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Le Roy Central Schools

November 28, 2022 - 12:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in woodward memorial library, Le Roy Central Schools, Le Roy, news.

The elevator at the Woodward Memorial Library in Le Roy is out of service, and the school district is expecting some costly repairs.

While the library operates on its own budget, the district owns the library building and is responsible for its maintenance.

Superintendent Merritt Holly gave the Board of Education a heads up at this past week's meeting and will come back at a future meeting with details on cost.

"Obviously, we will be out of compliance with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) if we don't do it," Holly said.

District Finance Director Brian Foeller explained that because the elevator is seldom used, the oil in the hydraulic system dries out.  If the elevator were used 100 times a day, everything would stay well lubricated, but with dry oil, metal rubs against metal and then shavings begin to impede movement.

The current elevator was installed in 1995 and is inspected annually -- also a significant expense -- but it hasn't been fully serviced before.

"So it comes down to -- we have to evaluate what's the most efficient way to get this done without having more issues with it but also knowing what the full cost is," Holly said.

October 27, 2022 - 5:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in STEAM, Le Roy, schools, education, news, Le Roy Central Schools.


Students at Le Roy Schools are getting broad exposure to STEAM skills and trades (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), STEAM teacher Luke Weaver told the Board of Education on Tuesday during a meeting.

Rube Goldberg Machines, computer coding, food sciences, robotics and drones, and environmental sciences are all getting covered with one class or another, Weaver said.

Superintendent Merritt Holly emphasized what Weaver illustrated during his introduction of Weaver to the board.

"We offer STEAM Club," Holly said. "We offer things in the library. We offer things in the summer. The kids have a ton of opportunities, so there's no like, I'll try this and then I don't care about it again for another year. It's a really a continuing program, which I think is really powerful."

Currently, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders are working on Rube Goldberg Machines and they're excited by the projects, he said.

For those who might not be familiar with a Rube Goldberg Machine, Weaver explained that it is an "unbelievably complicated machine to do an unbelievably simple task. So you would build something with pulleys, levers, catapults, dominoes knocking each other over to do something you could easily do by yourself."

(For an entertaining example of a Rube Goldberg Machine, see the music video below.)

He said when he first introduced the concept to students, they looked at him like he was crazy.

"They went from that mindset to kids coming in in the morning, before homeroom, coming in and start working because they want that extra half hour to work on their project, which is just awesome."

There are 46 students currently enrolled in a coding class. They're starting with blocks of code that fit together to make a working program.

"I've got two kids who are already done," Weaver said. "That is fascinating to me, to see kids who've never done this before, pick this up and be so cohesive going through the process."

The block program will move the students into coding languages commonly used in the business world, such as Python and C++, Weaver said.

The programming experience also moves the students into working in robotics and with drones.

Already this year the school has held a Manufacturing Day, which included a field trip to visit Orcon, Bonduelle, and U.S. Gypsum.

"The kids had an opportunity to see different careers and how many different types of jobs that can happen in one place, which I think is mind-blowing," Weaver said. "I mean, you had electrical engineers, you had manufacturing people, you had artists, anything you could think of at all of these different plants."

The stop at Bonduelle in Oakfield was interesting because spinach was being delivered from a farm owned by one of the student's father.

"So we got to like watch that and see how they go through that whole freeze-drying process and things like that," Weaver said.

An area of expansion for the program that Weaver is working on is aquaponics, he said. 

"Aquaponics is basically a huge fish tank that is fully cyclical," Weaver said. "The plants provide the nutrients for the fish and the fish provide nutrients for the plants. You don't have to clean the fish tank. You can grow vegetables, or fruit and grow flowers. They actually have huge systems where people grow or raise tilapia and actually have harvestable fish. We're going to take baby steps and start with a goldfish that are at my house, bring those in. But we're just trying to pull in other kids that might not have that engineering mindset, they might not only want to be tech-savvy, but they might like some natural science stuff."

Weaver also went through some of the entry-level STEAM projects being introduced at Wolcott Street School.

 "It's fun," Weaver said. "I love this stuff. I love seeing their faces just confused and excited at the same time. That's exactly what you're looking for."

Photo: Luke Weaver. Photo by Howard Owens.

August 31, 2022 - 8:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy Central Schools, Le Roy, news, notify.


It's coming down to the wire at Wolcott Street School, as several items in the district's $12.1 million capital improvement project are not yet completed and students are set to return in less than a week.

Superintendent Merritt Holly isn't too worried about all of the important things to be done before students return on Wednesday. Although he can pick up the phone for a contractor, he's not ready to pick up a hammer himself, he said.

"It would be worse for everybody," he told the Board of Education during Monday's meeting.

The contractor has had to deal with a shortage of workers, Holly said. For example, there's been one guy to lay all the tile in the remodeled bathrooms next to the gym.

"When you have one laborer doing tile, what more can you do?" Holly said. "Probably they'll tell you how lucky, you got one laborer. He was darn good at laying tile but he's one person."

The main thing with the bathrooms is having the partitions in place, and nobody expects a problem with completing that task on time. But even so, with one bathroom ready to go, that's all that is needed for the first day of school, he said.

The gym floor has been stripped and refinished but needs to be sealed before the first modified volleyball practice next week.

There are ceiling tiles to be put in place and general clean-up to finish yet, as well.

"Now we're down to four cleaning days left before kids are in the building, inside of classrooms," Holly said. "It's the responsibility the contractor to clean, and then we come in, check it to make sure it's up to standards, and then we finish it off."

As for the parking lot, it was supposed to be resurfaced on Monday. 

"They were here today and were ready to go," Holly said. "Then the rain came and they were gone."

Before the parking lot is ready, it needs to be resurfaced and striped.  The backup plan is to have staff park on the grass off Stanley Place.

As for how the contractors feel about the looming deadline, "they're saying they're not stressed at all," Holly said.

Top photo: Superintendent Merritt Holly and some members of the Board of Education in the hallway outside the Wolcott Street School gym explaining that eventually a mural will be painted along the wall that will tell the story of schools in Le Roy, starting with a one-room school house.

Photos by Howard Owens.


One of the bathrooms next to the gym has partitions in place.


The other one doesn't. Yet.


One of the gym equipment storage rooms on the second floor of the gym wing of the building.



The refinished gym floor still needs to be sealed.


The tile is down in one of the locker rooms on the second floor of the gym wing.


In the hallway outside the Memorial Auditorium, a new TV monitor will share school information and student accomplishments. 

July 14, 2022 - 8:26pm


Press release:

On Tuesday, July 12, 2022, the Le Roy Board of Education unanimously approved Matt Davis as the new Jr/Sr High School Assistant Principal and Athletic Director. Mr. Davis will start officially on Monday, August 1, 2022.

Mr. Davis is currently a physical education teacher at Brockport Central School District, a position he has held since 2007. During the 2021 summer, Mr. Davis also gained valuable experience at Monroe 2 BOCES as a Regional Summer School Vice Principal. Since 2018 at Brockport Middle and High School, Mr. Davis has served as a substitute assistant principal and completed his internship with the Director of Physical Education, Health, and Athletics in 2021.

“Throughout the search process, it was evident that Mr. Davis had a bold vision for both our academic and athletic programs. He values teamwork, and cares above all about the success and development of his students, teachers, and staff,” said Merritt Holly, Superintendent of Schools. “Mr. Davis’ coaching experience in both boys and girls varsity sports (soccer and baseball) at Brockport Central Schools was viewed as a huge plus by our committee. We look forward to Mr. Davis leading our Knights as we continue to provide high-level extra-curricular offerings for all students.”

Mr. Davis earned both a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and a Master of Science in Athletic Administration from SUNY Brockport. Along with his physical education certification, Mr. Davis also holds New York State certifications as a School Building and School District Leader.

  • The district posted the position on May 11, 2022, and 17 candidates applied.
  • First-round interviews with six applicants were held on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.
  • An 11-member committee consisting of teachers, parents, administration, and board members
  • narrowed the field to two finalists.
  • Second-round interviews took place on Tuesday, June 28, and Tuesday, July 5, 2022.
  • A final interview with the superintendent was conducted on Thursday, July 7, 2022.

Mr. Davis will have the opportunity to transition into his new role with Dr. David Russell and Mrs. Lynda Lowe (who will be retiring in November 2022). The district would also like to thank Mrs. Beth Luckey, who has been interim athletic director since October 2022. 

June 18, 2022 - 1:25pm


The walkway leading from Wolcott Street to the Woodward Memorial Library in Le Roy may look like a mess now, but things will be a whole lot better in about a month, according to Le Roy Central Schools Superintendent Merritt Holly.

As part of a $12.1 million capital improvement plan approved by voters, the district is investing $186,349 in a new sidewalk for the library.

The old sidewalk was no longer up to safety standards.  The new sidewalk will not only be more attractive but its safety enhancements will include a snowmelt system.

"This (system) will eliminate the use of salts and/or other de-icing materials and physical damage from our tractors removing snow," Holly said. "Furthermore, when our maintenance crew leaves at the end of the school day, and the library remains open in the evening, the sidewalks will stay clear of snow and ice.  We have also added a small slope change to the sidewalk as you walk up to the library using the sidewalk."

 Holly said the district expects the sidewalk project to be completed before July 13.

Photos by Howard Owens



As part of the project, a main power line for Woodward Memorial Library and the Wolcott building was replaced, hence the big hole in front of the library during construction

May 16, 2022 - 8:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy Central Schools, Le Roy, schools, education, news, notify.

Four people are each vying for one of three trustee seats on Le Roy Central School's Board of Education during Tuesday's school budget vote.

The two candidates with the most votes will be elected to the two three-year terms that are open, and the candidate to come in third will fill the remaining two years on the other available seat.

The four candidates are Peter W. Loftus, Randa Williams, Jason Karcher, and Rachael Greene.

Also on the ballot is the district's $27,708,988 spending plan.  Voters are being asked to approve a $10,663,025 tax levy.  In-district property owners in Pavilion, Bergen, and Caledonia are looking at a projected tax rate of $19. Property owners in the Town of Le Roy pay the same rate they did this year, $24.14. For further explanation of the tax rates and budget, see The Batavian's previous coverage: Le Roy trustees support $66,000 tax levy increase, still lowering tax rate for property owners with assessment adjustments

During the May 10 school board meeting, the four candidates were given time to introduce themselves:


Peter W. Loftus
Loftus has served on the school district board for six years and is seeking a third term.  He is married to Tammy and they have two children.   

He is an engineering manager at RL Kistler Inc.

"Kistler places a real high value on their employees giving back to the community and providing service wherever they can," Loftus said. "This has allowed me a lot of flexibility to get out of work when I need to, to get back here for any committee meeting, interview negotiations, anything like that that takes place in the normal working hours. My work is really understanding about that and provides me with that opportunity."

He said he learned two things when he first started on the school board. 

"The first thing that I learned is that it's just a massive operation," he said. "The running of this district is all the fast-moving parts. Everything's changing all the time. People are leaving. It's a natural path for people to come and go. So you're always filling slots. It's just the way it is.

"And the other thing that I learned -- and this is the biggie -- that they care; the education, and the life preparation of every student in this district, is what drives everybody here."

Six years ago, when he showed up at the Jr./Sr high school to participate in his own children's educations, he picked up a positive vibe just walking around the hallways. Loftus said, and he decided he wanted to be a part of it, so he decided to run for a seat on the board.

"Now, I do understand a lot of the challenges, and there are many things we need to do to be better," Loftus said. "It's not just a happy place where that vibe is going all the time. There are underlying issues. There are things that we need to improve."

And Loftus wants to help guide that improvement, he said, and his experience will prove to be an asset.

"My six years on the board equips me with some experience and some tools to be a more effective, more impactful board member," Loftus said. "I really look forward to putting that experience to use in a third term."


Randa Williams
Williams, a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother of Le Roy students, started her involvement with the Le Roy Central School District when her daughter entered kindergarten in 1976. She served on the PTSO and helped get the first playground built, and then a second.

She's been involved with Girl Scouts for 66 years.

"I think that the most important thing is to be involved in your community," Williams said. "I think that's what brought me here."

She thinks more people should get involved with their local schools.

"In a case like this, if you're involved, you know what's going on in your school. And it's very important what's going on here," she said.

Williams said she is excited to get more involved with the district through a seat on the school board.

"I'm very interested in what's going on and I would like to be involved in it," she said.


Jason Karcher
Part of what brought Karcher to Le Roy is that he married a young lady from the community and they both wanted a place with a strong sense of community and family.

The Buffalo native arrived four years ago and immediately got involved.  He joined the Le Roy Rotary Club and is now set to become president-elect in July. He's also been involved with the PTSO.

"One of the big things for me was about (finding) some place that I could actually dig in, get my hands dirty, and be a part of something that was larger than myself," Karcher said. "When we made the decision, it wasn't a foregone conclusion about where we would go, but it presented itself really quickly that, with family here, and with all the opportunities that are available here, to be able to come back here and (get involved)."

He and his wife Shannon have a daughter and it was his daughter's love of softball that got him even more involved in the community. 

"About two years ago, we had a huge opportunity where there was going to be no softball, there's gonna be no community of girls softball," he said. "That was a big thing for our daughter to make sure that ( girls softball) could continue on. So Shanna and I jumped in and we formed a 501(C)(3) and got it off the ground, and in two years. Now we have over 100 girls playing softball again here in the community, which we think is fantastic, and we're really excited about it."

The level of involvement led to Karcher being appointed to a vacant seat on the school board.

He works for Apple as an employee relations specialist.

"For me, it's about involvement," he said. "One of the things I would call out is, this is our budget meeting, this is where people could come in and actually get to know our candidates. And this is what we have to write (motion it the largely empty auditorium). And I'll call out, why aren't there more people here? That bothers me. So that's one of the big things, if ever voted on to the school board, is wanting to make a commitment that we need more people here."


Rachael Greene

Greene enters the race with more than two decades of experience in education. She started her career as a teacher in her hometown of Warsaw before becoming a principal in Mount Morris.  She was an instructional coordinator for BOCES (a position her husband, Peter, now holds) before becoming superintendent of the Stanley G. Falk School, which is a NYS-approved special day school that provides educational programming for students aged five to 21 who have special learning, social, and emotional needs.

"We have 600 students," Greene said. "We're the largest special education school in New York State -- seven locations and (there are) 44 different districts that we collaborate with. So when I think about what I could bring to the board, I think there's some insight and perspective in the fact that I've been able to sit in many of your positions within the district, not this district, specifically, but in a school system, and understand the roles that each of you plays to make decisions on what's best for kids. But also the perspective of being able to say, wow, you know, 44 districts, what are they doing with this?"

She said she wouldn't see her role as another superintendent in the district, a role Merrit Holly currently fills. 

"I think there's some value in being a thought partner at the table with the board," said Greene, a life-long resident of Le Roy. "In my experience, the other piece I think I would bring to the board is I'm a huge advocate for underrepresented students. When I look at our community of Le Roy and youth, and look at where we were 20 years ago, our poverty levels amongst our families and our students coming through our doors hovered around 10 percent. That trend line has done nothing but grow, where we are at almost 40 percent of our students that come into our school buildings living in poverty every day."

The Greenes have three children going to Le Roy schools, including Andrew, a ninth-grader who attended the meeting with his mother.

"I have a lot of confidence that he also will be in some form of leadership because he's class president, and now president of the Junior Honor Society," she said. "So I'm super proud of that. I think it's important for me as a parent to also model that when you're passionate about something, you want to have a seat at the table. So I'm super proud. He's here to support me."

 Greene said she would serve to support educators and see that both instructors and students -- especially those coming from poor families -- get what they need to succeed.

"I can tell you that our teachers in this district and our staff work so hard to do what's best for kids every day," Greene said. "So, as a board member, I'd want to think about what can we do, not just instructionally, but structurally to provide for what every kid needs in this district. Because the sad part is that two-thirds of those 40 percent don't pass the state exams. That tells me that there's a big gap there and it's our obligation, my duty, I would feel as the board member, and all of ours, to really look at what can we do to break down those barriers for kids every day."

Photos by Howard Owens.

May 11, 2022 - 10:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Le Roy Central Schools, news, COVID-19, flu.

When the mask mandate was first lifted for students in public schools, the number of COVID cases reported amount the Le Roy Central Schools population was low to non-existent, Superintendent Merritt Holly told school board members at Tuesday's meeting.

But like the rest of the community, case numbers have been rising, he said.

"It's just something that is just hanging here as we get into the spring," Holly said. "I think as you've seen, flu numbers are still up. The two haven't gone away. We had a good stretch where we went a couple of weeks with no cases at all and since we've come back from break, we've had three or four (cases), five on a day. So they're up a little bit from where we were."

What Le Roy is seeing in cases mirrors what is being reported in the county as a whole, though in the past week, the number of new cases has leveled off.

There were 283 new cases reported in Genesee County for the week ending May 10, which is down slightly from the 286 cases reported the week before.

As for flu, there were 14 cases reported in Genesee County in the last week of April, according to the state's flu tracker web site.  There were 19 flu cases reported the week before and five the week before that.


April 27, 2022 - 8:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, education, schools, Le Roy Central Schools, news, notify.


Le Roy Central School District is planning to increase the tax levy by $66,000 after calculating how much state aid the district can expect to help cover its $27,708,988 spending plan.

The good news for residents of Stafford, who this year reportedly saw a substantial increase in their property assessments, is that if the numbers hold, their property tax rate for public education will go down about $2.37 per $1,000 of assessed value. The anticipated rate is $19.80. That's 13 cents more than it would have been had the Board of Education decided to balance the budget with reserves rather than increase the levy.

Property owners in the district in Pavilion, Bergen, and Caledonia are also looking at a projected tax rate of $19.

However, property owners in the Town of Le Roy pay the same rate they did this year, $24.14. 

State law requires that all property owners in a district share the burden of education equally so a formula will be applied to Le Roy's tax rate to make it equitable.  

Business Administrator Brian Foeller presented anticipated revenue numbers to board members at a Monday afternoon meeting and then all members of the board participated in a discussion about the tax levy before reaching a consensus decision (no motion nor vote was required) to raise the levy by $66,000.

These are all estimates because final assessment numbers will not be available until July, which will affect the total tax levy.

The tax levy is the total amount of revenue raised through property taxes.  The tax rate is the amount per thousand of assessed value that property owners are billed to pay into the levy.

Board President Jacalyn Whiting (top photo) said she was confused by the Town's decision to forego assessment adjustments this year given the state's required equalization rate and that the town must eventually get assessments up to 100 percent of fair market value.

"How is this going to make things better?" Whiting said.

The spending plan is covered by $16,135,963 in state aid, $10,663,025 tax levy, and $910,000 in local revenues.

Local revenues are:

  • Fund Balance carried forward
  • Late taxpayer penalties
  • Out of district tuition paid by other schools
  • Interest earnings of investments
  • Medicaid
  • BOCES Refund

Budget increases include:

  • Professional support and staff salaries, $364,963
  • Special Education out-of-district tuition, $282,000
  • Staff health insurance, $150,721 (a 12.5 percent increase)
  • Grounds/facilities equipment, $81,000
  • Debt payment on existing loans, $56,611

The district is adding one full-time equivalent position, replacing a part-time BOCES employee due to an increase in BOCES attendance. 

A part-time BOCES speech therapist position is being eliminated. There is also a reduction in spending on COVID-19 supplies and several retirements, with not all positions being replaced.

"We've done our part to try and keep this in mind with rising costs," said Superintendent Merritt Holly. "It's tough. These are not easy decisions."

 Whiting agreed, saying the district has done the best it can to control costs.

"This is hard, because I feel we've done a really good job, even adding $66,000 to the levy to bring it to $2 lower per $1,000," Whiting said. "But the assessment part is out of our control. By the same token, you know, we have to balance out here, too."

One thing helping the district this year is the state increased the amount of state aid, a portion called Foundation Aid, to offset shortages to the district in previous years. The increase is only temporary and the district cannot count on it in the future.

Trustee Jason Karcher expressed concern that without a levy increase, the district will face a steeper hill to climb at some point.

"That's gonna be a shock to the system when, and we don't necessarily know when, that would happen," he said. "That's lovely."

Trustee William MacKenzie agreed.

"Eventually the Foundation Aid is going to go away," he said. "It's going to happen."

Trustee Denise Duthe said she believes the district has a history of being responsible for taxpayers' money.

"I think has always done a good job of keeping things basically straight or just a little bit up, not these kinds of wild gyrations," Duthe said. "Everything costs a little bit more. Keep in mind that we want to be as fiscally responsible as we can but we also don't want to do a giant jump next year."

The budget public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, May 10 at 6 p.m. in Memorial Auditorium.

The vote on the budget and candidates for trustees will be on May 17.

There are four candidates for three open seats.  There are two three-year terms and one two-year term open.  The candidates are  Peter W. Loftus (Incumbent), Randa Williams, Jason Karcher, and Rachael Greene.

Photos by Howard Owens


April 22, 2022 - 6:03pm
posted by Legal Notices in legal notices, Le Roy, Le Roy Central Schools, news, schools.


NOTICE TO RESIDENTS A Public Hearing to present information on the revised District Code of Conduct and District Safety Plan will be held on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. in Memorial Auditorium. The District Safety Plan is open for public comment from April 19, 2022, to May 18, 2022. Public comments may be made in the District Office or by attending the Public Hearing.

April 3, 2022 - 6:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy Central Schools, Le Roy, schools, education, news.

Administrators with the Le Roy Central School District have been working on the 2022-2023 budget for weeks and are currently proposing $27,708,988 in expenditures, an increase of $839,701 from the 2021-2022 budget, or a 3.13% increase.

Superintendent Merritt Holly said officials still need to compare revenue numbers to help finalize the budget.

School districts do not yet know how much state aid they will receive, which is a significant portion of every district's revenue. Without that number, officials cannot say what the anticipated tax levy will be and what that will mean for the tax rate on property owners in the district.

Under the property tax cap, the district can increase the levy by 2.39 percent.   

The school board will meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in the auditorium of Wolcott School.

March 24, 2022 - 7:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, le roy hs, Le Roy Central Schools, news, education, schools, notify.


Watching fellow students learn and grow because of the help you've given them and the friendship you've shown them is one of the most satisfying things in life, Evelyn Babcock told trustees of the Le Roy Central School District on Monday night. 

She recalled her interaction with one boy she tutored through a program called Knights Academic Access Program that she co-founded with her twin brother Brett Babcock.

"'I don't like it (school),'" she recalled a boy telling her.  "It's boring."  She added, exacerbated, "Oh, eighth-grade boys," eliciting laughter from the board, then she continued, "It's rewarding watching someone go from 19 in social studies to a 91 ... he was like ‘hey, this kind of isn’t that bad.’

"So to watch that drive sparked again, to see that drive and motivation and understanding organizational skills and understanding not just the academic portion but understanding optimism and attitude and energy and things like that that go into it, and watching a light go off in their eyes, is one of the most rewarding experiences I could ever say I had yet so far in high school."

Brett and Evelyn are highly motivated students.  They both have scholarships for Ohio State.  Evelyn is set on attending Ohio. She's even named her car "Scarlett" (one of the school's colors -- "I'm a bit obsessed," she told the board). But she doesn't know what she will major in.  She has "10,000 interests," she said.  Brett is a little less sure about Ohio but he's set on entering pre-med and becoming a doctor. 

With that degree of motivation, they found the options available for programs to help them meet their community service requirements were less than satisfying.

"My brother and I were looking for a way to give back going beyond painting rocks or chalk art on sidewalks," Evelyn told the board. "It’s pretty and all but our time is very valuable to us because we don’t have much of it and we're always busy so we wanted to put as much efficiency into our time as possible. We started contacting things like Big Brother/BigSister programs and trying to find a way and we were contacting everyone and there was no response, no results, so we were like, you know what, we’re going to start our own program.  Why not just start something?"

Sophomores at the time, it was the start of the pandemic.  It might be surprising that such motivated students felt they were falling behind academically.  

They thought if that was happening to them, what about students who were already doing poorly in school?  So they decided to start a peer-to-peer tutoring program. 

The twins contacted every person they knew, from administrators to fellow students, to try and get a tutoring program going.

Of course, the school supported it.  They cite former principal Tim McArdle especially for helping get the fledgling program off the ground, but say also Kelly Ronan, Austin Dwyer, and Jen Bertrand were supportive as well.

The reason the program has been successful, Brett told the board, is because it's student-run and there is a strong emphasis on tutors and the younger students building a friendship.

"It's not just tutoring," Brett said. "It's about having friends and having mentors."

"If we just made a tutoring program where you show up after school and you don't want to go to tutor but you're spending 45 minutes after school, I don't think it would be as successful, he said.  "We both preach, get a kid, stick with them, build a foundation, because it will be rewarding when you see them succeed in school but also see them laugh."

There are about 20 other student tutors and currently about 20 students being tutored.  And some of those tutors are ready to lead the program next year, Brett said, explaining that he's not worried about it going away after he and his sister graduate.

Not everyone who wants to be a tutor gets to be a tutor, Evelyn said.  There have been some sophomores who have applied to become tutors but they need to display both academic success and maturity. 

If sophomores are accepted, they tutor students younger than those typically assigned to juniors and seniors so that the tutor can maintain a level of separation and authority.

"The level of maturity needs to be there because you are impacting somebody’s life greatly, so we don’t want to be like, ‘hey, I want to be a tutor.’ No. That’s not how it’s going to work," Evelyn said.

Some students just need help at the end of a marking period.  Others need help all year.  Either way, the program is making a difference, the siblings said.

"We even get messages from their parents saying how it’s not just in school but at home, you can see their confidence rise due to they believe in themselves," Brett said. "They have a little bit more self-confidence because they see their grades rising and they can say, ‘I can actually do this.”  It’s so rewarding and it really shows how just a little step — this isn’t a huge program but for some people it is.  if you can save one person and help them grow as a person I would consider that win."

The board members were duly impressed.

"What you’re doing is awesome," said Trustee Rich Lawrence.  "You're planting seeds and those seeds are going to grow."

Vice President Denise Duthe said, "We're so so proud of you. The fact that you saw or thought that this was going to be something that people needed, and putting hours and hours into it is just outstanding."

The plaudits were followed by a round of applause from board members and administrators. 

Top photo: Brett and Evelyn Babcock present their tutoring initiative to Le Roy Central School Board during a meeting on Tuesday.

March 22, 2022 - 10:49pm
posted by Press Release in le roy hs, Le Roy, Le Roy Central Schools, schools, education, news, notify.

Press release:

On Tuesday, March 22, 2022, the Le Roy Board of Education unanimously approved Dr. David Russell as the new Jr/Sr High School Principal. Dr. Russell will start officially on Monday, April 25, 2022.

Dr. Russell is currently the assistant principal at the Cosgrove (Spencerport) Middle School, a position he has held since 2019. Previously he was the principal of the Western Wayne Summer Academy, a Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES program. Dr. Russell was also a special education teacher at Sodus Central School District and the True North Rochester Preparatory Charter School.

“We are very excited to bring Dr. Russell’s energy and passion to collaborate with our students, teachers, and parents,” said Merritt Holly, Superintendent of Schools. “He is a strong instructional leader who has consistently made positive connections with all stakeholders in his previous experiences. We look forward to Dr. Russell’s leadership as we continue to follow our vision to cultivate a world-class community of learners who exceed core local, state, national, and international standards.”

The mission of the Le Roy Central School District is to provide an exceptional, high-quality educational environment where all learners are empowered to succeed.

Dr. Russell earned a Bachelor of Arts, History, Adolescent Education from SUNY Geneseo, a Master of Education from Roberts Wesleyan College, and a Doctor of Education from the University of Rochester. Along with his special education certification, Dr. Russell also holds New York State certifications as a School Building and School District Leader.

The district posted the position on February 2, 2022, and 17 candidates applied. First-round interviews with four applicants were held on Friday, March 11, 2022. A 15-member committee consisting of students, teachers, parents, administration, and board members narrowed the field to two finalists. Second-round interviews with the administrative team took place on Thursday, March 17, 2022. A final interview with the superintendent was conducted on Friday, March 18, 2022.

Dr. Russell takes over for Mr. Tim McArdle, who left on Friday, February 4, 2022, to take an assistant principal position at Caledonia-Mumford Central School District. The district would like to sincerely thank Mrs. Beth Patton, who has been interim principal since Monday, February 7, 2022. 

February 23, 2022 - 3:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy Central Schools, Le Roy, news, notify.


A $12.1 million capital improvement project at Le Roy Central Schools is running under budget, and district officials are looking at adding three more tasks to the to-do list, Superintendent Merritt Holly told trustees at their meeting Tuesday night.

Officials will seek bids on:

  • Replacing heat pumps at Wolcott School and the Jr./Sr. high school;
  • Replacing curtains in the theaters at both schools; and, 
  • Replacing switchgear in the Lapp Building.

"So those are the three areas that we've kicked back to CPL (civil engineer firm in Rochester), to get a design in on those, so that again, if we have money left over, then we have designs set in place to get into SED (State Education Department) to get approval," Holly said.  "If you notice those fit in very close to what we went out with before, which was heating, cooling, and those type of items, not glamorous stuff that people are going to see but stuff that we know we need to run our buildings and protect our assets."

The curtains in the theaters have been in place since the theaters were constructed, Holly said. The immediate need is to spray them with fire retardant, but they've also reached the end of their useful life, he said. They're falling apart and should be replaced rather than just treated one more time.

Construction on many of the items in the capital improvement project will begin this spring. 

Among the items at Wolcott School:

  • Convert heating controls to electronic
  • Reconstruct the building's parapet
  • Replace the roof
  • Precast window and sill reconstruction
  • Replace exterior windows
  • Stair tread replacement

The construction will impact the Oatka Festival in July with construction equipment and fencing blocking some of the area used by the festival in past years for vendors.  Holly said he's met with Oatka organizers to go over options for a new site plan for the event.

COVID Update
Holly also gave the board an update on COVID testing and protocols.  

Beginning March 7, "test to stay" tests will be administered "right before school," Holly said.

Currently, tests are offered from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m each day.

We'll do it before school because numbers have dropped," Holly said. "If numbers come back up again, after break or whatever, we're prepared to go back (to testing) in the morning. But right now, we can handle everything that we need to just before school."

Recently, the district handed out 64 at-home tests to parents and community members. 

State Audit
Up to a half-dozen auditors from the NYS Comptrollers Office will be in Le Roy, or some working remotely, for an audit of the district.

The Comptrollers office routinely audits every government agency in the state.

"Just remember with an audit, they're not going to tell you the good things that are going on," Holly said. "It's going to be just things that obviously procedure-wise, it can be improved."

Officials have not provided the district with a precise date the audit will begin, but Holly said he expects the audit sometime in the spring, before the end of the school year.

"This is the first one I've had during my tenure here," Holly said.

Photo: Via Le Roy Central School District capital improvement project presentation.

December 15, 2021 - 3:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, schools, news, education, Le Roy Central Schools.


A rekenrek is a tool to help elementary-age children build a better sense of numbers, Stacie Wilson, the new numeracy coach in Le Roy Central Schools, explained to the Board of Education on Tuesday evening.

Students use it to help them grasp the concept of how numbers work together.

For example, take the number seven, if students are told to arrange the pieces on the rekenrek into groups that ad up into seven, they might move four pieces on one line and three on another, or two and five, or one and six, etc.

There is no wrong answer, said Wilson (top photo), which both helps students see how numbers work together and develop confidence in thinking about numbers.

The rekenrek, similar to an abacus but it is not based on place value columns, is just one tool to help students grasp a better concept of numbers.  

Wilson also uses, for example, a jar filled with items -- changed regularly -- that encourages students to guess how many of those items are in a jar.

"(These things) help students generally understand numbers and how numbers work and connect," Wilson said. "They can place values on things and it weaves into so many connections they will make through the years."

Teachers engage students in math classes in "number talk," Wilson said, so they can better grasp the concepts of numbers. They can develop flexible thinking about numbers, especially through us of the rekenrek where numbers can be combined visually in multiple ways to create new numbers.

"Some students are more resistant to math and they fear the wrong answer," Wilson said.  "This allows all kids into the experience and allows for them to really push their thinking about numbers."


Newly appointed trustee Jason Karcher.

December 15, 2021 - 1:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Le Roy Central Schools, schools, news, notify.

Le Roy Central Schools will continue to keep doing what it's doing when it comes to COVID-19, Superintendent Merritt Holly told the Board of Education on Tuesday night, because it's been working.

That is, the district will continue to follow the protocols.

Holly said with a total of there are currently 25 more COVID-19 cases in the district this year than last at the same point, when there were 45, but by Dec. 24 last year, there were 81 cases.

The numbers, then, this year are looking pretty good, when you consider that this year, nearly all students are attending school daily and the world is dealing with varients that spread more easily than the version of SARS-CoV-2 that was in the air a year ago.

The data is clear, Holly said: The vaccines work.  Most of the local infections are among the unvaccinated.

The other advantage for the vaccinated is they don't have to follow the same quarantine protocols if they become a close contact to an infected person and are asymptomatic.

The district, he said, with temperature checks, social distancing, masks, quarantines for the unvaccinated who get exposed to the disease, are one of the safest environments for staff and students.

"What we've put in place has allowed us to stay functional and stay in school," Holly said.


November 24, 2021 - 5:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Le Roy Central Schools, schools, educaiton, news, notify.


One of the tricky issues for the Le Roy Central School District in navigating protocols during the age of COVID is that neighboring jurisdictions often have different requirements than present in Genesee County, Superintendent Merritt Holly informed the Board of Education on Tuesday.

For example, at the start of the new year, RIT will require every person who comes on campus for any event to show proof of vaccination.  That means every coach and athlete from Le Roy who participates in winter track and field will need to be vaccinated in order to compete in events at RIT, even though Le Roy doesn't have a vaccine requirement.

Any team that wins enough and reaches state championship athletic events will find every participant must be vaccinated to compete.

A memo Holly provided to school board members provides a timeline of shifting rules and guidance as knowledge of the pandemic has evolved and health leaders have sought to provide the best guidance as possible.

That has sometimes created confusion, Holly acknowledged. 

"One piece of thought, again, schools from county to county, interpretations of what this course is, this space, this contact tracing, so on so forth, can be different," Holly said. "Therefore, it can cause issues, equity issues, questions of why. But I think the bottom line is the data should then show are these measures working to keep us in school."

The briefing, Holly said, was to enable board members to get a complete picture of what is going on so they can come to the board's December meeting with any questions they might have at that point.

To read the full memo, click here (pdf).

April 8, 2021 - 2:38pm

Submitted photos and press release:

The NAMM Foundation has designated Le Roy Central School District as one of the 2021 Best Communities for Music Education in the country.

This national designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. Le Roy is one of 686 districts across the nation receiving the prestigious award in 2021.

Congratulations to the Le Roy music teachers, administrators, students, parents, and community leaders on this distinguished designation!

Le Roy has received this designation 15 out of the last 16 years and continues to thrive in providing music education through many opportunities throughout the district.

The program supports 300+ students in chorus and 200+ students in band throughout our district offering vocal and instrumental performance ensembles for students in grades 4-12 as well as a competitive marching band.

Annually, the program produces a sixth-grade musical and a Jr.-Sr. High musical. In the classroom, general music and a variety of Sr. High electives are also offered each year. 


“Just being around people that share the same interest as you is comforting and creates a family! -- Aubrey Puccio, eighth grade

"Music releases tension and is fun! I like being with my friends and playing percussion with my siblings at home." -- Robert Dunn, fifth grade

"On behalf of the Board of Education and the entire Le Roy Central School District, we are all extremely proud to be recognized again as a 2021 Best Communities for Music Education. During this global pandemic, our music teachers provided their students with innovative and creative instructional opportunities for both in-person and virtually learning. This prestigious honor signifies the continued dedication and passion our teachers and students have each day to excel in music education. Congratulations to our administrators, teachers, students, parents, and community for setting high expectations in order to achieve this tremendous accomplishment!" -- Merritt Holly, Le Roy superintendent 

“For me it is about finding my people in high school. It helped me find my circle of people that I wanted to spend my time with in high school. I think it is a wonderful thing to create music for an audience all together because we all want to be here and create something beautiful.” -- Catie Long, 12th grade

"Music is fun! It makes you more engaged with the school than you already are and you get to go on trips and make fun memories with your group." --Halie Hassell, sixth grade

"The families, teachers, staff, administration and Board of Education of Le Roy have always prioritized music education in our community. In this challenging school year, the music teachers have been able to make lemonade out of lemons mostly due to this support. This award illustrates the important role our community plays in what we teach on a daily basis! Thank you to the NAMM Foundation for this recognition and thank you to the Le Roy community for your continuous support!" -- Jessa Dechant, Le Roy Music Department chair  


For more information visit the NAMM Foundation.

February 26, 2021 - 1:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Le Roy Central Schools, livestream, video.
Video Sponsor

Interview with Merritt Holly, superintendent, Le Roy Central schools, about going back to full-time in-class teaching and the school's capital project.

February 4, 2021 - 2:43pm
posted by Press Release in Le Roy, prekindergarten, news, Le Roy Central Schools.

Press release:

Le Roy Central School District Universal Prekindergarten registration began today (Feb. 4)!

Pick up a registration packet between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the Wolcott Street School Main Office, 2 Trigon Park, Le Roy.

An “eligible child” is a child residing in the Le Roy district and who will be 4 years old on or before Dec. 1, 2021. If the student will be 5 years old before Dec. 1, 2021 they are not eligible for the program.

  • We do not offer transportation.

  • UPK classes will be held for half days:  9 - 11:30 a.m. (morning session) and 12:15 - 2:45 p.m. (afternoon session).

  • Completed applications will be accepted up to March 5 on a first come, first served basis.

  • For more information visit www.leroycsd.org, click on Wolcott Street School and go to Universal Prekindergarten in the left-hand column or call Kelley Caffo, Wolcott Street School building secretary at (585) 768-7115.

January 28, 2021 - 8:00am

Press release:

Le Roy Central School District Universal Prekindergarten registration begins Feb. 4!

Pick up a registration packet between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the Wolcott Street School Main Office, 2 Trigon Park, Le Roy.

An “eligible child” is a child residing in the Le Roy district and who will be 4 years old on or before Dec. 1, 2021. If the student will be 5 years old before Dec. 1, 2021 they are not eligible for the program.

  • We do not offer transportation.

  • UPK classes will be held for half days:  9 - 11:30 a.m. (morning session) and 12:15 - 2:45 p.m. (afternoon session).

  • Completed applications will be accepted up to March 5 on a first come, first served basis.

  • For more information visit www.leroycsd.org, click on Wolcott Street School and go to Universal Prekindergarten in the left-hand column or call Mrs. Kelley Caffo, Wolcott Street School Building Secretary at (585) 768-7115.

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