Superintendent Update: Friday, February 9, 2024

February 9, 2024

Dear Batavia Families and Community,

It has been an exciting few weeks around here since I last corresponded with you:

  • The BCSD Foundation, led by Zach Korzelius, successfully hosted our first-ever (and hopefully annual) alumni hockey fundraiser this past Sunday. We had a great turnout of fans and alumni hockey players, coached by our very own principal Mr. Korzelius, and teacher (and alumnus) Mr. Kirkwood. And despite some playful worries from my family and friends, I am proud to say I did not slip on the ice when I dropped the ceremonial first puck! 


  • Our Winteguard hosted its annual show this past Saturday night, and we witnessed some wonderful programs, especially from our own Batavia squads. Thank you to Shannon Mellander for her leadership. Bravo to all!

  • Our elementary schools celebrated the Global Day of Play this past Wednesday. In this age of digital technology–which we all enjoy and appreciate—it is so fun to see our students engaging in “old-fashioned play.” I was solidly beaten in an exciting game of Connect 4 at JK. Thank you to our leadership and staff at Robert Morris, Jackson, and John Kennedy for organizing this annual event!

  • At our Superintendent’s Conference Day last Monday, principals and teachers applied many of the concepts from our Professional Learning Communities project (previously explained here). Together, teachers prioritized learning standards to ensure a “guaranteed and viable” curriculum for our students.

  • I visited our John Kennedy Steam Lab in action last week, where students were engaged in challenging learning projects—and, more importantly, were successfully able to teach me about all the concepts being presented.

  • We had an awesome Rock Band concert last Thursday, where three talented groups owned the stage and played with vigor and enthusiasm. Not only have these groups grown in size, but at each concert, they’ve become more confident, and their musicianship truly shows. Among my favorites I heard last week included “Enter Sandman,” “I Love Rock & Roll,” and “Summer of ‘69.”

These are just a few examples from the last two weeks of some high-quality programming that has occurred in our schools, and I didn’t even mention the current success of our winter sports teams—that will come later!

Recently, I have written and spoken extensively about the incredible importance and value of public schools. To that end, I was honored to have attended a press conference last Friday at Attica, where I gathered with fellow educators, lawmakers, and Board of Education members to lobby for an improved state budget for public schools, so all of these wonderful programs can continue. Please read more about that press conference here.

What can you do? Please contact our Assemblyman Steve Hawley and Senator George Borrelo if you believe New York State can better serve our Batavia students with a budget that places a priority on public education. As a reminder, I also wrote about this in my last update.

Here is their contact information:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley

Senator George Borello

Locally, our budget season will commence on February 26, with a first draft of the budget presented to our Board of Education. 

Thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm for all that is BCSD!

Have a great weekend, and enjoy the Super Bowl.

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