Superintendent Update: Friday, December 22, 2023

December 22, 2023

Dear Batavia Families and Community,

It has been a while since I shared some classic Batavia history, so I will start this update on that note:

The Upton Monument, which separates Routes 5 and 63 in downtown Batavia, was dedicated on August 5, 1919, to the sacrifices made by Genesee County during the Civil War and wars overseas. It was called the Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Monument, and the figure facing west is General Emory Upton.

And with that, I will leave that cliffhanger for you and will answer the question “Who is Emory Upton?” next time.

On behalf of our Board of Education, thank you for your overwhelming support of the BCSD Reimagined Capital Project, which was approved by our voters last Thursday by a strong margin of 315 in favor and 97 opposed. This signifies resounding support for the project, and we look forward to unveiling the various phases of the project between now and 2027, so sit tight and stay tuned.

One of my most favorite times of the year as a superintendent is right now.

Here is why:

  • I attended and heard beautiful music all December long from our John Kennedy Choruses (is there nothing more magical to the ear than hearing children sing?), our Batavia Middle School instrumental and orchestral ensembles, and our Batavia High wind ensembles and our chorus groups. Beautiful and festive music filled the auditoriums of BCSD! Bravo to our students and teachers! 

  • The giving spirit at BCSD is alive and well. Toy drives and food drives were aplenty across our schools, and wonderful news stories and social media posts abound to highlight the giving spirit.

  • Winter sports are bustling along, and I have seen an athletic drive in our basketball teams, hockey teams, wrestling squads, swim team, and indoor track team. While I have been able to attend most of our events thus far, I am looking forward to more exciting competition in the coming weeks and months! Go Blue Devils!

  • Our schools have been alive with fun and festive holiday dress-up days for staff and students alike—with my favorite being the ugly sweater contest. We had some classics at BHS:

While music, generosity, and athletics are certainly some of the hallmarks of this time of year, let’s not forget why schools exist: to improve academic achievement for our students—our core and vital mission.

With that being said, our Board of Education heard an academic achievement report from Dr. Molly Corey, our Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, this past Monday night.

You may find the entire presentation here: Academic Update.

The results were overwhelmingly positive. In numerous categories, we have outperformed our “peer schools” and made overall improvements on the Math and ELA Assessments given last year in Grades 3-8. Certainly, these assessments are not the “be all, end all,” but no doubt, they provide a good dipstick and benchmark as to our overall performance as a district. I continued to be proud of the work and achievements of our students, led by our incredible leadership team, faculty, and staff, with continued support from our families and the Board of Education.

Our winter recess began today, and our schools will of course be closed through Monday, January 1, 2024, so families can enjoy the holidays. 

I wish each of you a festive season filled with peace, joy, and love, and I look forward to the many opportunities that will surely greet us in 2024! And, of course, Go Bills!

My very best wishes,

Jason A. Smith
Superintendent of Schools
585-343-2480, ext 1000