To Our WBCS School Community:
We are writing to you with overwhelming feelings of sorrow, outrage, and dismay following the death of George Floyd and the events and turmoil that have transpired over the past few days. We cannot remain silent on this. We need our students, staff and families of color to know that we care, you are important, and you are not alone. WBCS stands with you.
WBCS was founded on the principles of diversity; we are incredibly proud of the diverse community we have built over the past eight years. However, our sentiments and actions need to go beyond celebrating diversity but unequivocally defending it. We need to be clear in our message that WBCS is a school that will not support racial or ethnic inequality. We need all of our students to know they are valued and loved. We need all families to feel welcome when they walk through our doors. We must continue our conversations about race which includes examining our practices and removing obstacles that contribute to systemic inequities. We must foster a culture of inclusion – for students, families and staff.
As we find ourselves separated during the pandemic, it poses a challenge to connect and provide emotional support in the same way we typically would. But know we are here. Our administrators, teachers, and social worker will continue to work hard to provide support to our students and families. We will post resources on how to talk with children about violence, racism and traumatic events. We will provide guidance to our teachers so they can discuss the issue in an age-appropriate manner. We want our students to feel supported. However, please feel free to contact us if you feel as though your child may need additional support.
We will continue to ask for your support to insure that WBCS remains a place where everyone receives the compassion, empathy and humanity they deserve.
WBCS School Administration and the Board of Trustees
The mission of the English as a New Language (ENL) program at West Buffalo Charter School is to create a learning rich environment for English language learners (ELLs) through English language acquisition and academic achievement. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) developed standards for all students, including English Language Learners, in order to raise the level of instruction for all children. The students receive ENL instruction aimed towards the different levels of English language acquisition.
There are five levels of English language proficiency that support instruction to our English Language Learners (ELLs) and students are placed in the ENL program based on the results of the New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners (NYSITELL). Students at the entering and emerging levels receive 36 minutes of stand alone instruction and 36 minutes of integrated ELA instruction daily. Students at the transitional, expanding, and commanding levels receive 36 minutes of integrated ELA instruction daily. We also administer an annual English language assessment each spring called the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT). The results of this test are used to design appropriate instructional programs for the next year.
We strive to provide instruction in whole-class and small groups to give our students the best means to learn the English language and academic content at the same time. Teachers often utilize technology, such as iPads, to enrich content and engage students. On-site language support staff assist with student and family communication.
West Buffalo Charter School has a high population of English Language Learners (ELLs), with over 21 languages currently represented, including:
Burmese, Karen, Somali, Spanish, Zomi, Siyin Chin, Min-Dat, Nepali, Rakhine, Arabic, Karenni, French, Vietnamese, Lingala, Tigrinya, Portugese, May May, Bengali, Bangla, Ogoni, and Swahili.
Many of our students come from:
Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, Vietnam, Ecuador, Syrian Arab Republic, Congo, Angola, Thailand, Ethiopia, Puerto Rico, Kenya, andSomalia.