This is the blog post no real estate agent wants you to read.
As public elementary schools in Buffalo go, Olmsted School 64 is the most sought after. Its scores are consistently at the top of the pack, and here's a major reason why: 65 percent of the seats go to kids who test into the city's gifted program.
The other 35 percent of Olmsted's seats go to kids who live "in the district."
Translation: Although Buffalo moved away from neighborhood attendance zones nearly a decade ago, a certain number of seats in that one particular school are still reserved for kids who live in Olmsted's old attendance zone. (Well, there's one other school that also still has an attendance zone, but we'll get to that in a minute.)
Where, exactly, is Olmsted's attendance zone?
Well, good luck finding out.
It's the best-kept secret in town.
There's no list of addresses posted anywhere on the district's website.
And the information isn't exactly easy to get even if you hoof it down to the student registration office on Ash Street. A parent I know recently went to that office to find out whether her house is in the Olmsted district. She asked for a list of addresses in the school's district. The person behind the counter told her there is no Olmsted district.
This parent pressed on. Yes, there is, she told the school district employee who gets paid to provide information to the public. No -- the district stopped using neighborhood zones years ago, the employee told her, and there is no attendance zone for Olmsted.
Holy nightmare on Ash Street. It's bad news when the people working in the registration office either don't have the right information or for some reason aren't giving it out.
Parents at the school itself apparently couldn't even get the actual list of addresses in the Olmsted district. One publication produced by Olmsted's parent group provides a list of addresses in the district, but it includes a disclaimer that basically says the list is their best guess, and is the result of informal information-gathering among parents.
Realtors in town have been making the most of this information void for years.
I can't tell you how many parents I've met who, when they bought their house (generally on the West Side/Elmwood Village) were told it was in the Olmsted district. And, since there's been basically no way to check that info, they didn't find out that wasn't true until it came time to enroll their child in school.
Well, I recently asked the administration for a list of the addresses in the Olmsted district (and the Discovery School district -- half the kids there are drawn from its old attendance zone). And I got it.
So here it is. (I will post the addresses for Discovery School as soon as possible -- I need to clarify some of that information with the district first.)
The following streets/addresses are in the Olmsted School 64 district (keep in mind, though, that living in the district does not guarantee you a seat in the school -- you still get put into a lottery, but it's only open to those who live in the district):
|Street||Type||Addresses on the left||Addresses on the right||ZIP|
|Queen Anns Gate||1||49||14222|
- Mary Pasciak