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Two proposed charter schools air their plans to Buffalo School Board

Buffalo Common Charter School

The State University Charter Institute is in the annual process of listening to new applications for charter schools to open, this group for the fall of 2020. It's a long and complicated process slated to finish in June, when the newest schools get their charters.

A key phase in the process is a hearing held by the Board of Education of the school district the charter wants to operate in. On Wednesday, a Buffalo School Board committee heard from sponsors of Buffalo Creek Academy and Buffalo Commons charters. Buffalo Commons' proposed Executive Director Daniel Brink-Washington outlined the school plans.

"Our signature course is called Common Threads and it uses social studies and science standards to help kids identify challenges or problems that they see in their communities that they want to effect change in," Brink-Washington said, "and so we will take what students learn in the classroom and we'll be able to help them get into their communities to effect that change."

Buffalo Commons plans to be kindergarten through fifth grade. If approved, the school would open somewhere along Main Street with 50 students in kindergarten and 50 in first grade.

Brink-Washington said the school is based on what he has learned from successful charters.

Credit Buffalo Creek Academy

Buffalo Creek is on the other side of the education spectrum, planning to be fifth through 12th grade and located along Main Street. Proposed Executive Director Christopher Manning said the goal is to produce grads who won't just get into college, but will graduate.

"What we call our LIFE values. Those are the values in which we plan to inculcate in our students, that is, that stands for Leadership, Integrity, Focus and Excellence," said Manning. "With every one of those there are facets of character and behavior that for us is indicative they they develop those characteristics and we intend our graduates to use those to get into and graduate from college."

If approved by SUNY, Buffalo Creek would open in the fall of 2020 with 56 students in fifth grade and 56 more in sixth, then adding a new grade each year.

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.