Superintendent Update: Friday, May 3, 2024

Dear Batavia Families and Community,

Earlier this morning, the Class of 2024 celebrated Decision Day at Batavia High School—a day to celebrate our seniors and recognize and honor the choices they are making after graduation, whether it be college, work, military service, or some combination thereof. What is more joyous about this particular day is when our seniors visit our other schools in the district, and together, former teachers of theirs and current students celebrate their achievements. Be sure to check out our Facebook page later today so you can rejoice on this wonderful occasion.

Also this morning, I attended the annual Genesee County Business Education Alliance (BEA) breakfast, where our John Kennedy students—under the guidance of Jennifer Sloan—were a featured part of the program. The BEA invited our JK students who have been working on a chocolate project since January to share a little bit about what they have learned, to talk about their experience touring Orcon, the process of designing and 3D printing chocolate pieces, making candy molds, making the chocolate and designing/using Silhouette software to cut the boxes for the end result. It was a wonderful morning, and we are proud of these amazing JK students.

I also had the pleasure of visiting John Kennedy this week to attend their annual author-visit program. I never miss these programs, which serve as a wonderful reminder to educators about the power of books and reading.

Last Monday night, our Board of Education adopted our budget for the 2024-25 school year, which we will present to our voters for approval on Tuesday, May 21. This was an especially challenging budget year, as COVID grant money expired, and our state aid was flat. However, our Board and administration are committed to maintaining programs while serving as fiscal stewards for our community. Many of the changes have been openly discussed in Board of Education meetings and will be highlighted on Tuesday, May 14, at 6 pm at the Annual Budget Presentation.

As part of the budget, I am pleased to share that Julia Rogers will be returning to her role as Batavia High School Assistant Principal at the beginning of the 2024-25 school year. Current BHS Assistant Principal Jessica Korzelius will serve as the Robert Morris Assistant Principal next year, and Assistant Principal Omar Hussain has accepted a principal position in Rush Henrietta—congratulations to them both! Ms.Rogers is an experienced and dedicated Batavia administrator, and I look forward to her presence at BHS again.

At the same time, the District has reduced the Coordinator of Community Schools position (currently held by Julia Rogers) to part-time due to the budget constraints previously mentioned. This was a relatively new position in our budget, and Ms.Rogers served in this role well, providing and cementing sound and effective community partnerships. The program will continue for the upcoming school year—albeit in a reduced and modified capacity—with the key elements of the program remaining.

Our most current budget presentation can be found here. Again, the entire budget will be presented to the public on Tuesday, May 14, at 6 p.m. Keep an eye on your mailboxes in the coming days for our annual report and budget newsletter—along with important budget information, it contains highlights of programs across BCSD and information on where to vote on Tuesday, May 21.

Earlier this week, I had lunch with some fantastic first graders at Jackson Primary. When I have lunch with the older students, I often ask them about their classes and activities, as well as take any questions they have—they are always enjoyable and productive meetings. This group of first graders was especially unique as they were able to discuss their literacy, reading, writing, and math programs with confidence and poise. They were both proud and enthusiastic young learners, and the future is bright! While it’s a bit challenging to explain to first graders precisely what a “Superintendent of Schools” is, what is even more fun for me is when I ask them to describe my role. A common answer is that I am the “President of all the schools in New York State.” 😀 Bravo and congratulations to our students and staff, as this lunch was certainly representative of the wonderful school community at Jackson.

One of the best parts about serving as our Superintendent is that I can celebrate and see our learners at all stages of their lives—from first graders just learning to read at Jackson to our seniors celebrating Decision Day.

Spring is in the air (finally), so come and see a concert and attend an athletic event!

Have a great weekend!


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