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Restructuring plan offered for Lafayette High School

courtesy of Brian Trzeciak

With Lafayette High School under orders from Albany to close because of poor test scores, the school is proposing a re-structuring of itself.

The plan was presented to students, parents and supporters last night and will go to the school board tomorrow.

The West Side school doesn't do well on testing because it's the designated school for immigrants, meaning students with less than two years of English or even without ever going to school before Lafayette must take Regents exams. Most don't do well.

The school is proposing a two-year long International Newcomer Academy before getting into the regular classes. Principal Naomi Cerre says the plan covers both English as a Second Language students and others.
"We're looking to focus in on our targeted population of ESL learners. But we're also focusing in on our Lafayette Proper which are students who are not ESL students but need different support as well," Cerre said.

"It's a total, all-inclusive framework and we're structuring it so our students are ready for the world of work."

Cerre says Lafayette would also offer programs geared to multi-lingual students, like a Hospitality and Tourism Academy. Albany has the final word on what happens.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.