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January 22, 2023 - 4:39pm
posted by Press Release in BOCES, lego league, news, education.


Press release:

Local students and students from the region gathered last week at Genesee Valley BOCES Mount Morris for the First LEGO League (FLL) Qualifier Tournament.  The competition tested each team’s ability to complete tasks using robots built from Legos. FLL was designed to engage youth through STEM learning and exploration.  Students obtained hands-on learning while discovering, exploring, and challenging themselves to apply their skills in an exciting competition.  

Students from Dansville, Keshequa, Oakfield-Alabama, Warsaw, and Wayland-Cohocton competed against each other during three rounds that lasted two and a half minutes each.  The goal was to complete the most missions and earn the most points.  

“The Genesee Valley Robotics program encourages students to practice real life engineering skills including computational thinking and iterative design. The social emotional impact of a program like this is also important as it helps many students find new connections to their school and classmates, explained Steve Nole, Coordinator of Enrichment Services at Genesee Valley BOCES.

Sixty students in grades fourth through eighth participated in this event.  The first part of the day was the presentation portion.  During the presentation competition teams were judged on three specific areas, one being their innovation project, where they had to identify and research a problem to solve around this year’s theme focused around clean energy solutions. Also teams had to present on their robot design. They had to identify their mission strategy and design their robot and programs to create an effective plan, and the last was on the core values, where they had to apply teamwork and respect each other's ideas and work together as a team on their specific challenge.

Ted Smith was the head judge of the competition and is the Sr. Crisis Intervention Specialist at Genesee Valley BOCES Mount Morris.  Smith explained he enjoys looking for a student's level of interest and looks to see if they had fun as part of the project.  “Events like this are a wonderful opportunity for the students to express their creativity, learn how to work together on a team, and think critically about a problem.   These are all skills which they will need in their life so being able to develop them in an event like this is good,” explained Smith.

Congratulations to the following teams on advancing to the next round:

The overall champion was the Oakfield-Alabama Hi-Tech Hornets.  Wayland -Cohocton Golden Eagles 2 was awarded the finalist.  Both of these teams will be going to the First Lego League Championship on February 18th in Buffalo.  Awards were given to teams for core values, innovation project, robot design, robot performance, and a coach/mentor award.

The top two teams, Oakfield-Alabama and Wayland-Cohocton, will move on to the championship competition.  Genesee Valley BOCES is pleased the event was a success and looks forward to hosting more FLL Challenges in the future.  

Submitted photos.

Top photo: The two students from Dansville are Haylee Rigdon and Bristol Blair.


Students from Oakfield- Alabama are (yellow hair hats) left to right are: Cameron Emerson, Lucas Bak, Connor Burgio, Carson Shelter. Nate Staebell is sitting behind Carson (no hat).


Wayland-Cohocton 7th Grader Ethan Bauer.


Hannah Sonricker, Levi Bennett, Warren Fox.

January 11, 2023 - 10:36am
posted by Press Release in BOCES, Sheriff's Office, news, Pavilion, pavilion central school.


Press release:

As a grantee of the New York State Department of Health's Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC) initiative, the Genesee Valley BOCES (GV BOCES) collaborated with multi-sector stakeholders and the community at large in Pavilion to increase roadway safety and active transportation opportunities for users of all ages and abilities.

A CHSC-funded mobile speed trailer was placed near Pavilion Central School to enhance roadway safety and walkability.  The speed limit in this area is 35 mph.  Since installing the mobile speed trailer, the Genesee County Sheriff's Office has been monitoring and collecting data.

Prior to the speed trailer, speeding was a major issue.  The violations hit over 80 mph at times.  The most recent data shows violations dropping below the 50 mph range.  The average speed in June 2022 was 39 mph, and as of October 2022, the average rate of speed is now 30 mph.  

The Town of Pavilion’s Comprehensive Plan articulated an overall vision for Pavilion, and a means to achieve that vision.  This included efforts for the community to gather, celebrate and work together towards common goals, such as revitalizing Hamlet so it continues to be the useful and attractive heart of the town.  Additionally, the plan focused on developing strategies for keeping the community attractive to current residents and desirable for drawing new residents to the community.

Road safety and efficiency for users of all ages and abilities are Pavilion’s primary transportation concerns and are connected to enhancing the community.  NYS Route 19, a north-south, 2-lane arterial and NYS Route 63, an east-west, 2 to 3-lane arterial, intersect in the Hamlet of Pavilion.  Both state routes experience considerable traffic volumes with significant tractor-trailer traffic as these state bypass routes are used to minimize freight travel distance. Safe passing options are limited in the areas just beyond this main intersection, and vehicles often perform illegal and risky maneuvers to circumvent freight traffic.  To compound matters, the elementary and middle/high schools are located a short distance from the intersection. 

In 2021, GV BOCES and the Metropolitan Planning Organization, Genesee Transportation Council, collaborated to facilitate a walkability tour and Pedestrian Environmental Quality Index Assessment with a multi-stakeholder advisory committee consisting of residents, the Town Supervisor, the Superintendent of Schools, the Director of School Transportation, the School Resource Officer, and the New York State Department of Transportation to learn more about roadway safety and walkability near the schools and the Hamlet of Pavilion.  Based on the data collected, an action plan and recommended interventions were developed.  The audit allowed the advisory committee to use multiple data points to identify potential improvements to support roadway safety and promote walkability.  

One data-driven recommendation made by the advisory committee included implementation of speed indicators.  As a result, GV BOCES Creating Healthy Schools and Communities funds supported the purchase of a mobile speed trailer to be deployed at multiple locations near the schools and Hamlet area to improve roadway safety and the quality of the transportation system.  

“Addressing roadway safety issues and enhancing opportunities for pedestrian activity support the vitality and economic development of the Hamlet and the health and wellness of the community.”  Rob LaPoint, Pavilion Town Supervisor

Moving forward, additional opportunities exist for community planning and interventions that increase safe and accessible physical activity to establish a community environment that supports the health and wellness of residents and the economic development of the area.  

“The mobile speed trailer helps to support the moderation of traffic conditions to improve the safety of operations for all roadway users with a particular emphasis on areas near the schools.  The mobile speed trailer has noticeably reduced speeders in front of the school.  While school is not in session, the unit is being used near the fire hall and the little league fields to increase awareness.  It has been a blessing to have the speed trailer added to our community.” Deputy Jeremy McClellan, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and School Resource officer Pavilion CSD.

November 30, 2022 - 8:26pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia Middle School, batavia, schools, education, BOCES, news.

Press release:

The Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center Auto Body program, for the last three months, has been restoring two Bells that used to hang at the  Batavia Middle School.    The bells will be presented at the Centennial Ceremony at Batavia Middle School.  The Auto Body students, with help from Conservation Students, made platforms for the newly renovated bells to sit on.  Going forward, the bells will be mobile and will be around for a long time.  

One of the bells is made of cast iron, and one is made of brass bronze. The brass bronze bell was made at the McNeeley Foundry in Troy, NY.  The bell arrived in Batavia back in 1873, likely by horse and buggy. The bell will be 150 years old next year. The other bell was made in the early 1900s in West Seneca, NY.  

Auto Body Teacher Jeffrey Fronk received an email  From Rachel Slobert about the bells, and immediately knew this would be the perfect project for his students.  Fronk said he knew how valuable these bells were and didn’t want them falling into the wrong hands.  He knew how important it was to restore them and learned the rich history behind them.  He wanted the students to get a chance to restore something different, especially with this much history in the community.  The last time the bells rang was Likely in the 1930s.  

To restore the bells they had to go through two different processes since one is cast iron and one is brass bronze.  The project was completed by 15 students who tore them apart, disassembled, sanded, primed, painted, and hand-polished them.  During the bell restoration, students argued over who went to work on it because they all wanted to be able to help.  

On an average year, the students fully restore 15 cars and 25 smaller jobs.  By restoring something other than a car, the students are getting other hands-on experience in restorations.  This shows students that they have other avenues to learn and make money.   You will never hear an Auto Body student say they don’t have anything to do.  They continue to learn and work on several projects throughout the year.  

“I had a mentor when I was young, Rick Hoffman, who in my opinion, was the best of the best, and I only wish I could be as good as he was and pay what he taught me forward.  I absolutely love watching these kids grow to not knowing what they're doing to dive into this bell and wanting to be a part of something so cool,” stated Fronk.   Fronk is looking forward to hearing the bells ring on stage at the Centennial Ceremony.  All of the students and teachers have been invited to this ceremony. 

Special thanks to Ryan Ditacchio, Bernie Harwood and Ed Swain for the guidance and instruction of these great students.

November 19, 2022 - 3:32pm
posted by Press Release in BOCES, news.


Press release:

The Genesee Valley BOCES School of Practical Nursing proudly graduated a new class of LPN Nurses. 

The class was made up of 23 students, and they were celebrated at a pinning ceremony on Friday, November 18th.   Instructors Marisa Dale, Donna Walsworth, and Amanda Milligan, assisted throughout the ceremony.  Heidi Mix, Regional Medical Programs Coordinator, was on hand to recognize the students for all of their hard work and commitment they gave during this 12-month program.  

Instructor Marisa Dale shared some thoughts on the graduation and why she enjoys teaching. 

“This is a big event, they finally finished their program, and they are ready to go out there and practice what we taught them," she said. " The program is extremely vigorous with a lot packed in a 12-month time frame.  My favorite part of teaching is watching them make the connection between the human touch and the actual science and nursing skills we are teaching them.  It’s so important because we need nurses, and we need good nurses,” stated Dale.  

Noelia Alvarado was named the Valedictorian, and Olivia Coniber was recognized as the Salutatorian.  The 23 graduates are Fatuma Abdi, Noelia Alvarado, Jenee Colon, Olivia Coniber, Precious Davis, Angel Fitzpatrick, Catrena Gano, Alaina Gray, Charlotte Hauslauer, Emonie Hernandez, Krystal Johnson, Melanie Kingston, Shaquanda Loyd, Alysia Mahoney, Dorothy Masuwa, Miranda Michel, Emily O’Neil, Melissa Santiago, Kristin Terranova, Ava Turcotte, Nicole Wickham, Nigel Wright, and Sumayya Yunusu.  

“It was hard balancing life, school, and work at the same time, you kind of have to be selfish this entire year because you have to dedicate so much time to it.” said Alvarado.  A long-term goal for Alvardo is to become a critical care nurse practitioner and she will continue her education following graduation from the LPN program.  

Before the ceremony, Olivia Coniber explained the hardest challenge for her was the classwork, but with hard work and the support of her classmates, she got through it.  “It took me a lot of years and a lot of hardship to be a nurse.  I’m so grateful I finally made it to one step, and I can keep moving on from this point,” said Coniber.  

This program is a 1200-clock-hour program, certified by the New York State Education Department, and is designed to prepare graduates for the NCLEX-PN Examination for licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Graduates of the program receive a certificate of completion of licensed practical nursing. The LPN Program has a 98 percent job placement rate after passing the NCLEX exam.   

The complete list of instructors is Marisa Dale, Alyssa Coffey, Amanda Milligan, Stacey Gill, Donna Walsworth, Frank Dana, Kathy Kelly, Kathy Coyne, Jackie Felker, Heidi Mix, Stacy Westhead, and Meagan White. 

Submitted photos: Top photo and second photo, Olivia Coniber.



Noelia Alvarado

August 25, 2022 - 4:17pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, BOCES, batavia, GCEDC, workforce development.


Boot camp every weekday for the last six weeks has been worth it, Greg Burgess says.

Only, instead of a typical camp filled with burpees and jumping jacks, this one focused on future careers in food, beverage and advanced manufacturing and service technician sectors.

“I thought it was really good, I came for electrical,” he said Thursday morning after receiving his completion certificate at the BOCES campus in Batavia. “We learned to read prints and schematics — understanding schematics. It was really helpful, and good troubleshooting. I think that was the best part.”

Perhaps the next best part was that it didn’t cost Burgess a penny. This was a Genesee Valley pre-apprenticeship program that was designed to assist companies with recruitment and training. His employer, Georgia Pacific, sent Burgess to obtain additional skills that he will need for a job as a technician with his company’s maintenance department.

The 29-year-old is moving up the ladder, having been promoted once already. He is a testimony that high school drop-outs — he left Alexander High in 2011 — can go on to become successful in a field.

Advertisements for the program are one thing, Director of Workforce Development Richard Turner said, but “it's another thing when you've got proof positive that this education works, and that you got a start from here.”

“So you're our advertisement, here's the referral for what we're trying to get to get people. And the more and more we do this, more and more people are going to have confidence in us,” he said.

Burgess was one of seven graduates of the program. There were eight guys in the beginning, however, one had some personal issues and left the program, but with a job at Darien Lake, said longtime BOCES teacher Rich Monroe. He emphasized the large pool of jobs available for anyone with some trade skills.

“There's a vast amount of opportunity in advanced manufacturing and food processing, especially in Genesee County. We've got just a cornucopia of different opportunities here, and that's where this all kind of started with economic development, not having enough qualified people to do technical jobs,” he said. “So we started with this two years ago. And last year was our first attempt at doing what will be called boot camp. And it's really to try to address either incumbent workers that are trying to move a step up within the company, maybe they’re maintenance personnel, maybe they’re a production person, and they get the go-ahead from their boss to say, you know, we’d like to have you try this because we see something in you.”

The other situation is when students are recently graduated from school, or maybe they attempted college, and it really wasn't their thing, he said. This was a no-cost opportunity for them to explore something at no risk.

“All they had to do was show up for 96 hours, seven to 11 every day. And the other important thing is that we were there, and each one of them is partnered with a company. So it really is that academic experience, along with hands-on experience. Is this something you think you want to do? We're giving them every opportunity to explore it.”

The program trains students in a wide variety of mechatronic simulation settings to prepare them for in-demand careers throughout the region. Along with the in-class instruction, the students also received paid, on-the-job training and an opportunity for full-time employment with local employers.

The training was provided at no cost to the students and companies due to grants secured by Genesee Community College, Genesee Economic Development Council, and the Workforce Development Institute. Participating employers for the 2022 program include Arctic Refrigeration, Bonduelle, Darien Lake, Georgia Pacific, O-AT-KA Milk Products, Tambe Electric, and Upstate Niagara Cooperative.

The Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Program is primarily funded through the SUNY Reimagine Workforce Preparation Training Program and is supported by the Genesee Valley BOCES, Rochester Technology Manufacturers Association, Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program, GCC, Genesee County Economic Development Center, GLOW Workforce Development Board and Workforce Development Institute.

“Thanks to partnerships between our workforce training providers and employers, opportunities like the Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Program are creating a fast and successful path for more and more of our talented young people to join rewarding, growing careers in mechatronics,” added GCEDC Vice President of Business and Workforce Development, Chris Suozzi.



Top photo: Erik Kesler, Joseph DePalma, Zaric Boyce, Joseph Abrams, Brayden Hickey and Greg Burgess; (Back Row) Rich Turner, Jay Lazarony (GLOW Works), Tish Williams (GCC), Bob Coyne (RTMA), Rich Monroe (Genesee Valley BOCES) and Chris Suozzi (GCEDC). Photo above: Graduate Brayden Hickey receives his diploma from Rich Turner as Bob Coyne waits in line to offer congratulations Thursday at Genesee Valley BOCES. Photos by Joanne Beck.

August 15, 2022 - 12:28pm
posted by Press Release in BOCES, GCEDC, workforce development, news.


Press release:

School is out which means expanding Genesee County Workforce Training Programs began to help students prepare for skilled labor jobs with employers in the GLOW region.

The Genesee Valley BOCES has hosted the recently completed Cornell in High School Dairy Processing Bootcamp and the start of the Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship bootcamps that connect high school graduates from the GLOW region with local manufacturers within the dairy processing industry and mechatronics field.

During Cornell in High School, recent high school graduates were provided classroom instruction and on-site training for potential career opportunities with area companies. Students attended the Dairy Processing Bootcamp free of cost and received a $500 value training certificate.

“It was encouraging to see the strong turnout and engagement by students who are ready for careers in dairy processing,” said Cornell Dairy Processing & Marketing Specialist, Anika Zuber Gianforte. “Students gained valuable skills and connections through Cornell and our participating employers that they can use to grow rewarding careers right in their backyard."

The Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Program trains students in a wide variety of mechatronic simulation settings to prepare them for in-demand career opportunities in positions such as machine builders, CNC mechanists, electronics technicians, and other positions within the mechatronics field. Students receive in-class instruction along with paid on-the-job training with local employers such as Bounduelle and Tambe Electric.

“Youth and pre-apprenticeship programs allow students to better prepare for high-demand mechatronics careers,” said Rich Turner, Director of Workforce Development for the Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association. “The combination of classroom and on-the-job training is giving students the skills needed for our advanced manufacturing workforce while setting them up for success for years to come.”

Genesee County workforce training programs continue to grow year after year as there is strong demand among area companies for workers. There are hundreds of immediate job openings in the food and beverage manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, skilled trades, and service technician sectors.

“Thanks to our local government partners, companies are expanding their operations by investing in our shovel-ready sites and creating new jobs,” said GCEDC Vice President of Business & Workforce Development Chris Suozzi. “Companies are taking notice of the favorable business ecosystem being built in the GLOW region and the ability to hire into an engaged and ready workforce.”

The workforce development schedule will continue into the school year, with the annual GLOW With Your Hands on Sep. 27 in Batavia.

Submitted photos


June 21, 2022 - 5:47pm
posted by Press Release in GCEDC, BOCES, news.

Press release:

Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will be hosting a free three-day dairy processing bootcamp at the Genesee Valley BOCES from June 28th through June 30th for Genesee County high school students.  The program is designed for career ready individuals seeking opportunities in the dairy manufacturing and dairy processing industries. The program starts each day at 8:00 AM and concludes at 3:30 p.m.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center and the Workforce Development Institute provided the funding for the program. The bootcamp program will connect high school graduates with local manufacturers such as HP Hood, O-AT-KA Milk Products and Upstate Milk Cooperative in Batavia, and Yancey’s Fancy in Pembroke.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our local high school graduates to get on a successful career pathway without having to immediately go to college and perhaps avoid incurring student loan debt,” said Chris Suozzi, Vice President of Business & Workforce Development, Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC). “The participants will be receiving top tier instruction from Cornell University which will include hands-on training simulation experience, plant tours and more.”

There are currently over 100 available dairy manufacturing and dairy processing positions at these Genesee County businesses with average starting salaries of approximately $20 per hour. Human resource representatives from the various companies will be on hand to explain career path options, job duties and the application process.

“We have instructors with years of experience in the dairy field and bring an extensive amount of knowledge to this program,” said Cornell Dairy Processing & Marketing Specialist, Anika Zuber Gianforte. “The dairy industry is in need of workers, this bootcamp is the perfect opportunity for someone who is on the search for a well-paying and debt-free start to their career.”

To register for the upcoming Cornell in High School Dairy Processing Bootcamp visit https://cals.cornell.edu/dairy-processing-bootcamp.

Students must be at least 18 years old and have a high school degree to participate. Additional information is available atgcedc.com/workforceprograms.

June 17, 2022 - 12:13pm
posted by Press Release in BOCES, news, education.


Press release:

The Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center is proud to announce the achievements of its seniors.  The award winners, their programs, home schools and scholarships received, are noted below.

  • Abigail Carney, Pavilion, Health Careers Academy, Charles Holowach Memorial Scholarship
  • Alexa Wolcott, Pavilion, Culinary Arts, Charles Holowach Memorial Scholarship
  • Jenna Gilbert, Oakfield-Alabama, Health Careers Academy, Charles Holowach Memorial Scholarship
  • Carlyn Hanlin, Alexander, Building Trades, Livingston Associates Best in Class Award
  • Joseph Rebmann, Alexander, Electro-Mechanical Trades, Livingston Associates Best in Class Award
  • Connor Gale, Byron-Bergen, Automotive Technology, Student of the Year for the AM session
  • David Gracie, LeRoy, Auto Body Repair, Student of the Year for the PM session
  • Courtney Schum, Alexander, Health Careers Academy, Batavia Rotary Club Memorial Fund Scholarship
  • Neva Saile, Alexander, Health Careers Academy, The Kiwanis Club of Batavia Outstanding Citizenship Award
  • Parker Dobson, Oakfield Alabama, Building Trades, Blakeslee Award
  • Hope Bell, Attica, Building Trades, Doug Dayton Memorial Award
  • Brayden Woods, Alexander, Building Trades, Ignatius J. Radesi Memorial Award
  • Alex Lamb, Pembroke, Building Trades, Paul Levin’s Memorial Award
  • Lucas Durfee, Attica, Building Trades, Pullinzi Family Scholarship
  • Andrew Newell, Attica, Building Trades, Batavia Rod & Gun Club Memorial Scholarship
  • LiliAna Espinoza, Batavia, Culinary Arts, Chef Russell Bugbee Memorial Award
  • Alexa Wolcott, Pavilion, Culinary Arts, Josh Mouery Memorial Award
  • Alexander Lynn, Cal-Mum, Electro-Mechanical Trades, The James P. Donnelly Memorial Award
  • Adam Risewick, LeRoy, Electro-Mechanical Trades, The James P. Donnelly Memorial Award

Submitted photos. 

Top photo: Julie Donlon, E.d.D., Deputy Superintendent, GV BOCES (left) presents the Charles Holowach Memorial Scholarship to Abigail Carney, a Health Careers Academy student from Pavilion.


Alexander Lynn (left), an Electro-Mechanical Trades student from Cal-Mum, accepts the James P. Donnelly Memorial Award from Rich Monroe, Electro-Mechanical Trades Instructor.

June 10, 2022 - 2:33pm
posted by Press Release in BOCES, news, education.


Press release:

Two Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center Auto Tech students brought home a very BIG trophy on May 21!

Conner Gale from Byron-Bergen Central Schools, and Noah Burke from Batavia City Schools, took first place in the Ron Smith Memorial Automotive Competition that was held at Erie Community College and sponsored by Niagara Frontier Automotive Dealer Association (NFADA).

Each student won a $10,000 college scholarship, as well as, a $5,000 tool scholarship.

Charlie Pfeil and Tom Hermann, representatives from NFADA, recently paid a visit to the Batavia CTE Center to recognize these two students and also present them with their scholarship certificates.

Hermann explained how noteworthy it was for these two high school seniors to win this competition.

“This is a very big deal for you to win the competition. In the past, the winners of the competition have been people who have graduated from high school and are employed at dealerships,” Hermann said.  “This is a great accomplishment to put on your resume. The future is yours.”

When asked about the competition both Connor and Noah said that they were apprehensive.

“It was nerve-racking,” Noah said.  “We knew the tasks that we had to complete but we weren’t sure of the specific issues we had to fix. But we worked together as a team.” (One of the tasks included diagnosing and repairing an issue with a vehicle that had been purposely bugged.)

Overall, both students felt prepared for the competition.  “We spent time after school preparing and also spent a week working at Basil Ford in Buffalo so we could work on newer model vehicles,” Connor said.  “The extra time that we spent preparing really paid off. Mr. Yates really helped us to understand how to problem solve,” Noah said.

Bob Yates, Auto Technology Instructor, said, "Conner and Noah represented Genesee Valley BOCES and my Automotive Technology class in the most professional manner. These two students were so dedicated and spent many hours preparing for the competition,” Yates said.  “This preparedness proved their success, and I’m so proud of Connor and Noah.”

Both Noah and Conner plan to pursue their education.  Conner is currently employed at Livingston Associates and plans to go to college for automotive technology.  Noah plans to attend the State University of New York at Morrisville to study Automotive Management.

Vincent Dickinson, a junior from Batavia City Schools, placed second in the Ron Smith Memorial Automotive Competition Tire Rodeo.  This event is a timed event test of how a student to properly mounts, balances and, installs a tire.

Congratulations to Conner Gale, Noah Burke, and Vincent Dickinson.


Top photo: Margaret Poray, Executive Principal GV BOCES Batavia Campus; Bob Yates, Auto Technology Instructor; Noah Burke, Conner Gale, Charlie Pfeil and Tom Hermann, representatives from NFADA.

Submitted photos.


 Vincent Dickinson and Bob Yates with Vincent’s award for placing second in the Ron Smith Memorial Automotive Competition Tire Rodeo.

May 31, 2022 - 6:23pm
posted by Press Release in BOCES, DIGIES, news, schools, education.

Press release:

The Digies is an annual digital media conference and festival run by the School Library Service, a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The mission of The Digies is to strengthen the digital media continuum between Pre-K-12 schools, higher education, and professional institutions. The Digies recognizes student potential in an annual festival format and draws student entries from throughout the region and the Upstate New York area.

The in-person awards ceremony was canceled and an awards recognition video was created and posted to YouTube.

Emilee Williamson and Andrea Fetterly, Library Technologies’ Specialists, coordinate this conference. Fetterly shared that this year’s festival drew a record number of entries. “Creativity is intelligence having fun,” Fetterly said. “We are excited to celebrate the amazing creativity and skill demonstrated by the participants in this year's Digies festival.”

Congratulations to these imaginative students! 


  • Pre-K-3 1st Thomas Thering, Annalise Allen, Jade Rivera Rangel, Friendship Podcast, Geneseo CSD
  • 7-9 1st Bennett Wallin, Lucy McGrain, Mitchell Baker, U.S, Citizenship: Our Rights, Our Responsibilities (Voting and Taxes), Avon CSD; 2nd Kristen Thompson, Blue Journey, Alexander CSD; 3rd
  • Alexis Reamer, Amealia Kerr, Bridget Rehrberg, Olivia Wonsey, U.S. Citizenship: Our Rights, Our Responsibilities (Naturalization and Voting), Avon CSD
  • 10-12 1st Gadge Savastano, Lefthandshake, Mount Morris CSD; 2nd Mina Stevens, What Was I Thinking, Pittsford CSD; 3rd Caroline Ruof, Minecraft Music Tech Project- Reason, Orchard Park CSD

Graphic Arts

  • Pre-K - 3 1st Peter Boring, Double Exposure Self Portrait, Avon CSD; 2nd Cheyenne Claus, Double Exposure Photograph, Avon CSD; 3rd Caitlyn Lipome, Double Exposure Self Portrait, Avon CSD
  • 4-6 1st Isabella Ehrman, Eye Art, Southwestern CSD; 2nd Tianna Norman, Creative Name Card, York CSD; 3rd Annalisa Krug, Pixel Parrot, Southwestern CSD
  • 7-9 1st Fadwa Al Dulaimee, Two Faces, Rush-Henrietta CSD; 2nd Anna Holt, Nutella, Alexander CSD; 3rd Tori Jewell, Self Portrait, Rush-Henrietta CSD
  • 10-12 1st Quinn Carletta, The Road to a Cleaner Future, Brockport CSD; 2nd Paige Conley, Sustained Investigation, York CSD; 3rd Cameron Anderson, Untitled, Brockport CSD


  • Pre-K - 3 1st Maylen Aguilar Gutierrez, All About Candy, Geneseo CSD 1st Karma Chidsey, Nora Church, John Ciulla, Cheyenne Claus, Scarlett Claus, Donovan DeCarlo, Casen Frey, Keaton Griffiths, Spencer Hayes, Preston Michael, Ezmae Pizarro, Ilah Rene, Wyatt Swafford, Kayden Taft, Noah Wheeler, African Animals, Avon CSD; 2nd Nolan Boyle, Ethan Chan, Cliff Clarry, Sophia Cowan, Carter Driscoll, Jesse Dumbleton, Mabel Freeman, Bobby Hoffmann, Cora Jackson, Theoren Kearse, Olivia Koncilja, Flynn McMahan, Khloe Price, Pierce Schmid, Brian Stanton, Willow Cruz-Schell, Ian Segovia, Habitats and the Animals That Live There, Avon CSD; 3rd Oliver Clark, Lucas Daniels, Damon Davin, Bianca Estabrooks, Jordan Fayiah, Jayda Fears, Ryker Greene, Olivia Jeffries, Emmalynn Johnson, Wesson Pedro, Adlin Schultheiss, Nora Sherman, Bradley Spencer, Caleb Webb, Lincoln Wheeler, Ariana Crawford, Habitats and the Animals Around the World, Avon CSD
  • 4-6 1st Jack Spuhler, Inventor Room: Milton Hershey, Livonia CSD
  • 1st Arianna Scalisi, Inventor Room; Milton Braille, Livonia CSD; 2nd
  • Isabella Zygadlo, Inventor Room: Jacques Cousteau, Livonia CSD
  • 7-9 1st Ben Knapp, Monke Homecoming, LeRoy CSD
  • 10-12 1st Lillian Smith, Website, Rush-Henrietta CSD; 2nd Anastasia Fields, Website, Rush-Henrietta CSD 3rd Vicki Li, Website, Rush-Henrietta CSD


  • Pre-K - 3 1st QueenNira Bey, Nazir Bey, The Secret Room Virtual Tour, Monroe County Library System; 2nd Cameron Clark, Joey Backer III, Kaboom News, Avon CSD
  • 4-6 1st Anna Shumaker, Charlotte Jaros, Brooke Kiley, Nomie and Niomi the Two Hungry Animals, Avon CSD; 2nd Mackenzie Rogers, The Lollipop, Southwestern CSD; 3rd
  • Gavin Sterner, Stavros Kolokouris, Baylee Gilmore, Alien Abduction, Avon CSD
  • 7-9 1st Gabby Agyingi, Asher Eden, The Plant Growing, Rush-Henrietta CSD; 2nd Zendage Zia, Greyson Phillips, Mason Stock, Change the Formality, Rush-Henrietta CSD; 2nd
  • Ryan Zika, Double Crossed, Pembroke CSD; 3rd Ava Champion, Addison Colatoy, Brenna Krieger, Anna Leathersich, Out to Sea, Rush-Henrietta CSD; 3rd Halie Hassell, From a Future Congress Woman, LeRoy CSD
  • 10-12 1st Andrei Campbell, Old World, GST BOCES- Wildwood Education Center; 2nd Mina Stevens, The Sea Girl Animation, Pittsford CSD; 3rd Jared Berger, The Diving Board, Pittsford CSD
May 2, 2022 - 4:21pm
posted by Press Release in BOCES, education, news, NYVirtual Academy.


Press release:

When COVID-19 caused a worldwide pandemic in 2020, no one ever thought that school buildings across New York state would close. What was known as academic normalcy, and a typical school year changed overnight. Although school buildings were closed, instruction remained a top priority for school districts as teachers adopted new methods of how to creatively deliver instruction to students of all ages. Google Classroom, Zoom, Google Meet, Edpuzzle, Screencastify, Flipgrid and distance learning are just a few methods and strategies that teachers used to connect with students. All of these can be described as online learning.

As the pandemic progressed, teachers and administrators discovered that some students flourished in an online learning environment and, with proper guidance, some students were able to make significant academic gains.

Christopher Harris, Ed.D., oversees a number of programs at Genesee Valley BOCES, including
Model Schools, Library Media Services, Distance Learning, School Library System, and a new program launched in the fall of 2021 called NYVirtual Academy. The NYVirtual Academy was born out of a need to serve this population of students, who for many reasons, thrived in a virtual setting.

“A few years ago, we researched the possibility of creating an online learning program that would focus on college readiness.  Many students who live in this region are the first in their families to attend college. Due to fiscal constraints, the small rural school districts in this region, may not have the same college prep courses as larger more affluent suburban school districts,” Harris said. “We wrote a few grant proposals but then COVID-19 hit. This drastically changed our plan and we transitioned to supporting both remote and hybrid learning.”

First, discussions took place that framed out a rough idea of how a virtual academy would operate. As the 2020-2021 school year continued, with many school districts operating in a hybrid model, the need for this program became more evident.

 “The concern at that time was that school districts had massive numbers of students who could potentially be enrolled, so we knew that this would not be a good time to launch. We focused on supporting teachers by providing resources and tools that would best meet their immediate needs,” Harris explained. 

Throughout that school year, Harris researched and spoke with superintendents on how this concept could work.

“In June and July, we knew that there would be lingering impacts, and discovered that this virtual school concept was definitely a possibility.  The Governor and the State Education Department were communicating a ‘return to in-person learning where appropriate,’” Harris said.  “We knew that some students would not be able to return to in-person learning for a number of reasons, including health conditions, so we got to work. What made this development process work so well was the support of all the school superintendents in this region.”

The program launched in the fall of 2021 with an enrollment of 60 students. But very quickly in early September registration ballooned to 100 students.  As of March 2022, there are 125 students in the NYVirtual Academy.

How it works
NYVirtual Academy is a full-service educational program for students in grades 6-12.  The program provides all instructional components for students including core and elective courses to meet all New York State graduation requirements taught by New York State certified teachers.  Each day students are expected to spend 4-6 hours at home dedicated to their course work. Students are enrolled in their local districts, however, and should be eligible for sports and other extra-curricular activities. Additionally, it is the local district that grants credit and graduates the student based on recommendations from GV BOCES.

Patrick Whipple, Ph. D. oversees all of the Professional Learning Services (PLS) at GV BOCES.  The NYVirtual Academy is part of this department. Whipple described how this new school came to be.

“NYVirtual has its inception tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the late spring of 2020, Dr. Julie Donlon, GV BOCES Deputy Superintendent, presented the Professional Learning Services Department with a challenge-- how can GV BOCES create a service that can meet the demands for virtual learning while taking the burden off of local districts? NY Virtual was the response,” Whipple said. “The PLS Team built the proposal for the program by considering three large, student-focused buckets: effective curriculum, connectedness/mental health, and flexibility. To meet the needs of our districts, the team considered cost-effectiveness and viability as important factors; however, the cost-benefit analysis could not detract from the student-focused nature of the program.”

Whipple also noted how this unique program provides students with a new chance at learning in a protected environment.

“Some students and families are just too anxious to attend in-person school at this time - for various health-related reasons. This is the void that NYVirtual Academy fills. Our NYVirtual Academy staff provide the needed academic, social, and caring support to students who really need it right now. This program dismantles many of the barriers our students would have in a traditional brick-and-mortar setting,” Whipple said. “We focus on the kids by ensuring each student has a moderate group of classmates and a caring adult to interact with through our Advisory Model. These advisors act in a capacity of "school parent" to ensure students feel a sense of connectedness to peers and adults despite attending school from their homes. This important focus creates a warm and welcoming environment that reduces student anxiety, so they can more easily attend to academics.”

Donna McLaughlin is one of the NYVirtual Academy teachers. She applied to teach at this cyber school for many reasons.

“The advisory model was a big part of why I wanted to teach at the NYVirtual Academy. I truly believe in the idea that kids don't care what you know until they know that you care.  In my experience, students who feel safe, heard, and valued by their teachers are more motivated and engaged and, therefore, do better academically,” McLaughlin said.

McCarthy teaches a multitude of offerings including English 10, 11, 12, Career English 12, AP English 12 as well as Mythology and Folklore. It would seem that teaching students remotely would be challenging but McLaughlin disagrees.

“Being an online learning specialist provides me with a unique opportunity to work with students from all over New York state rather than just one localized school building/area.  I have flexibility with my schedule which allows me to have the freedom and opportunity to meet with students 1:1 whenever they need extra support rather than just during after-school hours,” she explained. “Another positive benefit of this position is that the Edmentum (the curriculum this cyber school follows) modules and assessments are rigorous and help students develop the skills and habits they need to be independent learners beyond high school.”

Harris explained that NYVirtual Academy supports students who each have a unique set of circumstances as to why a traditional school setting is not the best fit.  McCarthy agrees.

“I have several students who are facing really difficult, mental/emotional and environmental challenges but are thriving in our program. One student, in particular, is facing a significant number of barriers to success yet she shows up to advisory every morning with a smile and a great attitude,” McCarthy shared. “This student is on pace in all her classes and earning excellent grades despite working 30-40 hours a week to support herself.  She has shared with me that having the option to complete her schoolwork when it fits into her schedule has been critical for her success this year.”

What does the future hold?
It is both Harris’ and McCarthy’s hope that this school model continues.

“I think this program is an amazing example of student-centered learning where kids who don't fit into the traditional brick and mortar school are provided the chance to engage in the educational experience in a new way,” McCarthy said. “Kids who have mental/emotional issues that prevent them from being able to focus and engage in a classroom full of students and stimuli are now able to receive a quality education that values, accommodates, and supports their unique health circumstances.” 

Harris wholeheartedly agrees. 

“Our students are better prepared for their next steps in life. They understand how to work independently, have great time management skills, are able to advocate for themselves when they need help and are able to engage in online learning,” Harris said. 

-College and career-ready are common words used to describe how schools are expected to prepare students.  The NYVirtual Academy does just that and more by providing a culture that fosters learning and teaches students the necessary skills to prepare them for life.

Submitted photo: Harris and his team recently received the Genesee Valley BOCES School Board Association Excellence in Student Services Award. This award recognizes school districts, programs and staff members.  The awards were selected based upon uniqueness, effectiveness and availability to serve the population they were designed to serve. Pictured (left to right) Dr. Patrick Whipple presenting Dr. Christopher Harris with the Genesee Valley BOCES School Board Association Excellence in Student Services Award.

April 27, 2022 - 2:46pm
posted by Press Release in BOCES, education, news.


Press release:

In April, the Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) Chapter announced the names of 31 career and technical student inductees. These students met the rigorous criteria set forth by this national organization. The minimum grade point average for acceptance is a 3.0 GPA.  Students are also selected based upon credit hours completed, attendance, volunteer service, and membership in other student organizations.

Margaret Poray, Executive Principal of the Genesee Valley BOCES Batavia Campus, was inducted as an honorary member.
The ceremony was held on April 21 at the Elba Central School District. The inductees are noted below.

The 2022 Batavia Career and Technical Education Center NTHS Inductees

  • Matthew Cecere, Alexander, Computer Information Systems
  • Devon Grunthaner, Alexander, Auto Technology
  • Olivia Colon-Mercado, Attica, Animal Science
  • Ella Dickinson, Attica, Criminal Justice
  • Alyssa Jacoby, Attica, Cosmetology
  • Tyler Strong, Attica, Criminal Justice
  • Grace Snyder, Attica, Cosmetology
  • Robert McCarthy, Batavia, Metal Trades
  • Synia Morrison, Batavia, Criminal Justice
  • Melanie Quinones, Batavia, Animal Science
  • Tyler Umlauf, Batavia, Graphic Arts
  • Alyssa Vickery, Batavia, Health Dimensions
  • Shyann Ruffino, Batavia Academy, Animal Science
  • Tyler Pangrazio, Cal-Mum, Building Trades
  • William Eschberger, LeRoy, Electro-Mechanical Trades
  • Ryan Higgins, LeRoy, Electro-Mechanical Trades
  • Josh Noble, LeRoy, Metal Trades
  • McKenna Coniber, LeRoy, Building Trades
  • Ann Navarra, LeRoy, Cosmetology
  • Ashlyn Puccio, LeRoy, Cosmetology
  • Bryceton Berry, Notre Dame, Electro-Mechanical Trades
  • James Hudson, Notre Dame, Conservation
  • Grace Mileham, Notre Dame, Health Dimensions
  • Jaylee Johnson, Oakfield-Alabama, Graphic Arts
  • Lauren Mandel, Oakfield-Alabama, Cosmetology
  • Kyra Rhodes, Oakfield-Alabama, Graphic Arts
  • Emmaly Wilkosz, Oakfield-Alabama­­, Cosmetology
  • Victoria Franks, Pembroke, Conservation
  • Karli Houseknecht, Pembroke, Electro-Mechanical Trades
  • Riley Martin, Pembroke, Computer Information Systems
  • Rylee Seelau, Pembroke, Criminal Justice

Submitted photo: The 2022 Batavia CTE Center National Technical Honor Society Inductees.

March 22, 2022 - 5:35pm
posted by Press Release in BOCES, Culinary Arts, NASA, cooking, food.
Video Sponsor

Press release:

The Culinary Arts students from the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center who competed in the national Culinary Arts Challenge for the National NASA HUNCH Program have made to the top ten and now advance to the next round of competition.  Their menus items received top scores from the local judges!

The winning recipes are:

  • Entrée: Shrimp fajitas with red lentil tortillas, creamy avocado sauce served with a side of cilantro lime cauliflower rice.
  • Dessert:  Mexican chocolate brownie

In early April, this team and their instructor will travel to Texas for the next round of competition, which will be held at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.  

If selected, their entrée and dessert will be produced at Johnson Space Lab and sent to the International Space Station for astronauts to enjoy.

March 16, 2022 - 2:32pm
posted by Press Release in BOCES, Alexander, schools, education, news.


Press release:

Rich Monroe describes Joe Rebmann as a self-starter. Monroe, the ElectroMechanical Trades Instructor at the Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center, also noted that Joe tackles projects head-on and is a model student.

Joe Rebmann is a senior from Alexander and is a second-year student in the Electro-Mechanical Trades Program. Joe was recently awarded a $500 School-to-Work Scholarship from the Electrical Association of Western New York. According to the Electrical Association, the purpose of this scholarship is to be used toward the cost of tools for individuals seeking a career in the electrical trade.

Joe was recently chosen to participate in the Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program and was selected for a paid co-op at Tambe Electric. Joe has high hopes for this work opportunity as his goal is to go directly into the workforce after graduation.

“After my co-op, I want to continue working and I hope that Tambe Electric hires me. I love to work with my hands, and always had an interest in anything to do with electricity. When I was young, I used to wire circuit boards,” Joe said. “I will use this scholarship to purchase any tools so I’m ready to go to work.”

Monroe is confident that Joe’s co-op will lead to employment because Monroe describes Joe as “career-ready.”

“Joe is a great student who works independently, is able to decipher directions, and follow through with any task. He is an independent thinker and is totally employable,” Monroe said.

Joe recently had a work experience during a school day at the Batavia CTE Center replacing outdoor light fixtures with exterior LED lighting.

 “I worked with five juniors and I was the group leader. I showed them how to replace the fixture from chiseling concrete to making wire pigtails. We were able to replace all the fixtures on the building with little help from adults. I feel that this experience gave me great leadership and efficiency skills,” Joe explained.

Margaret Poray is the Executive Principal of the GV BOCES Batavia Campus. Like Monroe, she believes that Joe will be successful.

“Joe is a fine example of how our CTE programs prepare students for their next step in life, whether it be college or career. Each Batavia CTE Center program integrates both applied and practical skills into the curriculum as students gain hands-on experience in their chosen field. Joe is well-prepared and ready to go to work,” Poray said.

Submitted Photo: Margaret Poray, Executive Principal of the GV BOCES Batavia Campus, Joe Rebmann, and Rich Monroe, the ElectroMechanical Trades Instructor at the Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center.  Note:  the photo was taken before the mask mandate was lifted.

March 10, 2022 - 11:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, NASA HUNCH Culinary Challenge, Culinary Arts, batavia, video, news.
Video Sponsor

Three BOCES culinary arts students -- Liliana Espinoza, Tristan DiLaura, and Alexa Wolcott -- have had their heads in the clouds the past few months, dreaming up a meal that NASA astronauts might find comforting while they wait in quarantine before their next flight into space.

Their idea: Something with a Tex-Mex flair to suit the cuisine of Houston, where astronauts spend a lot of time.

The challenge: The meal must be low in calories, sugar, fat, and sodium.

Here's what they cooked up: A shrimp fajita with red lentil tortillas and a creamy avocado sauce; a side of cilantro lime cauliflower rice, and a Mexican chocolate brownie.

If they met the challenge, they could be among the final 10 teams to fly to Houston to prepare their meal for another panel of judges and the chance for a top-three finish, which comes with college scholarships.

Watch the video to see how they put their meal together and what they have to say about it.

January 5, 2022 - 3:25pm
posted by Press Release in Le Roy, BOCES, DIGIES.

Press Release:

Are you an imaginative student who is creative, and likes to be innovative by experimenting with new technology and art? Put your talents to work and create your best work for the 2022 Digies Digital Media Festival. The Digies is an annual digital media conference and festival run by the School Library Service, a program of the Genesee Valley BOCES. The mission of the Digies is to strengthen the digital media continuum between Pre-K-12 schools, higher education, and professional institutions.

This competition recognizes student potential in an annual festival format and draws student entries from throughout the region and the Upstate New York area. Submissions for this year’s annual contest are now being accepted. Students are encouraged to submittheir work that is completed from April 1, 2021, through the deadline of April 8, 2022. All entries must comply with the ethics and copyright guidelines of the festival. Entries can come from schools, public libraries, and arts councils in Western New York. The competition is divided into four genres; audio, graphic arts, interactive, and video. In each genre, submissions are judged per age category; grades PreK-3, 4-6, 7-9 and, 10-12. Interested in learning more? Visit digies.org for more information.

 The Digies Media Festival is made possible by the School Library System, Model Schools, and Media Library Services of Genesee Valley BOCES in collaboration with the librarians and technology coordinators of the

The winner of the 2021 Digies grades 10-12 Graphic Arts category is Michelle Jefferson, from
Dansville CSD. Her artwork is titled Neon Lights.

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


Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The graduates are:

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

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


October 14, 2021 - 3:29pm
posted by Press Release in BOCES, accident, news, batavia.

Press release:

Today, at approximately 12:45 p.m., a school bus carrying Batavia Career and Technical Education students to the Building Trades house project site, was involved in an accident. In order to avoid hitting a car, the bus swerved, went off the road and into a ditch. The accident occurred on Route 98 in the Town of Alexander.

EMS responded to the scene, along with GV BOCES Administration, School Resource Officer, and the school nurse. The bus driver was not injured. All students are being evaluated at the accident scene by EMS and the school nurse.

The students are being evacuated from the accident scene and returned to the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center.

“The safety and security of our students is of utmost importance; hence we are taking every precaution possible,” said Kevin MacDonald.

September 3, 2021 - 1:28pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, City Schools, BOCES.

Update, 11 p.m.

Alice Ann Benedict, Batavia City School District Board of Education president, explained that the "confidential search" for a permanent superintendent means that the board is not advertising for candidates.

"We have qualified candidates we will be interviewing," she said. "Candidates who have expressed interest in the position."

She said there will be an opportunity for the district and community to express the requirements they would like to see in a superintendent.

"The Board would never consider hiring a superintendent without input from all stakeholders," she added.


Around three dozen Batavia City School District students have signed up for “virtual learning” in 2021-22, the district’s interim superintendent reported to the board of education Thursday night.

Scott Bischoping said that Genesee Valley BOCES will be providing remote learning for students in grades six through 12 while the Livonia Central School District will do the same for pupils in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Bischoping, noting that the current number of students opting for remote learning for all grade levels is 35 to 40, said “that fluctuates because our counselors are working with families, and we want to make sure we vet their decision to make sure they fully understand what is going to happen, how it’s going to happen …”

He said teachers at both locations are working to get the process set up by the start of school next week.

Genesee Valley BOCES and Livonia will provide Chromebooks to their respective students, Bischoping said, adding that the yearly cost per student will be around $8,500 for grades six through 12 and $6,000 for kindergarten through fifth grade.

Bischoping said that federal funds for COVID-19 will be used to pay for this service.

“We’re using – indirectly or directly – funds from the federal government for catching up to pay for that and it will not impact our regular budget,” he said. “It makes a lot of sense for us to use funds for those families who want their kids home because of those health reasons.”

In a brief update of the school’s reopening plan, Bischoping said most of the protocols and guidelines are the same as last school year, predicting there shouldn’t be any issues of “things are going OK.”

No one from the public spoke during a two-minute public hearing.

Bischoping said the reopening plan is on the district website, where public comments can be posted.

Batavia City School District Return to School Guidelines | Batavia City School District (bataviacsd.org)

On the wearing of face coverings, Bischoping said not much has changed other than some loosening of restrictions concerning chorus and band.

Unvaccinated teachers and staff, per a New York State Department of Health mandate, will have to submit to COVID testing on a weekly basis, he said. Those who want to opt out of testing will have to prove they have been vaccinated by contacting the school nurse.

He said that rapid tests will be on hand.

“We’re not going to ask people whether or not they have been vaccinated. We’re going to ask them to report their status to the nurse if they’d like to get out of the testing,” he explained.

Board President Alice Ann Benedict asked about the busing situation.

Business Administrator Scott Rozanski said that in light of a national shortage of bus drivers, the district is planning to combine students from John Kennedy Intermediate and Jackson Primary onto one bus and students from Batavia High School and Batavia Middle School onto one bus.

“In the past, each school had their own buses,” he said. “We have limited drivers … and that’s the best option that we can do at this point in time.”

Benedict also asked about school cleaning schedules, with Bischoping replying that cleaning will take place regularly but without “the same hyper-vigilance about contact as we did before because we realize that isn’t the transmitter or carrier of the virus that we had worries about last year.”

“Certainly, personal hygiene, student hygiene and hand washing … and us making sure that we do clean things on a regular basis, that hasn’t changed.”

In other developments, the board:

  • Heard from Benedict that Kevin MacDonald, district superintendent of Genesee Valley BOCES, who is acting as the consultant in the search for a permanent superintendent, has requested to attend the next board meeting, scheduled for Sept. 16.

Benedict said the board is learning toward conducting interviews outside of Batavia, possibly at the Le Roy BOCES building. She said they will be looking to set up dates for the interviews and encouraged board members to make themselves available.

Bischoping suggested the board send information about what is being called “a confidential search” to the staff and teachers so they are informed of the process.

An email to Benedict seeking comment on the search process was not returned at the time of the posting of this story.

  • Approved the appointments of Ann Worthington and Leandra DiRisio as supervisors of attendance at John Kennedy and Batavia Middle School, respectively.
August 27, 2021 - 7:57am
posted by Press Release in news, BOCES, Genesee Community College, GCEDC.


Press release

Students in the inaugural Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Boot Camp graduated Thursday, with four of them preparing to enter full apprenticeship programs and a fifth heading to a technician training program.

Participants split their days at the boot camp's six-week electro-mechanical technician training program between on-the-job training at local employers and hands-on training on Amatrol equipment in the Genesee Valley BOCES expanding electro-mechanical lab.

The boot camp is supported by the Genesee Valley BOCES, Rochester Technology Manufacturers Association, Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program, SUNY Genesee Community College, American Apprenticeship Initiative of Western New York, GLOW Workforce Development Board, Genesee County Economic Development Center and other partners.

Top photo: Front from left, Tom Pelino, Cole Sullivan, Jack Duyssen, and Eli Hopkins; back, Maggie Poray, GV BOCES Batavia Campus executive principal; Chris Suozzi, GCEDC; John McGowan, GCC; Rich Monroe, ElectroMechanical Trades Instructor at the GV BOCES Batavia Campus ElectroMechanical Trades instructor; Jon Sanfratello, GV BOCES director of Instructional Programs; Bob Coyne, RTMA; Rich Turner, FLYAP.  Matthew Bills also graduated from the Boot Camp. Photo by Alecia Kaus.


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