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batavia city school district

March 13, 2019 - 6:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia city school district, batavia, news, schools, education.

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Dr. Joseph Zambon and Mrs. Paula Fischer are Outstanding Community Members
In recognition of their work to include our students’ families in the Give Kids a Smile Day, Dr. Joseph Zambon and Mrs. Paula Fischer were nominated to receive Outstanding Community Member Awards.

While Dr. Zambon was unable to be present, Mrs. Fischer was presented with the award by Board of Education president Patrick Burk at the BCSD Board meeting on March 12.

They were nominated by Julia Rogers, district coordinator of Assessment and Instructional Services, who wrote:

"Dr. Zambon, dean of the UB School of Dental Medicine, and Notre Dame alumnus, and Mrs. Fischer, director of School-Based Programs at the UB Dental School, and BHS alumna, coordinated the partnership between the Batavia City School District and the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine for their annual Give Kids A Smile Day.

"The event, for children 1-18 years of age, took place on Feb. 9. They coordinated with Fidelis Care to offer free transportation to UB for families to attend if they needed it. The UB Dental’s Give Kids a Smile event offered free dental care -- including exams, cleanings, fillings, extractions, orthodontic consultations (braces), hearing and vision screenings, and healthy eating demonstrations.

"Every child and parent received oral health supplies and lunch bag. We are so grateful to UB Dental for their inclusion of BCSD families in this event.”

October 12, 2018 - 4:01pm

The Batavia City School District Board of Education and administration invite you to serve as a Budget Ambassador to assist with the 2019-20 Budget process.

Residents of the District are invited to become Budget Ambassadors and make recommendations regarding the school budget. No experience necessary.

If interested in serving, please notify the District in writing by Thursday, Jan 10.

Send written letter interest to:

Christopher J. Dailey

Superintendent

260 State St., Batavia, NY 14020

Or email letter to:   [email protected]

Ambassadors will be expected to attend three budget Monday sessions from 6:30 to p.m. on Feb. 4, Feb. 11, Feb. 25 in District Administration Conference Room #49.  

For questions or additional information, please contact the District Office at 343-2480, ext. 1000, or e-mail Superintendent Dailey at [email protected]

October 12, 2018 - 2:44pm
Press release:
 

With Batavia City School District’s yearlong reconstruction project at the Daniel A. Van Detta Stadium at Woodward Field set to begin next week, the last day the track will be open to the public is Sunday, Oct. 14.

Likewise, the current playground across the street from the stadium (adjacent to the Robert Morris Building) also will be closed after Oct. 14. The playground will be relocated to a different area of the Robert Morris grounds and reopen in the spring.

Another part of the 2020 Vision Capital Project that will begin this month is the addition of four classrooms and interior renovations at John Kennedy School.

The exterior and interior renovations at Richmond Library will begin in December. Improvements to Jackson are slated to begin in February the High School projects are scheduled to start in May.

July 15, 2018 - 12:50pm

Press release:

The Batavia City School District (BCSD) applied for and was granted federal funding that will allow all students attending a District school to receive one nutritious breakfast and one nutritious lunch each day that school is in session.

This four-year funding will begin in 2018-2019, with the District being eligible to reapply for additional four-year terms as long as the federal program is funded.

Batavia qualifies for this Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) funding – a provision of The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act – because of its classification as an economically disadvantaged community due to a significant number of students already qualifying for free or reduced meals.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for the District, and we are very excited to be able to take advantage of a federal program that allows us to offer every student one healthy breakfast and lunch every school day at no cost to our families,” says Superintendent of Schools Christopher J. Dailey.

“Research is conclusive that good nutrition is a critical factor in learning. This is a program that allows us to bring some of our federal tax dollars back to our community to provide nutritious meals for all of our students.” 

The CEP funding is for the first full breakfast and first full lunch. If a student would like a second breakfast or second lunch, or would like one or more particular separate items (“a la carte” items), then those will need to be purchased. Purchases can be made with cash or through My School Bucks – the Nutrikids computerized payment system which has been used by families in the District for several years.

Because all children will receive one breakfast and one lunch at no cost, the option of charging items to a tab to be paid at a later time will no longer be available.

To qualify for other income-based funding and grants – a process which was formerly measured by information recorded on the Free and Reduced Meal Applications -- all students’ families will be asked to submit a short household form to establish the level of community need.

The District currently receives a significant amount of money in grants and other funding based on economic need. Collecting data from all households will permit us to continue to apply for and receive funding for which we are eligible.

The new form is currently being developed to ensure that the information required for applications to grant-funding agencies is gathered while not being unnecessarily burdensome or invasive to families.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for Batavia City School District

Question:  Who receives free meals?

Every student enrolled in the Batavia City School District will receive the first breakfast and the first lunch at no cost each school day regardless of the family’s household income.  Students are not required to participate; students may still bring their lunch if that is their preference.

Question:  Is my child able to make purchases, such as for milk (if bringing lunch from home), for other a la carte items, or for a second school meal? 

Yes, students may make purchases instead of or in addition to the first free breakfast or first free lunch. The purchase of all a la carte items will remain the same, in that families are responsible for payment. Additional meals are not covered under the program and it is each family’s responsibility to pay for those meals. Payment is due at the time of purchase. Purchases may be made with cash or through My School Bucks, the Nutrikids computerized payment system which has been used by families in the District for several years.

***Please note: there is NO charging allowed for additional meals or a la carte items. 

Prices for second meals and additional milk (or milk purchased a la carte) for 2018-2019 are:

Jackson and John Kennedy                     Middle School and High School

Second Breakfast                      $1.35                                              $1.45

Second Lunch                            $2.10                                              $2.30

A la carte Milk*                           $0.60                                              $0.60

Milk is included with the first breakfast and the first lunch or any additional paid meals. However, milk purchased separately (for students who bring their lunch) will be charged at a la carte prices, which is $0.60.  

Question:  How does the program work?

The New York State Child Nutrition (CN) Department began this program several years ago with federal funding backing the program.  School Districts must be eligible based on their specific poverty rates and have to apply to CN for approval.  Batavia City School District is eligible because it has an Identified Student Percentage of 40 percent or higher according to building level data. An Identified Student refers to any student certified to receive free meals by any means other than the submission of individual paper applications, such as SNAP and Medicaid.

Question: What impact does this program have on school taxes?

There is no impact on school taxes.  The General Fund budget (which the taxpayers vote on each year) is completely separate from the self-sustaining School Lunch Fund.    

Question: Who needs to fill out the CEP Household Income Eligibility Form?

All District families are asked to fill out the CEP Household Income Eligibility Form. The completion of this form is essential for the District. Many state and federal programs use socioeconomic data (that is, household and income information) to determine eligibility for their programs. In addition primary state funding calculations use socioeconomic data.

In order to continue to receive such funding and grants, the income information still needs to be gathered from our student population. The form is available in the school calendar, online at the Batavia City School District Nutritional Service Web page at:  https://www.bataviacsd.org/Page/5872  and will also be available at all school open house events. 

Question: If I have questions about the Household Income Form or if I received a letter this school year indicating that my children are approved for free meals, who can I contact?

Please contact the Food Service Department at 585-343-2480, ext. 1007. The office will be able to assist you with any questions or paperwork.

Question: Who do I include as members of my household and what if my monthly income is not always the same?

You must include all people living in your household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives or friends) who share your income and expenses. You must include yourself and all children living with you. If you live with other people who are economically independent (people that you do not support, who do not share income with you and your children and who pay a pro-rated share of expenses), do NOT include them.

List the income that you normally receive if your monthly income varies. If you have lost your job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income.

Question: Does this program change the quality of food that can be served?

There is no impact to the quality of food that is served.  The District must still continue to follow all food and dietary guidelines that are set by New York State Child Nutrition Program.

Question:  What constitutes a complete meal for breakfast and lunch?

The District complies with the Federal Program: Choosemyplate.gov.

For breakfast, the District offers two grains, a fruit, and a milk. Students must choose at least three of the four offered items, and one of those chosen must be the fruit. For lunch, the District offers a protein, a grain, a fruit, a vegetable and a milk.

Students must choose three of the five offered items, and one of those chosen must be the fruit or vegetable.

Question:  May a student be charged for an incomplete meal if the student refuses to select the required components for a complete meal?

The District will offer a complete meal to each student in order to qualify for the CEP fully funded reimbursable meal. However, if a student refuses to take the complete meal then the student will be charged a la carte prices for the foods selected on their tray.  

Question:  My child has a positive balance on his/her “MySchoolBucks” account. What happens to the current balance?

The balance on the My School Bucks account can be used for a la carte purchases or for any additional/second meals.

If you would like a refund of your account balance please send an email to: Susan Presher at [email protected] or a written letter to Susan Presher, Nutritionals Services Director, 260 State St., Batavia, NY 14020.

March 30, 2018 - 2:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia city school district, business, news, batavia.

Batavia City School District Superintendent Christopher J. Dailey.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Batavia City School District has been awarded a 2018 Top Workplaces honor by the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester.

The award is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by research partner Energage LLC (formerly WorkplaceDynamics), a leading provider of technology-based employee engagement tools.

The anonymous survey measures several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few.

“Top Workplaces is more than just recognition,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage. “Our research shows organizations that earn the award attract better talent, experience lower turnover, and are better equipped to deliver bottom-line results. Their leaders prioritize and carefully craft a healthy workplace culture that supports employee engagement.” 

For Superintendent of Schools Christopher J. Dailey, the anonymous survey confirmed what he already believed to be true: “Our administration, faculty, and staff are second to none," he said.

“They are dedicated to improving all students in every aspect of their growth while enrolled at BCSD. In addition, our Board of Education, backed by our community, supports the administration in creating a positive environment for our students and staff to work, learn, and grow.”

The future, he noted, will hold more of the same. 

“This independent survey of all of our employees is an excellent recognition that defines our district as a great place to have a career that makes a difference in our world,” Dailey said. “We offer outstanding benefits to our employees and excellent professional development opportunities for continued improvement in all aspects of our district.

"BCSD also has tremendous facilities for our employees to impact the lives of our students. Our 2020 Vision Capital Project will enhance all aspects of our employee and student lives.” 

Claffey said, “Becoming a Top Workplace isn’t something organizations can buy. It’s an achievement organizations have worked for and a distinction that gives them a competitive advantage. It’s a big deal.”

BATAVIA CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT 

MISSION:
The Batavia City School District is committed to empowering students to achieve their maximum potential, while becoming socially responsible citizens.

VISION:
The Batavia City School District, in partnership with the Batavia community, will provide a safe and nurturing environment to develop students with high moral character who are able to successfully meet life's challenges.

February 7, 2018 - 4:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, batavia city school district, news, Milestones.

Submitted photos and press release:

At the Batavia City School District Board of Education meeting on Feb. 6, several students and staff members were presented with achievement awards for their exemplary work and contributions.

Nathaniel Barber is an Outstanding Student!

In recognition of his demonstrated kindness, compassion, and respectfulness to all staff and fellow students, kindergartener Nathaniel Barber was presented with an Outstanding Student Award by Board of Education president Patrick Burk.

He was nominated by Kelly Heizmann, Lucille DiSanto, and Shannon Reiss who wrote, “At six years old, Nathaniel is a model of the core beliefs we hope to instill in our students at Batavia City Schools. Nathaniel comes to school every day with a smile on his face and ready to learn. No matter how challenging the task, Nathaniel approaches everything with a positive attitude and puts forth his best effort.

"During his busy days, there are times Nathaniel has to leave a task incomplete to attend one of his therapy sessions; when he returns to class, he is not only ready but wants to finish the work he left behind. This is just one example of his strong work ethic. Nathaniel takes newly learned skills from a therapy session and independently applies them to all areas of his school day.

"For example, it is not uncommon for him to independently use or correct his pencil grip in speech therapy to the correct way that he was shown in occupational therapy. Anyone who knows Nathaniel would tell you that he is respectful, compassionate, and kind to all. This is shown in his respect to our school and others by following directions and classroom rules.

"Often times Nathaniel will rub the shoulder or put his arm around a peer who may be struggling or having a difficult day. You can count on him to try to encourage or cheer up others. His kindness is seen by all who know him. His positive attitude, eagerness to learn, and happy state of mind are infectious to all of us who are lucky enough to know and work with him.”

Savahanna Vanderveer is an Outstanding Student!

In recognition of her kindness, compassion, and respectfulness to all staff and fellow students of the Batavia City School District, Savahanna Vanderveer was presented with an Outstanding Student Award by Board of Education president Patrick. She was nominated by Mary Kanaley and Eileen Peterson, who wrote, “Kindness and perseverance are just two character traits that come to mind when thinking about Savahanna. She brings a smile to everyone's face and a positive attitude to the class with her friendly, bubbly personality. She is always looking for more ways to help friends and teachers. Savahanna works hard in all areas and tries her best in everything she does. Mrs. Kanaley and Mrs. Peterson are so proud to nominate Savahanna for this award for all she has done to be a wonderful friend and student this year!”

Jeremy Mettler is an Outstanding Staff Member!

In recognition of his valuable contribution to the staff and students of the Batavia City School District, BHS Social Studies teacher Jeremy Mettler was presented with an Outstanding Staff Award by Board of Education president Patrick Burk.

He was nominated by Dr. Corey, who wrote, “Mr. Mettler is very passionate about at-risk students. He organized a poverty simulator exercise for Middle School and High School teachers so that they would learn more about how it feels to live life in poverty.

"The event was well-received by all and brings a new level of awareness about the needs of many of our students. He will help facilitate future events for teacher aides and all teachers.”

Jessica Levins is an Outstanding Staff Member!

In recognition of her valuable contribution to the community, staff, and students, Jessica Levins was presented with an Outstanding Staff Award by Board of Education president Patrick Burk.

She was nominated by Kelly Garner, who wrote, “Miss Levins works in the Counseling Center as a counseling assistant and also spends one day a week interning as she works toward her bachelor's in social work and eventually a master's in school counseling.

"In November, she was asked to help with the annual holiday donations at the High School. In addition to calling every family to procure wish lists, Miss Levins created all of the stars for our BHS Giving Tree, organized every donation that came in, and kept in constant communication with the families we helped this holiday season.

"She spent much of her own personal time to accomplish these tasks, made her own generous gift donations to the cause, and also helped deliver the gifts to families.
Miss Levins truly went above and beyond to make a difference for our families who were most in-need this holiday season.

"Because of her outstanding and selfless work, we were able to provide clothing, shoes, toys, and wrapping paper for 37 students from 13 different families this holiday season. From her outstanding connections with our students, to her work as a freshman class advisor, and now this incredible gift to our community -- Jess genuinely takes care of BCSD each and every day.

Jessica Levins and Kelly Garner are Outstanding Staff Members!

For going above and beyond to provide support to those in need, and for their compassion and leadership while serving others, Counseling Center assistant and intern Jessica Levins and BHS counselor Kelly Garner were presented with Outstanding Staff Awards by Board of Education president Patrick Burk.

They were nominated by Mark Warren, who wrote, “Kelly Garner and Jessica Levins stepped up to organize a Giving Tree for the High School staff to purchase gifts for District students in need. Their efforts allowed families in the District to help provide clothes and "wish" items to their children during the holiday season. The faculty and staff did an excellent job supporting the program, but without Mrs. Garner and Miss Levin’s compassion and leadership, it would not have been as successful.”

Ann Marie Wood is an Outstanding Staff Member!

In recognition of her valuable contribution to the staff, students, and community, Ann Marie Wood was presented with an Outstanding Staff Award by Board of Education president Patrick Burk.

She was nominated by Andrea Smith, who wrote, “Mrs. Wood serves as a substitute in many positions throughout the District. She willingly takes on the job with a smile and handles any position with dedication and enthusiasm, regardless of the challenges she may face.

"She comes to the Middle School to sub in the offices, as an aide, and even as a teacher. Mrs Wood recently served as a substitute for my Spanish classes at BMS and I could not have asked for a better person.

"Ann Marie is dedicated to the students and staff of BCSD and to the Batavia community. We are blessed to have her as part of our staff!”

June 13, 2017 - 8:35pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, batavia city school district.

John Kennedy Intermediate School is beating the odds when it comes to educating "economically disadvantaged" students.

That was the word from Molly Corey, executive director of curriculum and instruction for the Batavia City School District at the district's board of education meeting Tuesday night at Batavia High School.

Corey reported on a "Beating the Odds" conference last Thursday at SUNY New Paltz that she and JK Principal Paul Kesler attended.

Moreover, Kesler was the speaker in one of the breakout sessions at the conference, which was coordinated by researcher Manya C. Bouteneff, Ed.D..

Bouteneff is the director of Better Outcomes LLC, an organization devoted to creating high-performing environments so that students in traditionally underperforming demographic groups can succeed.

"John Kennedy (School) was selected as a result of (Bouteneff's) research, and placing in the top 10 of her findings," Corey said.

Criteria used by Bouteneff to identify high-achieving schools outside of New York City and not charter schools include the following:

-- 40 percent or more poverty;
-- 25 percent or more of ED students scoring 3 or 4 on the 2016 NYS ELA;
-- 65 percent or more of ED students scoring 2, 3, or 4 on the 2016 NYS ELA;
-- 30 or more ED test-takers;
-- no admissions criteria other than residency;
-- no in-district school choice.

Of 177 schools, just 16 percent of those eligible met these criteria.

Kesler's presentation -- Clear and Loving Structures: How Our “What I Need” (WIN) System Builds School Culture and Ensures Every Student’s Needs Are Met -- focused on how John Kennedy utilized its PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports) team to help build its school culture and how JK students (grades 2-4) have benefited from having clear and loving structures. 

He also shared the processes for training JK teachers to become leaders within the school.

In other developments, the board:

-- Approved the cross-country team's trip to the Manhattan Invitational in New York City from Oct. 13-15. Coaches Bill McMullen and Rich Boyce reported that fundraising will take place in anticipation of keeping the per student cost to around $200 for a three-day weekend.

-- Established the Batavia City School District Foundation scholarship, a $250 gift to a graduating senior, commencing with the 2018 graduation ceremony. The foundation accepts tax-deductible donations throughout the year. For more information, send an email to [email protected].

-- Presented Andy Pedro with a "golden ticket" -- free lifetime admission to any Batavia High School home sporting event -- for his nine years of service as a board member.  Tuesday's meeting was the last one for Pedro, who served six years, took a year off, and returned for three more years.

Superintendent Christopher Dailey praised Pedro for his work on the Building & Grounds Committee, pointing out Pedro's "guidance, calm demeanor, common sense, and sense of humor."

-- Thanked Madison Moore, student ex-officio on the board for 2016-17, for going above and beyond expectations. Dailey said her "professionalism and knowledge" contributed greatly to the board's success.

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Community, Teacher Award Recipients: The Batavia City School District presented Certificates of Appreciation to several community members and teachers at Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting. Starting with photo at top, Board President Patrick Burk recognizes Julie Tryon and Korinne Anderson as outstanding community members for their volunteer service, and the Batavia Middle School Parent-Teacher Group -- from left, Michelle Dillon, Lisa Shell, Jennifer Burke, Michelle Bromsted and Kathy Fulton. In bottom photo are Jackson Primary School teachers Elizabeth Mundell and Anne Marie Koukides.

Photos by Mike Pettinella.

October 8, 2016 - 12:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia city school district, education, batavia.

Pictured from left: BHS Principal Scott Wilson, Business Administrator Scott Rozanski, Board of Education (BOE) Student Ex-Officio Member Madison Moore, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Molly Corey, Citizen Action Member Eddie Jones, BHS teacher and Batavia Teachers Association President Mark Warren, Citizen Action Member David Cates, and Board of Education President Patrick Burk. (Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey was in Albany on school business so was unavailable.)

Submitted photos and press release.

The Batavia City School District welcomed Citizen Action of Western New York activists David Cates, Eddie Jones, and Samantha Nephew as they made a stop at Batavia High School this week on their way to Albany with an important message about education.

New York State has reneged on its constitutional and court ordered obligation to students, particularly students in high needs* districts such as Batavia, and it is payback time.

Board of Education President Patrick Burk presented Cates and Jones a “Past Due” invoice for $3.5 million to be delivered to the Governor’s Office on behalf of the Batavia City School District.

The trio is collecting other such invoices and statements from school districts as they travel to the state capital where they will meet up on Tuesday with like-minded activists and, they hope, lawmakers. Cates and Jones -- who both work in the educational field and whose inspiration for the trip comes from their own children as well as from working with other young people in their community -- are biking the Buffalo to Albany route with Nephew following by car.

Other affiliates of Citizen Action of New York from various parts of the state are walking to Albany.

The group’s intention is to spur lawmakers to pay the money owed to school districts in New York, as dictated by a 2006 court ruling which then was translated into the Education Budget and Reform Act of 2007. The court ruling affirmed the State’s constitutional obligation to provide essential resources for a quality education to all public school children in the state in order to graduate college-ready or career-ready citizens, regardless of their zip code. Subsequently, the legislation established a formula, to be phased in over a four-year period, designed to ensure adequate and equitable funding for all schools by calculating state aid based on students' needs and a district’s ability to raise revenue.

Legislators obeyed the law for two years, but when the economy took a downturn, they stopped obeying it and have not looked back. According to the Education Law Center, first, aid was frozen in 2009 at 37.5 percent of the four-year target. Then for the next two years, aid was cut by $2.7 billion in the name of Gap Elimination Adjustment that used school aid to balance the state’s overall budget. The GEA money has recently been restored, but the Reform Act has yet to be rekindled.

Thus, the bill for $3.5 million.

Batavia administrators, teachers, and Board of Education trustees agree that $3.5 million could provide a lot of “more and better” for our students, and ideas of how to spend it abound: reinstate courses; reduce class sizes; provide a greater variety of courses; offer multiple sections of selected courses so more students could take advantage of opportunities; hire more aides for classrooms; increase individualized instruction; increase professional development opportunities; and/or lower taxes.

“It’s important to make sure all of our students have their needs met,” said Burk as he thanked Cates and Jones for highlighting the issue. “This could do a lot.”

*“High needs” is typically defined as having a high percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced-priced meals.

June 16, 2016 - 3:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia city school district, batavia, education, news.

Information provided by the NYS Education Department.

Batavia City School District was awarded a grant totaling $212,748 from the state Education Department for extended school day and school violence prevention programs.

A total of 83 school districts and nonprofit organizations statewide, out of 450 applicants, received $24 million in grants for these programs, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced Wednesday.

Batavia City School District was the only school district or nonprofit in Genesee County to receive grant money for this purpose.

“It’s a simple proposition – when students are safe and engaged in productive afterschool activities, they’re going to enjoy school more and do better,” Elia said in a press release. “The grants we’re awarding today will go a long way toward protecting and enriching our children.”

Eligible programs provide support to students through extended school day activities and/or school safety programs which promote violence prevention. Extended school day programs will increase student achievement, provide extracurricular enrichment activities, and contribute to school violence prevention. School violence prevention activities include comprehensive school-based intervention models that reduce violence and improve school safety as well as provide funding for safe corridors, diversity programs, collaboration with law enforcement agencies or community-based organizations.

Each application was evaluated and scored by peer reviewers, including experts in expanded learning opportunities; college and university faculty and administrators; professional program evaluators; community educators; community service providers; staff from foundations and charitable organizations, as well as SED staff.

Lucy N. Friedman, president of ExpandED Schools, said, “We believe in the power of an extended day to engage kids in ways that are not always possible in a traditional classroom setting. Without the fear of a grade, students are more open to explore new challenges, like robotics or debate.

"Extended day programming provides kids with more time for enriched learning and social-emotional development. These extra hours also support the working parents because they know their children are in a safe, engaging place and this strengthens communities.”

A full list of grant awards is available at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/documents/ESDSVPR3Awardees.pdf

February 27, 2016 - 11:16am

Press release:

It’s been a long time coming, but Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey received a letter from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) stating that, once the State makes its official review visit in the early part of March, the District and Batavia Middle School will be off of the NYSED District/Focus School list in 2016-2017. Middle School staff were invited to a brief meeting Friday morning for the announcement.

“We wanted you to be the first to know,” Dailey said. “Even though this was always viewed as a district-wide process, most of the efforts were concentrated here, and we appreciate all your hard work. So, thank you, and congratulations.”

The process began several years ago, going into the 2012-2013 school year, when the District was notified that it had not met New York State’s proficiency benchmarks for one subgroup of students and, as a result, had been identified as a Focus District that was required to choose at least one school on which to focus efforts toward improvement for this subgroup. Because the Middle School had the greatest number of students in the specified subgroup, it was named as the Focus School.

The District then assembled a school improvement committee which, from that point forward, reviewed data, recommendations, and survey input to develop annual school improvement plans built around six tenets identified by NYSED’s Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness as aligning with research-based proven practices of effective schools: 1) District Leadership and Capacity, 2) School Leader Practices and Decisions, 3) Curriculum Development and Support, 4) Teacher Practices and Decisions, 5) Student Social and Emotional Developmental Health, and 6) Family and Community Engagement.

The criteria for being removed from the list included (1) meeting State participation requirements for all accountability groups for ELA and math; (2) meeting State achievement goals for the specified subgroup for two consecutive years; (3) meeting State achievement goals for averaged scores of all students in grades 3-12 for two consecutive years; and (4) having no subgroup fall below the minimum State achievement benchmarks during that time period.

Batavia Middle School Principal Sandy Griffin, noting several positive outcomes not numerically measurable, said “Our faculty has increased collaboration and the use of data to inform decision making. They have a deeper understanding of the Common Core Learning Standards and have been more actively involved in writing curriculum.

"Throughout the building – faculty, students, and staff – have a renewed commitment to and enthusiasm for the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) initiatives and to working as a team to create the best environment for learning and growing.”

Says Dailey, “This is a tremendous accomplishment by the administrators and staff of the Middle School and District. Together we have created a community of learners that pushes themselves to improve each day. We have taken a very positive approach to improvement that has paid off by our change in status with NYSED.”

UPDATE Feb. 29: Following a reader's inquiry about which subgroup triggered the inclusion on the focus list, we contacted the school district. We were told that:

"In the 2010-2011 school year, the Middle School missed the State Performance Index (PI) by 4 points with the African-American subgroup."

February 19, 2016 - 4:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia city school district.

Press release:

The Jackson Primary School staff is looking forward to welcoming new students for 2016-2017!

Registration for children eligible to begin kindergarten in the 2016-2017 school year starts March 1. Children who will be 5 years old on or before Dec. 1, 2016, are eligible. Registration is at the Batavia City School District’s Business Office, located in the administration wing of Batavia High School (260 State St.), on school days between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

To register a child, parents must bring:

  • Proof of Residency (evidence of physical address), which must be two (2) of the following: (We will make copies for our records)
    • Mortgage statement/lease
    • Electric or gas bill
    • Water bill        
    • Cable bill
    • Letter from attorney/realtor on their letterhead with confirmation of address and anticipated moving/closing date.
    • School tax bill
  • Current payroll check
  •  Child’s birth certificate
  •  Child’s Social Security card and
  •  Child’s complete immunization records.

Parents of all new students to the district are also asked to register their child in the Business Office with the same documentation.

Current 2015-2016 UPK students will be directly provided with information to complete for registration into kindergarten by mail

If you have questions, please call the Business Office at 343-2480, ext. 1002.

January 5, 2016 - 1:25pm
Thursday, January 7, 2016, 6 pm, at Batavia High School The Batavia City School District will host a Technology Night on Thursday, January 7, 2016, 6 pm, at Batavia High School (260 State Street). Parents and the community are invited to see highlights of what students and staff are doing in the District with technology and to hear more about our plans for technology upgrades as they are developing in our Smart School Investment Plan. Passage of New York State’s Smart School Bond Act in November 2014 provided the District with an opportunity to receive $2.1 million to invest in our students’ future. To take advantage of this opportunity, the District must develop and submit a Smart School Investment Plan (SSIP) for State approval. This plan for District-wide technology upgrades is being developed with input from staff, students, and the community. Community members are encouraged to attend this meeting to hear about and review the emerging plans for the near future.
April 12, 2015 - 6:16pm

To Opt Out or Not?  That is the Question

by Gretchen DiFante - posting as a parent of students impacted by the assessments.  

Some of the Batavia City School District students will take New York State tests beginning this Tuesday. Many others are exercising their right to opt out of these tests. 

My husband and I have watched our children take these state exams since our eldest was in elementary school (she’s now 22 years old); however up until this year, we’ve never seen any of our five children exhibit any unusual stress or anxiety over these tests.  This year is different, and in the past two weeks our fourth grader’s anxiety over taking the tests has escalated daily.  Discussion of the topic between my eighth grader, her classmates and us, her parents, has recently dominated our family conversations.

Our district teachers had an evaluation system tied to several new items last year, including observations, and they performed very well as did teachers state wide.  Then the governor basically said something like, “teachers performed too well, and they really can’t be that good, so let’s make the evaluation system more difficult (and more ludicrous).”  Please tell me in what other industry in the world does that happen?  The position in which the governor is willing to put our teachers is, in my opinion, unforgiveable.  We have phenomenal teachers in our district and in the state.  I’m not saying that because I’m a school board member.  Being a school board member just makes me feel more protective of our teachers, but my opinion is based on having five children who have either graduated from or are currently being educated in this district.  My children have had outstanding teachers, coaches and administrators who have taught them life lessons way beyond the “basics.”  They have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills, been there to lift our kids up when they’ve struggled, spent extra time with them when they’ve realized untapped potential that needed fueling, worked side by side with my husband and me as we faced some very difficult challenges and even cried tears with us at moments of crisis.  

One of the best overviews I’ve read regarding the recent education bill and its impact on our teachers is written by Valerie Strauss and entitled, What the ‘thoughtless NY government just did to teachers,’ published in the Washington Post on April 3.  The reader can access that article at this link:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/04/03/what-the-...

From our children’s friends and in countless social media posts I read, there seem to be two main reasons for opting out of the upcoming tests:  they are afraid their teachers will be unfairly judged if they perform poorly on the tests and they “hate” (or fill in the blank with similar words) Common Core. 

The nation’s governors and education commissioners, through their representative organizations, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), developed Common Core.  Teachers, parents, school administrators, and experts from across the country, together with state leaders, provided input into Common Core standards.  The design for the Common Core standards was based on scholarly research, surveys on the skills required of students entering college and workforce training programs, assessment data identifying college and career-ready performance, comparisons to standards from high-performing states and nations, National Assessment of Educational Progress frameworks in reading and writing for English language arts, and findings from Trends in International Mathematics and Science and other studies which concluded the traditional mathematics curriculum (the way my generation learned, paying attention parents?), must become substantially more coherent and focused in order to improve student achievement. 

All that research and wisdom, and we seem to have a significant number of people in this country who know more about educational needs than this body of research shows and this group of experts believes.  

Responsible interpretation of research requires critical questioning and strategic thinking and an objective perspective.  Ironically, the exact skills Common Core is designed to reinforce; but you see, I didn’t grow up in an educational system designed to teach those skills.  I was, however, lucky to be the daughter of teachers who instilled those skills in opportunities outside the classroom. 

I was horrible at math. Linear equations still make me nervous. As a young adult, the field I wanted to enter required lots of math; and because I saw myself as inadequate and, yes, too stupid, to master the math, I never pursued that path.  Our first three kids were educated prior to Common Core, and I could rarely understand their math past Middle School.  Common Core came, and I scratched my head at some of our daughter’s third grade math.  But something weird happened; my husband, a former civil engineer, who had always understood our kids’ math, was struggling to understand some of the basic math principles as well.  We did research on Common Core and found that the math curricula were designed to teach fewer concepts but to dive very deeply into those concepts and to teach them from the linear, visual and language-based perspectives.  I had heard opponents criticize Common Core as catering to one single type of learner.  Then a really odd thing happened in the DiFante house earlier this year, my husband was helping our fourth grader with her math and said, “I don’t understand this at all, maybe your Mom can help you,” to which our daughter responded with, “Yeah, right Dad.” 

I looked at the math problem and didn’t see a problem at all.  Instead I saw a very logical story, and I immediately knew how to arrive at the answer – it was math without numbers – a dream come true! What I learned is that the Common Core Math Standards require students to learn multiple ways to solve problems and explain how they got their answers.  The standards and resulting curricula are designed so the linear learners like my husband and verbal learners like me and visual learners as well have unprejudiced opportunity to build three different yet equally important logical approaches to mathematics.  I hope the reader can truly grasp how exciting that is!  Our childrens’ brains are getting trained a different way; and it is because of this that our children will be better strategic thinkers and able to make better decisions by virtue of a more robust and disciplined thought process than our brains were trained to undergo.

I know this change is painful for parents; we all feel inadequate and protective at the same time; however, we need to move forward for the sake of our children.  Progress is good and needed.  If, like many, you thought the previous educational approach in our schools was good enough and not in need of fixing, consider the huge body of evidence showing that two-thirds of American college students attending four-year colleges fail to earn their degrees within six years and estimating the cost of 1.7 million students nationwide in remedial college classes at $3 billion a year.  Remedial coursework makes taxpayers pay twice -- once for students to learn in high school, and again in college.

A 2011 national survey by the ACT, showed four out of five students in college remediation had high school GPAs above a 3.0!

If you are still a disbeliever, ask anyone on the faculty or in administration at Genesee Community College to tell you about the changes they have witnessed in the remedial needs of incoming freshman. 

Lest readers think it’s only college-bound students who need changes, please have a conversation with any employer in this county who is in charge of hiring employees in any industry from the manufacturing floor to the board room and listen to them describe the challenges inherent in the available pool of candidates.

Regarding the tests beginning this Wednesday, the Batavia School District’s official opinion regarding opting out is stated in the four points listen below:

1. We are a Focus District, and if we do not make our participation rate of 95% on the exams, we potentially could lose more local control for our district.  Two or more years of not making it could lead to us being a Priority District which would have even worse ramifications than being a Focus District.

2.  If our participation rate dips below 95% we can lose a portion or all of Title 1 federal grant, which impacts 26 teaching positions.  It would be the equivalent of losing funding for 12 full time teaching positions. 

3.  We do not use the exam to punish/fire teachers.  We have worked collaboratively for years with the BOE, administrators and teacher union to ensure that we keep perspective over this one piece of data for student achievement.  It is not used in BCSD to hurt our teachers or students. 

4.  The state tests allow us to compare our students to other students across the state that are similar to our population.  In general, we do very well compared to other small city school districts.  

While the way in which the state rolled out Common Core is certainly flawed, overall Common Core standards are good.  Common Core is necessary.  That said, we have two years behind us.  Our district has spent countless hours, resources and dollars to ensure our students are getting the best instruction and our teachers are getting support for curricula development and delivery.  If we walk away now, we walk away from progress; but I fear it will be too late if we have a significant number of our students opt out of state testing.  I encourage parents to protest - write letters, march on Albany, refuse to take, “no” for an answer when it comes to both teacher appraisals and New York State’s roll out of Common Core, but please don’t fall into the trap of being wholeheartedly against Common Core and making choices that cause stress for all students and may, in the end, hurt the district overall.   Get informed, ask questions, challenge what you hear; and if you don’t know how to challenge what you hear, ask a third grader – they are in their third year of Common Core, and IF they haven’t already been prejudiced against what they’re learning and IF you can listen to them without judgment, they just may be able to help you see some value in what they have to say. 

 

 

April 8, 2015 - 2:52pm

The Jackson Primary School staff looks forward to welcoming its new students for 2015-2016! Registration has started in the Batavia City School District’s Business Office for children eligible to begin kindergarten in the 2015-2016 school year. Children who will be five years old on or before December 1, 2015, are eligible to begin school at Jackson Primary in the fall. To register, parents may go to the District Business Office, located in the administration wing of Batavia High School (260 State Street), on school days between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and bring with them:

  • two proofs  of residency (for example: utility bill for gas, water, electric, cable; lease or rental agreement; mortgage statement; landline phone bill) unless the child is currently enrolled in the District’s Universal Pre-kindergarten program,
  • the child’s birth certificate,
  • the child’s Social Security card, and
  • the child’s complete immunization records.

   If you have questions, please call the Business Office at 343-2480 x1002.

March 3, 2015 - 5:56pm

Registration has started in the Batavia City School District for children eligible to begin kindergarten in the 2015-2016 school year. Children who will be five years old on or before December 1, 2015, are eligible. To register, parents may go to the Business Office, located in the administration wing of Batavia High School (260 State Street), on school days between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and bring with them:

  • two proofs  of residency (for example: utility bill for gas, water, electric, cable; lease or rental agreement; mortgage statement; landline phone bill) unless the child is currently enrolled in the District’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten program,
  • the child’s birth certificate,
  • the child’s Social Security card, and
  • the child’s complete immunization records.

   If you have questions, please call the Business Office at 343-2480 x1002.

Parents of new first grade pupils are also asked to register their child in the same time frame and with the same documentation.

 

November 12, 2014 - 5:00pm

Batavia City School District is in the running to win $1,000 because the varsity football team has been featured on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel's game of the week. All that is needed is your vote (and plenty of others before the deadline of this Friday, November 14, at 2:30 p.m., so feel free to pass this information on… quickly!)

 

It is so easy – not to mention fun to replay one of the amazing passes/catches of the season! Just click on this link to go directly to the voting (and replay) page:

http://www.twcsportschannel.com/ny/rochester/play-of-the-year.html

 

The Time Warner Cable SportsChannel Play of the Year contest recognizes the best plays from their coverage of high school football this fall. Each weekly winner has advanced to a final competition to crown a Play of the Year. Along with bragging rights, a $1,000 Grand Prize will be awarded to the school that executed the winning Play of the Year.

 

Now is the time for all Batavia City School District students, families, and friends to vote for Batavia’s play. Do it now, because, remember, voting ends this Friday at 2:30 pm.

November 6, 2014 - 2:52pm
posted by Kathie Scott in batavia city school district.
The Batavia City School District is asking parents of students to take a short survey, The Batavia Family Engagement Survey, to share their opinions and thoughts about the District’s strengths and weaknesses. The survey should not take longer than 15 minutes to complete. It consists of rating-scale questions with possible responses ranging from “Strongly agree” to “Strongly disagree.” There are also a few open-ended questions for sharing comments and ideas. Parents are asked to fill out one survey for each school their children attend and are asked to complete them by November 30, 2014. Information, including the internet link for accessing the survey, has been sent home with children. The link is: www.surveymonkey.com/s/8XV7LLC . Parents without internet access are asked to call the District Curriculum and Instruction Office at 343-2480 x1003. This survey is part of an effort to gather information from parents, students, and staff which will be used in setting priorities and goals for the District and individual schools. Each family’s input is valuable and all parents are urged to take part in the survey so their thoughts, ideas, and aspirations can be heard.
October 1, 2014 - 4:05pm
posted by Kathie Scott in emergency, batavia city school district.

If enough Batavia City School District residents are interested, the District will host the American Red Cross FREE Citizen Preparedness Corps training sessions entitled Prepare, Respond, Recover: What to do When Disaster Strikes.

The Citizen Preparedness Corps training program was initiated by Governor Andrew Cuomo to provide residents with the knowledge and tools to prepare for emergencies and disasters, respond accordingly, and recover to pre-disaster conditions as quickly as possible.

For the training, a Red Cross representative conducts an approximately two-hour session of the Citizen Preparedness Corps training program, which provides a comprehensive overview on how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural and man-made disasters.

Please contact Jim Jacobs, Director of Facilities III, 343-2480 x1013, if interested. If enough people express interest, the Batavia City School District will schedule and announce the training.

September 2, 2014 - 2:07pm

Registration for the Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) Program offered through the Batavia City School District is still open, as there are several openings left at two locations!

UPK provides an opportunity for four-year-old children to be involved in half-day, developmentally appropriate educational classes at no cost to their families. The District offers morning and afternoon programs, Monday through Friday, during the school year at three locations: the YMCA, Lucky Ducky Daycare, and, although filled to capacity for this year, Jackson Primary School.

In addition, the YMCA and Lucky Ducky Daycare each have the option for a “wrap around” program consisting of Child Watch in the morning followed by UPK in the afternoon from12:30-3:00, then School Aged Child Care afterward. Although there is no charge for UPK, the YMCA and Lucky Ducky Daycare do charge for the morning Child Watch and afternoon Child Care programs.

Children who are residents of the District, are four (4) years of age on or before December 1, 2014, and who are not enrolled in a special education program with the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP) are eligible to apply. Letters/applications have been mailed to all known eligible families, but also are available at the District Registrar Office in the administrative wing of Batavia High School (260 State Street), or by calling 343-2480 ext.2008. They can also be downloaded from the District’s website, www.bataviacsd.org, by using the pull-down menu at the top of the page labeled “Parent,” or the Quick Link labeled “Parent Resources,” then clicking on the link for Universal Pre-K. Please return completed packets to the District Business Office.

May 1, 2014 - 10:21am

   Nearly 30 students earned Early Recognition/Certificates of Achievement from the Urban League of Rochester, NY, Inc. for the 2013-2014 school year. The Early Recognition Program, a component of the League’s Black Scholars Program, is used to identify, encourage, and support high school students with high academic abilities. Once students are identified, they are eligible for the League’s assistance and guidance in academics as well as in college and career planning. Those honored included Kaliann Bell, Tiarra Carney, Zoey Davis, Malachi Chenault, Jayvon Cherry, Jerrell Cherry, Adonis Davis, Hannah Durham, Tiara Filbert, Honesty Green, Jaz'mine Holmes, Olivia Majors, Briana Martin, Alyssa McKenzie, Mariah Morrison, Madeline Morrison, Ismile Smith, Alexis Vasciannie, Malik Vasciannie, Nephrateedies Williams, Jaysen Wylie, and (not pictured), Stacey Castro, Kenneth Griffin, Irisa Hill, Teiona Kemp, Sierra Sears, and Danny Williams.

Students who continue to do well in their studies up to and through their senior year are confirmed as Black Scholars and can participate in many college-related activities offered through the Urban League’s educational program, including the opportunity to apply for scholarships that are only offered to Black Scholars. Each June, the year’s Black Scholars are publicly recognized at an annual dinner and over $2.5 million in scholarships are awarded.

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