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June 3, 2015 - 8:58am
posted by Traci Turner in batavia, community, education, City Schools, schools.

data_cafe.jpg

Diane Reed with a group of faculty and members from the community.

The Family Engagement Survey results from 2014 were presented at the Batavia High School Library during their "Data Café" Tuesday night.

Diane Reed, Ph.D., the Batavia City School District’s outside educational expert and associate professor in Educational Leadership at St. John Fisher College, shared the data from the community survey taken by families and other Batavia residents last fall. Reed is certified by the New York State Education Department to work with Focus Districts to help determine school effectiveness and discuss strategic plans with faculty and community members to improve it.

The community survey is one of three that make up the Data Triangle Survey. It was based on six tenets to measure effectiveness which include District Leadership and Capacity, School Leader Practices and Decisions, Curriculum Development and Support, Teacher Practices and Decisions, Student Social and Emotional Developmental Health, and Family and Community Engagement. The survey was composed of 50 statements and participants answered using a Likert scale. The total number of people who took the survey was 374. According to Reed; the low response rate is typical.

The overall data total results for the district showed that 75 percent or more of participants answered each of the 22 statements with either strongly agree or agree. These results are considered an asset.

For each of the other 28 statements, 50 to 74 percent of participants answered strongly agree or agree. These results are considered an emerging strength.

The overall data total results for the district also revealed no fewer than 50 percent of participants answered strongly agree or agree to any of the statements. These results show no possible risks for the district.

When breaking the statement results up by schools, the Batavia High School showed minimal possible risks.

“The Batavia City School District should be very proud because many responses are in the green asset area,” Reed said. “It is not too often with schools I work with to show strengths in a lot of the areas.”

Faculty members and parents divided into two groups to discuss the district’s strengths and weaknesses based on the survey results. Both groups came to the conclusion the district could improve on providing the community with more training on Common Core learning and positive engagement with students outside the classroom.

Jean Berry, mother of two boys who attend Batavia Middle School and Batavia High School, really enjoyed how teachers sent home postcards when her children were doing well in school. One suggestion she had was to use lexiles -- reading level measurements -- more effectively.

“When we have the Scholastic Book Fair, the books should be labeled with lexiles so I can buy the appropriate books for my sons’ reading level,” Berry said.

Moving forward, the district will consider hosting additional Common Core informational nights to help the community understand the standards especially at the secondary level. They also will encourage teachers to make positive calls home to help motivate students. 

May 27, 2015 - 4:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, City Schools, education.
Event Date and Time: 
June 2, 2015 - 4:30pm to 6:30pm

Batavia City School District will host a Data Cafe on June 2, from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. in the High School’s library. At this cafe, Diane Reed, Ph.D., our Outside Educational Expert (OEE), will share information from the Data Triangle Survey, completed by our community last fall, and then will facilitate conversation regarding the information. Light refreshments also will be provided.

May 27, 2015 - 2:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education.

district.corey_.data_cafe.dr_.reed_from_fisher_website.jpgPress release:

Batavia City School District will host a Data Cafe on June 2, from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. in the High School’s library. At this cafe, Diane Reed, Ph.D., our Outside Educational Expert (OEE), will share information from the Data Triangle Survey, completed by our community last fall, and then will facilitate conversation regarding the information. Light refreshments also will be provided.

As a certified OEE, Reed is approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) for working with Focus Schools and Focus Districts as they measure their effectiveness based on six tenets which have been proven to be key factors in school effectiveness: District Leadership and Capacity; School Leader Practices and Decisions; Curriculum Development and Support; Teacher Practices and Decisions; Student Social and Emotional Developmental Health; and Family and Community Engagement.

Reed worked with our District to facilitate the Data Triangle Survey -- the three-pronged survey approved by the State which uses the six tenets as a guide in gathering input from staff, students and families. That input was used in the evaluation of District and school effectiveness and then was used in creating strategic plans for improving effectiveness. Reed continues her assistance in preparing the District for its reviews by the NYSED.

In addition to her work as a consultant at the international, national, state and local levels, Reed is the director and an associate professor in the master's degree program in Educational Leadership at St. John Fisher College. She co-authored a book titled "Resilient Leadership for Turbulent Times," and has written chapters that have been included in several others. She has also received numerous awards for her leadership in education. During her 15 years as a superintendent in New York State, her district was named in the top 1.5 percent of the school in the nation by Newsweek magazine and in the top 3 percent of school in Upstate New York by BusinessWeek.

All are encouraged to attend this informative evening.

May 20, 2015 - 10:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education.

Results from Tuesday's vote in the Batavia City School District vote:

I.  Budget - $43,108,373 (increase of $122,011 or 0.28%: $0.00 increase in tax levy)
   Yes   - 426 (85.03%)
   No    - 75  (14.97%)

II.  Capital Reserve - $7,500,000, ten years
   Yes -  391  (81.12%)
   No -    91   (18.88%)

III.  Transportation Mileage Change - Grades 2-4 > 0.50 miles and Grades 9-12 >1.50 miles within the city limits (all outside city limits are eligible already)
  Yes -  405  (83.16%)
  No -   82   (16.84%)

May 19, 2015 - 6:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education, City Schools.

It's budget vote day in the Batavia City School District.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.

Besides the proposed 2015-16 budget, residents are asked to vote on establishing a capital reserve fund, a mileage change in transportation, and three board of education seats.

A summary of the public proposal is available on the district Web site, as well as all the budget documents.

If you live north of Route 5/Main Street, vote at Robert Morris. If you live south of Route 5/Main Street, vote at Batavia High School.

April 16, 2015 - 9:11am
posted by Jess Wheeler in batavia, schools, education, City Schools.

The 157 city school students who live more than a mile and a half from their schools could soon have the option of riding a bus.

Currently, bus transportation isn't offered to students who live within the city boundaries, but the proposal should change the policy.

The district contracts with Student Transportation of America for bus transportation. Under the proposal, BTA will conduct two pick-ups and two drop-offs at designated locations in the city.

Currently, the buses only do one run and pick-up all of the kids on the first pass. 

“We’re paying for time that we aren’t using,” Business Administrator Scott Rozanski said.

The Board was hopeful that the change for transportation would solve concerns that have been raised.

“This would limit the number of students who have to walk well over two miles,” Rozanski said. “They could just walk to their pick-up and then come directly to the high school."

“Ideally, no student will have to walk more than half of a mile to their pick-up destination,” Superintendent Christopher J. Dailey added.

Safety would increase due to less traffic on State Street. Attendance at the high school is expected to improve during the winter when parents might keep their kids at home in bad weather.

The transportation change will be conducted within the parameters of the current contract with Student Transportation of America. There will be no additional cost to the budget or the taxpayers.

The Board of Education thanked Rozanski for his effort to solve the transportation issue Batavia High School has had for several years.

The proposed increased transportation will be added to the ballot which goes to voters on May 19.

April 14, 2015 - 1:50pm
posted by Jess Wheeler in batavia, schools, education, City Schools, common core.

The Batavia City School district is not expected to meet the 95-percent mandated participation rate for the Common Core standardized tests that started today and continue into next week. A letter released from the office of Superintendent Christopher J. Dailey said the district could lose local control of the schools and the funding for teaching positions as a result.

“No one wants to see funding stripped from our schools,” said Brian Odachowski, a father of two daughters. “No one wants to lose teachers. But there is an obvious growing number of parents who are not buying into these standardized tests and Common Core as a whole.”

On Monday Night, Loy Gross, math tutor and co-founder of United to Counter the Core, met with a group of nine parents and three students to talk about testing refusal. The parents agreed that their kids are stressed out about the tests and none are participating.

Gross's 15-year-old daughter was taking college-level math classes and getting a 4.0 when she took the Common Core Regents math test last year. She only just passed. Gross pulled both of her kids out of school to homeschool them in September. “These tests are no good. They are designed for the kids to fail,” she said.

Eighth-grader Gabrielle Crespo said she doesn’t understand the material and doesn’t think she will do well on the exam.

“2x + dog = kitty poop. That’s what math is like in my head,” she said.

Crespo’s mother, Julie Bolas-Carasone, is frustrated that she can’t help her daughter do her homework.

“There is no material given to the parents to help,” she said. “The staff just tells us to ‘Google it.’ Google is great, but what about those of us who don’t have Internet access at home?”

Parents are not only frustrated because they can’t help their children, they are concerned that their children may not have reached the targeted cognitive level of the test. Common Core testing is also used to evaluate teachers across New York State and some people believe the educators are teaching in fear for their jobs.

“The kids can sense the fear from the teachers and it’s stressing them out,” Bolas-Carasone said. “Teachers are not teaching because they’re passionate.”

The Common Core tests are graded as a cut-score on the level of one through four. Three and four are considered passing grades. The school receives the results for each student, but according to parents, they do not receive the tests back. Parents voiced concerns of not knowing how to help their children succeed when they don't know where they struggled on the tests.

According to the New York State Education Department Web site, 2014 saw an improvement from the previous year. Statewide, math scores rose in levels three and four from 31.2 percent to 35.8 percent. English Language Arts went from 66.9 percent to 69.6 percent. The scoring represents proficiency level.

Parents at the United to Counter the Core meeting last night said they do not believe the test results accurately reflect their child’s proficiency.

“The only way to win this game, is not to play,” Gross said.

April 13, 2015 - 2:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education, City Schools, common core.

Open letter from Chris Dailey, superintendent of Batavia City Schools:

We are writing today to share your district’s perspective on the New York State Assessments in grades 3-8 that will be taking place April 14-16 and April 22-24, 2015.

Pursuant to New York State Education Department (NYSED) Regulations and subsequent guidance, all students in public and charter schools in Grades 3-8 are required to take all State assessments administered for their grade level, in accordance with both Federal and State laws. NYSED has made clear that, with very limited exceptions (such as with regard to certain students with disabilities), “there is no provision in the statute or regulation that allow parents to opt their children out of State Assessments.” Further, all public schools in New York State are mandated by NYSED to require all students in attendance in school or in attendance on the assessment days or make-up days, to take the assessment scheduled for that day.

Batavia joins many other districts in calling for an end to using these assessments in the administrator and teacher evaluation process. We believe that great teaching is not always reflected in the results of any single assessment. We also believe that state assessments are just one indicator that can help us analyze student growth and school performance. As far as the opt out/refusal movement that has taken place this spring, we would like to share how having your child refuse the test could impact BCSD through these four points:

1. We do not use the assessment results to punish or terminate teachers. Rather, we work collaboratively with the BOE, administrators and teacher union to ensure that we keep perspective over this one piece of data for student achievement. It is not used in BCSD to hurt our administrators, teachers or students.

2. The assessment data allows us to analyze and reflect on Batavia’s curriculum and instruction practices while also comparing our students to other students across the state with similar population demographics. In general, we do very well compared to other small city school districts with populations like BCSD.

3. We are a Focus District. We were identified in the summer of 2012 for a subgroup of students at Robert Morris in 2009-10 that struggled with the NYS assessments. We were told it would be a three year process of working with NYSED to improve incrementally each year. Since Robert Morris was closing due to the consolidation, we were required to have the school with the largest population of that subgroup take its place. Thus, the Middle School became our Focus School. We have had to submit education improvement plans for both the District and Middle School each year that must then be approved by NYSED. Thus far, we have shown incremental growth each year. If we do not make our participation rate of 95% on the exams, we potentially could lose more local control for our district. We have regularly made this participation target. This year we are in jeopardy of not reaching our participation rate due to the number of refusals being submitted by parents. Two or more years of not making the participation goal could lead to us being deemed a Priority District which would have even more ramifications than being a Focus District.

4. If our participation rate dips below 95% we can also potentially lose a portion or the entire Title I federal grant, which impacts 26 teaching positions and professional development opportunities for our staff. It would be the equivalent of losing funding for 12 full-time teaching positions.

We hope this information is helpful and thank you for providing us with outstanding children to work, learn and grow with every day. Take Care of BCSD!

Christopher J. Dailey, Superintendent of Schools

Molly Corey, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction

April 10, 2015 - 12:27pm
posted by Jess Wheeler in batavia, schools, education, City Schools.

The return of three teaching positions and the lack of a tax increase highlight a 2015-16 budget proposal for Batavia City schools following this week's budget meeting. 

The reinstated teaching positions include a science teacher and a social studies teacher, both at the middle school level. The third position is for a districtwide music teacher.

There are students on a waiting list to take music classes.

The preliminary budget released in January projected a .55-percent increase in the tax levy, but with new state aid numbers that increase was zeroed out.

“The governor has always given budget projections,” Business Administrator Scott Rozanski said. “This year, he did not. So we used the budget numbers from the current year. When the state budget was finalized, we saw an increase of about $427,000. We used that to reduce the tax levy to 0 percent.”

The $427,000 will be coming in New York State Aid.

The proposed budget includes an increase in mileage for transportation at John Kennedy Intermediate School.

“I think the Board has sensed the needs of the taxpayer and has done even better than the governor projected,” Rozanski said.

The board meets again April 14 to finalize the budget proposal.

The public vote is May 19. The election will include the budget, transportation and three open seats on the school board.

April 8, 2015 - 9:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Schools.

From The Batavian's news partner, WBTA:

Batavia School Superintendent Chris Dailey has not been selected as the next superindent of the East Rochester Union Free School District. WBTA News has learned that East Rochester will announce its new superintendent later today and it is not Dailey.

Dailey confirmed earlier this month that he was one of three finalists for the East Rochester job.

Dailey has been superintendent of the Batavia City School District for the past two years. Prior to becoming superintendent Dailey was principal of Batavia High School.

March 20, 2015 - 10:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education, City Schools.

From The Batavian's news partner, WBTA:

Batavia City School District is looking at a reduction in their budget in comparison to last year’s. Benefit costs to retirement systems have decreased, allowing the school to save money in those areas.

Business Manager Scott Rozanski says the school is changing their philosophy on savings since their current reserve is expiring.

"The board has authorized the creation of a new capital reserve and has set the level at a 10-year reserve for $7.5 million. That's the maximum amount of money that can go into it. It's not how much it's going to be funded or funded initially. It will be funded through surplus or future-year budgetary appropriations," says Rozanski.

If the school has a surplus of money, it will be stored in the fund.

Rozanski says the board wants a flat tax levy.

In terms of administration, the school does not anticipate any major changes outside of three expiring board seats.

The budget vote will occur May 19th.

November 21, 2014 - 12:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education, City Schools.

Press release:

The Batavia City School District is dedicated to providing all students with the educational foundation necessary to succeed in school and in life. To ensure your child's success, we have set high standards that are reflected in what is taught in our classrooms.

We would like to get your feedback about our district. We will use the information provided by all stakeholders in future plans and are asking you to complete the Family Engagement Survey by November 30, 2014. We want to hear your voice regarding Batavia's educational program. Please complete the survey at the link below:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8XV7LLC

Your input is valued and we thank you for taking time to share your thoughts, ideas and aspirations for the Batavia City School District.

September 2, 2014 - 9:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Attica, schools, education, City Schools.

Dozens of bright yellow school buses have been gleaming in the sun (when there is sun) at the corner of Dodgeson Road and Route 98 in Alexander just about all summer long.

The name on the sides of the buses -- Student Transportation of America -- is a new name to Genesee County.

STA is now in town after winning the main transportation contract with the Batavia City School District, which entered into a joint agreement with the Attica School District.

The company purchased a former rigging shop location at 3784 Dodgeson Road in an auction through Bontrager's earlier in the summer.

The state encourages school districts to review and re-bid bus transportation contracts every 10 years, explained Batavia Superintendent Chris Dailey. 

The district experienced many difficulties with the previous contract, Dailey said. 

"The Board of Education decided to bid and increase the accountability and expectations for the bus contractors while also increasing features available to the district with our bus contractors, such as more cameras and GPS," Dailey said. "We bid for 2013-14 but the bid was rejected because of cost and lack of competition."

For 2014-015, the district decided to seek another district for a cooperative bid and reached an agreement with Attica and STA won the bid for regular school transportation, field trips and sports trips.

Attica Bus Company will remain the contractor for transportation of special education students.

BCSD's transportation costs per year is more than $1 million, plus another $731,690 for special education transportation.

"In our contract, the contractor is responsible for all aspects of providing transportation: purchasing and maintaining the fleet, building, staffing, routing of the students, directly handling parent calls," Dailey said.

Two weeks ago, STA announced the release of a mobile device and desktop app that will allow parents to track the location of school buses in the fleet.

"A child’s bus is displayed on a detailed map showing its current location in relation to the child’s stop, so parents can monitor the bus along its route," the company said in a press release.

The app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

“Registering for the SafeStop app is easy,” the company said. “Parents in select schools simply log on to www.schoolwheels.com from any computer or mobile device to register for the app. They then can link to the Apple App Store or Google Play to download on a mobile device.”

June 3, 2014 - 12:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Schools.

Press release from Batavia City Schools:

On behalf of the Board, I am pleased to report that a settlement has been agreed to in resolution of the lawsuit filed against the District by two families with respect to the District’s softball fields. While the District is glad that this situation is behind us and we can now fully focus on the completion of these projects, we are a bit dismayed by the characterization of this situation portrayed in the Empire Justice Center’s press release. The Batavia City School District is proud of its student athletic program and continuously works toward achieving equality across all sports.

The District has always been committed to its girls’ athletic program. As a District we cannot proceed with capital projects of this nature without voter approval. We sought voter approval in 2011 to make improvements to our playing fields but the voters did not approve the plan at that time. Despite this outcome in 2011, the District invested as much funding as possible for material and labor to resurface the girls’ softball infields and to make arrangements for games to be played on other appropriate local fields.  

The facts of this situation speak for themselves:

·      The District had committed to the upgrades prior to the commencement of the lawsuit. There are no substantial differences between this settlement and the capital improvement plans that the Board of Education proposed and approved in February 2013 for presentation to the voters in May 2013.

·      The scope of the Board and voter approved capital improvement project was incorporated into preliminary plans by the Young & Wright architectural firm in the Spring of 2013. The plans were finalized this year with the intention of completing the project by September 2015.

·      It is unfortunate that, despite the District’s stated intentions and voter approval, the plaintiffs felt compelled to proceed with this lawsuit. The pending litigation resulted in an unnecessary expenditure of District resources during these difficult economic times.

·      There is only one change to the project requested in the settlement that was not initially taken into account, but the District believes is reasonable, and that is the addition of a safety cap to the track and field fence at VanDetta Stadium that is adjacent to the JV softball field.    

·      Not directly related to the specific project plans under way, as part of the settlement the District was asked to confirm its obligations to equal opportunity in athletic programs pursuant to Title IX, which we have always followed and are happy to continue to do.

·      The District has always been, and will continue to be, committed to its girls’ athletic program.

May 21, 2014 - 8:24am
posted by Steve Ognibene in middle school, High School, City Schools, tech wars.

Students from throughout the GLOW region gathered at Genesee Community College yesterday for the annual Tech Wars, where students compete in matches of design and engineering skill.

“This is the seventh year since the inception of the Tech Wars that started in 2008 with only 138 kids,” said Bob Hollwedel, an event coordinator.

This year, there were 17 schools and more than 650 middle and high school school student who participated. 

The top schools overall were: 1st Place -- Alexander; 2nd Place -- Dansville; 3rd Place -- Oakfield. Photos below from a couple of the 17 events today.

Co2 Cars

Catapult - Batavia Middle School Team

Robot Tractor Pull

Trebechet - Alexander High School team

Sumo Robots - submitted by high school students

May 20, 2014 - 9:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Schools.

The Batavia City School District unofficial results for today:

Budget - $42,986,362: 

  • Yes  -  402 (70.77%)
  • No  -  166 (29.23%)

Student Ex-Officio non-voting member of the Board of Education

  • Yes  -  493 (85.89%)
  • No  -  81 (14.11%)

Sale of Property (279 East Ave.) for $150,000

  •  Yes  -  466 (82.04%)
  • No  -  102 (17.96%)

Non-Binding Advisory Proposition (pending Board of Education action) - Veterans' Exemption

  •   Yes  -  428 (75.09%)
  •   No  -  142 (24.91%)

Three Board of Education positions:

Two (2) from 7-1-14 to 6-30-17 (the two highest votes)

  • Jessica M. Maguire-Tomidy:  470
  • Andrew Pedro:  445

and

One (1) from 5/21/14 to 6/30/15 (least number of votes)

  • Leslie Johnson:  430
March 25, 2014 - 3:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, music, schools, education, City Schools.

After the Batavia City Schools entry into a NYS Lottery contest was disqualified, a group of parents were sharing their disappointment on Facebook when some suggested maybe there should be a local fundraiser for the music department.

Allison Chua said, "I can do that."

She's set up a fundraising page at First Giving.

While the page shows no funds raised yet, Chua said she has received $300 in checks and some parents have said they will donate when they get back from Spring Break vacation.

The NYS Lottery contest involved schools making a video of students singing "Thank You for Being a Friend." 

Students were very upset, Chua said, when the lottery disqualified their video after it had already been selected as a finalist and was leading, by a slim margin, in votes.

"This is a way for us to show them we do appreciate what they do," Chua said.

The grand prize for the contest was $10,000, but Chua said the parents are setting a modest goal of $2,500 for their fundraiser, which is equivalent to the third place prize in the contest.

To donate, visit the First Giving Web page. To donate by check, mail your check to Batavia City Schools Parent-Teacher Coalition, attention Allison Chua, 260 State St., Batavia, NY 14020. All donations will go to the music programs of the school district.

May 21, 2013 - 10:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education, City Schools.

According to the unofficial vote count released by the Batavia City School District, voters approved the district's budget and approved the capital project.

The $41,981,241 spending plan received 505 yes votes to 201 no votes.

The $3.8 million capital project was approved 454 yes votes to 233 no votes.

Also approved 557 to 128 was a change to the transportation plan.

For the results of school district votes throughout Genesee County, WBTA, The Batavian's official news partner, is tracking the results: click here.

May 3, 2013 - 3:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education, City Schools.

The Batavia City School District is doing everything it can to hold down costs, but federal and state mandates make that more difficult every year, Superintendent Chris Dailey told members of the Batavia Kiwanis Club during their weekly lunch Thursday at Genesee ARC's Community Center.

Besides the long-standing mandates out of Albany, the new national education initiative called Common Core is adding new expenses for the district, Dailey said.

Even so, the district spends $18,207 per pupil annually compared to $20,410 per pupil on a statewide average.

"We're trying everything we can to keep it as lean as possible and keep it as far away from the students as possible," Dailey said.

Over the past three years, the district has cut 26 teacher positions, three administrative positions, three custodial positions and 10 clerical/teacher aide positions.

Voters in the district will be asked to approve a new budget May 21 that increases the district's share of the property tax levy by 2 percent.

Under terms of the state's property tax cap law, the district could have taken the levy up 5.5 percent.

The district is proposing $41,981,241 in spending, which is an increase over last year of 4.7 percent.

A homeowner with an $80,000 piece of property would be asked to pay $36.87 more in taxes annually under the proposed budget plan.

Non-mandated spending that is protected with the proposed budget is kindergarten (the state does not mandate kindergarten and in fact some school districts are eliminating the program), art classes, music in K-5, school plays, athletics, extracurricular clubs and advanced placement courses.

The district also does not see the need right now to increase class sizes.

Last year's school consolidation helped the district save money and keep the tax increase to a minimum, Dailey said.

There are school districts nearby that aren't faring as well, Daily said, and City Schools officials anticipate that in two or three years, some of those districts will become insolvent and the Batavia district will be asked to take on those students, which is part of the reason the district has maintained ownership of the Robert Morris property. The district may need the classroom space if required to absorb students from another district.

As part of the ballot later this month, the district is asking voters to approve a $3.8 million capital investment project that makes ADA-compliant upgrades to Van Detta Stadium and undertakes a number of maintenance and upgrade projects at the high school, Jackson School, John Kennedy School and Robert Morris.

There is also $1.5 million set aside for restoration work at the Richmond Memorial Library, including a new roof.

"We've done everything possible to try and save that roof," Dailey said "There's bubble gum up there holding it together if you really want look. We really need to replace that roof. The library is a gem for the community and it needs to be taken care of and it needs to be done the right way."

Last year, voters shot down a capital investment project that included upgrades to Van Detta that some found excessive.

This time around, the district is merely seeking to improve the handicapped accessibility of the stands and bathrooms.

The district is also looking to fund upgrades at the girls softball field, where conditions recently prompted a lawsuit by a pair of district parents.

Polls will be open May 21 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at John Kennedy School, 166 Vine St., Batavia, and Batavia High School, 260 State St., Batavia.

A public presentation on the budget will be made by Dailey at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, in the high school's library.

April 9, 2013 - 4:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports, schools, education, City Schools.

Press release:

On April 5, the Batavia City School District received notification that a lawsuit was filed by the Empire Justice Center on behalf of a few District parents with the intent to demand an immediate upgrade to the girls’ softball field claiming the District was in violation of Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972.

The District believes this lawsuit is misguided as the issues addressed in the lawsuit have already been diligently pursued and we have prepared a proposition for voter approval during the annual District’s budget vote in May 2013.

In 2011, softball field upgrades were included in the District’s capital-improvements project proposal which was ultimately voted down by the taxpayers. Even after the capital improvement proposition was voted down, the District allocated as much funding as possible for material and labor to resurface the girls’ softball infield. In addition, arrangements were made to have nearly half of the home games played at an area premier softball facility, Genesee Community College.

The District also continues to make regular maintenance on this field and whatever improvements it can make within the approved budget. To continue its efforts to upgrade the softball field, in 2012, the District commenced an architectural study to address resurfacing the field, installing dugouts, an electronic scoreboard and outfield fencing. This plan was reviewed and approved by the Board of Education at its Feb.12, 2013 meeting.

A proposal to fund this plan, which also includes capital improvements for District buildings and the Richmond Memorial Library, will be placed on the ballot during the annual vote on the District’s budget on May 21. If the voters approve this capital proposition, the District will initiate the upgrades to the field as outlined above after the softball season ends so as not to disrupt the current season.     

Subsequent to the Board’s approval of the plan, the District received a letter on February 20, 2013 from the Empire Justice Center demanding that the softball field be upgraded immediately. The District met with representatives of the Empire Justice Center to review the matter.

We explained that the requested upgrades in their letter were the same improvements already incorporated into the District’s proposed project with the exception of night lighting. We shared with these representatives that commencing an upgrade immediately was impractical given that the work would render the field unplayable for most of the season as well as that the work was duplicative of that included within the District’s proposed capital project.

Unfortunately, the District’s good-faith efforts in terms of work already done to the field as well as the presentation of comprehensive facility upgrades to the voters for approval in May 2013 were ignored. However, with just a few more months of patience, it is the District’s belief that it will be able to embark on a comprehensive and complete renovation to the softball facilities.

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