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Deadline looms for proposed school turnaround plans

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WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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Interim Buffalo School Superintendent Don Ogilvie says the school district has a Friday deadline to submit a round of proposed turnaround plans for four failing city schools to prevent closure by the New York State Education Department.

In a WBFO News interview Monday, Ogilvie said there are several 'significant dates'.

"This Friday would be the deadline for the proposals. Then there will be approximately a month to six weeks of review of each of the proposals -- whether they are local or come in from somewhere else," stated Ogilvie.

The failing schools are East High School, Lafayette High School, Martin Luther King and Bennett High School.   

"Then the Board of Education will get the reports of the evaluators. They will bring their own counsel to it and then make some decisions. We'll have a public hearing with each of the highest scoring models, then by the end of January, those successful proposals will go forward to Albany," said Ogilvie.

Ogilvie said the district has been asking Albany how long it would take to get final turnaround plans in place for the four schools

"The answers we get is 'it depends on what we get in the beginning. But it will be sometime, probably mid semester in the earliest part of 2015," said Ogilvie.

There has been a great deal of controversial surrounding the proposed turnaround plans, with some city school board members calling for possible charter schools. 

Lafayette has proposed a two-year long International Newcomer Academy. The school is filled with international students. This proposal would allow a student to attend the 'Newcomer Academy' before heading into the regular classes. Principal Naomi Cerre said the plan covers both English as a Second Language students and others.

A plan for Bennett High is being supported by administrators and alumni. It calls to create a ‘neighborhood school’ and extend the school day.

Monday night East High issued its proposal calling to reopen as a community school. 

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