Dear Batavia Families and Community,
I hope this message finds you continuing to enjoy the waning days of summer and looking forward to the onset of the 2022-23 school year. Hopefully, you’ve had some time to rest, read, travel, and have fun, as I did. I am especially looking forward to September as I will have the opportunity to experience the complete cycle of the school year in Batavia, as opposed to when I arrived here in January.
We’ve had an extremely busy summer of hiring, training, professional development, summer school, preparing for the Robert Morris re-opening, teacher/employee orientation, Board of Education meetings, and athletic and music camps. While the schools were quieter than usual, there was still a steady bevy of activity. We also welcomed our student-athletes back for the official kick-off of fall athletics, as practices began this past Monday.
Our summer programs were especially successful this year, with more than 300 students enrolled across three schools, with BHS hosting the traditional summer school program run by BOCES. I had a chance to visit our programs and we had students engaged in a variety of enrichment lessons, as well as opportunities to reinforce essential skills.
Just a few days ago, I was visiting long-time and beloved substitute teacher and community member Jim Owen—we share a love of history, local history in particular. Our discussion naturally led to a conversation about politics and the importance of unity, and his observation was that as superintendent, I had made efforts to “unify” our district. His observation humbled me, and to that end—and as a result of those efforts—I have worked closely the past few months with our leadership/communications team to develop a consistent and uniform district logo (no worries, fellow BHS alums, this does not mean we are changing our mascot or school colors 😀). At one point, we counted more than 15 different logos in use across the district.
Below, please find our new official district logo, which will be on letterhead, social media, and our website in the coming weeks. Each school will also have its own unique logo—these will be unveiled shortly.
A topic that is often on families' minds this time of year is our start times and our school calendar, etc. While we have posted these on social media and sent a hard copy of the calendar in a recent Pennysaver, here are the start and end times for the 22-23 school year: School Start/End Times.
Here also is the complete 2022-23 school calendar: 2022-23 Calendar.
We also have several “late arrival days” for students (what we are calling internally “professional learning days” for our faculty and staff, which include training, workshops, data review, and speakers). We selected these dates carefully in conjunction with our teachers’ association, as growing and learning as staff members are critical to student success. We will send out reminders and emails before these late arrival days, but students will arrive as follows on these days: October 11, February 13, May 12, and May 30.
Jackson, Robert Morris, and John Kennedy: 11:00 am
Batavia MIddle and Batavia High School: 10:00 am
Bus pick-ups will be delayed as follows on these late arrival days:
2 hours for BHS/BMS
3 hours for JK and Jackson
2 hours and 15 minutes for RM
For example, If your child attends BHS and their bus arrives at 7:00 am, on late arrival days the bus will arrive 2 hours later at 9 am. If your child attends John Kennedy, and their bus arrives at 7:15 am, on late arrival days the bus will arrive at 10:15 am. But don’t worry–plenty of reminders will be sent again prior to these scheduled days.
We are thrilled to re-open our Robert Morris campus for our Pre-K programs this year. Both of these programs are grant-funded and critical to our student’s success and development. Since March, our administration, teachers, and staff have worked tirelessly to prepare Robert Morris for this re-opening. On August 29, the leadership of BCSD will update the Board of Education on the reopening, and provide a tour of Robert Morris.
As you may have read earlier this summer, we’ve added another School Resource Officer (SRO) to the Batavia City School District. We are thrilled to welcome School Resource Officer Connor Borchert to our district, joining current SRO Miah Stevens. Both officers, who are part of the Batavia Police Department, will be visible throughout all five schools. Our security aides will also continue to be an integral part of our safety team. Please look for more information, including special video messages, from both Officer Stevens and Officer Borchert in the coming weeks.
We’ll also be sending you additional information in the coming weeks regarding safety and security enhancements we’re implementing at our home football games at VanDetta Stadium. As our passionate and committed Blue Devils fans know, these games draw many fans and community members, and we want to provide a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for all.
I look forward to greeting our faculty and staff on Tuesday, September 6, and especially our students and families on the first day of school, Wednesday, September 7. First days of school are always special and exciting, and I continue to look back fondly upon my first days of school as a student here at John Kennedy, BMS and BHS—with new teachers, new classes, new experiences, new friends.
A new school year presents opportunities to set goals, establish high expectations, and most importantly, grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally. With sincere pleasure and enthusiasm, I look forward to partnering with you and our staff as we embark on this journey together.
I will resume these bi-weekly updates as I did last year beginning on Friday, September 9, so stay tuned.
Enjoy the rest of your summer….
Jason A. Smith
Superintendent of Schools
343-2480, ext 1000
P.S. A question I often get from community members and staff is “What should we call you?” My preference is quite simple: either Jason or Mr. Smith. Hope that helps😀