Superintendent Update: Friday, March 8, 2024

March 8, 2024

Dear Batavia Families and Community,

With the recent February break, it has been a few weeks since I last issued an update. I hope you all have been well and are enjoying our recent bout of warm weather for early March in Western New York!

It has been an exciting few weeks around Batavia with the recent successes of our athletic teams in sectionals and states. As I write this update, our BND United Hockey Team is preparing for the state tournament this weekend, and we recently celebrated wrestler Casper Stewart, who is our first Batavia wrestler to win a state title. Our Girls Indoor Track Team won sectionals as well, and our Boys Indoor Track team placed third. Swimmer Harrison Southall also brought home a sectional title, while our alpine skiers and boys and girls basketball teams enjoyed successful seasons as well. Thank you to our coaches and boosters for all their support of our student-athletes, as well as our local media for doing such a great job showcasing our students.

As further evidence of our partnership with the Batavia community, members of the Kiwanis Club and Key Club recently participated in a Read Across America program at our elementary schools. Our Key Club has gotten off to a great start under the guidance of Allison Chua and would love to assist with various community projects, along with our other student clubs.

It was an honor to be in the audience Saturday night as our BHS Production Club put on Footloose! We had a packed house, and the audience, including my family and I, loved the show. Bravo to our entire cast and crew under the leadership of Caryn Wood, and join me in wishing them well (“break a leg” in show business talk) as they now prepare for the Stars of Tomorrow, a regional celebration and honors program for theater in the Rochester area.

Our 2024-25 calendar has been approved, and you can find that here. Not yet showing are the traditional half days the last two days of school in June, but there will be plenty of advance notice on those days. Also, please note that we have removed all late arrival days for students (however, there is one early release day in November). Of course, we will continue to provide updates on our calendar via ParentSquare and social media throughout the year.

As I have been updating you, we are in the middle of “school budget season,” and we are still faced with a significant shortfall from anticipated state aid. I have mentioned some of the details in previous updates, but both the Board of Education and I are committed to preparing a budget that fully meets our students’ needs while being aware of our role as fiscal stewards for our community. On March 12, the Board will be participating in a budget workshop with additional meetings later in March and April to finalize budget preparations, and we will continue to keep you posted.

On the academic front, our teachers and principals have been actively engaged in our Professional Communities Learning project, which we kicked off last September. Teams have prioritized learning standards, established their own mission and vision statements, reviewed best practices in assessments and grading, and had rich discussions about teaching, learning, and instruction.

Finally, we also honored our BHS Summa Cum Laude graduates last week with a reception hosted by our counselors and administration:

Summa Cum LaudeAnd to close, here is another nugget of Batavia history for you:

Our very own Richmond Memorial Library was donated by Dean Richmond’s wife, Mary, in memory of her son Dean Richmond, Jr. The Richmonds made their fortune in the railroad business, and the wrought iron fence on Main Street (in front of St. Joseph’s parking lot) is original to the Richmond Mansion. Upon Mary Richmond’s death, she deeded the library to our school district.

Remember: Monday, March 11, is Superintendent’s Conference Day. This day will allow our BCSD team the necessary time for staff development and training sessions.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Have a great weekend…

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