BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The grandparent of one of some 2,200 Buffalo students seeking a transfer out of low-performing schools received two replies from the district. One letter stated her grandson could transfer this fall, and the other said the opposite.
Until recently, Kyle McEvoy's family was unsure which school he would be attending this year. Last year, Kyle and his sister, Hannah, went to School #3, D'Youville Porter, in the Buffalo School District, which was identified as one of the district's many underachieving schools.
Because of that, as well as a change in address, the kids' mom wanted to transfer them. She received word Hannah was accepted at School 72 Lorraine Elementary, one of only five Buffalo elementary schools in good standing.
But Kyle's situation was much more confusing.
The family received two conflicting letters. The first one stated: "Congratulations! Your child has been accepted to Number 93, Southside School."
Then, just a couple days later, they received a second letter, which said, "At this time we are unable to provide you an offer for the transfer you requested."
The kids' grandmother, Debbie Puza, says they had a lot of trouble finding clarification from the district over the phone.
"It's aggravating because you're trying to do something that's right for your kids, or grandchildren, and you're not getting anywhere," Puza said.
As it turns out, district officials say this is something that could potentially happen to a lot of parents. Many parents of the 2,200 students seeking transfers, Kyle's mother included, requested transfers in two ways.
Will Keresztes, chief of student support services for Buffalo schools, has said it was smart of those parents to request transfer two different ways as it increases the chance one of the requests is accepted.
But the downside is possible confusion when parents receive conflicting letters.
As it turns out, Kyle's transfer request had been granted. And though the family is glad, they are disappointed he won't be attending school with his sister any longer.
Keresztes says if a family finds themselves in a similar situation, they should contact his office for clarification.
He and other district officials also want parents to understand the difference between those two types of transfers. One is a request to transfer into a specific school, and the second is more of a general request to move out of a failing school and into a school in good standing.
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