Superintendent's Update: Friday, September 1

Dear Batavia Families and Community,

Welcome to the 2023-24 school year! Let me resume this bi-weekly update with a quote:

“The children of Batavia can, they have power; they can do things; they are kings of their work. They attack difficulties without shrinking or cringing, and they master things.”

Think about this quote for a minute (and share it with your children as they prepare to set new goals for the 2023-24 school year–but feel free to substitute the word “queen” for king, as this quote is from the early 1900s). What can they master and achieve this year? I am sure you are wondering who said this quote and that I will reveal it next week, but I can assure you most–if not all of us–will have heard of this author. Stay tuned! 

While our campuses were quieter than they are from September to June, I can assure we had a busy and productive summer:

  • We completed successful hiring processes for many positions, including our Business Administrator and High School Principal, and as I write this update, we are in the middle of our search for our next Athletic Director.
  • Numerous teaching vacancies were filled, and this past week, I had the honor of greeting all of our new employees at our annual New Teacher and New Employee Orientations. As a lifelong Batavian, I was particularly excited about a new addition to these programs: Time spent at the Holland Land Office Museum followed by a tour of Batavia led by Mrs. Anne Marie Starowz and myself. As a new teacher in 1994, I vividly recall my tour of Albion, where I began teaching. It is important that all of our staff have a sense of the context and history of the community that they are teaching and working in. Please join me in welcoming our new staff to Batavia.
  • Thank you all for your tremendous response to ParentSquare—our streamlined and “one-stop-shop” for two-way communication between school and home. I am especially grateful to our school clerical staff and principals who embraced this program, and earnestly began posting material on this platform. As a matter of fact, I hope and presume many of you reading this very update on ParentSquare.

    Should you have questions, please consult our ParentSquare resource section on our website or call your school’s main office.
  • Our summer programs for students were in full throttle and were recently featured on The Batavian. Thank you to Dr. Molly Corey, our principals, and assistant principals for spearheading these opportunities for our students during the summer months.
  • A group of committed teachers, administrators, students, and parents recently came together for three days in July to address the key question: “How can we best meet the needs of all of our students?” We had great dialogue and discussion and came up with some key recommendations that we’re excited to share in a future news feature.
  • I also had the privilege of leading the Class of 1993 and fellow alumni on a tour of Batavia High School last weekend. Our alums thoroughly enjoyed the tour, but I found two comments they made particularly striking:

    The pride, love, and joy they had for all that is Batavia!

    And, how clean and well-kept our buildings and ground were–kudos to Chad Bliss, our Director of Facilities, with support from retired Director of Facilities Jim Jacobs, and our amazing team of custodians, cleaners, mechanics, and buildings and ground crew–bravo and thank you!

  • Speaking of buildings and grounds, we recently completed a new security upgrade: all of our windows in every school are now “hardened” with an extra layer of protection designed to protect our students and staff from unwanted intrusion and acts of violence.

  • Along the lines of safety and security, all schools in Batavia (including our private schools) have recently partnered with the Batavia Police Department to initiate a comprehensive training program to simplify the language used in emergencies. Training will take place later this fall, and in the meantime, I invite you to check out this website, which contains more information about our training program.
  • As a reminder, BCSD is proud to be able to offer all our students across all grade levels school supplies for this coming school year (all your student will need is a backpack)—we’re thrilled at the positive feedback we received. All supplies will be handed out on the first day of school.

As we approach this new year, please join our upcoming building Open Houses, meet all of our new staff, enjoy an athletic event in the beautiful fall weather, volunteer to chaperone a field trip, drop us an email with questions or suggestions (or even better, do so on ParentSquare).

I look forward to greeting our students on Wednesday, September 6, on the first day of school!

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend–this last “traditional” weekend of summer!

Thank you.

Jason A. Smith
Superintendent of Schools

585-343-2480 ext. 1000