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Education

Expanded vocational programs coming to Buffalo schools

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When eighth graders in Buffalo go to pick their high schools next year, their choices will be different from what they were this year.

The New York State Board of Regents is slated in January to finally approve new test rules making it easier for students to receive vocational training, now difficult because of the number of mandated academic exams.

With that coming, Interim Buffalo Schools Superintendent Donald Ogilvie said there is a lot of planning underway, from what programs can be expanded for next fall to finding more teachers. He noted this will tie into the budget planning for next year and for later years with more programs down the road. Ogilvie said some buildings are immediately ready for more vocational students.

"Burgard is fully equipped and is the site of the advanced manufacturing," Ogilvie said.

"MST has got the health careers program there that is now available to our ninth and 10th graders. We could expand in both of those. Emerson is fully equipped."

Ogilvie said parents will have to be convinced vocational training is a good option for their children, deciding that college isn't for everyone. He said this is complicated because there won't be freshman classes in the fall in Lafayette and East so those prospective students have to find new academic homes also.

The superintendent says he's going to fill a currently vacant high administrative post with someone whose job will be to make this all work.