Buffalo Seminary offering extra year for students

“There's no hurry to get to college"
Posted at 9:08 AM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-06 11:33:34-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — A private girls' school is launching a new program to offer an extra year of high school for students.

Buffalo Seminary says it has found a growing need to allow those students more time to prepare for college supporting students who live on campus.

Buffalo Seminary students.

Inside a Buffalo Semimary classroom, students sit in a circle, facing one another for learning and conversations with their teacher.

“One of the main things that Sem values are collaboration and communication in the classroom,” replied Anais Juillett, junior.

Buffalo Seminary students.

Buffalo Seminary has a very diverse population, along with local students the school is also a boarding school for students who come from many parts of the world.

This new Post-Graduate program is known as PG for short. focuses on those students, offering them a chance to enroll for one more year of high school before they head off to college.

“We had the opportunity and looked at COVID and saw more students asking 'can I come for senior year — can I come for one year,'” remarked Helen Marlette, head of school. “There's no hurry to get to college."

Helen Marlette, head of school.

Marlette tells me the college prep program was 'born' out of the pandemic which changed students learning habits and academic achievements.

“Our PG program is — I think — combined the best components of a gap year with the opportunity to do more academic work in case there is a gap,” explained Marlette.

“We’ve had so many parents concerned about the motivation that they once saw in their student has diminished as a result of COVID or there's a little bit of directionlessness that these parents are not used to seeing,” described Amanda Melsby, dean of teaching & learning.

Amanda Melsby, dean of teaching & learning.

Melsby says the post-graduate program will include courses in English for speaking and writing, global citizens, or a history class and internships.

Students enrolled in this post-graduate program will be working with an adviser throughout the school year.

“When you ask about careers — theater — that's the alarm in my head,” replied Anais Juillett, junior.

Buffalo Seminary junior Anais Juillett is a traditional student from Buffalo. But she tells me she agrees the pandemic changed the way high school students are thinking about their futures.

“I’ve heard it from one student — one of my friends — she's a senior at Buffalo Seminary. She's taking a gap year or she was planning to kind of focus on what's right for her,” noted Juillett. “In terms of jobs and getting right out there into the world, I think it's definitely something that has been opening up."

Buffalo Sem students in the classroom.

School leaders want their future boarding students to consider the program, saying there's no hurry to get to college and should not fear the stigma of attending a 5th year.

“And your path does not have to look the exact same as everyone else,” Melsby stated.