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Superintendent Brown plans to be more accessible to public

Ashley Hirtzel

Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown held the first of a series of weekly press briefings. The meetings are to update the public about ongoing developments in the district.

Brown admits she didn’t make herself available to the public before, but plans to be more accessible in the future. Brown told reporters the briefings will highlight the positives happening in the district to boost staff, student, and public morale.

“I’m doing this not to satisfy an urge to brag or even to detract from those who would say we in the Buffalo Public Schools aren’t doing our best for the children of the district. I want to add clarity, to supply the public with real numbers, and help those with an eye on us, especially parents, to understand the state of the schools,” said Brown.

Brown announced a number of initiatives during the briefing. She mentioned the district received $439,000 STEM Leadership Grant. It will allow the district to develop a leadership institute that aims to support excellence within schools.

The Buffalo Public school district will spend $6 million on afterschool programs this year. Brown says almost every school will have a program. The district also received $741,000 for more pre-K programs. The grant will add classrooms with 74 open seats in the neediest schools, and 54 seats in Community Based Organizations.

Brown said that there have been talks between the Diocese of Buffalo about public schools students requesting transfers into Catholic schools. She said the Diocese told her they have about 200 seats available for city students seeking to get out of low performing schools.

Brown says she will continue to solidify relationships with Buffalo School board members. She also acknowledged that she’s made some mistakes in the past.

“I think that the key is whether or not we learn from those mistakes and I certainly consider myself a lifelong learner and I have learned from some mistakes that I have made. I certainly will continue to do more and reach out to different stakeholder groups in the community and to build the relationships that will be critical to the success of this district,” said Brown.

The press briefings are set to take place regularly for the next few weeks.

“It’s not easy, it’s not always pretty, but I am confident that we are getting the job done,” said Brown.