Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

batavia city schools

November 24, 2021 - 9:29am



While they say that everyone can be replaced, finding someone with the compassion, knowledge and personality of physical education teacher Carmen Del Plato certainly will be a tall order for the Batavia City School District.

Del Plato, who grew up as part of a large and close-knit Italian-American family on Batavia’s southside, retired on Tuesday after 23 years with the district – 13 at Jackson Primary and the last 10 at John Kennedy Intermediate.

About 100 friends, family and colleagues celebrated his career last night at Eli Fish Brewing Company on Main Street.

JK Principal Brian Sutton said the Vine Street school won’t be the same without the energetic and resourceful Del Plato in the classroom.

“Mr. Del Plato is borderline irreplaceable. He's one of a kind,” Sutton said. “There is nothing that Mr. Del Plato wouldn't do for the kids here at John Kennedy.

“I tell everyone he almost flies under the radar because he does all the little things. He walks through the cafeteria, helps kids with their lunch. He talks to students about more than just PE (physical education) when they're in the gymnasium. He really connects with the kids and holds them to a high expectation and high standard -- and they meet it.”

Sutton, in his second year as principal, said he leaned on Del Plato and admired his approach to teaching.

“Mr. Del Plato has a wealth of experience in Batavia and knowledge … I really turned to him a lot to get a feel for the building and things that he's seen and tried to learn from his experiences, while also just observing him and the way he conducts himself as a professional,” he offered. “It’s really unfortunate (he’s retiring) although I'm very happy for him that he has taken this next step and he will definitely be missed.”

Fellow physical education teacher Dan Geiger, who worked with Del Plato for the past decade, called him “a tremendous assets to our district and our community.”

“Carmen can still name all the families in the neighborhoods from the time he grew up and it is just going to be a huge loss for the district,” Geiger said. “He’s got such great connection to the kids and to the families. The excitement he brings -- the great level of discipline and respect that kids have for him. It's just a sad day for our district, but I can't be more happy for him.”

Del Plato, in acknowledging his well-wishers, revealed a spirit of thankfulness as he looked back on his time with the school district – recalling the inauspicious beginning that almost didn’t happen.

“I have a lot to be thankful for. First of all, I am thankful for my job,” he said. “Back in 1998, I was coaching three sports and Pep Johnson was retiring and Buddy (Brasky) was moving from Jackson to the high school and a job came open. And I applied for the job. And I'm was at the blind school (New York State School for the Blind) doing summer school, and I called to see if they were calling for interviews.”

Del Plato said he was told that calls for interviews were made, but his phone wasn't ringing.

“I didn't even get a call for an interview. And I was so distraught. I mean, I was coaching three sports. I was kissing everybody's butt. And I didn't get an interview,” he said, drawing a big laugh. “That very same day (former Athletic Director) Nancy Viola called my wife and said, ‘Why didn't Carm apply for the job?’

“And my wife (Debra, a teacher at Williamson Middle School) said, ‘He did apply for the job; he hand delivered the application.’ She (Viola) goes, ‘I’ll call you right back.’ So, Nancy did some of her magic and I get an interview, I think the next day. Thank goodness, Skip Bonacquisti was on the interviewing committee and I got hired. It was that close, and I might not have gotten the job. I’ll never forget that. Thank you, Nancy Viola.”

Del Plato said he was thankful that his first job was at Jackson school – a block away from his home – and that he was able to work with one of his buddies, Val Zinni, a longtime custodian in the district.

He mentioned that it was a thrill to see the kids grow from kindergarten to fifth grade. Included in that group were his son and daughter.

“I got the chance to teach my son, Joey, and my daughter, Marcella, and I didn’t give anybody any extra special treatment,” he said. “If I had your son or daughter, they had to be able to tow the line, especially my kids. They couldn’t call me daddy at work.”

He shared that one day his son forgot his sneakers and had to sit in timeout.

“I sent his mother a nasty letter,” he joked, again to the delight of his audience. “And my daughter knew the rule that she couldn’t call me daddy. One day … she was at the end of the line and as she was walking out, she whispered, ‘Hi daddy.’ I said get out of here.”

Del Plato thanked his aides and spoke about his “partner in crime” Geiger.

“Dan likes to take risks. I don't like to take risks. So, when I want to do balloons with the kids, he wanted to do dog sled racing with the kids. When I want to do ribbons with the kids, he wanted to put a zip line across the gym. But I think we both made each other better teachers,” he said.

Geiger said he learned a lot from Del Plato, including how to pronounce every vowel (in the names) of Batavia’s southside residents.

“I learned a lot about the Italian background,” Geiger said. “I do know a few Italian words but I’m not sure if I should say them because he really never tells me the true (meaning), so I could get in trouble. But I can't thank Carm enough for all the time spent together. He's really helped me develop as a teacher and as a person.”

Del Plato actually has 35 years in the New York State retirement system, starting in 1986 at Genesee Valley BOCES' alternative education program and moving to the NYSSB in 1988, where he served for five years as a childcare and teachers' assistant. He worked at Geneseo Central School, Geneseo State College and St. Anthony's School in Batavia from 1993 to 1998.

Photos by Steve Ognibene


Physical education teacher Dan Geiger presents Del Plato with a gift.


Mike Bromley, Batavia City School District director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, gives Del Plato a special ball that he ordered for his gym classes.


Bromley recognizes Del Plato's contributions with a Blue Devil Forever plaque. "In grateful appreciation of your outstanding dedication and mentoring and nurturing the many, many students in the Batavia City School District from 1998 to 2021."


Del Plato and Val Zinni performing as Elwood and Jake -- The Blues Brothers, which has been a hit in Batavia for many years. 



October 29, 2016 - 8:43am


Jackson Primary held its Fall Carnival Friday evening. Students from the school went on a scavanger hunt, ate pizza and drank apple cider. Prizes and candy were given for playing games such as Launch the Frog, Tip a Troll and candy corn bowling. There were also other fun activities like "Tape the Principal to the Wall," pictured below. 






September 12, 2016 - 5:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia city schools, news.

Press release:

Broad regional and national concern regarding institutional water quality prompted the Batavia City School District to voluntarily test the water in all of our school district buildings at the end of the 2015-16 school year.

While not a public water supply issue, as all public water supplies are subject to regular water quality testing, our district voluntarily took the proactive step of testing the water sources in each of our school buildings for lead concentrations as a precaution and out of abundance of care for our students and staff.

The District contracted with Leader Professional Services Inc., which collected multiple samples from locations in each building (for example, drinking fountains, kitchen sinks, classroom sinks, custodial closets, etc.).

The samples were then tested through a certified lab that follows protocols set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).

We tested 353 fixtures throughout the District. Three fixtures did not meet the USEPA's guidelines. They are:

  1. A restroom wash sink at an outdoor bathroom at John Kennedy School;
  2. A classroom sink at the Robert Morris building in a room not currently used;
  3. A sink in the lunchroom at the Richmond Memorial Library.

Upon our receipt of these results, the affected sources were taken out of service and an investigation was implemented to correct these problems.

While we know that this information may cause some concern, the District has taken the necessary steps to address the situation and confirm the safety of water throughout the District. There is nothing that we take more seriously than the well-being of our students and staff.

April 27, 2016 - 4:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia city schools, news.

Not only does the Batavia City School District's proposed 2016-17 budget have no tax increase, the average homeowner can expect a decrease in the tax levy.

The good news doesn't stop there.

Come October, homeowners can expect a property tax rebate check in the mail from the state.

"I think it's pretty impressive that the tax rate is flat and that the average homeowner can expect a tax reduction," said Superintendent Chris Dailey, "because of the district's efficiency."

The district is saving taxpayers' money and planning program enhancements, Dailey said.

The spending plan totals $44,366,439.

It is because the district is keeping the tax levy below the tax cap (up to 1.48 is allowable with a simple majority vote; more requires a super-majority vote), that homeowners are once again eligible for a State property tax rebate, to be mailed directly to them this fall from NYS.

Adopted budgeted expenses for the upcoming academic year, and the corresponding percentages of the budget, are:

  • General Support -- $5,5333,723  (12.5 percent)
  • Instructional Support -- $26,092,772  (58.8 percent)
  • Transportation -- $1,817,170  (4.1 percent)
  • Employee Benefits -- $10,517,772  (23.7 percent)
  • Interfund Transfers -- $405,000  (0.9 percent)

Overall, expenditures are up 2.9 percent over last year, primarily due to increases in the cost of employee benefits and the need to replace some equipment which has been postponed for a number of years, Dailey said.

Payroll expenses have gone up slightly each year -- .39 percent -- over the last nine fiscal years through 2014-15, an average of $71,413 annually districtwide.

To save money, the district shares a number of services with other area districts. These positions are a curriculum coordinator, ESL Services, Athletics, and a Nutritional Services director. Althogether, the savings from shared services are in the six figures annually, Dailey said, noting that whenever sharing is feasible to do "it's always a good thing."

Proposed enhancements to programs for 2016-17 include the following:

  • One Jackson School Reading/Math AIS teacher
  • One John Kennedy School elementary teacher
  • One high school Math teacher
  • One John Kennedy School Computer Skils/AIS Math teacher
  • One (part-time to full-time) high school/middle school Art teacher
  • Four Jackson/Kennedy teacher aides
  • One high school Security aide
  • One Jackson buildings and grounds cleaner
  • One middle school date processing clerk
  • One district Instructional Teachnology coordinator
  • One-to-World Chromebooks, grades 5-12
  • Recordex Interactive Monitors
  • $100,000 NYS aidable Capital Outlay Project for middle school cost-efficient lighting upgrades

City schools spend less per pupil when compared to schools statewide. The total average expenditure per pupil in Batavia is $19,207, according to the district's budget synopsis, compared to a statewide average of $21,812.

As a matter of standard practice, the district continues to pursue alternative funding sources. These include renting space at the vacant Robert Morris School.

"It's at 60 percent (rental) capacity, which pays for the custodian and the utilities, easily, and it turns a profit for the district, which is pretty unique," Daily said. "We are negotiating with several parties and expect to announce some deals soon."

Also, the newly formed Batavia City School District Foundation enables donors to receive a tax deduction for contributions while creating an alternative funding source for the district.

The district also competes annually for state and federal grants -- anticipated at $2.5 million for 2016-17. Some grant money is available because 54 percent of the district's students qualify for free and reduced-priced lunches.

The grant money contributes to targeted programs to improve learning for disadvantaged students, to supplement professional development and provide universal Pre-K, which "helps 75 percent of incoming kindergarteners to get a jump on school success."

The proposed budget calls for using just over $2 million from the Unemployment Insurance Reserve, surplus Fund Balance, the Employee Benefits Accrued Liability Reserve, Repair Reserve and the NYS Employee Retirement Reserve.

"New York State encourages school districts to spend down their reserves," Dailey said. "We use our savings to help out."

The proposed budget is on the ballot on Tuesday, May 17, along with three vacancies on the Board of Education. Voting will take place between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. Residents north of Route 5 (Main Street) vote at Robert Morris School building, 80 Union St.; residents south of Route 5, vote at Batavia High School, 260 State St. If you need clarification of where to vote, please check the street-by-street guide on the district's Web site or call the Business Office at 343-2480, ext. 1002.

April 20, 2016 - 4:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia city schools, Milestones, news.

Batavia City School District Board of Education President Pat Burk, right, is congratulated by Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey for receiving an Award for Excellence from the Western New York Educational Service Council.

Submitted photo. Press release:

To say that Patrick Burk is a champion of students and school staff gives new meaning to the word “understatement.” That sentiment was recognized recently by the Western New York Educational Service Council in presenting him with a 2016 Award for Excellence in the category of Board Member.

A graduate of nearby Caledonia-Mumford Central School and resident of Batavia for more than 35 years, Burk has been a Batavia City School District Board of Education member for 30 years and served as the Board’s president 10 different times, including presently. Most recently, he was key to starting a recognition program that highlights outstanding students, staff, and community volunteers at each Board meeting, and was quintessential in establishing the Batavia City School District Education Foundation. 

“Mr. Burk is the backbone of our district,” says Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey. “He is our greatest cheerleader, advocate, and friend.”

Burk says, “I know that we have a solid District and I am extremely proud to be a part of it. I am pleased with our outcomes and see a tremendous amount of positive results from our students. I also am champion of our staff. I believe that they are excellent and I see that they work hard to obtain the positive outcomes.”

In addition to his work for the Batavia schools, Burk also has served on the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership board for the last three years, is a delegate to New York State School Boards Association, and, as he has for the past 10 of 12 years, serves as the president of the Genesee Valley School Boards Institute. He is also a longtime supporter of and volunteer for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program, and is the executive director and artistic director of the Batavia Players. Previously, he has served on the GO ART! Board of Directors and the Batavia Youth Center Board of Directors.

Though his record of community service is lengthy, his longest Board affiliation is with the Batavia City School District.

“Being a Board member allows me to contribute to the education of our young people,” says Burk. “It is the most important investment we can make. It also allows me to be a part of a successful District. I have enjoyed my involvement with the Batavia City School District and I do want to continue that involvement.”

Says Dailey, “He deserves to be recognized for his selfless dedication to public education in the Batavia City Schools."

March 14, 2014 - 8:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, arts, music, batavia city schools.

Batavia City Schools are among five finalists in the state for a $10,000 prize from the NYS Lottery. The contest is built around the idea of students saying thank you for the support of the lottery. Choirs produced a video for the song "Thank you for being a friend." The prize money would go to the school district's music program.

To vote, click here (you'll be asked to log into your Facebook account).

March 11, 2014 - 1:31pm
posted by Kathie Scott in Board of Education, batavia city schools, foundation.

   The Batavia City School District Board of Education is forming a committee to establish a foundation to support the District and is looking for interested community members to serve on it.  In particular, the Board would like to encourage participation by individuals with experience in the areas of finance, endowment, not-for-profit, fund-raising, banking, education, or public school law .
   If interested, please contact the Superintendent's office at 343-2480 ext 1000.

December 11, 2013 - 5:18pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in batavia city schools.

According to Batavia City School Superintendent Christopher Dailey, John Kennedy Intermediate School will be closed tomorrow, Thursday Dec. 12, due to power issues.

Jackson School, Batavia Middle School, and Batavia High School will all be open.

October 21, 2013 - 8:52am

Starting today is National School Bus Safety Week from October 21-25, 2013 and this year’s motto is "At My Stop - You Stop!"    Motorist should be aware to always stop for a stopped school bus it is the law.  Everyone has to stop when a school bus displays their red lights even when they are on the other side of the road and even on divided highway.  Everyone must stop no matter where they are on the road.

At First Student, the bus company that transports our students here at the Batavia School District, comments that one of the most common driver complaint is that motorists violate the school bus stop law every day.  Motorists are required to use caution and slow down when flashing yellow lights are activated and stop for a stopped school bus that is displaying the flashing red lights.

Sometimes drivers are not fully paying close attention to their driving, they are too busy texting, talking on the phone or just are not paying attention and pass a stopped school bus.  This serious poor safety action could lead up to a $250 fine, traffic tickets and up to suspension of license for passing a stopped school bus with their reds on.  All motorists need to better understand the seriousness of this traffic law and pass the word to each other to make the roads safer for all our students. 

“Our main concern is safety” said Location Manager Tonya Thompson of First Student .  “We educate both  our drivers and our students to ensure that each stop is a safe stop for everyone, so please help us make the road safe for our students too by doing your part and stop for a stopped school bus”.

September 17, 2013 - 2:06pm
posted by Steve Ognibene in girl scouts, batavia city schools, Recruitment.

The Girl Scouts of Western New York is having a Great Girl Scout Sign-up Day. The recruitment is to get new girls of all ages to sign on to experiment in being artistic and creative. Come join us! The event will be this Saturday Sept. 21, from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. at the Batavia Girl Scout Office, 5 Jackson St., Batavia.

For more information contact Melissa Landers at 585-993-0462 or [email protected]

Pictured above from left are: Allison Lougheed finance consultant, Jessica Costley events coordinator, Melissa Landers registrar, Michelle Maniace service unit manager/product sales manager and Laura Ranalli secretary/recognition the new service unit team. (They are also leaders and co-leaders.)

June 19, 2013 - 9:11am
posted by Kathie Scott in Batavia High School, batavia city schools.

Highlights from the Board of Education meeting on June 18 include news and updates about the following: 

New High School Principal

The Board of Education approved the appointment of Scott Wilson as the new principal of Batavia High School. In his recommendation, Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey noted that Wilson was clearly the best candidate of the 35 applicants who submitted to the rigorous screening and interview process. 

“Scott Wilson has just the right mix of teaching and administrative leadership that we are looking for in our next principal,” Dailey said. He cited Wilson’s 13 years experience at Churchville-Chili Senior High School -- where he was a social studies teacher, swimming coach, and leader in teaching initiatives -- as well as his past eight years as a high school assistant principal in the Hilton Central School District where he was responsible for building the master schedule, being the student activities liaison, supervising departments, leading the assessment and grading teams for the district, and presenting at the national PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) conference. 

Daily said, “I am thrilled to recommend a proven leader, communicator, team-builder, collaborator, student-centered educator to our Board of Education.”

Wilson begins as principal in July.

Reviews and Previews

As one year ends and the Board looks forward to the next, the Board discussed and reflected on some of the key components of both.

Graduation… Even more telling than our graduation percentages being up by about 10 percent are the success stories of our students as they move on to the next chapter of their lives. Many students will pursue more education or enter directly into the workforce and Dailey made special note of how impressive it is that all of our IEP (Individual Education Plan) students have secured their diplomas as well as jobs upon graduation. The graduation ceremony will be Sunday at 2 p.m. at Genesee Community College.

Consolidation… Dailey was pleased to share a comment from a Jackson parent who originally had been opposed to the consolidation. Through their child’s adaptation to the new school as well as through their regular volunteer work at the school, they described Principal Diane Bonarigo as a “gem in the community” and expressed the desire that all parents will have the opportunity to experience the “wonderful world that Mrs. Bonarigo and her staff have created.”

Capital Project… Now that the project has been approved by the voters, Dailey noted that the Buidings and Grounds Committee has begun to meet with the architects to develop a timeline for completion. The first step is to submit plans to New York State for approval. 

Board Changes…

            Steve Mountain, Board of Education member for six years, has concluded this official service to the District. Unable to be at the meeting, he sent a letter, thanking the Board, commending them and the staff for their hard work, and noting that he will continue to be an advocate for our youth and our committee. Superintendent Dailey noted that Mountain’s dedication and guidance will be missed.

            Ex-officio… Thanking Kaitlin Logsdon for her year of service as the ex-officio Board member, Dailey praised her professionalism, community spirit, and her advocacy for students. Kaitlin introduced Batavia HS student Samir Jain, who will serve as the ex-officio Board member for the 2013-14 school year.

           Senior Trip… Members of the Class of 2014 presented their plans for their senior trip, scheduled for June of 2014. Their plans to go to Cedar Point and the Kalahari Sands Resort in the Cleveland area were approved.

February 28, 2013 - 4:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education, batavia city schools.

Looming federal budget cuts could mean cuts in one of Batavia City School's most needed programs, Superintendent Chris Dailey told WBTA today.

AIS (Academic Intervention Services) helps students in both math and English as well as special education.

Those are some of the students most in need of help, Dailey said.

The cuts could range from $75,927.40 to $121,283.84 and would be implented if the so-called sequester takes effect after a Friday deadline.

“It’s very scary because New York state still isn’t providing public schools with the level of funding that they did in 2009-10,” Dailey said. “On top of that now, the federal government is pulling out money that they give to schools that have students that are at or below the poverty rate and we are one of the districts that have a high percentage of that. They’re taking money away to help our highest-needs kids in a political game.”

There will be a rally in Geneseo Friday to encourage lawmakers to protect education funding. To reserve a spot on the transportation shuttle or more information on the event, call the district office.

November 6, 2012 - 10:28pm

   Due to the pending sale of the Administration Building at 39 Washington Avenue, the Batavia City School District Administration Offices will be relocated to Batavia High School, 260 State Street, starting Friday, November 9, 2012. All phone numbers and extensions will remain the same. The offices will all be accessible through the State Street parking lot.

Some of the new locations in BHS of commonly visited offices include: 

Superintendent/Personnel Room 48

Registration/Curriculum Room 40

Student Services Room 43

Buildings & Grounds Room 41

Business Room 45

Board Room Room 49

For any questions, please call 343-3480, extension 1000.

NOTE: The Move Will Include an Interruption  to Electronic Contacts(Phone, Internet, Webpage)  During Thanksgiving Break

   On Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 5 p.m. all district network services will go offline for maintenance. All district phone, email, webpage and computer services will be unavailable until 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 25, 2012. Students will not be in session on Wednesday, November 21, 2012. The administration and school offices will have no access to phones or computers.

Jackson Primary: School and Main Office Closed

John Kennedy Intermediate: School and Main Office Closed

Batavia Middle School: School and Main Office Closed; 5/6 Office Open

Batavia High School: Main Office Closed; Assistant Principal Office Open

Administration Offices:

• Superintendent, Buildings & Grounds, Business Offices Open

• Special Education and Registration/Curriculum Offices Closed

September 26, 2012 - 9:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education, batavia city schools.

SUBMITTED by Kathie Scott, coordinator of public information, Batavia city schools

“Like Us” on Facebook, and Respond to Survey
Public Relations Committee Chair Patrick Burk reported that the committee continues to explore cost-effective ways to increase coverage of district news and accomplishments, with both the amount of news and the methods of delivery being expanded.

A survey has been posted to the Web site ( http://www.bataviacsd.org/news.cfm?story=958&school=0), will be sent home in school newsletters, and will be inside the district newsletter in order to solicit input from the full spectrum of community members about their preferences regarding district communications. The committee is exploring the use of college interns as well as BHS students as a means to expand its capabilities for covering positive news.

The district launched a Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/BataviaCitySchools)  in time for Homecoming and has been encouraging students, particularly those involved with the BHS yearbook and those taking media courses, to become involved in providing pictures and short news items for it. The page will also serve as a feeder that leads back to more detailed information on our Web site.

Also carrying the Homecoming theme, Board Member Gretchen DiFante interviewed two teachers who are BHS alumni -- Physical Education teacher and Varsity Football Coach Brennan Briggs and Science teacher Elena Chmielowiec -- for their stories about graduation from and returning to BHS. That article is posted on our Web site (http://www.bataviacsd.org/news.cfm?story=954)  as well as online with www.thebatavian.com and thedailynewsonline.com

Superintendent of Schools Margaret Puzio, who has been an active member of the committee, added that BHS teachers have responded enthusiastically to the idea of incorporating some publicity-related “real life” experiences into their lessons by having students photograph and write about events. She also said she has been keeping the Management Team informed of the PR Committee’s initiatives and all are excited about the possibilities.

BHS Homecoming in Full Swing
Student Ex-officio Board Member Kaitlin Logsdon updated the board members on the activities at the high school, including activities for Homecoming Week, Sept. 24-28. (http://www.bataviacsd.org/news.cfm?story=951&school=0 ), and athletic updates, including the boys’ cross-country team coming in first last weekend, gymnastics team coming in second in its last competition, and the swim team winning its first meet of the season. In addition, organizations such as honor societies have begun meeting and planning their events for the year.     

More after the jump (click on the headline):

September 17, 2012 - 9:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, batavia city schools.

Information from the city school district:

The voters of the Batavia City School District on Monday overwhelmingly approved the sale of the District Administration Building. Those in favor numbered 272 (95.4%) compared to 13 who voted no (4.6%).

On July 23, the board of education authorized the transfer of the property, located at 39 Washington Ave., for $500,000 to Reed Batavia Properties LLC, pending voter approval.

The property was identified as surplus during the consolidation analysis process the district undertook in 2011, which also resulted in the closure of Robert Morris Elementary School. The administrative offices will be relocated to Batavia High and Jackson Elementary schools.

Now that the public has approved the sale of property, Reed Batavia Properties will need to complete its due diligence process in order for the transaction to be finalized. It is expected that the transfer will take place by Nov. 1.

Superintendent Margaret Puzio expressed her appreciation of the vote outcome. 

“The taxpayers and the children of the school district are both winners as a result of the vote. The extra funds will be used to reduce the tax burden along with maintaining the educational program.”

September 17, 2012 - 2:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, batavia city schools.

Batavia city residents are being asked to vote today on a proposal to sell the school district's administration building on Washington Avenue.

Polls are open until 9 p.m.

The district has an offer of $500,000 for the building and the option to use the maintenance shop on the site for five years.

The offer comes from Reed Eye Associates, which will convert the building into a medical facility.

Residents may vote in the following locations:

  • Batavia High School -- Residents who live south of Route 5
  • John Kennedy Intermediate -- Residents who live north of Route 5
June 14, 2012 - 5:40pm

It was a ceremony of celebration more than remembrance as the students and staff of Robert Morris School said goodbye to their decades-old institution and walked into a new future of consolidated classes at three Batavia city schools.

"They're excited and they're ready," said Robert Morris Principal Diane Bonarigo of the students who walked out of the doors of Robert Morris for the last time today. "They'r in a very good place. It's important that we close our year knowing that they will be looking forward to going to their new school next year."

The district's consolidation plan will make Jackson a pre-K through first-grade school and John Kennedy will contain classes for second, third and fourth grades. Fifth-graders will move to Batavia Middle School.

Bonarigo said students felt more comfortable with the transition after a series of open houses where they ran into friends from other schools that they met through sports and other activities and realized they will now all be in the same school.

"We will be one city school family," Bonarigo said.

June 4, 2012 - 9:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, batavia city schools.

City Manager Jason Molino got a warm reception Monday from the board of Batavia city schools when he pitched the idea of extending a pair of tax exemptions for property owners who make improvements.

The city council has already passed the exemptions and now Molino is trying to get both the school board and the county legislature to follow suit.

Getting the exemptions extended to the other agencies would "help us do a better job of marketing the exemptions," Molino said. "It would make it a much more attractive incentive."

One exemption applies to commercial or residential property owners and has been on the books in Batavia for some time. It would provide a tax abatement on the increased assessment that might result from restoration or significant improvements to a property.

Putting on a new roof, for example, wouldn't qualify, but if a property owner who resided there, installed a new roof, put in new windows and made other repairs to a rundown property, it could qualify for tax abatement.

An addition to a property that drives up the assessed value would also qualify.

The second exemption applies to owners of commercial property who convert the property to mixed use and include residential.

For example, a three-story downtown building that remained retail on the first floor but was converted to residential on the second and third floors would qualify.

The exemptions work like a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) in commercial development where the property owner continues paying taxes at the same rate on the original assessed value of the property, bu gets a graduated break on the taxes related to the increase in assessed value over a period of years.

The program, according to Molino, is designed to foster improvements to local property and drive the city's strategic goal of bringing more residents into Downtown Batavia.

No board members spoke against supporting the proposal.

The district's attorney will need to draft resolutions in order for the school district to adopt the exemptions.

"Anything we can do to strengthen the housing stock in the City of Batavia, we should absolutely be doing," Trustee Steve Mountain said.

May 22, 2012 - 8:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education, batavia city schools.

Press release:

District parents and students are encouraged to attend Open House events at the Middle School, John Kennedy, and Jackson building sites. 

We hope to have parents and students tour the buildings where students will attend next year and meet some of the staff. Also, this is a great time to sign up for newly forming parent groups at each of the schools. 

Details are as follows: May 30 -- Next year’s fifth-graders and their families are welcome to tour Batavia Middle School. Short presentations will occur in the school auditorium at 4 and 5:45 p.m. Refreshments will be served and tours will be informal. Be sure to sign up to participate in the parent group for parents of fifth- and sixth-grade student. Also,the YWCA will be at the middle school on both days with information on their after-school child care program for the 5/6 House.

Next year’s second-, third-, and fourth-graders and their families are welcome to tour John Kennedy School. Short presentations will occur in the school auditorium at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served and tours will be informal. Be sure to sign up to participate in the parent group for parents of second-, third-, and fourth-grade students.

May 31 -- Next year’s sixth-graders and their families are welcome to tour Batavia Middle School. Short presentations will occur in the school auditorium at 4 and 5:45 p.m. Refreshments will be served and tours will be informal. Be sure to sign up to participate in the parent group for parents of fifth- and sixth-grade students. Also, the YWCA will be the middle school on both days with information on their after-school child care program for the 5/6 House.

Next year’s pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first-graders and their families are welcome to tour Jackson School. Short presentations will occur in the multipurpose room at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served and tours will be informal. Be sure to sign up to participate in the parent group for parents of pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first-grade students.

May 15, 2012 - 10:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, batavia city schools.

A total of 1,179 people turned out to vote in the Batavia City Schools election today, approving a $40 million budget with nearly 61 percent of the vote and electing one new school board member.

Gretchen DiFante, one of two candidates not currently on the board, was the top vote getter in the election with 736 votes. Incumbent Gail Stevens garnered 623 votes and Phil Ricci, an appointee running for school board for the first time, got 616 votes.

Incumbent Gary Stich lost with 490 votes and newcomer Dennis Warner came up short with 472 votes.

The budget passed 690 votes to 446. 

Creation of a student ex-officio board member passed 852 to 214 votes and changing transportation mileage for students passed 808 to 240.

These are unofficial results.

Subscribe to




Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button