Our Mission & Vision
Tomorrow’s future leaders are sitting in our classrooms today. With small class sizes, a rigorous curriculum aligned with the NYS Common Core 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.
What is a Charter School?
Charter schools are free, publicly-funded, independently-operated schools of choice that are allowed to operate with more freedom than traditional public schools. There are no admissions criteria; any student who is grade-level eligible can enroll through a non-discriminatory admissions lottery. Charter schools are offered certain freedoms— mainly over the budget, curriculum and personnel. Due to this large amount of freedom; the level of academic accountability is much higher than a Public school. This is beneficial because it is a guarantee that your child is learning what is required and more. Charter schools operate under five-year performance contracts, and are held to the same New York State Regents’ performance standards established for all public schools.
A Board of Trustees governs charter schools.
How are Charter Schools Different from Public Schools?
Charter schools can be started by educators, parents, community leaders and not-for profit organizations. Because they are held to very high standards and are responsible for educating public school students, charter schools are approved only after a rigorous review process. Once schools open, they are governed by a not-for-profit board of trustees. They are exempt from many state and local regulations regarding curriculum development, personnel hiring and financial management, but must succeed in hitting established targets for their academic programs.
How are Charter Schools Funded?
Charter schools receive a per-pupil allocation from the state. This per-pupil allocation varies from year to year, but in the City of Buffalo, in general, has been routinely equivalent to approximately 60% of the total per pupil expenditure of a Buffalo public school student. In order to make up for this funding discrepancy, charter schools must privately raise funds.
What are the Benefits of Enrolling My Child in a Charter School?
Charter schools provide an innovative alternative to traditional public schools. With their high degree of autonomy, aggressive performance goals and strict accountability, charter schools:
Enable teachers to be more creative and innovative in their teaching methods and subject matter;
Provide an added educational resources in areas not provided by public schools;
Tend to be smaller in classroom size and overall student body for more personalized attention;
Allow parents to choose a school based on what they think will work best for their children;
Held responsible for meeting student performance goals.
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.