BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo Collegiate Charter School will close in June, the school announced Monday.

The school will shut its doors after five years of operation. The school says the decision came due to the COVID pandemic, “impactful issues in the school’s immediate community” that included the Tops mass shooting on May 14, and an ongoing teacher shortage.

The school said that the New York Charter Schools Institute, which runs all of the charter schools in the state, determined that the school did not meet the qualifications for its charter to be renewed.

“This decision is extremely tough for everyone involved, especially for those of us who founded the school as part of a mission to give our families educational choice and college preparation,” said board chair Jamel Perkins. “We fully understand the impact this has on our families, students, faculty and staff, as well as the broader charter community.”

The 300 rising fifth through ninth graders will be put in other Buffalo Public Schools or charter schools. Students will also have a chance to take part in a city-wide charter school lottery this spring for new placements next fall.

Joseph Belluck the chair of the Charter Schools Committee, provided a statement to News 4.

For more than two decades, SUNY has held our authorized schools accountable for strong academic outcomes. The high level of student achievement across the vast majority of SUNY authorized charters evidences the effectiveness of the Institute’s robust oversight and evaluation practices. When a charter is not meeting the purposes of the Charter Schools Act or the SUNY Trustees’ criteria for renewal, SUNY is mandated to act. In issuing a preliminary recommendation for Non-Renewal, the Institute found Buffalo Collegiate did not meet the standard of academic achievement expected of a SUNY authorized charter school and lacked effective systems necessary to support the charter’s leadership, operations, and academic program to improve student learning in the future. As a result of the preliminary recommendation, Buffalo Collegiate has decided to withdraw its Renewal application and close its doors at the end of the 2022-23 school year. We understand how tough this decision is, and we honor the hard work of Buffalo Collegiate’s board and charter school staff. 

As we move forward, the Institute will work with the school’s leadership and local schools to ensure both a smooth closure process and parents and caregivers are provided with everything they need to make the right choice for the next school for their child.

Joseph Belluck, Chair, Charter Schools Committee

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Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.