Check out our 1-minute video about WBCS
Tomorrow’s future leaders are sitting in our classrooms today. With small class sizes, a rigorous curriculum aligned with the NYS Next Generation Learning Standards, and high expectations, West Buffalo Charter School develops an exceptional foundation of literacy skills for all students in grades K-8. West Buffalo Charter School is a place where diversity is celebrated, individual differences are accepted, and student success is maximized.
West Buffalo Charter School is determined to help each student reach his or her fullest potential. Daily instruction contains a unique blend of speech and language skills and intensive literacy instruction. West Buffalo Charter School allows students to explore their interests, establish and maintain positive relationships, and maximize their individual successes.
West Buffalo Charter School believes in:
- A small, safe learning community serving grades K-8.
- High teacher-to-student ratio with small class sizes.
- An extended school day.
- Differentiated and intensive instruction in all academic areas.
- Developing language acquisition, literacy skills, and reading proficiency.
- Building positive, respectful relationships between staff, students, parents, and the community.
- Integrating Art, Music, Physical Education, and STEAM to educate the whole child.
- Ongoing professional development focused on innovative teaching techniques and technology integration.
- Partnering with Canisius College and other local organizations to support and enhance student learning.
- Creating a school committed to excellence in education.
Philosophy of Education
All of our teachers are trained in the research of Dr. Jane Bluestein and the Win-Win Classroom. We believe that we must meet the individual needs of our students in order for learning to take place. In short, we meet students where they are and work hard to develop the whole child. At West Buffalo Charter School, we believe in finding “win-win” solutions for our students and staff. We do not support a reward system or humiliating punishment system to manipulate student behavior. Students should be intrinsically motivated—external rewards such as candy, stickers, points, tokens, and promises of free time actually work against building a child’s intrinsic motivation. All behavior is motivated by needs. We make every attempt to meet the needs of our students in a positive, proactive manner through engaging instruction and relationship-building. If a child is struggling with behavior, he or she would be addressed privately and individually.
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.