water upgrades and pool equipment upgrades; athletic field improvements, track restoration, soccer stadium lighting replacement and roofing replacements at the Junior-Senior High School; and a new boiler plant and domestic water system upgrades at the Elementary School. 

Work on the project is estimated to begin in 2023. For details, go to www.bbschools.org/CapitalImprovementProject.aspx

Comments
October 3, 2021 - 9:23am
posted by Anne Marie Starowitz in catholic church, Catholic schools, schools, education, news, batavia.

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Several articles have been written on the early public schools from this area, including those still in use today.  When the very first schools were built, Catholic schools were also built alongside their churches.

Rev. Thomas Cunningham established the first Catholic school in 1873. He became the first priest to settle permanently in the village. With him came six Sisters of Mercy.  The sisters lived in the Davis Building on Jackson Street that served as their convent until 1873.  The sisters started a school in a barn next to the convent.  Due to a fire, the sisters had to move the school to a large stone building on Jackson Street that became Marshall News Store many years later.

In 1882 St. Joseph’s Parish began to build a new school and convent on Summit and East Main Street.  It was a solid unadorned building with a small turret over the front door and little towers on the front corners.  It had four rooms on the first floor for the younger students and three rooms above for the older children.  High school students were enrolled at the school until 1912.  Music lessons were taught in small spaces in the corridors.

St. Joseph’s School served as a parochial elementary school until 1959.  The building was listed as unsafe for young children, so in the fall of 1959, a new school with twelve classrooms and a cafeteria was built.  The old school was razed.  In 1973 office space and a new gymnasium and assembly hall were added to the eastern side of the new school.

Rev. Peter Pitass started Sacred Heart School in 1904 when he organized Sacred Heart Parish.  The school’s classrooms were ready for pupils by 1918.  Those classrooms served the Polish community until the flood of 1942. The school and church were located at the foot of Jackson Street.   By 1954 the school was also deemed a fire hazard, and plans were drawn up for a new school and church.  The new school would be located east of the church facing Sumner Street.  By the end of the year, a new fireproofed school building was built for $8,000.00.

In 1904 approximately 20 students were enrolled at Sacred Heart School.  By 1934 the number had increased to about 60 students, and registration remained at about that level until the ‘60s. Then, in the ‘60s, enrollment began to decrease. Finally, in 1974 enrollment was so small that Sacred Heart School merged with St. Anthony’s. Thus, after 70 years, there was no longer a school in the Sacred Heart Parish.

In 1908 Rev. Hyacinthe Ciabbatoni brought two Sisters of Mercy to Batavia to organize a school.  In 1909 property was bought on Liberty Street at Central Avenue; members of the parish put together two old houses to serve as a school and a parish hall.  In 1930 a new school was built by Frank Homelius, one of Batavia’s native architects.  He designed a school building with two floors, a social hall, and a gymnasium behind it.  It was dedicated as St. Anthony’s Community Center.  It was the most prominent meeting place in the city.  The school had nine classrooms on two floors along central corridors, with offices on either main entrance.  The basement had a nursery room, kitchen, and lavatories.  It was a T-shaped building with a gymnasium used for athletics and as a meeting hall or a dining room.  This community center was used for political rallies, union meetings, Grange meetings, fundraising, and Bingo. Many a bride will remember having her wedding reception at the Community Center with dinner on one floor and dancing on another.  

By 1908 there were between 200 and 250 students enrolled at St. Anthony’s School.  By 1970, 7th and 8th-grade students attended St. Mary’s, where junior high classes were offered.   In June 2006, St. Anthony’s School closed its doors after 95 years as an educational and social activity center on Batavia’s south side. 

Rev. Edward J. Ferger established St. Mary’s Elementary School when he organized the building of a Catholic High School, Notre Dame High School, in 1951.  The school opened before the buildings were complete.  The first-year students met at St. Anthony’s Community Center for classes until the school was finished.  In 1952 St. Mary’s school was built and faced Woodrow Road. St. Mary’s had eight classrooms and a small gym in a separate building.  Sisters of the Holy Cross were the first teachers at St. Mary’s, and then the school was run by the Felician Sisters.   At the end of the 2003-2004 academic year, St. Mary’s Elementary School closed its doors due to limited financial resources and fewer students.

In 1951 Notre Dame High School welcomed its first class of 58 boys and girls to temporary quarters at St. Anthony’s School.  Notre Dame High School was dedicated on September 6, 1952.  The school has two floors with classrooms along Union Street and a large gymnasium in the rear.  A cafeteria is below the gym.  A small chapel and library are on the second floor.   In the early years, Notre Dame’s faculty consisted of nuns and priests.  There were times when up to 500 students walked the halls between classes with one-way traffic jamming corridors. Over the years, Notre Dame’s enrollment has fluctuated, but today it remains an alternative to public school education.    

All students will remember the attractive uniforms the girls had to wear.  Sacred Heart had a plaid jumper, St. Anthony’s a brown uniform, St. Joseph’s a blue uniform, and St. Mary’s girls wore a blue jumper crossed in the front and the back.        The actual everyday uniform at Notre Dame HS was a pleated skirt and a long-sleeved blouse buttoned to the neck, and to add to the uniform’s lovely appearance was a bolero. If you rolled over the waistband of the skirt to make it shorter, you would get detention.  Besides the unattractive uniforms, some might remember the classrooms overflowing with students, singing Gregorian chant at Mass, attending a High Mass on Sunday, and no meat on Friday. 

One could also not forget the Notre Dame Girls’ Basketball uniform the girls had to wear in the ‘50s and ‘60s.   The uniform was a royal blue, pleated, heavy cotton jumper that had to touch your knees, a long-sleeved white blouse that had to be buttoned at the top, and bloomers. The inspiring girls’ basketball team had only two girls who could run down the court, and the rest could take three steps and pass the ball.  It made for a very “fast-moving” game.  The windows had to be covered when the girls were playing just in case a “boy” might try to look in the window.    

Over the last century, schools were established, moved, burned down, and closed.  Many of these schools closed due to low enrollment, but the memories these students hold in their hearts remain. A young girl remembers living next to old St. Joseph’s School, sneaking over to the old school, and peeking in the windows.  A nun would let her come in and sit and color.  Her older siblings all attended the school.  In the early days at St. Joseph’s School, there was not a gymnasium. Instead, students would gather every day on the blacktop in the parking lot and jump rope or shoot baskets on the outdoor basketball court.

Grade school, high school, it didn’t matter if it was a public or private school; the memories would be the same. So many will still be in touch with that special friend they hung around with in grade school and possibly high school.  Stories get better with age as they are told over and over again. 

Today St. Joseph Regional School is the only Catholic elementary school left in Batavia. Yet, it offers everything the public schools provide.  Notre Dame High School still proudly stands on Union Street, graduating boys and girls on the same grounds their parents and grandparents stood many years ago.

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Comments
September 29, 2021 - 12:19pm

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More than 700 students from throughout the GLOW region -- including students from every high school in Genesee County --  participated Tuesday in GLOW With Your Hands at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.

The event gives students a chance to experience a variety of trades including, bricklaying, carpentry, electrical, mechanical, and various forms of manufacturing.  

Among the 40 companies participating wereOxbow, Liberty Pumps, and O-AT-KA Milk.  Major sponsors included LandPro and Genesee Construction.

Photos by Steve Ognibene

To view or purchase pictures, click here.

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Comments
September 23, 2021 - 11:54am
posted by Press Release in GCC, news, schools, education.

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Press release:

Last week, generosity shined brightly on the Batavia Campus at Genesee Community College as the 2021 Discover the Stars Scholarship Reception brought together a group of families and individuals that are truly making a difference.

"Our Discover the Stars reception is a very special opportunity to introduce GCC's cherished and generous scholarship donors to the promising and grateful scholarship recipients," said Tom Cox, event emcee and President of the Genesee Community College Foundation Board of Directors. "It is a powerful experience where we all get to see the impact of the scholarships."

Executive Director of the GCC Foundation Justin Johnston announced 12 new scholarship opportunities the Foundation has been able to establish through the kindness and passion of some new and some loyal supporters.

During this special night, attendees heard from Stefanie Resetarits, GCC class of 2006, who received a Nursing Program scholarship as a student and who has now established the Resetarits Family Nursing Scholarship with her husband, Christopher. Born and raised in Byron, NY, Resetarits earned her Nursing degree from GCC and was a member of the Swimming and Diving team. She continued her education, enrolling in the 3+1 program at SUNY Brockport where she received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2008, graduating on the Dean's List with Honors. She began her nursing career at Lakeside Community Hospital, followed by Medical-Surgical nursing at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital. After starting a family, Resetarits worked as a home care nurse on the Infusion team at the VNA of Western New York. Locally, she has worked at Hope Haven's inpatient alcohol and substance abuse rehabilitation center and currently is working as an Independent Medical Nurse Observer. Resetarits and her husband reside in Alden, NY with their four children.

Current Genesee Community College student Kiana Perry who received the Jerry Reinhart Scholarship also addressed the reception crowd to share her story. Perry is originally from New Hampshire but calls Alexander, NY home. She is currently enrolled in the general studies program and her ultimate goal is to become an elementary school art teacher. She and her fiance have two beautiful girls, Gracie-Mae who is two years old, and Magnolia-Rae, three months old. She enjoys doing crafts with her children and has always had a passion for art. During the reception, Perry was able to thank Jerry Reinhart and his family and shared that this scholarship allowed her to pursue her education and set an example for her daughters.

The Genesee Community College Foundation accepts scholarship donations throughout the year and has full-time dedicated staff in place to assist any donor in establishing a new scholarship or expanding an existing fund, such as the Genesee Alumni Legacy Scholarship.

Details on the scholarships available to students are available at https://www.genesee.edu/offices/finaid/scholarships/. Interested applicants are encouraged to review and apply online! The simple online application collects information and matches applicants with a list of scholarships they may qualify for. Expert advice is also available through GCC's Financial Aid Office at (585) 345-6900 or via email at [email protected].

Photo: Mary Alice Panek of GCC's Board of Trustees and Regina Chuhi, recipient of 2 Scholarships, courtesy of GCC

Comments
September 20, 2021 - 11:28am

Nine years after closing Robert Morris Elementary, city school officials are mulling the idea of resuming it as a school once again.

The idea is in tandem with recommending Request for Proposals of completely renovating the well-used Batavia Middle School. The Board of Education unanimously agreed to move forward with the school’s construction assessment and a cost estimate during Thursday’s board meeting.  

Board member John Reigle spoke on behalf of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, which has been conducting a district facilities review. 

His mission was to ask the board “to direct our contractors” to conduct a complete review of the middle school to find out how much work and money it would take to renovate and abate the site, he said, and the cost to “bring Robert Morris up to date to facilitate student use.”

Interim Superintendent Scott Bischoping added that it would be ideal to do this site study before any discussions about the next capital project take place. 

“Just to get an idea of the cost and what the community would like to do,” Bischoping said. “Eventually you’re not going to be able to put Band-Aids on that building. Many districts have totally gutted and rehabbed their buildings, but there’s a price tag to that.”

The middle school building has been around for quite a while, tucked into the residential neighborhood along Ross Street. It was initially built in 1926 to be used as a high school until Batavia High School was built in 1961 on State Street. Wear and tear and an estimated “significant amount of abatement” would be part of the renovation, which has become clear to the board, Benedict said.

“There’s a lot of dealing with abatement, and it puts a lot of expense on the project,” she said. “Probably in the future, we’re going to have to get some kids back to Robert Morris.”

Abatement, a word commonly used for cleaning up toxic materials such as asbestos, has been identified for the middle school. Bischoping said that it has been very difficult to do any work in the building without disturbing those materials. After the scope and costs have been determined for construction and abatement of the middle school, and any work necessary to get Robert Morris up to speed for full use, the Buildings and Grounds Committee will put forward a recommendation for board vote, Benedict said. 

In 2012, city school district officials closed Robert Morris Elementary in an effort to consolidate students and merge the west side school’s population into Jackson Primary and John Kennedy Intermediate. The defunct building at Richmond Avenue and Union Street then became host of a childcare facility and Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (BOCES) classes. The childcare facility has since moved out to another location and Covid ceased the other activities, Benedict said, rendering the site “an empty building.”

 

Comments
September 19, 2021 - 10:57am

There have been many complaints and much concern expressed about Batavia City Schools’ current busing situation, Board President Alice Benedict says. Parents have been quite vocal about the need to put three students per seat on Jackson and John Kennedy school buses, however, it has all been online.

Board meetings have been void of any such vocal discourse, she said.

“No parents have ever attended. But there have been lots of comments on social media,” Benedict said during an interview Saturday. “We’re criticized for the choices made, but nobody has taken the time to come and talk to us. Unfortunately, it’s something we don’t have any control over.”

A lack of drivers at the district’s bus operator, Student Transportation of America, has in turn meant fewer buses per run. To accommodate all of the students needing transportation, they have been assigned three per seat, she said.

“There’s not anything the school district can do about it, other than ask parents to take their kids off the bus and drive them to school themselves,” she said. “We’re still talking to the bus company … for me personally as a board member, (Business Administrator) Mr. Rozanski is doing the best he can. They just don’t have the bodies to drive.”

Batavia is far from alone in this dilemma. ABCnews.go.com states that schools across the country, from Pennsylvania and Virginia to Missouri, Ohio, and Texas, have reported similar shortages. Georgia’s Savannah-Chatham County Public School System reported a 30 percent decrease of more than 110 drivers upon the start of this school season, the website states. Covid is to blame for the lack of drivers, Paul Abbott, executive director for transportation for the district, said to ABC News, it states.

The city school district is short some four buses, which has caused delays, late arrivals and the three-per-seat set-up. STA operates more than 16,000 vehicles for over 300 school districts, according to its website, and is “committed to providing our customers with the highest level of safe and reliable transportation solutions available.” The company’s public relations department did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Students are required to wear masks on the bus, and they can take brief mask “breaks” if the weather is nice and the windows are open, Benedict said. Many of them have been told by their parents to wear the mask for the duration of the bus trip and not take them off at all, she said.

As for other virus-related measures, Covid testing equipment has been issued to the district by the Genesee County Health Department, Interim Superintendent Scott Bischoping said during the board’s Thursday meeting. Students with potential symptoms of the Covid-19 virus can be tested during the day.

The Health Department will notify school officials if anyone does test positive, and contact tracing will begin to track down who the infected person was in contact with prior to being tested, he said, “and making the determination if a quarantine is necessary.” The total quarantine would be for 10 days, minus any days already lapsed before diagnosing the Covid case, he said.

Having access to on-site testing and wearing masks are two methods to maintaining a healthy environment, he said.

“Our families want our kids in school as much as possible,” he said.

The next board meeting is set for 6 p.m. Oct. 21 in Batavia High School library, 260 State St.

A related Q&A was posted Thursday on the district’s website to clarify its protocols for Covid-19 guidelines. That is shown below:

SEP 16, 2021

Dear BCSD Parents and Guardians, 

Over the last few days, we’ve received a few questions from parents about protocols regarding our COVID-19 guidelines that we want to clarify for the larger community.

We appreciate the questions and will continue to update you as they arise.  

Q: Are there outbreaks of the virus in our buildings? 

A: While cases of the virus have been reported to us by the Genesee County Health Department, only a small number of those cases resulted from a spread within our buildings. Most reported cases are due to a spread of the virus outside of school, and families have taken the necessary steps to quarantine. While this situation could change, we will report any significant issues directly to families.

In an effort to provide transparent information on COVID-19 cases reported throughout the Batavia City School District, going forward, each Monday, we will be posting the number of positive student and staff cases reported from the previous week on our website: BataviaCSD.org.

Q: How will families be made aware of cases within the schools?

A: We are working in collaboration with the Genesee County Health Department who is providing guidance when there is a positive case in any of our district buildings. 

Once a positive case is identified, the Health Department determines who that child or staff member has been in contact with. From there, Health Department officials determine what action is warranted (i.e., testing, quarantine, etc.).

You will be contacted directly by the Health Department if your child was in contact with another person who has tested positive, and they will work with you to determine the next steps.

Q: Are there three students per seat on our buses?

A: Yes, there are three students per seat on our Jackson and John Kennedy bus runs in many cases. While we would have preferred to have enough buses to have separate bus runs for each building with fewer students on each bus, our transportation contractor has been unable to provide the necessary buses due to the nationwide bus driver shortage.

Q: What are you doing to try to get more buses?

A: We will continue to work with our busing contractor STA to find more opportunities to increase the number of buses servicing our district, including using subcontractors. But as of today, we don’t have a solution in place. 

Q: Is it true that students are allowed to take mask breaks on buses?

A: We have advised our bus drivers to allow students to take brief mask breaks – especially on hot days. These breaks are permitted (but not required) to avoid students getting overheated. Weather permitting, we are also opening our bus windows. 

As a parent, you can certainly advise your child not to remove their mask during these breaks.

As a reminder, if a student or staff member exhibits any COVID symptoms, they should not report to school that day and should contact the building nurse immediately. 

Please reach out to your child’s principal if you have any additional questions or concerns. 

Sincerely, 

Scott Bischoping

Interim Superintendent  

Comments
September 17, 2021 - 12:38pm

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Press release:

Noblehurst Farms recently directed a $2,500 Bayer Fund America’s Farmers Grow Communities donation to Pavilion Elementary School’s Outdoor Classroom. The elementary school will use the funds to build a bridge over one of the streams located within the classroom.

“We are grateful for organizations such as Noblehurst Farms that have shown their support for this classroom, and ultimately for our students here in Pavilion. The generosity and support in this community for our Outdoor Classroom has been outstanding, and this support continues to come in.  We’ve received different fiscal donations, as well as had volunteers come in on weekends in order to enhance this incredible learning environment for our students.” said, Jon Wilson, Elementary Principal at Pavilion.

Since 2010, America’s Farmers programs have awarded more than $59 million to nonprofits, aspiring ag students, and public schools across rural America. Farmers are leaders in their communities, which is why America’s Farmers programs rely on them to help identify the most worthy causes.

Dedicated to making a difference in rural farming communities, the Grow Communities program asks farmers across the country to participate by nominating nonprofit organizations with resources to strengthen their local communities. Last August, farmers entered for the chance to direct a $2,500 Grow Communities donation to a local eligible nonprofit of their choice. Farmers have directed donations to food banks, emergency response organizations, schools, youth agriculture programs and many others that reflect the spirit and support the vibrancy of rural America.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, including those in rural regions, and farmers play a critical role in helping communities overcome challenges, like the ones we’re currently facing,” said Al Mitchell, Bayer Fund president. “Bayer Fund is proud to work side-by-side with farmers to identify local eligible nonprofit organizations that are able to provide their residents with solutions that leave a lasting impact.”

To learn more about how America’s Farmers programs are making an impact, visit www.AmericasFarmers.com.

About Bayer Fund

Bayer Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where Bayer customers and employees live and work by providing funding for food and nutrition, education and community development projects.

Comments
September 4, 2021 - 9:15am

Press release:

The Oakfield-Alabama FFA chapter in Oakfield, NY, has been awarded a Yearlong Living to Serve Grant in the amount of $3000. The nationwide program provides grant money to local FFA chapters to support yearlong service-learning projects that address needs related to community safety; environmental responsibility; hunger, health and nutrition; and community engagement.

Oakfield-Alabama FFA plans to help address Hunger in the Community by providing fresh beef through the Community Center.  FFA students currently raise market animals in their school barn but have expressed an interest in helping their local food pantry while also educating the community by explaining the health benefits of using fresh beef.  Funds from the grant would be used to purchase a market steer to provide the Oakfield Community Center/Food Pantry with fresh beef in August 2022.

FFA student member Owen Zeliff spoke with the director of the Oakfield Community Center/Food Pantry and concluded that there is a desperate need for fresher food donations, especially fresh meat that would provide essential protein for a healthy lifestyle.

The program provided over $284,000 to FFA chapters in 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The 2021-2022 Yearlong Living to Serve Grants are sponsored by Tractor Supply Company, Cargill, CoBank, Domino’s and Elanco. For more information and a complete listing of sponsors, visit FFA.org/livingtoserve

The National FFA Organization is a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 760,000 student members as part of 8,700 local FFA chapters in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Comments
August 24, 2021 - 10:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, batavia, news, schools.

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Yesterday, students at Jackson Elementary enjoyed Popsicles with the Principal (Maureen Notaro).

Photos submitted by Maureen Notaro.

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August 6, 2021 - 3:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, news. education, schools.
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Chezeray Rolle Michelle Humes

Batavia residents Chezeray Rolle and Michelle Humes have been selected to fill two vacancies on the City Schools Board of Trustees.

Rolle is a 2009 graduate of Batavia High and a U.S. Army veteran who served for six years, including two deployments to Afghanistan. He is currently employed at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia and coaches Batavia Bulldawgs football. He married his wife Bianca in 2012. He and his wife have three children attending City Schools.

Humes is a customer service manager at Hodgins Engraving.  She is married and her and her husband's son graduated from BHS in 2020.  

They replace Peter Cecere, who resigned in June, and Brenda Good, who won a seat on the board in May but resigned before taking office in order to become a candidate for an administrative position in the district.

 

 

 

 

August 5, 2021 - 1:13pm
posted by Press Release in books, news, schools, education.

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Press release:

The Genesee Valley BOCES (GV BOCES) School Library System has been awarded a National Leadership Grant for Libraries in the area of a National Forum in response to the need to identify recommendations for effective post-COVID school library programs. This $150,000 grant will fund four virtual national forums on the future of school libraries. Given the high level of complexity, national scope, and emergent nature of the investigation, a collective impact approach will be used to gather together diverse viewpoints from across the country. Topics will include an instructional design for remote librarianship, emerging services for teaching and learning, defining the role of the school librarian, and program considerations for new learning models. Reports generated from these forums will provide actionable recommendations for school librarians across the country. 

Christopher Harris, Ed.D., Director of the GV BOCES School Library System, wrote and submitted that grant and will serve as the project coordinator. Patrick Whipple, Ph.D., Director of GV BOCES Professional Learning Services, will lead the grant evaluation. 

“What we want to do is take a hard look at what the pandemic brought to school libraries and really figure out what worked,” Dr. Harris explained. “We are leading this national effort to bring together thousands of school librarians from across the country to plan out how we are going to move forward to meet student needs in this new future.” 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, school libraries across the country made changes to procedures, spaces, and instructional practices out of necessity. Across the many models of in-person, hybrid, and remote instruction adopted by districts around the country, there were even more models for school librarians and the services they provide. It is essential that we take time after the immediate pressure of the pandemic emergency to reflect, understand, and evaluate those modified practices. The need for investigation is especially critical in those communities where school library programs were already at-risk prior to the emergency.

“The grant project is called 'Libraries Today,' ” Dr. Harris noted. “We are looking at where we are today and where we want to be moving forward. This grant will give us a chance to guide the national policy discussion around school libraries.” 

The first work in the grant project will be the convening of a national advisory panel. Advisory panel members will include the School Library System directors from New York City and Erie 1 BOCES, as well as, directors from Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools, Norman (OK) Public Schools, the past president of the American Association of School Librarians, and others. 

July 27, 2021 - 2:03pm
posted by Press Release in City Schools, batavia, news, schools, education.

Press release:

The Batavia City School District’s Registration Office will be located at the Robert Morris Site beginning on Monday, August 2, 2021.   Families are asked to use the Community Schools entrance when picking up or turning in registration materials, which is located off of the parking lot at the corners of Richmond and Vernon Avenues.  The hours are 8 AM-12 PM and 1 PM-3 PM until August 20.  Beginning August 23, hours are 8 AM-4 PM.

The District encourages any families with children entering Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) or Kindergarten in September to please register their child as soon as possible.  Children who are residents of the District and who are four (4) years of age on or before December 1, 2021, are eligible to apply for UPK.  Children who will be five years old on or before December 1, 2021, are eligible for Kindergarten.  Please see the information on our District’s website, https://www.bataviacsd.org/page/electronic-registration, to begin the registration process.

 Anyone with questions may call the Registration Office at 585-343-2480 ext 1010.

July 20, 2021 - 2:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, news, schools, education.

Scott Bischoping has been named interim superintendent for Batavia City Schools following the resignation of Anibal Soler.

Bischopping was the interim superintendent following the departure of Chris Dailey and preceding Soler's appointment at the start of 2020.

Soler accepted an appointment as superintendent of the Schenectady school district.

"His knowledge and leadership will guide us into the new school year," the district said in a statement.

July 20, 2021 - 1:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hockey, sports, schools, news, batavia, Notre Dame, Batavia United.

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A Batavia City School District trustee who held up approval of a merger between the Batavia and Notre Dame hockey teams at the district's school board meeting on Thursday afternoon met with the schools' athletic directors and coaches and said he had his questions answered and looks forward to the agreement being on the board's next agenda.

The Batavian has attempted to clarify with John Marucci that his statement means he intends to vote in favor of the merger but he has not responded to two emails.

Three Four other members of the board have responded to emails and said they intend to support the measure. One hasn't responded.

Previously, The Batavian emailed five questions to Marucci about his apparent objections to the merger, trying to clarify his position and didn't get a response until yesterday. He didn't provide answers to the question but did make this statement:

I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. Just so you know that today at 3:15, I was able to meet with BCSD BOE President Alice Ann Benedict, BCSD AD Mike Bromley and hockey coaches Marc Staley and John Kirkwood. We had a very lengthy and thorough discussion about the proposed merger between Notre Dame and Batavia as it pertains to hockey. I feel very satisfied that I had my questions and concerns answered and look forward to having this item on our agenda for our August 5th BCSD BOE Meeting. 

At last week's meeting, Marucci expressed concern about other schools in the county being eased out of a combined hockey program with Batavia and that once current players from those districts have graduated, students at those schools would have to attend Notre Dame if they wanted to play hockey. He suggested Notre Dame recruits athletic students and that he was concerned the merger wouldn't be fair to Batavia students.

Our questions to Marucci included trying to find out how the merger wouldn't be fair to Batavia students. He didn't answer that question.

At the meeting, he said, "I just want clarification," and, "I'm not trying to be that guy but I guess I'm being that guy."

With two seats vacant on the board due to resignations and one person absent, Marucci's unwillingness to vote to approve the agreement meant there wasn't a quorum, so the board had to table the matter until its Aug. 5 meeting.

The merger would mean Notre Dame, which has won two sectional championships in recent years under Head Coach Marc Staley, and Batavia players would form a single unit.

Last week the schools announced the new team would be known as Batavia United.

Advocates of the merger argue that the merger would allow both schools to have a JV program, which will help produce a more successful program and end the dangerous practice of including JV-aged and -sized kids on varsity rosters.

And yes, students at schools such as Le Roy, Alexander, Oakfield-Alabama, and Pembroke, who want to play hockey in the future, will need to attend a private school such as Notre Dame. Which is how it was for those schools before Batavia, in a bid to increase its hockey numbers seven years ago, accepted those schools into its hockey program.

Since that realignment, Batavia has won 13 games with only two of those wins coming against Section V opponents and no wins against teams with winning records.

The merger is going to get the support of at least three trustees.

Statement from Alice Benedict:

I wholeheartedly support the Batavia Notre Dame Hockey merger. It will help both schools be able to offer hockey opportunities for grades 7 through 12.

Statement from John Reigle:

Thank you for reaching out to me regarding the hockey merger. 

As you are aware we tabled the agenda item at our last school board meeting for some final clarification and questions. It is a big decision for our district and I’m glad our board of education is putting in so much collaborative thought and consideration into the topic. Unfortunately, our athletic director and/or the coaches were unable to attend the last meeting to have more discussion on the topic. However, it is my understanding they were able to meet with our board president and Vice President yesterday to discuss. 

After speaking with some hockey families from both schools, along with learning more of Coach Staley’s & Coach Kirkwood’s goals and intentions for the United program, I am in favor of the merger. I look forward to bringing back a competitive hockey program to our city that the student-athletes, our schools, and our community are proud of. 

Statement from Barbara Bowman:

I am in complete support of the hockey merger because it will be advantageous to BHS and ND students and the community in general.

Newly elected Trustee Jennifer Lendvay did not respond.

UPDATE: Lendvay's statement: 

I am in favor of the merger of the BHS/ND hockey teams and look forward to seeing them play.

Comments
July 7, 2021 - 3:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, schools, education, video, news, Oakfield.
Video Sponsor

The shovels went into the ground at Oakfield-Alabama as soon as the summer break started on a $15.3 million capital improvement project at both the high school/middle school and the elementary school and yesterday Superintendent John Fisgus and a group of contractors gave members of the school board a tour of the work followed by an official groundbreaking ceremony.

The project includes reconstruction of the entry, parking lot, passenger pick-up, and bus lanes at the elementary school. The elementary school is also getting a remodeled cafeteria and kitchen, new main office, nurse's suite, and main entrance. There will also be a new teachers' lounge, remodeled gym with new bleachers.

The schools are also getting new, brightly colored -- blue and gold -- tennis courts.

The HS/MS is getting a remodeled auditorium.

In the fall of 2022, all of the windows of the HS/MS will be replaced and the school will get a new entrance, new atrium, and new main office.

Comments
July 2, 2021 - 6:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, schools, education, news.

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Among the highlights of Elba's graduation, this past weekend were four fathers from the Class of 1991 (that's 30 years ago for those of you counting) who shared in watching their daughters graduate with the rest of the Class of 2021.

Michael Augello, school board president, handed a diploma to his daughter Taylor.

Pictured from left: Madison Harrington and her father Aaron. Miah Werth and her father Steve. Leah Bezon and her dad Steven, and Taylor Augello and her dad Michael.

Photo by Laura Luft.

June 19, 2021 - 4:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, news, schools, education, Oakfield, Alabama.

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Oakfield-Alabama held its 2021 graduation ceremony on Friday.

Above, Karly Smith delivers her Valedictorian speech.

Zachary Hall, below, was the Salutatorian.

Photos by Kristen Smith.

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Comments
June 18, 2021 - 2:19pm

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The children and staff at the Agri-Business Child Development Center on Brooklyn Avenue in Batavia celebrated Juneteenth today with a parade in the playground.

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