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East High School studying turnaround plan

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

The lights will be on until nine at night, if the proposed plan for East High School in Buffalo wends its plan through the school  board and through Albany and into effect.

Principal Casey Young admits East has been having problems for years and only recently began to turn around, with the graduation rate rising from 27 percent to 54-percent. That's too late for Albany, which wants East, Lafayette, Bennett and Martin Luther King closed and re-opened as different kinds of schools.

For East, that's okay because the plan is to re-open as a community school. That means it would open at 8:45 a.m. and run to 9 at night.

"We have two lead partners, Say Yes and CATS, Child and Adolescent Treatment Services. Those folks right now provide a good amount of family support servicing as well as academic remediation and tutorial," Young explained.

"We also have credit accrual here when kids can try and get ahead. They don't have to only participate in courses that they have already sat for. So, they get the full gamut. We also partner with D'Youville and the University of Buffalo."

The proposed new East would have many vocational programs, more college-level courses, an array of services for the surrounding community, more small classes to help students with life skills and more recognition of the difficulties of many students by providing child care.

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.