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

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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.

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October 13, 2021 - 6:00pm

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For more than three decades, the Knights of Columbus, Msgr. Kirby Council No. 325 has been a strong supporter of St. Joseph Regional School and Notre Dame High School.

The council’s many contributions have gone toward building improvements, classroom and technology upgrades, beautification of both campuses, and tuition support scholarships.

“The scholarships provided by the Knights support our mission of advancing Catholic school education in Batavia,” said council trustee Steve Ognibene. “Many families throughout the region -- regardless of their financial position -- have been granted funds that have helped complete their education at St. Joseph’s and then graduate from Notre Dame.”

Ognibene said that hundreds of students have benefited from K of C sponsorship, especially when Notre Dame expanded to grades seven through 12 in 2020 and the council agreed to include students across all grade levels.

The council’s recent sponsorship allocated $4,000 to each school.

Notre Dame High Business Manager Tom Rapone applauded the council for its commitment to the schools.

“St. Joseph School and Notre Dame take pride in being top-ranked schools in the entire GLOW Region for the past two decades, and we have equal pride in our longstanding relationship with the Knights of Columbus,” Rapone said.

Photo above: Karen Green, principal of St. Joseph Regional School, receives a check from Knights of Columbus scholarship committee members, from left, Grand Knight Tom Trescott, Rocco Pellegrino, Sam LaBarbera and Chuck Mahler. Photo below: Tom Rapone accepts the check from the committee. Submitted photos.

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October 3, 2021 - 9:23am
posted by Anne Marie Starowitz in catholic church, Catholic schools, schools, education, news, batavia.

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Several articles have been written on the early public schools from this area, including those still in use today.  When the very first schools were built, Catholic schools were also built alongside their churches.

Rev. Thomas Cunningham established the first Catholic school in 1873. He became the first priest to settle permanently in the village. With him came six Sisters of Mercy.  The sisters lived in the Davis Building on Jackson Street that served as their convent until 1873.  The sisters started a school in a barn next to the convent.  Due to a fire, the sisters had to move the school to a large stone building on Jackson Street that became Marshall News Store many years later.

In 1882 St. Joseph’s Parish began to build a new school and convent on Summit and East Main Street.  It was a solid unadorned building with a small turret over the front door and little towers on the front corners.  It had four rooms on the first floor for the younger students and three rooms above for the older children.  High school students were enrolled at the school until 1912.  Music lessons were taught in small spaces in the corridors.

St. Joseph’s School served as a parochial elementary school until 1959.  The building was listed as unsafe for young children, so in the fall of 1959, a new school with twelve classrooms and a cafeteria was built.  The old school was razed.  In 1973 office space and a new gymnasium and assembly hall were added to the eastern side of the new school.

Rev. Peter Pitass started Sacred Heart School in 1904 when he organized Sacred Heart Parish.  The school’s classrooms were ready for pupils by 1918.  Those classrooms served the Polish community until the flood of 1942. The school and church were located at the foot of Jackson Street.   By 1954 the school was also deemed a fire hazard, and plans were drawn up for a new school and church.  The new school would be located east of the church facing Sumner Street.  By the end of the year, a new fireproofed school building was built for $8,000.00.

In 1904 approximately 20 students were enrolled at Sacred Heart School.  By 1934 the number had increased to about 60 students, and registration remained at about that level until the ‘60s. Then, in the ‘60s, enrollment began to decrease. Finally, in 1974 enrollment was so small that Sacred Heart School merged with St. Anthony’s. Thus, after 70 years, there was no longer a school in the Sacred Heart Parish.

In 1908 Rev. Hyacinthe Ciabbatoni brought two Sisters of Mercy to Batavia to organize a school.  In 1909 property was bought on Liberty Street at Central Avenue; members of the parish put together two old houses to serve as a school and a parish hall.  In 1930 a new school was built by Frank Homelius, one of Batavia’s native architects.  He designed a school building with two floors, a social hall, and a gymnasium behind it.  It was dedicated as St. Anthony’s Community Center.  It was the most prominent meeting place in the city.  The school had nine classrooms on two floors along central corridors, with offices on either main entrance.  The basement had a nursery room, kitchen, and lavatories.  It was a T-shaped building with a gymnasium used for athletics and as a meeting hall or a dining room.  This community center was used for political rallies, union meetings, Grange meetings, fundraising, and Bingo. Many a bride will remember having her wedding reception at the Community Center with dinner on one floor and dancing on another.  

By 1908 there were between 200 and 250 students enrolled at St. Anthony’s School.  By 1970, 7th and 8th-grade students attended St. Mary’s, where junior high classes were offered.   In June 2006, St. Anthony’s School closed its doors after 95 years as an educational and social activity center on Batavia’s south side. 

Rev. Edward J. Ferger established St. Mary’s Elementary School when he organized the building of a Catholic High School, Notre Dame High School, in 1951.  The school opened before the buildings were complete.  The first-year students met at St. Anthony’s Community Center for classes until the school was finished.  In 1952 St. Mary’s school was built and faced Woodrow Road. St. Mary’s had eight classrooms and a small gym in a separate building.  Sisters of the Holy Cross were the first teachers at St. Mary’s, and then the school was run by the Felician Sisters.   At the end of the 2003-2004 academic year, St. Mary’s Elementary School closed its doors due to limited financial resources and fewer students.

In 1951 Notre Dame High School welcomed its first class of 58 boys and girls to temporary quarters at St. Anthony’s School.  Notre Dame High School was dedicated on September 6, 1952.  The school has two floors with classrooms along Union Street and a large gymnasium in the rear.  A cafeteria is below the gym.  A small chapel and library are on the second floor.   In the early years, Notre Dame’s faculty consisted of nuns and priests.  There were times when up to 500 students walked the halls between classes with one-way traffic jamming corridors. Over the years, Notre Dame’s enrollment has fluctuated, but today it remains an alternative to public school education.    

All students will remember the attractive uniforms the girls had to wear.  Sacred Heart had a plaid jumper, St. Anthony’s a brown uniform, St. Joseph’s a blue uniform, and St. Mary’s girls wore a blue jumper crossed in the front and the back.        The actual everyday uniform at Notre Dame HS was a pleated skirt and a long-sleeved blouse buttoned to the neck, and to add to the uniform’s lovely appearance was a bolero. If you rolled over the waistband of the skirt to make it shorter, you would get detention.  Besides the unattractive uniforms, some might remember the classrooms overflowing with students, singing Gregorian chant at Mass, attending a High Mass on Sunday, and no meat on Friday. 

One could also not forget the Notre Dame Girls’ Basketball uniform the girls had to wear in the ‘50s and ‘60s.   The uniform was a royal blue, pleated, heavy cotton jumper that had to touch your knees, a long-sleeved white blouse that had to be buttoned at the top, and bloomers. The inspiring girls’ basketball team had only two girls who could run down the court, and the rest could take three steps and pass the ball.  It made for a very “fast-moving” game.  The windows had to be covered when the girls were playing just in case a “boy” might try to look in the window.    

Over the last century, schools were established, moved, burned down, and closed.  Many of these schools closed due to low enrollment, but the memories these students hold in their hearts remain. A young girl remembers living next to old St. Joseph’s School, sneaking over to the old school, and peeking in the windows.  A nun would let her come in and sit and color.  Her older siblings all attended the school.  In the early days at St. Joseph’s School, there was not a gymnasium. Instead, students would gather every day on the blacktop in the parking lot and jump rope or shoot baskets on the outdoor basketball court.

Grade school, high school, it didn’t matter if it was a public or private school; the memories would be the same. So many will still be in touch with that special friend they hung around with in grade school and possibly high school.  Stories get better with age as they are told over and over again. 

Today St. Joseph Regional School is the only Catholic elementary school left in Batavia. Yet, it offers everything the public schools provide.  Notre Dame High School still proudly stands on Union Street, graduating boys and girls on the same grounds their parents and grandparents stood many years ago.

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September 23, 2021 - 11:54am
posted by Press Release in GCC, news, schools, education.

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Press release:

Last week, generosity shined brightly on the Batavia Campus at Genesee Community College as the 2021 Discover the Stars Scholarship Reception brought together a group of families and individuals that are truly making a difference.

"Our Discover the Stars reception is a very special opportunity to introduce GCC's cherished and generous scholarship donors to the promising and grateful scholarship recipients," said Tom Cox, event emcee and President of the Genesee Community College Foundation Board of Directors. "It is a powerful experience where we all get to see the impact of the scholarships."

Executive Director of the GCC Foundation Justin Johnston announced 12 new scholarship opportunities the Foundation has been able to establish through the kindness and passion of some new and some loyal supporters.

During this special night, attendees heard from Stefanie Resetarits, GCC class of 2006, who received a Nursing Program scholarship as a student and who has now established the Resetarits Family Nursing Scholarship with her husband, Christopher. Born and raised in Byron, NY, Resetarits earned her Nursing degree from GCC and was a member of the Swimming and Diving team. She continued her education, enrolling in the 3+1 program at SUNY Brockport where she received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2008, graduating on the Dean's List with Honors. She began her nursing career at Lakeside Community Hospital, followed by Medical-Surgical nursing at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital. After starting a family, Resetarits worked as a home care nurse on the Infusion team at the VNA of Western New York. Locally, she has worked at Hope Haven's inpatient alcohol and substance abuse rehabilitation center and currently is working as an Independent Medical Nurse Observer. Resetarits and her husband reside in Alden, NY with their four children.

Current Genesee Community College student Kiana Perry who received the Jerry Reinhart Scholarship also addressed the reception crowd to share her story. Perry is originally from New Hampshire but calls Alexander, NY home. She is currently enrolled in the general studies program and her ultimate goal is to become an elementary school art teacher. She and her fiance have two beautiful girls, Gracie-Mae who is two years old, and Magnolia-Rae, three months old. She enjoys doing crafts with her children and has always had a passion for art. During the reception, Perry was able to thank Jerry Reinhart and his family and shared that this scholarship allowed her to pursue her education and set an example for her daughters.

The Genesee Community College Foundation accepts scholarship donations throughout the year and has full-time dedicated staff in place to assist any donor in establishing a new scholarship or expanding an existing fund, such as the Genesee Alumni Legacy Scholarship.

Details on the scholarships available to students are available at https://www.genesee.edu/offices/finaid/scholarships/. Interested applicants are encouraged to review and apply online! The simple online application collects information and matches applicants with a list of scholarships they may qualify for. Expert advice is also available through GCC's Financial Aid Office at (585) 345-6900 or via email at [email protected].

Photo: Mary Alice Panek of GCC's Board of Trustees and Regina Chuhi, recipient of 2 Scholarships, courtesy of GCC

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September 22, 2021 - 1:35pm
posted by Press Release in City Schools, education, news, batavia.

Press release:

The Batavia City School District’s Board of Education has engaged the services of Genesee Valley BOCES District Superintendent Kevin MacDonald to assist in the search for a new superintendent. 

The Board is encouraging input from members of the staff and community on the qualities and characteristics they would most like to see in the district’s next superintendent via virtual informational sessions hosted by Mr. MacDonald. 

The virtual informational sessions will be held on: 

  • Tuesday, September 28 at 6:00 pm 
  • Wednesday, September 29 at 5:30 pm 

A valid email address will be required to register for either session. To register, click here. On the day of your chosen session, you will receive an email with the invitation and link to join the Zoom meeting. 

For those that are unable to participate in the virtual informational sessions, there is an optional survey available. The survey will be open from September 21-October 1.

Additional information on the search process and timeline can be found on bataviacsd.org

 

September 19, 2021 - 10:57am

There have been many complaints and much concern expressed about Batavia City Schools’ current busing situation, Board President Alice Benedict says. Parents have been quite vocal about the need to put three students per seat on Jackson and John Kennedy school buses, however, it has all been online.

Board meetings have been void of any such vocal discourse, she said.

“No parents have ever attended. But there have been lots of comments on social media,” Benedict said during an interview Saturday. “We’re criticized for the choices made, but nobody has taken the time to come and talk to us. Unfortunately, it’s something we don’t have any control over.”

A lack of drivers at the district’s bus operator, Student Transportation of America, has in turn meant fewer buses per run. To accommodate all of the students needing transportation, they have been assigned three per seat, she said.

“There’s not anything the school district can do about it, other than ask parents to take their kids off the bus and drive them to school themselves,” she said. “We’re still talking to the bus company … for me personally as a board member, (Business Administrator) Mr. Rozanski is doing the best he can. They just don’t have the bodies to drive.”

Batavia is far from alone in this dilemma. ABCnews.go.com states that schools across the country, from Pennsylvania and Virginia to Missouri, Ohio, and Texas, have reported similar shortages. Georgia’s Savannah-Chatham County Public School System reported a 30 percent decrease of more than 110 drivers upon the start of this school season, the website states. Covid is to blame for the lack of drivers, Paul Abbott, executive director for transportation for the district, said to ABC News, it states.

The city school district is short some four buses, which has caused delays, late arrivals and the three-per-seat set-up. STA operates more than 16,000 vehicles for over 300 school districts, according to its website, and is “committed to providing our customers with the highest level of safe and reliable transportation solutions available.” The company’s public relations department did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Students are required to wear masks on the bus, and they can take brief mask “breaks” if the weather is nice and the windows are open, Benedict said. Many of them have been told by their parents to wear the mask for the duration of the bus trip and not take them off at all, she said.

As for other virus-related measures, Covid testing equipment has been issued to the district by the Genesee County Health Department, Interim Superintendent Scott Bischoping said during the board’s Thursday meeting. Students with potential symptoms of the Covid-19 virus can be tested during the day.

The Health Department will notify school officials if anyone does test positive, and contact tracing will begin to track down who the infected person was in contact with prior to being tested, he said, “and making the determination if a quarantine is necessary.” The total quarantine would be for 10 days, minus any days already lapsed before diagnosing the Covid case, he said.

Having access to on-site testing and wearing masks are two methods to maintaining a healthy environment, he said.

“Our families want our kids in school as much as possible,” he said.

The next board meeting is set for 6 p.m. Oct. 21 in Batavia High School library, 260 State St.

A related Q&A was posted Thursday on the district’s website to clarify its protocols for Covid-19 guidelines. That is shown below:

SEP 16, 2021

Dear BCSD Parents and Guardians, 

Over the last few days, we’ve received a few questions from parents about protocols regarding our COVID-19 guidelines that we want to clarify for the larger community.

We appreciate the questions and will continue to update you as they arise.  

Q: Are there outbreaks of the virus in our buildings? 

A: While cases of the virus have been reported to us by the Genesee County Health Department, only a small number of those cases resulted from a spread within our buildings. Most reported cases are due to a spread of the virus outside of school, and families have taken the necessary steps to quarantine. While this situation could change, we will report any significant issues directly to families.

In an effort to provide transparent information on COVID-19 cases reported throughout the Batavia City School District, going forward, each Monday, we will be posting the number of positive student and staff cases reported from the previous week on our website: BataviaCSD.org.

Q: How will families be made aware of cases within the schools?

A: We are working in collaboration with the Genesee County Health Department who is providing guidance when there is a positive case in any of our district buildings. 

Once a positive case is identified, the Health Department determines who that child or staff member has been in contact with. From there, Health Department officials determine what action is warranted (i.e., testing, quarantine, etc.).

You will be contacted directly by the Health Department if your child was in contact with another person who has tested positive, and they will work with you to determine the next steps.

Q: Are there three students per seat on our buses?

A: Yes, there are three students per seat on our Jackson and John Kennedy bus runs in many cases. While we would have preferred to have enough buses to have separate bus runs for each building with fewer students on each bus, our transportation contractor has been unable to provide the necessary buses due to the nationwide bus driver shortage.

Q: What are you doing to try to get more buses?

A: We will continue to work with our busing contractor STA to find more opportunities to increase the number of buses servicing our district, including using subcontractors. But as of today, we don’t have a solution in place. 

Q: Is it true that students are allowed to take mask breaks on buses?

A: We have advised our bus drivers to allow students to take brief mask breaks – especially on hot days. These breaks are permitted (but not required) to avoid students getting overheated. Weather permitting, we are also opening our bus windows. 

As a parent, you can certainly advise your child not to remove their mask during these breaks.

As a reminder, if a student or staff member exhibits any COVID symptoms, they should not report to school that day and should contact the building nurse immediately. 

Please reach out to your child’s principal if you have any additional questions or concerns. 

Sincerely, 

Scott Bischoping

Interim Superintendent  

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September 17, 2021 - 12:38pm

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Press release:

Noblehurst Farms recently directed a $2,500 Bayer Fund America’s Farmers Grow Communities donation to Pavilion Elementary School’s Outdoor Classroom. The elementary school will use the funds to build a bridge over one of the streams located within the classroom.

“We are grateful for organizations such as Noblehurst Farms that have shown their support for this classroom, and ultimately for our students here in Pavilion. The generosity and support in this community for our Outdoor Classroom has been outstanding, and this support continues to come in.  We’ve received different fiscal donations, as well as had volunteers come in on weekends in order to enhance this incredible learning environment for our students.” said, Jon Wilson, Elementary Principal at Pavilion.

Since 2010, America’s Farmers programs have awarded more than $59 million to nonprofits, aspiring ag students, and public schools across rural America. Farmers are leaders in their communities, which is why America’s Farmers programs rely on them to help identify the most worthy causes.

Dedicated to making a difference in rural farming communities, the Grow Communities program asks farmers across the country to participate by nominating nonprofit organizations with resources to strengthen their local communities. Last August, farmers entered for the chance to direct a $2,500 Grow Communities donation to a local eligible nonprofit of their choice. Farmers have directed donations to food banks, emergency response organizations, schools, youth agriculture programs and many others that reflect the spirit and support the vibrancy of rural America.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, including those in rural regions, and farmers play a critical role in helping communities overcome challenges, like the ones we’re currently facing,” said Al Mitchell, Bayer Fund president. “Bayer Fund is proud to work side-by-side with farmers to identify local eligible nonprofit organizations that are able to provide their residents with solutions that leave a lasting impact.”

To learn more about how America’s Farmers programs are making an impact, visit www.AmericasFarmers.com.

About Bayer Fund

Bayer Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where Bayer customers and employees live and work by providing funding for food and nutrition, education and community development projects.

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September 14, 2021 - 10:02am
posted by Press Release in GCC, news, education.

Press release: 

The U.S. Department of Education announced that Genesee Community College will receive a federal TRIO Educational Opportunities Center (EOC) grant totaling $2.2 million to help unemployed workers, low-wage workers, and returning high school and college students enter or continue a program of postsecondary education. The grant comes in the form of a five-year cycle providing $430,441 each year to the TRIO Adult Educational Opportunity Center at the State University of New York (SUNY) Genesee Community College. This grant will help support programming and outreach efforts from the 2021-2022 through the 2025-2026 academic years.

The TRIO Adult Educational Opportunity Center (AEOC) provides information on college admissions as well as guidance and services to improve participants' financial and economic literacy. Among comprehensive services are academic and personal counseling, career workshops, information on postsecondary education opportunities, student financial aid and literacy assistance, and help in completing applications for college admissions. TRIO EOC programs offer services to a broad range of adult learners, including those who are limited English proficient, those who are from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, individuals with disabilities, homeless individuals, youth aging out of the foster care system, formerly incarcerated individuals, and other disconnected students.

The national Educational Opportunity Center program began in 1972 and is part of a set of federal educational opportunity outreach programs known as "TRIO," which is authorized by the Higher Education Act to help low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities succeed in higher education. In FY20 there were 139 Educational Opportunity Centers in America serving more than 192,000 adult learners nationwide.

"Genesee Community College is extremely grateful for the opportunities this grant funding provides for our students and our community members. Our team of expertly trained AEOC team members work hard to maximize the impact our programs and services have for as many individuals as we can reach," said Dr. Shelitha Williams, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services. "It is exciting to see that this work can not only continue but will now reach even more people in their time of need."

"As systemic inequality and financial hardship discourage students from succeeding in college, TRIO programs like EOC take on new importance because they continue to help guide un- and underemployed workers and returning high school and college students towards earning a degree," said Maureen Hoyler, president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) in Washington, D.C. COE is dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities nationwide.

August 24, 2021 - 10:36am
posted by Joanne Beck in Laura Kauppi, music, education, news.

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In a new world of all things virtual — from business meetings and telemedicine to therapy sessions — it may be no surprise that piano teacher Laura Kauppi took to this new existence with the same passion she has for her craft. She has evolved from private individual lessons to group sessions online.

“I really like virtual camps,” Kauppi said during an interview with The Batavian. “They’re very parent-led. I’m just giving parents an opportunity to do things with their kids. It’s not fair that extracurriculars are only for people with money.”

Enter Zoom, the popular online meeting room for groups of people. Kauppi’s Zoom camps opened up creative opportunities for children and parents alike, and at a price that fits everyone’s music level: free.

The camps were an extension of Kauppi’s virtual piano lessons. In an effort to reach more children, the lessons were done in groups for kids 5 to 14. They learned the basics using both hands, she said. Kauppi, a resident of Corfu, drew attention through online posts and handing out flyers at special events and with candy at Halloween. More than 40 students from Batavia to Buffalo have reaped the benefits so far.

Kauppi’s hope is to instill some musical aptitude before kids get older and move on to college. Her latest endeavor is to begin even earlier with a toddler program for 1- to 5-year-olds. Those lessons involve fun activities such as dancing and clapping to music and playing rhythm games, she said. Kauppi instructs the parents so they in turn can assist their children during and in between sessions.

“So the parent can replicate the lessons ... putting music in their days,” she said.

As for the cheap price tag of the program — all free — Kauppi’s intent is sincere, she said. Going virtual incorporates music into the lives of kids who may not otherwise be able to participate. It also alleviates the need for transportation to her home, she said. 

“I just want to be able to offer kids this experience,” she said.  “I get a lot from teaching these kids. I've learned so much about hope, strength, tenacity and hard work from them. They make me remember why I love teaching.”

You may remember Kauppi when she first offered piano lessons to low-income children four years ago. It was formerly called Every Child Music School, which has been changed to The Arts Are For All. The veteran teacher of more than 15 years wants to continue the career she has loved while paying it forward.

“I want others to have the same opportunities I have had,” she said. 

The virtual music class for toddlers will run two Sundays a month beginning in September. Class for ages 1-3 is at 2:15 p.m. and for ages 3-5 at 2:30 p.m. For more information or to register, call Kauppi at 585-861-0153.

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August 5, 2021 - 1:13pm
posted by Press Release in books, news, schools, education.

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Press release:

The Genesee Valley BOCES (GV BOCES) School Library System has been awarded a National Leadership Grant for Libraries in the area of a National Forum in response to the need to identify recommendations for effective post-COVID school library programs. This $150,000 grant will fund four virtual national forums on the future of school libraries. Given the high level of complexity, national scope, and emergent nature of the investigation, a collective impact approach will be used to gather together diverse viewpoints from across the country. Topics will include an instructional design for remote librarianship, emerging services for teaching and learning, defining the role of the school librarian, and program considerations for new learning models. Reports generated from these forums will provide actionable recommendations for school librarians across the country. 

Christopher Harris, Ed.D., Director of the GV BOCES School Library System, wrote and submitted that grant and will serve as the project coordinator. Patrick Whipple, Ph.D., Director of GV BOCES Professional Learning Services, will lead the grant evaluation. 

“What we want to do is take a hard look at what the pandemic brought to school libraries and really figure out what worked,” Dr. Harris explained. “We are leading this national effort to bring together thousands of school librarians from across the country to plan out how we are going to move forward to meet student needs in this new future.” 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, school libraries across the country made changes to procedures, spaces, and instructional practices out of necessity. Across the many models of in-person, hybrid, and remote instruction adopted by districts around the country, there were even more models for school librarians and the services they provide. It is essential that we take time after the immediate pressure of the pandemic emergency to reflect, understand, and evaluate those modified practices. The need for investigation is especially critical in those communities where school library programs were already at-risk prior to the emergency.

“The grant project is called 'Libraries Today,' ” Dr. Harris noted. “We are looking at where we are today and where we want to be moving forward. This grant will give us a chance to guide the national policy discussion around school libraries.” 

The first work in the grant project will be the convening of a national advisory panel. Advisory panel members will include the School Library System directors from New York City and Erie 1 BOCES, as well as, directors from Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools, Norman (OK) Public Schools, the past president of the American Association of School Librarians, and others. 

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July 27, 2021 - 2:03pm
posted by Press Release in City Schools, batavia, news, schools, education.

Press release:

The Batavia City School District’s Registration Office will be located at the Robert Morris Site beginning on Monday, August 2, 2021.   Families are asked to use the Community Schools entrance when picking up or turning in registration materials, which is located off of the parking lot at the corners of Richmond and Vernon Avenues.  The hours are 8 AM-12 PM and 1 PM-3 PM until August 20.  Beginning August 23, hours are 8 AM-4 PM.

The District encourages any families with children entering Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) or Kindergarten in September to please register their child as soon as possible.  Children who are residents of the District and who are four (4) years of age on or before December 1, 2021, are eligible to apply for UPK.  Children who will be five years old on or before December 1, 2021, are eligible for Kindergarten.  Please see the information on our District’s website, https://www.bataviacsd.org/page/electronic-registration, to begin the registration process.

 Anyone with questions may call the Registration Office at 585-343-2480 ext 1010.

July 22, 2021 - 11:40am

Submitted photo and press release:

Last week, eight students became the first to take part in the Certified Nursing Assistant program available at the BEST (Business Employee Skills Training) Center at Genesee Community College. From Buffalo, Medina, Arcade, Strykersville and Lockport these eight unique individuals, in photo above, have jumped onto the fast-track into the rewarding and high-stakes healthcare industry.

The eight students are: Joshua Gross, Jacquelyn Francis, Charli Wright, Paige Tittel, Madison Meyers, Maria Garcia, Allyssa McKeever, and McKayla Trombley.

Through a combination of minimal eligibility requirements which are listed online at www.bestcenter.org, concentrated instruction and hands-on clinical experiences, the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program is designed to be completed in just six weeks or 132 hours. 

"The entire BEST Center is excited about this program. Our partnership with both Genesee County Job Development Bureau and the Orchard Rehabilitation Nursing Home in Medina, New York mean these students will complete the program with valuable, real-life experience in real clinical settings that will translate directly into employability," said John McGowan, Ph.D., director of the BEST Center.

The BEST Center offers a variety of Certification and workforce training programs that are starting this Fall including the 100 percent in-person, Phlebotomy Technician Program beginning in September, a Supervision Certification to prepare you for that next promotion, and the popular Mechatronics, which integrates mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and microelectronic skills.

Interested individuals are encouraged to contact McGowan today at [email protected] or by calling (585) 345-6868 to learn more.

Some students may be eligible to receive funding for the CNA or other programs through the Genesee County Job Development Bureau. To find out more, contact Teresa VanSon at (585) 344-2024, ext.4223, or at [email protected].

July 20, 2021 - 2:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, news, schools, education.

Scott Bischoping has been named interim superintendent for Batavia City Schools following the resignation of Anibal Soler.

Bischopping was the interim superintendent following the departure of Chris Dailey and preceding Soler's appointment at the start of 2020.

Soler accepted an appointment as superintendent of the Schenectady school district.

"His knowledge and leadership will guide us into the new school year," the district said in a statement.

July 11, 2021 - 8:00am
posted by Anne Marie Starowitz in Anne Marie Starowitz, education, teaching, news, history, Le Roy, batavia.

When I began this article, I wanted to write about my second retirement from teaching. I was going to share my beautiful memories of the 1,000 students I have taught.

I wanted to talk about the fantastic field trips, classroom drama productions, learning about local history, and using the Holland Land Office Museum as a textbook. I was about to begin to expound on those treasured memories when my train of thought took me to what it was like to be a teacher for over five decades. 

It was 1972; I was a lucky college graduate to have a teaching job. I was a young unmarried woman and my maiden name was Anne Marie Peca. It was a time of miniskirts, long hair, and the Viet Nam War. You just left your college and were entering your classroom with so many new things to learn.

You had to hand in a lesson plan in advance for the administration to review, learn how to set up your classroom, learn your students' names, spell them, and locate the faculty bathroom. In your first year of teaching, you learned right along with your students.  

Everything was new, and it was so exciting and overwhelming.

You had to know where to find films for your filmstrip projector and how to thread a 16 mm movie. If you needed copies for your students, you made and ran off a ditto on a ditto machine.

You never slept the night before the first day of school, no matter how many years you taught.

My first job was at Wolcott Street School in LeRoy (in 1972, inset photos above and below). I have so many treasured memories from my five years of being on their faculty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My next teaching adventure was being a nursery school teacher at the YWCA. This allowed me, now Mrs. Starowitz, to teach but also be home with our daughters.

In 1985, I was hired to be on the faculty of the Batavia City school system. I spent the next 34 years on their faculty as a teacher and then as a substitute teacher.

I ended my career this year as a teacher at St. Joseph Regional School, where I graduated from eighth grade in 1964.

Over the years, teachers were required to change with the times. Many innovations such as teaching strategies, behavioral plans, grade-level subject changes would be introduced, and as a teacher, you were mandated to add them to your curriculum. 

As far as technology, a teacher could now have a cassette tape player instead of a record player, and possibly one computer in the classroom using floppy discs.

Later on, there were groups of computers in a classroom, and today most children have a Chromebook as their personal computer.

There was a new classroom configuration called the multiage classroom, where you would have two classes in the same room. There was also looping where you take your class from one grade level to the next. 

The Education teacher needs has also changed over the years. There is so much a young teacher needs to do before they have a classroom.  

There were so many beautiful memories as a teacher, but there were also tragic memories. The saddest memory was losing a student and attending the funeral. There are never any words for those tragedies.

On Jan. 28, 1986 my fourth-grade class watched Christa McAuliffe, a teacher, go into space to die in an explosion on the NASA space shuttle "Challenger."

I taught through the Viet Nam War, Persian Gulf War, Iraq War, war in Afghanistan, and the 9/11 terrorism attacks. I taught children how to behave in a fire drill, evacuate a building, and practice a lockdown drill. This past year, I taught 18 students sitting 6 feet apart wearing a mask — socially distanced learning during the coronavirus pandemic -- so many changes.  

The one thing that is a constant is how many hats that a teacher wears. Yes, you have a curriculum of what to teach, but you have to earn your student's respect before you can teach.

They are so intuitive; they know if you care about them. At times you are a parent, a nurse, and a therapist. We wear these hats proudly, and today my hat is off to all the excellent teachers I have had the pleasure of working with over the years. They indeed are heroes. I love this saying, "If you can read, thank a teacher!"

I can't end this without mentioning all the beautiful children I have taught over the last five decades. Those 1,000 students have left an imprint on my heart. To those students, thank you for giving me a lifetime of cherished memories. It has been an incredible ride.

"The greatest sign of success for a teacher...is to be able to say, 'The children are now working as if I did not exist.' "

-- Maria Montessori

Two inset black and white images above are from O-At-Kan LeRoy Yearbook 1972.

Photo below, Mrs. Starowitz's last class -- from St. Joseph Regional School​ -- in a teaching career spanning more than five decades.

July 9, 2021 - 1:37pm

Press release:

Notre Dame Junior/Senior High School would like to extend an enthusiastic welcome to the new additions to our Notre Dame Faculty:

Thomas Bringenberg III -- Class of 2003 alumnus -- Mr. Bringenberg will be joining our junior high team as the seventh- and eighth-grade Social Studies teacher. Mr. Bringenberg brings 12 years of middle school teaching experience along with a plethora of other talents, including but not limited to, the coaching of four different sports! Welcome Mr. Bringenberg!

Andrew Ferris -- Class of 2004 alumnus -- Mr. Ferris will be taking over as our Global Studies teacher for grades nine and 10. He is already well acclimated with our students and school as he has been substitute teaching and coaching modified basketball for the last three years. Mr. Ferris's love and dedication to Notre Dame will, without a doubt, carry over into the classroom and the entire ND community. Welcome Mr. Ferris!

Lisa Antinore -- Mrs. Antinore is an experienced and dedicated teacher and parent to Jay, Class of '24, and Chase, Class of '27. She will be joining our junior high team as our new seventh- and eighth-grade English teacher. Mrs. Antinore has over eight years of teaching experience in the Batavia City School District. She is an avid volunteer, and her extensive background with providing an interactive learning experience to a diverse population of students makes us very excited! We look forward to what she does next! Welcome Mrs. Antinore!

Corinne Armison -- Mrs. Armison will also be joining our junior high team as our new Math teacher. Mrs. Armison brings over 14 years of teaching experience and is well versed in classroom management and differentiated instruction. She is excited to assist our students in reaching their potential by customizing their education to ensure that they are able to excel academically through their unique learning styles! Welcome Mrs. Armison!

With great sincerity we would like to thank Mr. Matthew Landfried Jr. (Social Studies), Ms. Julia Quebral (Physics), and Mr. Andrew Calire (Social Studies) and wish them the best of luck as they move on to pursue other opportunities. You will be missed! God bless!

Finally -- we are in search of a full-time PHYSICS teacher. If you would like to join our family, please send credentials and resume to [email protected] or call (585) 343-2783.

July 7, 2021 - 3:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, schools, education, video, news, Oakfield.
Video Sponsor

The shovels went into the ground at Oakfield-Alabama as soon as the summer break started on a $15.3 million capital improvement project at both the high school/middle school and the elementary school and yesterday Superintendent John Fisgus and a group of contractors gave members of the school board a tour of the work followed by an official groundbreaking ceremony.

The project includes reconstruction of the entry, parking lot, passenger pick-up, and bus lanes at the elementary school. The elementary school is also getting a remodeled cafeteria and kitchen, new main office, nurse's suite, and main entrance. There will also be a new teachers' lounge, remodeled gym with new bleachers.

The schools are also getting new, brightly colored -- blue and gold -- tennis courts.

The HS/MS is getting a remodeled auditorium.

In the fall of 2022, all of the windows of the HS/MS will be replaced and the school will get a new entrance, new atrium, and new main office.

July 7, 2021 - 11:49am

Submitted photo and press release:

On Tuesday, the Elba Central School District’s Board of Education (BOE) announced it has named Gretchen Rosales as the district’s next superintendent. Rosales is expected to begin in her new post mid-August.  

“I am thrilled to continue my service to the Elba Central School District in the new role of Superintendent," Rosales said. "I feel a great responsibility to the school and community, as my roots are here.

"I am looking forward to collaborating with other schools in the area to further the needs of rural schools, while focusing on the traditions of the Elba community. Now is an exceptional time to be a leader in education; I am humbled and excited to take on this position."

School Board President Michael Augello said Rosales possesses the key qualities that the board is seeking in a superintendent. 

“As a visible and engaged leader, we are confident that Gretchen Rosales is the best choice for our district. We look forward to working with Gretchen as we deliver the best education possible for our students,” Augello said. 

Rosales is the principal of Elba Junior/Senior High School, a position she has held since 2019. Previously, she was the assistant principal of Alexander Middle/High School. From 2015-2017, she served as an instructional support specialist and middle school department chair at the Kendall Central schools.

Rosales began her career in education in 1998 as an English as a Second Language Teaching Assistant/Long-term Spanish Substitute for Elba Central schools. Her teaching experience is extensive in both the private and public-school systems.

Along with teaching at Elba Central Schools, she has taught at St. Anthony’s School, El Campo High School in Texas, and Kendall Central Schools. Rosales also taught at the college level and was an adjunct instructor at Genesee Community College.

Her specialized training includes restorative practices in instruction and discipline, and creating inclusive schools and trauma-informed teaching.

Rosales has many honors and awards including as the two-time recipient of the Kendall Junior/Senior High School Teacher of the Year Award. She earned the HEB Excellence in Education Award while teaching in Texas. 

Rosales earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, as well as, a Master of Science in Spanish and Secondary Education from SUNY Geneseo. She holds two Master of Science degrees from SUNY Stony Brook, one in Higher Education Administration and another in Educational Leadership and Administration. She holds New York State Certifications in Spanish 7-12 and as a School District Administrator. Rosales also earned her teaching certifications in Texas in Spanish 6-12 and English as a Second Language K-12. 

Kevin MacDonald, District superintendent of Genesee Valley BOCES, acted as the search consultant and noted that the search process was a true collaboration between the Board of Education, district staff and community.

July 2, 2021 - 6:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, schools, education, news.

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Among the highlights of Elba's graduation, this past weekend were four fathers from the Class of 1991 (that's 30 years ago for those of you counting) who shared in watching their daughters graduate with the rest of the Class of 2021.

Michael Augello, school board president, handed a diploma to his daughter Taylor.

Pictured from left: Madison Harrington and her father Aaron. Miah Werth and her father Steve. Leah Bezon and her dad Steven, and Taylor Augello and her dad Michael.

Photo by Laura Luft.

June 19, 2021 - 4:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, news, schools, education, Oakfield, Alabama.

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Oakfield-Alabama held its 2021 graduation ceremony on Friday.

Above, Karly Smith delivers her Valedictorian speech.

Zachary Hall, below, was the Salutatorian.

Photos by Kristen Smith.

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June 18, 2021 - 2:19pm

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The children and staff at the Agri-Business Child Development Center on Brooklyn Avenue in Batavia celebrated Juneteenth today with a parade in the playground.

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