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East and Lafayette high schools face major changes

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Details and budgets are still being worked out but the rough outlines of the futures of Lafayette and East High Schools were approved by the school board Wednesday night.

Both schools are being phased out and replacements phased in because of poor academic performance. Complete details are due in two weeks.

The district brought in John Starkey from running bilingual schools in New York City. Starkey says an international high school is needed here to deal with arriving students who don't speak English.

"A lot of our neighbors now are English Language Learners. We see that also it's become much more diverse in its diversity," Starkey said.

"All of us know this, just by the changing demographics of Buffalo."

Starkey says Buffalo has gone from a time when international meant mostly Spanish-speaking students to students and languages from across the world.

East would become a community school with a range of support services in a school day running almost 12 hours, with many students going into career and technical fields.