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Back to class for some charter school students

Students returned for a brand new school year Monday at two Buffalo charter schools. WBFO's Focus on Education Reporter Eileen Buckley was there as students arrived for their first day back at the Charter School for Applied Technologies (CSAT) on Shoshone Drive. 

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
CSAT students return to classes Monday.

Buses started rolling up as early as 7:30 a.m. at the CSAT School for 6th through 8th graders. This is the second year for the school in the building that once housed Holy Angels Academy. 

Principal Brandon Pakf tells WBFO News there were some challenges in adjusting in the new space last season.

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Brandon Pafk, Principal for CSAT students in Grades 6th-8th at north Buffalo location.

"I think, for many that were new to CSAT, it was a transition, and so just getting to know our process and procedures on top of the curriculum was an added stress to them," said Pakf.  

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Sixt graders return to class.

Changes have been made for this school year.

"Just from the daily general procedures of transitional things to our time on task to the kids to what's in the best interest, developmentally, of our middle school students," Pakf explained.

"Making connections with our students and building a community within our classroom," said Cheryl Nicosia, 6th Grade CSAT Teacher. Nicosia said making connections with students is key to learning.

"It's very important to teach the kids to become critical thinkers and analyzers because it's not just memorization," stated Nicosia. 

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Sixth graders begin their first day of class at CSAT's north Buffalo building.

Jovonni Hall starting sixth grader. He has been attending  charter school since first grade, but this is his first time at the north Buffalo building. 

"I'm a little nervous to meet new people," said Hall.  "The teachers are really good and the principal is nice."
Charter schools are known for kicking off the school year early to jump start a students learning from the summer-break.

Also returning today for a new school year Monday are students at Buffalo United Charter School on Manhattan Avenue. The school houses students in Kindergarten through 8th grade.

Buffalo United Charter follows a Moral Focus curriculum which allows students to meet in the gymnasium to share good news and recite the school creed. The school is operated by National Heritage Academies.