Extended School Day
The school day may begin as early as 7:15 for those attending the Jump Start program. Classroom instruction takes place from 8:00 until 3:30.
Curriculum Extension (CE)
Art, Music, Physical Education, and our unique STEAM program are essential for educating the whole child. Each day students attend a CE for forty-five minutes. Physical Education takes place twice per week. Literacy and Mathematics are embedded in the CE curricula. CE teachers and classroom teachers collaborate to provide extension activities for material taught in the classroom.
Class sizes are kept small to maximize instruction by utilizing multiple adults in the classroom. Each Kindergarten-Grade 5 classroom is staffed with one NYS fully certified Classroom Teacher and one Resident Teacher or Classroom Aide. Resident Teachers and Classroom Aides participate in the co-teaching model. Students receive a large amount of small group instruction based on this model and from the educational professionals staffed in the classroom. These educational professionals and the high teacher to student ratio allow for more nurturing, individualized and differentiated student instruction, and programming to take place on a daily basis.
A commonly heard WBCS phrase goes: "everyone gets what they need."
WBCS prides itself on meeting student needs by providing instruction at their level. Teachers tailor instruction to meet individual needs. Teachers may differentiate the content, process, product, or learning environment.
WBCS utilizes a gradual release instructional model in which teachers provide explicit instruction and then scaffold the student toward an independent task.
Academic Intervention Services/Response to Intervention (RtI)
Your child will complete a Universal Screening given to all students at West Buffalo Charter School in grades K-8 to identify academic strengths and weaknesses four times per school year. In addition, where applicable, NYS ELA and Math Assessment data will determine if your child qualifies for additional academic support.
When working with the RtI Intervention Group, your child will be receiving 30 minutes of small group, intensive, targeted instruction based on his/her area of need. Receiving RtI services does not necessarily mean that your child is below grade level. RtI is intended to be a proactive approach to make sure a child’s learning is solidified in all areas across a grade level.
Special Education teachers meet the needs of students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) in the classroom setting by collaborating with the classroom teacher to meet IEP goals.
WBCS proudly houses two multi-age “classes” of Self-Contained: one for the primary grades and one for the upper grades. Both classes are staffed with fully certified Special Education Teachers, Classroom Aides, and Personal Care Aides (if applicable).
English as a New Language
English as a New Language teachers also collaborate closely with the classroom teacher to provide instruction to students acquiring and mastering the English language.
WBCS follows the Win-Win Philosophy, which emphasizes positive relationships, creative conflict resolution, problem solving, and intrinsic motivation. The method was developed by education researcher Dr. Jane Bluestein.
Content Support Teacher
The Middle School houses two Content Support Teachers: one in ELA and one in Math. These teachers teach core content to small groups, assist the teacher during instructional time to facilitate students' opportunities to learn, collaborate with core content areas, monitor student progress, etc.
English as a New Language (ENL)
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, Bhutan, 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, and Somalia.
Buses arrive at 7:15, and classroom instruction does not begin until 8:00. During this 45-minute period, students attend a Jump Start Program in which they are grouped by grade level and participate in activities that enhance classroom skills. Activities could include stories, crafts, educational games, or fun projects.