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Friday, March 7, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Applications Available for Batavia City School District Universal Pre-K

 

   The Batavia City School District is pleased to offer the Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) Program for students and will continue to operate the program in the 2014-2015 school year, pending State funding. UPK provides an opportunity for four-year-old children to be involved in half-day, developmentally appropriate educational classes at no cost to their families. The District offers morning and afternoon programs, Monday through Friday, during the school year. (If the YMCA is selected to be the Community Based Organization to provide UPK in 2014-15, there will be an option to select a “wrap around” program consisting of Child Watch in the morning followed by UPK in the afternoon from12:30-3:00, then School Aged Child Care afterward. There would be a charge for the morning Child Watch and afternoon Child Care programs.) If new State regulations are passed, the District may offer a full day UPK program in the 2014-15 school year.

   Children who are residents of the District, are four (4) years of age on or before December 1, 2014, and who are not enrolled in a special education program with the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP) are eligible to apply. Letters/applications have been mailed to all known eligible families, but also are available at the District Registrar Office in the administrative wing of Batavia High School, or by calling 343-2480 ext. 2008. They can also be downloaded from the District’s website, www.bataviacsd.org, by using the pull-down menu at the top of the page labeled “Parent,” or the Quick Link labeled “Parent Resources,” then clicking on the link for Universal Pre-K.  Applications should be returned by April 4, 2014, however, late applications will be accepted if there is an opening.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 11:58 am

John Kennedy Teacher Linda Restivo’s Day Was Made Better

It was a pretty good day to begin with for fourth grade teacher Linda Restivo, but it was made better, thanks to Office Max, AdoptAClassroom.org, and John Kennedy Principal Paul Kesler. Mrs. Restivo received a surprise visit from OfficeMax representatives, Mr. Kesler, and Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey to be awarded $1,000 worth of classroom supplies. In addition to a new and very comfortable chair, there were two huge boxes filled with everything imaginable on a back-to-school list, and then some – from pens, pencils, composition notebooks, and paperclips to a Kindle Fire HD and digital camera.

The gift was part of the OfficeMax A Day Made Better advocacy program which was started to ease the financial burden on American teachers who, according to Office Max, spend approximately $1000 of their own money each year on essential classroom supplies. OfficeMax and its nonprofit partner, AdoptAClassroom.org, joined together in 2007 to create A Day Made Better and, since then, have paid surprise visits to approximately 100,000 classrooms nationwide. Teachers are nominated by their principals and selected based on demonstrated passion, dedication and innovation in the classroom.

“Mrs. Restivo is always positive which makes her a wonderful part of our school staff,” said Mr. Kesler. In nominating her, he highlighted her dedication and enthusiasm, saying, “Mrs. Restivo continually connects with each student to help them feel like part of the classroom community and to help them meet their academic potential. In addition, she co-facilitates our School Improvement Team, helps coordinate school events, is very approachable with parents, and volunteers for many Parent Group events.”

After making so many days better for others, Mrs. Restivo has a particularly memorable one of her own. 

 

(See pictures at http://www.bataviacsd.org/news.cfm?story=1132&school=0)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 4:40 pm

School tax rate decreases, other highlights from Batavia City School District Board of Education Meeting

Highlights from the Batavia City School District (BCSD) Board of Education meeting on Sept. 17 include the following:

  • Tax rate adjusted ~ Decreases to lowest level in 10-plus years           
  • Reminder: Re-register for Basic STAR exemption by Dec. 31
  • District goals outlined
  • BOE president’s report
  • Superintendent elected to Board
  • Auditors review financial statements
  • BHS Homecoming in full swing

Tax rate adjusted ~ decreases to lowest level in 10-plus years

As a result of savings realized from the consolidation of schools, as well as some reevaluation and reassessment of properties, homeowners will see a 3.95--percent reduction in the school tax rate, or a $0.91 decrease per $1000 of assessed property value (to $22.14 per $1,000 of assessed property value). This is the lowest tax rate for the District in more than 10 years.

Reminder: Re-register for Basic STAR exemption by Dec. 31

Bill Smist of the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) explained the new legislation that requires all homeowners who receive the Basic STAR exemption to register with the Tax Department by Dec. 31 in order to receive the exemption in 2014 and beyond. The legislation is an attempt to eliminate any inappropriate exemptions.

The requirement to re-register does not affect those seniors who receive the Enhanced STAR exemption. The process for Enhanced STAR has not changed.

Homeowners currently enrolled in Basic STAR have likely received notification of the requirement. That letter of notification included instructions and information to complete the process, but residents are able to register even without the letter. Smist emphasized that registration is both easy and quick. It can be done online at www.tax.ny.gov by clicking on the tab, “Register for STAR.” It can also be done via phone: 518-457-2036, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

To register, residents will need their STAR code (included in the notification letter or available through the “STAR code lookup” link on the DTF Web site or through their phone assistance) and the names and Social Security numbers of all owners of the property and their spouses. Registrants will also be asked to confirm that the property is the primary residence of one of its owners (married couples with multiple residences may only claim one STAR exemption), that the combined income of the owners and spouses who reside at the property does not exceed $500,000 annually, and that no resident owner received a residency-based tax benefit from another state.

More information is available on the Web site or by calling the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance: www.tax.ny.gov or 518-457-2036.

District goals

For the complete presentation by Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey, please click on this link (or copy into your browser): http://www.bataviacsd.org/news.cfm?story=1120&school=0 .

Included here is a brief overview:

In introducing the District Goals for 2013-2014, Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey noted the District’s commitment, as articulated in the Mission and Vision statements, to empowering students to achieve their maximum potential and developing students who are able to successfully meet life’s challenges. He also emphasized the priority for continually improving the number of graduates who are college and career ready.

The four goals include: (1) close learning gaps UPK-12; (2) implement the second year of District Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plans; (3) be fiscally sound; and (4) improve communication.

Steps to close learning gaps include such measures as implementing improvement plans aligned with the new Common Core Learning Standards; monitoring, reviewing, and adjusting strategies and programs; and providing and developing the resources and professional development needed for academic growth. The continuation of implementing APPR plans calls for utilizing the process as fully as possible for improving instruction, with the goal of having all teachers and principals rated as Effective/Highly Effective by Sept. 1, 2014.

In its aim to continue fiscal responsibility, the District will work toward creating a budget for 2014-2015 that is at or below the allowable tax cap while maintaining programs, managing the Capital Improvement Project, seeking revenue sources as well as more shared services, and advocating for our district at the local, regional and state level.

Communication goals include improving and increasing use of the Web site, Facebook, automated calling system, building and District newsletters, and local media; increasing meetings with community groups; adding Twitter accounts for each school building and video streaming the Board of Education meetings.

In addition, Superintendent Dailey touched on the Three-Year Vision which expands on the listed goals for improved academics and finances.

In closing, he noted that he believes the Batavia City School District will continue to lead, not follow, our region in success and achievements.

BOE president’s report

BOE President Patrick Burk outlined a number of goals to be considered for adoption by the Board. He and the superintendent will work together to bring a set of proposals to the Board for review, and he requested that all Board members forward any ideas they have to him.

Burk also noted that there has been high turnover of Board of Education members throughout the Genesee Valley region. The number of new board members in Western New York may be a challenge as Board members, administrators, and other concerned community residents continue to advocate, as a region, for such things as adequate funding for our students’ education.

In its continued efforts for championing local concerns, the Genesee Valley School Board Association is hosting a dinner meeting on Sept. 26 to bring together advocates of rural school districts. For more information about the dinner, contact Jim Thompson at 344-7947 or jthompson4@gvboces.org.

Superintendent elected to Board

Superintendent Dailey has been elected to the New York State Association of Small City School Districts, which will provide another platform which can be utilized to advocate for our district.

Auditors review financial statements

Audit Committee Chair Phil Ricci reported that the committee met with the auditors to review financial statements from the last fiscal year. Noting that the auditors had few and minor comments, he commended Business Administrator Scott Rozanski and District Treasurer Sally Sanford, particularly in the progress regarding Medicaid and Student Activities reports, where neither had any problematic findings.

BHS Homecoming in full swing

Student Ex-officio Board Member Samir Jain updated the Board members on high school events, including activities for Homecoming Week, Sept. 16-21. (See listing on the District Web site: www.bataviacsd.org/news.cfm?story=1113&school=1).

Superintendent Dailey noted that tickets are still available through the Athletics Office for the annual Athletic Hall of Fame dinner to be held at Terry Hills on Saturday, Sept. 21.

Monday, September 9, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Wanted: Little learners for Batavia’s UPK Program

There are a few openings left, so the Batavia City School District has extended the deadline to submit an application for participation in the Universal Pre-kindergarten (UPK) program for the 2013-2014 school year.

UPK provides an opportunity for 4-year-olds to be involved in half-day, developmentally appropriate educational classes at no cost to their families. The District offers morning and afternoon programs at Jackson Primary School and partners with the Batavia YMCA to provide pre-kindergarten for children at that location.

Children who are residents of the District, are 4 years of age on or before Dec. 1, 2013, and who are not enrolled in a special education program with the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership are eligible to apply.

Letters/applications were mailed to all known eligible families, but also are available for pick-up at the District’s Business Office in the administration wing of Batavia High School; by calling Kelly Snyder at 343-2480, ext. 2008, and requesting that one be mailed; or on the District’s Web site by going to www.bataviacsd.org, using the pull-down menu under “District” and clicking on the link for Curriculum and Instruction, then the link for Universal Pre-k Information.

Applications for the remaining openings will continue to be processed through early October and students placed in the order that they are received. Please return the completed application to the BCSD Business Office, 260 State St., Batavia, NY, 14020.

If you have any questions, please call  343-2480, ext. 2008. for assistance.

Friday, August 9, 2013 at 11:48 am

Administrative interns explain Common Core Standards

post by Kathie Scott in batavia city school district, education
image
Falleti presented information on the new State standards

On Monday, July 29, two administrative interns for the Batavia City School District -- Michelle A. Falleti (who is also a fourth-grade teacher at John Kennedy Intermediate School) and Lauren Combo (a kindergarten teacher at Le Roy Elementary) gave a presentation, "Getting to Know the Common Core State Standards, for Extended Year and TEAM Literacy."

The new set of state standards in English-language arts and mathematics for grades K-12 were developed in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders including content experts, teachers, school administrators and parents in order to prepare America’s children for success in college and career.

The main goal of the presentation by Combo and Falletti was to guide parents through the new Common Core State Standards in a clear and cohesive manner and to also provide resources and tips on how parents can help their children at home.

Following the presentation, families were invited to visit stations according to their child’s grade level. Each station, for grades PreK-8, contained resources, activities, and tips for parents to help guide their child to succeed in school.

More information may be found by viewing the PowerPoint presentation on the Batavia City School District Web site (http://www.bataviacsd.org/popup_info.cfm?story=1102) or by visiting the website  www.engageny.org

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Presentation of Proposed School District Budget Tonight

 

Tonight (Tuesday, May 14), during the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting beginning at 7 p.m., there will be a presentation of the Batavia City School District's Proposed 2013-14 School Budget in the Batavia High School Library. All interested community members and parents are encouraged to attend.  For more information, see the following post on the District  website.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Batavia city schools information meeting tonight on facility improvement projects

post by Billie Owens in batavia city school district, events

An information meeting to inform parents and taxpayers about the nuts and bolts of the proposed 2013-14 budget's facility improvement projects will be held tonight at 6:30 in the library at Batavia High School.

Another such meeting will take place in the HS library beginning at 7 p.m. next Tuesday, May 14.

A public vote on the proposed budget is May 21.

The info sessions will provide a break down of planned facilities upgrades and repairs totaling more than $3.8 million and detail how they will be paid for.

 

 

Event Date and Time

May 7, 2013 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Law firm issues statement on Title IX suit over girls softball field

post by Billie Owens in batavia city school district, Title IX

Press release:

On April 5, Empire Justice Center filed a class-action suit against Batavia City
School District on behalf of three female softball players and their families, alleging wide disparities in treatment between girls’ softball and boys’ baseball.

Title IX forbids all federally funded entities from discriminating on the basis of sex. We are proud of the girls and their families for joining the ranks of so many brave Title IX plaintiffs over the course of history who have stood up for their civil rights and helped to level the playing field for women in sports.

In the words of one federal judge in another Title IX case, “[e]ach day these inequalities go unredressed, the members of the girls’ softball team, prospective members, students, faculty and the community at large, are sent a clear message that girls’ high school varsity softball is not as worthy as boys’ high school varsity baseball, i.e. that girls are not as important as boys.”

While we must refrain from commenting on the merits of pending litigation, we would like to make clear that had the Batavia School District agreed to commit to any concrete plans to remedy the inequities between girls’ softball and boys’ baseball by a specific date, there would have been no need for a lawsuit. As soon as the district makes a binding commitment, the case will be resolved.

As stated in the complaint, the Plaintiffs do not ask to take anything from their male classmates; nor are the girls asking for their own Dwyer Stadium (a request that they recognize would not be feasible). They are fans of the boys’ team and will continue to show their support by attending Blue Devils games at Dwyer regardless of the outcome of the case. They simply want equitable facilities to play on, as well as recognition that their athletic endeavors are as worthy as those of their male classmates.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Batavia school district's budget proposal updated at Board of Education meeting

post by Kathie Scott in batavia, batavia city school district, education

​Batavia Board of Education meeting highlights from the Batavia City School District (BCSD) Board of Education meeting on April 8, include news and updates about the following:

• Preliminary Budget Update

• School-to-Work Update

• Bu​siness Education Alliance Presentation

Preliminary Budget Update

Business Administrator Scott Rozanski brought the Board up to date on work being done on the preliminary budget proposal for the 2013-2014 school year.

As relayed at a previous Board meeting by Superintendent of Schools Chris Dailey, the Board advocated for containing any budget increase to 2 percent or less, but the initial “rollover” budget one that maintained but did not add any new expenditures -- would have resulted in a 4.26-percent increase to the budget and a consequent 6.11-percent increase in the tax levy primarily due to significant increases in pension and employee health care.

Furthermore, he noted that the calculation for our district’s Property Tax Cap Levy* equals a cap limited to a 5.51-percent increase (*As has been widely reported, the Property Tax Cap Levy, popularly called “the 2-percent tax cap,” is actually calculated by using the State’s eight-step formula then adding items that the State has identified as exempt from the restriction. If a district’s proposed budget falls at or below this calculated limit, passage of their budget requires 50-percent voter approval. If a proposal exceeds the calculated limit, passage requires 60-percent voter approval.) Our district’s tax cap of a 5.51-percent increase would mean an estimated tax increase of $1.27 per thousand dollars of assessed value or, on an $80,000 home, an annual tax increase of $101.

The draft summary presented to the Board on 3/26/13 by Rozanski noted changes resulting from six teacher retirements, two clerical retirements, and the elimination of a proposed position for a School Resource Officer that would have been partially funded by the City of Batavia and partially funded by the School District. That budget proposal came to $41,409,757, and carried a tax levy increase of 3.98 percent.

The current (4/8/13) preliminary summary presented to the Board included increased revenue of $930,000 from the State, primarily in restored State Aid, but also included additional expenditures of $571,000 -- approximately $121,000 in lost federal grants as well as an estimated $450,000 in additional expenses for the three employee contracts which are in the process of being negotiated.

The final figures for this proposal are: an expenditure total of $41,981,241 (up $1,894,509 or 4.73 percent from 2012-2013); a revenue total of $21,602,411 (up $1,897,680 or 9.63 percent from 2012-2013); an appropriated fund balance of $1,875,660 (down $365,965 or 16.33 percent from 2012-2013); and a tax levy of $18,503,170 (up $362,794 or 2 percent from 2012-2013).

“This budget proposal puts us at a 2-percent cap, which was the Board’s goal, rather than a 5.51-percent cap, which is what the State calculations permitted, and the elimination of jobs is not necessary,” Dailey said.

In addition, he noted, it preserves the funding for transportation so that all pre-kindergarten through first grade students will be eligible for bussing, which has been identified as a safety concern.

As a reminder, important dates related to the May vote include the following: Board of Education candidate petitions became available on March 12 and must be returned by April 24. Beginning May 6, copies of the proposed budget for 2013-2014 will be available in these Batavia locations: the Administration Offices (260 State St.), Batavia High School main office (260 State St.), Batavia Middle School main office (96 Ross St.), John Kennedy Intermediate School main office (166 Vine St.), Jackson Primary School main office (411 S. Jackson St.), and Richmond Memorial Library (19 Ross St.).

Organizations are encouraged to request a presentation of the proposal by calling the Superintendent’s Office (343-2480, ext. 1000). Presentations can be scheduled for after May 6, which is when the official proposal will be adopted by the Board.

The public hearing for the vote on the proposed budget will be at 7 p.m. May 14, in the High School library. The Budget Vote and Elections will be May 21 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., with polls open at Batavia High School (260 State St.) and John Kennedy Intermediate School (166 Vine St.).

Absentee Ballot voting is also permitted, and absentee ballots will be available during school business hours from the District Clerk from April 24 through May 14. April 24 is also Voter Registration Day from noon to 4 p.m. in the Administration Offices on State Street.

Please call if you have questions about the proposals or voting procedures: 343-2480, ext. 1000.

School-to-Work Update

BHS Business Teacher and School-to-Work (STW) Coordinator Jillian Thomas provided an update on the STW programs she coordinates: Make a Difference Day, Job Shadows, Career Related Field Trips, and K-12 Junior Achievement.

For the 14th annual Make a Difference Day, 22 nonprofit agencies hosted 170 BHS seniors so that the students could learn about giving back to the community and, for many, explore possible career fields. In addition, by the end of 2013, at least 19 students will have completed job shadows, several classes will have taken career-related field trips such as that taken by AP Biology students to the University of Rochester science labs, and 14 classes will have had a Junior Achievement volunteer come in and teach a business-related lesson.

To provide some examples of the value of STW programs, Thomas provided an opportunity for two students to speak about their experiences. Daemeon Reeves spoke about his job shadow with a State Trooper which reinforced his desire to go into law enforcement, and Jessica Valvano-Hoag spoke about her Careers and Financial Management class (taught by Eileen Ognibene) in which she has learned much about how to pursue a career -- such as how to write a resume, and how to prepare for and conduct oneself in a job interview. Two highlights of her class experience were participating in a mock interview and completing a job shadow with a local photojournalist.

Genesee County Business Education Alliance

Bill Hayes, Business Education Alliance (BEA) board member, reviewed the services provided to the District through the BEA and thanked the District for its continued financial support as well as the guidance and preparation it provides to students in regard to work.

In fulfilling its mission, the BEA fosters a partnership between business and education and assists students in preparing for the world of work through coordinating or participating in such things as: the Business School Interaction Committee; Junior Achievement; mock interviews; job shadows; teacher site visits; students site visits; virtual site visit videos; career speaker luncheons; classroom visits; career fairs and camps; resources and referrals for counselors seeking specific career education and/or employment opportunities for students; and class projects for students that mimic real business interactions.

A few additional District-specific services for Batavia have included assisting with recruiting Senior Exit Project volunteers and judges, and providing mock interviews and job shadows for Eileen Ognibene’s Careers and Financial Management class. The BEA’s programs help the District meet the NYS Learning Standards, particularly in Career Development and Occupational Studies, and they expose students to career opportunities in our own region.

Friday, March 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Two Batavia Board of Education seat petitions will be available on March 12

The Batavia City School District’s May vote will include decisions on two Board of Education seats, as those held by Patrick Burk and Steve Mountain are ending.

The available seats are for three-year terms (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2016).

Petitions for those interested in pursuing a Board seat will be available on March 12, 2013, at the District’s administrative offices, located at Batavia High School (260 State St.). They must be returned to the Business Office at the District’s administrative offices in Batavia High by April 24 before 4 p.m.

Tuesday, May 21 is voting day with polls open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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