Superintendent’s Update: Friday, April 8, 2022

Dear Batavia Families and Community,

It was great to have some nice spring weather this week. I was able to attend a couple of the ball games, and the bulbs are starting to bloom around town and in my yard, not to mention my dogs love to be outside!

I’m thrilled to see the school district partner with many of our community groups and organizations to host some much-welcomed events for our students and families. We’ve often been asked to distribute flyers to our students on behalf of these organizations in the past. These requests have increased over the past few months, so we’re excited to announce a new procedure for distributing information about outside events, activities, and opportunities within the Batavia City School District. We hope that this will allow all families to have equitable access to activities without feeling a financial pressure to participate. 

We encourage families to refer to our Community Schools | Batavia City School District webpage to learn about the various opportunities available to our students and families.

Paper flyers will also be available in each school office for family/student pick up, and information will be shared over building announcements. 

If you know of other organizations who may want to “send flyers home," please let Community Schools Coordinator Julia Rogers know so she can reach out to them personally.


So what this essentially means for our BCSD families is that backpacks will no longer come home with flyers unless you or your students want to pick them up in the main office of one of our schools. As with all new procedures, we will continue to monitor this and adjust as needed, but so far, feedback from our partners has been positive. 

Let’s talk about reading and academics for a bit. I was having a conversation with one of my Board members earlier this week, and she correctly observed that just as medicine evolves and changes with new research, so too should education (and it does!).

First, under the leadership of Dr. Molly Corey, Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction, our district has completed Grade Level and Course expectations which can be found here. I would encourage you to take some time and visit this page to learn more about what your children are learning as well as general expectations.

I also wanted to share some updates to our reading and literacy programs across the district. This year, teachers are learning about the science of reading. The science of reading is a vast body of scientifically-based research about reading and issues related to reading and writing. Many BCSD teachers are participating in LETRS professional learning that teaches educators and administrators to be literacy and language experts in the science of reading. LETRS reinforces the skills needed for our teachers to master the fundamentals of reading instruction—phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, writing, and language.


Regarding reading intervention, we are ensuring that students have a strong background with foundation skills to ensure they know how to read. Classroom and reading teachers partner to support students in building an understanding of word recognition: phonological awareness, decoding, and sight word recognition. I encourage you to contact your child’s principal to learn more about these intervention and reading programs, and please don’t be afraid to ask questions—we’re here to answer them and are pleased to do so.


In other news, congratulations to our Music Department on a wonderful Music in Our Schools Month, culminating in a fantastic district concert last Thursday capped off by our very own staff and faculty band (of which I am a proud trombone player) performing a couple of tunes from “Chicago.” I encourage you to have conversations with your family and friends about your favorite musician, favorite album, favorite song, and favorite type of music. Mine are Bruce Springsteen, Born in the USA, Piano Man, and 80’s music, Broadway, and movie scores, respectively.


I had a great visit to John Kennedy earlier this week, where I observed a concept known as “circle up,” where students and teachers engage in meaningful non-academic conversations— last week, the focus was on kindness.



I also visited John Kennedy this week to attend Math and Movement Night and I also stopped by the Batavia Middle School Family Night this past Thursday.



I appreciate the partnership that our schools and families have, and we are always looking for more ways to collaborate—so don’t be afraid to suggest an idea. Speaking of John Kennedy, I finished my last round of student lunches this week, and I look forward to starting round two shortly.

I want to share with our Jackson Primary families that the Batavia Police Department, Pastor MacDonald from the City Church, and I (representing BCSD) have committed to addressing the traffic problems that occur on Jackson Street during the food distribution to members of our community. This is a wonderful service that the City Church provides, and all parties understand the need to improve the traffic flow, so please stay tuned for further details.


If you have not already seen it, here is the 2022-23 school calendar so you can plan. Please note the late arrival days for students in October, February, and May: 2022-2023 BCSD Calendar.


Safe travels to our Baseball Team headed down to Florida this week for “spring training,” and congratulations to Batavia Community Schools on their receipt of a GO-ART Grant last night to fund a pop-up art show later this fall.  


Last but not least, I have completed my Entry Plan and will be sharing it with our Board of Education at our regular meeting on April 21 at 6 PM. Feel free to attend or tune in via YouTube. I plan to share the entire presentation and results with you in May.


Have a wonderful Spring Recess with your families, travel safe if you travel, and Go Blue Devils!


Thank you.



Jason A. Smith

Superintendent of Schools


585-343-2480, ext 1000


Twitter: @JasonJasmith