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June 21, 2019 - 7:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, batavia, schools, education, video.
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Jackson School in Batavia hosted two promotion ceremonies today. This video is from the 9 a.m. session.

June 21, 2019 - 3:08pm
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Jeff Musial from Nickel City Reptiles and Exotics was at Jackson School on Thursday morning showing off some of the exotic live animals he keeps for educational purposes.

June 20, 2019 - 6:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Kennedy School, schools, education, news.

Press release:

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     Amanda Cook

This week, John Kennedy Intermediate School was named a 2018-2019 Recognition School by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) for high marks in achievement and in progress.

The school will receive a Certificate of Recognition from Commissioner MaryEllen Elia.

“It’s gratifying – but not surprising – that John Kennedy earned this distinction,” says Batavia City School Dictrict Superintendent Christopher J. Dailey.

“Backed by a dedicated Board of Education, our administrators, teachers, and staff work tirelessly with students and their families to help children reach their potential.”

As NYSED aims for a more holistic approach to school and student achievement under New York’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan, 2018-19 Recognition Schools exemplify success in this mission with high academic achievement, student growth and graduation rate, and demonstrated progress during the 2017-18 school year.

The criteria used to determine the Recognition School status includes: student growth; met or exceeded either the school or state measures of interim progress for English language arts and mathematics; reduced rate of chronic absenteeism; and college-, career-, and civic-readiness; and met the federally required 95-percent participation rate in the English language arts and mathematics assessments.

Batavia’s Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Molly Corey, noting that John Kennedy is one of only 562 in the state and one of only 328 at the elementary level to be regarded as a Recognition School, said “I commend the teachers at John Kennedy and their principal, Dr. Amanda Cook, for this accomplishment. Their hard work and dedication to all students is evident.”

Expanding on that, Cook added, “Our entire team is committed to engaging students and their families in activities that build excitement for learning in ways that help children want to come to school to be a part of making memories together. We focus on creating a school learning community.”

June 16, 2019 - 2:00pm

From Young Audiences of WNY:

Arts Partners for Learning (APL) is pleased to announce that Western New York schools are eligible to apply for APL creative learning programs, which will occur between September and June 2020.

Programs include performances, workshops, residencies, and field trips with cultural organizations that make use of the arts as a text to achieve Common Core State Standard benchmarks at any grade level.

Eligible schools must be located in one of the eight counties of Western New York, including Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming.

Up to 90 percent of residency program costs will be covered for selected schools thanks to funding from Fund for the Arts.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with priority given to early applicants.

Applications can be found here.

To learn more about APL, click here.

June 14, 2019 - 5:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Adams Welding, oakfield-alabama, news, schools, education, notify.

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For Tim Adams, owner of Adams Welding and Manufacturing in Stafford, donating steel for a class project at Oakfield-Alabama High School is a chance to help students discover a possible career.

For the students, it's a chance to explore a trade and learn new skills.

For the Genesee County Fair, they'll receive new gate racks.

You might call it a win-win-win.

"Any chance kids have for an opportunity to learn a skill or an opportunity to if something is something they want to do in a future career, whether it be welding, electrical, plumbing, or carpentry, any kind of skilled trade, I don't see that as a bad thing," Adams said. "Perhaps they will fall in love with it and like it."

While not necessarily calling it a career just yet, Cierra Tiede said she went from being fearful of welding to really enjoying it.

"It was pretty cool," Tiede said. "I've done another welding projects before, but this was a bigger scale and it was cool to see it all come together in the end."

Instructor Todd Hofheins said it was a great project for the students to learn how to work together as a team, to divide up their labor, coordinate, and ensure all of the five racks are uniform in size and quality.

"The racks need to hold close to 2,000 pounds so they've got to be done properly," Hofheins said.

Without the donation of steel from Adams, the project wouldn't have been possible, Hofheins said.

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June 4, 2019 - 11:32pm
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Students at Batavia Middle School made their annual civil rights presentations today for fellow students, teachers and parents.

May 30, 2019 - 8:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, le roy hs, schools, education, viddeo.
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May 24, 2019 - 9:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, Batavia CTE, news, schools, education.

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(Above, Hannah Tiede, Batavia, with instructor Bob Yates, and her new boss, Darryl Horzempa, of Stan's Harley-Davidson, where she interned and will work after graduation, and her parents, Meghan and Rich Tiede.)

When sports stars sign letters of intent to attend a university, the schools' athletic directors invite the media to cover the letter-of-intent signing but students moving onto careers rarely get the same attention.

Batavia CTE/BOCES corrected that oversight earlier this week by holding its first-ever signing day with three students who graduate this spring with jobs in their chosen careers already in place.

"As many of you know, we’re at a critical shortage of skilled workers these days," said Principal Jon Sanfratello. "There are many different avenues that kids have today, whether it’s going through school onto college or technical school or straight out into the workforce.

"And so we try to provide those opportunities for kids each and every day, so we have three great stories of these hard-working seniors who are going to go straight out into the workforce."

Hannah Teide, of Batavia, will be working at Stan’s Harley-Davidson in Batavia.

"When she first started coming into our shop I thought she was already friends with all of our employees," Horzempa said. "I thought if she's that enthusiastic about working in our shop, maybe I should give her a try and she's been that enthusiastic ever since."

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(Above, from left are Todd Sloat, his parents, Rebecca and Richard Day, Bob Yates, and Jon Sanfratello.)

Jake Day signed with Sloat Tire. 

"Jacob approached and said he would like to stay and we were already thinking, 'what are you doing this summer?' " said Todd Sloat, owner of Sloat Tire, and a former BOCES student himself. "It worked out that we asked him to stay. It worked out and that's why we're here today."

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(Above Jenna Montgomery signs with The Exchange in Attica with her are, from left: Renee Ackert, owner of The Exchange; Jenna’s father, Jim Montgomery; Jon Sanfratello; Jenna’s mother, Bethany Montgomery; and cosmetology teacher Mary Beswick.)

Jenna Montgomery signed with The Exchange in Attica. Beswick said what turned Montgomery around was a student was her internship at The Exchange, where she really started to shine and that carried over into her course work.

"She's so talented in what she loves to do," Ackert said. "She's fit in wonderfully at the salon."

May 22, 2019 - 9:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, news.

Batavia City School District

Budget passes 378 to 172.

Two trustees elected: Peter Cecere, 452 votes; and John Marucci, 421.

Le Roy Central School District

  • Prop. 1, district budget, passes 338 to 70
  • Prop. 2, capital reserve fund, passes 348 to 122
  • Prop. 3, transportation policy, passes 360 to 108
  • Prop. 4, library budget, passes 368 to 40

Three candidates won school board seats. Denise Duthe and Peter Loftus won three-year terms with 337 and 330 votes each; Christine Dowell wins a two-year term with 295 votes. Write-in votes: Bruno DeFazio, Jeff Gephart, Walter McBurney, Stan Barringer, William S. Jaszcz, Darcy Porter and Bob Dawley.

Tracy Mortorana won a seat on the Woodward Memorial Library Board of Trustees. Stephanie Ball and John Wilson received write-in votes.

Byron-Bergen Central School District

  • Prop. 1, district budget, passes 285 to 107
  • Prop. 2, bus purchase, passes 293 to 90
  • Prop. 4, capital reserve, passes 282 to 103
  • Prop. 4, school Vehicle reserve, passes 277 to 106

Three board members elected: Kimberly Carlson, 328 votes, Yvonne Ace-Wagoner, 314, Jennifer VanValkenberg, 331.

Pavilion Central School District

District budget passes 117 votes to 20.

Two candidates elected to the school board, Kevin Stefan, 121 votes; and Becky Dziekan, 117.

Alexander Central School District

  • Prop. 1, district budget, passes 136 to 46
  • Prop. 2, bus purchases, passes 134 to 49
  • Prop. 3, capital reserve fund, passes 128 to 55
  • Prop. 4, capital reserve fund, passes 127 to 54
  • Prop. 5, school bus reserve fund, passes 129 to 52

Brian Paris is reelected to the school board with 145 votes. There were eight write-in votes.

Elba Central School District 

  • Prop. 1, district budget, passes 137 to 30
  • Prop. 2, school bus purchase, passes 132 to 34
  • Prop. 3, capital projects, passes 132 to 33

Trisha Werth and Michael Zuber were elected to the Board of Trustees. Dean Norton was elected to finish an unexpired term of a board member who resigned.

Oakfield-Alabama Central School District

District budget passes 169 to 25.

Board members elected: Matthew Lamb, with 172 votes; and Justin Staebell, 166.

UPDATED 1:53 p.m.: The results from Pembroke Central School District are listed below.

Pembroke Central School District

Pembroke CSD budget passes 378 to 107.

  • Authorization to purchase school buses, passes 381 Yes to 98 No
Board members elected to five-year terms are: Samantha Ianni -- 86 Votes (18 percent); Jeanna Strassburg -- 145 voted (31 percent); Arthur Ianni -- 239 Votes  (51 percent).
May 19, 2019 - 8:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in WNY Tech Academy, byron-bergen, news, schools, education, business.

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National Grid was recognized Friday by the WNY Tech Academy at Byron-Bergen High School as the Business of the Year for the company's support of the program, particularly for the $25,000 National Grid had already donated to the student's greenhouse project. On Friday, executive Ken Kuwaja and Paul Gister delivered another $50,000.

The student-conceived project involves building a greenhouse and starting a business to grow greens and farm tilapia in a hydroponic environment.

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Kelly Yates, pictured with Principal Thomas Schulte, was named Mentor of the Year.

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Students named Professional of the Year: Samantha Lucki, Petyon Penders, and Evan Harter.

May 17, 2019 - 7:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia kiwanis, schools, education, news.

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On Thursday, the Kiwanis Club of Batavia held its annual luncheon recognizing the Top 10 academic students of Batavia High School.

Top Photo: Ryann Stefaniak (first row, left), Madison Dedman, Pierce Corbelli, Kristen Gloskowski, Emily Caccamise (back row, left), Lyndsay Debo, Brianna Bromley, Karissa Kesler, Tracy Lin, Julia Spiotta. Spiotta is top in her class.

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The annual music awards went to Eryn Dunn for Outstanding Service in Chorus, Zak Jantzi for Outstanding Service in Orchestra, and Elise Hoerbelt for Outstanding Service in Band.

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Karissa Kesler and Emily Boldt received Citizenship Awards. Besides the plaques, Kesler and Boldt received $1,000 each.

Below, a submitted photo from last week of the Top 10 students from Notre Dame High School.

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Mary Vandenbosch (first row, left), Hannah Gualtieri, Faith Falkowski, Meghan Stella, Elizabeth Fuentes, Gemma Bochicchio (back row, left), Daniel Bergman, Samuel Bowman, Bella March, and Mary Warner.

May 8, 2019 - 7:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, news, schools, education, notify.

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Voters in the Batavia City School District will be asked on May 21 to approve a budget of $50,518,573, with a projected increase in the tax levy of 2.93 percent.

The Board of Trustees approved the proposed budget Tuesday night, following a public hearing, sending it to the voters for final approval before the 2019-2020 school year.

Spending in the district will drop 3.20 percent, or more than to $1.6 year-over-year if voters approve the budget.

The proposed tax rate is $22.06 for 2019-2020, up from $21.67 this year.

Voting will take place on Tuesday, May 21, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Robert Morris building and Batavia High School.

As part of the public hearing, Superintendent Chris Dailey, in his final budget hearing with the district (he's taken a job with the Gates Chili Central School District) shared a good deal of detail about the district.

This year, there are 2,377 students enrolled, and though the district provides free breakfast and lunch to all students, under government guidelines for free and reduced-price lunches, 59 percent of the district students qualify.

The attendance rate is 95 percent. Dailey said that is the highest in the area.

"It doesn't hurt that students know they are getting two free meals a day," Dailey said. "They know they're going to eat at least twice." 

There are 259.4 teachers in the district, 122 teachers aides and clerical employees, 39 maintenance staff, four assistant principals, four principals, five people in IT, 24 in nutritional services, and seven in the central office.

The BHS graduation rate is 92 percent. That is, again, one of the highest in the area, Dailey said.

In the coming year, the district will add a Batavia police officer as a school resource officer.

Some of the programs in the district that are not mandated by the state but that Dailey said the community demands:

  • Kindergarten
  • K-12 art classes
  • K-5 music
  • Instrumental lessons starting in the third grade
  • School plays and musicals
  • AP and college credit courses
  • Athletics
  • Extracurricular clubs
  • A college and career center
  • Small class sizes
  • Teachers' aides
May 8, 2019 - 5:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, news, schools, education.

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At Tuesday's school board meeting, the Board of Trustees of the Batavia City School District honored three students with certificates of appreciation for being good students and good classmates.

Top photo: Dominic Darsh and Board President Pat Burk.

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Amelia Tripp

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Sophia Lawrence

April 12, 2019 - 3:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, news, schools, education, music, arts.

 

 

Press release:

On Tuesday, April 9, Byron-Bergen students in grades three through seven gathered for a surprise assembly at the Jr./Sr. High School. They were treated to a special performance and conversation with Rochester-based electro hip-hop violinist Svet Radoslavof, or Svet, as he is known professionally, demonstrated his considerable talents on his electric violin, shared some of his experiences including his performance on "America’s Got Talent," answered student questions, and gave out lots of high fives.

As the assembly commenced, Beethoven’s "Fur Elise" filled the room. Then, from behind the curtain, Svet emerged and performed a modern interpretation of the iconic piece. Next, he performed a medley of pop rock hits during which he jumped off the stage and danced through the audience to cheers and applause. After this performance, Svet shared his story with the students emphasizing the importance of education and hard work.

“You have to go to school,” said Svet, who chose to skip his initial opportunity to appear on "America’s Got Talent" to take a final exam. “Study hard because, one day, you guys are going to succeed. You guys are the leaders of tomorrow so school is the most important thing.”

Svet was not the only one performing on the stage that day. He was invited to be a judge along with Elementary Music teachers Bob Lancia and Karen Tischer in a Byron-Bergen’s Got Talent skit. Hosted by sixth-grade teacher Megan Wahl, several faculty members took to the stage to demonstrate their talents. Christopher Chapman, Lara Ezard, Taylor Haupt, Heather Painting, Ken Rogoyski, and Heather Young delivered comedic talent routines before making way for two very talented students. Genevieve and Solomon Smith performed a contemporary dance to Keala Settle’s "This is Me" from "The Greatest Showman" to uproarious applause from their peers.

For a finale, Svet performed an original composition accompanied by a group of Byron-Bergen faculty commonly referred to as the Byron-Bergen House Band or The Hives. The Hives consists of Christopher Chapman, Bob Lancia, and Karen Tischer with a special guest appearance from Jr./Sr. High School Band teacher Kevin Bleiler.

“The assembly generated lots of enthusiasm,” said Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High Assistant Principal Scott Bradley. “Svet is very engaging and delivered a good message to our students.”

“It was an amazing experience for everyone,” said Elementary Assistant Principal Betsy Brown. “I want to thank fourth-grade teacher Alyson Tardy for taking the initiative to reach out and invite Svet to share his music and story with our students. I’m so glad she did!”

Svet is a native of Bulgaria but immigrated to Rochester with his family at the age of 11. He began playing violin at 3 and continued his studies at the Eastman School of Music. He went on to study Economics at the University of Rochester.

April 4, 2019 - 2:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, news, schools, education.

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Trevahn Wright, left, with Batavia HS Principal Paul Kesler, and Madeline Dennison graduated from high school at the Batavia City Schools Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday night.

Both recently completed their course work and passed their regent's exams making them eligible in April to receive their degrees.

March 28, 2019 - 2:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, schools, education, music, arts, entertainment.
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March 26, 2019 - 5:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, schools, education, news.

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Members of the Pembroke Dragon's volleyball team traveled yesterday to Buffalo to serve homemade desserts to the women and children seeking temporary shelter at the Buffalo City Mission.

They were inspired by Social Studies teacher Greg Kinal, who often volunteers at the mission and is sometimes joined by students.

The volleyball team was looking for a volunteer project so asked Kinal if they could serve at the mission. They made the desserts.

Coach Morgan Wagner said she was proud of her team.

"The athletes in our program are always thinking of others," Wagner said. "They are the kindest and most generous young ladies and teammates. I am very fortunate to work with these quality character student-athletes

"Their parents even got involved by assisting in the baking of the goodies we delivered. We are truly blessed here at Pembroke to be apart of a community that so selflessly loves and serves others."

The mission is always in need of donations so if anybody in the community wishes to pitch in and help, contact Kinal at the high school.

Photos courtesy Pembroke High School.

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March 21, 2019 - 3:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, Batavia CTE, batavia, news, schools, education.

The district superintendent for BOCES says a student complaint about an instructor with an unauthorized pocketknife on campus was taken seriously and dealt with promptly after the student contacted The Batavian to complain about what she perceived as an inadequate response.

Kevin MacDonald said as soon as the Batavia principal was contacted by the student the situation was dealt with and that the instructor involved felt "horrible" about the mistake. The pocketknife is something she normally carries with her off campus and forgot it was clipped on the pocket of her utility pants, making it clearly visible to students.

The student who contacted The Batavian said she was concerned the issue hadn't been dealt with and MacDonald suggested the student wasn't aware of what went on after she spoke with a principal.

While sharp objects -- knives, saws, scissors, and other items -- are part of the instructional environment on the Batavia CTE campus, neither students nor faculty are allowed to bring knives onto campus.

The parents of three students who expressed concern about the knife were contacted by phone by school officials, MacDonald said.

"I'm confident our staff handled the situation very well," MacDonald said.

Here is a statement from District Superintendent Kevin MacDonald:

On Wednesday, March 20, a student who attends the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center, reported that an instructor was carrying a knife that was visible to students.

Administration was notified of the report and the student’s concerns. A conversation was had with the instructor who was carrying a knife. She immediately removed the knife from the building. She apologized noting that it was an honest mistake. Administration met with the student who reported the incident. Parents were notified of the situation that occurred.

The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership has a board policy that states that weapons are not allowed on campuses, however, the policy does note that tools and other equipment, like knives and scissors, are allowed as long as the implement is part of the approved career and technical education program. The welfare of our students is of utmost importance and we take reports like this seriously.

March 15, 2019 - 6:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, education, news.

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Children dance to the music of the Hill Brothers during annual Family Reading Night at Jackson School in Batavia.

The entertainment followed sessions of various people from the community reading to the children in their classrooms at the school.

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March 15, 2019 - 12:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in tech wars, GCC, schools, education.

 

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Students from throughout the region competed Thursday at Genesee Community College in the 12th Annual Tech Wars, which gives them a chance to test out their ideas and designs in engineering and technology-related contests against students from other schools.

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