Buffalo School Board looking into potentially longer school year

Local News

At their meeting Wednesday, Buffalo School Board members discussed two potential calendars for next school year – a 42-week-long calendar that starts later with fewer days off, or a 44-week-long calendar that starts earlier but has more vacation days.

The current school year is 43-weeks-long, but board members said that no longer works with what’s best for teachers or students. Dr. Darren Brown-Hall said the district would like a 44-week-long school year instead.

“The 44-week calendar is modeled after BOCES and the surrounding district’s calendars, because we realize most of our teachers live in those districts also,” he said. “So really it’s a student focused calendar.”

If the board cannot come to a decision on which to choose, the district automatically goes with the 42-week schedule that’s already laid out in the teacher’s contracts. But Buffalo Teacher’s Federation members tell News 4 they don’t like either option presented by the board, and are looking to compromise.

“The district came to us and said they wanted to extend the calendar from the contractual 42 weeks to 44 weeks, and we said no, we’re not going to extend it to 44 weeks,” said Buffalo Teacher’s Federation President Phil Rumore. “What we’re willing to do is compromise with [the board] and say for the teachers to work 43 weeks instead of what’s in the contract.”

Rumore said BTF had a vote among teachers to see what they preferred, and majority chose the 43-week-long option. As for now, the district is looking to parents for their opinion. On the school’s website, they have this survey, which lays out each option and gives parents the opportunity to vote on what they prefer. Parents have the next three weeks to fill the survey out – although they won’t be given an option for 43 weeks, there will be a comment section where they can write in that choice.

Brown-Hall said the district has until the end of June to make a final decision.

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