Dear Batavia Families and Community,
Last week, I was having lunch with some John Kennedy fourth graders, and in addition to discussing snow days, sports, and Batavia restaurants, we also discussed why we have students write. While it can be a laborious task, I want to share with you a wonderful yet simple reason from Levi, one of our JK fourth graders, on why students write:
“It helps our brain grow.”
Writing is a proven strategy to improve student achievement across the board. Our principals and leadership team have been actively engaging with our faculty and staff on continued ways to promote literacy (reading and writing) across BCSD. Even having students read silently for a few minutes from a science textbook is effective. “Helping our students’ brains grow” is a core mission of BCSD, regardless of the content area.
I continue to appreciate the response to my bi-weekly surveys embedded in these updates, so please take a minute and respond to this week’s:
I also wanted to let you know that we have discussed reopening the Parent Portal (grade book for parents)—as promised—with our teachers and principals, and we plan to have it fully launched in September of 2023. With the school year being in full swing and grades already entered, it is simply not possible to launch this mid-year. Please look for more information later this spring and summer.
Last night, we had a wonderful celebration at Batavia Middle School where we recognized the 100th anniversary of the construction of the building, but also presented some beautifully restored historic bells from our original schools. I am thankful to our BMS Custodial Staff, Mr. Korzelius, and BOCES Auto Body teacher Jeff Fronk and his students for their leadership and dedication to the completion of the bell restoration—they look stunning and are an awesome addition to the beautiful auditorium at BMS. I am so proud of our shared Batavia history, having especially walked the halls of BMS way back in the mid 1980’s! 🙂 I especially enjoy showing our students some Batavia artifacts in our display cases.
Bravo and congratulations to our BHS and BMS Drama Clubs on their fall productions. We have some awesome up-and-coming actors and actresses from BMS, and the BHS production of “The Trials of Robin Hood” was not only well done, it was hilarious. I have attended many school productions over my career, and this was by far the most comical and fun production I have seen. Bravo to Mrs. Wood and Mrs. Buckley-Gater, and their entire casts and crews–huzzah!!
Cold and flu season is upon us, and while a separate email is coming on this matter from our BCSD Medical Director, Mrs. Haitz and myself, here are some quick and easy reminders to help keep us all safe and healthy:
If your child is sick, please keep them home.
Wash your hands frequently.
Stay up to date on vaccines.
Sneeze and cough into your elbow, not your hands.
Please look for more information on this in the next week and thanks in advance for your cooperation and support.
Winter sports season is well underway, and I look forward to attending our contests and seeing our students compete with such great support from our families and community. I have been involved in Section V athletics for many years, and it’s important to remember their motto regarding sportsmanship:
“Be Loud, Be Proud, Be Positive.”
Let our coaches coach, our players play, and our officials officiate is a simple guideline we can all follow so we all can enjoy and appreciate the game experience. I am a fan of the NFL in general and, of course, the Buffalo Bills, and I recently came across this brief YouTube video showing some great sportsmanship moments across the NFL by professional athletes: Sportsmanship Video.
Stay safe, stay warm, stay healthy and enjoy all that the rest of December will bring to all of us at BCSD.
Go Blue Devils!
Jason A. Smith
Superintendent of Schools
585-343-2480, ext 1000