Future of Two Buffalo Public Schools Uncertain

March 11, 2014 Updated Mar 11, 2014 at 2:16 PM EDT

By Mitch Simon

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Future of Two Buffalo Public Schools Uncertain

March 11, 2014 Updated Mar 11, 2014 at 2:16 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - The future of two Buffalo public schools is uncertain following a statement released by Superintendent Dr. Pamela Brown.

On Tuesday, Brown released a statement regarding Martin Luther King Multicultural Institute and Bennett High School, discussing the possibility of a school turnaround at those schools.

According to the statement, the parameters for a school turnaround involve phase-in/phase-out of programs, closure and re-launch as a new school, or simply closure.

The fate of MLK Institute and Bennett High School have yet to be confirmed.

Below is the statement released Tuesday morning:

The Buffalo Public Schools Board of Education and administration remain committed to ensuring that all students enjoy success in school and that they graduate from high school fully prepared for college and careers. In order to accomplish this, we must support and monitor the progress of all of our schools, intervening when appropriate.

As first discussed late last fall, Martin Luther King Multicultural Institute and Bennett High School were each at the end of their School Improvement Grant three-year funding cycle without having made sufficient progress. Following a review conducted by a team from the State Education Department, the District was advised to develop and initiate measures for school turnaround. These measures include the following school reform options: conversion charter, Educational Partnership Organization (EPO), lead partner, phase-in/phase-out of programs, closure/re-launch, or closure.

The administration conducted several meetings and discussions with the school leadership, staff and families to share this information. Afterwards, the Board authorized the administration to issue Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to determine interest among charter school organizations, EPOs and lead partners to lead the turnaround of the schools.

After receiving and reviewing proposals from a charter school organization and lead partners, the School-Based Management Teams at the two schools did not select any of the proposals. Therefore, the options left for school turnaround involve phase-in/phase-out of programs (for high schools only), closure and re-launch as a new school, or simply closure. A closure and re-launch allows a school to have a fresh start with new staff, curriculum and approaches to teaching and learning.

We are continuing our discussions with school leaders, staff members and families to re-launch and/or implement a phase-in/phase-out turnaround model at these two schools so that their students can experience a higher rate of success and be well prepared for their future. Final recommendations will be made and voted on at this Wednesday's Board meeting.