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
In the early days, the founders of West Buffalo Charter School dreamed of a community school that would provide a learning environment aimed at educating the whole child while instilling a foundation of language acquisition and literacy proficiency. The founders believed that this noble mission should not be limited to zip code. The WBCS program would welcome economically disadvantaged youth, English language learners, and children with disabilities, and thus become an exemplary model of differentiated instruction. The philosophy was simple: to provide children with safety, warmth, nurture, and academic rigor.
On August 10, 2012, WBCS opened on the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Barton Street and welcomed its first class of 137 students in grades Kindergarten through 2. Since that day, WBCS has developed a culture respectful and accepting of cultural difference, past educational experiences, and various levels of developmental attainments. By engaging with families and the wider community, WBCS has provided the "village" it takes to raise a child.
In its first few years, WBCS has had many accomplishments. The school expanded to 300 students in grades Kindergarten through 4 and increased its support staff to meet students' academic and social-emotional needs. WBCS student support, teacher mentoring, academic programming, and community relations have become more refined as the school grows. Moreover, academic data demonstrates that students are becoming more academically proficient the longer they stay at WBCS.
In the 2016-17 school year, WBCS welcomed its very first 5th grade class after earning State approval to have middle school. Construction also began on the new additions that now house grades 4-8. WBCS is fully expanded as a K-8 school as of the 2019-2020 year.
To see children of different cultures, languages, and abilities learning happily and successfully together is a fulfillment of the founders' original dream.